The attack on the families from La Mora community was horrific; no one would argue otherwise. The reasons for the attack are still unclear. These people were US citizens who left the Mormon Church to escape the ban on polygamy passed in 1885; although many who moved to Mexico identify as Mormons, they aren’t affiliated with the Mormon Church. (Not all of them practice polygamy these days.)More
Our friends at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, that paragon of easygoing menschitude, have filed a complaint against Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over the recent trial of Amber Guyger. At the trial’s close, Kemp started a conversation with Guyger, then handed her a copy of the bible. Courtroom cameras captured Kemp reading aloud from […]
A number of posts have been written about Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and their anti-Semitic remarks, including my own. Many of us have speculated on the reasons for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s silence regarding those comments, or their apologies on behalf of these two representatives. I’ve looked into the reasons for their not condemning their behavior, and the results were even more disturbing than I anticipated. (For the record, I don’t separate attitudes about Israel and the Jewish community.)
Richard Epstein explores the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay marriage ceremony, critiques the judicial style of Anthony Kennedy, and explains how anti-discrimination laws have expanded beyond a useful scope. More
I think the big picture is, If we as a society agree that we can’t manage to interact with our fellow citizens (in personal or commercial relationships, either one) without the federal government always coming in and mediating those relationships for us, then the outcomes in particular cases will sometimes go in favor of the […]
In a case decided today at the United States Supreme Court, a church-run Missouri preschool asked a simple question: should religious groups have the same opportunity as secular groups to participate in generally-available public benefits?
The 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer today, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that the state may not target religious groups for inequitable treatment on the basis of religion when it comes to public program participation.More
[This is the second admirable American I’ve written about. The first was Paul Newman. I’d be pleased to read about who you consider praiseworthy, either in the comments or a post of your own.] I confess, I’m a Larry Arnn groupie. I was in the great man’s presence once and was so overawed, I said […]
Earlier this month, the US Commission on Civil Rights issued its report Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. The report, which was occasioned in part by the same-sex marriage debate, tries to determine the correct relationship between antidiscrimination laws and the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion. Currently, persons of religious faith have been legally charged with discrimination under state antidiscrimination laws for refusing to provide their individualized services to same-sex couples because they sincerely believe that marriage is a relationship existing only between one man and one woman. The question is: should they be granted a religious exemption?
The report’s title, Peaceful Coexistence, conveys, perhaps unintentionally, a grim social reality in the United States. Historically, of course, it described the uneasy relationship between the US and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. In that context, the phrase described how two nations, organized under radically different principles, could avoid the dangers of mutual annihilation through nuclear warfare.More
Martin Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, informs us that the phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” are “code words” used to discriminate. Castro made the statements as part of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ 306-page report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles With Civil Liberties.” Originally scheduled for issuance in 2013, its […]
It is time for an update on the worldwide jihad of Muslim attacks on Christians. If you have been relying on mass media to keep you informed, then there is a lot that you just don’t know. This is an ongoing story that our Leftist mass media have shown no interest in conveying to Americans, […]
If I understand this report by LifeSite correctly, SCOTUS has kicked the case back down with hope but no guarantee of an acceptable compromise. The U.S. Supreme Court this morning chose not to make a ruling in Zubik v. Burwell about whether the Obama administration’s controversial HHS mandate violated federal law. [….] More
At this point, I expect Donald Trump will likely be the nominee, and — if he can overcome his huge negatives and is as good at demolishing Hillary Clinton as he was his Republican competitors — he may well be our next president. My point here is that he might be, counterintuitively, more successful on religious liberty and culture war issues than Senator Ted Cruz would be.
Why? Well, as a devout Christian, Cruz would be a lightning rod for the Left as was John Ashcroft, and any attempt to defend or restore 1st Amendment rights to Christians would encounter fierce opposition. Conversely, the more profane and socially-liberal Trump’s apparent indifference to issues like traditional marriage might give him an advantage if he plays it right. That is, he could say he has no problem with gay relationships but simply opposes punishing Christians who merely don’t want to be coerced to be involved in activities that violate their beliefs. His lack of a record of opposing gay rights might make his defense of religious rights more palatable — or at, least, harder to attack — politically.More
You know what I want to do? Dump PayPal!!! Does anyone know of any other on-line payment services? I don’t want to use bitcoin, either. Here’s a radical thought. If several states—at least 5—were to pass religious freedom bills, or bathroom bills, or any other bill that gets the LGBT crowd all puffed up, at […]
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk, is confused. No wonder! The Supreme Court confused the entire country with their recent marriage ruling. As I wrote one year ago in Marriage v. Marriage, the institution we call marriage is two different things. The government now defines marriage as a legal relationship of two individuals regardless of their […]
Leonard Pitts says that Religious Freedom looks like Intolerance to him. This piece was originally in the Miami Herald. Are we well and truly doomed? More
This is a little on the end of “cart before the horse,” but it’s definitely a predictable direction that legislative action can take in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when it comes to dealing with the recent SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. Of course, since the ruling, there has been a flurry of commentaries and stories about potential lawsuits against churches that refuse to sanctify these unions. That problem may not play the same in Pennsylvania as it will in most other states.
The commonwealth already has two forms of marriage licenses available in many counties, because our law permits self-uniting marriage licenses. Enjoy the irony if you like, but that is because of a religious belief – Pennsylvania is the Quaker state, and Quakers do not believe that a human being can stand between God and couple when they enter in a covenant of marriage. Their beliefs only permit people to witness that covenant, so we have marriage licenses that only require signatures of two witnesses. Until 2007, it was possible for a county to refuse to issue those licenses without verifying the religious beliefs of the couple, but now they cannot do that. Anyone can opt for the self-uniting license, if they are willing to pay a little more for it.More
In a unanimous decision Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that freedom of speech trumps the whims of local bureaucrats. Reed v. Town of Gilbert also provided a victory for religious expression as the plaintiff represents a small church in the Arizona community.
Clyde Reed is the pastor of Good News Community Church, a small Presbyterian congregation that uses innocuous temporary signs to advertise its weekly service. Since the church doesn’t own a building, it meets in various rented locations around Gilbert, a Phoenix suburb.More
Today at The Federalist, Dan McLaughlin has a very fine essay on the future of Christianity in America in light of the LGBT agenda. It’s the first of a five-part series, and I’m looking forward to the other installments. He prefaces it all by presenting in very clear terms the situation that confronts Christians in the United States today. Without a vigorous defense, McLaughlin says:
[B]elieving Christians in this country face a genuine existential threat: that our culture and legal systems will declare the adherence to core Christian doctrines—unchanged for millennia, directly derived from the words of Jesus and the letters of St. Paul, and in the heartland of the legitimacy of Christ’s teachings—to be outside the bounds of civilized society in the way that the Ku Klux Klan is today.
After stoking the fire yesterday, I hoped I’d get a chance to offer my own olive branch as we again look for common ground. Well, here it is. I learned today that a local group of religious priests (that is, priests who belong to an order — like Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, etc) had been forced out […]