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Showing posts with label Religious Lberty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religious Lberty. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Turbans, Kippas and Crucifixes Could Be Banned in Quebec Public Institutions Under Parti Quebecois Proposal

MONTREAL — Quebec has launched its next debate on minority accommodation — and this one could make the erstwhile soccer-turban ban look like a leisurely stroll on the pitch.

The government is preparing to introduce long-awaited legislation that would restrict religious symbols in numerous places.

A media report Tuesday with leaked details of the Parti Quebecois government’s “Charter of Quebec Values” says the proposed policy will prohibit public employees from donning Sikh, Jewish and Muslim headwear in the workplace.

Read more at National Post >>

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Henninger: Church Is Still Not State

Catholics are being told to substitute state belief for their religious belief. 

By Daniel Henninger

How ironic it will be if Catholic voters, about 27% of the electorate, put the first Mormon in the White House some 50 years after John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president. More telling, though, about the current state of the American mind will be the fact that after more than a thousand days and events in Barack Obama's presidency, the reason for this result will be an unexpected reaffirmation of an American principle older than the country's first presidential election: the free exercise of religion.

Also telling about the current American mind is that the Democratic progressives who inhabit the administration either didn't see this coming or, more likely, thought that the idea of free religious exercise no longer counted for much among American Catholics in today's political calculus.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rallies for Religious Freedom Scheduled for June 8

The Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society are pleased to announce that the next Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place on Friday, June 8, in cities and towns across the United States.

The June 8 Stand Up Rally builds on the tremendous momentum created by the first Stand Up Rally on March 23.

On that day, over 63,000 Americans came out in 145 cities coast to coast pushed back against the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their consciences.

Now the fight continues with the next Stand Up Rally on Friday, June 8.

Right now the entire Obamacare law, with its oppressive mandates and abortion loopholes, is under review by the United States Supreme Court. A ruling is coming at the end of June.

If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, the June 8 Rally sets the agenda for future health care reform, demanding respect for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

But if the Court leaves Obamacare intact, the June 8 Rally advances our demand that the HHS Mandate must go.

Come out on June 8, 2012—the 223rd anniversary of the day our Founding Father James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, with its guarantee of religious freedom, to the First Congress—and stand up for religious freedom!

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was a peaceful, family-friendly, non-partisan, ecumenical event. For more information, please see the Rally Guidelines and Protocols, below.

133 cities in 46 states, organized alphabetically by state

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Religious Liberty: A Commentary by Father Robert Barron

Father Robert Barron comments on the history of the Church in England, its vitality today, and the growing threats to religious liberty from secular tyrants.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Canadian Bishops Issue Letter on Religious Liberty and Freedom of Conscience

Perhaps motivated by the Obama regime's assaults on religious liberty in the United States, the Canadian Catholic bishops yesterday released a major pastoral letter on freedom of conscience and religion.  The letter addresses an "aggressive relativism" that seeks to relegate religion to the private sphere.

The full text of the letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Organization Representing 1 million Pennsylvania Christians Supports Catholics on HHS Mandate

By Ben Johnson

Rev. Donald Green, surrounded by Abp. Robert Duncan (Anglican) and Bp. David Zubik (Catholic).
An organization representing one million Christians in southwestern Pennsylvania has pledged its support for the Roman Catholic bishop and asked the Obama administration to change the law requiring religious institutions to provide contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.

The Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, a group representing 2,000 congregations and 26 denominations in ten counties in the region, released a statement last Friday expressing anxiety about the HHS mandate.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Supreme Court Upholds 'Ministerial Exception' in Landmark Victory for Religious Freedom

In a landmark January 11 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that religious bodies should set their own standards for hiring ministers, free from government interference. 

The unanimous decision in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC was described by Douglas Laycock, who successfully argued the case before the high court, as a “huge win for religious liberty.” 

The Hosanna-Tabor case was the result of a discrimination lawsuit, filed by a woman who claimed that she had been wrongly dismissed by the Michigan Lutheran congregation. The Supreme Court ruled the congregation was exempt from such an anti-discrimination suit. The ruling indicated that the First Amendment to the US Constitution, in its guarantee of religious freedom, means that a religious body should “be free to choose those who will guide it on its way.” 

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that the government’s interest in preventing discrimination is important. “But so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission.”

The case upholds the legal tradition the “ministerial exception”—the understanding that secular courts should not judge the standards by which religious bodies select their own ministers. The January 11 ruling left unsettled the related question of which employees of religious institutions may accurately be described as ministers rather than ordinary employees. 

The Obama administration, arguing for the plaintiff in the Hosanna-Tabor case, had taken an aggressive stand in favor of government intervention in the affairs of religious bodies. During oral arguments in October, Justice Stephen Breyer had observed that the government’s argument seemed to allow for a discrimination case against the Catholic Church, for excluding women from priestly ordination. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ad Targets Obama on Religious-Liberty Issues

Catholic Vote TV spot seeks to influence direction of Health and Human Services mandate.

By Tom McFeely

“Dear President Obama, can I ask you a question,” the young Catholic schoolgirl asks, staring resolutely into the camera. “Why are you trying to force my church or my school to pay for things that we don’t even believe in?”

That’s the start of the latest ad from, seeking to call attention to a range of actions by the Obama administration that impinge on the religious liberty of Catholic Americans. The 30-second spot will debut today on Good Morning America in Pittsburgh. It also will air on cable stations in southwest Florida.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Graham: 'Never Retreat' Despite Day of Prayer Opposition

Evangelist Franklin Graham says he'll "never retreat," despite the withdrawal of his invitation to speak today at the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer observance.

In Washington Wednesday, Graham urged Christians to openly proclaim their faith -- "even if preaching the Gospel someday becomes against the law."

Read the rest of this entry >>

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Archbishop Warns of “Civil Unrest” in Wake of UK Court Ruling against Christian Counselor

From LifeSiteNews
By Peter J. Smith

The clash between Christians and the state has intensified, with a UK court now having upheld the dismissal of a Christian psychologist who refused to give advice on sexual intimacy to homosexual couples - a decision the former Canterbury Archbishop Lord Carey has denounced as a prelude to “civil unrest” between Christians and the secular government.

Gary McFarlane, 48, a Bristol solicitor, father of two, and evangelical Christian, had worked part-time as a psychological counselor with Relate for five years, during which time he even gave advice to homosexual couples working out basic relationship problems. However, he was sacked from his job in 2008 when he qualified as a psychosexual counselor, because he said he could not give advice in homosexual intimacy as this violated his conscience and beliefs.

McFarlane tried without success to challenge Relate’s decision to fire him at an employment tribunal, arguing that they should have accommodated his religious views. He then appealed to the UK Court of Appeal for permission to challenge the tribunal’s ruling.

However, Lord Justice John Laws denied McFarlane’s request in a strident ruling that argued the law had no responsibility to protect the individual’s expression of conscience or religious belief.

Laws made clear that the court did not view legislation protecting individual conscience as justifiable, calling it an irrational position that “is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary."

"The conferment of any legal protection of preference upon a particular substantive moral position on the ground only that it is espoused by the adherents of a particular faith, however long its tradition, however long its culture, is deeply unprincipled," said Laws in his ruling.

"In a free constitution such as ours there is an important distinction to be drawn between the law's protection of the right to hold and express a belief and the law's protection of that belief's substance or content," ruled the Lord Justice. Laws said that if the law created special exemptions for adherents of one belief, then it would lead to a disenfranchisement of the rest of the members in society, and would lead to “theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic.”

"The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments,” wrote Laws. “The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the state, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself."

Gary McFarlane lamented the ruling saying, "I have the ability to provide counseling services to same-sex couples.

"There should be allowances taken into account whereby individuals like me can actually avoid having to contradict their very strongly-held Christian principles."

Lord Carey struck out at Law, saying the fact that leaders of the Church of England and other faiths have felt compelled to intervene in court cases involving discrimination against Christians and their viewpoints is “illuminative of future civil unrest” coming to the United Kingdom.

"It is, of course, but a short step from the dismissal of a sincere Christian from employment to a religious bar to any employment by Christians," said Carey.

Carey denounced the judgment, saying it "continues a trend on the part of the courts to downgrade the right of religious believers to manifest their faith in what has become a deeply unedifying collision of human rights."

"The description of religious faith in relation to sexual ethics as 'discriminatory' is crude and illuminates a lack of sensitivity to religious belief,” he continued.

"The comparison of a Christian, in effect, with a 'bigot' (i.e., a person with an irrational dislike to homosexuals) begs further questions. It is further evidence of a disparaging attitude to the Christian faith and its values."

Yet the archbishop also said that Laws’ ruling suppressed British pluralism rather than encouraged it, because the state was enforcing secular values rather than embracing a neutral stance that would allow all individuals of all faiths to live out their beliefs freely.

"It heralded a 'secular' state rather than a 'neutral' one. And while with one hand the ruling seeks to protect the right of religious believers to hold and express their faith, with the other it takes away those same rights. It says that the sacking of religious believers in recent cases was not a denial of their rights even though religious belief cannot be divided from its expression in every area of the believer's life.

"Oddly the judge doesn't address the argument that rights have to be held in balance and he is apparently indifferent to the fact that religious believers are adversely affected by this judgment and others."

The disenfranchisement of Christians in the United Kingdom continues apace under the anti-discrimination laws introduced by Labour. In the past several years numerous reports of Christians losing their jobs or even being arrested simply for expressing their Christian moral views have surfaced – events that appear shocking in light of the 70th anniversary this year of Winston Churchill’s famous “Finest Hour” speech from the Second World War.

The famed British Prime Minister had rallied the British people on the eve of the Battle of Britain in June 1940 saying, “upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.” He warned that if they failed, “all that we have known and cared for will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Army Should Expect to Answer for Dumping Graham

From OneNewsNow
By Allie Martin

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee will question military officials about the recent snub of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at a National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon.

Last week, officials with the U.S. Army Chaplain's Corp announced they had rescinded an invitation for Graham to speak at the prayer event at the Pentagon. Officials pointed to comments Graham made about Islam in 2001 as the primary reason for the disinvite. (See earlier story)

Roger WickerSenator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) says the issue will be addressed later. "Of course we'll have Army officials before the Armed Services Committee quite often. I'm going to ask them about this," Wicker vows. "There is a time for proselytizing and a time for preaching. I'm a Baptist; we do that. But that's not to say that I should be unwelcomed at a time when we put our religious disagreements aside."

The Mississippi lawmaker believes the snubbing of Franklin Graham was a dangerous step -- and he adds that if current trends continue, only those who preach a diluted Christian gospel will be invited to speak at public events. Meanwhile, many of Franklin Graham's fellow preachers agree with his views on Islam.

Graham continues to see support

A poll conducted by LifeWay Research of the Southern Baptist Convention surveyed 1,000 Protestant pastors who were read a statement from Frankling Graham about Islam and a statement from former President George W. Bush describing Islam as a "noble religion."

The survey found that 47 percent of pastors agreed with Graham, 12 percent agreed with both, and one-fourth of the pastors agreed only with Bush.

Ed Stetzer  (LifeWay Research)Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, believes that given the recent controversy over Graham's disinvite to the National Day of Prayer event, the subject of Islam will be discussed even more at churches nationwide. (Listen to audio report)

"I think there's a lot of people asking those questions and having those discussions about Islam, and I think [they're] going to continue as people want to understand," Stetzer predicts. "They see Islam in the news, they see discussions about...the National Day of Prayer. I think that's going to continue."

LifeWay's survey also found that most pastors do not believe Muslims and Christians pray to the same god. The poll was conducted about month prior to the controversy surrounding Graham and the prayer event.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eastern Michigan University: Change Your Christian Beliefs or Leave Program

Lawmakers in Michigan are preparing to call on the carpet leaders of taxpayer-supported universities across the state after top officials at Eastern Michigan University expelled from a counseling program a Christian student who refused to argue in support of the homosexual lifestyle.

Read the rest of this entry >>