Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma rejected a proposal to allow religious groups with state contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
The proposal, which was placed into a property tax bill, S.B. 367, would have allowed religious groups with state contracts to use religion as a basis for employment decisions. A Muslim organization with a state contract, for instance, could decide to only hire Muslims, or a Christian college could decide to only hire Christians.
The provision was intended to address a contract issue with Indiana Wesleyan University. The language was added to the bill by Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero), who thought the measure would be noncontroversial. more >>
A former Planned Parenthood nurse said that employees at the abortion facility in Indianapolis view abortion as a "rite of passage," and described the institution as an "evil and sad place to work," revealing some of the disturbing behavior of its doctors.
Marianne Anderson, who worked at Planned Parenthood from 2010 to 2012, shared in an interview last week with The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, that she began feeling uneasy about her job starting up patients' conscious sedation program when people from the national office in New York came to teach them the process.
"It was disgusting. These two ladies had this chant they would do: 'Abortion all the time!' I thought, 'I've got to get out of here.' That was about six to eight months after I started," Anderson said. more >>
A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday over an Indiana church's plan to display multiple, 6-foot tall crosses along their city's riverfront for a charity fundraiser.
West Side Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., appealed a lower court ban that ruled the crosses would convey an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the city while arguing that the display is a freedom of speech issue.
"No one should single out a faith-based group for censorship. The Constitution protects and does not prohibit religious expression in the public square," said Bryan Beauman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement. "A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be excluded simply because it is in the shape of a cross." more >>
Indiana's Senate unanimously passed a bill last week that would protect the celebration of Christmas in the state's public schools, allowing students to decorate Christmas trees and share traditional holiday greetings such as "Merry Christmas" with their pupils.
Senate Bill 326, if passed into law, would specifically allow teachers and students to say traditional seasonal greetings such as "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," and "Happy Holidays" while at school. Additionally, it would allow classrooms to display "symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah, Christmas tree, Nativity scene or other religious symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations," as long as more than one religion is represented or a secular symbol accompanies a religious one.
The state senate passed the bill unanimously last week, with the legislation's co-author, Sen. Jim Smith, saying the purpose of the bill was to avoid the lawsuits that have taken place in other states regarding religious expression during the holiday season. "Christmas is under attack," Smith said in reference to the bill, according to The Associated Press. "That's just crazy that we even have to move a bill like that, but I think it's very well needed in the state and in every state." more >>
It's a real life story of demonic possession that captured America's attention like a Hollywood horror movie last week. Now, the Rev. Michael Maginot, the Catholic priest who performed the exorcism of Latoya Ammons has landed a deal to bring that story to the big screen.
According to The Indianapolis Star, Maginot of St. Stephen Martyr parish in Merrillville, Ind., confirmed that he had signed an agreement with Evergreen Media Holdings in what he called a "standard deal." Executive chairman of the company, Tony DeRosa-Grund, was responsible for the production of "The Conjuring," which earned $318 million globally.
The attorneys of Emily Herx, an Indiana woman who claims she was fired from her job at a Roman Catholic school after undergoing in vitro fertilization, say the church's doctrine against the procedure should be irrelevant in their client's sex discrimination court case, while church attorneys insist it is a key element in the lawsuit.
"Whether IVF violates the teachings of the Catholic Church is not a fact at issue in this case," Herx's attorneys wrote in court documents, reports The Kansas City Star. "Defendants have argued repeatedly that their religious teachings should not be hashed out before a secular court, and now they seek to bring religious teachings front and center."
Last week, church attorneys said they wanted officials of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to explain the details of their doctrine before a jury when the trial begins, since they believe IVF is an immoral, dehumanizing procedure because human embryos are generally destroyed or frozen in the process. more >>