Some Christian groups are worried that President Barack Obama's forthcoming executive order guaranteeing the protection of LGBT individuals from employment discrimination with businesses that have federal contracts may not have sufficient religious liberty protections.
While the order has not yet been written up, concerns have been leveled by various individuals that the order might not include a religious exemption and would force faith-based groups to engage in hiring practices that are in opposition to the teachings of their faith.
"The big question is: will the Executive Order drive out faith-based organizations out of federal contracting?" Stanley Carlson-Thies, founder and president of Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, wrote in an email to supporters. "The federal government doesn't contract only for aircraft carriers, janitorial services, and IT expertise. It also contracts for research, consulting, and technical assistance, and, increasingly, for social services-particularly USAID and the Bureau of Prisons contract for social services." more >>
College and university policies that stipulate that Christian student groups on campus must follow non-discrimination policies in the selection of the groups' leaders could squelch student conversation about faith in the future, says a leader from InterVarsity.
Greg Jao, national field director for the Northeast InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, told The Christian Post that college institutions such as California State University (Cal State), the largest university system in the U.S., that are prepared to withdraw recognition from certain evangelical clubs this summer, are an example of a nation at a crossroads.
"There's just enough of them that it's not just Vanderbilt, for example, that have taken this to an illogical extreme, it's an increasing number of schools that actually believe that the best way to avoid discrimination is to prevent religious groups from becoming authentically religious. There is enough of them that it is actually a trend," Jao explains. "The United States is in the middle of reassessing what it thinks the role of religion should be in our society. Health and Human Service questions, denial of service questions, marriage equality, they are all different questions about religion and its role in society, but they are all being asked right now and the U.S. is coming to a very different answer than it used to come up with." more >>
"Thou Shall Not Move," a group dedicated to preserving a Ten Commandments display at a Pennsylvania public school against legal action from an atheist organization, held a rally Monday in support of the monument.
Pastor Ewing M. Marietta from Liberty Baptist Church in Uniontown, the group's organizer, told The Christian Post that "a good number of people" showed up to their rally earlier this week.
"We do these once a month at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Connellsville on the third Thursday," said Marietta, regarding rallies held in favor of the monument. more >>
A majority of Americans support having businesses be compelled to provide contraceptive services as part of a healthcare plan, argues the findings of a recently released poll.
Conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, the poll found that of about 1,100 respondents, 61 percent, felt that "publicly-held corporations" should provide contraception as part of their free healthcare plans.
57 percent of respondents felt that "privately-owned corporations" should be compelled to do the same, while only a slight majority, 51 percent, believed small businesses should be required to do so. more >>
A report by Pew Research Center has found that as of 2012, about one in ten nations in the world have legal punishments for apostasy, or the leaving of one's faith.
Released Wednesday and authored by Angelina Theodorou, the report found that 11 percent of countries and territories had apostasy laws and 22 percent had blasphemy laws.
An ex-Southern Baptist church in rural Kentucky will host same-sex wedding ceremonies despite gay marriage being illegal in the state.
Deacons at Louisville's Highland Baptist Church recently voted to marry same-sex couples who are members of the church. However, senior Pastor Joe Phelps says the decision was made without the vote of the congregation.
"Part of the mission of Deacons at Highland Baptist Church is discernment, where an elected body of members serves as a voice for the congregation and sounding board for the staﬀ on issues important to the life of the church. It was in this role that the Deacons voted to approve the request instead of taking the issue to the church for a vote. This is within their rights and responsibilities as elected leaders within the life of the church," Phelps told The Christian Post in a written statement. more >>