A state representative has proposed a bill to liberalize the liquor laws in Utah, despite the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormon Church," that current policies should remain in place.
"The additional costs to businesses" caused by the liquor restrictions "put a damper on Utah's economic development and tourism, which is very large industry in Utah," Representative Greg Powell (R – Herber City) told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. Powell's bill would remove two restrictions – the requirement that servers ask if a patron ordering alcohol "intends to dine," and the "Zion Curtain," a 7-foot-2-inch barrier required by law between the areas where alcohol is poured and where it is served.
"A good Mormon doesn't see freedom as a good thing — they consider grace a license to sin," explained Lynn K. Wilder, associate professor of special education at Florida Gulf Coast University, former tenured professor at Brigham Young University, and author of Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way Out of The Mormon Church. Wilder argued that Utah's liquor laws are restrictive because most representatives are Mormon (some lawmakers estimate 90 percent, The Salt Lake Tribune reported) and because Latter-day Saints believe in works-based salvation. more >>
South Dakota's legislative body is mulling over two bills that seek to protect clergy and business owners from being forced to perform or host gay marriages.
Known as Senate Bill 66 and Senate Bill 67, the two bills were introduced last week and have been referred to the South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republican South Dakota State Senator Ernie Otten introduced both bills, with SB 66 focusing on exemptions for clergy and SB 67 focusing on exemptions for businesses. more >>
Supporters of school choice are organizing events across the United States in honor of an annual week to raise awareness of their cause.
National School Choice Week 2014, which kicked off Sunday, "allows participants to advance their own messages of educational opportunity, while uniting with like-minded groups and individuals across the country," reads the About section for the site.
"Participants in National School Choice believe that parents should be empowered to choose the best educational environments for their children. Supporters plan events that highlight a variety of school choice options – from traditional public schools to public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online learning and homeschooling." more >>
The Commonwealth of Virginia is one step closer to passing a bill meant to protect student prayer in public schools, as the measure has passed the upper house of the state legislature.
In a close vote on Tuesday, the Va. Senate approved Senate Bill 236, which was sponsored Republican Sen. Bill Carrico of Grayson County.
A lawyer who specializes in religious liberty cases has expressed approval of the Defense Department's recently announced new policy on religious grooming for military personnel.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post that the Wednesday announcement by the Pentagon was a "good step."
"We think that it's a very good step in that it incorporates, for instance, much of the language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which applies to the federal government," said Blomberg. more >>
A North Carolina pastor has denied that his church endorsed a candidate after it ran an advertisement for a church deacon's state house race fundraiser in its newsletter.
In last week's edition of "The Baptist Caller" Tabor City Baptist Church printed an advertisement for a paid luncheon with Brenden Jones, who is running for the State House of Representatives District 46 as a Republican and is a deacon at the church. The state's Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest, was also present at the event which had tickets selling for prices between $25-$4000 a seat.
Despite critics who had claimed that the church had violated IRS restrictions on church tax exemptions by printing the advertisement, Pastor Bruce Schmidt said the inclusion of the notice was to encourage his congregation to be more civically active, not to endorse a particular candidate. more >>