Roman Catholic officials have expressed concern over the pending executive order by President Barack Obama intending to end sexual orientation workplace discrimination for businesses with federal contracts.
A joint statement by chairmen within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released Friday expresses concern over the religious freedom implications of the executive order.
Refraining from what it called "substantive comment" on the matter, the statement was issued by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; Archbishop William E. Lori and Archbishop John Nienstedt, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine. more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Recent social and political events in the U.S. and abroad should be alarming enough for Americans to awaken from their spiritual slumber, preached evangelist Greg Laurie during a midweek church service he called "Hope for America."
"Here on the home front, the family is disintegrating. It's under attack. People want to redefine it. They want to blow it apart," Laurie told his congregants at Harvest Orange County and an online audience Thursday evening. "It's almost like culture has declared war on the family and if you dare to stand up and make the controversial statement that a family is made up of a man and a woman you are accused of being bigoted and that's called hate speech."
He added, "Most of the social ills can be related directly to the breakdown of the family. You name the problem and it's almost always traced back to the breakdown of the family." more >>
WASHINGTON – For the conservative movement to succeed it must reach out to "average working Americans," says former United States Senator Rick Santorum.
In a speech at the "Road to Majority 2014" conference on Friday morning, Santorum stressed the need to appeal to what he has in the past called "blue-collar conservatives."
"As a movement we have not been connecting with the people who are hurting in this country and providing them a message and a plan for them to embrace and live the American dream," said Santorum. more >>
An attorney involved in a Supreme Court case that will determine to what extent privately owned businesses can opt-out of providing certain types of birth control for religious reasons believes there are "'high stakes" involved in the outcome.
Matt Bowman, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, has served as an attorney for Conestoga Woods Specialties, who alongside Hobby Lobby, have sued the federal government to be exempt from the Health and Human Services' "preventive services mandate" that requires businesses to cover birth control that can lead to the early termination of a pregnancy.
"The stakes are very high in the Conestoga and Hobby Lobby case," explained Bowman regarding the First Amendment implications in the lawsuit. "It involves fundamental issues of whether or not religious freedom belongs to every American, and whether the government can redefine freedom to force citizens to buy abortion pills for other people." more >>
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 >>