A Missouri-based plumbing products company has joined dozens of other groups filing suit against the federal government over the controversial birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
Sioux Chief Manufacturing Company of Peculiar filed suit last week against the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Sioux Chief was founded and is presently owned by the Ismert family, devout Roman Catholics who are morally opposed to the drugs covered by the "Preventive Services Mandate" from HHS, which include coverage of abortifacients.
"The Mandate illegally and unconstitutionally coerces Plaintiffs to violate their sincerely held Catholic beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties," reads the suit in part. "The Mandate also forces Plaintiffs to fund government-dictated speech that is directly at odds with the religious ethics derived from their deeply held religious beliefs and the moral teachings of the Catholic Church that they strive to embody in their business." more >>
WASHINGTON – The nation celebrated the start of President Barack Obama's second term this week with a mix of fun and religious reverence.
Obama began Monday, Inauguration Day, at a worship service at St. John's Episcopal Church with his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were also there.
Several pastors and one Rabbi participated in the event. more >>
A substitute teacher in New Jersey was suspended for the school year in response to giving a student a copy of the Bible and talking about a Scripture verse with the student while on duty.
The Phillipsburg School District Board decided Monday that Walter Tutka, a substitute teacher and member of Gideons International, was guilty of violating two policies during an incident in October.
According to local media, Tutka quoted Matthew 20:16 ("So the last will be first, and the first will be last") to a student who was last in line. The student asked where the phrase came from, to which Tutka took out his copy of the New Testament and showed him. He then loaned his New Testament to the student, who returned it later. more >>
Volunteers from a Florida-based group have distributed Bibles to the lunchrooms of several high schools in the Sunshine State.
World Changers of Florida, a conservative organization, distributed the Bibles on Wednesday, with a focus on high schools in Orange County.
Greg Harper, vice president of Education for World Changers, wrote in a blog entry, "We have given out thousands of Bibles over the last few years and we are working to expand the program to many other school districts." more >>
The Obama administration's record in cases litigated so far involving the contraceptive mandate is at 10 losses and only four wins, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which released a "scorecard" of the more than 40 cases so far over the Health and Human Services requiring employers, including religious organizations, to provide insurance that cover contraception, sterilization and some abortifacient drugs.
"Americans should be free to honor God and abide by their consciences at work, home, and church," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. "Washington politicians can't confine our faith to the four walls of our homes and churches alone. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. The Obama administration's attacks on faith and business prove that it doesn't respect either one."
ADF and allied attorneys filed a motion for an emergency injunction last Friday following a notice of appeal filed in a lawsuit challenging the abortion pill mandate on behalf of Grote Industries, based in Indiana. The emergency motion in Grote Industries v. Sebelius seeks to suspend the mandate against the Catholic-owned auto lighting manufacturer while its appeal of a district court decision goes forward. more >>
Fewer Americans believe homosexuality is a sin than a little more than a year ago, according to a survey completed by a faith-based research group just 14 months after a similar study. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said the reason for the substantial shift is most likely the result of President Barack Obama's "evolved" view of gay marriage.
Stetzer points out that halfway between the two polls Obama changed his pre-election (prior to first term) position concerning gay marriage.
"There is little doubt that the President's evolution on homosexuality probably impacted the evolution of cultural values," Stetzer states in his recent blog about the survey's release on Thursday. "This is a real and substantive shift, surprisingly large for a one-year time frame – though this was hardly a normal year on this issue." more >>