After a federal appeals court ruled this week that four Christian colleges in Oklahoma and a group of nuns will have to abide by an Obamacare contraception mandate that they say violate their institutions' biblical beliefs, former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr explained Thursday that the court loss can be blamed on the organization's lawyers not building strong enough cases.
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a U.S. District Court ruling that temporarily exempted Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Mid-America Christian University from having to comply with an Affordable Care Act mandate requiring the Christian schools' health insurance providers to offer free birth control drugs that could induce an abortion to its employees.
The court's decision came in one mass-encompassing opinion that also affected the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Colorado nuns who serve the elderly, and a handful of other religious organizations. more >>
In the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges, pastors and church members are experiencing a wave of anxiety over what many of them deem the "nightmare scenario": lawsuits or government action designed to force them to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. While there are — so far — no meaningful judicial precedents that would permit such dramatic interference with churches' core First Amendment rights, lawsuits challenging church liberties are inevitable.
Indeed, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has declared that prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity "sometimes" apply to churches and has stated that a "church service open to the public" is not a "bona fide religious purpose" that would limit application of the law. In 2012 a New Jersey administrative-law judge ruled that a religious organization "closely associated with the United Methodist Church" wrongly denied access to its facilities for a same-sex wedding.
An 18-year-old student from an academic institution in Wisconsin has accused a professor of forcing her to omit references to the Bible for a class assignment.
University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County Professor Annette Kuhlman is guilty of religious discrimination for not allowing biblical references in a sociology project, student Rachel Langeberg claims.
"The biggest myth about judges is that they're somehow imbued with greater insight, wisdom, and vision than the rest of us; that for some reason God Almighty has endowed them with superior judgment about human fairness. But the truth is that judges are men and women with human imperfections and frailties. Some have been brilliant, principled and moral. Others have been mentally impaired, venal, and even racist." Mark Levin, Men in Black
Judicial activism occurs when judges depart from their constitutional role of interpreting law and make law from the bench. It's a pernicious practice that undermines the democratic process, and it has been with us for a long time. American judicial history is filled with instances where judges usurped authority that did not belong to them and rewrote the law or constitutional provisions under consideration. Examples of cases involving judicial activism include Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States and Roe v. Wade – to name just a few.
Article One of the United States Constitution vests the legislative authority of the government in the Congress. It is the province of elected legislators – not unelected judges – to make law. The framers of the Constitution were careful to separate the powers of government among three separate, co-equal branches. They did not intend for one branch of government to exercise powers belonging to the other branches. To the contrary, James Madison warned in the Federalist Papers that the concentration of all powers – legislative, executive, and judicial – in the same hands "may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." more >>
WASHINGTON — Political scientist Mark David Hall explained Monday that America's history is rich with examples of governments creating religious accommodations for generally applicable laws and asserted that accommodations protecting Christian business owners from having to serve same-sex weddings would be no different.
Hall, a political science professor at George Fox University in Oregon, gave a Monday lecture at the Family Research Council where he explained that although there has been much opposition to the passing of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in certain states, states have a long history of passing exemptions to laws that forced believers to violate their religious beliefs, even with much support from liberals.
In the last few years, there have been a number of lawsuits brought against Christian business owners who have refused service for same-sex weddings on the basis that it would have violated their religious convictions. Such cases have resulted in business owners being fined ruinous amounts and the loss of their business. more >>
A Michigan megachurch has raised approximately $8,500 to aid the victims of a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a man who once donated some of his stolen money to the congregation.
Resurrection Life Church of Grandville gathered the sum via a special fund they created to aid the 800 some victims of David McQueen, who was behind a $46 million Ponzi scheme.
Although the $8,500 pales in comparison to the $300,000 of stolen money McQueen gave to Resurrection Life, John Agar of mlive.com noted that "it's better than what a lot of others have offered." more >>