A three-judge panel at the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld two previous rulings on Thursday that found Christian cake artist Jack Phillips guilty of discrimination against a same-sex couple because he refused to make a cake for their wedding. The court ruled that Phillips cannot use his religious beliefs or free-speech rights to refuse to make such cakes.
"I think the ruling means that some Colorado citizens have a First Amendment right to believe what they want and to act on those beliefs — such as Lé Bakery Sensual of Denver or Azucar Bakery. As long as you hold the right view on same-sex marriage, you can act on your conscience," said Nicolle Martin, Phillips' lead attorney.
"But for people like Jack Phillips, you are not entitled to those beliefs." more >>
Two bills have been introduced for the next Florida legislative session that would protect churches who refuse to perform gay weddings from potential legal action.
Filed earlier this week and scheduled to be considered during the 2016 session, the identical Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 43 offer legal protection for any church or ministry who refuses to perform a same-sex wedding.
"A church or religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a church or religious organization, an individual employed by a church or religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy member or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if such an action would cause the church, organization, or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief," read the bills' text. more >>
Two Sudanese pastors who were released from prison last week after facing the death penality on trumped-up charges are now being barred from leaving the Muslim country.
Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith were planning to leave Sudan last week, however authorities met them at the airport and told them they were not allowed to leave the nation.
"[The pastors] were preparing to board a plane Aug. 6 with their families when Khartoum International Airport authorities stopped them, according to one of the men's attorneys," reported Morning Star News. more >>
Sixteen states have filed an amicus brief in support of three Christian academic institutions that have sued the Health and Human Services Department due to religious objections to the birth control mandate.
The brief was filed Monday on behalf of Houston Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, and Westminster Theological Seminary, who are appealing to the U.S, Supreme Court to get an exemption from the HHS mandate.
Attorneys General listed in the brief represent the states of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. more >>
We understand that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by recent events that threaten to marginalize you. We'd like to offer a bit of empathy, and if it is not too presumptuous, some valuable experience and tools as well. You see, we've been there before.
First came the recent Pew study entitled "America's Changing Religious Landscape." Pew demonstrates that more Christians continue to live in the US than any other country in the world. About seven out of 10 Americans call themselves Christian.
But it also found that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, while the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated — describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" — has jumped more than six points. Losses are severe among mainline Protestants and Catholics. Lots of Christians are understandably worried about this trend. more >>
A minister in the United Church of Canada who is an avowed atheist is fighting to keep her clergy credentials as a regional body investigates the effectiveness of her ministry.
The Reverend Gretta Vosper, head pastor of West Hill United Church in Toronto, has filed an appeal over a ruling in May from Nora Sanders, general secretary for the UCC General Council.
In the Sanders ruling, the general secretary provided the Toronto Conference with a process for reviewing the effectiveness of Vosper's ministry. more >>