United Methodism's highest church court may reaffirm the defrocking of a pastor who officiated his gay son's same-sex wedding come October.
The United Methodist Judicial Council will hear an appeal for a church trial case in which Frank Schaefer had his clergy credentials returned after being defrocked for violating church law on gay marriage.
The Judicial Council will hold the oral hearing on the Schaefer appeal on Wednesday, October 22, which is the first day of their three-day session. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court in Early October will rule on a Muslim prisoner's lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Correction claiming that when prison guards forced the inmate to shave his beard, they had violated his freedom of religious practice. Four Christian organizations have come to the defense of the inmate's religious liberties.
Inmate Gregory Holt, who also goes by Abdul Maalik Muhammad, is in jail on a life sentence after being convicted of burglary and domestic battery and is looking to maintain a beard of at least a half inch in length to fulfill what he believes to be a religious obligation. However, Arkansas' prison regulations only allow for inmates with dermatologic conditions to grow a beard of a quarter inch in length.
Holt filed a handwritten petition to the Supreme Court after his prior cases in Federal District Court and its ensuing appeal ruled in favor of the Arkansas DOC's claims that regulations are preventive safety measures in case inmates try to hide contraband or weapons in their beards. Holt is being represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which also recently successfully defended the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court, and by personal lawyers. more >>
A Georgia grand jury handed down eight charges against Justin Ross Harris for the death of his son this summer.
Harris is charged with malice murder and two counts of felony murder for the death of 22-month-old Cooper, who was left in a hot car and perished this summer. Harris was also charged with first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, criminal attempt to commit a felony (sexual exploitation of a minor) and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his defense stating that the father had simply forgotten his son in the vehicle on his way to work. However, officials were suspicious of Harris from the very beginning, and evidence began to pile up that cast down on his story. more >>
A secular organization has released a poll which states that over a third of Americans support removing the phrase "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
The American Humanist Association released on Tuesday a study done for their organization by The Seidewitz Group indicating that 34 percent of Americans support removing the phrase.
An appeals court has rejected Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's effort to allow for the enforcement of a key provision of the state's recently passed abortion law.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined Abbott's emergency appeal, which was filed on Sunday, in a three-page order released Tuesday evening.
Tuesday's decline of the appeal stemmed from Abbott's tardiness in filing the motion, which the court said hindered the process. more >>
Artist Cee Lo Green deleted his Twitter account after reportedly making controversial comments about rape, then thanking God for "exoneration, fairness, and freedom" and asking for the public's forgiveness.
"@Twinklecrepe @dELYSEious @RaavynnDigital if someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH implies consent. When someone [breaks] in a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof anyone was raped," the rapper tweeted.
Green was in court the day before to plead "no contest" to slipping a woman ecstasy without her consent in 2012. The woman previously told authorities that she woke up in the performer's bed and was unable to remember what happened the night before. Green's lawyer told the court that the two had had "consensual relations." He has not been charged with any type of assault or abuse in the case. more >>