The pastor of a youthful and racially-diverse congregation located just a few blocks from the CVS pharmacy set on fire by rioters amid otherwise peaceful protests in Baltimore says it's time for white Christians to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in America and to listen to those who are angry and hurting in order to help find meaningful solutions.
"There are deep systemic issues. There is no surface issue that's really the cause. There's some deep stuff that's been going on that's been going on for a lot of years," Joel Kurz, lead pastor of The Garden Church in Central/West Baltimore, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Some of those "deep systemic issues" are believed to have been at play when Baltimore police officers chased and arrested Freddie Gray and placed him inside a van on April 12. Gray, who was arrested for having a switchblade-like knife in his possession, was admitted to a hospital less than two hours later, and was dead by the end of the week. The 25-year-old died at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center where he had received surgery for his severely injured spinal cord and crushed voice box — injuries sustained while he was in police custody, according to The Baltimore Sun. Protesters had already taken to the streets the day before Gray's death, and when news of his passing came with no information on what might have befallen Gray during his arrest, their numbers swelled. more >>
Former Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush stated that Christians in America and abroad should have protection to act upon their beliefs.
In a speech at a major Hispanic evangelical gathering, the former Florida governor shared his thoughts on religious liberty and other issues.
"There is no more powerful or liberating influence on this earth than the Christian conscience in action and today in America it is important to respect and to protect Christians acting on their faith," said Bush. more >>
WASHINGTON — The lead attorney representing the Obama administration admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday that if the court were to rule in favor of making same-sex marriage a constitutional right, it would create a religious liberty "issue" for faith-based schools and institutions, who could be at risk of losing their tax-exempt statuses.
As the Supreme Court listened to oral arguments regarding whether the 14th Amendment requires states to issue same-sex marriage licenses, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli tried to dodge a question from Chief Justice John Roberts, who asked him whether or not religious schools which have married housing would be required to provide housing to same-sex married couples.
The solicitor general, which is the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department and is appointed to speak on behalf of the Obama administration in court cases, provided a winded answer to Roberts about how it is the states that are responsible for setting their civil laws. more >>
GoFundMe, an online fundraising website, has taken down the donation webpage for 70-year-old Christian grandma-florist Barronelle Stutzman, who is at risk of losing her flower shop and life savings after she declined to work a same-sex wedding because of her Christian beliefs.
After GoFundMe caved to LGBT-activist pressure and shut down another fundraising page earlier this week that supported the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which was court ordered to pay $135,000 to a gay couple after declining to bake a cake for their wedding, TheBlaze's Dana Loesch tweeted on Monday that GoFundMe discreetly removed Stutzman's campaign from its site, which had been operating for about two months.
Stutzman, who owns Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, was ruled guilty of violating the state's anti-discrimination ordinance in late March, and was ordered to pay a fine of $1,001 and is also liable for paying court costs and legal fees incurred by the same-sex couple. more >>
Melissa and Aaron Klein, the Christian couple from Oregon who are being fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, are standing by their faith and pushing for laws that protect Christian business owners in the United States.
In 2013, the Kleins of Grasham, Oregon, were named in a civil rights complaint filed by Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman who were turned away at Sweet Cakes by Melissa on grounds of the bakery owners' religious views of same-sex marriage. On Friday, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries issued a 110-page proposed order recommending that the owners of the now-closed bakery pay $135,000 to Cryer and Bowman for "emotional, mental and physical suffering." Just days later, Aaron Klein spoke to The Christian Post about the case, starting with his own message for Americans.
"I would say, on a personal note, don't be afraid to stand up for the Bible, for God's truth, for the sake of Jesus Christ ... that is something that is near and dear to my heart," Klein began. "From a political standpoint, I would say this: every American should be free to live and work by their faith without being afraid that the government will punish them for doing so." more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out a ruling against a Catholic organization that was being compelled to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives at the threat of being fined by the Internal Revenue Service.
On Monday the highest court in the nation granted the Michigan Catholic Conference their request for an exemption for religious reasons against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate.
In the Supreme Court's order, the Justices invoked last year's landmark Hobby Lobby decision, which concluded that "closely-held businesses" could be exempted from the HHS mandate due to religious objections. more >>