The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined over $135,000 by a state government agency for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are continuing to fight for their First Amendment rights.
After Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were fined by the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries $135,000 last year for declining to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in 2013 on the grounds that it would have violated their religious convictions, the Kleins paid their fine last December and filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals in April in hopes the court would rule that the government agency violated their religious freedom rights.
In response to a brief defending the government's actions against the Kleins filed to the Oregon Court of Appeals last month by state lawyers, the Kleins filed a reply brief to the court earlier this month. more >>
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says that the core American principle of religious freedom should not be "denigrated" even though many liberals today claim that the First Amendment right has become "code words" for the right to discriminate against the LGBT community.
In an interview with CNS News, Hoyer was questioned about a recent report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which states that "religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights."
In the 307-page report, the chairman of the commission, Martin R. Castro, who was appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2011, argued that "the phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance." more >>
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announced his child care plan on Tuesday and its inclusion of benefits for same-sex parents has raised the eyebrows of some evangelicals and social conservatives.
Under Trump's child care plan, mothers would be provided up to six weeks of paid maternity leave if they do not already receive it from their employer. In contrast, Democratic nominee HIllary Clinton's plan would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave.
Apart from the six weeks of maternity leave, Trump's plan will also change the tax code in order "to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents." more >>
Evangelist Ray Comfort has claimed that Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses would not be able to offer anything to a dying person, because they believe salvation to Heaven has to be earned.
The outspoken evangelical, who recently released his "The Atheist delusion" documentary arguing for the existence of God, responded on Facebook to a comment that accused him of having a lack of compassion for offering advice on how to minister to a woman on her deathbed, even though she might not have wanted it.
The comment also asked him if he would be just as understanding if a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness came to the hospital bed of one of his loved ones and shared their views on salvation. more >>
Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham said in a speech at Cedarville University, a private Baptist school in Ohio, that believing God created the world in six days serves almost as a "litmus test" on biblical authority, and warned that disagreeing with it is taking man's word over God's.
Ham said in his presentation on why it is important for Christians to believe in six literal days of creation that in a way it is "almost a litmus test on biblical authority."
"Talking about the six days, what we're really talking about is does it really matter what God says. It's an authority issue," he said on Thursday. more >>
Singer Mariah Carey endorsed Bishop T.D. Jakes' new show as he brings his pastoral advice to daytime television with the premiere of "The T.D. Jakes Show."
The hour-long syndicated talk show premiered on Monday, Sept. 12 in 70 affiliates in the U.S. markets and will air Sept. 19 on the OWN Network. The live-studio-audience talk show features real-life personal stories and conversations with celebrity and non-celebrity guests along with empowering advice from The Potter's House minister.