Last fall, the Supreme Court agreed to review two religious liberty cases surrounding the Obama Administration's contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties maintain that the federal requirement is an unlawful infringement upon religious liberty, and this year we'll find out if the highest court in the land concurs. In support of the cases, a notable group of Christian pastors, theologians, activists, and intellectuals have filed an amicus brief in which they lay out the Christian conception of work and how this understanding makes compliance with the mandate an impossibility for faith-based organizations and other Christian-owned businesses.
At first blush, nothing in the brief should surprise anyone with a passing familiarity with the Christian faith, but in a nation that is fast losing touch with its Judeo-Christian moral heritage, such an explanation has sadly become necessary. First, the brief reminds the Court that Christian doctrine requires that faith govern every aspect of a Christian's life. President Obama and his Secretary of Health and Human Services have repeatedly insisted that their contraception mandate should have no impact on the conscience of Christian employers. This is because they view religious faith as an exclusively private matter, and they don't acknowledge any connection between a person's religious beliefs and their professional actions.
Christians know better. At the heart of Christ's gospel message is the idea that one's conduct should reflect one's beliefs. Jesus was critical of the religious elites of his day precisely because their everyday behavior didn't reflect the love and mercy of the God they claimed to serve. Christ set the counter-example by practicing exactly what he preached. In the Christian faith, belief involves more than mere intellectual assent. Belief must be translated into behavior. The Book of James reminds us that faith, without works, is dead. James exhorts Christians to "… prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves" (James 1: 22 NASB). It is no good to proclaim faith in the risen Christ if you are unwilling to live out the implications of that faith in your daily life. This is the principle at stake before the Supreme Court. more >>
A local community in North Carolina is rallying behind its high school football coach, who was recently banned from praying at school football games after an atheist group complained.
Hal Capps, the head football coach for the Blue Devils at Mooresville High School, was banned from leading players in the Lord's Prayer prior to school football games after a parent complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation that in turn issued a letter to the Mooresville Graded School District demanding they cease the practice.
"It is a violation of the Constitution for the Mooresville High School football coach to organize, lead, or participate in prayers or other religious proselytizing before, during, or after games and practices," Patrick Elliott, an attorney for the Madison-based FFRF nonprofit group, said in a letter to school district lawyer Kevin Donaldson last fall. "It is well settled that public schools, and by extension public school officials, may not advance or promote religion." more >>
A United States Congressman has introduced a resolution before the House of Representatives to express their support for a celebration of the birth of nineteenth century naturalist Charles Darwin.
Democratic New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt introduced H.R. 467 last week, which calls on Congress to recognize Feb. 12 as "Darwin Day" as well as recognize the value of science as a field.
"Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth," reads H.R. 467 in part. more >>
When my wife and I were first married, we had some tough times, just like many married couples. Our budget was often in the deficit column before we even began the month! As much as we were in love, money, or the lack of it, tried to consume our relationship. However, with God's help, we were able to use these times to build communication and strengthen our united resolve to press on to better times.
February 7th through 14th is National Marriage Week, a movement begun in the mid-1990s in the United Kingdom. Soon it spread to continental Europe, the United States and other parts of the world. Its aim is "to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children."
You would think these goals would be pretty non-controversial, and in one sense they are. Almost no one disputes that children raised by married parents are better off in almost every measurable way than those who are raised by single parents. This holds true for academic achievement, emotional health and likelihood of avoiding criminal behavior. Studies have also consistently demonstrated that children with married parents are far less likely to be poor than the children of single parents. more >>
For the first ad following the Super Bowl on Sunday night, Internet insurance company Esurance promised $1.5 million to one participant who tweets with the hashtag "#EsuranceSave30." The company, however, is distancing itself from offensive tweets that are using its promotional hashtag.
"When Esurance told me 'we bought the first commercial AFTER the big game!' I was like, great? Then they told me how much they saved, 1.5 million dollars," John Krasinski, star of "The Office," says in the TV ad.
"Since they like passing on their savings, that's what they're going to do right now," Krasinski declared, pointing to a table-sized stack of cash. "Just tweet #EsuranceSave30, and they'll give all this to one of you!" more >>
A Kansas-based hate group unaffiliated with any Baptist denomination protested at the biggest National Football League game of the year, and has announced plans to stage a protest at actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's funeral.
Westboro Baptist Church held a demonstration showcasing their usual inflammatory rhetoric aimed at homosexuals and the United States near New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on Sunday.