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 >>
The nation's largest secularist organization is renewing its effort to pressure some of the nation's most popular college football teams to get rid of their chaplains, arguing that coaches violate students' First Amendment rights by instituting chaplaincy programs.
Last August, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent letters to a number of public colleges and universities telling them that allowing Christian chaplains to minister to their football teams establishes a favoritism toward Christianity and coerces non-Christian athletes to take part so that their standing with coaches and teammates won't be diminished.
The organization, which advocates for a strict separation of church and state, released an in-depth report titled "Pray to Play" last year, highlighting a number of public colleges that have chaplaincy programs and schools that use public funds to fly chaplains to away games, provide hotel rooms for them and their families, and give them per-diem payments. more >>
Texas Christian University junior quarterback Kenny Hill was penalized during last Saturday's game after he scored a touchdown and performed a religious gesture that referees ruled to be taunting.
After Hill reached the endzone on a 5-yard rush that gave the Horned Frogs the temporary 27-20 lead over the Arkansas Razorbacks with just over 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, he celebrated just as he has done before — by performing the American Sign Language gesture signifying "Rising Kings."
Christian leaders from across the country will unite in prayer next week at The Gathering, an ecumenical solemn assembly to ask God for forgiveness and seek His wisdom for spiritual transform in the nation.
The Gathering is expected to draw thousands of believers together and will feature nationally-renowned Christian leaders and pastors from diverse churches and denominations who will be leading people in prayer for their families, churches and the country. The event will be open to the public at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.
Speakers at The Gathering will including the event's main organizer, Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Pastors Greg Laurie and Ronnie Floyd, along with James Robison, Bishop Harry Jackson, Anne Graham Lotz, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, among many others who can be seen here. more >>
WASHINGTON – "Duck Dynasty" TV star Alan Robertson said Saturday morning that he can't remember a time in America were Christian values and religious liberty were more under attack than they are today.
Robertson, the son of Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson and who some regard as the "beardless brother," spoke to a room full of evangelical and social conservative voters at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit and proclaimed that he is not afraid to face liberal backlash for publicly voicing his beliefs on biblical teachings on sexuality and marriage.
"We are in a perilous time, where from positions of power, I don't know that if in my lifetime I have ever seen more of an attack on traditional values, traditional family and really, religious liberty," Robertson asserted. more >>