A Philippines court recently sentenced a pro-contraceptives activist who demonstrated in a national cathedral in 2010 up to 13 months' imprisonment for "offending religious beliefs."
Carlos Celdran, a 40-year-old tour guide and activist, was found guilty of "offending religious beliefs" according to Article 133, a Revised Penal Code which has been in effect since 1930 and states that no one "in a place of worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful."
Celdran's sentencing will include anywhere from two months to one year in jail. more >>
A Missouri-based plumbing products company has joined dozens of other groups filing suit against the federal government over the controversial birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
Sioux Chief Manufacturing Company of Peculiar filed suit last week against the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Sioux Chief was founded and is presently owned by the Ismert family, devout Roman Catholics who are morally opposed to the drugs covered by the "Preventive Services Mandate" from HHS, which include coverage of abortifacients.
"The Mandate illegally and unconstitutionally coerces Plaintiffs to violate their sincerely held Catholic beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties," reads the suit in part. "The Mandate also forces Plaintiffs to fund government-dictated speech that is directly at odds with the religious ethics derived from their deeply held religious beliefs and the moral teachings of the Catholic Church that they strive to embody in their business." more >>
Tyndale House Publishers is facing a legal fight against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after the White House administration petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to declare that the Christian-owned company does not count as a "religious" organization and therefore should not be exempt from the insurance obligations outlined in the Act.
"Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish. Regrettably, the administration does not want religious freedom to stand in the way of imposing ObamaCare," Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman commented in an email to The Christian Post.
"The district court rightly halted ObamaCare's abortion pill mandate against Tyndale House, but the administration continues to argue that a Bible publisher isn't religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn't religious is startling." more >>
The Obama administration's record in cases litigated so far involving the contraceptive mandate is at 10 losses and only four wins, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which released a "scorecard" of the more than 40 cases so far over the Health and Human Services requiring employers, including religious organizations, to provide insurance that cover contraception, sterilization and some abortifacient drugs.
"Americans should be free to honor God and abide by their consciences at work, home, and church," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. "Washington politicians can't confine our faith to the four walls of our homes and churches alone. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. The Obama administration's attacks on faith and business prove that it doesn't respect either one."
ADF and allied attorneys filed a motion for an emergency injunction last Friday following a notice of appeal filed in a lawsuit challenging the abortion pill mandate on behalf of Grote Industries, based in Indiana. The emergency motion in Grote Industries v. Sebelius seeks to suspend the mandate against the Catholic-owned auto lighting manufacturer while its appeal of a district court decision goes forward. more >>
Various voices within the Christian community are expressing differing opinions regarding the recent Hobby Lobby lawsuit, which involves the Oklahoma-based franchise craft store suing the Obama administration for its contraceptive mandate, as it goes against the Christian values of the family-run business.
One proponent of Hobby Lobby is well-known pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Southern California, who argues that the craft store is protected under the First Amendment.
"Every American who loves freedom should shudder at the precedent the government is trying to establish by denying Hobby Lobby the full protection of the First Amendment. This case is nothing less than a landmark battle for America's FIRST freedom, the freedom of religion and the freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience," Warren wrote in a Jan. 4 statement on The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty website, the legal group representing Hobby Lobby in court. more >>
The nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, reports it received $542 million from government sources in 2011-2012 while performing 995,687 abortions from 2009-2011. In 2011 alone, its clinics performed 333,964 abortions.
When broken down on an approximate annual basis, that means Planned Parenthood receives around $1,622 in government funds per abortion. From a time perspective, it translates to one abortion every 94 seconds.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, along with Board Chair Cecilia Boone addressed some of the challenges faced by the abortion giant in the past year, including the drama surrounding the Susan G. Komen Foundation's temporary withdrawal of support. more >>