A bill introduced to the Georgia legislature regarding religious freedom has apparently been derailed due to a controversy over a similar bill in Arizona.
House Bill 1023, also called the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act," would essentially provide citizens of Georgia with the same religious freedom protections provided by the federal Religious Freedom Protection Act. RFRA was passed in 1993 with a unanimous vote in the House and a 97-3 vote in the Senate and was signed by President Bill Clinton.
RFRA says that for the government to deny religious freedom, the government must show that it has a good reason for doing so and there is no way to avoid doing so. Plus, laws that are generally applicable (apply to all faiths) must provide religious exemptions when that can be done without placing too great a burden on the state. The Supreme Court ruled, however, that RFRA does not apply to state law, so many states have passed their own RFRA laws. H.B. 1023 would do that for Georgia. more >>
The only thing remotely religious about the Project ROSE program that seeks to rehabilitate sex workers in Arizona is that it is hosted by the Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix. It is also completely voluntary.
Recent media reports on the three year old project that was conceived through a partnership between the Arizona State University School of Social Work, the Phoenix Police Department and a number of other public and private agencies, however, have painted a different picture.
"Project ROSE is a Phoenix city program that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, more than 100 police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online," charged a VICE report. more >>
The head of the Europe-based World Council of Churches has called on those involved in the ongoing Ukraine crisis to "refrain from violence."
The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary for WCC, released a statement Monday expressing concern for the people of Ukraine, specifically in the Crimea region.
A Lutheran pastor from the United States who served as chaplain for some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century is the subject of a soon-to-be released book.
Henry Gerecke, a chaplain who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II eventually found himself ministering to the spiritual needs of Nazi war criminals.
His story, long lost amid the major names and events of the 1940s, will be available to the public in a historical book titled, Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis. more >>
The United States Senate has considered the efforts of an interfaith coalition of groups looking to reduce the usage of solitary confinement in American prisons.
The hearing took place Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
Those advocating for Congress to examine the usage of solitary confinement included several religious groups such as the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). more >>
The president of Uganda has signed into law a bill that expands the legal punishment for homosexuality in the East African nation.
Known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, President Yoweri Museveni signed it into law Monday, remarking that "there is something really wrong with" homosexuality.
"No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature … That man can choose to love a man ... is a matter of choice. After listening to the scientists, I got the facts," said Museveni, as reported by the AFP. more >>