If the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage, its effect on religious freedom will depend upon how the opinion is written, according to experts.
The best possible outcome for religious freedom would be for the court to rule that the U.S. Constitution does not require all states to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. If the court does require all states to redefine marriage, however, there are a range of options that could affect religious freedom differently.
If the court were to "elevate sexual orientation to a protected category similar to race," Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Christian Post that could have a detrimental impact on the religious freedom of groups and people who do not believe that same-sex marriage is actually marriage. more >>
The Rev. Norvel Goff Sr., who has been appointed to lead the Charleston church days after its pastor and eight members were killed in a shooting incident, led the first service since Wednesday's massacre. Other AME churches in the country preached forgiveness.
"The doors of the church are open. No evildoer, no demon in hell or on Earth can close the doors of God's church," Goff, a presiding elder of the 7th District AME Church in South Carolina, told the congregation, according to CNN.
Among the nine who were shot dead during a Bible study of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was the church's pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a Democratic member of the state senate. more >>
The tragic shooting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday night that killed nine people at a Bible study has prompted one pastor to encourage clergy around the country to arm themselves for protection.
During an interview on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Thursday, Bishop E.W. Jackson, senior pastor of Fall Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, said he was deeply concerned about 21-year-old gunman Dylann Roof's decision to target a church, adding that it signifies a growing hostility toward Christians across the U.S.
"I just think it's something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians," Jackson said. "And I would mention one other thing, and that is, I would urge pastors and men in these churches to prepare to defend themselves. It's sad, but I think that we've got to arm ourselves." more >>
Law enforcement officials said Thursday that they have captured Dylann Roof, 21, who is suspected of killing nine people at a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday evening.
Mayor Joseph P. Riley did not reveal where Roof was caught but media reports say he was taken into custody some 200 miles away, in Shelby, North Carolina, a town east of Charlotte.
Sources say Roof, who was the subject of a manhunt before he was caught by police, attended the prayer meeting for an hour before opening fire in the basement of the church, killing nine of the 13 people who had gathered for worship. The church has been a part of the Charleston community since 1816 and was founded by a former slave. more >>
A Baptist theologian, who's spent years studying the works of leading Mormon scholars, said he has noticed a shift in "Mormonism" that can potentially lead to the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one day being viewed as a Christian denomination, much like what occurred in the evolution of the Worldwide Church of God.
Although many evangelical critics belonging to mainline Christian denominations view the LDS Church as less-than-Christian, Roger Olson, who's a theology professor at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas, wrote in a recent blog post on Patheos.com that through his studies of the Mormon faith and discussion with various LDS leaders, "there is no doubt" in his mind that there is a "discernible" evolution of Mormonism that is leading it to a "more biblical" account of Jesus and salvation.
"There is no doubt in my mind that something is going on in the LDS Church and Mormonism, in general, that constitutes a gradual but discernible shift away from those doctrines most anti-Mormon Christian critics like to highlight toward a somewhat more biblical and even evangelical account of Christ and salvation," Olson, who's also a Baptist minister, wrote. more >>
A time of worship and prayer came to a horrific end Wednesday night, as a white gunman, identified as Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire during a Bible study in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, slaying nine people, including the church's pastor, in what the police have called a "hate crime" and the city's mayor has labeled an act of "pure hatred."
The suspect began firing at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street, one of the oldest black churches in the South with roots dating back to 1816, around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Eight people were killed on the scene, while two others were transported to a nearby hospital, one of whom died along the way.
The gunman, believed to be Roof, successfully fled the church as remains at-large as of Thursday morning. more >>