WASHINGTON — Many Republican politicians are afraid to engage in the debates over religious freedom and gay marriage, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz told a gathering of pastors in Washington, D.C., adding that some of them are even running for president in 2016.
Over 600 were in attendance at the Watchmen on the Wall conference hosted by the Family Research Council.
Cruz, who represents Texas in the U.S. Senate, was discussing the recent debate over passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. Most Democrats opposed the bill while also, as The Christian Post reported at the time, misrepresenting it. Cruz correctly noted that the bill was "substantively identical" to the federal RFRA, which passed the Senate with 97 votes, passed the House unanimously and was signed by President Bill Clinton. more >>
Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig Olson made "entirely appropriate" remarks when he thanked God during a National Day of Prayer event earlier this month, a religious liberty group has said. The Foundation for Moral Law argued that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is calling for Olson to be court-martialed, is a "radical fringe element" that want to see God be given a "dishonorable discharge."
"The Constitution General Olson took an oath to defend, and which he has defended throughout his career, also protects his right to free exercise of religion and to share his beliefs with others. The same Congress that passed the First Amendment, also passed a bill to establish congressional chaplains," Foundation President Kayla Moore said in a statement on Wednesday.
"General Olson spoke of the role of faith and prayer in his own life and military career, entirely appropriate for a Day of Prayer event. He made no representation that he was speaking for the Air Force or expressing official Air Force policy." more >>
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will issue an executive order meant to protect businesses from being legally compelled to service gay marriages due to religious objections.
In response to the defeat of the Marriage and Conscience Act on Tuesday, Gov. Jindal announced his intention to issue an executive order with a similar objective.
"We will be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will accomplish the intent of HB 707 to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman," stated Jindal on Tuesday afternoon. more >>
Bishop John McAreavey, chair of the council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishop's Conference, told the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade that Christian persecution is at an "unprecedented" high, pointing to statistics that show 11 Christians are killed every hour of the day.
Citing a Pew Research survery, McAreavey told the committee that Christian persecution is being gravely underestimated, as "Christianity is now the world's most oppressed religious group, with persecution against them reported in 110 countries."
He continued: "Many of these countries have significant trade links with Ireland. Persecution is increasing in China. In North Korea a quarter of the country's Christians live in forced labour camps. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Maldives all feature in the 10 worst places to be Christian. more >>
After being a member of the Church of Scientology for 30 years with her entire family, actress Leah Remini says her daughter is the single reason why she left the organization behind.
"I was working on a [Scientology] course one day. I was at one of these hotels in Florida and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I'm reading this [Scientology] thing. A tear came down my face," Remini said on an episode of Oprah's "Where Are They Now?" series. "I was like, 'What am I doing?'"
She continued: "I don't think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization," she explained. "I mean, it was every day, three-and-a-half hours minimum, seven days a week." During that fateful trip in Florida, though, Remini realized that she was "now doing the same thing to my daughter that my mother [had conveyed] to me … that what she was doing was more important." more >>
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to add a religious freedom amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which could be the first time that Congress asked presidents to take religious liberties into consideration when negotiating international trade agreements.
The Senate voted 92-0 Monday evening to approve the amendment to the TPA bill that was proposed by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., which would make it an overall negotiating objective of the United States to "take into account" religious freedom violations before entering possible trade deals with other countries.
"It is a great encouragement to see the [Senate's] overwhelming support for religious liberty issues worldwide," the 47-year-old Lankford told The Christian Post Tuesday morning. "This is the core value, the first freedom that we talk about all the time but it is also a core value that I believe, and apparently my colleagues also believe, that when we talk to other nations and deal with nations where religious liberty is not common and we get into a trade conversation, we should bring up the issue of religious liberty." more >>