In the public policy arena, the past few decades have seen a constant conflict between Christian conservatives and secular liberals. These two factions have sparred openly over a variety of issues, including abortion, the definition of marriage, the importance of the family, and the size of government. Recently, however, secular liberals have adopted a new tactic. Rather than continue our public debates, some secular liberals have decided to take a different route — attacking the very foundations of Christian institutions. In this assault, they have been aided and abetted by the current administration.
It seems secular liberals have decided that certain religious freedoms are no longer going to be free. Moving forward, the exercise of those freedoms is going to cost you. As Rick Plasterer explains at The Institute on Religion and Democracy's blog, Juicy Ecumenism, certain long-held Christian beliefs may soon result in the deprivation of Christian institutions' tax-exempt status, state aid, or accreditation. Religious institutions like colleges and hospitals are particularly susceptible, as Plasterer explains:
"Although threats do exist to the primary religious institutions — houses of worship — it is those that provide social services as a religious activity, namely religiously affiliated schools, hospitals, and charities that are most directly threatened. These have been a refuge for Christians, or other believers, from the secularization of the twentieth, and now twenty-first, centuries. Service to the poor and suffering and the education of the young are both Biblical commands, and thus, in the American rights-oriented context, should be understood as an exercise of religion. Heretofore our legal system has permitted religious education and social service without seriously impinging on their religious character. Now we may be seeing the beginning of the end of educational and social services that are in any serious way religious rather than secular." more >>
An atheist was escorted out of a Florida city public meeting for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, prompting outcry from secular organizations.
John Thoreau remained seated for both the opening invocation and Pledge during a meeting of the Winter Garden City Commissioners last week.
Four years after the Arab Spring, taxpaying Americans continue to fund ethnic and religious cleansing throughout the Middle East, thanks to President Obama's subversive strategy to spread Islam.
The Eastern Mediterranean region, known as the Levant, was the birthplace of Christianity. Initially, Christ followers called themselves "The Way" (in Arabic "Ahl-Al-Deen") before they were known as Christians (John 14; Acts 9, 14, 24). Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople were all meccas of Christian scholarship. Christian trade centers included Jerusalem, Gaza, Caesarea, and Beirut and Christians lived peacefully throughout Ethiopia, Yemen, and Persia (Iraq and Iran).
Yet today, numerous organizations claim that within our lifetime Christians will no longer exist in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria. more >>
Two Catholic academic institutions in California have been told by the state government that their healthcare programs must cover abortions.
Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University were initially given reprieve from being forced to pay for abortions as part of their insurance policies, however, the earlier decision was reversed.
In a letter sent out last month, California's Department of Managed Health Care concluded that "it erroneously approved or did not object to such discriminatory language in some evidence of coverage filings." more >>
North Korea on Monday allowed The Associated Press and CNN to speak to three detained Americans, including Christians Kenneth Bae and Jeffery Fowle. All three said there's hope only if a high-ranking U.S. representative visits for negotiations. Bae complained of deteriorating health.
"The only hope that I have is to have someone from the U.S. comes," Bae was quoted as saying in the interview that was conducted in the presence of regime officials. "But so far, the latest I've heard is that there has been no response yet. So I believe that officials here are waiting for that."
Fowle, 56, and the other prisoner, Mathew Miller, who is 24 years old, said their trial is expected within a month. Both were arrested in April. more >>
WASHINGTON — While Hobby Lobby won its lawsuit against the Obama administration's birth control mandate, it was a battle already won by liberals and the only issue in the court case was how thorough the Right's political defeat would be, Philip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life at University of Notre Dame, argued Sunday during a roundtable at the American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby represented "an overwhelming victory for the political Left," Muñoz said.
Other participants of the roundtable, "Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: The Morning After Pill, Corporate Convictions, and the Future of Religious Liberty," which was sponsored by Christians in Political Science, included Alliance Defense Fund's Gregory S. Baylor, Americans United for Separation of Church and State's Greg Lipper, and American Jewish Committee's Richard T. Foltin. more >>