In the contraceptive mandate case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby-argued Tuesday, March 25th-the government asserts that corporations can't exercise religion because they're not people – and that the people who own corporations can't exercise religion through them because they aren't corporations. Did you follow that? Me neither. But it's true.
As a result, I expect many more people creating their own LLCs in order to do things that would be wrong for them to do as individuals: "It wasn't me, honey -- it was the corporation!"
I kid. But the government isn't kidding: it's demanding that Hobby Lobby and its owners, the Green family, represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, pay half a billion dollars a year for not covering four emergency contraceptives in its insurance plan. Just to be clear, the government has for political reasons exempted innumerable plans providing these and other drugs (to keep the President's promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep it"). But accommodate the Green family's faith-based moral objections? No way. more >>
In the wake of the Mozilla controversy, the Duck Dynasty controversy, the Chick-fil-A boycott/buycott, and the countless examples of intolerance and intimidation against conservatives on campuses across the country, it seems rather clear that - as Michelle Goldberg notes in The Nation – there is a "growing left-wing tendency towards censoriousness and and hair-trigger offense."
But does this increasing intolerance work? In other words, does it help leftists impose their own social norms on society, or does it serve mainly to stiffen resistance and motivate opponents?
It does both, but where it works depends greatly on context. For years we've seen stigma defeat dogma (insults and mockery defeat beliefs) on college campuses, where relentless assaults on conservative values tend to leave students more liberal than when they arrived. It's not hard to understand why. These attacks can make students feel isolated - like there's something wrong with them - and the more casual adherents to any worldview find it relatively easy to shed impediments to social acceptance. This creates a vicious cycle, as shrinking minorities feel less and less empowered and the vocal majority feels increasingly vindicated in calling their opponents extremists or bigots. more >>
Faith Driven Consumer launched an #OpenZilla campaign in response to the recent resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich whose support for California's Proposition 8 in 2008 caused uproar. The #OpenZilla campaign seeks to ensure the software company expresses inclusiveness and respect toward its religious employees who may oppose same-sex marriage.
Faith Driven Consumer, a group that seeks to connect Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, has requested the Silicon Valley-based software company provide clarification on its diversity policy to ensure employees will not be discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Recently, Eich resigned from his newly-appointed post as CEO of Mozilla, known for its Firefox web browser, after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to California's Proposition 8 in 2008.
The Christian-consumer group said the purpose of its #OpenZilla campaign is "to encourage a company famous for open source solutions and inclusiveness to extend openness, tolerance, and respect to those who hold a biblically-based view of marriage." more >>
A Christian couple was sentenced to death in Pakistan on Friday reportedly for committing "blasphemy" via text messages. Lawyers said they will appeal the ruling and fight for the man and woman who are said to be illiterate.
"We are seriously concerned. Cases like these are common and cause great suffering. We continue to pray, while the issue remains unresolved," Fr. Aloysius Roy, Superior of the Pakistani province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, told Fides News Agency in a report on Monday.
"We express our solidarity, but Christians keep a low profile, because life is full of difficulties and dangers, and for us the first commandment is to survive. Christians are afraid and they move with extreme caution." more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of pastor Saeed Abedini who is serving eight years in prison in Iran for his Christian faith, has said that God has chosen her family and her husband for the ordeal they are going through in order to reach people in despair.
"The Lord has counted our family worthy enough to send Saeed to a dark place that he would be able to share with people who are in complete despair," Abedini said in a testimony to persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern in its April 2014 magazine.
She told the watchdog that while in prison, her husband has seen "so many give their hearts to Christ." more >>
A former NFL player and college football analyst has accepted a position at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian advocacy group.
Craig James was hired briefly by Fox Sports Southwest in 2013 and made one appearance with the network before he was fired for comments about homosexuality that he made while running for U.S. Senate in Texas in 2012.
"We are very excited and pleased to announce that Craig James is joining Family Research Council's team," said FRC President Tony Perkins in a statement. "Losing one job because of his religious beliefs has made room for another: raising awareness about the threats to our most precious liberty — the freedom of religion. His leadership skills, his courage in the face of religious hostility, and his passion for faith, family and freedom will make him a great addition to the FRC team." more >>