A Louisiana bill seeks to balance gay marriage with the religious freedom of those who oppose it.
The "Marriage and Conscience Act," sponsored by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, would prevent the state from punishing people for actions they take regarding marriage due to their religious or moral convictions.
The core section of the law states: "Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, this state shall not take any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage." more >>
Actress Susan Sarandon's nephew made headlines on Sunday when responding to a teacher's rehiring at a Catholic school in New Jersey after she was dismissed in March for posting a comment on Facebook that some perceived as anti-gay.
Scott Lyons, an alumnus, was upset by the comments and wrote a response to teacher Patricia Jannuzzi, which Sarandon then reposted on her Facebook page. He also wrote a new response on his personal account addressing the rehiring.
"Immaculata High School is sending a strong message by reinstating a teacher who publicly and repeatedly revealed blatant intolerance for the LGBT community," he posted on Sunday. "School leadership has essentially declared that though her 'tone' wasn't acceptable her sentiment, in fact, was. I only hope that the parents of the current and prospective students take this into account when considering the kind of educational environment they are exposing their children to. The bible should not be used as a weapon to attack, discriminate or alienate anyone based on who they choose to love. And anyone who does so in the name of their religion is using it wrong." more >>
A U.S. court has awarded $330 million to Shurat HaDin, or Israel Law Center, on behalf of the U.S.-based family of Rev. Kim Dong-Shik, a Christian missionary and activist who was abducted by North Korean agents inside China and later killed in North Korea.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia awarded the family $330 million — which includes $15 million dollars each to Kim's son and brother, as well as $300 million in punitive damages — against the government of North Korea, known as DPRK, Israel Law Center said in a statement Monday.
"This is an important human rights decision that will be utilized in all political abduction cases going forward," Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Israeli group's director, said. more >>
Students in New Jersey will still be able to recite the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, as an atheist organization has reportedly dropped its lawsuit.
Last year, the American Humanist Association's legal arm sued a New Jersey school district to get "under God" removed from the pledge.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a Washington D.C.-based group that supports the phrase being in the pledge, announced Monday morning that the AHA has been defeated. more >>
A Hindu extremist leader in India has called on Christians and Muslims in the country to be forcefully sterilized in order to control their growing populations, and called for Hindu gods and goddesses to be placed in churches and mosques.
"The population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. To rein in this, Centre will have to impose emergency, and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilization so that they cannot increase their number," said Sadhvi Deva Thakur, vice president of All India Hindu Mahasabha, according to Fides News Agency.
Thakur called on Hindus to have more children to increase their population, and said that "idols of Hindu gods and goddesses should be placed in mosques and churches." more >>
In an interview with Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, to be aired Monday but CP obtained an early copy of the audio recording, likely Republican U.S. presidential candidate Jeb Bush says the United States is the best hope the world has for religious freedom, which is a "non-negotiable point" for him. He also speaks against the killing of unborn children and assisted suicides.
"I don't think being judgmental and kind of coming down from the podium and telling them how it's gonna be is the proper approach," the former Florida governor says, of how he dealt with the issue of unborn children and assisted suicide when he was in office.
"You need to be respectful of the fact that in a diverse society people have different views about this," he adds in the interview. "But I don't think you pull back from your deeply held views. You need to persuade people that protecting an innocent child is a definition of who we are in the broadest possible sense." more >>