When Evangelicals are exposed to arguments defending their own free speech and religious freedom, they become more accepting of extending similar rights to their political foes, a new study found.
"Rights, Reflection, and Reciprocity: How Rights Talk Affects the Political Process," by political scientists Paul Djupe, Denison University; Andrew Lewis, University of Cincinnati; and Ted Jelen, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, will be presented this month at the Midwest Political Science Association's annual meeting in Chicago.
The researchers sought to understand if the recent culture war battles between sexual freedom and religious freedom (see, for example, here, here and here) would lead to greater or lesser division and intolerance among the combatants. (This paper focuses on the conservative side but they suggest they will also be studying the liberal side.) more >>
Businesses should not discriminate, liberals proclaimed loudly in explaining their opposition to religious freedom laws. Three recent actions supported by liberals demonstrate that is not true.
1. Bakeries Should Be Able to Refuse Bible Verses
Christian activist Bill Jack was denied service when he went to Azucar Bakery in Denver and asked for two cakes in the shape of open Bibles. He asked for the words, "God hates sin — Psalm 45:7," "Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22," "God loves sinners," and "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us — Romans 5:8," on each of the "pages" of the Bible cakes. more >>
The dust is finally settling after vicious harassment and death threats besieged the Christian owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana. An onslaught of national media attention catapulted father and daughter O'Conner to the center of a national firefight over religious freedom. Forced to close their doors and go into hiding, Kevin O'Conner contemplated closing up shop permanently due to violent threats.
Thanks be to God, their circumstances changed when The Blaze launched an online fundraiser raising $842,387 from nearly 30,000 donors across the country. Not all professing Christians are happy about this financial blessing.
Some among the Religious Left took a bold stand for justice from their living room sofas to write mischaracterizing blogs about faithful Christians' like Kevin O'Conner and his young daughter Crystal for being uncompassionate, bigoted and unloving because of their convictions on sexuality and marriage. However, in a surprising turn of events it is the conservative Christian pizzeria owners left doing justice and showing mercy according to the Gospel. more >>
The 147 Christians in Garrisa, Kenya who were killed on April 2, 2015 were not the first or the last Christians who were marked for death by Muslims. The Al Shabaab Somali Muslims continue to attack villages throughout Garrisa, as they and other groups have done for several years.
The Islamic cry, "Death to slaves of the Cross," can be heard and witnessed throughout the Middle East and Africa. Much of this persecution is a result of Obama Administration directives and funded by American tax dollars and debt. In light of this, it was not surprising that Barack Obama intentionally chose not to mention or pray for recently murdered Christians from his homeland during his April 7th "Easter Prayer Breakfast" remarks.
In light of such denial, I reached out to several missionaries asking if they would describe what it's like to be a Christian living in a non-western country. This is the first of several columns attempting to convey their experiences (most of whom have rejected anonymity) and lists specific actions American Christians can, and must, immediately take to support them. more >>
Ever since the Battle of Indiana, Rod Dreher has been quoting anonymous e-mails and other conversations with conservatives in higher education. The message from each of them is roughly the same: It's worse than you think, if our views were known, we'd have real trouble on campus, and the campus is closing to Christian thought — with even Christian campuses bowing to the PC gods.
I have two responses to this. First, anyone facing social exclusion or career adversity because of their Christian or (especially) Christian conservative beliefs has my sympathy. Imagine, for a moment, working your entire life towards a career goal and then realizing that all that work could be rendered meaningless if your colleagues understand that you believe the Bible, that you can recite every word of the Apostles' Creed (and mean it). Imagine the financial insecurity and the stress on your family at the thought that the wrong word at the wrong time could cost you your hard-earned job. I've been a Christian in Ivy League higher ed — both as a student and a teacher — and I know what it's like. It's not easy.
Second, man up anyway. You're part of the problem. more >>
The owners of Memories Pizza, the Indiana pizza shop that was forced to close down last week after its owners received death threats for stating that they were Christian and would not cater a gay wedding, announced their plans for the $840,000-plus they have received from the online crowdfunding page GoFundMe.
The O'Connor family told The Daily Mail that although they were only looking to raise a goal of $200,000 to help them get back on track after closing shop for about a week and becoming the center of a national media storm, they will be donating much of the extra money to a number of good causes, including giving some to Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman.
The 70-year-old Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is at risk of losing her life savings, home and flower shop because of a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general after a gay couple posted on social media about how they were referred to another florist when they asked Stutzman to make floral arrangements for their same-sex wedding. more >>