Mississippi lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 2681) Tuesday. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has said he will sign the bill. When it becomes law it will prohibit the state from taking action that "burden" a citizen's right to religious exercise. LGBT activists have attacked the bill as discriminatory.
The legislation was approved in the Mississippi House with a 78-43 vote and was approved in the Senate with a wide majority, according to BuzzFeed.
A copy of the bill defines "burden" as "any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person's exercise of religion." more >>
Parents of children attending three Kentucky public schools have reportedly expressed concern after an atheist group arrived on the campuses to distribute free books regarding secularism.
Some parents of Casey County, Ky., kept their children home last Friday when the Tri-State Freethinkers atheist group set up a secularist book display at three local public elementary schools, including Liberty, Walnut, and Jones Park. The atheist group was able to set up the displays after the American Civil Liberties Union contacted the Casey County School District, arguing that because administrators allowed the Christian group Gideons International to set up a Christian-themed book display, they should also allow the atheist group to do so.
Tri-State Freethinkers followed the same rules as Gideons International when setting up their display, including setting up an unmanned table with secular literature before school hours. Members of the atheist group were not allowed to be on campus while school was in session and had to dismantle their table after school had ended. The book distributed to students on Friday was Humanism, What's That?: A Book for Curious Kids. more >>
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) encouraged Christian college students at Liberty University's Convocation Wednesday to stand up for what they believe and defend their religious freedom against current assaults.
"I'm here today, more than anything, to encourage you," he told the approximately 10,000 students in attendance. "To encourage you in your faith, to encourage you in your freedom, to encourage you in standing up for the principles that define you."
According to Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., the school's convocation is the largest weekly gathering of young Christians. Cruz's father, Raphael Cruz, spoke at one of the convocations in November. more >>
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has offered to defend a local Cannon County boy who was recently told that he could not read a Bible during an after-school program.
The ACLU of Tennessee has sent a letter to the Cannon County REACH after-school program on behalf of the boy, who attends an elementary school in Cannon County. Staff of the REACH program reportedly told the boy that he could not read the Bible during a free-reading period. The staff then tried to take the Bible, telling him the after-school program could lose its state funds if they allowed him to continue reading it.
In the letter sent to the REACH program, the ACLU requests that the after-school program train its employees on religious freedom rights while not imposing religion on the students. It also requests that the after-school program allow the student to continue reading his Bible during the free-reading period or any other student activity time. more >>
Georgia based Chick-fil-A, whose owners have taken criticism for their biblical views and stance on traditional marriage, have once again secured the top stop as the nations leading chicken chain by beating out KFC. And to top it off, Chick-fil-A did it with half the stores (1,775 to 4,491).
Is this simply better business practices? I think we might be looking at a blessing from God.
From a financial perspective, Chick-fil-A registered sales of over $5 billion, compared to KFC's $4.2 billion. But the question remains, how can a privately held chain whose advertising budget is much smaller out perform a sixty-something year-old chain owned by a food conglomerate? more >>
"It feels like a betrayal from every side," might be how blogger Rachel Held Evans' sums up last week's World Vision fiasco over same-sex marriage, but it doesn't exactly convey the mixed feelings of most evangelicals.
In her recent entry on CNN Belief Blog, "How Evangelicals Won a Culture War and Lost a Generation," Evans paints conservative evangelical men and women as uncompassionate by lamenting over "misaligned evangelical priorities" and our "leaving thousands of needy children without financial support." The major flaw in her argument is that conservative evangelicals' reactions were not due to a "disdain" for the LGBTQ people or an abandonment of the needy. It was the result of heavy-hearted commitments to God's Word.
The chaos all started when World Vision embraced same-sex marriage within their employment policy, subsequently recognizing their "mistake" and recommitted to uphold biblical sexual morality. It was the organizations reversal that promoted Evans' blog, in which she launched several inflated accusations against her conservative brothers and sisters in Christ. more >>