Conservative organizations remain concerned about the religious liberty implications of the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate following the release of the mandate final rules.
The Family Research Council, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., denounced the final rules immediately following their release last Friday.
FRC Legislative Assistant Jamie Dangers stated that the HHS "is offering a variation of an old accounting gimmick which still mandates that the Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame, and many other religious non-profits offer coverage with objectionable benefits." more >>
A bill introduced to protect churches and religious organizations from IRS and other federal punishment may be gaining steam according to lawmakers; however, only one Democrat currently co-sponsors the religious freedom bill.
Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), a co-founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, is pushing support for the "First Amendment Defense Act" (H.R. 2802) that is designed to protect same-sex marriage dissenting religious churches and organizations from possible IRS penalties and persecution.
While America's "first freedom" is no longer a foregone conclusion in today's cultural climate and new understandings of sexual rights, the "First Amendment Defense Act" would only affect the federal government and is not binding on the states. Conservative lawmakers are hopeful that the legislation will set an example for states currently persecuting citizens for dissenting from participation in same-sex wedding ceremonies. more >>
This week, two major music stars made national news. Pop sensation Ariana Grande insulted the country when she was captured on video at a doughnut shop saying "I hate Americans, I hate America." Grande was upset that a store employee showed her doughnuts decorated in patriotic colors and called them "disgusting." To make matters worse, when no one was behind the counter, Grande was shown licking the doughnuts.
After the negative reaction, Grande issued two lame apologies. In the first one, she said her anger was really directed at the obesity problem in America. In the second apology, she said that her comments were a "poor choice of words."
Of course, she would have never apologized if the video had not gone viral. She is the latest in a long line of "stars" that show hatred toward the people who made them rich. Americans made this young singer a millionaire and without the support of her fans, she might be working in that doughnut shop today. more >>
Two Christian colleges located in states that had their same-sex marriage bans struck down by the United States Supreme Court's June 26 decision that nationally legalized same-sex marriage are offering employment benefits to legally recognized same-sex spouses of school employees.
The employment practices of Hope College, a small Reformed liberal arts school in Holland, Michigan, and the nondenominational Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, will both comply with their states' new legal definitions on marriage after the high court's ruling.
On Monday, Hope College President John Knapp sent an email to the Hope community explaining that while Hope will continue to offer benefits to spouses of employees recognized by the state, the Supreme Court's ruling has effectively changed the definition of marriages recognized by the state of Michigan to include same-sex couples. more >>
Have you heard about the Baptist pastors in Shelby, North Carolina, who have raised the Christian flag above the American flag at their local churches? The pastors explain that our ultimate allegiance is to God, not government or country. One of the churches has launched a website (GodBeforeGovernment.org).
The pastors have a very valid point. Flags are powerful emotive symbols, as signified by the recent controversy over the Confederate battle flag. The pastors' actions remind Christians that our ultimate allegiance belongs to God. As Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God things which be God's" (Luke 20:25). In other words, ultimate loyalty must belong to God.
This ultimate allegiance is actually acknowledged in our Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." more >>
Despite having family members to sponsor them, a group of 20 Chaldean Christians who fled ISIS have been detained for over four months at the Otay Detention Facility in San Diego. The large Chaldean community in Southern California are unhappy with the unexplained delays and are demanding their release.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claim they are undermanned and face a backlog of cases but have offered little to the media about the prolonged detention of the Chaldean 20.
Mark Arabo, an activist and spokesmen for the local Chaldean community says, "What we do know is that they are being held without a real reason." more >>