A Christian student has filed a lawsuit against a Virginia academic institution over allegations that he was prohibited from preaching on campus.
Brought before the Eastern District of Virginia Newport News Division on March 13, Christian Parks alleges that TNCC stopped him from preaching at an on-campus plaza area.
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc case. As virtually everyone is aware, the CEO of Hobby Lobby is contesting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
The company's refusal to comply with the mandate stems from a religious objection to birth control and abortifacient drugs, and they insist that the First Amendment protects their right to exclude these prescriptions from their health insurance plans. One of the interesting questions at issue in this case is whether or not corporations are entitled to the same legal protections as individual persons. Supporters of Hobby Lobby are quick to point to the legal precedent set in the recent Citizens United ruling, which concluded that corporations, like persons, are protected by the First Amendment in the area of free speech. Thus, if corporations have the same speech rights as individuals persons, so too should they have the same rights of religious conscience. If Hobby Lobby is owned by a Christian family and governed according to explicitly Biblical principles, then it follows that the company's health care coverage may reflect those principles, and the government may not infringe upon this area of Free Exercise.
There is no question that the law has treated corporations as "people" for various reasons, particularly in the last century. Women- and minority-owned businesses, for example, are often entitled to the same kind of affirmative action and quota policies as individuals in these demographics. This debate has prompted journalists and commentators to engage in a review of the judicial history of corporate personhood, in an attempt to navigate the assertions being made in the Hobby Lobby case. Turns out, despite the popular impact of the Citizens United decision, that the habit of according individual rights to corporations is a relatively new phenomenon. From Slate: more >>
On March 14 Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told members of the House Armed Services committee that there was no war on religious liberty.
"The single biggest frustration I've had in this job is the perception that somehow there is religious persecution inside the United States Air Force," the general told lawmakers. "It is not true."
If that's true, perhaps Gen. Welsh could explain why a Bible was removed from a POW/MIA Missing Man Table at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The removal of the Good Book was first reported by the Gannett-owned newspaper Florida Today. more >>
A street preacher in the U.K. has been awarded £13,000 ($21,664) by the local police after he was arrested for preaching against homosexuality in September 2011.
The Greater Manchester Police Department recently reached a settlement out of court with John Craven, a 57-year-old street preacher who frequented Market Street in Manchester, U.K., twice a week in 2011, where he would preach the Bible to passersby.
In one incident on September 17, 2011, Craven was reportedly preaching on Market Street when two young gay men asked what his thoughts on same-sex marriage were. The preacher reportedly responded, "Whilst God hates sin He loves the sinner." According to Craven's report of the incident, then two young men the reportedly began to taunt him by kissing in front of him and mimicking suggestive acts. They then reported Craven to a local police constable and the preacher was arrested for "public order offenses." more >>
Persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern asked why U.S. President Barack Obama failed to talk religious freedom with Saudi Arabia King Abdullah during his visit last week, after identifying the issue as a key component of U.S. foreign policy at the National Prayer Breakfast in February.
"This visit was an excellent opportunity for the president to speak up on an issue that affects millions of Saudi citizens and millions more foreign workers living in Saudi Arabia," said ICC Middle East Regional Manager Todd Daniels in a statement Saturday.
"Only last month the president clearly stated that promoting religious freedom is a key objective of American foreign policy, and then reaffirmed that opinion in remarks following his meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday, according to the White House. On top of this, 70 members of Congress specifically asked him to publicly address the issue, as well as other human rights concerns, with King Abdullah today. How, despite all of this, the president could stay completely silent about religious freedom during his meeting is remarkable." more >>
On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame. Four people died.
One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered-simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.