The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments as to whether Arkansas inmate Gregory Holt, who's also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, has the right to grow a beard in keeping with his religious beliefs.
Holt petitioned the Supreme Court to allow him to grow an inch-long beard in accordance with his religious obligations, even though Arkansas correctional rules do not allow for such grooming.
For his appeal to the Supreme Court, Holt is being represented by multiple groups, including the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. more >>
WASHINGTON — Oregon couple Aaron and Melissa Klein were forced to close their bakery after declining to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony and are now facing the threat of having to pay $150,000 in damages.
Seated next to his wife at a panel on marriage at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Aaron talked about their faith and what Melissa's bakery meant to her before they had to shut down their business.
"The boycotting, the harassment. I mean, quite frankly, they didn't just harass us they harassed the other wedding vendors that we did business with," Aaron told the audience without going into too much detail about their case due to pending litigation. "It cut off our referral system, we had to shut the shop down. … We were facing in excess of $150,000 in damages for this, just for simply standing by my First Amendment rights." more >>
The California Catholic Conference filed a complaint Wednesday against the state's mandate that Catholic institutions cover all forms of voluntary direct abortion, including late-term and gender selection, stating that defending the sanctity of life is essential to Catholic beliefs.
"Catholic beliefs about life and human dignity animate and shape our Catholic ministries," said Bishop Robert McElroy, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference.
"It's why we oppose abortion, but it is also why Catholic schools provide education, Catholic hospitals care for the poor and vulnerable and why Catholic social services provide assistance to people and families in need. It goes to the core of our moral beliefs." more >>
A Pennsylvania wedding venue will not have to refund a deposit to a straight couple wedding party that disagrees with the owner's stance on same-sex weddings.
A lawsuit over a security deposit placed at the Inne was dismissed because the judge agreed that the suit was "improperly filed," according to Liberty Counsel, which represents a banquet hall called the Inne of the Abingtons.
"A Christian business owner should not have his contracts dishonored or be hauled into court because he operates his business according to conscience," Liberty Counsel senior litigator Roger Gannam said. "This is a victory for religious liberty." more >>
WASHINGTON — With conservative Christians and libertarians sharing common ideologies that stand against big government and federal overreaching, the two groups' need to put aside their few differences and unite in order to defeat a Democratic agenda that "assaults" American liberties, a panel of prominent social conservatives agreed Saturday.
Speaking at a Family Research Council panel at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C.,a social conservative pollster, political commentator and campaign advisor for Sen. Rand Paul, R- Ky., discussed the importance of getting the two ideological groups on the same voting path to solidify their stances against issues like big-government overeaches and infringement on personal and religious liberties.
"If we want to remove Democrats from the Senate and take back control of the White House in 2016, these are two groups that have to finally make sure that the overwhelming nature on which they agree ends up being the driving force and end up being something that really can push the left out of their position of power," said Doug Stafford, Executive Director of Paul's political action committee, RANDPAC. "Too often we don't do as good a job as the left does in uniting for a victory for those things that we do share by arguing about things that we don't." more >>
WASHINGTON – Taking the stage at the Values Voter Summit Gala with her husband, Daniel Wani, Meriam Ibrahim encouraged Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, with stories about caring for her children Martin and Maya.
With the help of an interpreter, Ibrahim called Naghmeh Abdini "her sister" and told her "Do not fear; be strong. Take care of your kids and the Lord will be with you."
Naghmeh Abedini shared a video during the gala from her children. In the video, 6-year-old Jacob said his heart is "crying" because he "misses Daddy a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, a thousand lots." Eight-year-old Rebekka said "I prayed that dad comes back home but he's still not back home" more >>