All posts tagged: Freedom of religion

Death threats against Christians in America

PJ Media reports that a Newman Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, received a note threatening violence if it hosted an event with a pro-life group called Students for Life. Newman Centers, operated by Roman Catholic students, provide support for Catholic students attending universities across America. The threat purported to be from the radical pro-abortion group, Janes Revenge, actually threatened violence with AR14 rifles, KETV reports. A letter, posted on the door where the meeting was to be held, read: Dear Dan Andrews, If our right to abortion in Bellevue is taken away due to the attempt to pass an abortion ban and it gets passed we will shoot up your Newman center with our new AR14 rifles. Sincerely, Jane’s Revenge READ: ‘Janes Revenge’ Abortion Zealots Threaten to ‘Shoot Up’ Catholic Newman Center With ‘New AR14 Rifles’ AND Omaha, Douglas County authorities investigating threat of violence to Newman Center AND Catholic Student Center in Nebraska Receives Shooting Threat, Signed ‘Jane’s Revenge’ Though a spokesperson for the Newman Center said they refused to be intimidated …

Majority of Americans believe in religious freedom for medical professionals

A survey conducted by Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in late September and early October 2022 revealed that 73% of Americans believe physicians should be able to opt out of performing certain medical procedures if they violate the doctor’s religious beliefs. This would include such things as abortions, assisted suicide and sex change operations. The survey also found that 62% of Americans believe that hospitals with a religious affiliation should not be forced to offer abortions as part of their medical services. Despite these positive results, the survey found that only 50% of Americans realized that Religious Freedom is protected in the US Constitution. READ: Most Americans favor religious liberty protections for medical professionals: survey These survey results were released shortly after the US Court of Appeals unanimously struck down a mandate put forward by the Biden Administration that would force Christian doctors to participate in gender-transition procedures and abortions. Based on its interpretation of Section 1557 of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, covering issues that could potentially restrict an individual’s right to transition, the …

US Supreme Court: Boston agrees to pay $2.1 million for refusing to fly Christian flag

After a US Supreme Court ruling the city of Boston has agreed to pay $2.1 million in legal fees and other expenses after it refused to fly a Christian flag outside its city hall five years ago, the Daily Wire reports. Between 2005 and 2017, the city had allowed flags from all requesting organizations to fly on flagpoles on city hall property. However, when Camp Constitution requested a Christian flag to be raised in 2017 on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the city refused citing that it was a Christian Flag. With the help of Liberty Counsel, Camp Constitution successfully sued the city of Boston in a case that ultimately ended up in the US Supreme Court which ruled in a unanimous decision that the city’s refusal violated the First Amendment Speech Clause. The Daily Wire provides more details. The settlement included an agreement to pay Harold Shurtleff and his Camp Constitution non-profit for legal costs incurred during the dispute. “We are pleased that after five years of litigation and a unanimous victory at the …

Supreme Court rules in favor of Freedom of Religion, coaches are allowed to pray

In a 6 to 3 vote, the US Supreme Court has just ruled in favor of a high school coach who was fired in 2015 for praying on the football field. Not only that, but the Court ordered that Joe Kennedy be returned to his position of an assistant football coach at Bremerton School District in Washington State by March 2023. After each game, Kenney would pray on the field and at times players would voluntarily join him. None of the players were forced to participate. “I had some kids that wanted to join, and they asked, and, of course, it’s a free country,” Kennedy said. Even though the school had ordered him to quit praying at the end of the game, Kennedy continued to do so, leading to his eventual firing. Kenney took the district to court arguing that it had violated his Freedom of Religion guaranteed under the First Amendment. The Blaze provides more details on the Supreme Court decision: “Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse …

Christian Bakery wins Freedom of Religion case in California

A California court has just ruled in favor of a Christian bakeshop owner in Bakersfield who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2017. After Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery, turned down their request, the couple took their case to California’s Department of Fair Housing. The agency in turn sued Cathy arguing she had discriminated against the lesbian couple under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The Thomas More Society, which represented Tastries Bakery, ironically noted that the Unruh Act intended to prevent discrimination based on religion, race or ethnicity was being used to enforce religious discrimination. However, the judge ruled that under the protection offered by America’s first amendment, Cathy could not be forced to perform an activity that violated her Christian beliefs. During the initial conversations with the lesbian couple, the bakery had no problems providing a cake or previously decorated cake, but would not custom decorate a cake to specifically promote their Lesbian wedding, since it violated their religious beliefs. The case itself took many unusual turns. …

Masterpiece Bakeshop is back in court again

Jack Phillips, a Christian baker based in Lakewood, Colorado, is back in court again after a transgender woman asked his company, Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a cake celebrating her transition to a woman, CBN reports. The shop had initially agreed to make the cake, but then changed its mind, when told about the intent of the cake. The transgender woman took the shop to the Colorado Human Rights Commission which ruled the baking company had violated the transgender woman’s rights by refusing to make the cake. Phillips, who is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), stated in the first court case that he did not agree with the idea that a person could change genders, After losing the initial court challenge, Phillips is appealing to Colorado’s Supreme Court arguing that people should not be forced to support or promote views that they do not agree with, calling it a violation of a person’s free speech. ADF noted: “No American should be bullied or banished from the marketplace simply for living and working consistently with …

Former pro-life flight attendant successfully wins lawsuit over firing

A jury has awarded, former Southwest Airlines flight attendant, Charlene Carter, $4.5 million from the airline, which Carter alleges had fired her because of pro-life beliefs. She also won $950,000 in punitive damages from Local 556 of the Transport Workers Union. When Carter started working for Southwest Airlines in 1996, she had to join the union. In 2013, she quit her union membership because it was supporting activities, such as abortion, that violated her beliefs as a Christian. It was also using Carter’s union dues to support political causes that Carter did not support. Though no longer a member, as part of her employment with Southwest, Carter was still required to pay union dues. The problem started in 2017 when Carter found out that several members of the union, including its president, Audrey Stone, were attending a woman’s march in Washington, DC, that was sponsored by several pro-abortion groups. Seeing her union dues being used in such a manner, Carter posted comments on social media indicating her pro-life position and as well criticizing Stone and …

Sports Illustrated claims prayer at sporting events erodes democracy

In a recent article (June 13, 2022), Sports Illustrated (SI) suggested that allowing players and coaches to pray prior to a game would lead to the erosion of democracy, Breitbart reports. The magazine was discussing a court case before the Supreme Court involving Joe Kennedy who was fired as an assistant coach by Bremerton High, because he prayed with his players on the football field. Breitbart explains: “This Sports Illustrated article is little else but a long smear against Christians, conservatives, and white people in general, and coach Kennedy in particular, and on a vicious personal level, at that,” Breitbart News noted. Conservatives and religious freedom activists took to social media to lambaste Sports Illustrated for such a disgraceful display of left-wing bias. It’s expected that the Supreme Court will soon make a ruling on the case involving religious freedom. READ: Sports Illustrated Blasted for Saying Prayer in Sports is ‘Eroding Democracy’ Breitbart also supplied a few tweet responses to SI’s article written by Greg Bishop: A couple of my favorites:

Poll: The vast majority believe governments should not force Americans to violate their religious beliefs

A recent poll by Summit.org, found that the vast majority of Americans believe in religious freedom, despite the messages we are receiving from the mainstream media and some politicians, that Christians must bow to secular authority and opinions. The poll, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, asked 1,000 Americans, who were likely voters, if they agreed with the statement that government has the right to force religious people to participate in practices that would violate their religious beliefs. Seventy-five percent said that the government does not have the right to force a person to violate their religious beliefs, and only 16% believed that government should be able to do this. Of course, once politics were thrown into the mix, the number varied, with 80% of Republicans and 78% of Independents stating the government does not have the right to violate a person’s religious beliefs. While still in a clear majority, only 64% of Democrats held the same position. And in a second question, people were asked if they agreed with a statement by America’s founders “that …

Our other COVID fear: Do we still have rights?

You have probably heard the news about people in Australia who are demonstrating in the streets. Their concern is something about COVID restrictions, and the way their government treats them. I am not Australian, and I’m not a medical specialist, but there seems to be a growing fear around the world. People are concerned about the loss of their rights, with restrictions for safety, in a health emergency. A few days ago, I was driving in a town close to where I live, and I saw some people holding signs. I saw only three people holding signs, near the courthouse. They were friendly, and they waved at the cars driving by. Probably they were demonstrating about civil rights and COVID restrictions. We all hope that COVID will dry up and go away soon. Eventually it will. Where I live, due to health-care restrictions, there is a debate about our rights. That includes the three friendly demonstrators that I saw, and the crowds can be much larger, and less friendly. We also get advertising from the …

A Bellwether survey: Americans acknowledge the importance of Freedom of Religion

The term bellwether refers to the bells that are often attached to the lead sheep of a flock (a wether) which helps shepherds to track their movement even though they are unable to see them. In the same way, the term bellwether is an indicator of ‘future trends’ and many believe the loss of religious freedoms is warning of growing political oppression in a country. According to a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and Summit Ministries, most Americans agree, as 82% believe freedom of religion is very important (67%) or somewhat important (15%) for maintaining “a healthy American society.” Only 9% of those surveyed had a negative view of freedom of religion, stating it is “not at all important” or “not very important” for a healthy American society. What was equally curious, there was not a huge difference in opinion between Democrats and Republicans, with 79% of Democrats stating that freedom of religion is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat important’. Though this reflects the broad-based opinions of Americans, it also tells us that the attacks on …

Freedom of speech means freedom to preach the Gospel, even on a campus

In an 8-1 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a former student of Georgia Gwinnett College, Chike Uzuegbunam, after the institute prevented Chike from sharing his faith on campus. The court ruled that it was in complete “violation” of Chike’s constitutional rights. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was the only Justice who dissented in the final ruling. In a controversial move the 12,000 student school had set up two small areas on campus where people were allowed to exercise their constitutional right to free speech. But in the end, even these were not free speech zones if a woke student was offended by what was said. According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), who represented Chike in the lawsuit, the space where the college allowed free speech only represented 0.0015% of the school’s total property. In 2016, Chike was sharing his faith and distributing leaflets on campus, when he was initially stopped by college security. After being told these type of activities were only allowed in the two free speech zones, Chike then …

Enforcing religious freedom in Moscow, Russia, err Idaho

A court has just ruled in favour of Gabriel Rench who was arrested on Sept 23, 2020, when nearly 200 believers gathered to worship and praise God during an outdoor service in the parking lot of the city hall in Moscow, Idaho. The event, called Psalm Sing, was sponsored by Christ Church and according to Gabriel Rench, who serves as a church deacon, they had been holding services for several months with no problem. The church believed its right to worship is guaranteed under the US Constitution. But the Sept. 23 service would prove to be different. Police were in attendance and arrested three people including Gabriel Rench as the group was singing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” Though they were not wearing masks, neither were most of the people attending the service. The police had arrested the three for violating the mayor’s emergency health order. But according to Michael Jacques, a lawyer with the Thomas Moore Society who represented Rench, under this legislation, the city exempted “[a]ny and all expressive and associative …

What is behind the opposition to Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination?

As Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation for the Supreme Court enters its second day, those in the media and some politicians are focussing on her religious beliefs as the basis for their attacks. Amy and her husband Jesse are Charismatic Catholics and attend a group called People of Praise. However, this opposition may ultimately backfire as a recent poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy on behalf of First Liberty Institute revealed that 62% of Americans do not believe that Supreme Court justices should be asked about their faith during the confirmation process. The poll of 1,000 Americans in early October asked if nominees should or should not be asked questions related to their faith. In fact, only 30% of those surveyed said they should be asked about their faith with 8% stating they didn’t know. It is interesting because it is becoming increasingly apparent that those on the political left are convinced that a person’s faith should somehow disqualify a person from holding such positions. Those opposing her nomination are equally concerned about her view …

The fight for religious freedoms in England and California

We live in interesting times. In 2016, the University of Sheffield in England kicked Felix Ngole out of its program because of a 2015 Facebook discussion. Ngole, a Christian, was attending post-graduate courses at the university with the intent of becoming a social worker. The Facebook thread involved a discussion of same-sex marriage and Ngole shared some Bible verses revealing his support of traditional marriage. A few months later an anonymous person made a complaint to the University of Sheffield who responded by kicking Ngole out of its program stating that he could not share his personal Christian opinions while attending the university. In fact, the university told Ngole he wouldn’t even be allowed to share his views off campus and that included in churches. But Ngole decided to fight this decision. Represented by Paul Diamond, an attorney who specializes in defending religious liberties, Ngole took the university to court. Though Ngole lost his initial court case, this past June, a three judge Court of Appeals ruled in Ngole’s favor stating: “The mere expression of …

The new Babylon?

In 597 BC, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and part of his strategy involved removing defeated peoples from their homeland and transporting them to other regions of the empire. It was thought if they were living in another area of the world there would be less incentive to rebel and try to reclaim their country. And for the most part that was probably true. Part of this process also involved bringing the best and brightest of the conquered nations into Babylon where they were trained in the ways of Babylon. These young leaders were undoubtedly expected to influence Jews now in captivity. Initially, these men including Daniel were allowed to practice their faith and eat the foods approved under the Mosaic law. However, things took a dramatic change when Nebuchadnezzar constructed a giant statue and required everyone to bow down and worship it, under the threat of a fiery death if they didn’t obey. When three of Daniel’s friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) refused to compromise their faith in Jehovah by bowing to another …

Franklin Graham speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska as part of his 2016 Decision America tour Credit: Matt A.J./Wikipedia

Facebook apologizes for censoring Franklin Graham’s post

Facebook recently apologized for closing down Evangelist Franklin Graham’s Facebook page for 24 hours. According to a Foxnews report, a moderator (one of 15,000) working for the giant social media company pulled Graham’s page based on a post the evangelist wrote in 2016 defending North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB20 law. The state introduced the law after the city of Charlotte introduced a regulation allowing people to use public washrooms based on the sex that they identified with. This meant, that a person born a biological male, but who now identified as female, would be allowed to use a female washroom and shower. HB2 was intended to modify the Charlotte regulation. After this legislation was introduced, there was an immediate backlash from activists. In an April 9, 2016, post Graham responded to Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in the state because of HB2: Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms …

US Capitol Building, Washington, DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

A time to pray, a time to vote: A message from an “almost” American

It is election day in the USA and I would urge all the American Christians who visit this website to get out and vote. Even though I am a Canadian and can’t vote in the US, I consider these elections important. Now to be fair, I am almost an American. When my maternal grandfather died over three decades ago at the age of 100, my parents made an unusual discovery as they were completing the necessary paper work. They found out that grandpa Walter was not a Canadian citizen. He immigrated to Canada from the US in the early 1900s and never bothered to complete the paperwork of citizenship. He was effectively still an American. And because he was an American, who had been born in the US, my Canadian mother could automatically become an American citizen, which she did becoming a dual citizen. Though she was an American, because she was not born in the US, her children did not have the same privilege. If we wanted to become Americans we would have to …

Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘USA Today,’ the Apostle John and the Canadian government provide ominous warnings of the future

In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John recorded a vision of the future that God gave him. It wasn’t just any future, it is what lay ahead for believers and the world in the end times leading to second coming of Christ. One of the verses that has caught the attentions of many people who study end times events are John’s references to the mark of the beast that would prevent people from buying and selling: 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17 NASV) Remember this is a vision that John had of society in the future and he was just recording what he saw. He saw people with a mark …