All posts tagged: Freedom of religion

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 …