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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • University ordered to readmit campus Christian group

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 24, 2018 (one month ago)

    University of Iowa photo
    DAVENPORT, Iowa (BP) -- A state university must temporarily restore registered status to a Christian student group kicked off campus for allegedly violating the school's human rights policy, a U.S. district court ruled Jan. 23.

    The University of Iowa (UI) in Iowa City must restore registered status for 90 days to Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC), which the school accused of violating the human rights of an applicant because he identified as a homosexual. The Davenport, Iowa court decision allows BLinC to participate in a campus membership recruitment event today (Jan. 24) that BLinC said is crucial to its growth. Read More

  • HHS: Religious liberty to be 'vigorously' enforced

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration's creation of an office to safeguard health care professionals' religious liberty has drawn praise from evangelicals and derision from advocates of so-called abortion and transgender rights.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas physician Steve Goss, who serves on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said new federal safeguards for religious freedom are not likely to change the practices of Christian health care providers or imperil the availability of medical services. Read More

  • University of Iowa, religious liberty in spotlight

    by Leigh Jones/WORLD News Service, posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    University of Iowa photo
    IOWA CITY, Iowa (BP) -- A Christian student group at the University of Iowa has filed suit against the school after losing its status as an official on-campus organization because it requires leaders to hold Biblical beliefs about sexuality.

    Oral argument took place earlier today (Jan. 18) in federal district court in Davenport. A decision is expected sometime next week.

    Business Leaders in Christ launched in 2015 and has about 10 members. In February, the group denied member Marcus Miller a leadership role after he revealed he was gay. Miller filed a complaint with university administrators, who decided in November the group had violated the school's nondiscrimination policy. Read More

  • Lankford, Moore amplify separation of church & state

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 (one month ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Two Southern Baptists -- one a U.S. senator and the other a convention entity head -- said on Religious Freedom Day the idea of "separation of church and state" entails freedom -- rather than limitations -- to Americans in the practice of their faith.

    Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, co-wrote "The Real Meaning of the Separation of Church and State" for the celebration Tuesday (Jan. 16) of the country's heritage of religious freedom. Time magazine published the article online. Read More

  • Are conservative voices being silenced by Twitter?

    by Grace Thornton, posted Friday, January 12, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from YouTube
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Social media platform Twitter may be trying to reshape the online narrative by editing out conservative voices, a new undercover video released by Project Veritas alleges.

    The video, released Thursday (Jan. 11), appears to show current and former Twitter engineers explaining how they "downrank" some users and make others totally invisible if they don't like what they are saying. Baptist leaders shared different views on the significance of the undercover video -- with one saying the report shouldn’t prompt concern, while another called the video "deeply troubling." Read More

  • High court permits conscience law to stand in Miss.

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, January 10, 2018 (2 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has left in effect a Mississippi law that protects the religious freedom of those who object to participating in a gay marriage or sex-reassignment surgery.

    The justices announced Jan. 8 without comment they would not review a lower court decision that permitted the law to go into effect. In June, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled those who sued did not have a legal basis -- known as "standing" -- to challenge the law. As a result, the appeals court lifted a federal judge's injunction that had prevented the law from taking effect.

    Religious freedom advocates applauded the high court's action. Read More

  • World's worst religious freedom violators evaluated

    by Tom Strode, posted Friday, January 05, 2018 (2 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration's first designation of the world's worst violators of religious freedom received the same evaluation as the last list under President Obama -- good but not good enough.

    The State Department announced Thursday (Jan. 4) the re-designation of the same "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) announced in April 2016 by the Obama administration. In a Dec. 22 action, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson kept Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the list, according to a department spokesperson. Read More

  • FEMA: Churches now eligible for recovery funds

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, January 03, 2018 (2 months ago)

    BP file photo.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Churches whose facilities have been damaged by natural disasters now are eligible to receive relief funds from the federal government, according to a Jan. 2 announcement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    "Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment within the community centers subcategory of [public assistance] nonprofit applicants," FEMA Recovery Directorate Assistant Administrator Alex Amparo wrote in a guide outlining the change in policy. The guide defines, among other matters, ... Read More

  • Christian bakers lose in Oregon appeals court

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, January 02, 2018 (2 months ago)

    BP file photo.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Christian wedding vendors who decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies have suffered another legal setback.

    The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 that the state did not violate the First Amendment rights of Aaron and Melissa Klein in a 2015 order that included a $135,000 fine. The three-judge panel upheld a decision by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that found the Kleins' refusal to design and bake a cake for a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony was based on unlawful discrimination against homosexuals. Read More

  • Former Atl. chief gets partial federal court win

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 (2 months ago)

    Photo by Adam Covington
    ATLANTA (BP) -- Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has gained a victory in federal court, where a judge ruled the city's policies under which he was fired are unconstitutional.

    Federal Judge Leigh Martin May granted summary judgment to Cochran Wednesday (Dec. 20), finding Atlanta's pre-clearance rules governing such activities as writing a non-work-related book violate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment by restraining speech in advance and inviting "unbridled discretion" by the city to approve or deny outside work. Read More