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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • ADF, state conventions partner on religious liberty

    by David Roach, posted Friday, December 07, 2018 (2 months ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Partnership with the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) was a recurring theme at Baptist state convention annual meetings this fall.

    Of the 41 state and regional conventions that maintain cooperative relationships with the Southern Baptist Convention, at least a dozen have forged partnerships with ADF through its Church Alliance program. Additional state conventions are considering such partnerships, which help churches and state ministries protect themselves from infringement of their religious liberty.

    ADF partnerships were discussed at state annual meetings from New Mexico to Pennsylvania/South Jersey. Read More

  • Christmas display returns after court win

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, November 26, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Facebook photo
    HAYDEN, Idaho (BP) -- A Christian family will resurrect their elaborate neighborhood Christmas display after winning a legal battle against an Idaho homeowners group.

    Jeremy R. Morris is preparing an even larger production than the 200,000 lights, living nativity, biblical character actors, carolers, live animals and Santa Claus that he last displayed at Christmas 2016 at his family's home in Hayden, Idaho, he said Nov. 25 on Facebook.

    "This Thanksgiving weekend, I am grateful to live in a country that protects ... Read More

  • UC Berkeley leader slammed over biblical gender views

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, November 15, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    BERKELEY, Calif. (BP) -- A Christian student leader is facing backlash and censure after abstaining from a pro-transgender vote and citing a biblical standard of two genders in her defense.

    A University of California at Berkeley LGBT group is petitioning for Sen. Isabella Chow's resignation from student government; her political party, Student Action, has dropped ties to her; the university newspaper has refused to run Chow's editorial in her defense; and hundreds have protested against her, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Nov. 9. Read More

  • Professor fights pronoun mandate

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD , posted Thursday, November 15, 2018 (3 months ago)

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (BP) -- A Shawnee State University philosophy professor filed a lawsuit against the Portsmouth, Ohio, school on Nov. 5 for disciplining him because he insisted on using the courtesy title that corresponded to a student's biological sex.

    Nicholas Meriwether, a 22-year tenured faculty member, uses courtesy titles like "Mr." and "Miss" with students' last names in his classes. But his belief that God created humans immutably male or female puts that practice at odds with the Shawnee State nondiscrimination policy, which demands employees affirm a person's preferred gender.

    The case could force publicly funded schools to reassess their LGBT nondiscrimination policies, said Meriwether's attorney, Travis Barham with Alliance Defending Freedom. "Public universities have no business compelling people to express views they do not hold," Barham said. "That's the message of this case." Read More

  • Tax on churches looms, ERLC coalition urges repeal

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, November 14, 2018 (3 months ago)

    BP file photo by Art Toalston
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- A diverse coalition led by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has urged members of Congress to repeal a section of a federal law that could force churches to file tax returns for the first time in American history.

    The ERLC -- joined by 32 other organizations -- sent a letter Nov. 13 to leaders of two congressional committees and some other members of Congress asking them to rescind before 2019 a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect Jan. 1 of this year.

    Without repeal, the cost to the charitable sector would be a congressionally estimated $1.7 billion over 10 years, the religious groups and nonprofit organizations said in the letter. Read More

  • Vets memorial cross gets Supreme Court lifeline

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, November 05, 2018 (3 months ago)

    First Liberty photo
    BLADENSBURG, Md. (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme court has agreed to hear the case of a near-century old World War I veterans' memorial in Bladensburg, Md., previously ordered dismantled because it's a cross.

    Erected in 1925 with private funds from The American Legion and mothers of slain soldiers, the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial stood unchallenged for 90 years, until the American Humanist Association (AHA) sued in 2014.

    First Liberty Institute and international law firm Jones Day, representing The ... Read More

  • Gender, marriage spotlighted in final campaign ads

    by David Roach, posted Monday, November 05, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Screen capture from YouTube.
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) -- Biblical teaching on gender roles and marriage are the focus of last-minute campaign ads in two closely-contested political campaigns.

    In North Carolina's 9th congressional district, attack ads have taken aim at former Southern Baptist pastor Mark Harris' preaching on gender roles in the family. In the Colorado governor's race, ads from the conservative Family Policy Alliance suggest Democratic nominee Jared Polis could threaten the religious liberty of business owners who oppose same-sex marriage. Read More

  • Christian apologetics club wins free speech battle

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, October 19, 2018 (4 months ago)

    Ratio Christi Facebook photo
    KENNESSAW, Ga. (BP) -- A Christian apologetics group will be able to display pro-life and other messages freely at a state university, the result of a settlement reached through Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

    Ratio Christi, a registered student organization at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., gained the right in a settlement ADF announced Oct. 18. The group had twice been required to post its displays in a small "speech zone" after the university deemed the messages "controversial," ADF said in a lawsuit filed ... Read More

  • ERLC, BGEA back coach in appeal to Supreme Court

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, October 03, 2018 (4 months ago)

    Photo from First Liberty Institute
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and other organizations have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision they contend violates the First Amendment rights of public school teachers and coaches.

    The court has twice rescheduled a conference to consider whether to accept the appeal, according to First Liberty Institute, which represents a coach in the case.

    The ERLC joined the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and seven other groups in support of a Washington state high school football coach who was suspended for kneeling and praying on the field after games. In their friend-of-the-court brief, the organizations requested the high court review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against Joseph Kennedy and overturn that opinion. Read More

  • 'Flawed,' 'hot mess' precedent defeats Fla. cross

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (5 months ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- If the federal court had its way, a 34-foot cross would remain at its Pensacola, Fla., post. But "flawed precedent" that judges called a "hot mess" forced them to rule otherwise, the judges wrote in their opinion.

    Judges said their hands were tied by the 1983 ruling in the nearly identical case of ACLU v. Rabun County, when the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered a cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia.

    "Given the parallels between the two cases -- and crosses -- we think it clear that Rabun ... controls our analysis and requires that we affirm the district court's decision," the three-judge panel in the current Eleventh Circuit Court wrote in its Sept. 7 decision. Read More