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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Gospel parenting prime topic for ERLC in 2017

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

    Photo by Kelly Hunter
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Applying the Gospel of Jesus to parenting received significant attention from the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission during 2017.

    The ERLC dedicated its annual national conference to Christ-centered parenting and developed curriculum on the same subject during the year. The other issues that marked the entity's work included religious liberty, racial reconciliation and the sanctity of human life. Read More

  • Racism addressed in 10 state convention resolutions

    by Tammi Reed Ledbetter/Southern Baptist TEXAN, posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 (2 months ago)

    Baptist and Reflector photo
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- A desire for racial reconciliation is on the minds of Southern Baptists across the U.S. as 10 state convention adopted resolutions decrying racism of any form. Other states have addressed the concern in previous years, though tensions in recent years likely motivated a return to the subject this fall.

    With the exception of New England Baptists, state conventions where messengers passed resolutions on racism were in the South and Southwest, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. Read More

  • Wedding cake arguments build religious liberty case

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, December 06, 2017 (3 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious liberty advocates left the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday (Dec. 5) with some hope that the justices would rule in favor of a Colorado cake artist who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding celebration.

    The high court heard oral arguments in a major free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion case at the center of the contentious debate between religious liberty and sexual liberty. Multiple cases involving wedding vendors who oppose using their talents in support of gay marriage are being contested in the courts, but it was an appeal by Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop that gained the justices' consideration first. Read More

  • High court weighs cake artist's liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, December 05, 2017 (3 months ago)

    iStock image
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court grilled four lawyers today (Dec. 5) in its effort to determine if a state can require a cake artist to design a cake for a same-sex wedding in spite of his free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion rights.

    The justices heard oral arguments in an appeal by Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in a major case at the center of the growing legal and cultural skirmish between religious liberty and sexual liberty.

    The court is expected to issue an opinion next year before its term ends in late June or early July.

    Phillips, who is a Christian, declined to design and decorate a cake for the wedding of two men because of his belief marriage is between only a male and a female. But he told them he would make and sell them all other baked items. Read More

  • Former fire chief Cochran's rights aired in court

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, November 22, 2017 (3 months ago)

    Photo by Adam Covington
    ATLANTA (BP) -- A federal court is weighing not only former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran's right to express his beliefs but the right of others as well, religious liberty advocates say.

    Federal Judge Leigh Martin May heard arguments Nov. 17 in Atlanta regarding the city's 2015 firing of Cochran. The city terminated Cochran, now a staff member of a Southern Baptist church, after he wrote a men's devotional book that advocated in a brief section the biblical view of marriage and sexuality, including that homosexual behavior is immoral. Read More

  • Calif. OKs third gender, protects religious liberty

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, October 18, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- Pro-family advocates are lamenting California Gov. Jerry Brown's approval Oct. 15 of a bill expanding rights for individuals identifying as transgender but celebrating his veto the same day of a measure that threatened religious liberty.

    Brown, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 179, which adds a third gender option on official state identification documents for those who reject the designation of male or female and opt instead to be considered "nonbinary." Among his vetoes, meanwhile, was Assembly Bill 569, which would have made it illegal for religious organizations to prohibit their employees from having abortions or engaging in sex outside marriage. Read More

  • Ten Commandments monument case declined by SCOTUS

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 17, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Facebook photo
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined an opportunity to revisit whether the display of religion-related monuments on government property is against the law.

    The court declined without explanation Monday (Oct. 16) to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling against a Ten Commandments monument outside the Bloomfield, N.M., City Hall. In lower courts, two Wiccans represented by the American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the five-foot monument, complaining that it constitutes the government's establishment of religion. Read More

  • Air Force punishes colonel over marriage views

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD News Service, posted Monday, October 16, 2017 (5 months ago)

    First Liberty photo
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) -- U.S. Air Force officials have suspended a decorated officer and revoked his recommendation for promotion to brigadier general because he would not sign an unofficial document affirming a retiring subordinate's same-sex marriage.

    Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon, Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., signed all the requisite documents for a senior noncommissioned service member's May retirement ceremony except for one: a letter of "spousal appreciation" for the gay serviceman's partner. Read More

  • Individual rights & sexuality aired at NOBTS forum

    by Gary D. Myers, posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Photo by Gary D. Myers
    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Advocates from several perspectives on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights discussed the emotionally and politically charged issues, which often pit the church against the prevailing culture, during a forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    The "Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet" event was sponsored by the seminary's Institute for Faith and the Public Square. Read More

  • Federal memo on religious freedom draws praise

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, October 09, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist and other religious freedom defenders have hailed the Trump administration's new guidelines to safeguard in federal law the free exercise of religion.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum Oct. 6 to executive branch departments and agencies that provides guidance on religious liberty protections. In introducing 20 principles of religious freedom, Sessions said, "[T]o the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, ... Read More