What restrictions are you comfortable with putting on Religious Freedom?

Photo Credit: Countdown.org: Religious Persecution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



Why Are We Litigating Church Openings?

In Kansas a federal judge has let a couple of small Baptist churches conduct in-person worship against the express orders of Gov. Laura Kelly, asserting that by limiting church gatherings to 10 congregants, Kelly in all likelihood violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious free exercise.

At the outset, religion was not singled out under the governor’s essential functions “framework.” Then, in a March 28 order, “Perform or attend religious or faith-based services or activities” was included as an essential service.

Then, on April 7, five days before Easter, a new executive order stripped religious gatherings out of the exemption list, substituting “Gathering as a family privately.” The governor explained that the risk of holding in-person services over Easter weekend was too great, even as she insisted (correctly) that such services and funerals remained essential under state law…


Pastor sues Va. Gov. Ralph Northam after facing fine, jail for holding 16-person church service

A Virginia pastor, who was served a summons for holding a service for 16 people on Palm Sunday, and his church have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam for issuing executive orders banning religious gatherings with more than 10 people, saying it violated the Virginia Constitution.

“Governor Ralph Northam has clearly discriminated against Lighthouse Fellowship Church which provides essential physical, emotional and spiritual services to the community”

W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, Liberty Counsel noted that the Supreme Court has unequivocally stated, “[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”…


The Left’s message to Samaritan’s Purse: You cannot be Christian

It would be one thing if Samaritan’s Purse refused to treat a gay man. Or mocked a trans-identified individual. Or discriminated against a lesbian needing medical care. But none of that has ever happened. Instead, this massive, Christian humanitarian organization which serves each person alike is getting blasted by the left for one reason only. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization which employs Christian workers and which believes in the historic teachings of the Bible.

It was bad enough that Franklin Graham’s evangelistic ministry in the UK was opposed because of his pro-Bible comments regarding sexuality and marriage. But it’s far worse when Graham’s humanitarian arm, Samaritan’s Purse, which selflessly serves the sick and hurting worldwide, is opposed because their statement of faith is Christian.

As John Hirschauer noted in the National Review, “the volunteers for Samaritan’s Purse put themselves in harm’s way, acting as backstops for a municipal hospital system at risk of being overrun with coronavirus patients. The group’s Evangelical Christian volunteers expose themselves to infection and disease at no charge to patients, treating the sick without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, or any of the other identity groups under putative ‘siege’ in the United States.”


After threatening to close churches for good, NYC will give 400K meals to Muslims for Ramadan

Last month, the mayor threatened to permanently shutter churches and synagogues, just weeks ahead of Easter and Passover. “I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend — if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services”

[Now the Mayor describes another religious festivity (Ramadan)] a “profoundly important holiday,” before announcing the city will feed New York’s Muslims holy meals until late May.

In Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court established a “Lemon Test” weighing whether acts or policies by government are unconstitutional based on the First Amendment’s prohibiting the establishment of a religion.

In order to be constitutional, such a policy must have a nonreligious purpose, not end up promoting or favoring any set of religious beliefs and it must not overly entangle the government with religion, the court ruled...


Harvard Law Prof Wants to Ban Homeschooling: Why She Is Wrong

In a drawing that illustrates an article in the most recent Harvard Magazine, a sad homeschooled girl sits imprisoned in a house made of books labeled “reading,” “writing,” “arithmatic,” and “Bible.” Outside, children happily play, skip rope, and run races. The image must have seemed strange to the many homeschool families who, unlike the editors, know how to spell “arithmetic” and who, unlike many educational professionals, tend not to separate out-of-class activities from learning.

The article, on the other hand, in which Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet calls for a presumptive national ban on homeschooling, should be alarming.

The article summarized the arguments from a recent Arizona Law Review paper in which Bartholet argues that homeschooling not only violates children’s rights to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.”


LGBTQ students, students of color, internationals reportedly to get virtual graduations at Lutheran college — but others must wait until 2021 for ceremony

St. Olaf College — a Minnesota school “nourished by Lutheran tradition” — reportedly will hold virtual graduation ceremonies for “self-identified domestic students of color, international students, and LGBTQIA+ students” at the end of the school year while all other students must wait until 2021 for their pomp and circumstance…


WIN: Virginia Couple Settles With Apartment That Banned Bible Studies, Will Continue Religious Gatherings

Last Summer, Fredericksburg residents Ken and Liv Hauge revealed that they had been threatened with eviction after holding Bible studies in their private apartment…


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