The parents of internationally known Ontario high school student Josh Alexander have been suspended from their teaching posts in another board and placed under investigation over what appears to be their son’s outspoken views against his Catholic school board’s cave to the LGBTQ agenda.
“From the beginning, I understood the consequences my actions may have and I was willing to take that stand and face the consequences,” Alexander told The Epoch Times, according to a report Thursday.
A letter Friday from Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned the Biden administration’s decision to end the contract for provision of pastoral care by a community of Franciscan clergy to service members and veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“I write today with grave concerns regarding the provision of Religious Services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, specifically Catholic pastoral care, and request you immediately provide access for Catholic priests who seek to offer pastoral care to service members and Veterans who are in the hospital,” Smith wrote, noting the cease-and-desist letter issued by the medical center to the Franciscans at Holy Name College.
Minneapolis has become the first major city in the United States to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over speakers five times per day, year-round, including in the early mornings and late evenings. The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously Thursday – during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – to approve an amendment to the city’s noise ordinance that would allow the “adhan” – “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” call to prayer to be sounded every day, year-round, five times daily.
A leading national Catholic advocacy organization says it is prepared to file a lawsuit against the FBI for failing to comply with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that seeks communications information related to a leaked document that revealed the bureau was targeting so-called “radical traditional Catholics.”
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) on behalf of a woman whose application to adopt siblings from foster care was denied because her Christian faith beliefs do not allow her to agree to support the “sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression” of children placed in her home. “Oregon’s policy amounts to an ideological litmus test: people who hold secular or ‘progressive’ views on sexual orientation and gender identity are eligible to participate in child welfare programs, while people of faith with religiously informed views are disqualified because they don’t agree with the state’s orthodoxy,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who runs the ADF Center for Conscience Initiatives.
Bills in the states of Vermont, Delaware, and Washington would include in mandatory reporting laws information about child sexual abuse a priest learns during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a move the Catholic League states lacks sound reasoning.
Last week Catholic League President Bill Donohue warned the “seal of confession” is “under fire” in Vermont, noting the Catholic civil rights organization is once again “doing battle with lawmakers who want to violate” the priest-penitent privilege, mostly in legislation concerning the sexual abuse of minors.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. wants to exclude shareholder resolutions from two conservative watchdog groups that relate to the bank’s closing of the account of a religious-freedom nonprofit founded by former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
Brownback, a former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom during the Trump administration, is also a Republican former member of the House and Senate from Kansas. He founded the National Committee for Religious Freedom.
Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure says in her new top-level role at the Great American Family Channel, she will place faith and “traditional marriage” at the core of its Christmas movies.
In April, Bure became chief creative officer at Great American Family, a channel that is aiming to become the faith and freedom alternative to Hallmark, where the actress once served as the chief representative of the romantic comedy Christmas channel.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) moved for a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law and block any states refusing to recognize such marriages.
The bill also would provide federal protection for interracial marriage.
Leaders of faith-based institutions warned The Daily Signal on Tuesday that the Democrat-led Respect for Marriage Act, which is expected to be voted on by the Senate Wednesday, would hack away at the religious freedom of faith-based groups.
HR 8404 “provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages,” repealing provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Two months ago, explosions and gunfire tore through a Sikh house of worship in Kabul, Afghanistan. Seven attackers, reportedly part of ISIS-K, the Afghanistan affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, tried to storm the temple on a Saturday morning, throwing grenades at security guards standing at the entrance. One gunman began firing on those worshipping inside; another attacker detonated a vehicle parked outside the temple.
The Biden administration will once again sow its seeds of division by proposing a rule to “protect” those claiming “gender identity” discrimination in federal healthcare programs, a move that is expected to generate religious freedom disputes.
The Biden Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday its proposed rule will implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to affirm that “protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity” are “consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County,” and to reiterate “protections from discrimination for seeking reproductive health care services.”
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar cosigned a letter recently sent to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (D) and President Joe Biden (D), which speaks against the Biden administration’s granting of funds to international organizations committed to the practice and spread of atheism and humanism.
“Of course, we all know that America was founded largely by Christians who wanted to escape oppressive dictators and the State Church of England,” Gosar said in his weekly update letter. “Beginning in the 1960’s, leftist activists posing as judges started to dismantle our Christian heritage and iconography. Crosses were ordered removed from parks. A prayer before school was limited then banned. The left did their best to remove our Christian culture from public life. I am working to reverse that cultural cleansing with others in Congress and to restore our Christian heritage.”
On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram. Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.
Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack. The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”
Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786. This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
A federal judge ordered the University of Iowa (UI) to pay $1.9 million in fees and damages after two student groups won a series of religious discrimination lawsuits against the university.
The Becket Fund, which represents Business Leaders in Christ, will receive $1.37 million while Intervarsity Christian Fellowship will get $533,000, Crux reports.
Eric Baxter, a senior VP and counsel at The Becket Fund, told Campus Reform targeting students of faith “comes at a price.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a Maine lawsuit that challenges a state law prohibiting the use of tuition funds for religious education.
A lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice and First Liberty Institute on behalf of several Maine families seeks to overturn a state law that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for students to attend religious-based schools.
A Christian florist in Washington settled a legal case Thursday centering around her refusal to provide custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.
“I have put to rest the last legal considerations for a decision my husband, Darold, and I made nearly a decade ago,” Barronelle Stutzman said in a release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The public-interest law firm that represented Stutzman stated that the legal battle that started in 2012 will end with a $5,000 payment to Robert Ingersoll, the customer she turned down.
Joe Biden is systematically eliminating the religious freedom protections that Donald Trump established. The latest example of Biden’s secularist program comes from his Labor Department, which is planning to undo Trump’s policy of defending the religious freedom of federal contractors.
Trump’s Labor Department protected federal contractors who “hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose.”
“Religious organizations should not have to fear that acceptance of a federal contract or subcontract will require them to abandon their religious character or identity,” said Trump’s Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.
Facebook has been courting partnerships with religious groups in hopes of becoming their virtual home, the New York Times reported in late July. Experts and religious leaders told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the social media platform’s interest in shaping the future of religious experience should be closely monitored to protect religious freedom.
Though it is unlikely that a virtual religious experience will replace in-person religious services, the Times acknowledged, Facebook’s partnerships with religious groups expose Facebook’s plans to shape the future of the religious experience — as it has done with both political and social life.
“I just want people to know that Facebook is a place where, when they do feel discouraged or depressed or isolated, that they could go to Facebook and they could immediately connect with a group of people that care about them,” Nona Jones, a nondenominational minister and Facebook’s director for global faith partnerships, told the Times.
The United States Supreme Court has unanimously sided with a Catholic adoption agency in a religious freedom case regarding same sex unions.
The court ruled 9-0 that the city of Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) unless CSS agreed to ‘certify same-sex couples as foster parents” violates CSS’s free exercise of the First Amendment.
Paula White, President Trump’s spiritual advisor, took aim at President Joe Biden’s policies since taking office.
In an interview with Dr. Gina Loudon on the Real America’s Voice news network on Wednesday, Pastor White criticized the Biden Administration for enacting policies that are “totally out of alignment” with the Christian faith. Specifically, White pointed to Biden’s attempts to undo much of the progress made by the Trump administration in efforts to protect religious freedom and the right to life.
A Christian nonprofit legal group has sent a letter to the University of Alabama-Birmingham after the public university blocked a student from registering for classes because she would not take vaccines.
The letter from First Liberty Institute asks university officials to follow the religious exemption it granted Jackie Gale for her first year at school. The university does not currently mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Due to Ms. Gale’s religious beliefs, she cannot receive the childhood immunizations UAB requires under its immunization policy,” Christine Pratt, counsel for First Liberty, wrote in a May 13 demand letter.
The United States recognizes religious freedom as an unalienable right and is committed to its advancement and protection for all.
As the world’s leading defender of the right to worship freely, the United States strongly condemns and holds accountable those nations and non-state actors who reject and violate this fundamental freedom.
In support of this mission, on May 12, 2021, the United States Department of State released the 23rd annual Report on International Religious Freedom as required by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). This report describes the status of religious freedom in every country, government policies violating religious beliefs and practices, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. Each year, the report is presented to the U.S. Congress.
The right to worship freely is often called America’s first freedom. Our founding fathers understood religious freedom not as the state’s creation but as an unalienable right from God.
This universal right is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”
Today, however, religious freedom is threatened or restricted entirely for millions of people around the world. Over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with high or severe restrictions on religious freedom. In far too many places across the globe, governments and others prevent individuals from living in accordance with their beliefs.
A group of Christian college students is suing the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that Title IX’s religious exemption allows federally-funded religious colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students.
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project filed the lawsuit in an Oregon federal court on March 29. The suit aims to prohibit any students from using federal tuition grants, student loans, and any other federal financial aid at post-secondary schools that uphold biblical beliefs on gender and sexuality.
“REAP’s lawsuit asserts the constitutional and basic human rights of LGBTQ+ students, seeking to end the sexual, physical and psychological abuses perpetrated under the religious exemption to Title IX at thousands of federally-funded schools, colleges and universities across America,” according to the organization’s website.