What Belongs to Caesar?

Last week at North, and this week at Spring Creek, I’m preaching on religious liberty, using an updated version of a sermon I preached two years ago at Houston International: “Show Me the Money!” Seventh-day Adventists have always been strong advocates of religious liberty for all, and strict separation of church and state (see Liberty…

Varieties of Intolerance

Cardinal Pell at Oxford, March 6: “Varieties of Intolerance: Religious and Secular.” He begins by speaking of the hatred unleashed against Christians by Proposition 8 opponents since November: Little about this prolonged campaign of payback and bullying has been reported internationally, and I suspect that for some, or even many of you here tonight this…

“Will Gay Rights Trample Religious Freedom?”

Yes, says Marc D. Stern of the American Jewish Congress in the Los Angeles Times. See also Christian Science Monitor. See also GetReligion. Even more at Volokh Conspiracy, including these facts (culled from an NPR report): *Adoption services: Catholic Charities of Boston refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. The…

In Defense of Marriage

At the Spectrum blog, Jared Wright argues in behalf of homosexual marriage. 1. Adventists affirm separation of church and state. Advocating a ban on same-sex marriage on moral grounds is tantamount to coercive mandating of a religious viewpoint. We cannot spread morality by force through law! We should oppose all efforts to do so. First,…

Gay Marriage a Threat to Religious Liberty

From The Liberty Blog: The Court’s decision now elevates homosexuality to the same legal status as race, a protected class. This Court has refused to grant religious freedom the same status as a fundamental right, instead expressing doubt about the free exercise of religion and ruling against religious freedom consistently in a series of decisions…

Religious Liberty Victory in Tomah, Wisconsin

The Tomah, WI, school district has been reminded that the First Amendment applies to students. As I blogged March 31, an art student was penalized for referencing John 3:16 in an art project–he was given a zero and two detentions. He was also penalized for using religious expressions in a jewelry making class. Other students…

Mitt Romney on Religious Liberty

Mitt Romney has given another church/state address. Jeffrey Weiss at DMN thinks it “more sophisticated” than his last one. I’d say it looks like he has indeed done further reflection and learned and grown as a result. As you know, I gave a speech about religious liberty during the height of my campaign. This was…

Dawah in the Reveille

Rod Dreher is upset that the Daily Reveille, the student paper at Louisiana State University, has a Muslim columnist. He dubs this, Dhimmitude on the Bayou. (He clarifies in responding to a comment by me that he’s not against having a Muslim columnist, but he thinks she crossed a line and was proselytizing). I think…

Pope at the UN

Text of his address (he began in French–the English translation of this part is about halfway down the page). Discernment, then, shows that entrusting exclusively to individual States, with their laws and institutions, the final responsibility to meet the aspirations of persons, communities and entire peoples, can sometimes have consequences that exclude the possibility of…

Religious Liberty in the Schools

A Wisconsin student was penalized for referencing John 3:16 in an art project–he was given a zero and two detentions. He was also penalized for using religious expressions in a jewelry making class. Other students who drew demonic representations were not punished. A faculty member with Buddhist and Hindu symbols in his classrooms was not…

California Court Reconsiders Homeschooling

The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles has announced it will reconsider its decision that would have made it illegal for anyone without a teaching credential to homeschool their children. It has asked for amicus briefs from a variety of educational organizations. San Francisco Chronicle. California Catholic Daily.

Show Me the Money

[As preached in March 2008] It’s that time again—we’re in the middle of another Presidential campaign. Religious issues have been in the forefront this year even more than usual. Mike Huckabee is a former Southern Baptist pastor; Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop. Catholic candidates have faced increasing pressure from their bishops that they uphold…

Religion in Turkey

Article about the struggles faced by religious groups in Turkey. Synopsis: Turkey has passed the long-promised new Foundations Law. However, it does not allow Muslim or non-Muslim religious communities to legally exist as themselves, Otmar Oehring of the German Catholic charity Missio notes in a commentary for Forum 18 News Service http://www.forum18.org. Bizarrely, religious communities…

Americans United against Religious Liberty

Americans United was founded to promote religious liberty. It’s come a long way. In a brief filed with a Washington court, it has sided with those who would deny religious liberty. They argue that it is proper for Washington to require pharmacists to dispense abortifacients and birth control pills even if they have religious objections–they…

Loyalty Oaths in Education

Did you know California teachers are required to sign a loyalty oath to the state and the US? And a Quaker math teacher was fired for adding a “nonviolent” clause in her own handwriting to it? Modifying the oath “is very clearly not permissible,” the university’s attorney, Eunice Chan, said, citing various laws. “It’s an…

Conviction or Compromise

The Sikhs are to be commended for standing firm and refusing to compromise the principles of their faith to satisfy the Secret Service to meet with the pope.  As I’ve mentioned before, the Catholic Church isn’t complaining about the SS’s  infringement of the Sikh’s religious freedom. Some people seem to be puzzled why the Sikhs…

Religious Liberty in the Workplace

The ACLU, purportedly a “civil liberties” organization, has found a civil liberty it isn’t in favor of–religious liberty. It is opposing the Workplace Religious Freedom Act on the grounds that if you let some people have religious freedom, other people might be affected. The ACLU wants to restrict your freedom to what you wear and…

Gay Marriage vs. Religious Liberty

Maggie Gallagher, Banned in Boston: The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty. To operate in Massachusetts, an adoption agency must be licensed by the state. And to get a license, an agency must pledge to obey state laws barring discrimination–including the decade-old ban on orientation discrimination. With the legalization of gay marriage in…