Religious liberty vs. LGBT Discrimination

Gordon College, a respected Christian institution, is under fire for asking for a religious exemption from the president’s executive order that no one doing business with the government may discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  The Hobby Lobby decision allowing a religious exemption for Obamacare contraception coverage explicitly said that the ruling did not apply in cases of discrimination.  David Skeel, in a discussion quoted after the jump, says that the Gordon College controversy would be the next major religious liberty issue.

The administration has made it clear that the president’s executive order  does NOT exempt religious groups.  A previous policy allowing an exemption for grants still stands.  World Vision and various other ministries receive grants, rather than contracts, so they would not be affected.  The president’s order did, however, leave intact a provision allowing religious groups to have a preference for hiring those who share their religious beliefs.  Perhaps that could include  religious beliefs about homosexuality.  [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Foiling spies by going back to the typewriter

Some German officials have become so paranoid over revelations of NSA surveillance and CIA spying, that they are considering dropping computers for communications and going back to typewriters.  They are also playing classical music during meetings to thwart American bugging devices. [Read more...]

When atheists give the invocation

When the Supreme Court recently ruled that prayers from a distinct religion could be offered in public meetings, it allowed for Christian prayers in Jesus’ Name.  But the ruling also said that prayers from other religions would also be allowed, including the equivalent from atheists.   So now atheists are being invited to preside over the ceremonial openings.   They are invoking not God, of course, but things like the spirit of goodwill, “self-government, the human condition, intellectual openness and minority viewpoints.” [Read more...]

Are spies manipulating your Facebook polls?

According to new revelations from Edward Snowden, a British spy agency is manipulating online polls, inflates YouTube numbers, directs online traffic, and manipulates the web in other ways for propaganda purposes. [Read more...]

Drug money

Colorado has legalized the sale and possession of marijuana, with Washington state soon to follow suit.  But it’s still illegal under federal law.  Which means that banks are not allowing companies that sell marijuana to open accounts, lest they violate federal laws and regulations.  This means that the legalized marijuana industry is accumulating mountains of cash and storing it in warehouses.  (A special dispensation allows for bank accounts to be opened for the sole purpose of paying taxes, so the government has that covered, at least.) [Read more...]


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