Canadian Lutheran schools & LGBTQ laws

The government of Alberta has decreed that all schools must conform to its LGBTQ-affirming guidelines, apparently including private (and thus Christian) schools.  After the jump, a statement from the president of the Alberta district of the Lutheran Church of Canada. [Read more...]

Religious hospitals may refuse to perform procedures against their beliefs

In what may be an important precedent, a California court ruled against a woman who sued a Catholic hospital for not performing a sterilization procedure that she requested, arguing that since the hospital took federal funds it could not discriminate against her.  (This is also the argument being used to force religious hospitals to commit abortion.)

The judge ruled that there was no discrimination, since the hospital wouldn’t sterilize men either, which would also violate Catholic teaching; and, more importantly, that the government should not interfere with religious hospitals acting on their religious beliefs. [Read more...]

How Clemson’s coach defied the anti-religion forces

What a game, the national college football championship!  In an exciting back-and-forth game, Alabama beat Clemson to take the national title.  I was rooting for Clemson, even though–or perhaps because–they beat my alma mater, Oklahoma, in the playoffs.

In honor of the game, I would like to post an account by David French of how Dabo Swinney, the Clemson coach, stood up to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, when that group threatened legal action to stop the team’s custom of providing rides to church services if players wanted one.  And, unlike the usual practice in higher education, Clemson University supported him!

[Read more...]

Justice Scalia says government can favor religion

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a Catholic high school that the Constitution allows for favoring religion over “nonreligion” and that the government need not be completely secular. [Read more...]

Government approved churches?

Conservative churches are troubled with the gay marriage decision and feel threatened lest the government punish them for teaching that homosexuality is sinful.  But liberal churches are celebrating the ruling and will have no problem with discrimination statutes.  If conservative congregations lose their tax exempt status, liberal congregations wouldn’t.  Indeed, some denominations would presumably include conservative congregations that would and liberal congregations that would not.

So you have GOT to read Anthony Sacramone’s post Do You Worship in a State-Approved Church?  Read especially “the talk” that he says conservative pastors must give to their congregations.   I’ll excerpt the first part after the jump, but you really need to read the whole thing.

[Read more...]

Luther, Madison, and the Two Kingdoms

Rev. Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, discusses a letter President James Madison sent to a Lutheran pastor in 1821 upon reading one of his sermons:

It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

 President Harrison then goes on to give a very clear and perceptive explanation of the Doctrine of the  Two Kingdoms, which Madison was picking up on, which gives an alternative both to the view that the church should try to rule the world and the view that Christians should withdraw from that world. [Read more...]


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