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...]

How barring all Muslims is like gun control

Donald Trump has called for banning all Muslims from entering the United States, not only as immigrants but as tourists.  He defends this religious discrimination by invoking  Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment  of Japanese-Americans!

Francis Schaeffer predicted that there would come a time when Americans would be so fixated on their personal peace and affluence that they would trade away their civil liberties to someone who promised them greater security.  Today one faction of the public is so afraid of terrorism that it wants to eliminate Second Amendment rights.  Another faction is so afraid of terrorism that it wants to suspend religious freedom. *  Aren’t both of these extreme reactions fulfillments of Schaeffer’s prediction? [Read more...]

Christian teaching on marriage as discrimination?

The Catholic church of Australia published a booklet about marriage, explaining why the institution is for men and women, not same-sex couples, and setting forth basic Christian teachings on the matter.  Now it faces a discrimination complaint filed by a transgendered gay activist (a man in a relationship with a woman, but then he had sex change surgery so now he is also a lesbian).

Anyone can file a complaint, of course. and surely this will be thrown out.  Australia doesn’t even have same-sex marriage. But we see here the impulse on the part of some activists not only to gain a right but to suppress those who disagree. [Read more...]

Kim Davis meets the Pope

Pope Francis met when he was here with Kim Davis, the county clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  It’s strange to think of an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, which Kim Davis is, holding much store with the Pope of Rome.  But that the Pope met with her puts flesh and blood to his rather vague statements on religious liberty.

He also made a point of meeting with the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have been fighting in court for the right not to comply with Obamacare contraception requirements.

The media emphasized the Pope’s liberal pronouncements, but not so much his conservative ones.  But his actions show that he supports religious accommodations for those whose conscience cannot accept culture war laws. [Read more...]

Kim Davis solution?

Kim Davis has returned to work as a county clerk after serving time in jail for refusing to obey a court order to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Here is how they worked things out:  She will not issue the marriage licenses, but her deputies will.  She will not sign them and her name will not appear on the documents.  Rather, they will contain the notation that they were issued under the order of U.S. District Judge David Bunning.

Is this a good solution, or does it just set up technicalities that can assuage a conscience while ignoring the larger issue?  If it is a good solution, can it be a model for other religious liberty cases?

Meanwhile, other officials from other states are following Mrs. Davis’s example in refusing to be complicit in gay marriages.

P.S.:  You also need to read this about Kim Davis, in light of all of the mockery for her “hypocrisy” for what she did before she converted to Christianity a few years ago.

[Read more...]


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