Letting churches endorse candidates?

A commission is recommending to Congress that churches and other  501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations be allowed to endorse political candidates without losing their tax-extemptions.  Here is the report.  Details after the jump.

I decry the politicization of churches.  And yet I also decry the federal government using the tax code to squelch political speech, which seems to me to deserve particular protection under the 1st Amendment.  Which also protects religious liberty, and some religions do emphasize political action, whether from the right or from the left.

What do you think about this? [Read more...]

Religious hospitals may have to accept abortionists

One pro-life strategy on the state level is to require abortion clinics to meet the standards of legitimate medical facilities and to require abortionists to have admitting privileges in area hospitals.  This exposes the medically shoddy standards of the abortion industry, forcing many abortuaries out of business.  But some of them are trying to comply.

But a federal law is on the books that would require Roman Catholic and other religiously-affiliated hospitals that take federal funds to accept doctors who perform abortions.  Ironically, the law is the Church Amendment, which prevents federal funding for the procedure, but also provides certain protections for abortionists.  After the jump, a story about how this issue–which will surely be litigated–has come to a head in Wisconsin. [Read more...]

Shifting from family values to religious freedom

McKay Coppins notes a change in the message of Republicans and social conservatives in particular.  No longer are they pushing for moral issues, apparently feeling that those battles have been lost.  Instead, they are fighting for religious freedom, for the liberty of religious people, at least, to hold to their moral convictions. [Read more...]

Split decision on contraception mandate

Two different federal appeals courts have issued opposite rulings on whether Obamacare can force company owners to violate their religious beliefs by providing contraception and Morning After Pills to their employees.  One court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit, but another has ruled against Conestoga Wood Specialities, which is owned by Mennonites.  Such conflicting rulings at this level often lead to the Supreme Court. [Read more...]

The First Amendment is going out of style

According to a recent study, more and more Americans–on some issues a majority of them–no longer believe in the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Especially when it comes to religious freedom.

[Read more...]

Recovering the freakishness of Christianity

Russell Moore, identified as per our previous discussion as one of those “Lutheran Baptists,” was recently appointed head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which makes pronouncements on public policy for that church body.  But Rev. Moore is going far beyond the usual rightwing talking points that have been associated with Christian conservatives.  In an interview with Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post, he gives some thoughtful comments about generic civil religion, abortion, military chaplains, and religious freedom. [Read more...]


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