Straightforward Answers about Indiana’s RFRA Law

Last week, the Indiana legislature passed and Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, joining a long list of states that have passed a version of the federal RFRA law passed with near-unanimous support from Congress in 1993 and signed by President Clinton. The purpose of the law is straightforward: RFRA requires that laws that inhibit a citizen’s constitutional right to religious free exercise 1) further a compelling government interest; and 2) do so in the least-restrictive means possible. Despite simply offering… Read more

Wearing William Penn’s Hat

Tonight, the Manhattan Declaration visits Philadelphia. I’ll be speaking on religious liberty at the National Constitution Center, along with an outstanding list of friends. As I finalized my remarks here on the Amtrak, I was reminded of a story I first read in Michael W. McConnell’s Harvard Law Review article The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion. The story is of William Penn and his hat. In 1670, in England, the namesake of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania was… Read more

“Haven’t You Read?” Answering a modern-day Pharisee

A new book by Matthew Vines claims that Christians ought to affirm same-sex love. The arguments are not new, and have been thoroughly refuted. Still, the youthfulness of the author and his profession of Christian faith are a twist, and at a time when the Church is wrestling with the prevalence of same-sex marriage it is necessary to refute them again and again. The book illustrates two lies: one general, the other more personal. The general lie is that there… Read more

Jars of CLAY in a World in Need

In a secret vote held yesterday, the pro-life student group at Yale University was denied membership in the Social Justice Network of Dwight Hall (an organizing entity providing resources for dozens of service and activism groups on campus). From First Things: Last night Yale’s campus pro-life group—after a year in which they participated in meetings and even helped raise money for the organization—became the first group in living memory to be denied membership in the Social Justice Network of Dwight… Read more

Who’s Your Daddy?

Children deserve both a mom and a dad. Even they know that.   Read more

Biblical Case for Freedom of Conscience

Attempts to preserve the fundamental rights of religious freedom and conscience have been met with scorn by many for different reasons. Some simply don’t understand the issue. Others refuse to accept the rights of religious people whose values leave no room for their sexual practices.  There are some Christians who, tired of “culture-warring,” seem eager to bend the knee to ideas and behaviors that conflict with biblical values. What is religious freedom? How does it relate to conscience? Is it… Read more

A Friend of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood

This week the Manhattan Declaration was honored to sign on to an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief submitted to the Supreme Court for consideration in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods cases. These cases, to be argued in March, will determine whether the rights of religious freedom and conscience extend to Christian business owners. It is even possible the Court will use the case to go further, clearing the rubble of decades of muddled free exercise jurisprudence to… Read more

Our Miscarriage is Why I’ll March

On January 22, I will join hundreds of thousands of others at the March for Life in Washington, DC. Experiencing the miscarriage of my first child has influenced the reason why. For as long as I can remember I have been pro-life. My mom recalls the time when I was very young that I overheard the word “abortion” on TV. When she attempted to explain the practice my face turned to horror. “Why would anyone do that?” I asked. I remember seeing… Read more

Score 53-7; Winner still TBD

Kathryn Jean Lopez has a post over at NRO on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s recent decision to grant a temporary injunction in a lawsuit over the administration’s abortion and contraception pill mandate. Lopez emphasizes an amazing statistic from our friends over at Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom – which is representing clients suing the Obama administration, including Conestoga Wood Specialties, run by a Pennsylvania Mennonite family, whose case will be reviewed along with Hobby Lobby’s religious-liberty claim during the… Read more

I am second. Jesus is first.

Like many of you, I traveled home last weekend to be with family. As I drove, I was surprised to see Phil Robertson’s face on billboards around town. If you didn’t already know Phil as the family patriarch on Duck Dynasty you know him now as the man who was fired from the show last week for criticizing homosexual sex in a magazine interview. In the midst of the controversy, there was Phil’s bearded face on a billboard in black-and-white next to… Read more