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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Christian apologetics club wins free speech battle

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, October 19, 2018 (3 days ago)

    Ratio Christi Facebook photo
    KENNESSAW, Ga. (BP) -- A Christian apologetics group will be able to display pro-life and other messages freely at a state university, the result of a settlement reached through Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

    Ratio Christi, a registered student organization at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., gained the right in a settlement ADF announced Oct. 18. The group had twice been required to post its displays in a small "speech zone" after the university deemed the messages "controversial," ADF said in a lawsuit filed ... Read More

  • ERLC, BGEA back coach in appeal to Supreme Court

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, October 03, 2018 (19 days ago)

    Photo from First Liberty Institute
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and other organizations have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision they contend violates the First Amendment rights of public school teachers and coaches.

    The court has twice rescheduled a conference to consider whether to accept the appeal, according to First Liberty Institute, which represents a coach in the case.

    The ERLC joined the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and seven other groups in support of a Washington state high school football coach who was suspended for kneeling and praying on the field after games. In their friend-of-the-court brief, the organizations requested the high court review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against Joseph Kennedy and overturn that opinion. Read More

  • 'Flawed,' 'hot mess' precedent defeats Fla. cross

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (one month ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- If the federal court had its way, a 34-foot cross would remain at its Pensacola, Fla., post. But "flawed precedent" that judges called a "hot mess" forced them to rule otherwise, the judges wrote in their opinion.

    Judges said their hands were tied by the 1983 ruling in the nearly identical case of ACLU v. Rabun County, when the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered a cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia.

    "Given the parallels between the two cases -- and crosses -- we think it clear that Rabun ... controls our analysis and requires that we affirm the district court's decision," the three-judge panel in the current Eleventh Circuit Court wrote in its Sept. 7 decision. Read More

  • S.C. church plant sues town for rental ban

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, August 29, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) -- A Southern Baptist church plant in South Carolina has sued the town of Edisto Beach for prohibiting it from use of its civic center.

    Redeemer Fellowship of Edisto Island filed suit Aug. 27 in federal court in Charleston, S.C., because of a policy it says violates its free speech and religion rights guaranteed in the First Amendment. Redeemer Fellowship had twice met for corporate worship in the Edisto Beach Civic Center when the town council changed its policy to prohibit rentals for "religious worship services."

    The church -- which began meeting in January -- outgrew the home in which it met for corporate worship and began seeking to rent space. The congregation met at the civic center for worship on Easter Sunday, April 1, and May 6, but the Edisto Beach Town Council voted unanimously at its May 10 meeting to amend its facility use policy to ban such rentals. At its June meeting, the town council approved unanimously the amended facility use guidelines. Read More

  • Univ. of Iowa reinstates religious groups for now

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, August 16, 2018 (2 months ago)

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (BP) -- The University of Iowa has reinstated multiple religious student groups as registered campus organizations after one group threatened to seek a temporary restraining order amid pending litigation.

    InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship sued the university Aug. 6 because school officials revoked the fellowship's status as an official student organization over a requirement that InterVarsity Graduate leaders "share the group's faith and exemplify its Christian values," according to a complaint filed by the nonprofit Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The temporary reinstatement, secured when Becket threatened to seek a temporary restraining order, will apply until the lawsuit is resolved. Read More

  • Administration gains high marks on religious liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (2 months ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration is receiving high marks so far for its religious liberty record from many advocates for the First Amendment freedom.

    The July 30 announcement of a religious liberty task force in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Aug. 10 release of a Department of Labor policy directive to protect religious free exercise are the latest in a series of administration actions applauded by defenders of freedom of belief and practice. Yet, some advocates also say more remains to be done by this White House to safeguard religious liberty. Read More

  • Again: Colo. says cake artist Jack Phillips broke law

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Alliance Defending Freedom photo
    DENVER (BP) -- Christian cake artist Jack Phillips is in court again, defending the same religious freedom right the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed on his behalf in a previous case in June.

    This time, transgender attorney Autumn Scardina filed a discrimination complaint against Phillips for refusing to bake a birthday cake celebrating Scardina's transition from a male to female identity. Pink cake on the inside and blue frosting on the outside describes the cake Scardina requested.

    The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has sued the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) in this latest case against Phillips, ADF said in a press release today (Aug. 15). Read More

  • Univ. of Iowa sued again over religious liberty

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, August 08, 2018 (2 months ago)

    University of Iowa photo
    IOWA CITY, Iowa (BP) -- For the second time in less than a year, a Christian student group has sued the University of Iowa to protect its right to select leaders who hold traditional Christian beliefs.

    The InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship filed a lawsuit in federal court Aug. 6 after the university revoked the fellowship's status as an official student organization for requiring group leaders "to share the group's faith and exemplify its Christian values," according to the complaint filed by the nonprofit Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The university told InterVarsity Graduate via email it would not even be permitted to state in its constitution that leaders were "strongly encouraged" to hold the Christian faith. Read More

  • Religious liberty threats addressed at ERLC event

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, July 31, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo by Anne Kim
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious freedom in Southeast Asia faces threats from required registration regimes and non-government forces, panelists said at a Capitol Hill discussion co-hosted by a Southern Baptist Convention entity.

    The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) joined with two other advocacy organizations to hold the July 26 event -- titled "Lessons from Southeast Asia: State and Non-State Threats to Religious Freedom" -- on the third and final day of the State Department's first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) and Boat People SOS also co-hosted the discussion. Read More