Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” It was supposed to be yet another installment in a long-running series: opponents of LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights seek to promote discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
Today, the Supreme Court of the state of Washington issued an important ruling, unanimously holding that a business can’t ignore the state anti-discrimination law and refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the state of religious liberty in America. Today, Americans United joined two dozen organizations in a letter urging the subcommittee to focus on an extraordinary, immediate threat to religious freedom: President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban.
The incoming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump could do some serious damage to separation of church and state – and it might get some help from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Religious freedom is a fundamental American value, guaranteeing our right to believe—or not—as we see fit. That right to believe (and to act on those beliefs, as long as we are not harming third parties) enjoys powerful First Amendment protection.
That protection, however, does not mean that dissatisfied persons can file lawsuits in order to force the government into adopting policies that favor their personal religious beliefs.
Yesterday was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right legal group, during which members of the clergy are urged to violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office from the pulpit.
Another stunt by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has collapsed after a federal court said that an Idaho wedding venue, which refused to perform same-sex weddings, is not being persecuted because it is already exempt from anti-discrimination laws.
This case involves Don and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post in Coeur d’Alene. The Knapps are ordained ministers in the Four Square Gospel and they claim their religious beliefs prohibit them from performing same-sex weddings – even though their facility was a for-profit business at the time this all took place.
Four years ago, officials at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., decided they would like to resurface a playground at the church’s religious preschool – and that taxpayers should pick up the tab for it.
Under a state program, aid was available for such projects through a program that awarded grants to purchase recycled tires – but not for houses of worship. The church sued, and its attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right group, made a startling claim: The church has a constitutional right to taxpayer support.