Tomorrow, we red-blooded Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. We admittedly have many holidays celebrating our national identity: Memorial Day for fallen patriots, Veterans’ Day for those who gave their youths to freedom, and the Fourth of July to celebrate our independence. However, Thanksgiving is special because it arguably centers on gratitude for one particular constitutional right: the freedom of religion. While images of a sumptuous autumnal feast between Pilgrims and Squanto’s men may be more fable than fact, that does not diminish the importance of the holiday. From Catholics disembarking the Ark and Dove in Maryland to the prolific Massachusetts Puritans,
Last week, the Department of Justice announced its support for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis in a controversial lawsuit brought against them by a former teacher at Indianapolis’ Cathedral High School. Earlier this year, Archbishop Charles Thompson notified two Catholic high schools that they would no longer be recognized as Catholic institutions within the Archdiocese if they continued to employ teachers in a same-sex civil marriage. One school, Brebeuf Jesuit, defied the Archdiocese’s order. However, Cathedral High School opted to obey Archbishop Thompson and dismissed Joshua Payne-Elliott from his position as a history and foreign languages instructor. Shortly thereafter, Mr.
Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf, the Orthodox Bishop of Mosul and one of the leading Christian voices in the Middle East, gave a stirring interview to the National Catholic Register a few years ago. That interview, while informative, also sent a message that should trouble us all: the West cares more about frogs than about Middle-Eastern Christians. Unfortunately, events around the globe this week have shown that this dichotomy is alive and well. The mainstream media and progressive newsmakers have devoted a great deal of attention to long-term climate issues, and lately they have been placing a young girl who doesn’t
This past Monday marked another important victory for religious liberty, this time coming via an Arizona Supreme Court ruling. The case dealt with many familiar issues: two Christian calligraphers, Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, operate a company called Brush and Nib LLC which specializes in handmade, custom calligraphy products. The duo felt that a Phoenix municipal ordinance intended to prevent undue discrimination in commerce had the potential to do the opposite: coerce them to produce creative products which send messages contrary to their religious beliefs. Consequently, in 2016 Duka and Koski sued the city of Phoenix in an Arizona trial
This past Friday marked a significant victory for religious freedom. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down most of a U.S. District Court decision which threatened to force videographers to produce content that violates the commands of their conscience. Instead, the appeals court ruled that a Minnesota anti-discrimination law could very well be unconstitutional and that a challenge to the law could therefore proceed. The appellants, Carl and Angel Larsen, own a videography company called Telescope Media which produces commercial short-films and other video products. They first brought their case forward when they took the Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner
The founding father, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Chase once said that “religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government.” It is almost certain that if the famous Marylander were to come back today, he would recoil in horror at the heavy-handed, anti-religious actions of his state’s General Assembly and Department of Education. Those who pay attention to the news cycle should be aware of how disappointingly common infringements upon religious liberty are these days. One such predicament is the one which Maryland’s
Last Wednesday, three Democrat lawmakers announced they would be introducing the “Clergy Mandatory Reporting Act” in Wisconsin’s state legislature. The State Assembly version of the bill is sponsored by Reps. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), while the State Senate version is sponsored by Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). While statements from the bill’s sponsors have implied Wisconsin law doesn’t require clergy to report child abuse to authorities, that is not the case. In fact, state law does currently require clergy to report under most circumstances. The Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act is actually intended to remove a clause that exempts members
In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, it concerned some jurists that institutions favoring traditional marriage might receive heavy-handed treatment from the government as a result of the ruling. Conservative justices on the court strongly dissented and raised concerns about the implications of the case on wide-reaching elements of American society. Notably, Justice Samuel Alito was worried about the effects it would have on people of faith, when he said that Obergefell “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” While the Left had argued