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Archive for the category “Reblog: Religion News Service”

Proposed RFRA Amendment Would Bar Its Use To Discriminate or Injure 3rd Parties

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“Yesterday two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Joe Kennedy III and Bobby Scott, announced the introduction of the Do No Harm Act (full text). The bill would amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to preclude its use in ways that result in discrimination or harm to third parties or impose one person’s religious views on another. More specifically, the bill would preclude using RFRA to create religious exemptions from various civil rights laws or labor laws, or accommodations which limit access to health care, or receipt of goods or services from the government or from government contractors or grantees.”

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7th Circuit Denies Notre Dame Preliminary Injunction In Its Contraceptive Mandate Challenge

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“Deciding the case on remand from the Supreme Court (see prior posting), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision in University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, (7th Cir., May 19, 2015), refused to grant a preliminary injunction to Notre Dame University in its challenge to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate as applied to religious non-profits.  Federal regulations allow religious non-profits to file a form notifying their insurer or plan administrator of their objection to providing contraceptive coverage.  When that is done, the insurer or administrator must provide coverage directly.  Judge Posner’s majority opinion says in part:

Notre Dame claims to be complicit in the sin of contraception. It wants to dissolve that complicity by forbidding Aetna and Meritain … to provide any contraceptive coverage to Notre Dame students or staff…. It regards its contractual relationship with those companies as making the university a conduit between the suppliers of the coverage and the university’s students and employees….

Although Notre Dame is the final arbiter of its religious beliefs, it is for the courts to determine whether the law actually forces Notre Dame to act in a way that would violate those beliefs. As far as we can determine from the very limited record, the only “conduit” is between the companies and Notre Dame students and staff; the university has stepped aside.

Judge Hamilton wrote a concurring opinion focusing on the Supreme Court’s favorable discussion of the accommodation for religious non-profits in its Hobby Lobby opinion. Judge Flaum wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that “the law turns Notre Dame into a conduit for the provision of cost-free contraception.” Wall Street Journal reports on the decision.”

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‘Christian America’: Corporate invention or founding fathers’ vision?

This is from jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com which you can find here:

“Recent surveys have indicated that many, if not most, Americans believe the founding fathers wanted this nation to be officially Christian. But a new book by Princeton historian Kevin Kruse slices and dices this notion with razor-sharp facts and anecdotes. In “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America,” he shows how corporations such as General Motors and Hilton Hotels partnered with clergymen and politicians to conflate patriotism and pietism. Here he tells how our nation’s Ten Commandments monuments were originally movie marketing props and how evangelist Billy Graham participated in America’s shifting mindset.”

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What Jesus’ encounters with women teach us about God, life, and gender

This is from jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com which you can find here:

“Theologian Stanley Grenz once observed, “[Jesus] treated every woman he met as a person in her own right.” According to a new book, The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing of Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels by Frank Viola and Mary Demuth, Jesus’ encounters with women tell us more than we might assume. Here I dialogue with co-author Mary Demuth, a prolific author and blogger, about what these tales teach us about God, life, and gender.”

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Which U.S. Presidents Were the Most Religious?

This is from jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com which you can find here:

“Consistency is something of an American tradition–at least as far as our presidents are concerned.

Forty-three individuals have served as Commander-in-Chief (Grover Cleveland held two non-consecutive terms). Based on birth and residence, they hail from only 18 of the 50 states. All have been male and, with the exception of Barack Obama, all have been white. And almost all claimed to be Protestant Christians. Only three were religiously unaffiliated–Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Johnson–though these men were spiritual in their own right.”

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Persecution of Christians Reached Record High in 2014. Will 2015 be Worse?

This is from jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com which you can find here:

“From imprisonment to torture to beheadings, more Christians worldwide live in fear for their lives than at any time in the modern era.

That’s the message from Open Doors USA, which released its annual World Watch List on Wednesday (Jan. 7). Christian persecution reached historic levels in 2014, with approximately 100 million Christians around the world facing possible dire consequences for merely practicing their religion, according to the report. If current trends persist, many believe 2015 could be even worse.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

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