Lianne Laurence – June 1, 2018
TORONTO, June 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne Liberals have passed what critics describe as “totalitarian” Bill 89 by a vote of 63 to 23 on the last day before Queen’s Park adjourns for the summer.
Pro-family advocates warn Bill 89 gives the state more power to seize children from families that oppose the LGBTQI and gender ideology agenda, and allows government agencies to effectively ban couples who disagree with that agenda from fostering or adopting children.
Bill 89, or the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017, repeals and replaces the former Child and Family Services Act that governs child protection services, and adoption and foster care services.
It adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” as factors to be considered “in the best interests of the child.”
At the same time, it deletes the religious faith in which the parents are raising the child as a factor to be considered, and mandates child protection services consider only the child’s own “creed” or “religion” when assessing the best interests of the child.
Todd Starnes – June 27, 2018
First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said Bremerton High School in Washington State picked on the wrong Marine.
First Liberty is representing Joe Kennedy, a Marine and former assistant football coach at the local high school. Kennedy was fired in 2015 after he took a knee to pray after a football game.
“The (district told him) if you talk to God you’re fired,” Berry said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show.
Since 2008, Kennedy had quietly taken a knee after every football game to honor a covenant he made with God.
“That prayer would be by itself, silent or very quiet, and no more than 15 or 30 seconds,” Berry said. “That happened for seven years without a single complaint or issue, but as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished.”
Fearing a potential lawsuit from atheists or secularists, the school district ordered Coach Kennedy to stop praying. He was told he could not even bow his head or do anything that would give the impression that he was praying to God.
When he refused to comply, the beloved coach was fired.
David Nussman – June 26, 2018
JOS, Nigeria (ChurchMilitant.com) – Recent clashes between Muslim herdsmen and Christian farmers in Nigeria have left more than 120 dead.
In Plateau State in central Nigeria, Christian farmer on June 21 allegedly attacked a group of Fulani herdsmen — semi-nomadic members of the Muslim-majority Fulani ethnic group. The next day, two children were killed in local villages, presumably in retaliation.
Clashes in nearby villages on June 23 caused at least 86 deaths. Some later body counts put the death toll at more than 120, and fifty houses were burned in the attacks.
Local Protestant leader Pam Chollom claims that Fulani militants attacked mourners returning from a Christian funeral service. Chollom said, “Herdsmen attacked our members who attended the burial of the father to one of our clergy, Baba Jakawa.”
The series of Fulani attacks on June 23 lasted from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and some 11 villages were raided. Since then, local government has installed a curfew in an effort to deter further violence. Some victims of the attacks were buried in a mass grave.
Daniel Horowitz – June 29, 2018
In case you thought that the potential to flip Justice Kennedy’s seat alone will bring us back to the constitutional promised land, think again. So long as the lower courts are not restrained, we will never return to the Constitution and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
There is nothing more radical than a lower court granting standing to random plaintiffs to sue against non-coerced public prayer in county government meetings, prayers that have been going on since our founding. Yet a district judge in 2015 and the en banc decision of the radical Fourth Circuit in 2017 barred Rowan County, North Carolina, from opening council sessions with a prayer, similar to what our federal Congress does every day. Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to the appeal from Rowan County, despite three years of being under a tyranny that the judges know is unconstitutional.
We shouldn’t even need to get into court precedent to understand our heritage and the true meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. But just four years ago, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority that as long as the prayer “comports with our tradition and does not coerce participation by non-adherents,” there is no room for judicial intervention. “To hold that invocations must be non-sectarian would force the legislatures sponsoring prayers and the courts deciding these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” Kennedy wrote in the 2014 case.
Brandon Showalter – June 22, 2018
New research reveals that religious hostility is on the rise globally, as government-sponsored restrictions and non-state actor assaults on religious practice have grown for the second year in a row.
The Pew Research Center’s ninth annual study, which was released Thursday, on restrictions on religion around the world charted the direction of religious freedom in 198 countries in 2016, and found a notable overall increase from 2015. Whether from government decrees hostile to religious faith or terror groups committing atrocities against religious minorities in their societies, antagonism toward people because of their religion is trending upward.
“More than a quarter (28%) of countries had ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of government restrictions on religion in 2016, an increase from 25% the year before. This is the largest share of countries in these categories since 2013,” the report reads.
Philip Pullella – June 21, 2018
Pope Francis called on Christians on Thursday to “break down barriers of suspicion and fear” that have divided them since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and to work together to help the most needy.
Francis made a day trip to Geneva to mark the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a fellowship of 350 mostly national churches representing Protestant communities and some Orthodox Christians.
Its members represent about 500 million faithful, compared with 1.3 billion for the Roman Catholic Church, which is not a full member of the WCC.
“After centuries of conflict … charity allows us to come together as brothers and sisters,” he said at the WCC headquarters in Geneva, the city where reformer John Calvin lived in the 16th century.
Charlene Aaron – June 18, 2018
A Philadelphia judge heard oral arguments Monday in a case that bans a Catholic foster care agency from placing children in families with religious convictions.
According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing families in the case, the ‘city’s harmful new policy keeps foster children from loving homes.’
The group has posted several stories from clients in the case on its Facebook page.
“Sharonell Fulton has fostered more than 40 children over 25 years,” reads one post page. She currently cares for two young siblings with special needs and she couldn’t provide a safe and loving home without the ongoing support of Catholic Social Services.”
Becket pointed out that in March the city issued an urgent call for 300 new foster parents to provide loving homes to the more than 6,000 kids in the city’s foster care system.
Michael Foust – June 8, 2018
A new genetic study showing that 90 percent of animals appeared on the Earth simultaneously and at the same time as humans affirms the biblical account of creation, says Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis.
The study, published in the journal Human Evolution, examined the “DNA barcodes” from 100,000 animal species and showed that “nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago,” according to Phys.org.
The study’s conclusion goes against evolutionary theory.
“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” researcher David Thaler of the University of Basel in Switzerland told AFP.
As Phys.org reported, the findings are “sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.”
Bob Unruh – June 5, 2018
Californians who don’t want their lawmakers to ban the Bible, to criminalize counselors who help people with same-sex attractions and to dictate their moral values apparently will have one chance to tell them.
That’s at a hearing before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee on June 12, where AB 2943 will be discussed.
“This will be the only committee hearing with opportunities for public testimonies before going to the Appropriations Committee and the state Senate for a vote,” advised Liberty Counsel, which is opposed to the radical plan.
It would make counseling against same-sex lifestyles a crime by calling it “consumer fraud.”
The bill also would ban printed materials that advocate for ways to become free of unwanted same-sex attractions. And several experts contend the broadly written proposal could ban sale of the Bible.
Heather Clark – June 16, 2018
OTTAWA, Ontario — “Religious freedom can be limited where an individual’s beliefs or practices harm or interfere with the rights of others,” the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday in issuing opinions in favor of the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) and the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC) decisions not to grant accreditation to a proposed Christian law school in the province.
It said that Trinity Western University’s requirement that students agree to a lifestyle covenant, which includes a commitment to reserve sexual intimacy for marriage—and that between a man and a woman—is “exclusionary” and could cause harm to homosexuals.
As previously reported, the university has three concurrent lawsuits running against various provincial legal societies that have denied approval for the university to open an accredited law school due to its stance on sexuality and marriage.