Tag Archives: religious liberty

Houston trying to steal land from two churches

Fascists: Having failed to intimidate religious leaders when the city of Houston tried to subpoena their sermons, the city is now trying to use eminent domain procedures to shut down two churches.

The fifth ward is located just outside of downtown. Property values in the area have skyrocketed and continue to climb. The City of Houston offered to purchase the churches. When the churches refused, the city came back with threats of using eminent domain to acquire the property as part of an urban development plan.

More here. Texas state law, written and passed after the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v New London, expressly forbids this kind of eminent domain taking. Moreover, the taking appears to specifically violate the first amendment rights of these two churches.

Quick! Guess what to which political party the Houston mayor belongs!

Because of a single complaint a retirement home has forbidden its residents from praying.in common areas.

Land of the free? Because of a single complaint a retirement home has forbidden its residents from praying in common areas.

The complaining resident, Wanda Hughes told DePetro that she wrote a letter to the property management group because she finds the Rosary to be “an in your face ritual.” In the letter she threatens to bring the issue to the ACLU if it is not addressed.

What I find disgusting is that this person, Wanda Hughes, somehow thinks that just because she doesn’t like prayer she has the right to shut it down. The rights of others mean nothing to her.

What is also disgusting is the cowardice of Brook Village Retirement Home in North Providence, which immediately bowed to her wishes while grinding its fist into the faces of everyone else.

A business in Missouri has become the first secular and private company to bring a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

Bring it on! A business in Missouri has become the first secular and private company to bring a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

Most of the discussion about the Obama administration’s mandate has revolved around whether specific religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, should be exempted from it. To me, that misses the point. In a free society, anyone who objects to this mandate on the basis of personal belief should have the freedom to ignore it. Or to put it another way, the government has no right to order free citizens to buy contraceptives for others.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops is issuing a flyer to be distributed at Masses over the March 3-4 weekend that asks their congregation to voice their opposition to the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.

We’ve only just begun: The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops is issuing a flyer to be distributed at Masses over the March 3-4 weekend that asks congregations to voice their opposition to the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.

“Well, basically, we’re not looking to the Constitution on that aspect of it.”

More video of that townhall meeting where Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (D-New York) was challenged by her constituents over Obama’s contraceptive mandate. Her answer:

Well, basically, we’re not looking to the Constitution on that aspect of it.

She essentially admits that when it comes to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, policy will trump the Constitution every time.

At the end of the videotape, when she finds herself literally speechless and unable to respond intelligently to the questions being put to her, she says, “Clearly, more work needs to be done.” I agree. The work that needs to be done is to throw these thugs out of office.

Democratic Congresswoman booed at a townhall meeting by her New York constituents over the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.

Tea Party 2: A democratic congresswoman, Kathy Hochul (D-New York), was booed at a townhall meeting by her constituents enraged by the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.

One woman in the crowd told Hochul: “This President has lied to us repeatedly when he proclaims support for conscience protection in his infamous speech at Notre Dame as well as in the executive order he signed following passage of the health care law. He is not worthy of your support in this matter.” Another man shouted “It’s an insult to the Catholics in this country to even listen to that gibberish. It is an absolute insult and Catholics deserve better. We were taking care of this country’s sick long before the government got involved in it.”

What we have here is a case where a political party (Obama and the Democrats in Congress) have willingly and consciously stomped on the rights of a large number of American citizens. Because these Democrats happen to also be tone deaf politically, they don’t seem to care. They will find out how much it matters come November.

Seven states filed a lawsuit today seeking to overturn Obama’s contraceptive mandate.

The wave builds: Seven states today filed a joint lawsuit, seeking to overturn Obama’s contraceptive mandate.

“This violation of the [First] Amendment is a threat to every American, regardless of religious faith,” Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a news release. “We will not stand idly by while our constitutionally guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them.”

The lawsuit also alleges the “practical effect” of the mandate “will force religious employers to drop health insurance coverage,” in order to avoid violating their religious beliefs.

“Obamacare’s latest mandate tramples the First Amendment’s freedom of religion and compels people of faith to act contrary to their convictions,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a news release. “The very first amendment to our Constitution was intended to protect against this sort of government intrusion into our religious convictions.”

A Baptist college has joined a growing list of schools and other organizations to sue the federal government over Obama’s healthcare mandates.

This wave is only beginning: A Baptist college has joined a growing list of schools and other organizations and filed suit against the federal government over Obama’s healthcare mandates.

One private religious company explains why it can’t go along with the Obama administration’s mandate on contraceptives.

One private religious company explains why it will refuse to go along with the Obama administration’s mandate on contraceptives.

The administration’s supporters say that by opposing the rule, religious employers like EWTN are guilty of trying to coerce our employees and impose our values on them. But we are simply choosing not to participate in the use of these drugs. Our 350 employees, many of whom are not Catholic, freely choose to work here and can purchase and use contraception if they want to. They are aware of the values we practice, and I hear regularly from Catholic and non-Catholic employees alike how much they love working for an organization that is defined by its Catholic beliefs — beliefs that we think result in a better workplace and more expansive benefits over all.

Instead, it is the government — which does not accept EWTN’s religious choice and can punish that choice by imposing fines — that is coercing us. But under the Constitution and federal religious liberties law, we cannot be forced to give up our beliefs as the price of participation in the public square. That is why the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed a lawsuit on our behalf seeking to overturn this illegal mandate.

Once again, whether or not you agree with the Obama administration’s policy, the mandate is unconstitutional. The federal government is expressly forbidden from imposing its will in this manner by the 1st Amendment.

More than 2500 religious leaders released a letter yesterday condemning the Obama administration’s healthcare mandate as ““a severe blow” to religious liberty.

More than 2500 religious leaders released a letter yesterday condemning the Obama administration’s healthcare mandate as ““a severe blow” to religious liberty.

Obama’s war on religious liberty

Obama’s war on religious liberty.

I would simply say that this is a war on liberty. You take away someone’s freedom to pray or practice their religion as they wish, you also take away their liberty. And if you can take their liberty, you can take anyone’s. For those who like the idea of forcing every insurance company and private institution to provide contraceptives, remember, if this administration gains that power, future administrations will have that power as well. And there is no guarantee that those future administrations will impose policies you agree with. To paraphase an old quote, “First they came for the Catholics, and I did nothing, because I wasn’t a Catholic…”

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested.”

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested.”

All they did was quietly pray, in front of the White House. How dare they?

Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration.

Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish leaders all testified at a Congressional hearing today that they would go to prison rather than obey the Obamacare mandates being imposed by the Obama administration. Key reaction from one Congressman:

“Well, just so everybody understands what is going to happen: These guys are either going to go to jail because they won’t violate their religious beliefs, or the hospitals and the schools are going to close, which means governemnt is going to get bigger, because they’re going to have to fill the void that is left when you guys quit doing it. And maybe that’s what [the Obama administration] wanted all along.”

When did we become a nation where government officials can order anyone to do anything, even if that order contradicts a person’s personal religious beliefs? And if you are a Democrat and don’t mind Obama’s orders because you agree with them, just remember that the Democrats are not going to be in power forever. Do you want a conservative Republican to have that same power?

In a free society, no politician should ever have such power. It is essential that everyone stand up against this attack on freedom. And it is even more important that these thugs be removed from office as soon as possible.

State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: Deteriorating

A State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: deteriorating. Two quotes from the report:

Respect for religious freedom deteriorated during the reporting period, particularly for Christian groups and individuals. Residual effects of years of jihad against the USSR, civil strife, Taliban rule, popular suspicion regarding outside influence and the motivations of foreigners, and still weak democratic institutions remained serious obstacles. There were cases of harassment, occasional violence, and inflammatory public statements made by members of parliament and television programming against religious minorities, particularly Christians, and Muslims who were perceived as not respecting Islamic strictures. Negative societal opinion and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christian groups and individuals, including Afghan converts to Christianity. The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.

and

The right to change one’s religion was not respected either in law or in practice. Muslims who converted to Christianity risked losing their marriage, rejection from their family and village, and loss of jobs. Following the May 2010 suspension of two NGOs on suspicion of proselytizing, some parliamentarians advocated violent responses toward the alleged apostates, including public execution. [emphasis mine]

This report actually came out in November, 2010, but I hadn’t known of it until now. It is worth reading. Though there are clearly some positive signs, overall the state of religious freedom in Afghanistan appears abysmal.