Religion

The Obama administration — more solicitous of dreadlocks than of religion

Featured image The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is charged with combatting certain forms of employment discrimination. Unfortunately, it long ago became, instead, a special pleader for certain minority groups. As such, it is dedicated to arguing for pretty much whatever certain minority groups want in the workplace. For example, some blacks like to wear dreadlocks. Thus, the EEOC claims that grooming codes, applicable to all employees, that include a prohibition »

Why dropping health insurance is no solution for Hobby Lobby

Featured image Long-time Power Line reader Michael McConnell, a (if not the) leading scholar of the Constitution’s Religion Clauses, analyzes the four serious legal issues presented in the Hobby Lobby case. The issues are: (1) Could Hobby Lobby avoid a substantial burden on its religious exercise by dropping health insurance and paying fines of $2,000 per employee? (2) Does the government have a compelling interest in protecting the statutory rights of Hobby »

Brewer vetoes S.B. 1062

Featured image Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed Arizona S.B. 1062, legislation that I wrote about here and here. Brewer claimed that S.B. 1062 “does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona” and that it was “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.” Her first claim makes little sense. Arizona already has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. S.B. 1062 amends the Act to »

No, this is not Jim Crow for gays, Part Two

Featured image As I explained here, Arizona S.B. 1062 would not subject gays to a regime of discrimination. The bill is simply an attempt (successful in my view) to balance the right to religious freedom and the right of non-discrimination. Eleven leading religious-liberty scholars have written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to provide her with a sorely needed rational analysis of S.B. 1062 as she considers whether to sign it. The professors »

No, this is not Jim Crow for gays — understanding Arizona S.B. 1062

Featured image The Arizona legislature has passed S.B. 1066. It amends a 1999 Arizona law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It does so in an attempt to strengthen the ability of vendors to follow their religious conscience by, for example, declining to provide services at gay weddings. The text of the legislation can be found here. The legislation has generated much criticism. The two most recent Republican presidential candidates have »

Score one for the little sisters of the poor

Featured image President Obama has lost the latest round in his fight against the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Supreme Court, with no recorded dissent, has enjoined the Obama administration from enforcing the Obamacare mandate against the Little Sisters of the Poor and their co-plaintiffs while their appeal is pending in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. More precisely, as Ed Whelan explains, to escape the mandate while their appeal is »

The Little Sisters of the Poor fight back

Featured image It’s sad, but not surprising, that the Obama administration is waging its war on women against nuns. Under Obamacare, religious Orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor in Colorado are required to facilitate the free distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients to any of their employees who desire them. If they refuse, they face heavy government fines that will endanger their ability to carry out their charitable work. The Obama »

Obama: yes to terrorism abetter, no to little sisters of the poor

Featured image After five years of an increasingly radical presidency, it comes to this: the Obama administration has released Lynne Stewart, convicted of abetting a notorious terrorist, but is litigating in order to coerce a group of nuns who embody compassion. Isn’t this what Communists used to do when they came to power — release the “political prisoners” and harass the deeply religious? President Obama’s supporters say he’s not out to get »

David Gelernter: To the Inglewood airheads

Featured image David Gelernter is professor of computer science at Yale. He is the author of books including Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, Judaism: A Way of Being, and, most recently, America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats). Last week he contributed the still timely post “How to talk to liars.” Today Professor Gelernter writes in response to the news that Halloween has been called off »

Report: DoD called Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, and Mormons religious extremists like Al Qaeda

Featured image The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is an organization of chaplain endorsers, the faith groups that provides chaplains for the U.S. military and other agencies needing chaplains. According to this organization, the endorsers in the Chaplain Alliance speak for more than 2,000 chaplains serving the armed forces. The Chaplain Alliance has issued a press release alleging, based on a review of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that »

A Church That Still Believes in God?

Featured image One of my favorite “Yes, Prime Minister” episodes is “The Bishop’s Gambit,” where Prime Minister Hacker has to select a new bishop for the diocese of Bury St. Edmunds, and wonders naively whether the ideal candidate should believe in God or not.  From the script: “The bench of bishops should have a proper balance between those who believe in God and those who don’t.” “Bishops tend to live a long »

Happy Easter

Featured image I think I’ve figured a few things out.  Among other things, I can dump all my Jared Diamond books now. »

In a little spanish town, t’was on a night like this

Featured image The Spanish town of Ribadavia is preparing to hold its first Passover Seder since 1492. The event has been organized by the municipality’s tourism department in partnership with the Center for Medieval Studies, an organization that researches the history of Iberian Jews prior to their expulsion during the Spanish Inquisition that began in 1492. The project is aimed at increasing tourism to Ribadavia and “breathing new life into its old »

Clowning in Rome?*

Featured image Best tweet of the day so far may belong to David Freddoso, who says “BREAKING SEQUESTER NEWS ** DUE TO BUDGET CUTS, THERE IS NO POPE ANYMORE — YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN, PEOPLE **.”  Heh. More seriously, since we wrote here a couple of weeks ago about the theological studliness (that’s a technical term right out of the Catechism, isn’t it?) of Pope Benedict, there has been a media frenzy »

Christians Are Now World’s Most Persecuted Religion

Featured image At Commentary, Evelyn Gordon writes that Christianity has replaced Judaism as the world’s most persecuted religion: In recent months, a new consensus has emerged: For the first time in millennia, Judaism has lost its title as the world’s most persecuted religion; today, that dubious honor goes to Christianity. “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers,” wrote Rupert Shortt in a 54-page report for the London-based Civitas institute »

The Pope

Featured image We haven’t taken sufficient notice here of the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to abdicate.  Pope Benedict has always labored in the shadow, so to speak, of his charismatic and highly consequential predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who we can rightly claim had a key role in bringing about the demise of the Soviet empire.  I write about this a lot in my second Age of Reagan, and I won’t »

The Episcopal Church: Nothing Like Consistency (With Comedy Video Bonus)

Featured image The very first newspaper op-ed article I ever published, way back in 1984, was about All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, which has long had a reputation as a leading “progressive” parish. I wrote about attending a meeting where a group of parishioners were reporting back on a recent visit to the newest workers’ paradise, Nic . . .—now just wait for it!!—yes, indeed, it was Nicaragua (or “KNEE-car-AHHH-gua,” if »