WASHINGTON -- A new report from the Liberty Institute in Plano, Texas, shows that incidents of "religious hostility" have more than doubled in the United States over the past three years.
The report, "Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, 2014 Edition," chronicles a series of more than 1,300 court cases recently handled or monitored by the institute, a nonprofit legal group that represents plaintiffs who feel their religious liberty has been violated.
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Oral arguments were heard Sept. 8 in the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis for a religious liberty case in which a family is seeking exemption from the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate. The mandate would require them to participate in group insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and birth control for their teenage and adult daughters.
The Thomas More Society is defending Missouri State Rep. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, and his family in the case.
The Declaration of Independence states we all have God-given rights -- not government-given rights, nor king-given rights -- and that the whole purpose of a government is to defend the rights that a government certainly has no right to take away. Among the most important of our God-given rights is the freedom of religion.
For the first time in U.S. history, we have a presidential administration that has chosen to use the words "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion" -- a dangerous shift of phraseology.
WASHINGTON -- Pro-life groups that have battled with the federal government since the first rules were issued on contraceptive coverage in 2012 derided the government's latest rules allowing religious institutions -- and potentially some for-profit companies -- to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
"Once again HHS (the federal Department of Health and Human Services) continues to violate the conscience rights of Americans while claiming just the opposite," said an Aug. 22 statement from Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.
Last week Catholic news organizations, including the St. Louis Review, published a troubling story about the Louisiana Supreme Court attempting to compel a priest to break the seal of confession.
At issue was a lawsuit filed by the parents of a girl who claimed that, in 2008 at the age of 14, she told a priest that she had been abused by a now-deceased parishioner. The parents claim that the priest was negligent in not reporting the abuse. The girl claimed she told the priest of this in the confessional.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that a priest could be compelled to testify as to what he heard in the confessional in 2008 concerning an abuse case.
The priest, Father Jeff Bayhi, faces automatic excommunication if he breaks the seal of the confessional. But he also could face jailing if found to be in contempt of the court should he refuse to testify.