Thursday, November 3, 2011

Religious Freedom - #3383 -A Crisis of Crosses - Family Research Council (2) Hospital Threatens Nurses' Jobs Over Not Wanting to Assist with Abortions - Citizen Link (3) Atheists Campaigning to Ban Prayer During Alabama High School Football Games - The Blaze

Sometimes no decision is the worst decision of all. The U.S. Supreme Court proved that yesterday when it refused to intervene at a defining moment for religious freedom in America. By a vote of 8-1, the justices chose to leave six states completely defenseless in the face of an aggressive campaign to uproot faith in the public square. For 13 years, Utah's fallen highway patrolmen have been honored with roadside crosses as a way to mark the troopers' sacrifice in plain sight of local drivers. American Atheists, Inc. took the state to court for allowing a private association to memorialize the officers with its own dollars. They argued that by permitting the crosses, Utah had publicly endorsed Christianity.  The case, which could have serious implications for national memorials and monuments, finally wound its way to the Supreme Court, where justices had the ultimate say in whether the crosses violate the Establishment Clause. At least 20 states, 15 members of Congress, and organizations from FRC to Mothers Against Drunk Driving urged the Court to take the case. Yet only Justice Clarence Thomas was willing. In almost 20 pages of dissent, he vigorously disagreed with his colleagues for leaving the issue alone. "It's difficult to imagine an area of law more in need of clarity," he wrote. "We should not now abdicate our responsibility to clean up our mess because these disputes, by our own making, are 'factbound.'"  Read more.......

Hospital Threatens Nurses' Jobs Over Not Wanting to Assist with Abortions - Citizen Link - The Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of 12 nurses in New Jersey who say they were told that if they didn’t participate in surgical abortions, they’d be fired.  A hospital owned by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which receives $60 million in federal funding each year, passed a new policy in September, which took effect Oct. 14. A supervisor said nurses had to train by assisting in surgical abortions; those who objected were told to choose between complying with the policy or keeping their jobs, as the hospital “has no regard for religious beliefs,” according to the lawsuit.  That view flies in the face of both state and federal law.  “The hospital hasn’t responded so far, and this is extremely troubling, because it’s going to force two of our clients to assist in abortions this Friday,” ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said, “but it has not taken actions that we’re aware of to correct this policy of forcing nurses to assist in abortions against their religious beliefs.”   ADF is asking the court to step in immediately to prevent that from happening, as well as forcing the hospital to give back federal funds until it rescinds the policy.  Read more.......

Read the text of the lawsuit.
Learn more about the Alliance Defense Fund.
Atheists Campaigning to Ban Prayer During Alabama High School Football Games - The Blaze - High school football games and prayer simply don’t mix — at least that’s what one prominent atheist group is saying.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking Alabama’s Lauderdale County school district to task after accusing officials of allowing prayers during Brooks High School football games.  The prayers, which invoke Jesus’ name (obviously a common element among Christians), are being called a First Amendment violation. At particular issue is the fact that they are said over a loudspeaker, making them audible to anyone attending the games.  According to the Times Daily newspaper, the complaint stems from a single source in the community — a man named Jeremy Green.  Read more.......

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