Sunday, February 19, 2012

Religious Liberty - #3668 - New York City Churches Get 10 Day Reprieve - Citizen Link (2) Baptist Ethicist on Mandate; We'd Rather Go to Jail, Pay Fines - Baptist Press (3) Elementary School Confiscates, Bans, 2nd Graders Christian Themed Valentines - The Blaze

Churches in New York City that are looking for new places to hold worship services got a temporary reprieve today when a federal judge put a city policy on hold for 10 days while she considers the case. Though some 60 churches throughout the city were evicted on Sunday from the public schools in which they had been meeting on weekends, they now have at least until Feb. 26 to find new facilities to rent — and perhaps longer, depending on how Chief District Judge Loretta Preska ultimately decides. “Churches help communities; evicting churches hurts communities. Empty buildings offer nothing to communities that need hope,” said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence, who argued the churches’ case before Preska on Tuesday. “The court’s order is a message of hope for fundamental freedoms in New York City because it means that, for the time being, the city must welcome churches as it does other groups. ADF will continue to fight this battle relentlessly until the city no longer unconstitutionally prohibits activity purely for religious reasons.”  Read more..........

Baptist Ethicist on Mandate: We'd Rather Go to Jail, Pay Fines - Baptist Press - The Obama administration's mandate that health insurance plans cover contraceptives that can cause abortions harms not only Baptists and other religious adherents but all Americans, two Southern Baptist ethicists told a congressional panel Feb. 16. Their comments came during a four-and-a-half-hour hearing on the federal rule's impact on freedom of religion and conscience before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives. Ten representatives of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish bodies spoke in opposition to the mandate and what critics describe as its lack of sufficient religious and conscience protections for houses of worship, religious institutions and individuals. C. Ben Mitchell of Union University told the committee the rule "is an unconscionable intrusion by the state into the consciences of American citizens."  Read more.......

Wisconsin Elementary School Confiscates, Bans 2nd Graders Christian-Themed Valentines - The Blaze - Dexter Thielhelm, a second-grader at James Madison Elementary School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, had a simple message for his classmates: “Jesus loves you.” The young boy had worked diligently with his mother and siblings to create candy and notes for his friends at school, as he filled empty water bottles with candy and a rolled-up a Bible verse (John 3:16) to share with his classmates. But earlier this week, to the surprise of the boy and his family, school officials confiscated the valentines before they could be handed out.   Read more..........

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