Sunday, October 14, 2012

Religious Freedom - #4295 - Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Government Can't Require Churches to Abandon Constitutional Freedoms - Townhall (2) Two Baptist Universities Join Legal Fight Against Abortion Mandate - Baptist Press (3) Obamacare Subsidizes Abortion for Women Making $90,000 - Townhall

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: In the wake of the most successful Pulpit Freedom Sunday to date, a look at opponents who have commented publicly about the event in recent days shows that they are still attacking it for something it’s clearly not. In other words, the arguments against Pulpit Freedom Sunday fail because the premise for those arguments is all wrong. This year, as part of the event, nearly 1,600 pastors nationwide preached sermons that analyzed the positions of various political candidates—an exercise in free speech that violates a flawed Internal Revenue Service rule known as the Johnson Amendment. The goal is to create a court case that will challenge the constitutionality of the rule in court......But pastors who participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday are not engaging in a “political crusade.” Instead, they are simply applying Scripture and theological doctrine to the positions held by the candidates running for office. Pastors have been applying scriptural teaching to circumstances facing their congregations for centuries. This is not “political” speech. Rather, it’s core religious expression from a spiritual leader to his congregants. That kind of expression is at the very center of the freedom of speech and religion protections in the First Amendment. The real question is this: When has the government ever been allowed to condition any government-recognized status (such as tax-exempt status) on the surrender of a constitutionally protected freedom?  Read more.......


Baptist Universities Join Legal Fight Against Abortion Mandate - Baptist Press -  Underscoring once again it's not a Catholic-only issue, two Baptist colleges have filed suit against the Obama administration's abortion/contraceptive mandate, saying they're standing up for what Baptists long have defended -- religious freedom. The Oct. 9 lawsuit by Houston Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University is the 33rd suit against the mandate, which requires employers to provide employee health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. The latter drugs often are labeled "morning-after" or "week-after" pills and come under brand names such as Plan B and ella, and can act after fertilization and even after implantation, thereby causing a chemical abortion. Churches are exempt from the mandate, but religious organizations -- such as Christian colleges, hospitals and businesses -- are not. The mandate was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in August 2011 and went into effect in August of this year, although HHS gave nonprofit religious organizations another year -- until August 2013 -- to comply.  Read more........

Obamacare Subsidizes Abortion for Women Making $90,000 - Townhall - How rich do you have to be in Barack Obama's America to pay the whole tab for your own abortion? What about a divorced 38-year-old public school principal who has three children and earns $90,000 per year? Would she need to personally pay the full fair to have a doctor kill her fourth child while that child was still in her womb? Under Obamacare, the federal government will force taxpayers to help her buy insurance that pays for abortions. Back in March, the Obama administration published the 166-page regulation governing the establishment of Obamacare's state health-insurance exchanges. A few weeks later, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published a two-page analysis explaining what this regulation means for American taxpayers who do not want to pay for someone to kill a child.  Read more........

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