“Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told a Catholic legal group that the United States’ dedication to religious liberty is being put to the test. Alito told the Catholic lawyers and judges on Wednesday, ‘A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral beliefs,’ according to the Associated Press.
‘We are likely to see pitched battles in courts and Congress, state legislatures and town halls,’ Alito said in New Jersey, according to the AP. ‘But the most important fight is for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. It is up to all of us to evangelize our fellow Americans about the issue of religious freedom.'” Read more here.
“Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley is one of the most important religious liberty cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in years. This case is about a religious preschool that was rejected from a state program that provides reimbursement grants to purchase rubberized surface material (tire scraps) for children’s playgrounds. The preschool was ultimately denied the grant for its playground solely because the playground belongs to a religious organization.” The case will be argued on April 19, less than six weeks away.
“A Christian law firm is petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case of a former Marine who was forced out of the military because she refused to take down Bible verses from her work cubicle.”
For anyone who thinks religious discrimination is non-existent in America, the attorneys at First Liberty Institute have a different story. First Liberty announced the release of Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America (2016). It is available online here, free of charge.
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty.
From FFRF website: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit removing a 14-foot granite cross in a California public park has been formally settled this week. FFRF and a local member sued the city of Santa Clara in April 2016, after FFRF had attempted for four years to persuade the city to remove the cross from Memorial Cross Park without litigation. As part of the settlement, the city in January removed and donated the cross to the Catholic Santa Clara University.”
“…Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to review a case out of California, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. At stake is the right of pro-life pregnancy centers not to be forced by the government to speak a message that violates their beliefs and undercuts their speech.”
“An out-of-state group is demanding a Florida city remove a cross from city hall that stands as a tribute to veterans. The wooden cross inside Longwood City Hall bears the words, ‘We will never forget their sacrifices,” and used to be part of a traveling Vietnam War memorial.'”
“….a 6th Circuit Appeals Court panel ruling invalidating the invocation policy of Michigan’s Jackson County Board of Commissioners as an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state doctrine. Now, the entire 6th Circuit, apparently on its own, has voted to re-hear the case together (en banc). The move vacates the panel’s 2-1 decision, allowing the practice to continue, pending the outcome.
The Jackson County practice was notable – and, the panel concluded, different from the invocation policy the Supreme Court has found acceptable – in that the commissioners themselves delivered the prayer (rather than inviting area clergy), the audience was asked to respond with reverence during the prayer, and the court found sufficient evidence to warrant a finding that the plaintiff’s complaint about the prayer negatively impacted his requests before the Board as a citizen.
The 6th Circuit’s decision to hear the case again adds another level of intrigue to the state of the law when it comes to government-led prayer to open meetings.
The 4th Circuit also has decided to re-hear en banc a panel ruling that found acceptable a similar practice of Commissioner-led prayer. The resolution of this issue by each circuit – if they reach opposite conclusions – could set the stage for another Supreme Court hearing to further clarify the current state of the law when it comes to government-led prayer.”
“The Fourth Circuit issued an order granting a rehearing en banc in Lund v. Rowan County. In September, a three-judge panel issued a decision upholding the county’s prayer practice, but plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing, which was granted. The case is tentatively scheduled for oral argument during January 24-26. As amici, the brief filed on behalf of the Members of Congress will be refiled with the court at this stage.”
“Wisconsin anti-religious freedom organization demands that New Hampshire Air National Guard base forbid invocations by chaplains at military events.” First Liberty responds here.
From FFRF Website: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is strongly protesting the presence of multiple crosses at a Texas courthouse. A white Latin cross is on display outside the Orange County Courthouse next to the main entrance. In addition, there is a veterans’ memorial on the grounds of the courthouse that features a large Latin cross and the phrase, ‘For God and Country.'”
Congressional Prayer Caucus
Congressional Prayer: Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol.
There are over 100 Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus, that is spearheading a strategic movement of national, state and local leaders and citizens who are working together to promote prayer, protect religious freedom and restore, upgrade and popularize America’s founding spirit and the principles related to faith and morality that shaped this Great Republic. Please commit to praying for them, their families, and staff daily.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
Join people from across the nation for 24/7 Worship in Washington DC. They welcome worship teams from every tribe, tongue, nation, denomination, and all 50 U.S. states. Learn more here
India: Ministry ‘Heartbroken’ Over Exit From India
“Compassion International is set to close its child sponsorship program in the country of India on March 15 after nearly 50 years of work there. Compassion spokesman Tim Glenn says the Indian government has restricted the flow of funds since May of last year, and obviously the program that aids children and families can’t operate without money.”
“Christians in India are feeling the heat as they see more and more villages pass resolutions banning practices of non-Hindu faiths – specifically, resolutions intended to banish Christianity. The latest ban came last month in Benje village in Chhattisgarh state, essentially making Christianity illegal.”
There are many organizations on the front lines that need our prayers.
Alliance Defending Freedom, ACLJ, Becket Fund, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Institute, Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty and any others that come to mind.