You are here

Feed aggregator

Commentary: Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Decision Expected Soon

Citizen Link - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 16:04

CitizenLink is proud to work with Family Policy Institute of Washington and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will release its decision soon in lawsuits involving Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two family owned businesses who have challenged the Obamacare mandate requiring employers to pay for contraceptives that cause abortions for their employees.

The businesses object to paying for four of the 20 types of contraceptives the mandate requires employers to provide because of their belief that they cause abortions.

The mandate threatens the existence of these businesses which employ more than 14,000 people.

In the case of Hobby Lobby, the fine for failing to comply with the mandate is as much as $1.3 million per day.

The plaintiffs have asked the Supreme Court to find the mandate unconstitutional claiming it violates their First Amendment Right to the free exercise of religion and their Fifth Amendment right to due process and equal protection under the law.

In its decision, the Supreme Court will first determine whether a for-profit corporation can “exercise religion”.

While it is undisputed that individuals have the right to the exercise of religion (though there is much debate about what that means as well) the government is arguing that corporations cannot claim the religious freedom protections at all.

In essence, the Obama administration believes the government can force Hobby Lobby to do things they could not force the Green Family, owners of Hobby Lobby, to do if they did not have a business.

Of course, the Green Family sees their business as an extension of themselves and do not believe they surrendered their right to make decisions consistent with their faith once they built a business and started employing people.

If the Supreme Court agrees with the families that corporations can claim religious freedom protections, the court will then decide if the mandate restricts their religious freedom.  If they conclude that it does, the court will then decide whether the burden is justified by a “compelling government interest” in providing contraception and whether there is a way to accomplish the same goal without restricting religious freedom.

Put another way, “could the government make contraceptives available to employees in a way that did not take away people’s religious freedom?”

The answer to that question is almost certainly, yes.

As with the florists, photographers, and bakeries, these cases are just another example of government attempting to force people to do things that violate their conscience as a condition of doing business.

Religious groups and business owners should not have to violate their faith in order to be in compliance with the law.  Nor should families have to choose between their faith and their livelihood.

People of faith do not forfeit their religious freedom when they choose to start a business.

Some argue that they don’t understand the big deal about providing contraceptive coverage for employees, but that is beside the point.  It’s not the role of government to define what people believe or what our faith includes.  That’s the role of the church.

If the left is going to really care about the separation of church and state, they will stay out of the business of telling individuals and companies what their faith requires.

It is worth noting that the government has exempted 100 million employees from these mandates for commercial and political reasons.  But for companies that want out of the mandates for conscience reasons, the government is arguing that there is a “compelling government reason” to force them to comply.

While our ability to influence the Supreme Court’s decision in this case is limited, we have significant influence over the future of religious freedom in Washington State and around the country generally.

There are elections this fall in every part of our state, and we encourage you to ask those who are on your ballot how they feel about religious freedom.  Do they support these mandates against businesses that don’t want to pay for contraceptives that cause abortions?  Do they support lawsuits against small businesses like Arlene’s Flowers because of their belief about marriage?

Then allow their answers to inform your vote.  Make sure your friends and neighbors who care about religious freedom know whether the candidates on their ballot support religious freedom as well.

The lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers could be done away with in a single legislative act, but the legislature will only protect religious freedom if the people who elect them insist on it.  That means those of us who support religious freedom need to be the squeaky wheel, in the most pleasant way possible.

To paraphrase the lesson from the Little Red Hen, if we don’t help protect our religious freedom, we should not expect to enjoy the benefits of it. And given the aggressive nature of those wanting to take away religious freedom, if we do nothing, we can be quite confident we won’t.

by Joseph Backholm, president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Family Policy Institute of Washington.

 

Supreme Court Rejection of Massachusetts' Free Speech Attack is a Victory for 40 Days for Life, Pro-Life Activists

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:35
Contact: Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life, 979-574-8711 WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Massachusetts' overly restrictive buffer zone law is a victory not only for 40 Days for Life but also for all who stand in peaceful witness to offer positive alternatives to women who feel they have no choice but to seek abortion," said Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life campaign director. 40 Days for Life, through the efforts of Americans Source: 40 Days for Life

Supreme Court Rejection of Massachusetts' Free Speech Attack is a Victory for 40 Days for Life, Pro-Life Activists

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:35
Contact: Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life, 979-574-8711 WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Massachusetts' overly restrictive buffer zone law is a victory not only for 40 Days for Life but also for all who stand in peaceful witness to offer positive alternatives to women who feel they have no choice but to seek abortion," said Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life campaign director. 40 Days for Life, through the efforts of Americans Source: 40 Days for Life

Survivors Pro-Life Youth Group Celebrates Historic Victory Against Restricted Speech Zones

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:29
Supreme Court Puts the First Amendment Above Abortion RightsContact: Kristina Garza, Director of Campus Outreach, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, 951-750-1114, [email protected] ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In an organized response to the Supreme Court decision upholding the right to practice first amendment activity in front of abortion centers, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust will have 100 young activists organizing anti-abortion outreaches through Source: Survivors

Survivors Pro-Life Youth Group Celebrates Historic Victory Against Restricted Speech Zones

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:29
Supreme Court Puts the First Amendment Above Abortion RightsContact: Kristina Garza, Director of Campus Outreach, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, 951-750-1114, [email protected] ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In an organized response to the Supreme Court decision upholding the right to practice first amendment activity in front of abortion centers, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust will have 100 young activists organizing anti-abortion outreaches through Source: Survivors

Life Legal Defense Foundation Fights On to Keep Huntsville Abortion-Free

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:00
New Alabama Laws Shuts Down City's Last Abortion Clinic Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, [email protected] HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- As the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville, Alabama, shuts its doors at month's end, Life Legal Defense Foundation continues efforts to prevent the abortion provider from reopening at a new location. "We rejoice that as of July 1, Huntsville is abortion free," stated Dana Cody, President an Source: TC Public Relations

Life Legal Defense Foundation Fights On to Keep Huntsville Abortion-Free

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:00
New Alabama Laws Shuts Down City's Last Abortion Clinic Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, [email protected] HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- As the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville, Alabama, shuts its doors at month's end, Life Legal Defense Foundation continues efforts to prevent the abortion provider from reopening at a new location. "We rejoice that as of July 1, Huntsville is abortion free," stated Dana Cody, President an Source: TC Public Relations

Ministries Urge Christians to Leverage Personal Online Networks to Spread Gospel During Social Media Week

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 14:57
Reach Beyond and GMI Providing Vital Tools and Resources to Share the Good News OnlineContact: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710, [email protected] COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- As Social Media Day is celebrated around the world during the week of June 30, Reach Beyond (www.reachbeyond.org) and Global Mapping International (GMI) (www.gmi.org) are partnering together to encourage Christians to share their faith online and equipping them with vital, pr Source: InChrist Communications

Ministries Urge Christians to Leverage Personal Online Networks to Spread Gospel During Social Media Week

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 14:57
Reach Beyond and GMI Providing Vital Tools and Resources to Share the Good News OnlineContact: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710, [email protected] COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- As Social Media Day is celebrated around the world during the week of June 30, Reach Beyond (www.reachbeyond.org) and Global Mapping International (GMI) (www.gmi.org) are partnering together to encourage Christians to share their faith online and equipping them with vital, pr Source: InChrist Communications

Author Uses Her Abuse, Pain & Rejection to Show Readers Significance is Obtainable Now

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:34
The Blush Network founder Autumn Miles shares personal story, lessons learned & spiritual insights in new book, "Appointed" Contact: Katie Martin, 972-267-1111 DALLAS, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Utilizing her own personal experiences, Autumn Miles, speaker and founder of The Blush Network, paints a picture of God's love for broken and battered women in her new book "Appointed: Your Future Starts Now," releasing July 14, 2014, from Revell. A victim of years of physical Source: A. Larry Ross Communications

Author Uses Her Abuse, Pain & Rejection to Show Readers Significance is Obtainable Now

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:34
The Blush Network founder Autumn Miles shares personal story, lessons learned & spiritual insights in new book, "Appointed" Contact: Katie Martin, 972-267-1111 DALLAS, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Utilizing her own personal experiences, Autumn Miles, speaker and founder of The Blush Network, paints a picture of God's love for broken and battered women in her new book "Appointed: Your Future Starts Now," releasing July 14, 2014, from Revell. A victim of years of physical Source: A. Larry Ross Communications

World's Longest Walk Reaches 41,000 Miles

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:28
Contact: Arthur Blessitt, 303-355-2234; www.blessitt.com ADA, Okla., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Arthur Blessitt just crossed 41,000 miles in Ada, Oklahoma Wednesday June 25 having carried 12 foot cross in 323 nations and major island groups, 82 million steps and carried a total of 18 1/2 billion pounds as a witness for Jesus and for the Glory of God. He is in the Guinness World Records for the world's longest walk. He prays and blesses people. His greatest mission is leading peop Source: arthur blessitt evangelistic association

World's Longest Walk Reaches 41,000 Miles

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:28
Contact: Arthur Blessitt, 303-355-2234; www.blessitt.com ADA, Okla., June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Arthur Blessitt just crossed 41,000 miles in Ada, Oklahoma Wednesday June 25 having carried 12 foot cross in 323 nations and major island groups, 82 million steps and carried a total of 18 1/2 billion pounds as a witness for Jesus and for the Glory of God. He is in the Guinness World Records for the world's longest walk. He prays and blesses people. His greatest mission is leading peop Source: arthur blessitt evangelistic association

Victory -- Supreme Court Strikes Down Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:27
Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700; Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, 316-516-3034; both with Operation Rescue, [email protected]   WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a huge victory for pro-life activists, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that established a buffer zone around abortion clinics, ruling it "inconsistent with the First Amendment."The Supreme Court ruled that Source: Operation Rescue

Victory -- Supreme Court Strikes Down Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 13:27
Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700; Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, 316-516-3034; both with Operation Rescue, [email protected]   WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a huge victory for pro-life activists, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that established a buffer zone around abortion clinics, ruling it "inconsistent with the First Amendment."The Supreme Court ruled that Source: Operation Rescue

U.S. Supreme Court Vindicates Pro-Life Sidewalk Counseling

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:16
Pro-Life Leader Celebrates Buffer Zone Ruling, Looks Ahead to Future Victories Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, [email protected] WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- America's foremost grassroots pro-life activist organization is applauding today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCullen v. Coakley. The nation's high court struck down the restrictive Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law, allowing pro-life sidewalk counselors to resume sharing life-saving alternative Source: TC Public Relations

U.S. Supreme Court Vindicates Pro-Life Sidewalk Counseling

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:16
Pro-Life Leader Celebrates Buffer Zone Ruling, Looks Ahead to Future Victories Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, [email protected] WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- America's foremost grassroots pro-life activist organization is applauding today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCullen v. Coakley. The nation's high court struck down the restrictive Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law, allowing pro-life sidewalk counselors to resume sharing life-saving alternative Source: TC Public Relations

Experience the Beauty of Mary of Nazareth

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:26
Ignatius Press announces parish and school screening program for hit film Mary of Nazareth Contact: Kevin Wandra, 404-788-1276, [email protected] SAN FRANCISCO, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- MARY of NAZARETH, the epic motion picture on the life of the Blessed Mother from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus, was seen by some 200,000 people at close to 600 theatrical screening events in more than 270 cities across North America as part of Ignatius Press' Source: Carmel Communications

Experience the Beauty of Mary of Nazareth

Christian Newswire - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:26
Ignatius Press announces parish and school screening program for hit film Mary of Nazareth Contact: Kevin Wandra, 404-788-1276, [email protected] SAN FRANCISCO, June 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- MARY of NAZARETH, the epic motion picture on the life of the Blessed Mother from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus, was seen by some 200,000 people at close to 600 theatrical screening events in more than 270 cities across North America as part of Ignatius Press' Source: Carmel Communications

Pages