Well, we now have some indication how columnist Jonathan Merritt will defend his preferential option for Caesar.
Merritt asks us to imagine the following scenario:
“I’d like to purchase a wedding cake,” the glowing young woman says as she clutches the arm of her soon-to-be husband. “We’re getting married at the Baptist church downtown this coming spring.”
Global persecution of Christians, especially in the Muslim world, is one of the most overlooked human rights disasters of the 21st century. Christian activists are demanding that the State Department add a new envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East, but their campaign is stymied by those concerned about government redundancy.
Persecution of Christians is the “premier human rights issue of the early 21st century, as well as the most untold story about global Christianity in our time,” Boston Globe reporter John Allen stated in prepared remarks on February 11, 2014. Addressing a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing, Allen and other panelists ominously delineated Christianity’s threatened state around the world.
Hobby Lobby has filed a brief with the Supreme Court formally requesting relief from the Obamacare contraception mandate, arguing that the mandate violates its owners’ religious freedom in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
An Idaho state lawmaker says he’s concerned about cases in other states where people have refused to do business with others on religious grounds.
Rep. Lynn Luker (R-Boise) is quoted by the Spokesman-Review as saying he’s concerned about cases in other states, including a New Mexico wedding photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex marriage and faced penalties.
Luker argues that a “pre-emptive” move is necessary in Idaho. He has introduced a measure in the Idaho House of Representatives that he says will protect licensed professionals from being “legally harassed” for acting upon their religious beliefs.
“Religious liberty advocates are particularly appreciative that the President mentioned the egregious blasphemy and defamation laws such as those of Pakistan,” says IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith McDonnell.
A province in Indonesia may pass a bylaw requiring residents to take part in Islamic prayers several times a day. A bylaw is a law or regulation that is made by a local government and applies only to that local area.
The primacy of religious freedom in the social order of free societies, historically acknowledged in America if not perfectly realized, is today under intense attack by secularist thinkers and their followers, whose true object is not state neutrality about religion, but the elimination in practice, and ultimately, in belief of religious doctrines they object to.
Do Christians really believe, and are they committed to the claims of Biblical faith, to God’s lordship, the uniqueness of his truth revealed in the Bible, and the moral precepts set forth in it? Our liturgies, sermons, and prayers resound with claims of God’s lordship, and its superiority over anything else … Nothing is more vital to freedom than liberty of conscience, nothing is a greater injustice to the individual than the government requiring that person to violate his or her conscience. If people are required to do what they are convinced is wrong, the formerly free societies of the West will effectively become a tyranny, which has no regard for the worth of the lives of its subjects.