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Freedom of Religion Tag

A few weeks ago, a viral article by Think Progress accused Chick-fil-A's foundation of actively supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations. The article was cited and reposted by news networks and individual blogs alike, and for the gazillionth time, calls to boycott the world's best chicken sandwich bounced around progressive spheres of the web.

The second attempt by the State of Colorado to punish Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop has come to an end, once again, with a victory for the baker. Round 1 was the baker's refusal to create a custom cake for a same-sex marriage, on the ground that it violated the baker's Christian faith to create a message celebrating same-sex marriage.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) wrote a scathing op-ed, which was published in The Hill Tuesday, in which she lambasted lawmakers who questioned US district judicial nominee Brian Buescher about his affiliation with the Catholic organization, Knights of Columbus. While Rep. Gabbard never mentioned Sen. Hirono by name, the only two Senators to have made an issue of Buescher's participation in the Knights of Columbus were Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

When Masterpiece Cakeshop won its case on June 4, 2018, in the U.S. Supreme Court over refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gay wedding, many people assumed it was a win for religious freedom and free speech (the right not to have government compel your speech). The cake shop did not refuse to sell cakes to gays, it simply didn't want to prepare a custom cake with a specific message on it which it believed was contrary to the owner's religious beliefs. But as we covered at the time, the Supreme Court decision was tailored to bias against the cake shop in the Colorado administrative process. Justice Kennedy authored the 7-2 opinion:

An Evangelical Christian group at Harvard recently dismissed its student leader when she revealed that she is in a same sex relationship. For this, the group has been branded discriminatory. For merely holding true to their faith, these students have now seen their group defunded.

United States lawmakers Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va) were stopped and questioned by Israeli police on the morning of February 22nd while they were visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to media reports of the incident (see, for example, here and here), Tipton and McKinley were detained by Israeli officers guarding the site after the Waqf—the Jordanian-funded Islamic Trust that administers day-to-day activities there—brought to their attention that one of the congressmen had apparently taken an olive branch that he had found lying on the ground while touring the place.

I have to admit, I fell asleep at the baker's wheel. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued to the Supreme Court earlier this month and I, didn't cover it. Not out of lack of interest, but more feeling like we're chasing a swarm of daily dust ups created by (1) Trump Derangement Syndrome in all its many and varied forms, (2) Trump on Twitter, (3) media reacting to Trump on Twitter, (4) Alabama, (5) War on Women and #MeTwo, (6) Men at Work, (7) the End of the World. Plus, it was end of the semester, and things were busy. Excuses, I've had a few.

President Donald Trump's administration has decided to roll back a portion of Obamacare that mandates a private company must include birth control coverage in health insurance plans. From The Washington Examiner:
The new rules allow any employer to be exempt from the mandate "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs" or on "moral convictions." Employers who decide not to provide coverage do not need to inform the federal government but would need to tell their employees about their decision.

One of the many things that has long puzzled me about the leftist agenda is its long-standing, mulit-pronged attack on Judeo-Christianity.  On the one hand, I understand that the left has a reason for wishing to undermine religion.  After all, as assorted totalitarians, fascists, and communists well know, a populace permitted to believe in and publicly worship a power higher than government is anathema to totalitarian central control. Challenging and wiping out all religious references makes perfect sense if your goal is the total subjugation of a people under the all-powerful arm of a government that claims it will provide for all of its citizens' earthly needs.  What has puzzled me is that much of the left's base is Christian and/or Catholic.  I've been waiting at least ten years for the left to grasp this simple fact.

Thousands of North Koreans are fleeing the Communist prison state thanks to an underground Christian network spread across China, reports the British newspaper Daily Express. The 3000-mile long network, run by South Korean and Chinese Christians, also dubbed as the ‘underground railroad’, helps dissidents from the north to escape to freedom into Thailand. Many of these escapees later find a new home in South Korea.

I have written often, and recently, about the corrosive effect of the Southern Poverty Law Center's highly-politicized "hate" and "extremist" lists. Politico also recently focused on the problem, which I described in Southern Poverty Law Center “extremist” lists used “to silence speech and speakers”, including this quote from the Politico article:

On February 20, the Iranian regime arrested a Catholic mother and son as it continues to crack down on the faith. Unfortunately, there is no update on the two of them. Anousheh Rezabakhsh and Soheil Zargarzadeh converted to Catholicism in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2016. It just goes to show that Christians still have to practice their faith in secret in the Islamic country.
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