Advancing Religious Liberty

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Posted 10/16/14 at 12:54 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Preaching homosexuality: Four kinds of churches

AUTHOR: Dean Inserra

NOTE: Dean Inserra will be one of the speakers at the ERLC National Conference: “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” The conference is designed to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches. This event will be held at the iconic Opryland Hotel on October 27-29, 2014. Get a discount on your ticket here.

I believe there are four types of churches when it comes to preaching on or addressing homosexuality. As culture continues to move toward a “post-gender” mindset, those who wish to expound a biblical worldview that points to the work of Christ will need to be clearer than ever. Unfortunately, those churches are the minority.

Here are four types of churches who take different approaches to addressing this massive cultural shift: FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 12:50 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Houston We Have A Problem…And A Constitution!

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom Social Content Editor Emily Conley

Actually, Houston, we have several problems: The city of Houston passed a law that would allow members of the opposite sex to use each other’s restrooms, in the name of “prohibiting discrimination,” known as HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance). Voters weren’t so thrilled, and responding by petitioning to repeal the ordinance or at least, put it up for a vote. They got over 50,000 signatures, more than three times the required number. The city secretary, (who is entrusted by law to examine and certify petitions) certified them as sufficient.

But the mayor and city attorney defied the law, claimed less than the required number of signatures was valid – and threw out the petition. In response, several petitioners organized a lawsuit.

That didn’t sit too well.

The city attorneys issued subpoenas to five pastors, demanding they turn over any speeches, writings, or sermons on gender identity, homosexuality, or mentioning the mayor, Annise Parker, who identifies as a lesbian. The pastors are not party to the lawsuit. Asking them to turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city can see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city, violates the First Amendment. In response to the outrage, the mayor tweeted that if pastors had talked about these political issues, they are “fair game”: FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 12:46 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

3 Reasons Christian Students Will Win

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker

It came as a shock to many people recently when they learned that the California State University System was forcing InterVarsity Christian Fellowship off campus because the group refused – justifiably – to abandon its core Christian message. But while InterVarsity’s announcement was news to many, it was only the latest in a decades-long battle for Christian groups at universities nationwide – a battle that students will eventually win if they stand by their convictions.

Here are three things you should know:

Misapplication of university “nondiscrimination” policies are the culprit

Years ago, federal and state governments required universities to adopt policies promising not to discriminate against students based on race, sex, religion, and age, among other things. This was a good thing. For example, it assured students that they would not be denied admission to a college based on their religious beliefs. These policies protected students from discriminatory actions by university administrators. FULL POST

Posted 10/13/14 at 5:58 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

50 Years After Berkeley Days: What Free Speech Looks Like on College Campuses

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Web Writer Marissa Poulson

For many, going to college is a rite of passage. It is the first foray into true adulthood—away from parents. College students are encouraged to learn, to satisfy their curiosity, and to further form the beliefs, ideals, and values that will accompany them through later stages in life.

Or are they?

The New York Times recently ran a piece highlighting the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which originated at the University of California, Berkeley, on October 1, 1964. While many believe college campuses have come a long way since then, others know that freedom of speech is not always a right recognized for today’s college students—especially those whose beliefs, ideals, and values differ from those of the majority of professors, administrators, or other campus leaders.

This particular quote was quite telling:

“’What worries me in all this celebration is that we forget what freedom of speech actually means,” said Claire Chiara, the president of the Berkeley Campus Republicans. “No professor ever flat out doesn’t let you voice your opinion,” she said, but when she does, she is accustomed to “feeling uncomfortable,” and professors saying, “That’s one way someone could look at it.’” FULL POST

Posted 10/13/14 at 11:10 AM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Commander of 180th Fighter Wing: “No Christian Messages Allowed”

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue

Can Christians be commanders in the Ohio Air National Guard? Apparently, only if they keep quiet about their faith. At least, that seems to be the answer that Col. Craig R. Baker, the Commander of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio National Guard recently gave when he censored a unit newsletter.

Here’s what happened. The Stinger, a newsletter of the Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, commanded by Col. Baker, includes a monthly informational column called “Commander’s Comments,” Recently, Col. Florencio Marquinez, the Commander of the Fighter Wing’s Medical Group, volunteered his views in the September, 2014 edition of The Stinger.

That’s when the problem started. A civilian complained about Col. Marquinez’s article, claiming it to be “odious” and “offending.” Now, those are pretty harsh words. Surely the article must have been really bad. It must have advocated something horrible. So what was it that got the civilian so upset? FULL POST

Posted 10/10/14 at 7:03 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

It’s Not Too Late

This year we had a record number of pastors take part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. So far, 1,758 signed up to stand against the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment in 2014. That’s a total of 3,814 distinct pastors since we started in 2008. Watch a sample from a sermon from this past weekend.

But if you missed October 6th, it’s not too late. It doesn’t end with last Sunday: you can still join us, and preach a Pulpit Freedom sermon any time this year.

Visit PulpitFreedom.org to join the movement to end IRS control over your sermons. Sign the agreement statement, and if you can, preach an election sermon this year.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday is not about endorsing the candidates of one party over another. It is about ending IRS oversight of the sermons preached in America. The IRS should not decide whether your sermon is “political” or “biblical.” Our nation needs to fix the Johnson Amendment now, before it is too late. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/14 at 5:00 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

There’s Nothing Natural about Doctor-Aided Death (Or This Case)

 AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Web Writer Marissa Poulson

What does Alda Gross have to say now that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has thrown out her case against the Swiss government demanding access to doctor-aided death?

Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

In a twist better suited for your favorite primetime legal drama, it was revealed that the ECHR had previously ruled in her favor, even though Gross had died before the ruling … by doctor-aided death.

Switzerland is one of four European countries to allow doctor-aided death, but Swiss law currently requires a doctor’s examination and prescription, and is reserved for the terminally ill—Gross was not. While she still managed to obtain the drug without a prescription, she wasn’t ready to give up her case.

With the help of her “confidant,” a volunteer for the pro-aided death group EXIT, Gross’ death was kept a secret for over three years as her case traveled to the European Court of Human Rights, which sided in Gross’ favor, and then the Grand Chamber. But when news broke that Gross was in fact dead and had been for quite some time, and by the very drug that she was suing to obtain, it was all over. FULL POST

Posted 10/9/14 at 1:26 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future

AUTHOR: Russell Moore

The Bible tells us that the king of Israel once wanted to hear from the prophets, as to whether he would be victorious over his enemies. All the court prophets told him exactly what he wanted to hear. Yet the king of Judah, wisely, asked whether there might be another voice to hear from, and Israel’s king said that, yes, there was, but that he hated this prophet “because he never prophesies good concerning me” (1 Kings 22:8).Once found, this prophet refused to speak the consensus word the king wanted to hear. “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (1 Kings 22:14). And, as it turned out, it was a hard word.

When it comes to what people want to hear, it seems to me that the church faces a similar situation as we look to the future of marriage in this country. Many want the sort of prophetic witness that will spin the situation to look favorable, regardless of whether that favor is from the Lord or in touch with reality.

Some people want a court of prophets who will take a surgeon’s scalpel to the Word of God. They want those who will say in light of what the Bible clearly calls immorality, “Has God really said?” Following the trajectory of every old liberalism of the past, they want to do with a Christian sexual ethic what the old liberals did with the virgin birth—claim that contemporary people just won’t have this, and if we want to rescue Christianity, this will have to go overboard. All the while they’ll tell us they’re doing it for the children (or for the Millennials). FULL POST

Posted 10/8/14 at 4:58 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis

AUTHOR: Dr. Al Mohler|
NOTE: Dr. R. Albert Mohler will be one of the speakers at the ERLC National Conference: “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” The conference is designed to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches. This event will be held at the iconic Opryland Hotel on October 27-29, 2014. Use our discount code to get 10% off!


Western society is currently experiencing what can only be described as a moral revolution. Our society’s moral code and collective ethical evaluation on a particular issue has undergone not small adjustments but a complete reversal. That which was once condemned is now celebrated, and the refusal to celebrate is now condemned.

What makes the current moral and sexual revolution so different from previous moral revolutions is that it is taking place at an utterly unprecedented velocity. Previous generations experienced moral revolutions over decades, even centuries. This current revolution is happening at warp speed. FULL POST

Posted 10/8/14 at 4:44 PM | Alliance Defending Freedom

So Much Drama: the Continuing Quest to Bring Religious Freedom to Campus

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears

One thing we just don’t seem to ever run out of at Alliance Defending Freedom are opportunities to stand for the freedom of students at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities to speak and live out their faith on campus.

It really is just astonishing that a tradition as long and clearly established as the free exchange of ideas among young people and their professors should be so continually endangered by the narrow-minded agenda of so many of those charged with broadening our children and grandchildren’s horizons. Or, to be fair, the more frequent limitations enforced on students by administrators frightened by what they don’t understand and intimidated by those determined to take advantage of their ignorance in matters of the law.

In Lawton, Oklahoma, for instance, a student at Cameron University complained that another student, David Harper, engaged in “religious discrimination” by handing out religious flyers. ADF filed a lawsuit against the university on behalf of Mr. Harper last May, and last week, administrators agreed to change their speech policies and settle the suit. FULL POST

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