Lawyer: "fix" for Indiana bill will drive religious people out of business

04/02/2015 Comments (145)

This morning, Indiana business leaders approved changes in Indiana's religious freedom legislation, which had sparked a wave of unprecedented protests, and prompted gay rights activists, the NCAA, tech business leaders and celebrities to call for a boycott of the state.

"The bill states the week-old law doesn’t give anyone the right to refuse services, employment or housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity, while also not allowing the law to provide a legal defense in a civil action over the refusal of service. It exempts churches and religious organizations," reported The Wall Street Journal.

Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, expressed...READ MORE

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Canada Celebrates John Paul II Day

04/01/2015 Comments (20)

Here in Canada, this April 2, we will be celebrating John Paul II Day. I don’t just mean the Catholic Church in Canada will be honoring him — I mean that the Canadian government has signed into law a bill declaring, “Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the second day of April is to be known as ‘Pope John Paul II Day.’”

The Ontario Legislature has also passed a similar bill. Both my provincial and my federal government have decided that we’re all going to celebrate the life and achievements of the recently canonized pope, who died 10 years ago on April 2.

The bill received overwhelming support in both legislatures — basically, the New Democrats were the only people who really voted...READ MORE

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Pro-Choice Episcopal Bishop Says Climate Denial is a Moral Issue

03/31/2015 Comments (43)

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church, who is pro-choice on the issue of life, says climate change denial is a "moral issue."

“Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you,” she reportedly said. “In that sense, yes, it could be understood as a moral issue.”

She continued by saying, “I think it is a very blind position. I think it is a refusal to use the best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God.”

Wow. Seems like a hard line, huh? Well Jefferts Schori takes a rather more...nuanced view on other issues such as life.

"We say it is a moral...READ MORE

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Nobody told me!

03/31/2015 Comments (43)

There was a commotion in the communion line. I couldn't hear what the deacon was saying, but the woman who approached him was responding to him in a loud, conversational tone that rose above the reverent murmur in the church. "What are you talking about?" she called out. "Is this what you mean? This?"

Horror: she was waving around a consecrated Host like it was a business card or a cookie. I started to put the baby down, preparing to rush over and tackle this woman before she did something unthinkable.

Then I realized she was smiling, embarrassed. She gave the Host back to the deacon and said, just as loudly, "I didn't know! Nobody told me!" And she walked away. As far as I can tell, she...READ MORE

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Terri Schiavo and the Weapons of Our Warfare

03/31/2015 Comments (44)

Ten years after Terri Schiavo was ordered to be made dead by the state, there remains an open wound that is only festering as the state continues to become the servant of the powerful in an expanding arena of war by the strong against the weak. 

Propagandists tell us that "extraordinary medical treatment" was withdrawn so that she could "die with dignity".  Pardon me while I pause from writing this to receive some "medical treatment" from my kitchen in the form of a glass of a glass of tap water and a sandwich from the fridge.  Food and drink are not "medical treatment" but basic human rights.  What was denied Terri Schiavo was nothing extraordinary, but simply a drink of water.  She was,...READ MORE

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A Story of Two Holy Week Commemorations

03/30/2015 Comments (1)

As churches celebrate the solemn events of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, commemorations range from the simple to the elaborate.

In Colorado's San Luis Valley, the small town of San Luis (which is a couple of hours from Pueblo) has an outdoors Stations of the Cross. This Way of the Cross goes along a nearly mile-long trail leading up to the top of a mesa.

People come to this Stations of the Cross Shrine all year. The magnificent sculptures are done by internationally known sculptor Huberto Maestas, himself a San Luis native. The Vatican Museums have copies of these stations. The full story is here.

Of course, making these Stations of the...READ MORE

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Indiana Governor to Critics of Religious Freedom Bill: Is tolerance a two-way street or not?

03/30/2015 Comments (54)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appears March 29 on ABC's This Week.


On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence pushed back against critics of his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said to be one of 20 plus such law passed in the country, with language similar to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

"In more than two decades, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never been used to undermine the laws protecting discrimination in our country," said Pence. He noted he was open to inserting language clarifying the intent of the law.

“The issue here is, you know: Is tolerance a two-way street or not?” asked Pence. "There is a lot of talk about tolerance in this country with people on...READ MORE

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Cheating the Oracle

03/29/2015 Comments (3)

One of the most popular sorts of story in the world is the "Cheat the Oracle" story. The idea is that Heaven decrees the hero's fate and nothing can change it. The hero (or perhaps the hero's parents or guardians if the hero is an infant) then attempts to cheat the oracle by hiding the hero in a distant land or selling him into slavery or something. In so doing, this sets in motion the fulfillment of the prophecy. And so, in ancient Greece, Oedipus is fated to kill his father and marry his mother. In ancient Israel, Joseph is fated to rule over his brothers and father. Oedipus' guardians and Joseph's brothers labor to thwart their respective oracles, but every step they take is just one...READ MORE

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