University Christian Clubs Not Allowed to Require Leaders to be Christian

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Female university grad

It’s a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict “belief organizations from requiring belief.”

The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn’t it?

And yet, in the name of inclusiveness, some state universities (like the California State University system) are choosing to impose this nonsensical restriction, and private schools like Vanderbilt University are following suit.

Praying for Our Christian Family in Iraq

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Man upset, praying

If you’ve had an eye on the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard reports about the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), more recently known as “The Islamic State.”

They’re a well-armed Muslim extremist group sweeping throughout Iraq, exercising both military and political control over the regions they conquer.

Just the other day we saw grisly images of the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley. ISIS claimed responsibility for his murder.

Beyond the political complications usually addressed on the nightly news are disturbing accounts that hit much closer to home for all of us who profess the name of Christ.

Update on the Supreme Court Rulings

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Picture of the Supreme Court building

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on June 30th, which upheld the protection of religious liberties. At issue was one facet of the Affordable Care Act which would have forced many business owners to violate their religious principles by requiring them to fund possible abortion-causing drugs in their company health plans.

As the dust settles from this case, moms and dads all over the country who are busy at work and at home are wondering, “What difference does all this make to me?

Counting the Heavy Cost of American Independence

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Young boy waving American flag at sunset

The following is excerpted from a previous July 4th reflection:

When it comes to America’s sovereignty, freedom has never been free. Dating back to the Revolutionary War right up until our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 1.3 million Americans have died in combat. It’s important to remember that each of these deaths is not an isolated incident; no man is an island. When a soldier falls, life within a family unit is irrevocably and permanently changed.

Guest Post: How Does the Hobby Lobby Decision Affect Wedding Vendors?

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Picture of a Hobby Lobby storefront in Stow, Ohio

The Supreme Court’s June 30 decision, which protects Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties from having to pay for possible abortion-causing drugs in company health plans, was a necessary win for religious freedom. The Court’s opinion, written by Justice Alito, relies on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to reach its conclusion that religious freedom trumps the government interest in this instance.

Many Christians are already asking: “Well, if religious freedom can trump a government law, then could wedding vendors refuse to participate in same-sex weddings on religious grounds?”

In several cases over the past few years involving Christian photographers, bakers, and florists, state courts and civil rights commissions have said “no.”

Does Hobby Lobby change things?

BREAKING: Supreme Court Upholds Religious Freedom

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Picture of the Supreme Court building

This is a great day for religious freedom.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases is a much-anticipated and wonderful affirmation as the court process proceeds. It shows that religious freedom continues to be the lifeblood of a country founded on the inalienable rights afforded to us by our Creator.

We rejoice with the Green and Hahn families who are now free to continue serving the public, their loyal employees, and their God without having to compromise their faith.

Guest Post: Who are Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties?

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American flag in wind

Last week I introduced a series by Bruce Hausknecht, Focus’ judicial analyst, on two cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. These cases can potentially have far-reaching implication on the state of religious liberties in our country, which is why it’s important that Christians understand what’s going on – and what’s at stake.

The first part answered the question, “How did we get here?” In this second part, Bruce answers, “Who are Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties?”

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Hobby Lobby

The Green family – David Green, Barbara Green, Steve Green, Mart Green and Darsee Lett – are committed evangelicals, and the founders and owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, as well as Mardel, a chain of Christian bookstores. 

Guest Post: What You Need to Know About Religious Liberties Cases Before SCOTUS

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Two cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court are of special interest to many people of faith because they deal with the issue of religious liberties. I’ve previously asked you to pray for these cases because of their far-reaching implications and because the families behind the companies are committed Christians who need our support.

Cases like these tend to be complicated, drawn-out and tough to follow, which is why I’m glad to have Focus’ judicial analyst, Bruce Hausknecht, guest blog. 

The American Church Has a Choice to Make

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church steeple against blue sky

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, has been consistently coming out with interesting and relevant perspectives on the Christian faith, the general culture and the interaction between the two. I enjoyed sitting down with him in Nashville recently for an interview on his popular internet-based show.

In a piece published last week for Christianity Today, “4 Trends for Churches to Consider,” Stetzer builds on some of the points he presented earlier this year refuting the myth about the “dying” American Church.

Tears at Midnight

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Young boy waving American flag at sunset

Some time ago I found myself in Washington D.C. attending a series of meetings. After spending the entire day and evening inside several buildings, I was eager for some fresh air. What followed would be a night I’d never forget.

With me in Washington that evening was my friend, Roger Sherrard. Roger is a constitutional attorney and a dear man, now serving as principal at Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano, in the state of Washington.

It was 11 P.M.