Trump’s Spiritual Advisor Criticizes Biden Policies

Paula White, President Trump’s spiritual advisor, took aim at President Joe Biden’s policies since taking office.

In an interview with Dr. Gina Loudon on the Real America’s Voice news network on Wednesday, Pastor White criticized the Biden Administration for enacting policies that are “totally out of alignment” with the Christian faith. Specifically, White pointed to Biden’s attempts to undo much of the progress made by the Trump administration in efforts to protect religious freedom and the right to life.

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Legal Group Intervenes After University Bars Christian Student from Classes over Refusal to Take Vaccines

Girl with mask on

A Christian nonprofit legal group has sent a letter to the University of Alabama-Birmingham after the public university blocked a student from registering for classes because she would not take vaccines.

The letter from First Liberty Institute asks university officials to follow the religious exemption it granted Jackie Gale for her first year at school. The university does not currently mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Due to Ms. Gale’s religious beliefs, she cannot receive the childhood immunizations UAB requires under its immunization policy,” Christine Pratt, counsel for First Liberty, wrote in a May 13 demand letter.

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Commentary: A Critical Tool for Advancing and Defending International Religious Freedom

American flag in front of large crowd of people

The United States recognizes religious freedom as an unalienable right and is committed to its advancement and protection for all.

As the world’s leading defender of the right to worship freely, the United States strongly condemns and holds accountable those nations and non-state actors who reject and violate this fundamental freedom.

In support of this mission, on May 12, 2021, the United States Department of State released the 23rd annual Report on International Religious Freedom as required by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA).  This report describes the status of religious freedom in every country, government policies violating religious beliefs and practices, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world.  Each year, the report is presented to the U.S. Congress. 

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Commentary: Championing America’s First Freedom

Person waving flag outside of window

The right to worship freely is often called America’s first freedom.  Our founding fathers understood religious freedom not as the state’s creation but as an unalienable right from God.

This universal right is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”

Today, however, religious freedom is threatened or restricted entirely for millions of people around the world.  Over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with high or severe restrictions on religious freedom.  In far too many places across the globe, governments and others prevent individuals from living in accordance with their beliefs.

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LGBT Legal Group Sues to Strip Religious Universities of Civil Rights Protections

A group of Christian college students is suing the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that Title IX’s religious exemption allows federally-funded religious colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students.

The Religious Exemption Accountability Project filed the lawsuit in an Oregon federal court on March 29. The suit aims to prohibit any students from using federal tuition grants, student loans, and any other federal financial aid at post-secondary schools that uphold biblical beliefs on gender and sexuality.

“REAP’s lawsuit asserts the constitutional and basic human rights of LGBTQ+ students, seeking to end the sexual, physical and psychological abuses perpetrated under the religious exemption to Title IX at thousands of federally-funded schools, colleges and universities across America,” according to the organization’s website.

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Commentary: India’s Anti-Religious Freedom Laws

Three state governments in India have recently passed new “freedom of religion” laws, also known as anti-conversion laws.  The new laws are an attempt to suppress the alleged “love jihad” – an attempt by Muslim men to marry Hindu women with the intention of converting their wives to Islam.  

Historically, India’s anti-conversion laws differ slightly by state, but as the U.S. Library of Congress noted, “All of the laws seek to prevent any person from converting or attempting to convert, either directly or otherwise, another person through ‘forcible’ or ‘fraudulent’ means, or by ‘allurement’ or ‘inducement.’”  

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Delayed Again: Bill to Exempt Houses of Worship from Emergency Closures

A bill prohibiting government-mandated emergency closures for worship services has been delayed once again, as the Tennessee General Assembly floor session on Monday. State Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County) delivered the news on behalf of the sponsor, State Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern), requesting that the bill be placed on the next available calendar. No explanation was given for this delay.

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Grills delayed the bill initially due to concerns from legislators opposed to prohibiting church closures. Two Democratic legislators, State Representatives London Lamar (D-Memphis) and Harold Love, Jr. (D-Nashville) expressed concerns that the bill constrained government authorities from stopping church gatherings during a pandemic or other emergencies.

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Lucero Bill Would Protect Religious Freedom After Minnesota Gov. Walz ‘Blatantly Violated’ Constitutional Protections

A Republican representative introduced a bill last week to provide legal protections to churches during states of emergency.

Under HF 2422, authored by Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, health boards, whether at the state or local level, would not be allowed to impose restrictions upon religious organizations during a declared emergency.

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House to Vote on Bill Prohibiting Emergency Regulations, Closures on Churches, Religious Institutions

In Tennessee, houses of worship may never have to worry about blanket policies shutting them down during a state of emergency. Specifically, a proposed bill would limit state, political subdivisions, or public officials from imposing restrictions or outright prohibiting churches or religious organizations from operating. 

The bill would also limit the authority of county health officers to mandate quarantines. It wouldn’t extend its protections to those places of worship where an outbreak has occurred.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

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Commentary: Trump Administration Protects Patients’ Religious Freedom From COVID Lockdowns

When hospitals in Maryland and Virginia recently denied patients access to their priests, the Trump administration stepped in to protect the patients’ religious freedom from Covid lockdown overreach.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it took government intervention to resolve the cases, one involving MedStar’s Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) and the second one involving Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) in Virginia.

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Christian Wedding Photographer and Ministries Sue Virginia Over Law Banning LGBTQ Discrimination

A Christian wedding photographer and two churches, three Christian schools, and a pro-life ministry sued Virginia for its LGBTQ discrimination law. The plaintiffs argue that the law is a violation of religious freedom in the First Amendment.

The Christian plaintiffs say the state law forces their hand. If they don’t forsake God’s commandments, they could endure hundreds of thousands or more in fines and litigation fees. And, they could face a court order to adhere to the law. These individuals are also prohibited from expressing any religious beliefs that may be perceived as discriminatory.

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School Districts Refuse Many Exceptions from Mask Mandate Says Activist

The Ohio Department of Health last month mandated the use of facial coverings by K-12 students. The mandate came with several exceptions, including for those who were unable to wear masks due to health issues and religious exemptions.

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Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

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Commentary: The Church Collaborates in Its Own Destruction

Pope Francis

One might think the Catholic Church would stand against the orgy of iconoclasm that we are witnessing across the country — toppled statues, defaced churches, and the like. But, no, the feeble voices of priests and bishops join the creepy chorus of the mob. In California, the mob has targeted statues of Junipero Serra, the saintly Franciscan who spread the faith through a system of missions. Where is the Church to protect the statues? Nowhere. In Ventura, where the mob demands the removal of a Serra statue in front of its city hall, the Church has gone along with it.

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More California Churches, Sheriffs Announce Defiance of State, Local Orders

California entered phase 2 of its reopening plan Friday, but that excluded houses of worship being able to hold in-person services. Regardless, several thousand church leaders say they plan to reopen by May 31 no matter what the governor says.

California Church United, a network of 3,000 California churches, representing 2.5 million members, announced it plans to open May 31, instead of waiting until the state implements phase 3, which includes allowing modified reopening of houses of worship.

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Democrat Governor of Kentucky Orders Police to Take Down Tag Numbers of Church-Goers, Other Easter Gatherings So Government Can Impose Two Week Quarantines on Citizens

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told police to take down tag numbers of people attending churches and other gatherings on Easter so the government could go to their homes and impose a 14-day quarantine over COVID-19 concerns.

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Tennessee Republicans Fight To Protect Faith-Based Adoption Agencies From Discrimination

Republicans continue to shepherd legislation through the Tennessee General Assembly to protect faith-based child placement agencies against discrimination for exercising their religious liberties provided by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. State Rep. Tim Rudd (R-TN-34) and Sen. Mark Pody (R-TN-17) are the sponsors. The bills are HB 836 and SB…

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Iowa Employee Fired for Signing Emails ‘In Christ’ Loses Court Battle

An Iowa state employee who sued his former employer after being fired for signing his emails “In Christ” lost his court battle Wednesday. According to the Sioux City Journal, a federal jury found Wednesday that Michael Mial, a former employee of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute’s Civil Commitment Unit for…

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Envoy Says Trump Willing to ‘Stand Up and Push’ for Global Religious Freedom

by Rachel del Guidice   President Donald Trump is committed to pushing for greater tolerance of different faiths by governments around the world and dismantling an “iron curtain of religious persecution,” his envoy for religious freedom said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “Most people in the world move by…

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Raul Lopez Commentary: Religious Freedom, Not Gay Marriage, Is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

  By Raul Lopez June 10, 2017 LGBT activists, radical feminists, and others love to claim their cause is “the civil rights issue of today”—invoking historical comparisons between their group and the persecution Black Americans faced during the height of Jim Crow America. In fact, many of these groups have…

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