Religious Freedom

Focus on the Family Minute

Episode

Everyone Rises

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks on the importance of religious freedom in the United States. Listen to the full program here.

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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Secretary Pompeo: Defending Religious Freedoms

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the challenges of being a Christian in a secular society and emphasizes the need for – and importance of – religious freedoms in the United States and around the world.

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Cornell University

Article

Cornell Group Invites, Then Disinvites Pro-Life Speaker Over Her Religious Views

Bruce Hausknecht

Jannique Stewart is a pro-life speaker who received an invitation in January to speak about abortion—from a pro-life perspective—at an event the Cornell University Political Union (CPU) was going to hold in April.

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Free speech

Article

A Pretty Good Week for Free Speech

Bruce Hausknecht

There are weeks when it’s hard to believe that freedom of speech is one of our country’s core values. It’s frequently in the news these days because it’s been violated, whether through restrictive policies on college campuses, government attempts to compel speech that violates consciences, or government efforts to censor speech that it disagrees with.

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Hawaii State Capitol

Article

Hawaii Agrees to Protect Free Speech Rights of Pregnancy Resource Centers

Bruce Hausknecht

In a little-noticed press release recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had reached a settlement agreement with the State of Hawaii over the issue of compelling pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) to promote abortion.

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The University of Kentucky

Article

Kentucky Legislature Passes Campus Free Speech Bill

Bruce Hausknecht

By overwhelming majorities in the state Senate and House, Kentucky lawmakers have passed a campus free speech protection bill aimed at the state’s public (i.e., government-owned) universities and colleges. Governor Matt Bevin is expected to sign it into law.

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A church steeple

Article

Federal Appeals Court Saves Ministers’ Housing Allowance

Bruce Hausknecht

The median church in America has 75 regular participants on Sunday mornings. It’s difficult to pay a pastor a living wage—let alone what his college and likely post-graduate degree would call for—plus maintain the church premises and engage in community ministry with the tithes and offerings of the average congregation.

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Southern Poverty Law Center logo

Article

Cleaning House at the Southern Poverty Law Center

Bruce Hausknecht

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the controversial group whose well-known “hate map” targets religious conservatives and conservative organizations alongside the KKK and other racist groups, has announced the firing of one of its founders, Morris Dees.

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Focus on the Family Commentary

Episode

The Separation of Church and State

Did you know that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not written in any founding document? Jim Daly shares why that matters and why religious freedom lies at the heart of American freedom.

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Betsy DeVos

Article

U.S. Department of Education Rejects Ban on Religious Contractors

Bruce Hausknecht

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), announced that DOE will no longer enforce a ban on religious organizations serving as contractors to provide services for private schools.

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Cedar Park Church Sign

Article

Washington State Forces Churches to Pay for Abortions

Bruce Hausknecht

Imagine this scenario: Your church believes in the sanctity of life and that abortion is a sin. Your church employs more than 50 persons and therefore must provide health insurance to its employees as required by the federal Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

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Jack Phillips

Article

Masterpiece Cakeshop: 2; Colorado Anti-Religious Bigotry: 0

Bruce Hausknecht

Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who fought an unjust decision against him by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won last year, is now 2-0 against the religious bigotry of said Commission.

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Supreme Court Building

Article

SCOTUS Declines Religious Freedom Cases, But With a Positive Twist

Bruce Hausknecht

How can you lose and win at the same time? It’s not easy, but the U.S. Supreme Court has figured out a way. Recently, the Court declined several religious freedom appeals.

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Supreme Court room

Article

The Bladensburg War Memorial: SCOTUS Hears Argument

Bruce Hausknecht

On February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association. The issue? Does a WWI War Memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause because of its location on government property?

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Bladensburg Cross

Article

Bladensburg Oral Arguments Today - What to Expect

Tim Goeglein

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether or not a 100‐year‐old veterans memorial in Maryland should be torn down.

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Bladensburg Memorial

Article

Atheists Flex Legal Muscles at the Supreme Court

Bruce Hausknecht

On Wednesday, February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will convene to hear oral arguments over whether a war memorial shaped like a cross, sitting on government land, violates the First Amendment’s opening words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

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Texas state flag

Article

Hold the Line, Texas!

Bruce Hausknecht

Conservative Christians in Texas are fighting several bad bills introduced in the state legislature that threaten religious freedom. Introduced by liberal legislators on behalf of LGBT activists, the bills cumulatively impair the freedom of Christians to live out their faith in the public square to such an extent that Focus on the Family allies like Texas Values have been using the hashtag #BanTheBible to bring awareness of the bills to their fellow Texans.

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Arizona "In God We Trust" license plate

Article

Alliance Defending Freedom; Slandered for Christ’s Sake

Bruce Hausknecht

An atheist group in Arizona is up in arms that there is a vanity license plate available that says “In God We Trust” and that part of the proceeds goes to support the legal ministry of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), one of the premier religious liberty law firms in the country.

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Iowa Memorial Union

Article

Judge Rules University of Iowa Violated Christian Student Group’s Rights

Bruce Hausknecht

It’s a familiarstory. This time it involves the University of Iowa targeting Christian clubs with separate rules it does not impose on other clubs. Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) was kicked off campus for requiring its members and leaders to believe in and abide by the Christian faith.

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Covington Catholic High School

Article

Go Ahead and Try and “Expose” Christian Schools – They’ve Changed the World for the Better

Paul Batura

In what seems to be either a case of sovereign timing or a wickedly intriguing twist of coincidence, Catholic Schools Week began this past Sunday, just days after the boys of Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School dominated headlines after being falsely accused of harassing a Native American protester in Washington, D.C.

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Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski

Article

Phoenix Artists Ask Arizona Supreme Court for Religious Freedom

Bruce Hausknecht

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski own Brush & Nib Studio located in Phoenix, Ariz. As artists, they design custom artwork for customers for all occasions. As Christians, they are worried that a Phoenix ordinance could land them in jail and/or impose heavy fines for turning down requests for art that conveys a message with which they disagree.

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Little Sisters of the Poor

Article

Federal Judges Block Trump Religious Exemption in Sequel to Little Sisters of the Poor

Bruce Hausknecht

Free contraceptives are a higher public good than religious freedom. At least you would conclude that if you read the preliminary injunction orders written by Judge Haywood Gilliam in San Francisco, and Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia this week. 

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Young boy praying

Article

January 16: Religious Freedom Day

Bruce Hausknecht

The commemoration of Religious Freedom Day every January 16 may be the most important – and overlooked – American religious freedom observance on the calendar. But it stands toe to toe with such outstanding historical moments in U.S. history as the signing of the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence, or the ratification of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Brian Buescher

Article

Federal Judge Nominee Questioned About Religious Affiliation

Bruce Hausknecht

The U.S. Constitution is rather succinct concerning religious tests for federal public office: There shall be none.

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