government and religion

Whose Shame?

By Kim Colby

But significant parts of American society are now unyieldingly hostile to the religious beliefs that some religious colleges teach. Specifically, our legal and political cultures actively oppose the religious belief that sex is to be experienced exclusively within a lifelong, monogamous commitment between a woman and a man, a belief shared by Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, and Evangelical Christianity. As it rigidly imposes its own sexual orthodoxy on dissenting religious institutions and individuals, this legal and political opposition ironically parodies the puritanism that it derides.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/9/20/whose-shame

Spread the Word: Making the Case for Robust Religious Freedom

By Doug Koopman

Among the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision has been the push by groups supporting that decision for new law and regulation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. A prime arena for this has been higher education, where there has been increased scrutiny regarding where federal funding—particularly aid to students—is involved.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/9/16/spread-the-word-making-the-case-for-robust-religious-freedom

Religious Freedom and Higher Education: Worldview Matters

By Steve Pettit

In the California case, a looming question at the heart of this “issue” is: why can pastoral training schools be exempted but not liberal-arts Christian colleges? Why could a Christian liberal arts university be sued for discrimination but not a seminary? This confusion stems from the misconception that there is some sort of “great divide” between the secular and the sacred.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/9/16/religious-freedom-and-higher-education-worldview-matters

The Economic Cost of Demolishing Houses of Worship

By: Brian Grim

As houses of worship, sacred places and other religious properties are demolished by governments worldwide—including the Wenzhou Sanjian Church—authorities might want to consider the economic benefits they are loosing by such actions. For instance, a recent study of 12 houses of worship in just one city (Philadelphia) shows that they annually contribute $52 million in economic benefits and services to the city and its people. And another study shows that religious freedom contributes to economic growth and global competitiveness.

Indeed, while the socio-economic benefits of houses of worship have been shown, the costs of their demise, while real, go unmeasured as China—one of the world's emerging and leading economies—experiences a wave of such demolitions.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/6/28/the-economic-cost-of-demolishing-houses-of-worship

Religious Freedom Between Democracy and Dictatorship

By: Karrie Koesel

A recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project suggests that the prospects for religious freedom around the globe are taking a turn for the worse. Not only has there been an increase in government restrictions on religious beliefs and practices, but there has also been a sharp rise in social hostilities directed toward religious individuals and organizations by non-state actors.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/6/28/religious-freedom-between-democracy-and-dictatorship