First Liberty Institute, one of the leading religious liberty legal groups in the country, recently said in an interview that they’re very hopeful about the opportunities for freedom under the Trump administration. Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the First Liberty Institute, said
that President Donald Trump “made a lot of promises as a candidate about religious freedom. He’s very committed to making sure that things changed. And so now it’s just going to be a matter of whether those promises are followed through.
“So far, he’s been fulfilling his promises. Read more
Kelly Shackelford of the First Liberty Institute wrote at the National Review that the US Supreme Court needs to review the case of court-martialed former US Marine Monifa Sterling:
Americans serving in the military lost some of their rights earlier this month when the military’s highest court ruled that a Marine has no rights under an important religious freedom law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Shackelford explained where he believed the appeals court improperly diverged from the appropriate application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Read more
At the beginning of March Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant, Chris Rodda, posted a lengthy* diatribe that attempted to parse a talk given by the Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackelford to USAFA cadets during the 2014 NCLS.
Apparently upset that Shackelford was there at all, the MRFF surreptitiously recorded his speech and Rodda attempted to dissect it, labeling it “fear and misinformation.”
The Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry recently responded, essentially noting that Rodda was uninformed, and therefore incorrect, on pretty much every point:
The problem is that Rodda lacks first-hand knowledge (i.e., the real facts) of the matters on which she opined. As an attorney, I can tell you that the law has a strong preference for first-hand knowledge and knowing the true evidence. And because Shackelford was an attorney in nearly every one of the cases he mentioned, he knows the actual facts of each of those cases.
Rodda’s original piece garnered almost no attention, as she Read more
The US Air Force Academy is hosting its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium this week with the theme “Character overcoming Conflict: Individual Stories, Global Impact.” One of the invited speakers is Mike Farrell, most famous for his role as BJ Hunnicutt in MASH. He’s also been an advocate for other causes, including opposition to the death penalty and a board member of the Cult Awareness Network. What Farrell is less known for is his advocacy for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF, as a member of his “advisory board.”
It is unclear if the MRFF will be part of Farrell’s address at the NCLS, though it is fair to say Farrell has been discreet about his involvement with Weinstein’s outfit.
USAFA’s NCLS is an academic forum that has hosted a wide variety of speakers over the years — including Weinstein himself. This year is no different, and Farrell is hardly Read more
Last year a Houston Veterans’ Cemetery director was accused of banning all religious references from funerals occurring at her facility (as well as using the chapel as a storage shed, among other things). A lawsuit was filed, and settled. The consent decree prohibited the cemetery, then run by Arleen Ocasio, and the VA from interfering with or prohibiting religious references in the ceremonies.
This year, Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) has sponsored a bill that would codify in law the ruling in that consent decree.
Problems arose in Houston when the cemetery director misinterpreted [the] law to prohibit all religious speech. Read more
The Liberty Institute launched a campaign called “Don’t Tear Me Down” aimed at protecting military memorials. (While the push is new, the effort has been ongoing for some time.) The effort is initially focused on the Mount Soledad cross, but they accurately note the attacks on memorials could have a far wider impact:
“The ACLU is so driven to purge religious displays from the public Read more