Tag Archives: supreme court

First Liberty: “Unbelievable Opportunities” for Religious Freedom

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

The President: Politics, Morality, Religion are Inseparable

We poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings…Those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions…

Without God, there is no virtue…Without God, we’re mired in the material…Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.

If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

President Ronald Reagan’s Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas
August 23, 1984

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, very much. And, Read more

Marine Aviator Criticizes Monifa Sterling, Religious Freedom Case

Carl Forsling, a retired Marine MV-22 pilot, recently took to Task and Purpose to criticize the current Supreme Court appeal of court-martialed Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling. One part of Sterling’s case, as you’ll recall, centered on her decision to post a paraphrased Bible verse on her desk — which she was ordered to take down. Forsling opines:

Sterling worked in a customer-service job at an ID center, so people conducting their official business had to read the verse. This made effectively made something that was supposedly for her own personal inspiration into proselytization.

To quote Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word…” How does a posting a verse from Isaiah translate into an attempt to convert other people to a religion?  In short, it doesn’t, but claiming that Read more

Bible-Quoting Court-Martialed Marine Goes to the Supreme Court

The case of former US Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling, who made national news when her court-martial included charges related to posting a Bible verse on her desk, has been appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Sterling was a substandard Marine, but the straw that broke the camel’s back to get her court-martialed was posting, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17…

Religious liberty lawyers at First Liberty Institute agreed that Sterling’s posting Bible verses is protected by law…[and] recruit[ed] one of the greatest Supreme Court litigators in recent decades, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, to lead their team…

Sterling’s case has become a fascinating discriminator for Read more

Common Sense Prevails at Arkansas Supreme Court, for now

In a shocking development, the Arkansas Supreme Court recently ruled a birth certificate is supposed to have the names of the child’s biological mother and father.

In an era in which Americans suddenly require a law to state the millennia-long obvious about marriage — that it is supposed to be between a man and a woman — and a law to state the other obvious fact that the little boys room is supposed to be for little boys, it shouldn’t be a surprise a state’s highest court had to tell people Mom and Dad are supposed to be on little Johnny’s birth certificate:

Identifying biological parents is an “important governmental objective,” wrote Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Josephine Linker Hart in the majority opinion, explaining Read more

US Military Launched Investigation into Content of Chaplain’s Prayer

costin

The US Department of Defense Inspector General recently revealed it had ordered the Air Force to investigate the content of a chaplain’s prayer.

The context was the now well-known complaint by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein against US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Dondi Costin. In response to Weinstein’s complaint, the DoD IG said [emphasis added]:

We asked the Air Force IG to examine both the act of giving the benediction and its content. After conducting interviews and gathering additional facts, the Air Force IG found that Maj Gen Costin’s benediction was a generic, non-sectarian prayer seeking God’s blessing on the event’s honoree…

This is a shocking revelation, particularly in light of who did it. What business does the DoD Inspector General have analyzing the content of a chaplain’s prayer? Under what authority Read more

US Supreme Court Passes on Chaplain Klingenschmitt

Former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was discharged from the Navy in 2007 following a fairly public controversy over praying in Jesus’ Name and his subsequent court-martial. However, the court-martial wasn’t why Klingenschmitt was discharged.

During that same time period, Klingenschmitt changed endorsing agencies, a not uncommon administrative exercise:

On September 25, 2006, twelve days after his [court-martial] conviction, Dr. Klingenschmitt voluntarily tendered his resignation from the Evangelical Episcopal Church. On that same day, the Evangelical Episcopal Church notified the [Navy] that Dr. Klingenschmitt had lost his ecclesiastical endorsement, effective October 1, 2006.

On September 28, 2006, the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches executed an ecclesiastical endorsement for Dr. Klingenschmitt and transmitted a copy of that endorsement to the Chief of Navy Chaplains by facsimile on September 29, 2006.

Chaplains are required to have an endorsing agency.  Changing endorsers, which Read more

First Liberty: Supreme Court Must Review Sterling Bible Case

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

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