Religious Liberty

Johnson Amendment Repeal Removed from Final GOP Tax Bill

"A Democratic senator announced Thursday night that the repeal included in the House version of the tax bill, which would allow churches and other nonprofits to endorse candidates without losing their tax-exempt status, was removed during the reconciliation process with the Senate version, which did not include a repeal." CToday

236 reads

Why Masterpiece Cakeshop Deserves to Win

In any nation that aspires to be free, freedoms will clash, and there will be winners and losers. Speeding laws limit the freedom to drive fast in favor of the freedom to drive safely. Theft laws limit the freedom to take things we want in favor of the freedom to keep what’s ours. In the retail setting, antidiscrimination laws limit the freedom to sell selectively in favor of the freedom to buy what we want without being turned away because the seller doesn’t like “our kind of people.”

Soon, the Supreme Court will rule in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (if it hasn’t already by the time this post appears). When it does, it’s likely that one set of freedoms will be protected or expanded, and another set will be limited. Which freedoms should prevail?

Though I’m not a lawyer, several features of the case are clear to me, and they point toward the conclusion that the Court ought to rule in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

548 reads

The Curious Case of the Christian Baker – A Summary of Oral Arguments

This article is a short summary of the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on December 5, 2017. In the article, I provide a few bits of commentary. But, this is primarily a summary.1 Hopefully, it can spur each of us on to consider the issue of soul liberty in the public square in these troubled times.

Baker’s Response

Kristen Waggoner, Philipps’ attorney, argued his objection is not to the people who want the cake. Instead, the objection is the message it communicates. “The First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing people to express messages that their violate religious convictions” (4:12-19). The back and forth centered on this point. What is “speech?” How do you separate the identity of the customer from the message the product communicates?

746 reads

Wedding cake court case draws varied Baptist responses

"The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed a brief Sept. 7—along with the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention and others—arguing the “free exercise of religion by secular vocations in the marketplace should be no less protected than sacred vocations in the ministry,” citing the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores." Baptist Standard

345 reads

Pages