Tag Archives: First Amendment

The Relationship Between Religion and Politics: Seth Leibsohn and Pete Peterson

Seth Leibsohn and Pete Peterson, Dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, discuss the role of religion in politics and the role of politics in religion. For more information on the conference that took place on February 6, including a link to watch the entire conference, visit Pepperdine.

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Owen Strachan: Don’t Be Fooled By “Fairness for All”

When you hear the word “carve,” what image comes to mind? Some will think of a knife, slicing to the bone.

It’s a startling but fitting image for a proposed legislative measure called “Fairness for All.” This measure is being trumpeted in Utah and beyond as a means to advance LGBT rights and protections while offering “narrowly-defined carveouts for religious citizens and institutions.”

That phrase should send a chill down the spine of all who genuinely value First Amendment liberties. Instead of grounding our freedom in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, this legislation raises a new banner–expanding sexual liberties while boxing in religious liberty. It changes the standard of American practice from our founding documents to the new progressivist handbook. This handbook may trumpet “fairness,” but it offers anything but.

Instead of “narrow carveouts,” Americans should re-embrace the freedom that has made us unique from our founding.

It’s called the First Amendment.

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Owen Strachan: California Pushes Seeks to Shame Religious Expression

Those who call for personal change—like Christian ministers—are now being told they need to change.

In California, the State Senate continues to push a resolution that condemns religious leaders and counselors who teach the historic positions of their respective faiths.

Such teaching, we’re told, is “harmful” towards those drawn to alternative lifestyles—including those different views on sex and gender.

But: The call to personal transformation is found at the very root of Christian theology—and Christianity is not alone in promoting the idea that people are flawed and in need of personal transformation.

America has long recognized the value of such perspectives. But today, First Amendment-protected religious liberty is under fire. Ironically, those who encourage others to change spiritually are now being told they need to change.

People are free to disagree with the message of the minister.

They ought not try to silence that minister.

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David Davenport: Let Him Bake Cake

You may remember the baker Jack Phillips in Colorado. As a Christian, Philips felt he could not in good conscience decorate cakes celebrating events that did not square with his beliefs.  The Colorado Civil Rights Commission opposed him and, finally, the US Supreme Court said the Commission had acted prejudicially.

But within weeks of the Court’s decision, the Civil Rights Commission brought another case against Phillips for declining to customize a cake celebrating a gender transition.  One Commissioner took to Twitter calling him a “hater.”

Finally, after six and a half years, the Commission has decided to withdraw its complaint and let him bake cakes in peace.  Perhaps the change from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to Brett Kavanaugh was a reality check.

First Amendment religious rights and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights are sometimes in tension, but religious rights must not be put down by government agencies.

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Davenport: The Grinch That Ate Christmas


This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

It happens every year.  People who do not understand the First Amendment of the Constitution launch legal attacks on Christmas.

This year’s Grinch award goes to an elementary school principal in Nebraska who banned Santas on worksheets, Christmas trees in classrooms, an elf on the shelf, making ornaments, reindeer and, yes, “red/green items” since those are Christmas colors.  My favorite was her ban on candy canes because they are shaped like a J for Jesus and the red is for the blood of Christ and the white for the resurrection.  Who knew?

Following expressions of outrage from parents and teachers, the school district reversed the anti-Christmas policy.  Strike another blow for Christmas and the First Amendment.

Yes, the First Amendment says government may not respect the establishment of religion, but that still leaves plenty of room for you—and your children—to enjoy a Merry Christmas, even at school.

I’m David Davenport.

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Jerry Bowyer: A Banner Session for the First Amendment


SCOTUS 2018 is shaping up as the “free speech” session of the court.

Masterpiece Cake ruling upheld the free speech rights of a cake decorator who did not want to decorate a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.

The court sent a case back to a lower court involving a florist who did not want to create a floral display doing the same thing. Then there was the NIFLA decision—regarding the pro-life crisis pregnancy centers—where the court overturned a California law which compelled them to essentially advertise for abortion.

In Justice Kennedy’s opinion, the law forced them to “convey a message contrary to their deepest convictions.”

Each one of these cases was litigated by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has emerged as the most important First Amendment group in the nation.

It’s a banner session for the First Amendment.

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A Terrifying Chapter in Austin and a First Amendment Battle at the Supreme Court

Townhall Review — March 24, 2018

Mike Gallagher talks about the Austin, TX bombing as well as this week’s shooting incident at a Great Mills, Maryland school that was minimized by a fast-acting, courageous officer. Veteran FBI profiler James Fitzgerald, goes inside the mind of the Austin bomber, just like he did with Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who he helped stop. Michael Medved invites ADF President Michael Farris to share the latest on an important Supreme Court case with huge First Amendment implications. Julianne Benzel sits in with Dennis Prager to share about how her suggestion of having students protest abortion backfired. Larry Elder turns to Jesse Lee Peterson, a South Los Angeles community leader, author and radio host to talk about Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, and his recent racial taunts against whites and Jews. Hugh Hewitt invites Jon Erwin, producer of “I Can Only Imagine” to share about his experience making the faith-based movie.

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