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Author Archives: Greg Hamilton

Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany

On Monday, the Northwest Religious Liberty Association cosponsored with Walla Walla Adventist Forum, Walla Walla University, and the University Church, an evening lecture by Dr. Robert P. Ericksen on how an advanced, highly-educated, Christian nation grew to enthusiastically accept and support Nazi ideology. Robert P. Ericksen is Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran ... Read More »

Senator Grant Ipsen Memorialized by NRLA

MEMORIAL FOR SENATOR GRANT IPSEN — IDAHO SENATE — Letter from Greg Hamilton President’s Day, February 20, 2017, Letter from Greg Hamilton, President of the NRLA, entered into the Senate record: Used with permission: “The Honorable Senator Grant Ipsen left the great state of Idaho a rich and profound religious freedom legacy – one in which its citizens will be ... Read More »

Repealing the Johnson Amendment Would Harm Religious Freedom

ast week at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, the newly inaugurated President of the United States repeated his campaign vow to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the 1954 provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from endorsing political candidates. What is the Johnson Amendment? The Johnson Amendment was an IRS tax reform bill that was successfully passed ... Read More »

The 25-Year Legacy of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association

Public Advocacy Because of their prophetic beliefs, Seventh-day Adventists have imagined a world without religious freedom perhaps more than most people of faith. Curiously this proclivity has at times led some Adventists to minimize the importance of religious freedom as a “public ministry.” Any group must reject tendencies toward public isolation and parochialism. In the 1880s Adventists and other alert ... Read More »

Federal bill introduced to prohibit religion-based denial of immigration

On May 12, Rep. Donald Beyer (D-Va) and 103 co-sponsors introduced legislation that would prohibit immigration authorities from refusing to admit aliens based on religion or lack of religion. The “Freedom of Religion Act of 2016” (H.R. 5207) was introduced in response to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign proposal in December 2015 calling for “a total and complete shutdown ... Read More »

US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Washington Pharmacy Case

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a Washington state requirement that all pharmacies must fill contraceptives regardless of the religious objections of the owners. Under the rules, an individual pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription on religious grounds only if another pharmacist in the same pharmacy will fill the prescription. Stormans ... Read More »

Bill Would Limit Scope of Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced a bill on May 18, 2016, that would make it harder for people use religious freedom as an excuse to circumvent Federal laws. HR 5272 would limit the scope of the Religious Freedom Act (RFRA) of 1993. Specifically, the bill would limit the ability to use free exercise claims to ... Read More »

Retro Essay: Declaring the United States a “Christian Nation” does not make it one

In January 1886, the Seventh-day Adventist Church published the first edition  of The American Sentinel with the motto, “Corrupted freemen are the worst of slaves.” Edited by Alonzo Trevier Jones, the issue focused on the subject of whether the United States could be made a truly “Christian nation” through an amendment to the U.S.Constitution that had been proposed by the ... Read More »

Religious Battles in the Marketplace – Is There a Solution?

In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a small photo studio violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing, on religious grounds, to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. In November, the studio appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to protect its owners from having to send a message in violation of their religious ... Read More »

America’s Quest for Religious Freedom & the Political Scientist Who Made the Dream Come True

In the sweltering summer of 1789, James Madison penned sixteen words in spare prose that became the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Herein the founding fathers of a young government pledged separation of church and state, thus guaranteeing religious freedom for its citizens and establishing a free marketplace for religion in the United States. Utterly unprecedented in Western ... Read More »