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Senator Grant Ipsen Memorialized by NRLA

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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

Without the Johnson Amendment, politicians would seek religious endorsements and tax-deductible offering money from megachurches. In return, churches would have unprecedented political power. (Photo: Creative Commons)

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

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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

Dark sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

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

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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

Dark sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

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

Evangelicals

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 »

America’s “War on Christians”?

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any of my Christian friends are concerned with what they perceive to be the increasing secularization of popular culture in the United States today. Like many other sincere Christians, they express concern that Christianity will one day become a hated and persecuted sect in America and that this will be the result of our government coming under the control of ... Read More »

State Department Issues Annual Religious Freedom Report

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Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department issued its annual report on international religious freedom… This report paints a very dire picture of worldwide religious freedom. Read More »

Hobby Lobby Case: How Will the Court Decide?

Hobby Lobby

On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores (transcript and audio). According to a number of pundits, the Court is expected to split with four justices on each side and the deciding vote is predicted to fall to Anthony Kennedy. Perfectly projecting the Court’s decision is not much easier than predicting a ... Read More »