Tag Archives: ADF
Adamson made it very clear that he would be willing to print shirts for the group if it did not promote the homosexual lifestyle, which he told the newspaper. This shows that he has no animosity towards any person and he certainly does not hate anyone. Adamson simply wants to live and do business according to his religious convictions. And he does not want the government to tell him he must support a message that violates those convictions.
Adamson also told The Blaze that it was about the message of the pride festival and the fact that it would violate his convictions to support that message:
Imagine your child and a few friends bowing their heads to say a prayer in the cafeteria at school before eating their lunch. As a parent you would be proud of their small demonstration of their faith. And you would be more than a little irritated if the principal of the school told your child that prayer was not permitted and the group had to stop immediately.
That scenario happened in a Wyoming school when students were told they needed permission to pray, and after receiving permission must pray in the hallway so other students wouldn’t see the prayer and be offended.
A recent article reports that the school argued that by praying in the cafeteria the students were creating a “captive audience” and forcing others to see, hear, and be part of their prayer. The principal wanted to avoid offending anyone – except the Christians it would seem – by making sure no one would see or hear the prayer.
But, when the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – a legal organization that defends religious freedom – stepped in, the school changed its tone. ADF sent a letter to the school threatening legal action if the school continued to infringe on the students’ 1st amendment rights to pray:
As I discussed yesterday, the Supreme Court is preparing to rule on the issue of marriage. More specifically, whether or not it should be legal in all 50 states for homosexuals to marry. This decision will have a major impact on every person regardless of which way the court rules.
Several years ago I was involved with educating churches and pastors on what steps they could take to protect their churches from lawsuits due to changing cultural norms. While many churches were receptive to such instruction, some churches believed it unnecessary. Few churches today seeking to protect their religious freedom think being educated is unnecessary.
Groups like The Gospel Coalition have been more cautious in recommending to churches steps that can be taken to protect their pastors, facilities, and religious freedom. So when I see recommendations from The Gospel Coalition, in conjunction with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), I take notice.
In a blog post not long ago, The Gospel Coalition recommended five ways churches can protect their religious convictions and freedom amidst a changing culture. These are five steps groups like ADF and the one I worked with were encouraging years ago; they are more critical today than ever.
The five steps are:
Pastors can breathe a sigh of relief today as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision to strike down the minister’s housing allowance as unconstitutional.
Previously, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had argue that the housing allowance given to pastors was unconstitutional because it provided an unfair tax benefit to pastors, creating preferential treatment for religious messages. It was argued that the housing allowance violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment. The lower court, with Judge Barbara Crabb ruling, agreed with the FFRF and ruled the housing allowance unconstitutional.
Though the ruling only affected pastors in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, pastors across the country watched the case with serious interest knowing if the ruling was upheld it would soon spread.
The 7th Circuit determined that since the FFRF was never denied tax-exemption under the housing allowance tax code they had no standing concerning the issue:
A surprise decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the traditional definition of marriage in the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. State bans against same-sex marriage were previously ruled unconstitutional by lower courts, setting up the decision by the Sixth Circuit.
This decision is not only a surprise to advocates of same-sex “marriage,” but is also surprising to traditional marriage advocates that have watched marriage bans struck down by numerous Appeal Court decision around the country. What is not a surprise though is that this decision by the Sixth Circuit all but guarantees that marriage will once again come before the Supreme Court. There is a very real possibility that by next summer a Supreme Court decision on the definition of marriage could be reached.
What if you were asked to produce a message supporting something that violated your conscience, or religious convictions? Would you do it?
That is exactly the position the owner of a Christian t-shirt printing business found himself in when he was asked to print a t-shirt promoting the local gay-pride festival. When the Lexington, KY based Gay and Lesbian Services Organization asked Hands On Originals, a Christian-owned printing company, to print their gay-pride parade shirts, owner Blaine Adamson declined.
But, lest anyone believe this is a case of hate, bigotry, or discrimination, a few details need to be known. First, Hands On Originals has worked with gays in the past, even employing gay people at one time. A recent article at The Blaze notes:
As the battle in Houston continues over the city subpoenaing the sermons of at least five pastors for their involvement in opposing a local “bathroom bill,” the commentary continues to flow. Below you will find some notable voices and their thoughts on the subject to help you stay on top of the issue. Every American should be angry over the fact that any government entity would dare subpoena the speech of anyone, let alone pastors. All speech, and religious speech such as sermons is certainly included, is protected by the First Amendment and the government has no business seeking it. Prayerfully the city will back down. If not, I hope the Texas State Supreme Court squashes the subpoena request and ends the city is sued inquisition. Mayor Parker needs a strong wake-up call and reminder that she has no business intimidating people by violating their civil rights.
CBN: ADF Unimpressed by Houston’s Revised Subpoena’s
The Alliance Defending Freedom released a statement on the changes. “The city of Houston still doesn’t get it. It thinks that by changing nothing in its subpoenas other than to remove the word ‘sermons’ that it has solved the problem. That solves nothing,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in the statement. “Even though the pastors are not parties in this lawsuit, the subpoenas still demand from them 17 different categories of information – information that encompasses speeches made by the pastors and private communications with their church members,” he continued. “As we have stated many times, the problem is the subpoenas themselves; they must be rescinded entirely.”
The city of Coeur d’ Alene in Idaho became the center of a major religious freedom battle after the city said it would force the pastor of a small wedding chapel to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.
The Hitching Post is a for-profit wedding chapel that is owned and operated by devout Christians, the Knapps. After a non-discrimination ordinance was passed in the city the local city council told the Knapps they would have to perform same-sex ceremonies in order to comply with the ordinance.
The Knapps, in adhering to their religious convictions, said they would refuse to perform such ceremonies as they would violate their religious convictions. The city told them they could face massive fines and jail time for refusal. The Knapps didn’t back down.
After igniting national outrage the city has reversed their decision and said the Knapps will NOT have to perform same-sex ceremonies. A recent article at Christian Today says:
This story has been all over the news and for good reason. The warnings against marriage redefinition have been numerous and strong and yet no one ever thought we would get to this point. Here we are. A pastor has been told that he must perform same-sex weddings at his chapel of face hefty fines and even prison for violating the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Below is a roundup of notable voices regarding this story. Two videos are posted at the end of this post.
Fox News: City threatens to arrest ministers who refuse to perform same-sex weddings
“Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene…According to the lawsuit, the wedding chapel is registered with the state as a ‘religious corporation’ limited to performing ‘one-man-one-woman marriages as defined by the Holy Bible.’ But the chapel is also registered as a for-profit business – not as a church or place of worship – and city officials said that means the owners must comply with a local nondiscrimination ordinance.”