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Contraceptive mandate oral arguments shed light on underreported issues

Many issues are at play in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. The cases involve claims by for-profit businesses challenging the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate — the requirement, under the Affordable Care Act, that most employer-provided health insurance plans cover all FDA-approved methods of contraception. The businesses seek relief under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which became law in 1993 and has only been reviewed twice by the Court.

The cases have inspired intense debate among scholars and advocates about a number of legal issues relating to the interpretation of RFRA and the future of religious liberty.

Click here to read the rest of this column.

A model of service to others

A great friend of religious liberty and Baptists everywhere passed away in March. Richard E. Ice was a longtime member of the Baptist Joint Committee Board of Directors and a leader in American Baptist life who modeled service by sharing his talents and gifts and following the passions of his life.

Click here to read the rest of the column, including Walker's words at the memorial service.

Groups Turning to State Law to Make Claims Against Use of "Under God"
Federal courts have consistently ruled constitutional the use of "Under God" in public school recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. In 2010, for example, the 9th Circuit held that the phrase is not a prayer, but instead an acknowledgement of our "founders' political philos...
Louisiana Legislator Pulls State Book Bill
On second thought, Louisiana State Representative Thomas Carmody has decided to end his bid to make the Holy Bible the official state book, just ahead of a scheduled vote of the House yesterday. The Times-Picayune has more: The bill had become a distraction, he said. ... Initially, ...