Abortion, Politics and Other Life Issues

Nov 30th, 2012 | By

Because of the economic crisis facing America, many were surprised at how strident the abortion issue was during the recent campaign and election. President Obama ran an aggressively pro-abortion reelection campaign, and, as columnist Michael Gerson argues, was ?seeking culture-war advantage on an issue he seldom mentioned four years ago.? This blatant thrust of abortion into his campaign followed on the heels of an equally aggressive first-term crusade against religious institutions. His Justice Department, in the Hosanna-Tabor case, argued against the existence of any ?ministerial exception? to employment rules. Further, Obama sought to mandate that Catholic schools, hospitals and charities offer insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients. Gerson concludes as well that ?His revised policy still asserts a federal power to declare some religious institutions secular in purpose, reducing them to second-rate status under the First Amendment.?

The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving

Nov 22nd, 2012 | By

The story of the Pilgrims is the story of the beginning of the holiday we know as Thanksgiving. But sometimes in America, we equate the Pilgrims with the Puritans, and assume they were identical groups. They were not. Pilgrims were also known as ?Separatists,? meaning they chose to separate from the established Church of England, the Anglican Church. The Puritans remained in the Anglican Church and chose to attempt to ?purify? it from within?hence the name ?Puritan.? In 1608, this group of Separatists, who would become the Pilgrims, fled England and settled in Holland. They desired freedom of worship there.

Religious Liberty Under Siege?

Nov 10th, 2012 | By

One of the many precious liberties we enjoy as Americans is freedom of religion. Indeed, the First Amendment to the US Constitution reads, ?. . . Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .? This Amendment guarantees that America will never have a state church and it also guarantees that the state will always protect the freedom of religious expression. It is the ?free exercise? clause that is so dear to us, especially to Christians. . . . [R]eligious freedom in our nation is coming under a sustained and rather relentless attack. What is the evidence for this claim? Matthew J. Franck, Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, offers several poignant examples of this claim:

The Presidential Election of 2012

Nov 3rd, 2012 | By

As I am writing this, the 2012 national election is only days away. With the ridiculously long primary season, we have been in this presidential cycle for nearly two years! That this is one of the more important elections in recent memory is a given. Whoever becomes the next president and whoever is elected to the House and the Senate will face challenges of historic proportion . . . It is imperative that we remember we will also be voting for other national offices. In addition, we will vote for state officials and local officials, all of whom will represent us at various levels . . . In this Perspective I offer several broad guidelines and principles. Much of my analysis will focus on the presidency, all the while remembering that there are other significant offices for which we will vote.