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Church and State

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Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition

Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Jan Smith/Flickr

Should pastors stop signing marriage certificates at the weddings they officiate? In response to same-sex marriage, should churches get out of the wedding business?

A prominent conservative Christian magazine, First Things, thinks so. As do the more than 300 pastors and ...

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Can Wheaton College Require ROTC Program Be Run By Christians?

US Army reviews nationwide policy for ROTC profs, who are paid by military but work as full-time faculty.
Can Wheaton College Require ROTC Program Be Run By Christians?
Rolling Thunder Battalion / Facebook

Can a Christian school require the leaders of its ROTC program—who are appointed and paid by the US Army—to adhere to a statement of faith?

Wheaton College came under fire in recent weeks from a military watchdog group that noticed the Army’s listing for ...

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Good News for Pastors: Court Overturns Atheist Victory on Housing Allowance

But question remains: Will IRS agree with DOJ that atheists count as 'ministers of the gospel'?
Good News for Pastors: Court Overturns Atheist Victory on Housing Allowance
Minnemom/Flickr

Churches can stop worrying that their pastors' best benefit will be taken away by an atheist lawsuit—for now.

Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's high-profile 2013 decision that the longstanding clergy housing allowance was ...

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For First Time, State Bans on Same-Sex Marriage Upheld by Appeals Court

Get ready for a Supreme Court showdown after Sixth Circuit says two judges shouldn't make a decision for 32 million citizens.
For First Time, State Bans on Same-Sex Marriage Upheld by Appeals Court
JD Hancock/Flickr

An Ohio court has given the US Supreme Court an offer on same-sex marriage that the high court likely can't refuse.

After the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of a national right to same-sex marriage in 2013, experts on both sides predicted the court would intervene ...

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Houston Mayor Drops Pastor Subpoenas

National debate over religious freedom prompts withdrawal.
Houston Mayor Drops Pastor Subpoenas
Ed Schipul / Flickr

Update (Oct. 29): Houston mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday morning that she is directing America's fourth-largest city to rescind subpoenas issued to five local pastors.

The decision came a day after Parker met with Houston pastors (including Chris Seay, who ...

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Increasingly, Religious 'Nones' Support Pastors Preaching Politics on Pulpit Freedom Sunday

On eve of seventh Sunday protest, here's what surveys suggest Americans think.
Increasingly, Religious 'Nones' Support Pastors Preaching Politics on Pulpit Freedom Sunday
Alliance Defending Freedom

As almost 1,500 pastors attempt to provoke the IRS this Sunday by preaching political messages from their pulpits, a recent survey finds that Americans increasingly agree they should have such a right—including the religiously unaffiliated.

This weekend will be the ...

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Pew Surprised by How Many Americans Want Religion Back in Politics

Fresh stats on who thinks churches should endorse candidates, whether homosexual behavior is a sin, and has it gotten harder to be an evangelical.
Pew Surprised by How Many Americans Want Religion Back in Politics
Pew Research Center

More Americans want more religion in politics, according to a new Pew Research Center study exploring the "growing appetite" for churches endorsing political candidates and other intersections of church and state.

While three out of four Americans (72%, a record ...

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What Evangelicals Think About Scotland's Independence Vote

(UPDATED) After narrow "No" vote, Scottish evangelicals say churches will take lead in building the 'new Scotland.'
What Evangelicals Think About Scotland's Independence Vote
Evangelical Alliance Scotland

Update (Sept 19): A narrow majority of Scottish voters (55%) voted no Thursday on independence from the United Kingdom. In the wake of the contentious referendum—which saw more than 80 percent of voters participate—the Evangelical Alliance Scotland called for ...

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Israel’s Christian Schools Threaten Strike over Government's 'Oppressive Steps'

'Don’t stop us from carrying on our mission,' say 50 schools as Jewish state slashes support.
Israel’s Christian Schools Threaten Strike over Government's 'Oppressive Steps'
Nazareth Baptist

Calling for change, Israel’s Christian educators might go on strike next week to protest the government’s sharp cutbacks (up to 35 percent) for their schools, which are “recognized, but not official.”

At a press conference in Nazareth today (Aug. ...

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IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors

Tax agency and FFRF announce settlement, but Milwaukee church disputes the lawsuit's dismissal.
IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors
Alliance Defending Freedom

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has agreed to investigate the political activity of churches after reaching a settlement with an atheist legal group. But a court has yet to decide whether or not to close the case.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the IRS ...

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Supreme Court Maintains Ban on Megachurch Graduations

(UPDATED) Seventh Circuit previously decided that large cross in Wisconsin sanctuary created an unconstitutional environment.
Supreme Court Maintains Ban on Megachurch Graduations
Courtesy of Becket Fund

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a court ban on churches renting their facilities for public school graduations to remain standing, despite the implications of the high court's recent divided ruling in favor of Jesus prayers at government meetings. [Correction noted ...

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Good News for Churches Worried About Losing Their Pastor's Best Benefit to Atheist Lawsuits

What a Kentucky court ruling implies for a high-profile Wisconsin challenge to the clergy housing allowance.
Good News for Churches Worried About Losing Their Pastor's Best Benefit to Atheist Lawsuits
minnemom/Flickr

A federal judge in Kentucky has thrown out an atheist challenge to tax benefits for churches and clergy—a decision that stands in opposition to the high-profile overturning of the IRS's clergy housing allowance by a Wisconsin federal judge in November.

Three groups—American ...

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Supreme Court Permits Jesus Prayers at Government Meetings

(UPDATED) Requiring nonsectarian prayers to a 'generic god' would be more problematic than allowing sectarian ones, Kennedy argues.
Supreme Court Permits Jesus Prayers at Government Meetings
Wikimedia

[Note: A CT editorial explains why the government should let Christians and pagans pray at public meetings, while a law scholar disagrees and says Christians should be careful what they pray for.]

A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that explicitly Christian prayers ...

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Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'

Attempt at increasing recruits ten-fold occurs against backdrop of stalled peace talks, Hamas-PLO reconciliation.
Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'
IDF

Israel has announced that it will send call-up papers for military service in the nation's army to all Arab Christians in the country.

The move, which escalates an ongoing debate, marks the first time that Israel has solicited volunteers for its military among its Arab ...

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Obamacare's Bump: More Christians Now Sharing Health Care Costs

Christian alternatives to traditional insurance see surge in enrollments.
Obamacare's Bump: More Christians Now Sharing Health Care Costs
Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries

...

In the months leading up to the March 31 deadline, tens of thousands of Christians opted for faith-based insurance alternatives, where believers contribute a monthly share toward paying for each others' health care costs.

Month-over-month enrollments doubled and ...

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