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January 31, 2012

Europe’s Top Courts Are on a Pro-Life Roll

A string of pro-life rulings by Europe's two highest courts has surprised experts. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld Austria's ban on in-vitro fertilization in November. Weeks earlier, the European Court of Justice ruled against destroying human embryos for scientific research. In December 2010, the ECHR upheld Ireland's abortion ban.

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January 31, 2012

The Sanctity of Marriage: Opposing Gay Marriage But Respecting Homosexuals

The United Kingdom continues to push forward with liberal plans to officially redefine marriage, however Roman Catholic Archbishop, Peter Smith has challenged the government's reasoning, and in doing so highlighted what he believes are serious issues that are frequently misunderstood in the divisive topic. From 2001 to 2010, Smith served as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff and is currently the Metropolitan Archbishop of Southwark. According to the archbishop, the government has not given substantial reasoning for attempting to redefine marriage in the country. He defended his position by noting that civil partnerships already offer same-sex couples virtually all the rights of marriage within the U.K.

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January 31, 2012

Planned Parenthood Ad Campaign Reveals True Agenda

A series of ads for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) that’s being run on the Internet, in print and on the sides of buses in Maine and Vermont is raising eyebrows — everywhere but in the state Legislature. The ads have slogans proclaiming, “We’re your Friend with Benefits,? ““We’re your quickie,? and “We’re your Private Area,? to name a few, letting teens and adults know that they can ask PPNE anything, because “We’re your sexual health experts, nothing will freak us out.?

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January 31, 2012

Court: Denver Life Advocate Can Pass Out Literature

Late last week, a federal district court ruled that a pro-life activist in Denver could continue passing out literature to people in cars passing in front of abortion clinics while the Obama administration’s case against him continues. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against Ken Scott, saying his sidewalk-counseling activities prevented employees at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains from being able to enter their workplace. Holder sought to fine him $10,000 while keeping him 25 feet away from abortion clinic entrances. But Judge Philip A. Brimmer said cars that slowed down to accept the literature Scott was passing out were not the “unreasonable delays? the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act prohibits — and that Holder would be unlikely to prove they were in court.

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January 31, 2012

Bill to Redefine Marriage in Maryland Starts Rolling

Churches from across the state of Maryland are gathering in Annapolis for a rally tonight, before the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on a bill seeking to redefine marriage. If the bill passes out of the committee, it could receive a vote by the full Senate as early as Thursday.

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January 30, 2012

Ruling on Contraception Draws Battle Lines at Catholic Colleges

Bridgette Dunlap, a Fordham University law student, knew that the school’s health plan had to pay for birth control pills, in keeping with New York state law. What she did not find out until she was in an examining room, “in the paper dress,? was that the student health service — in keeping with Roman Catholic tenets — would simply refuse to prescribe them. As a result, students have had to go to Planned Parenthood or private doctors to get prescriptions. Some, unable to afford the doctor visits, gave up birth control pills entirely. In November, Ms. Dunlap, 31, who was raised a Catholic and was educated at parochial schools, organized a one-day, off-campus clinic staffed by volunteer doctors who wrote prescriptions for dozens of women.

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January 30, 2012

Starbucks: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage ‘Is Core to Who We Are and What We Value’

CNSNews.com) – Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop chain, added its name to the list of major corporations that have endorsed a gay marriage bill in Washington State, saying the legislation shares the company’s values at its core. The decision was criticized by many conservative, pro-family organizations. Leading traditional marriage organizations, for instance, are accusing the Seattle-based company of “meddling? in the debate, after Starbucks joined Google, Microsoft, and Nike in support of the legalization of same-sex marriage that is currently gathering momentum in the state legislature.

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January 30, 2012

Left behind

WASHINGTON—Much to the chagrin of his religious left supporters and even some of his staffers, President Barack Obama announced on Jan. 20 that most religious groups must provide full medical insurance coverage for contraceptives, including abortion-causing drugs like Plan B and Ella. Facing an August 2013 deadline if Obama is reelected, religious groups are now considering whether to violate their consciences, or end insurance coverage for their employees and pay hefty fines to the federal government.

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January 30, 2012

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Religious Freedom

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that a graduate student’s First Amendment rights were likely violated when Eastern Michigan University (EMU) expelled her from the counseling program in which she was enrolled. In her graduate-level practicum in 2009, Julea Ward was assigned a client seeking help in reconciling her same-sex relationship in 2009. Ward, who is a Christian, didn’t feel she’d be the best counselor for that case, so she asked her supervisor how to handle it — and her supervisor referred the client to another qualified professional, a standard counseling practice. But afterward, EMU started disciplinary proceedings against her, and ultimately expelled her from the program because of her religious beliefs.

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January 27, 2012

Student Faces Town’s Wrath in Protest Against a Prayer

CRANSTON, R.I. — She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an outspoken atheist who has incensed this heavily Roman Catholic city with a successful lawsuit to get a prayer removed from the wall of her high school auditorium, where it has hung for 49 years. A federal judge ruled this month that the prayer’s presence at Cranston High School West was unconstitutional, concluding that it violated the principle of government neutrality in religion. In the weeks since, residents have crowded school board meetings to demand an appeal, Jessica has received online threats and the police have escorted her at school, and Cranston, a dense city of 80,000 just south of Providence, has throbbed with raw emotion.

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January 27, 2012

Euthanasia ‘Must Always Be Prohibited,’ European Body Says

(CNSNews.com) – Anti-euthanasia activists are praising the passage by a leading European governmental body of a resolution stating clearly that euthanasia “must always be prohibited.? Although not legally-binding on the 47 countries belonging to the body, the measure may have an impact on legislative and judicial processes, they say.

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January 27, 2012

Richard Dawkins Opposed to Temple for Atheists Planned for London

Atheist Richard Dawkins appears to be leading the charge among non-believers in the U.K. who are appalled that a Swiss philosopher and writer residing in London plans to build a "temple for atheists" in the city's financial center. Alain de Botton said he wants to counter Dawkins' "aggressive" and "destructive" approach to non-belief by building a 151-foot tower to celebrate a "new atheism," according to news reports out of the U.K.

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January 27, 2012

Indiana Floats Bill Banning Telemedicine in Abortions

An abortionist should not be able to ply his trade over the Internet. That’s what several lawmakers in Indiana think, according to a bill introduced by state Sen. Travis Holdman that passed a committee on a 5-4 vote Wednesday. For the last year, Planned Parenthood has been expanding its operations by having women consult with abortionists by webcam. Regardless of where the doctor is located, he pushes a button which remotely dispenses the chemical abortion drug RU-486 to the woman.

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January 27, 2012

Study: Cohabiting Better Than Marriage

According to a soon-to-be-published study, cohabiting couples are happier and have more self-esteem than married ones. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Cornell University’s Kelly Musick and Larry Bumpass of the University of Wisconsin-Madison compared the well-being of both married and cohabitating couples including levels of depression, happiness and health.

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January 26, 2012

Atheist Temple: Nonbelievers To Get Place Of ‘Worship’ In UK

Atheists have long criticised devout followers of faith. But now it seems Atheism is stealing from that very religious tradition by erecting a temple of worship. Author Alain de Botton announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the U.K., reports DeZeen magazine.

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January 26, 2012

Richard Dawkins: Morals Come From Enlightened Secular Values, Not Religion

Morals aren't begotten from religion, but secular moral philosophy, jurisprudence and dinner table conversation, renowned atheist Richard Dawkins recently argued at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India. Criticizing ethical systems based on religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, The God Delusion author continued to uphold the view that ethics came from secular values and not godly ones.

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January 26, 2012

Arkansas DHS Proposes Rule to Ban Religious Activities in Even Christian Preschools

The Arkansas Department of Human Services announced a new proposed rule Tuesday opposing the use of religious activities at state-funded preschools. Though proponents believe that the new rule will keep some faith-based preschools in line with the Constitution, specifically the separation of church and state, one state lawmaker says that it may be doing the opposite.

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January 26, 2012

New York Senate Committee Passes Church/School Bill

A New York State Senate committee passed a bill on Tuesday as the first step toward overriding a New York City policy banning churches from holding weekend worship services in rented public schools. The city’s Department of Education gave churches their eviction notice in late December, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on a 16-year-old viewpoint-discrimination case of a church in the Bronx that was kicked out of a public school. The city has given some 60-odd churches serving primarily poor neighborhoods until Feb. 12 to find other facilities to call home.

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January 26, 2012

Free-Speech Case Appealed to Supreme Court

The Thomas More Law Center on Tuesday appealed the case of a Southern California teacher to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bradley Johnson, a high school math teacher in the Poway Unified School District near San Diego, had banners hanging in his classroom for 25 years with mottos such as “In God We Trust,? “One Nation Under God? and “God Bless America.?

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January 25, 2012

NOW President: It’s ‘Poppycock’ to Say Catholic Institutions Have a Conscience

(CNSNews.com) – National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill says that it is "poppycock" for America's Roman Catholic bishops to say that Catholic institutions have a conscience. "The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' claims that institutions can have consciences--that’s poppycock,? said O'Neill.

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