In the News: Breaking Religious Freedom Stories Across the Country

January 20, 2023
Fli Insider | In the News V3

Catch up on the latest and most important religious freedom headlines around the web.

Coach Joe Kennedy: The Power of Prayer Was Demonstrated for Damar Hamlin

First Liberty client Joe Kennedy appeared on Fox News discussing how the nation came together to pray for Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin.

CVS Sued by Nurse Practitioner Who Was Fired Because Of Her Religious Beliefs

CBS News reports: CVS Health is facing a lawsuit brought by a former employee who claims the pharmacy chain’s decision to fire her after she refused to prescribe any medication that could intentionally end the development or life of an unborn child to patients violated her religious rights under federal law. Robyn Strader, a nurse practitioner and Texas resident, worked at a CVS MinuteClinic for six-and-a-half years, according to the lawsuit, which she filed through her attorney in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas.

Federal Judge Tosses Challenge to Christian College Exemptions

Christianity Today reports: A federal judge in Oregon dismissed a lawsuit challenging religious exemptions under Title IX. The decision comes as a win for Christian colleges that had joined the US Department of Education (DOE) in defending the exemptions in areas where their theological convictions on LGBT issues conflicted with the anti-discrimination law.

A group of 44 current and former students at religious schools filed a class-action suit arguing that the religious exemptions were incompatible with LGBT rights, and that LGBT individuals were exposed to “unsafe conditions” at religious schools.

Most House Democrats Oppose Resolution Condemning Attacks Against Churches, Pro-Life Facilities

The Washington Examiner reports: Nearly all U.S. House Democrats voted against a resolution condemning attacks against life-affirming facilities and churches. The vote came after a report was published showing violence escalated against churches and pro-life groups last year ahead of and after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The resolution “condemns recent attacks of vandalism, violence, and destruction against pro-life facilities, groups and churches” and “calls upon the Biden Administration to use all appropriate law enforcement authorities to uphold public safety and to protect the rights of pro-life facilities, groups, and churches.”

Library Allows Pastor Story Hour Event After Previously Canceling

The Christian Post reports: A Massachusetts library that previously canceled a “Pastor Story Hour” event following complaints from residents changed its mind about allowing a local minister to use its space to read to children. The Chelmsford Public Library announced the update on its Facebook page, stating that it reinstated the Pastor Story Hour’s reservation after receiving advice from legal counsel.

Biden Touts Efforts to Protect Religious Freedom, Condemns Persecution in Annual Proclamation

The Christian Post reports: President Joe Biden touted his faith and condemned religious persecution worldwide in declaring Monday Religious Freedom Day. Every year since 1993, the President has issued a proclamation designating Jan. 16 as Religious Freedom Day. In his message, President Biden stressed how “faith has sustained me throughout my life,” adding, “for me and so many others, it serves as a reminder of both our collective purpose and potential in the world.”

Biden’s proclamation comes as his administration has faced pushback from religious liberty advocacy groups for policies that critics say force religious adherents in the U.S. to take actions that violate their deeply held beliefs.

Biden Releases First Slate of 2023 Judicial Nominees

CNN reports: President Joe Biden plans to nominate four people to federal judge positions. The president’s first slate of judicial nominees this year includes Michael Delaney to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals, Amanda Brailsford to the US District Court for the District of Idaho, as well as Jeffrey Cummings and LaShonda Hunt for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

This latest list marks Biden’s 29th round of nominees for federal judicial positions, bringing the number of announced federal judicial nominees to 154 since the start of his presidency.

Federal judges make critical legal decisions about your religious freedom and First Liberty continues to keep a close eye who is appointed to sit on America’s courts. As the Senate ramps up confirmations and hearings in the next several weeks, we will continue to provide you with the facts if any of President Biden’s nominees have a radical or unacceptable record.

Learn more about judicial nominees.

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