Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

Religious Freedom

Islam and the First Amendment

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I raise questions about Islam and the First Amendment in my current month’s BreakPoint column: Was the Constitution really written with Islam in mind?

This extends what I wrote here earlier on work to be done after Paris, and an even earlier discussion on Islam in America.

I do not claim to know the answers, but I am convinced they need to be discussed.

Tagged As: ,


Religious Liberty Within the Bounds of State-Imposed Doctrine: Frank Bruni and the NY Times

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

I’ve been called many unpleasant things in my life, and I’ve deserved no small number of them. But I chafe at this latest label: A threat to your religious liberty….

Baking a cake, arranging roses, running an inn: These aren’t religious acts, certainly not if the establishments aren’t religious enclaves and are doing business with (and even dependent on) the general public….

I support the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish—in their pews, homes and hearts. But outside …


Work to be done after Paris

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There is important work to be done after Paris, as we grieve lives lost and terror multiplied there.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was not written with a religion like Islam in mind. I am confident similar things could be said of other nations’ codes and constitutions.

Possibly the most crucial work to be done in political ethics today, therefore, is to define what constitutional freedom of religion means in the case of a religion that recognizes no constitution but its own, …

Tagged As: ,


Speech codes: The offense against LGBT people that no one seems to notice

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Lydia McGrew performs a masterful analysis of events and reactions relating to a professor shutting down pro-natural marriage statements in class. Please read her post for the whole story and her insightful comments. I have just one or two things to add.

She quotes a blogger, MarquettePhilosopher, who says, “I am in full support of Marquette’s Harassment policy and Harassment training, which, as I pointed out, clearly states that there is zero tolerance for comments that are hurtful to homosexuals.” The reason for …


For-Profit Religious Organizations

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Two pastors in Utah who were faced with jail time and/or imprisonment for not agreeing to marry a same-sex couple finessed the question by re-organizing their “Hitching Post” wedding chapel as a not-for-profit religious organization. The law was written to exempt religious non-profits, but not any for-profit.

This raises the question, can a for-profit corporation have a religious purpose? Asked differently, could there be any such thing as a religiously-motivated entrepreneur? If he started a business, could it have a religious purpose? Would it have …

Tagged As:


Religious Freedom and SSM: Pastors Being Forced To Wed Same-Sex Couples

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Fresh on the heels of outrageous government encroachment into religious liberty on Sunday mornings in Houston, now we’re hearing of pastors being forced under threat of fines and imprisonment to violate their religious beliefs by performing weddings for gays:

Two ordained ministers have filed a federal lawsuit and are seeking a restraining order to prevent local officials from forcing them to marry same-sex couples, saying they have been threatened with fines and possible jail time over their refusal.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of …


Genocide in Iraq

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

My friend Eric Chabot gathered this information. Click links with caution.

Remember, this famous quote: — ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.’–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island the last few weeks, you probably know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are getting butchered in Iraq. Hence, there is a mass genocide going on, the attempt to wipe …

Tagged As: ,


Hobby Lobby and the Freedom To Be Wrong (Or Right)

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

I’ve been appalled at the criticisms leveled at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby this week. Frank Schaeffer called it a “Victory For Ultra-Right Roman Catholic Co-Conspirators With Chuck Colson’s Ghost.” Brooklyn Magazine breathlessly , bemoaned, “Less Than Human: How the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Reduces Women to Nothing More than Baby-Incubators.”

I could have listed dozens more reactions like those. They’ve got the whole thing wrong. I’m thankful they have the freedom to get things wrong. Are they?

There’s no …


Must-See Movie Opens March 21: God’s Not Dead | Ratio Christi

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

From the Ratio Christi website:

Must-See Movie Opens March 21: God’s Not Dead | Ratio Christi: “Must-See Movie Opens March 21: God’s Not Dead ”

I saw the movie in a pre-screening several weeks ago, and I can only tell you that it’s very, very good. I recommend it highly.

I’ve been asked whether it resorts to cheap or cheesy plot manipulations, and whether the circumstances portrayed in the trailer are realistic. I’ve addressed both of those questions in a BreakPoint article that should …


Real Time Analytics