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Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Punishment for Religious Beliefs

Army Chaplain Scott Squires, who has faithfully served the Army for 25 years, is facing a possible “career-ending punishment” for refusing to conduct a marriage retreat that included a lesbian couple. Squires refused because it would not only go against his religious beliefs, but also the rules of his sponsor, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board.

So Squires tried to accommodate the same-sex couple by following Army protocol: He arranged for another chaplain to oversee the event. Unfortunately, the Army didn’t agree with Squires’ solution. A report from the military investigator explained, “The Army EO policy states that no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.”

But First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty law firm representing the chaplain, believes the Army isn’t being fair. “Chaplains should not have to give up their First Amendment rights in order to serve,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry declared.

What does Squires have to say about this? “[T]he investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorser’s rules. I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church.”

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Facebook Bans Crucifixion Image From Ad

An ad by the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, to promote the university’s online theology, catechetics, and evangelization programs was rejected by Facebook recently because the social media giant said that the picture featuring Jesus on the San Damiano Cross was “shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.”

Interestingly, the featured picture of the crucified Jesus, which is very recognizable to Catholics, isn’t gruesome.

The university responded on its faculty blog, “The San Damiano Cross. Jesus in glory, reigning from his cruciform throne. This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational, and shocking. And indeed, the Crucifixion of Christ was all of those things. It was the most sensational action in history: man executed his God.”

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California Lawmakers Seek to Ban Same-Sex Attraction Counselor Therapy for All

LGBT activists in California weren’t satisfied with just preventing state counselors from treating minors who had unwanted same-sex attractions. Now LGBT activists there want to expand that limitation to include treatment for adults.

Assembly Bill 2943 basically says that counselors who attempt to engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,” whether that individual is a minor or an adult, would be considered “an unlawful practice.”

Randy Thomasson, of the pro-family organization Save California.com, said, “This Democrat bill is as unfair as banning weight loss centers, exercise centers, anti-smoking clinics, and cancer treatment alternatives. If people want to change, a free society will let them. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? Who do these ‘LGBT’ legislators think they are?”

The bill claims “contemporary science” recognizes that same-sex and other alternative lifestyle choices are “part of the natural spectrum of human identity.”

California’s ban of this kind of change therapy goes against the religious liberty of both the counselor and the client who wanted the counseling in the first place.

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Harvard Punishes Christian Student Club for Standing on Religious Beliefs

The Harvard College Faith and Action student organization has been put on “administrative probation” for a year after asking a former bisexual Bible study leader to step down from leadership after the Christian group discovered that she was dating another female student.

The college said the organization “had conducted itself in a manner grossly inconsistent with the expectations clearly outlined in the student policy guide.” In other words, Christian student groups do not have the right to set leadership requirements based on their particular religious beliefs if those beliefs conflict with the school’s acceptance of the LGBT agenda.

Scott Ely and Molly Richmond, co-presidents of the Christian group, said in a statement, “Our theological view is—for professing Christians who are in leadership—celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage. We have applied and do apply this policy regardless of sexual orientation.”

It seems that once again campus non-discrimination policies apply to everyone but Christians.

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North Carolina Magistrate Wins Over Same-Sex Marriage Discrimination

A settlement was recently finalized in a matter in which a federal court had ruled that North Carolina officials violated Union County, N.C., magistrate Gayle Myrick’s rights when they forced her to resign in 2014 over her beliefs about traditional marriage.

Myrick’s immediate supervisor proposed switching Myrick’s schedule so that she wouldn’t have to perform same-sex weddings, but the state rejected that solution and urged Myrick to resign. Myrick filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission, and Becket, a public interest law firm, took her case.

Under the terms of the settlement, Myrick will be paid $300,000, which includes $210,000 in pay and retirement benefits lost when she was forced to resign, as well as legal fees.

“I have always wanted to find a way to protect everyone’s dignity,” said Myrick. “The solution in my case would allow any couple to get lawfully married without facing rejection or delay, and magistrates with religious beliefs like me could step aside and still keep our jobs.”

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