Bigotry and the Letter of the Law

This September was an anniversary of sorts. It marked 24 years since a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York. The judicial opinion illustrated what is best about the letter of the law; specifically, the First Amendment’s protections of the Free Exercise of Religion.

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Slicing Free Speech Too Thinly

I have been following Facebook founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statements about free speech, both in his recent testimony before the House Financial Services Committee and at Georgetown University. On both occasions he has ardently defended his plan during this election cycle to give broad leeway to “political” expression in Facebook ads, a stark contrast from Facebook’s notorious examples of viewpoint censorship in other categories, such as religious expression (more on that later). Reactions to Mr. Zuckerberg’s plan have broken down along two major lines.

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Transgender Rights: Redefining the Job of Courts?

Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC, a case where a Christian funeral home was sued after it had terminated its male funeral director, the prominent face of the establishment to the public, after he “transitioned” to a female identity and adopted female attire – something that conflicted with the owner’s orthodox view that gender is a God-given, biological attribute. The funeral home’s Biblical beliefs were well known and had been publicized on its website.

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Here Come the Free Speech Punishers

Members on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee recently suggested that a number of nonprofit groups – including some organizations that are members of NRB – should have their tax-exempt status revoked. The reason? Democrat committee members complain that such groups, primarily conservative or Christian policy-oriented non-profits, are “hate groups.” They apparently are borrowing from the stunningly flawed and debunked “hate group list” propagated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

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Stretching the First Amendment to the Breaking Point

I have been following for years the legal campaign by atheists to secure a place in the pantheon of America’s “protected rights.” This one, however, may be one for the record books.

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Why Google Matters

This might just be the stuff of political thrillers or conspiracy theories, if it didn’t have some credibility to back it up. Even further, it has powerful significance for NRB, its members, and their millions of listeners, viewers, and readers.

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Hard Questions about Hate Speech and Homicide

The terrible shooting rampages in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, ought to send us to our knees in prayer for the survivors and for the grieving families that were impacted. Even as the body count was still being tallied, a predictable trio of policy issues burst forth from a cadre of pundits who began to assess blame.

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Yes, Washington is Listening

When I sent a legal memo over to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on October 15, 2008, with a modest proposal for a rule change, I had no idea it would take 8 ½ years to bear fruit. But it did. The happy result is something every non-commercial broadcaster should take advantage of.

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Sheriff Needed for Silicon Valley’s Wild West Censorship?

A book written by NRB member Anne Paulk, who heads the Christian ministry Restored Hope Network, has been stripped off of Amazon’s popular book site. When questioned about the banning of Paulk’s book, Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same Sex Attraction, Amazon replied that the book violated its “content guidelines.” The tech giant’s rules openly state that even though books containing “objectionable” viewpoints will be permitted on its site, nevertheless works exhibiting “intolerance” toward “sexual orientation” issues will be stricken.

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State Department Releases New International Religious Freedom Report

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom released its 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom ahead of its second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which it will host in mid-July.

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Doors Opened and Closed

On Tuesday, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee grilled media experts about potential antitrust damage that big technology platforms wielding monopoly power like Google are meting out to traditional news companies. It is just the latest chapter in the saga of Silicon Valley’s woes amidst a rising call for federal regulation of tech giants. At the same time, for conservatives who are usually resistant to government regulation, it raises this important question: what do we value most?

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Opportunities and Adversaries

I am sure that most Christian communicators regularly review, as I do, the treatment we receive across the media landscape.

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UN General Assembly Proclaims August 22 International Day for Victims of Violence Based on Religion, Other Beliefs

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution proclaiming August 22 as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief in response to the unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people belonging to religious minorities.

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A Most Uncivil Law is Coming

A vote in the House of Representatives could come as early as this Thursday on H.R. 5, the contentious bill that would place nearly all Christian ministries, religious organizations, and faith-based companies in the cross-hairs of discrimination lawsuits. The bill looks almost certain to pass in the House. Although passage in the Senate may be doubtful, the sheer audacity of this legislation should be taken as a cautionary tale.

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John Milton Project: Back to the Future for NRB

This is the announcement I couldn’t wait to share with you: here at NRB we are reviving the John Milton Project for Free Speech, the pioneering effort I was previously privileged to launch, advocating true free speech values on internet platforms and standing against the long-established pattern of viewpoint censorship against conservative and Christian content by Silicon Valley giants. I believe the timing of NRB’s revival of this policy approach is nothing short of historic. Consider the events of just this month.

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House Passes Bill to Derail ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’

On a largely partisan lines, the House of Representatives this week passed the legislation titled the “Save the Internet Act.”

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