Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal talked about religious liberty on NBC's Meet the Press this morning:
"Well let me ask you this," Todd said. "Do you agree with some other folks and conservatives that you think Governor Pence and Governor Hutchinson in Arkansas and Indiana have essentially caved too much pressure?"
"Well, Chuck, I was very worried about the law in Indiana. I’m disappointed. Let’s remember what this debate was originally all about," Jindal responded.
This is about business owners that don’t want to have to choose between their Christian faith, their sincerely held religious beliefs, and being able to operate their businesses. Now, what they don’t want is the government to force them to participate in wedding ceremonies that contradict their beliefs.
They simply want the right to say, “We don’t want to be forced to participate in those ceremonies.” I was disappointed that you could see Christians and their businesses face discrimination in Indiana. I hope the legislators will fix that and rectify that.
Chuck, there used to be a bipartisan consensus in this country around religious liberty saying that as Americans, we don’t all have to agree with each other but we should respect each other’s rights and freedoms. And that’s what this debate is really about. Are we going to use government to force people to contradict their own sincerely held beliefs?
Todd asked, "The debate, I guess, is about the line on freedom and a personal conviction versus how you conduct yourself in a business. So you think it’s okay, based on religious conviction, for a business to deny services to a same sex couple?"
Jindal replied, "We’re not talking about restaurants denying service to people who want to come and have dinner. We’re not talking about day-to-day, routine commercial transactions.
"We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t want to participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.
"So in that instance, I think that part of the First Amendment means that we allow individuals to obey their consciences and obey their religious beliefs. I think that’s a part of religious liberty in America."
Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Yafia, near Nazareth, made news in 2012 when he publicly urged Israeli Christians of Arab descent to join the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, he’s become a lightning rod for encouraging Christians to integrate themselves into Israeli society rather than maintain an Arab identity that typically entails hostility to their country. In the United States in recent days, Naddaf spoke to pro-Israel groups, urging Christians to support the Jewish state against anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Islamists throughout the Middle East.
Senator Ted Cruz’s vigorous defense of Israel at a recent conference for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians in Washington, D.C., provoked jeers from a loud minority in the audience, made up largely of Catholics and Orthodox, many of them from the region or of Middle Eastern background. In June, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three firms doing business with Israel to protest Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
Marietta, Ga. The 2004 presidential election was the Republican party’s high-water mark with Hispanic voters. George W. Bush received between 40 and 44 percent of the Hispanic vote that year. Bush lost Hispanic Catholics to John Kerry, but he overwhelmingly won Hispanic evangelicals, 69 percent to Kerry’s 29 percent.
As the U.S. and its allies prepare to return to the negotiating table with Iranian representatives, hoping to reach a deal on their nuclear ambitions, the Islamic Republic has significantly ratcheted up its efforts to repress religious minorities in the country.
The New York Times reports that national conservative Christian leaders are waiting until after the South Carolina primary on January 21 to coalesce around a "not-Romney" Republican candidate. Those leaders are meeting in Texas this weekend to discuss the race. Here's more from the Times:
This past Sunday night, the Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak took another wrong turn when the same army once believed to be “hand in hand” with the people killed 27 Coptic Christians in Cairo and wounded hundreds of others.
Peter Beinart has a doozy of a column up over at the Daily Beast, rather breathlessly titled, "Why Norway Could Happen Here." Since I suspect that Beinart managed to repeat every left-wing myth about the violent tendencies of Christians and conservatives, let's take a look at the key paragraph: