10/24/12 ... LSU airbrushed out tiny crosses painted on students to avoid conveying any religious or political message in its mass email. This has caused a furor. The Painted Posse is encouraging others to join them in wearing crosses.
10/29/12 ... LSU digitally erased tiny crosses from a photo of the "Painted Posse," a group of students rooting for the team, to avoid the possibility of offending someone. This caused an uproar from football fans across the country. While the university has apologized, it has also stated that no religious symbols are welcome. The Painted Posse plans to keep wearing crosses.
10/26/12 ... Hobby Lobby's legal challenge to the HHS mandate will be heard soon. Hobby Lobby has 13,000 employees and pays well, but has a sincere objection to funding abortifiacients. Assisted by the Becket Fund, it filed a lawsuit, relying in part on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The government believes it will win because the business is secular.
On August 29, 2012, the Eighth Circuit decided in favor of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Child Evangelism Fellowship v. Minneapolis Special Sch. Dist. No. 1. It reversed the denial of CEF’s preliminary injunction where it had tried to stop a school district in Minnesota from limiting school facility access for a Good News Club.
10/22/12 ... The Painted Posse, a group of Christian students at LSU, paint their bodies with LSU colors and small crosses for their home games. They were surprised to see their photo sent out in a school email, but with their crosses digitally erased. The school admitted to air-brushing the photo to avoid making religious or political statements.
10/19/12 ... Earlier this year, the Bronx Household of Faith received an injunction from the court that allowed it to continue meeting in NYC public schools. The latest development in the case, which has been going on since 1995, is that the City of New York appealed the injunction to the Second Circuit. In the previous three appeals, the Department of Justice supported the church's right to equal access. This time, the Obama DOJ has decided to sit out and not participate.
10/07/12 ... Six Christians in New Jersey were evangelizing in a public park, which upset some of their hearers. The police arrested and charged them for breach of the peace--the Christians, not those who objected. The police demanded identification and ticketed the Christians. They also confiscated the cell phone of one person who was recording the event. The police justified the charges because some members of the public were upset and wished to silence the speaker, which is what is called a "heckler's veto." Supposedly, the Christians will have to get a permit before they can speak or hand out tracts.
10/17/12 ... A woman filed a job discrimination lawsuit against Friendship Baptist Church as well as a claim with the EEOC when she lost her job as a preschool teacher because she did not cease living with her fiance. She was not divorced from her previous husband, and did not change her situation after the church confronted her. The ministerial exception may not have applied, but a question is whether the church could hold its employees to certain moral standards. The woman believes that she is a good Christian.
10/15/12 ... In Milwaukee, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and 575 alleged victims of sexual abuse failed to reach a settlement. 350 of the alleged victims are represented by Jeffrey Anderson. The creditors intend to move to force disclosure of documents and examine the church's finances. The archdiocese has asked the court to throw out claims that are beyond the statute of limitations, claims by those who previously received settlements, and claims against those not employed by the church.
10/17/12 ... A lawsuit was filed by three female plaintiffs that alleges that an evangelical church group covered up allegations of sexual abuse. The alleged abuse happened in the 1980s and 1990s in Sovereign Grace Ministries.
10/18/12 ... A court granted an injunction to Kountze High School cheerleaders that lets them continue displaying religious-themed banners. The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims that this violates the Establishment Clause, but the cheerleaders claim they are expressing their individual religious views. Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of Texas, supports the cheerleaders, and filed to intervene in the lawsuit.
10/09/12 ... Business lawsuits in Michigan and Baptist school lawsuits in Texas are some of the new lawsuits that are being filed against the HHS mandate.
10/12/12 ... Vincent Munoz writes an interesting series of articles on the potential costs of religious liberty litigation to religious liberty itself, and how the debate can be refocused.
10/19/12 ... The Archdiocese of Miami and two other Catholic entities filed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate on October 19.
10/19/12 ... The American Center for Law and Justice filed lawsuits on behalf of four commercial companies in Missouri that are owned by evangelical Christian who contend that the requirement to provide coverage for abortifacient drugs violates their religious beliefs.