Update: Trinity Lutheran Pre-School to the Supreme Court

All Current Features

US Supreme Court agrees to tackle religious hostility by states: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that addresses the question of whether states can exhibit hostility to religion by prohibiting churches and church-run organizations from participating in state programs solely because the groups are religious. “No state can define religious neutrality […]

The Book of Esther as Literary Farce

Lit, Journalism, Perf Arts

Biblical Farce  — The Book of Esther Laughs at Empire:  “I am so great an enemy” to Esther, said Luther, “that I wish it had not come to us at all.” He felt it had too much “Judaizing” and “pagan naughtiness.”  But the book is edgy, funny, and strange, a holy book about a woman who—without father […]

The Early Church on Killing and War

Social Sciences

Four Recent Books on Killing, War, and the Pre-Constantine Church: church historian Ronald Sider reviews these books in order to distinguish speculation from historical fact.  Two of these books argue that early Christians held widely divergent views.  The other two argue that the historical record contradicts the view that the teaching of the early church on killing […]

$13000 Fine for Refusing SSM

All New Briefs

NY Appeals Court Upholds Penalty On Wedding Venue That Refused To Host Same-Sex Ceremony: In Matter of Gifford v. McCarthy, (NY App. Div., Jan. 14, 2016), a New York state intermediate appellate court upheld a decision by the State Division of Human Rights imposing compensatory damages of $3000 and a civil fine of $10,000 on a […]

2015 Worst Year for Christian Persecution

All New Briefs

2015 was ‘worst year’ for Christian persecution, says Open Doors:  The nonprofit organization Open Doors has focused on concern for persecuted Christians since 1955.  With North Korea leading the way and Islamic extremism rapidly expanding, 2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution.’” Iraq is in second place on Open Doors‘ 2016 World Watch […]

Bio-ethics: Denying Life-Sustaining Treatment

Modern Bioethics: Denying Life-Sustaining Treatment to a Patient Who Wanted to Live — This case study involves a Texas state law and a hospital ethics committee which determined to end life-sustaining treatment for a patient dying from undetermined causes.  The Houston Chronicle link covers the story of the patient’s death.  The Public Discourse article analyzes […]

7 Things Transgender People in Your Congregation Wish You Knew

Students and instructors can examine these views, recommendations, and the framing of topics as a way to assess–pro and con–many of the transgender issues.  The author, Austen Hartke, is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program and a writer, speaker, and creator of the YouTube series Transgender and Christian, “which seeks to understand and […]

Update: State Debates on Religious Freedom

All New Briefs

States plan renewed debate on LGBT rights, religious freedom: With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide, lawmakers in numerous states are preparing for a new round of battles in 2016 over whether to grant discrimination protections to LGBT people or religious exemptions to nonprofits and businesses that object to gay marriage.

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