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Religious Liberty

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NEWS
September 28, 2015 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pope Francis' address Saturday on Independence Mall was widely expected to focus on immigration and perhaps the plight of refugees, a topic dear to the pontiff. The speech did, but spoke more to the issue of protecting religious liberty - a topic dear to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Francis began by noting that it was here in Philadelphia - and in the backdrop to his speech, Independence Hall - that the Founding Fathers codified the religious freedoms that most Americans assume as a birthright.
NEWS
September 24, 1987 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / AMY HUNTOON
Along Independence Mall, a monument to "Religious Liberty" is regaining its grandeur. The marble statue, damaged by vandals a year ago, is being repaired by Robert and Judith Pringle of New York City for the National Museum of American Jewish History. The sculpture was moved to the museum grounds near the mall two years ago from Fairmount Park. It was created for the 1876 Centennial by Sir Moses Ezekiel.
NEWS
September 21, 2015 | By Jack Tomczuk, Inquirer Staff Writer
A statue representing religious freedom and immigration stands at the site where Pope Francis will deliver a speech on those themes. Religious Liberty , outside the National Museum of American Jewish History, shows a woman, symbolizing liberty, shielding a boy with a lamp, representing religious faith. On the opposite side of the woman is a carved eagle crushing a snake, a classic symbol of American democracy and representing the country's continuing struggle against intolerance.
NEWS
December 2, 2010
Jennifer A. Marshall is correct in asserting that the constitutional framework of our country protects religious liberty ("Founders a model to all on freedom of religion," Sunday). However, she fails to offer any indication of just how much our Founding Fathers valued religion beyond its free exercise. Further, she uses unsubstantiated vagueness when she writes, "The Founders frequently stated that a free society could not survive without virtue and religion. " Where is such a statement?
NEWS
January 7, 1987
Your Dec. 20 editorial "Is this that old-time religion?" denies the right of conscience to Bible-believing Christians. Judge Hill, in the Greeneville, Tenn., case, honored the constitutional protection of religious liberty. Our country has honored conscientious objectors in war. The Inquirer is so blinded by its intolerant liberalism that it does not know where freedom begins or appreciate its roots. The old-time religion gave the country the concept that God is the author of liberty.
NEWS
November 25, 2011
WHOSE conscience is it? With a bogus appeal to "religious liberty," U.S. Catholic bishops reportedly have President Obama on the verge of diluting a proposed government regulation that health insurance cover contraception without co-pays. Members of his party are alarmed at this prospect, and they should be: Caving would be nothing less than government enforcement of religious doctrine, not to mention an unfair denial of equal treatment to millions of Americans based on where they work or go to college.
NEWS
February 23, 2010
IN VIEW OF the recent report from the Pew Research Center finding that religious freedom is restricted in 70 percent of the world, we join our voices to those urging President Obama to appoint an ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. As a student of history, the president knows that in 1787 Benjamin Franklin's words calling for prayer on the floor of the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia saved our fledgling nation from disaster and delighted John Adams.
NEWS
September 26, 2010
Christian Sahner is a Rhodes scholar and doctoral candidate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton Bennett Graham worked for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and is now an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Virginia As our nation grapples with the ground zero mosque and the thwarted Quran burning, Americans have an opportunity to reflect on one of our most treasured first principles, religious freedom. But as we debate the scope of the First Amendment in Manhattan and Florida, it is worth remembering that some of the gravest threats to religious freedom happen far from our shores.
NEWS
December 21, 2015
Armando Valladares is the author of the best-selling memoir "Against All Hope" and the recipient of the Becket Fund's 2016 Canterbury Medal In December of 1785, George Washington received a letter from Quaker abolitionist Robert Pleasants pleading with him to make a priority of ending slavery. Eighty years later - 150 years ago this month - he got his wish. This month marks the sesquicentennial of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which officially ended the scourge of slavery in America.
NEWS
April 4, 1988 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Christians worldwide looked beyond global strife yesterday, as Pope John Paul II wished the world a "blessed Easter" and made a fervent, impromptu appeal for peace, justice, religious liberty and the solidarity of all mankind. The pontiff spoke from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City to 150,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square and a broadcast audience of 1 billion people in 46 countries. John Paul's impassioned appeal for peace followed an Easter Mass, which was moved inside the basilica because of rain, and his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message.
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NEWS
July 12, 2016 | By Roy Peterson
  Summer is here, and the warm weather has flooded historic Philadelphia with thousands of tourists - everyone from American schoolchildren to international guests. Some locals might scoff at this influx of curious visitors, but not me. Their presence reminds me that I live in a special city. The cobblestone streets that I walk every day were the cornerstones of our nation. And because faith was so important to our nation's founders, it is impossible to explore the City of Brotherly Love without noting the centrality of religious institutions.
NEWS
December 21, 2015
Armando Valladares is the author of the best-selling memoir "Against All Hope" and the recipient of the Becket Fund's 2016 Canterbury Medal In December of 1785, George Washington received a letter from Quaker abolitionist Robert Pleasants pleading with him to make a priority of ending slavery. Eighty years later - 150 years ago this month - he got his wish. This month marks the sesquicentennial of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which officially ended the scourge of slavery in America.
NEWS
September 28, 2015 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pope Francis' address Saturday on Independence Mall was widely expected to focus on immigration and perhaps the plight of refugees, a topic dear to the pontiff. The speech did, but spoke more to the issue of protecting religious liberty - a topic dear to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Francis began by noting that it was here in Philadelphia - and in the backdrop to his speech, Independence Hall - that the Founding Fathers codified the religious freedoms that most Americans assume as a birthright.
NEWS
September 21, 2015 | By Jack Tomczuk, Inquirer Staff Writer
A statue representing religious freedom and immigration stands at the site where Pope Francis will deliver a speech on those themes. Religious Liberty , outside the National Museum of American Jewish History, shows a woman, symbolizing liberty, shielding a boy with a lamp, representing religious faith. On the opposite side of the woman is a carved eagle crushing a snake, a classic symbol of American democracy and representing the country's continuing struggle against intolerance.
NEWS
June 29, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The Supreme Court's dramatic expansion of the right to marry last week marked a sharp division in the justices' views of the Constitution. But the famous phrase from the preamble is pertinent: This watershed ruling makes the nation and many of its families more perfect unions. Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion for the majority drew on an understanding of our founding document as an expansive and expanding promise of individual liberty and equality under the law. "The identification and protection of fundamental rights is an enduring part of the judicial duty to interpret the Constitution," Kennedy wrote.
NEWS
February 5, 2013
America's Big Religious War ended on Friday. Or at least it ought to. A little more than a year ago, the Obama administration set off a bitter and unnecessary clash with the Roman Catholic Church over rules mandating broad contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services' announcement of new regulations is a clear statement that President Obama never wanted this fight. The decision ought to be taken by the nation's Catholic bishops as a victory, because it is. Many in their ranks, including some of the country's most prominent prelates, are inclined to do just that - even if the most conservative bishops seem to want to keep the battle raging.
NEWS
November 30, 2012
ALDOUS HUXLEY once made this chilling observation: "A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. " I thought of this in the days after the election, as the Left and the Right started arguing about what this country will look like in four more years. Those of us who did not vote for Barack Obama fear that the 2.0 version of his administration will permanently move us from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.
NEWS
June 3, 2012 | By Joe Watkins
Last month, Catholic archdioceses and institutions across the nation filed lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services for its overreaching mandate announced earlier this year. The mandate would force church-affiliated hospitals, agencies, and universities to pay for services that violate their faith (such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs) as part of the health insurance they provide employees. If these groups do not comply, they will incur large penalties that may ultimately force many to close.
NEWS
May 25, 2012 | Christine Flowers
Finally, my church spoke truth to power, and fired a legal — and most likely lethal — shot against an oppressive, unconstitutional requirement that Catholics be forced to subsidize sin. True, not everyone thinks that artificial birth control is sinful, and that would include about the 98% of Catholic women who use it. But it's one thing to say that you as an individual disagree with a fundamental church principle, and quite another...
NEWS
March 11, 2012
Alan Milstein practices law in Moorestown, N.J., and teaches bioethics at Temple University Republicans are trying to make the point that the current debate about contraceptives is about religious liberty, not about access. Indeed, on Meet The Press recently, Newt Gingrich said Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student maligned by Rush Limbaugh, has always had full access to contraceptives, just not through the medical insurance policy she and other students purchased through their university.
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