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Posts Tagged ‘Religious freedom’

Don’t Believe the Hype: HB 2625 Puts Arizona in Line with Other States’ Insurance Mandates

Posted in Religious Liberty on: April 12th, 2012
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The Arizona Senate passed HB 2625 today by a 17-13 vote, after members and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Debbie Lesko, agreed to amend the bill in a conference committee. HB 2625 protects religious employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs and provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs.

Under the proposed conference committee amendment, the religious exemption in Arizona will be expanded to include only organizations that have a religious mission in their articles of incorporation and that operate according to their religious principles. Essentially this means that, if passed, both churches and religious organizations, such as charities and other parachurch ministries, would be exempt from the government mandate.

Despite what Planned Parenthood and the bills’ opponents say, the impact of HB 2625 is not unfounded or rare. In fact, a majority of states will have less restrictive mandates than Arizona would under the bill. The graph below illustrates the impact of HB 2625:

The bill was passed with the agreement that the amendments will be added in conference committee early next week.

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends
the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.

Continue reading Don’t Believe the Hype: HB 2625 Puts Arizona in Line with Other States’ Insurance Mandates

Mandating Ideology

Posted in Marriage & Family, Religious Liberty on: December 1st, 2011
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Jennifer Keeton is a graduate student at Augusta State University in Georgia who, like millions of Christians across the country, holds a biblical belief about homosexuality. 

It’s because of this biblical worldview that Augusta State has offered Jennifer an ultimatum: reject your sincerely held religious beliefs or you will not receive your degree in counseling.

The university is demanding that Jennifer denounce her stance that homosexuality is morally wrong and that sexual behavior can be changed. The school is also trying to force Jennifer to attend “sensitivity training” and gay pride events.


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Why Protect Marriage?

Posted in Marriage & Family on: June 29th, 2011
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There’s been a lot of coverage of the New York legislature’s decision to redefine marriage in their state. Whenever marriage is discussed in the media, there are a lot fundamental misunderstandings about why so many stand for the true definition of marriage.

We’re going to be publishing a series of posts here on the Foundations blog about why it’s critical for our culture for marriage to remain the union of one man and one woman. (more…)

Continue reading Why Protect Marriage?

Choosing Between Your Faith and Your Education

Posted in Religious Liberty on: March 17th, 2011
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“Choose between your faith and your education.”

That’s what some public universities have been telling their students. Seventy-one percent of public university professors surveyed in 2007 said this country would be better off if Evangelical Christians kept their opinions out of the public square. Over half (53%) of those same professors stated that they feel unfavorable toward Evangelical Christians, in contrast to 73% with favorable feelings towards Jews and 68% with favorable feelings toward Buddhists.

It’s not surprising then, that attacks on religious liberty are particularly common on public university campuses. Some professors and university leaders tout intellectual diversity, while ideas are stifled because they are unpopular or not “politically correct.”

These incidents are occurring across the country, including right here in Arizona. That’s why CAP is supporting HB 2565, which ensures that universities and community colleges do not infringe on the rights of students to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In a Senate Education Committee hearing on Tuesday, ASU graduate Bethany Miller testified about her personal experience of religious discrimination. Here’s what Bethany had to say:

Other examples abound – like when a student at Los Angeles Community College delivered a speech in a public speaking class for an open-ended assignment about his faith and read the dictionary definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. His professor called the student a name, refused to grade his paper, and told the student to “ask God” for his grade.

In 2006, a student enrolled in a program at Eastern Michigan University that would allow her to serve her community as a high school counselor. In spite of earning straight A’s in her curriculum, the student was expelled for refusing to counsel a client about goals that violated her religious beliefs, even though she consulted with her professor and referred the client to another counselor.

We are pleased that Arizona’s three public universities have agreed to HB 2565 and that ASU President Michael Crowe has recently lauded the importance of religious student groups on campus.

University students should not be forced to make the choice between getting an education and following their religious beliefs, and HB 2565 ensures that for Arizona students.

Continue reading Choosing Between Your Faith and Your Education