Isn’t the Bible Regressive?

One of the objections modern Western people have to Christianity and the Bible, is that its teachings seem to be regressive. In the past 100 years we’ve made a lot of progress in freeing people from oppressive views on women, racism and sexuality, but Christianity and the Bible are often seen to be in the way of our march towards progress, especially if you read Stephen Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now.

The problem with this view is that it has to re-write history in order to sustain it. The Enlightenment and the scientific revolution came on the heels of the Protestant Reformation, one of the most significant revolutions of thought in European history. No qualified historian chalks that up to coincidence, but atheists like Stephen Pinker have to, in order to force a false dichotomy between Christianity and the progress of humanitarian values.

Far from standing in the way of the emancipation of women, Biblical Christianity was one of the major forces behind it. While some have claimed that the patriarchal narratives in Genesis are oppressive and condone polygamy, biblical scholar Robert Alter points out that the force of the narratives is actually to undermine oppressive views like polygamy: all of the characters in the narrative are having a terrible time precisely because they have more than one wife. (Robert Alter, Genesis: Translation and Commentary, xlvi)

Some have also claimed that Paul was a misogynist, but this doesn’t fit the evidence. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul begins an argument by stating the common view of the time: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:4a). But then, Paul uses that view to suggest something radical and unheard of in that time and culture: “In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:4b). In all extant historical records, this was radically unique. (Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 281)

On the issue of racism, biblical Christianity has been the single most powerful force for racial equality. The idea that all people are created equal was first introduced into human history on page one of the Bible (Genesis 1:27). The Bible’s vision for heaven is a picture of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language (Revelation 7:9). And the gospel itself, that we’re saved by the sheer grace of God, uniquely levels the playing field between racial groups more than any other worldview. As secular philosopher Luc Ferry points out:

By resting its case upon a definition of the human person and an unprecedented idea of love, Christianity was to have an incalculable effect upon the history of ideas. To give one example, it is quite clear that, in this Christian re-evaluation of the human person, of the individual as such, the philosophy of human rights to which we subscribe today would never have established itself. It is essential therefore that we have a more or less accurate idea of the chain of reasoning which led Christianity to break so radically with the Stoic past. (Luc Ferry, Learning to Live: A User’s Manual, 60)

The strongest argument for the view that the Bible is regressive, is on the issue of human sexuality. However, this requires that ‘progressive’ be defined as maximising all expressions of sexuality, while ‘regressive’ is defined as encouraging sexual restraint. On these definitions, Christianity and the Bible are certainly not ‘progressive’, but this ‘progressive’ view on sexuality is harmful for men, for women, and for children.

For men, a polyamorous (sexually progressive) culture leads to a small percentage of men having lots of sexual partners, and ironically, becoming depressed; and a large percentage of men staying single and becoming lonely. Unfortunately, this loneliness often leads to resentment and then to violence. By contrast, ‘enforced monogamy’, meaning socially encouraged monogamy, leads to more couples, more families, and more civilised men.

A polyamorous culture is also bad for women, because it encourages sex without love, commitment, romance or relationship. While men tend to be more interested in sex without any strings attached than women, women tend to be more interested in romance and relationships than men, and this is precisely what is eroded by a polyamorous culture.

Most obviously, polyamorous cultures harm children, because the sexual promiscuity that they encourage increases the numbers of children who are raised without both of their biological parents. Having both biological parents isn’t everything (having loving parents is more important), but by all agreed upon metrics, children who are raised by both of their biological parents have a better chance of good life outcomes.

The Bible encourages husbands to lay down their lives for their wives (Ephesians 5:25-28), to see all races and ethnicities as made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and to promote a view of sex that doesn’t lead to loneliness – viewing sex as self-donation, not merely for one’s gratification. For some, this is regressive, and its secular opposite is progressive. But by what standard do we measure what’s progressive and what’s regressive?

While a number of people in the West find what the Bible says about sexuality repulsive, they’re often attracted to what it says about grace and forgiveness. However, when you take the Bible to the Middle East, people there are attracted to what the Bible says about sexuality (if anything it’s not strong enough), but they’re repulsed by what it says about grace and forgiveness. If the Bible really was the word of God, then you would expect it to challenge all cultures (including ours), challenging different cultures at different points.

Moreover, if you have a Bible from which you can pick and choose which parts are progressive and which parts are regressive and safely ignored, then you forfeit all possibility of a real relationship with God. In The Stepford Wives the men of Stepford put computer chips in the wives’ heads so that they only ever agree with them, at which point they no longer have a wife with whom they have a relationship, but a robot that they can programme however they like.

Similarly, if you have a Bible from which you can decide that certain parts regressive and safely ignored, then you forfeit all possibility of relationship with God. You merely have a Stepford god (or a Mr. Potato Head god) who only ever affirms you and/or your culture. As Augustine said: “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

http://www.faithbasedonevidence.com/regressive.html

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Christian artists can’t be forced to make same-sex wedding invitations, AZ Supreme Court rules

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter

 

Christian artists Breanna Koski (L) and Joanna Duka say they cannot create art for events that celebrate same-sex marriage. | (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

 

A pair of Christian artists cannot be forced by a city ordinance to make wedding invitations for same-sex marriages, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In Brush & Nib v. City of Phoenix, Arizona’s highest court ruled that Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, cannot be compelled by a local antidiscrimination ordinance to provide their services to same-sex weddings.

Writing for the majority, Justice Andrew Gould concluded that the city of Phoenix “cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance” to force Brush & Nib to “create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Duka, Koski, and Brush & Nib … have the right to refuse to express such messages under article 2, section 6 of the Arizona Constitution, as well as Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act,” wrote Gould.

“Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some. But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone.”

However, the Arizona high court’s ruling was limited to just the “creation of custom wedding invitations,” with the ruling not allowing for “a blanket exemption from the Ordinance for all of Plaintiffs’ business operations.”

“Likewise, we do not, on jurisprudential grounds, reach the issue of whether Plaintiffs’ creation of other wedding products may be exempt from the Ordinance,” continued Gould.

Gould was joined by Justices Clint Bolick, John Lopez, and John Pelander. Vice Chief Justice Ann Scott Timmer and Justices Scott Bales and Christopher Staring each wrote dissenting opinions.

“Our constitutions and laws do not entitle a business to discriminate among customers based on its owners’ disapproval of certain groups, even if that disapproval is based on sincerely held religious beliefs,” wrote Justice Bales.

“In holding otherwise, the majority implausibly characterizes a commercially prepared wedding invitation as ‘pure speech’ on the part of the business selling the product and discounts the compelling public interest in preventing discrimination against disfavored customers by businesses and other public accommodations.”

In 2013, Phoenix added a new ordinance titled “Discrimination in public accommodations,” which banned discrimination “in places of public accommodation against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.”

Also called City Code Section § 18.4(B), the ordinance had a religious exemption, but it did not include businesses. A violation of the law could result in up to six months in prison.

In May 2016, Duka and Koski filed a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix over the ordinance. That September, Arizona Superior Court Judge Karen A. Mullins ruled against their request to block enforcement of the law. In October 2017, Judge Mullins again ruled against Duka and Koski.

In June of 2018, a judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against them, concluding that they “failed to prove that Section 18-4(B) substantially burdens their religious beliefs by requiring that they provide equal goods and services to same-sex couples.”

“Appellants are not penalized for expressing their belief that their religion only recognizes the marriage of opposite-sex couples,” claimed the panel opinion.

“Nor are appellants penalized for refusing to create wedding-related merchandise as long as they equally refuse similar services to opposite-sex couples.”

Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the artists then appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court in July of last year.

“Artists shouldn’t be forced to create artwork contrary to their core convictions, and certainly not under threat of criminal fines and jail time,” stated ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs at the time.

“Breanna and Joanna are happy to design custom art for all people; they simply object to being forced to pour their heart, soul, imagination, and talent into creating messages that violate their conscience.”

 

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

 

City retaliates against brothers who want to grow Christmas trees

Officials warned them not to talk to reporters about fine for taking out scrub brush

Sept 9, 2019

It began with what appeared to be an overly aggressive Michigan township attack on two brothers trying to start a Christmas tree farm.

A fine of $450,000 was announced by the township of Canton against Gary and Matt Percy, who allegedly without permission cleared garbage and scrub brush off their small parcel with plans to plant trees.

Then township officials warned them not to talk to reporters about the dispute or there would be a “fight.”

The brothers went to court, and “Canton made good on its threat,” according the Texas Public Policy Network, which is working on the brothers’ case.

Now, in a separate civil lawsuit in federal court, the Percys charge the city’s complaints and notices of violation are due “to retaliation for the plaintiffs exercising their First Amendment rights.”

The new complaint says town officials called in multiple environmental complaints with state and county agencies, which all were resolved or dismissed. Then they “falsely” told reporters that the brothers had been convicted of stealing water, and they repeatedly sent code enforcement officers to the brothers’ other operations “in search of possible code violations.”

Then township officials sued the brothers.

The brothers countersued, prompting the township to expand “its efforts to find additional possible violations of local ordinances.”

Then the township even claimed that the brothers’ trucking business was operating in unapproved buildings, even though the buildings have been used for more than two decades.

Chance Weldon in the Daily Signal called for an end to the township’s threats of “ruinous, unconstitutional fines.”

“It’s time that the court puts a stop to it.”

Weldon said Canton “responded with increasingly aggressive acts of harassment against the Percy brothers.”

“Shortly after the Percys went to the media, Canton began sending threatening emails chastising them for talking to reporters,” he wrote.

The federal lawsuit against the city charges officials “contacted the Percy brothers to chastise them for exercising their rights of free speech under the First Amendment by reaching out to the press and their elected representative.”

Then there were Canton’s “frivolous complaints” and the code enforcement officers sent to the brothers’ trucking company.

Weldon explained that the brothers filed a separate federal civil rights lawsuit “to stop the ongoing harassment in hopes that they could operate their business in peace while they litigate the tree-ordinance claims.”

The township said it wanted $16 million in fines for the allegedly unapproved buildings.

“Usually when you file a civil rights lawsuit, these sorts of bully tactics stop,” said a Texas Public Policy Network statement. “Here, the township doubled down and started sending various code enforcement officers to the Percys other businesses, just to hassle the brothers.”

The federal lawsuit states: “The right to criticize government and the right to file constitutional claims against the government form the very core of the First Amendment’s protections of the freedom of speech and the right to petition. Defendants may not attempt to punish plaintiffs for seeking to exercise and defend their core constitutional rights. Relief from this court is necessary to prevent this pattern and practice of harassment from continuing.”

The lawsuit contends the city’s complaints and notices of violation are due “to retaliation for the plaintiffs exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Original here

VIDEO 5 Things Pastors Need to Stop Doing Immediately

Shane Idleman
Contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com Sept 10, 2019

5 Things Pastors Need to Stop Doing Immediately

Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game-changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place. Granted, there are many wonderful pastors and churches—I appreciate their ministry, but, as a whole, the church has drifted off course. They have lost the compass of truth – many are more concerned about wine tasting and craft beers than truly seeking the heart of God.  

The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew.

Pastors and Christian leaders alike must take responsibility for the spiritual health of today’s church, and the nation. We don’t need more marketing plans, demographic studies, or giving campaigns; we need men filled with the Spirit of God.

This is not a letter of rebuke (I’m in no position to do that) – it’s a tear-stained plea that we once again seek the heart of God. Here are five issues we need to overcome:

1. Stop watering down the gospel. The truth is often watered-down in the hope of not offending members and building a large audience. Judgment is never mentioned and repentance is rarely sought. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. The power of the gospel is found in the truth about the gospel – the edited version does not change lives.

2. Stop focusing only on encouragement. We all need encouragement, that’s a given, but most people feel beaten down because they’re not hearing more about repentance – “repent and experience times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (cf. Acts 3:19). To truly help people, we must preach the difficult truths as well as the joyful ones; preach the cross and the new life; preach hell and preach heaven; preach damnation and preach salvation; preach sin and preach grace; preach wrath and preach love; preach judgment and preach mercy; preach obedience and preach forgiveness; preach that God “is love,” but don’t forget that God is just. It is the love of God that compels us to share all of His truth.

3. Stop getting your message from pop-psychology or the latest fad. All of us must return to the prayer closet where brokenness, humility, and full surrender take place. God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. Without prayer, “the church becomes a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching encourage sin, not holiness…preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer, the preacher creates death, and not life” (E.M. Bounds). “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees” (Al Whittinghill).

4. Stop trying to be like the world. If a pastor fills his mind with the world all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken. “The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher” (E.M. Bounds). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit. We are called to the separated life guided by the Holy Spirit not Hollywood.

When God brings change, separation and prayer have been the catalyst. The dry, dead lethargic condition of the church simply reflects our lack of being filled with the Spirit. While 5-minute devotionals and prayers are good, they aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion, and worship. Again, God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. It takes broken men to break men. Unplug the tv, turn off Facebook, and get back into the Word, prayer, and worship.

5. Stop asking, “Will this topic offend my audience?” and start asking, “Will my silence offend God?”A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to better understand this point: “I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there…It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Is your pulpit aflame with righteousness – it all begins here.

More at www.ShaneIdleman.com.

Watch, I Remember When the Church Prayed

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/4 Maksym

Video courtesy: Shane Idleman

https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/things-pastors-need-to-stop-doing-immediately.html

Alabama curbs ‘state meddling’ in marriage

Ceremony, officiant no longer required under new law

WND Staff August 31, 2019

The ripples from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision creating same-sex marriage – a ruling the chief justice said was unrelated to the Constitution – continue to be felt.

One of the biggest impacts has been the prosecution of Christian florists, photographers and cake bakers who decline to promote same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs.

Alabama lawmakers apparently have had enough.

A law went into effect Friday that eliminates the state’s role in approving marriages, making it largely a record-keeper.

AL.com reported the law makes obtaining a marriage license as simple as filling out a state form and returning it.

No ceremony or signature by an officiant, such as a minister or judge, is required. Applicants simply put their names on the form, have it notarized and return it.

At the Tenth Amendment Center blog, Mike Maharrey said that while the change in the law “may seem like semantics, it is quite significant.”

“It ends the requirement to get state permission before getting married. The state will now record signed contracts between consenting individuals. In effect, it removes the state from the approval process and relegates it to a mere record-keeper,” he said.

He pointed out the law will maintain a few state requirements governing marriage.

“Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 still must obtain parental permission before applying to record a marriage, the state will not record a marriage if either party was already married, and the parties cannot be related by blood or adoption as already stipulated in state law.”

But civil or religious ceremonies will no longer be required.

Maharrey said the law is “a step toward returning to the traditional Western custom in which the state had little to no involvement in marriage, even though it was a legal contract as well as a religious institution.”

“Marriage in medieval Europe technically fell under the legal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, with priests officiating weddings at the door of the community church,” he noted. “However, it was ultimately a private arrangement that did not require a third party in order to be considered legitimate.”

He noted the state’s role in defining and regulating marriage “has become a contentious issue and places a burden on government officials torn between the legal requirements of their jobs and their personal religious convictions.”

“By limiting the state’s role in marriage, the legislation will allow Alabamans to structure their personal relationships as they see fit without interference or approval from the government.”

He said that that removing “state meddling in marriage will render void the edicts of federal judges that have overturned state laws defining the institution.”

“The founding generation never envisioned unelected judges issuing ex-cathedra pronouncements regarding the definition of social institutions, and the Constitution delegates the federal judiciary no authority to do so.”

Original here

VIDEO Christian filmmakers win speech-rights fight against state

Appeals court says they have the right to choose what they will say

by BOB UNRUH

Carl and Angel Larson (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

Courts base their decisions on U.S. law and the Constitution, right?

So it should be no surprise that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited the Constitution in its decision to reinstate a lawsuit by two filmmakers in Minnesota who had sued the state for trying to coerce them into saying something they didn’t want to say.

That right to free speech is protected in the First Amendment, the judges affirmed in the case Telescope Media Group v. Lucero.

The judges wrote: “Carl and Angel Larsen wish to make wedding videos. Can Minnesota require them to produce videos of same-sex weddings, even if the message would conflict with their own beliefs? The district court concluded that it could and dismissed the Larsens’ constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s antidiscrimination law. Because the First Amendment allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say, we reverse the dismissal of two of their claims and remand with instructions to consider whether they are entitled to a preliminary injunction.”

The issue has arisen since the Supreme Court created, in an opinion the chief justice said was untethered to the Constitution, same-sex “marriage.” Activists have been using the precedent to sue wedding venue owners, florists, photographers and bakers, including Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. He declined to produce a cake promoting homosexuality and was sued by the state, but the Supreme Court condemned the state’s “hostility” to Christianity and decided in Phillips’ favor.

The current decision from the 8th Circuit centers on a state requirement that if the filmmakers provide wedding videos for male-female couples they must do the same for same-sex couples.

The appeals court “reinstated the free speech and free exercise of religion claims of the lawsuit, which Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed on behalf of filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen, owners of Telescope Media Group in St. Cloud. The court also ordered the district court to consider whether the Larsens are entitled to a preliminary order barring enforcement of the law against them,” ADF said.

“The government shouldn’t threaten filmmakers with fines and jail time to force them to create films that violate their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the 8th Circuit in October of last year. “Carl and Angel work with all people; they just don’t create films promoting all messages. That’s why we’re pleased that the 8th Circuit has affirmed that the Larsens’ films are fully protected speech and that the state lacks a compelling interest to force them to express messages through their films that violate their deeply held convictions. All creative professionals should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.”

The 8th Circuit opinion noted the obviously failing of the state requirement.

“Indeed, if Minnesota were correct, there is no reason it would have to stop with the Larsens. In theory, it could use the MHRA to require a Muslim tattoo artist to inscribe ‘My religion is the only true religion’ on the body of a Christian if he or she would do the same for a fellow Muslim, or it could demand that an atheist musician perform at an evangelical church service. In fact, if Minnesota were to do what other jurisdictions have done and declare political affiliation or ideology to be a protected characteristic, then it could force a Democratic speechwriter to provide the same services to a Republican, or it could require a professional entertainer to perform at rallies for both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the same office.”

After the district court ruled in favor of Minnesota’s motion to dismiss the Larsens’ lawsuit, ADF attorneys appealed to the 8th Circuit, which received several friend-of-the-court briefs, including one filed by 10 states, supporting the artistic freedom of the Minnesota filmmakers. The Larsens are challenging portions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 363A on the grounds that the public accommodation law illegally controls artistic expression, violating their freedom to choose which messages they will express, and refrain from expressing, through their films, ADF explained.

The Larsens intend to enter the wedding industry, but under Minnesota’s law could be required to violate their religious beliefs about marriage.

They could face penalties of up to 90 days in jail and punitive damages of $25,000.

WND reported the case alleges problems with Minnesota Statutes Chapter 363. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights claims the law forces creative professionals like the Larsens to promote objectionable messages, even those that violate their constitutionally protected religious faith.

The filmmakers say they have the right to decide what stories to tell.

At the district court level, an activist judge, John Mannheim, lashed out at the Larsens, claiming their faith standards were “akin to a ‘White Applicants Only’ sign.”

ADF Senior counsel Jonathan Scruggs told WND and Radio America that the judge’s rationale is way off base.

“That comparison is entirely false. The Larsens do not discriminate based on of any status,” Scruggs explained. “They are willing to serve all people, including people of all different sexual orientations. They just can’t promote messages they disagree with and events they disagree with. That’s a common-sense distinction.”

He said the judge’s disturbing language did not stop there.

“The court acknowledged that this law was raising First Amendment concerns yet said that was only an ‘incidental burden’ on the Larsens’ First Amendment rights, when they are compelled to create and promote videos of a same-sex wedding ceremony,” Scruggs said.

Christian filmmakers win speech-rights fight against state


U.S. town banned Christians from renting, but suddenly …

‘Churches shouldn’t be treated less favorably than other groups’

WND Staff August 25, 2019

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

A South Carolina town has been forced to reverse its ban on churches renting its civic center for worship services.

The members of Redeemer Fellowship in Edisto Beach had rented the center several times. But the church proposed a new rental agreement and “the town council voted to reject the church’s application and amended the facility use guidelines to ban all rentals for ‘religious worship services.'”

With the ban now lifted, both sides have agreed to drop the legal action.

“Churches shouldn’t be treated less favorably than other groups that want to rent facilities,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We commend Edisto Beach for lifting its ban, which was inconsistent with the town’s own statement that it welcomes ‘civic, political, business, social groups and others’ to use its civic center.

“Its previous policy that singled out one form of expression – worship – as inferior to other forms of speech was clearly unconstitutional. Redeemer Fellowship and its members have invested in the community for years, and we are pleased that the church will now receive fair treatment and equal access to the civic center.”

The lawsuit had pointed out that the city even allowed an Episcopal church to rent a multipurpose room while refusing Redeemer permission.

Shortly after the lawsuit began, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case in favor of the church. The lawsuit argued that the town’s previously amended guidelines were inconsistent and amounted to viewpoint discrimination, allowing some groups “to engage in singing, teaching, social interaction, and similar expressive activities” while denying permission to others.

The Department of Justice argued the town was interpreting the Constitution backwards.

The DOJ’s “Statement of Interest in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction” in the case said the city’s policy changes appeared to be singling out and banning “a category of constitutionally protected speech and religious exercise – religious worship.”

“Indeed, the town’s reading of the First Amendment is exactly backwards: The town seeks to permit the content and viewpoint discrimination against religious worship that the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses prohibit and to prohibit the equal access for religious expression that the Establishment Clause permits. The court should hold that Plaintiff Redeemer Fellowship has established a likelihood of success on its Free Speech and Free Exercise claims,” the DOJ filing said.

 

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