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Priests For Life Vows Defiance After Losing Birth Control Case

A far-right Catholic anti-abortion group that lost its challenge of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate has vowed to defy the law.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, said he objects to the Obama administration’s compromise, which would require his religiously affiliated non-profit to simply fill out a form and then allow a third-party insurance company to provide birth control access for any of the organization’s employees who may want it. (Most of the group’s employees are not clergy.) Read more

Time For A New Hobby?: Craft Company Seeks Right To Make Moral Decisions For Its Employees

If you’re into crafts, scrapbooking, home improvement or even building model kits, you might be familiar with Hobby Lobby. The nationwide store chain sells a variety of products for fans of these and other pastimes.

What you might not know is that Hobby Lobby considers itself a religious enterprise. Its mission statement lays it right out. The firm’s goal is, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” Read more

The Year That Was: Major Church-State Developments From 2012

The end of the year is a time for lists. You’re probably seeing a lot of them – “25 Best Books of 2012,” “10 Overlooked Movies,” “What’s Hot and What’s Not” or whatever.

Along those lines, here’s a list of the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2012 (listed in no particular order): Read more

Birth Control Battle: Federal Court Upholds Contraceptive Mandate

Efforts by conservative religious organizations to restrict Americans’ access to birth control are ongoing. For the time being, the action has shifted to the courts.

A federal court in Missouri handed down an important ruling last week, dismissing a lawsuit brought by O’Brien Industrial Holdings, a St. Louis firm that mines and processes a variety of ceramic material for heavy industry. Read more

Seeking Justice: Jailed Rape Victim Who Was Denied Contraception Can Sue Florida Sheriff

In January 2007, a Tampa, Fla., woman identified in court records as “R.W.” was raped.

After visiting a rape crisis center in Tampa, she was prescribed emergency contraception as a precaution. She took one contraceptive pill immediately and intended to take a second pill 12 hours later as a doctor had instructed, court records said.  Read more

Health-Care Humbug: ‘Religious Freedom’ Rallies Threaten Religious Freedom

Look for another round of “religious freedom” protests in cities around the country today. Aggressive right-wing religious lobbies are purportedly organizing “Stand Up” rallies to stop “the unjust violation of our religious liberty by the Obama Administration’s contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs mandate.”

It’s all baloney, of course. Read more