(1) Florida legislature approves abortion bill similar to one under consideration by SCOTUS
If the bill becomes law, it would force abortion clinics to meet requirements for ambulatory surgical centers and abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The bill also would revise the requirements for the disposal of fetal remains, a nod to a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and donation of aborted fetal body parts.
(2) Missouri Governor Opposes Religious Exemption (AP)
(3) 2 Muslims Settle Lawsuits Over Church Services In Ohio Jail (AP)
Two Muslim women who said they were forced to attend Christian services at a county jail in Cleveland while being held there have settled federal lawsuits with county officials, according to settlement agreements released Wednesday. They show Cuyahoga County paid $48,500 to Sakeena Majeed and $32,500 to Sonya Abderrazzaq.
(4) Abortion foes say Notre Dame ‘betrays’ Catholic tradition by honoring Vice President Biden (Dallas Morning News)
(5) Politics from the Pulpit? (Mauck & Baker Law Firm)
In these situations, God calls us to put Him first and to do so with humility and wisdom. Although the pastor cannot publicly endorse candidates on behalf of the church under the IRS rules, he can do so in his capacity as a private individual under his right of free speech. He may even identify himself as a pastor of such a church and state his views from the pulpit as long as he makes it clear he is not acting on behalf of the church in his private endorsement. Alliance Defending Freedom every year holds Pulpit Freedom Sunday, encouraging pastors to preach election sermons. The goal is to challenge the IRS restrictions in court on the basis that government cannot control what can be said in a church. Thousands of pastors have participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday and even mailed their sermons to the IRS. So far, the IRS has not challenged a tax exempt status of any of the pastor’s churches.
(6) Meeting IRS Requirements When a Pastor Runs for Office: How one church navigated the tricky issue of political involvement (Managing Your Church)
With the 2016 presidential election coming up, many churches and ministry leaders may wonder what they can and cannot do when it comes to politics. Is there a line, and, if so, when do you cross it? Churches are required to remain impartial toward candidates, yet church leaders tend to invest more in social issues, such as pro-life and same-sex marriage, than the average voter. Clearly the church’s interest in politics isn’t going away anytime soon.