Monday, July 11, 2016

Can the Iowa Civil Rights Commission do that to a church?

Christiana Holcomb
This week on FOT is the case of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission that has interpreted a state law to ban churches from expressing their views on human sexuality if they would “directly or indirectly” make “persons of any particular…gender identity” feel “unwelcome” in conjunction with church services, events, and other religious activities. The speech ban, of course, could be used to gag churches from making any public comments—including from the pulpit—that could be viewed as unwelcome to persons who do not identify with their biological sex. The commission says the law applies to churches during any activity that the commission deems to not have a “bona fide religious purpose.”

Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for the  Alliance Defending Freedom, has filed a Federal lawsuit seeking to prohibit the commission from enforcing its rule on behalf of the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ. Christiana will be our guest Tuesday. In that suit she argues that all events held at a church on its property have a bona fide religious purpose, and that the commission has no authority to violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion and speech.
Pastor Cary Gordon
In Sioux City another church, Cornerstone World Outreach, send a demand letter to the Civil Rights Commission objecting to its interpretation of the law and received a reply that in some respects “walks back” the commission’s claim. We will also have an interview with Cornerstone’s senior pastor and old friend of the program, Rev. Cary Gordon, who taped an interview with us for broadcast on the program.
So join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll for an interesting discussion of the legal and moral issues involved in the commission’s rules and in the Federal case filed in Des Moines.
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Faith On Trial is broadcast every Tuesday at 9 a.m. and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on where you can find podcasts of older programs.

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