FEMA Aid to Houses of Worship

From First Thoughts

Yesterday, a bipartisan House majority passed H.R. 592 , sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), which requires FEMA to provide disaster assistance to houses of worship using the same criteria it has for other applicants. A letter to Rep. Smith from the Becket Fund assures him that his . . . . Continue Reading »

Republicans and Higher Education

From First Thoughts

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered a speech yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute. There’s much to like in it, but I’m going to focus on what he has to say about higher education , which displays some characteristic Republican tics. However understandable these tics . . . . Continue Reading »

The Revised HHS Mandate

From First Thoughts

The Obama Administration has proposed new regulations that purport to accommodate some of the concerns voiced by religious organizations in response to its original attempt to mandate that virtually all health insurance plans offer contraceptive coverage free of charge. You can read or download the . . . . Continue Reading »

Boy Scouts and Atheists

From First Thoughts

Real Clear Religion’ s Jeffrey Weiss thinks that, regardless of what happens with the Boy Scouts and gay scouts and leaders, the organization will still hold the line (unfortunately from his point of view, I suspect) against atheists and agnostics. Since I share Matthew Franck’s bleak . . . . Continue Reading »

Young Evangelicals and the Culture War

From First Thoughts

At least once a month (and I suspect more often if I looked harder), I read an article that tells me that young Evangelicals are sick and tired of the culture war, that they have little or no interest in rushing to the barricades to protect traditional marriage (and so on). There are two versions . . . . Continue Reading »

State Contraceptive Mandates

From First Thoughts

Thanks to some comments on an earlier post, I have learned that as many as  twenty-eight states require insurance providers to include contraceptive coverage in the packages they offer. Twenty states offer some form of conscientious exemption from the requirement; eight—including . . . . Continue Reading »

The Superfluity of the HHS Mandate

From First Thoughts

As a deacon, I sit on the Personnel Committee for my church. For me, it’s a learning experience since two of my colleagues are benefits administrators for my denomination who patiently answer my dumb questions. We’d been discussing the healthcare package for the church employees and I . . . . Continue Reading »