Opposing Gay Marriage Earns Florist Death Threats and Million-Dollar Lawsuits

When Barronelle Stutzman took a stand for her Christian beliefs nearly five years ago, she never imagined that she would eventually be appealing to the US Supreme Court to defend her decision. But that’s exactly what happened. “This was never on my bucket list,” Barronelle told Catholic News Agency. The 72-year-old grandmother is the owner…Read More

New Utah Law Promotes Marriage Through Prep Classes

Utah is encouraging its citizens to better prepare for marriage by discounting the cost of marriage licenses for couples who complete marriage preparation classes. The law, signed March 20 by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, will discount marriage licenses by $20 for couples who complete at least three hours of premarital counseling or six hours of…Read More

Appeals Court Blocks Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

An Ohio law which blocked federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood clinics in the state was struck down by a federal appeals court on Wednesday. The law, which was signed by Governor John Kasich in 2016, prohibited federal taxpayer money from going to clinics that perform abortions in the state of Ohio. That money, about…Read More

Hundreds of Students Participate In National Pro-life Walkout

Inspired by recent student walkouts over gun control, hundreds of high school and college students across the US took part in a pro-life walkout on Wednesday. According to pro-life group Students for Life of America (SFLA), more than 400 students and student organizations told SFLA that they planned on participating in the April 11 walkout,…Read More

Key Pro-life Bill Approved in House Committee

Senate Bill 1267, authored by Treat and Rep. Kevin Calvey, (R-OKC), passed out of the House Rules Committee 7-2. The bill prohibits a medical provider from receiving Medicaid funds through the state if that medical provider has trafficked in baby body parts. Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans for Life, detailed, “[The bill harkens] to…Read More

Faith-Based Adoption Protection Bill Wins Key Victory

Sen. Greg Treat’s SB1140, designed to create legal protections for faith-based adoption agencies, won a huge victory on Thursday when it advanced out of the House Judiciary committee with an overwhelming 13-6 vote. House author Rep. Travis Dunlap (R-Bartlesville) presented and defended the bill against aggressive attacks from opponents. After one of the bill’s lead…Read More

Facebook Apologizes for Blocking Steubenville’s Ad

Facebook has apologized for what it called a “mistake” in rejecting a theology ad from Franciscan University of Steubenville, on the grounds that an image of the cross was too violent and sensational. “Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content,” was Facebook’s response, according Tom Crowe, web communications…Read More

Founder of 40 Days for Life Enters Catholic Church on Easter

David Bereit, the founder of 40 Days for Life, entered the Catholic Church on Easter, giving thanks for the inspiration of influential Catholics, including his wife and children. “After years of prayer, discernment, and a whole lot of wrestling with God, I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church at last night’s Easter…Read More

Catholic Benefits Association Wins Reprieve in HHS Lawsuit

In a major victory for the First Amendment right to religious freedom, a federal judge has ruled in favor of Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) members, issuing declaratory relief and a permanent injunction against the Obamacare CASC (contraception, abortifacient, sterilization, and related counseling) Mandate. The ruling also eliminates $6.9 billion in fines that have accumulated against…Read More

CCO Hosts Catholic Legislators Caucus, Nationally Renowned Speaker

On Holy Thursday, the Catholic Conference of Oklahoma hosted its inaugural event for the Catholic Legislators Caucus in the Governor’s Blue Room at the state capitol. Joining both Archbishop Coakley and Bishop Konderla were multiple Catholic members of the State Senate and House of Representatives along with Catholic lobbyists, clergy, diocesan and lay leaders. Attendees were treated…Read More

Gubernatorial candidates react to state’s poor rankings

The Oklahoman reached out to gubernatorial candidates this week to gauge their reaction to the newspaper’s series exploring the state’s poor rankings and outcomes in the areas of health, education, mental health and incarceration. Titled “The STATE of Oklahoma,” the yearlong series will look at why Oklahoma ranks among the worst — if not the…Read More

USCCB Disappointed by Congress’ Failure on Conscience Protection Act

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, reacted with deep disappointment to the news that a very modest but critical piece of legislation—the Conscience Protection Act—was not…Read More

Critical Bills Move Forward on Life and Adoption Rights

Newly-elected President Pro Tempore Greg Treat is the author of an important faith-based adoption protection bill, SB1140, which allows faith-based adoption agencies to continue operating according to their principles of faith without fear of legal threat. The bill passed out of the Senate on Tuesday 35-9 with two Democrats defecting to vote for it. It…Read More

USCCB urges support for ‘First Amendment Defense Act’

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave their strong support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Mike Lee…Read More

Victory: State Senate Votes Overwhelmingly for Adoption Protection

Legislation to preserve the religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies in Oklahoma took an important step toward becoming law Tuesday (March 13) with the support of national and state Baptist leaders. The Oklahoma Senate voted 35-9 for Senate Bill 1140, a proposal that would protect private organizations from being required to take part in the…Read More

Breaking: Christian student group back in from cold

News outlets broke the announcement that a Christian student group was—at least temporarily—allowed back on campus just two days after the group asked a federal court to protect its right to choose leaders who affirm its faith. In InterVarsity Christian Fellowship v. Wayne State University, a Christian student group, which had been on campus for 75 years, was derecognized by Michigan-based Wayne State University because…Read More

Sen. Lankford Introduces Conscience Protection Act

This week, the House will consider legislation to protect health care providers that decline to be involved in abortions as a matter of conscience. Introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), it’s called the Conscience Protection Act and here’s what you need to know about it. Why is the Conscience Protection Act so important? There is…Read More

Early Pro-life Victories, Two Bills Head to House Floor

This week’s slate of bills supported by the Catholic Conference of Oklahoma include two important pro-life measures: House Bill 3676 and House Bill 3447. HB3676 facilitates the provision of federal or state funds to pro-life pregnancy resource centers. And HB3447 prohibits the state from granting Medicaid funding to any health-care provider that has failed to report statutory rape…Read More

Private Scholarship Bills Fail By Razor Thin Margins

Oklahoma’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund was dealt a disappointing defeat this week in both chambers of the state legislature. House Bill 3537 and Senate Bill 1384 proposed to raise the cap on private donations to the fund that qualify for state tax credits from the current $5 million limit. Both measures would also have added an…Read More

‘Defund Human Trafficking’ Bill Passes Out of Committee

This week was crunch-time for legislators as multiple committees in both chambers of the state legislature heard dozens of bills ahead of the March 1 deadline for committee work. Among the bills supported by the Catholic Conference is Sen. Greg Treat’s ‘Defund Human Trafficking’ bill, SB 1267. If passed, the law would prohibit Medicaid funding…Read More

Federal Court Orders Restoration of DACA Program

A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that the government must restart the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals deportation amnesty, adding more weight to the legal case against President Trump’s phaseout of the program just as Congress is debating the fate of “Dreamers” on Capitol Hill. Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the administration…Read More

Sen. Lankford Outlines Republican Senate DACA Solution

Oklahoma’s junior Sen. James Lankford joined MSNBC to outline a proposal on a solution for the so-called DREAMers, young immigrants who came to the United States as children while accompanying their parents. The debate continues to generate debate on both sides of the aisle as neither party to-date has been willing to reconcile a path…Read More

USCCB Praises Trump Admin for Restoring Pro-Life Policy

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked and praised the Trump Administration following release of its six-month report showing early signs of successful implementation of an expanded Mexico City Policy aptly renamed Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance. Continue reading…

2018 Rose Day Draws Standing Room-Only Crowd to Capitol

Rose Day, the annual sanctity-of-life, anti-abortion rally and outreach, draw the faithful from across the state to the State Capitol on Wednesday. People presented their elected leaders with red roses to show their concern about sanctity-of-life issues. The roses symbolized the sanctity of the unborn, and by distributing the flowers to their legislators, Rose Day…Read More

School choice advocates look for another year of expansion

Unable to gain large-scale advances in the Oklahoma Legislature over the last few years, school choice advocates have instead focused on small gains that have slowly expanded the state’s voucher program to specific student groups. Launched in 2010, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program offered state funding for children with special needs to attend private…Read More

Gov. Mary Fallin Delivers Final State of the State Address

Oklahoma’s elected state politicians should find budgetary compromise to avoid more chaos, Gov. Mary Fallin said in her final State of the State address Monday. Fallin’s remarks pulled into focus the results of inaction, and consequences of continuing to fill budget holes with one-time sources of revenue. “One path would be to continue year after…Read More

David Brooks: The Abortion Memo

To: Democratic Party Leaders From: Imaginary Democratic Consultant Re: Late-Term Abortions Dear Democratic Leaders, Last week I watched as our senators voted down the Republican bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. Our people hung together. Only three Democrats voted with the other side. Yet as I was watching I kept wondering: How…Read More

Celebrate National Catholic Schools Week: Jan 28 – Feb 3

National Catholic Schools Week 2018 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses around the country January 28–February 3. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.,” focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education. As Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the U. S. Conference…Read More

Oklahoma’s payday loan usage rate is highest in nation

Elise Robillard was desperate for a quick cash infusion the first time she walked into a payday lending store. A long-term substitute teacher and mother of two young children, Robillard’s tires were bald, and she couldn’t afford to replace them. So she turned to small, short-term payday advances thinking they would keep her afloat. The…Read More

March for Life 2018 Draws More Than 100,000 Prolifers

Considering they were protesting what they call “the greatest human rights violation of our time,” the crowd that gathered on the National Mall Friday morning for the March for Life was oddly upbeat. Church and school groups who had traveled across the country to show their opposition to 45 years of legal abortion in America…Read More

Adoption Agency Protection Bill Modeled After Virginia Law

Sen. Greg Treat (R-OKC) filed a bill this week designed to offer legal protection for private adoption agencies. The bill provides specific protections from future state regulations that may force faith-based agencies to violate their mission. A similar bill recently passed in the state of Virginia, which was written to prevent the forced closure of…Read More

Senate Bill Filed to End Funding for Trafficking of Fetal Body Parts

Senate Bill 1267, authored by Sen. Greg Treat (R-OKC), proposes to cut state health care funding for Oklahoma organizations or those affiliated with any out-of-state organizations that have been involved in the illegal sale of fetal remains from abortion procedures. The bill formally creates the Defunding Human Trafficking Act, which specifically provides that certain eligibility requirements…Read More

There are 3.6M ‘DREAMers’ — a number far greater than commonly known

The political debate over the fate of “DREAMers” — undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — has overlooked just how many there are in the country today: about 3.6 million. That number of people whose lives risk being uprooted is not widely known, in large part because so much public attention has been focused recently on 800,000 mostly young DREAMers accepted…Read More

Budget Negotiations: Oil groups support Step Up Oklahoma

Leaders of two Oklahoma oil and gas associations on Tuesday announced their support for a slate of reform and revenue measures advocated by a coalition of Oklahoma civic and business leaders called Step Up Oklahoma. Tuesday’s endorsements came from the board of directors of the Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association and the executive committee of…Read More

Vatican Newspaper: Trump Comments ‘Harsh, Offensive’

In its continuing coverage of the U.S. immigration debate, the Vatican newspaper noted media reports that President Donald Trump “used particularly harsh and offensive words about immigrants” from several countries. “No agreement on Dreamers” was the headline on the lead story for L’Osservatore Romano’s edition dated Jan. 13 and published late Jan. 12. In the…Read More

Archbishop Gomez: Ending DACA will lead to ‘humanitarian crisis’

Congress must separate “the conversation about DACA” from the “larger issues” about U.S. immigration policy, because allowing the program to expire will lead “to a humanitarian crisis,” especially in Los Angeles, said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. “As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to the ‘Dreamers.’ These young people have done nothing…Read More

Catholic groups decry end of immigration protection for Salvadorans

As the Catholic Church in the U.S. began observing National Migration Week, a time to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, immigrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims, the administration of President Donald Trump announced that it would end an immigration program for thousands of Salvadorans, one of the largest groups of modern-day immigrants in the…Read More

Churches no longer exempt from FEMA disaster aid

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is revising its policies to no longer exclude houses of worship from applying for federal aid to recover from damages caused by natural disasters. The policy change was outlined in the agency’s revised 217-page manual: “Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide” issued Jan. 2. This change is not just for…Read More

RCP: Assisted Suicide Is No Choice At All

Assisted suicide laws in the United States have all passed based on the assumption that a terminally ill person has less than six months to live. But the experience of many diagnosed with terminal illnesses force us to ask: What if this assumption is wrong? The reality is that, when tasked with predicting a patient’s…Read More

Investigations On Health Department To Continue

A State House of Representatives Investigative Committee is looking into the misspending of at least $30-million at the Department of Health. Last week, the department announced it is laying off almost 200 workers. The committee met for more than 8 hours, trying to figure out how the Department of Health could misappropriate the cash over…Read More

Governor Fallin Announces Second Special Session

Governor Mary Fallin is calling a second special session December 18. She made the announcement Thursday evening, just one day after she told us she would wait until after December 20 to make her decision. Lawmakers say the decision will likely interfere with their holiday plans. They’re wondering, why not wait till after the new…Read More

Education Savings Amendment to Tax Reform Is Big Win for Families

On Friday night, the United States Senate passed their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, better known as tax reform. Only one additive floor amendment made it into the bill. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offered an amendment to make 529 education savings accounts even more useful than today. 529 accounts up until now…Read More

Federal Judge Kills TX Law to Prevent Pain-Capable Abortions

A federal judge strikes down a state law intended to mitigate cruelty to unborn children in late-term abortions. In Texas, legislators are attempting to enshrine in law their conviction that, if unborn children must be killed in abortions, they deserve to be spared as much pain as possible. These unborn children, Texas lawmakers believe, do…Read More

Taxpayer-funded abortion law met with Illinois lawsuit

A new Illinois law requiring public funding of elective abortions is opposed by pro-life groups and taxpayers who have sued the state, calling the measure illegal. “The people of Illinois totally reject taxpayer-funded abortions,” said Peter Breen, Special Counsel for the Thomas More Society, a non-profit legal group in Chicago, in a statement released Thursday.…Read More

US tax reform bill could repeal Johnson Amendment

The Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision which prohibits churches and nonprofit groups from making public endorsements of political candidates, could be repealed through the tax reform bill currently in the US Senate. The repeal was packaged into the bill which passed the House a few weeks ago, but has yet to be approved by the…Read More

Is the FBI preparing to investigate Planned Parenthood?

An FBI request for un-redacted Planned Parenthood documents from the U.S. Senate could signal an investigation into whether the abortion giant illegally sold fetal tissue from aborted babies. The request was made to the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) referred Planned Parenthood and several other organizations that perform abortions to the…Read More

Object to abortion? You might need this law, Congressman says

Washington D.C., Nov 8, 2017 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life health care workers and institutions need stronger legal protections from pressure to help provide abortions, backers of proposed federal legislation have said. “Healthcare is about saving life, eradicating disease, mitigating disability —not taking life,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said Nov. 8. “At the…Read More

WashPo: Legalizing assisted suicide has stalled at every level

Three years ago, Brittany Maynard’s viral video launched the issue of medically assisted suicide into the national spotlight. But while advocates have notched a few wins since then, they’ve also run up against some strong, bipartisan resistance. Two states — California and Colorado — have made it legal for doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to…Read More

Tulsa World: Bishops Call Lankford’s SUCCEED Good First Step

Our nation has grappled with the difficult issue of immigration for hundreds of years, struggling to manage the sometimes rapid change in demographics. Throughout the decades, we have wrestled with a profound question: How do we protect our citizens and remain a nation of laws while respecting the inherent dignity of each human person? U.S.…Read More

OK Catholic bishops praise Lankford’s Succeed Act

Leaders of the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma recently praised a recent measure introduced by U.S. Sen. James Lankford as a “legislative remedy” for children of immigrants. Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, drafted the measure, entitled the Succeed Act, following President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the previous administration’s…Read More

Trump administration expands exemptions on contraceptive mandate

The Trump administration Oct. 6 issued interim rules expanding the exemption to the contraceptive mandate for religious employers, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, who object on moral grounds to covering contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices in their employee health insurance. Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops praised the action…Read More

Why Bigger [Families] Might Be Easier

In the National Marriage Project’s exhaustive 2011 “State of Our Unions” report, a sidebar among the analyses and graphs draws attention to a subset social scientists tend to ignore in their ubiquitous research on marriage and parenting: big families. Noted researcher Alan Hawkins explains the dearth in blunt terms: “There’s not a lot of research…Read More

Dissolve the Dead? Controversy Swirls around Liquid Cremation

Eight times a year a funeral director sets off by boat from Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base carrying about two dozen plastic bags filled with unusual human remains. The powder he pours overboard is from corpses that have been “cremated”—not by fire, but by liquid. That’s how the University of California, Los Angeles, disposes of…Read More

Pope urges respect for the life and dignity of migrants, refugees

With millions of people fleeing violence, persecution and poverty around the globe, individual nations must expand options that make it possible for migrants and refugees to cross their borders safely and legally, Pope Francis said. “The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved predecessor, Benedict XVI, obliges us to…Read More