The White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative Levels the Playing Field

The following first appeared at TownHall.com on May 9, 2018.

Americans have a long history of welcoming the compassionate and innovative work of religious individuals and organizations.

On this year’s observance of the National Day of Prayer, President Trump extended that history by announcing the creation of The White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative (“Initiative”). The initiative, rebranded from prior administrations, reaffirms our national commitment to welcoming the full participation of religious individuals and organizations to serve their local community, just like everyone else.

According to President Trump, “The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.” Importantly, the President noted that the Initiative will bear the responsibility of ensuring “that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.”

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Jeremiah DysComment
Senators are Failing the Religious Test for Office

The following first appeared at TheHill.com on April 26, 2018.

While most coverage of Mike Pompeo’s nomination for secretary of State focused on the battle for votes in the Senate, the process also featured the latest in a disturbing trend of senators apparently violating Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

Last week, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was the latest U.S. senator to add his name to a growing list treating the Constitution’s unequivocal rejection of a religious test for office like the “Pirates of the Caribbean’s” Barbosa treats “The Code”: “more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”

Article VI, specifically the final clause, guarantees that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Someone tell the Democratic caucus of the U.S. Senate. 

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Jeremiah DysComment
Can an America Hostile to Religion Ever Have Another Billy Graham?

The following first appears at TheHill.com on March 1, 2018.

Billy Graham was a unique figure not only in American history, but in the much longer history of Christianity. He led more than 400 crusades, preached to millions of souls in person, reached millions and millions more through television and radio, and counseled presidents. It will be very difficult indeed to replace a man of such impact and integrity.

It’s not surprising, then, that many people are wondering whether America will ever see another Billy Graham. But given the changes in the legal landscape over the past half century, and the hostility with which public expressions of religious faith are now treated, the real question is whether America can see another Billy Graham.

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Jeremiah DysComment
The Police Tell an Elderly Catholic Woman She Can't Pray - In Her Own Home

This commentary first appeared at DailyCaller.com on October 26, 2016.

Every American should feel safe to pray in the privacy of her own home. Mary Anne Sause did not.

A knock on the door late one night startles Mary Anne. It would startle anybody not expecting company, but Mary Anne is almost 60, a retired nurse on disability who lives alone who still vividly remembers the night she was raped. Whoever is knocking elects not to disclose their identity, so Mary Anne does not answer the door.

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Jeremiah DysComment
Students: Have Faith Without Fear

The following first appeared at Lifezette.com on September 7, 2016.

In junior high school, Liz Loverde went through a dark period in her life. She was depressed, thought of self-harm, and even contemplated suicide.

But her Christian faith ultimately brought her safely through those dark days.

As a sophomore at Wantaugh High School on Long Island, New York, Loverde realized there were a lot of kids who were going through the same struggles she had faced. She realized how much she wanted to help, so she tried to form a group called “Dare to Believe.” The idea was to institute a student club that would meet after school, focused on helping students support each other and strengthen each other in their faith.

 

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Jeremiah DysComment
'In God We Trust' Bumper Stickers on Police Cruisers Should Not Be Controversial

The following commentary first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in September 2015. 

Law enforcement officers face the daily prospect of targeted violence, so it is no wonder they have chosen to rally around our national motto: “In God We Trust.”

Although many view officers as heroes worthy of our greatest respect, when “In God We Trust” began appearing on their cruisers, anti-religion activists responded with threats of lawsuits.

But the county sheriffs that received these threats should know this: Both American law and American history support your use of our nation’s motto.

 

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Jeremiah DysComment
Lawmakers Must Act to Protect Religious Liberty

The following commentary first appeared in the Indianapolis Star on January 23, 2016.

Less than a year ago, the solicitor general of the United States stood before the Supreme Court of the United States — and, by extension, the entire nation — and admitted that changing how we define marriage would present “an issue” for religious organizations seeking to be faithful to their beliefs and convictions. Now, as legislatures convene across the nation and in Washington, D.C., we have arrived at the first opportunity to address that “issue.”

 

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Jeremiah DysComment
Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower Still Convey Quintessential American Ideas

The following essay first appeared on The Federalist on August 31, 2016.

I spend my workday world within the First Amendment. My daily reading list is less Robert Ludlum and more John Roberts. Such is the career of a constitutional attorney: rewarding, yet intense. Summer, though, is the time to leave work behind, take to the road with family, and make memories at national parks and historical sites that remind us of what makes us Americans.

I was prepared for the long drives, the longer lines, and the late nights leading to early mornings with my gracious wife and four rambunctious boys. What I did not expect were the poignant lessons I learned about religious liberty.

 

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The Constitution protects women-only swim hours for Orthodox Jewish women (and others)

The following was co-authored with Stephanie Phillips and appeared in the New York Daily News and NYDailyNews.com on July 26, 2016.

Just off Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn stands the Metropolitan Recreation Center. Built in 1922, the Department of Public Works hoped its indoor pool would help promote public health and serve the entire Williamsburg community — a community heavily populated with members of the Orthodox Jewish faith.

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