More friendly briefs. A group of 46 pastors and other Christian thought leaders filed an amicus brief this week in support of Hobby Lobby’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. The group includes Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, theologian Wayne Grudem, and well-known Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. Organizations such as the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Coalition of African American Pastors, and the Manhattan Declaration also signed the brief. In a statement to Religion News Service, Zacharias said the pastors’protest was important: “Sadly, over the years, the Christian faith has been targeted by a rabid secularization and evicted from any or all public expression. The encroachment upon our civil liberties is frightening and we ought to take a stand.” Both support for and opposition to the Christian-owned craft chain’s case came into the high court this week. As I reported earlier this week, four conservative U.S. senators and 19 Democratic lawmakers have filed briefs defending the company and the government, respectively. And they’re not the only ones taking an interest in a case many say could change the fundamental understanding of religious liberty in America. Oral arguments before the court are scheduled for March 25.
Not liberal? Phil Griffin, head of MSNBC, is denying claims his cable news network has a liberal bent, despite the fact he’s spent lots of time recently apologizing for the potshots his on-air personalities have taken at Republicans. In his latest comments, Griffin announced he has fired the staffer responsible for a tweet suggesting conservatives hate biracial families. This follows host Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology for ridiculing Mitt Romney’s son and daughter-in-law for adopting an African-American child.
No soup for you! A Utah lunch lady is staying home today after she and other staff members took meals away from elementary school students whose parents had not paid their lunch money bills. The school lunch system didn’t notify the workers of the unpaid accounts until after the children had already picked out their food. Rather than letting the children eat and contacting the parents later, workers took the food away and gave the kids fruit and milk instead. Parents were outraged, as were local politicians. The parents said they never received bills.
Super Bowl preview. Because we just can’t wait until Sunday, or maybe because companies are afraid we’ll miss their multi-million dollar ads while getting a second helping of nachos, several Super Bowl commercials are making an early debut. This adorable spot featuring a puppy and the ever-popular Budweiser Clydesdales has already taken the internet by storm. This gem from Audi also features a dog, but it’s decidedly less cute than the Bud pup. But our favorite, at least so far, is a T-Mobile ad starring Tim Tebow, who pokes fun at himself for not having a contract. Who knew the guy had a sense of humor?