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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now we will celebrate Independence Day, as we do every year at MORNING EDITION, with our reading of the Declaration of Independence.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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No matter what your perspective on marriage it has been a remarkable week.

It's certainly been a whirlwind for Kenneth Upton. He's a lawyer for Lambda Legal and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Robicheaux case that challenged Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. A final ruling in that case has been issued in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision that same-sex couples can marry.

Whether it’s a Catholic priest, a Baptist minister, or one of the House members, each day of a legislative session, the House convenes with a Christian prayer. I asked House Clerk Albert “Butch” Speer when was the last time a prayer was something other than Christian?

“I don’t remember any time,” said the man who has served as House Clerk for 32 years.

Much of the reason is that invocations are done on a volunteer basis; members themselves or their pastors.

“The vast majority of the members of the House profess Christianity as their major religious belief, and so that’s what we’re going to end up with--because it’s purely voluntary,” Speer said.

For the past several years, the group Coexister has been going into secular French schools to break down religious stereotypes in the classroom.

Since January's attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, the demand for their interventions has skyrocketed.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There’s a battle going on in New Orleans-East and at the Louisiana Bond Commission, over acquisition of a 442-unit apartment complex known as Hidden Lakes. GMF -- Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, Tennessee --is the buyer.

“We have almost 11-thousand units in eight states, as a faith-based housing development corporation,” GMF president Rev. Richard Hamlet told Louisiana’s Bond Commission last month.

Among those units are nearly 2500 apartments in Louisiana; in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and the greater New Orleans area. GMF is asking the bond commission to guarantee $24.5 million dollars so they can buy, renovate and run Hidden Lakes.  Area homeowner associations have been fighting it, because it’s Section 8 housing. State Sen. Edwin Murray has been facilitating meetings between homeowners’ associations and GMF property management, in an effort to resolve the impasse.

On June 26, WRKF lost one of its founders, Lew Carter. He was also a radio personality, with a capital “P”. 


Ten days before he died, Lew, at age 92, drove himself in his red car the few blocks from his house to the station to talk about his radio legacy. 
He came prepared with a 6-page-long narrative he’d emailed in advance.


courtesy CenLamar.com

“Christians are now facing discrimination,” Governor Bobby Jindal said during a campaign stop in Iowa last weekend. “Why don’t we save some money and get rid of the Supreme Court?”

Some might view Jindal’s statements merely as presidential campaign rhetoric, but conversations with his inner circle indicate that remarks like, “Christianity is under assault today in America,” are coming from his sincerely-held religious beliefs.

One of Jindal’s closest spiritual advisors is Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills. He is an advocate of “dominionism”, sometimes referred to as the “seven mountains theory”.

The ACLU of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against Governor Bobby Jindal over an executive order he issued in May implementing protections for business owners with religious objections to same-sex marriage. 

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