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WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Town Hall

Religion in America

Our country is poised to enter an intersection between social issues and a fight for faith.  Do gay rights trump religious rights?  Should children be allowed to pray in school?  Can private businesses be forced to do things that violate the owners personal religious beliefs? 

Two of 2014s biggest legal battles are on the front lines of this fight.  Both involve businesses who say their religious rights are being trampled.  The United States Supreme Court is hearing two cases involving family owned businesses who want to restrict providing certain birth control methods for religious reasons.  Already this year, the nations highest court refused to hear an appeal involving a photographer who refused to shoot a same sex marriage because she said it would violate her religious beliefs. 

Freedom of religion was at the core of our country's founding fathers belief set.  The concept was so integral, it was included in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  This freedom has been at the core of many landmark Supreme Court decisions of the 20th and 21stcenturies.  However, some believe the future holds a different course.

We want you to weigh in as part of a town hall meeting streamed live April 17,2014 at 7 pm.  A panel of experts will debate the subjects in front a live studio audience.  

We want to hear what you think! If you have any questions you would like us to pose to the panelists please leave them in the comment section below. As always, you can participate through our social media channels using the hash tag #YourVoiceYourFuture.

Moderator:  Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a nationally known author, columnist, and radio and TV host.  His nationally syndicated program The Right Side with Armstrong Williams is broadcast on several media outlets including stations owned by our parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group.  Williams is no stranger to the television business.  Since 1995, he has produced hundreds of nationally syndicated shows including prime-time specials with some of our worlds most interesting people. He also hosts a daily Sirius/XM radio show and serves as a conservative columnist in multiple print and online publications.  Mr. Williams was a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has served as both a legislative assistant and legislative aide and adviser. In addition, Mr. Williams has authored three books and is a very successful entrepreneur.

 Panelist

A.R. Bernard

A.R.Bernard was part of the Muslim American movement before becoming a born again Christian.  He founded the Christian Cultural Center in New York City where he serves as C.E.O. and senior pastor.  His congregation of 33,000 has grown into one of the largest in the New York area.  Additionally, he serves as President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York.  The group represents 1,500,000 Protestants,Anglicans and Orthodox Christians. 

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land.  An internationally renowned physician, Dr. Carson has written five best-selling books, and his fifth book, America the Beautiful, released in 2012, made the New York Times Bestseller List.  He is a syndicated columnist and a highly sought after, world-renowned inspirational and motivational speaker. 

Rabbi Leonid Feldman

Leonid Feldman is a living example of the drama of modern Jewish history. He has experienced total assimilation, Jewish rebirth, violent anti-Semitism, imprisonment in Russia as a Zionist activist and freedom in the West. His life experiences enable him to teach and lecture on Judaism with a passion and perspective that is unique and exhilarating.

The spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, Florida, an Associate of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the President of the Ami-Da Institute for training Russian Jewish leaders, Leonid Feldman is the first and only Soviet-born Conservative rabbi in America.

Pastor Mark Boykin

The son of an evangelical Pastor, Pastor Mark Boykin was groomed for religious ministry from a young age. Diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, Pastor Boykin was miraculously healed at the age of 17. This divine touch reinforced his belief in the power of supernatural healing and continues to be an integral part of his ministry today. Boykin leads the multi-cultural Church of All Nations in Boca Raton and preaches weekly to people from over 50 nations, both in the US and abroad.

Town Hall Videos

WPEC-TV CBS12 News - Town Hall

Watch videos of CBS12's previous Town Halls on issues affecting South Florida and the nation. Choose titles from the box to the right.

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