The name of NLI’s blog, And God’s First, is inspired by St. Thomas More, who was convicted of treason and executed by Henry VIII for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. More’s witness has inspired people of faith for many centuries, as he stood firmly for the rights of conscience despite pressure from the King.

“On his way to the Tower one of his daughters, named Margaret, pushed through the archers and guards, and held him in her embrace some time without being able to speak. Afterwards More, asking leave of the archers, bade her have patience, for it was God's will, and she had long known the secret of his heart. After going 10 or 12 steps she returned and embraced him again, to which he said nothing, except to bid her pray to God for his soul; and this without tears or change of color. On the Tuesday following he was beheaded in the open space in front of the Tower. A little before his death he asked those present to pray to God for him and he would do the same for them [in the other world.] He then be sought them earnestly to pray to God to give the King good counsel, protesting that he died his faithful servant, and God's first."

The Paris Newsletter Account of More’s Trial and Execution,
August 4, 1535

Vocation of a Lawyer: Peace

April 10, 2024 | Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and something that should be sought by all Christians. But the effects of peace have particular significance for the professional life of the lawyer. The peaceful lawyer will accomplish his tasks with professionalism and diligent hard work. He will not waste time, so that he completes his work in a timely manner and is not constantly overwhelmed about approaching deadlines. And by working hard and efficiently, he will be able to give his work the amount of time it properly deserves but will not let it consume his schedule and his entire life.


Charitable Solicitation Registration vs. Foreign Business Registration

February 13, 2024 | If your organization fundraises or conducts business in a state other than your home state of incorporation, you have probably heard that you may need to “register.” But what does that mean? Generally, there are two kinds of registration in a foreign state. Each type of registration is triggered by different kinds of activity in the state and comes with different obligations. Read on to understand the difference between charitable solicitation registration and foreign business registration. This will equip you with the knowledge to understand when these two requirements may (or may not) apply to your organization.


Vocation of a Lawyer: Honesty

January 18, 2024 | One of the clear commands of Christ that ought to distinguish the Christian is unfailing honesty. The Ten Commandments forbid us from bearing false witness. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells us: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Speaking simply and honestly is a command given directly from God, in both the Old Testament and in the Gospel. How, particularly, does this apply to the vocation of the lawyer?


What Nonprofit Organizations Need to Know About the Corporate Transparency Act

January 8, 2024 | Faith-based nonprofits may be subject to new reporting requirements under a new disclosure rule. On September 29, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule implementing the Corporate Transparency Act’s (“CTA”) beneficial ownership information reporting provisions. As discussed below, for purposes of the CTA, a nonprofit’s beneficial owners aren’t just “owners” in the colloquial sense. The term includes people of influence over the organization, such as donors, directors, and possibly even staff. The CTA’s purpose is to counter illicit use of the U.S. financial system.


What Nonprofits Need to Know About Works Made for Hire

December 22, 2023 | Nonprofits often work with a variety of artists, thought leaders, and scholars when they create content, including graphic designers, animators, professors, authors, and even musicians. Outside experts can help to create strong curricula, sermons, blog posts, videos, or whatever else an organization may need. As they enter these business relationships, nonprofits will ask themselves questions like “how much will it cost?”; “do I like the art style?”; and “again, how much will it cost?” But most will never think to ask “who owns it?”


Sisters of Life v. McDonald: What Nonprofit Organizations Should Know About This Victory for Religious Liberty

December 1, 2023 | In 2022, when a draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion was leaked to the media, the New York state government passed a series of laws related to abortion. These laws particularly targeted pregnancy centers that do not offer abortion services and so affected many religious organizations that minister to women in crisis pregnancies. The Sisters of Life, a community of religious sisters who take vows to protect human life, filed a lawsuit in response and succeeded in protecting their religious liberty.


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