MAY 2019 TOP SILVER BULLETS
- Workers Quit After “Unplanned”
- SCOTUS to Hear “Transgender” Cases
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WORKERS QUIT AFTER “UNPLANNED”
Nearly 100 abortion workers intend to leave their jobs after the release of the movie, Unplanned, which features the story of Abby Johnson and her eight-year tenure with Planned Parenthood. Johnson was a clinic director in Texas when she assisted with an ultrasound-aided abortion. What she saw prompted her to quit and ultimately join forces with the pro-life group that, for years, had been protesting outside the clinic. Film Co-Director Chuck Konzelman shared the details while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. “Abby was very firm that she wanted this film to be a love letter to those still trapped in the abortion industry,” Konzelman testified. The committee is examining bias and censorship in social media. The team behind Unplannedstated Google and Twitter censored their publicity, while every cable station except CBN and Fox News also banned their ads. Despite it all, the movie earned $6.1 million in its first week—more than doubling forecasted earnings.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 1:6; 1 Corinthians 15:58.
PRAY: More clinic workers leave the abortion industry.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Abby Johnson, Thank you for your courageous stand against Planned Parenthood and exposing their deceptive practices.” Abby Johnson, And Then There Were None, PO Box 2571, Round Rock, TX 78680.
SCOTUS TO HEAR “TRANSGENDER” CASES
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear three religious liberty cases involving the rights of businesses. The High Court will consider whether “sex” discrimination protections in the 1964 Civil Rights Act include sexual orientation and gender identity. One of the suits involves R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a Christian-owned funeral home sued for firing an individual identifying as transgender who refused to adhere to a dress code for his biological sex. The case, being handled by Alliance Defending Freedom, was one of the first legal actions the EEOC took on behalf of such individuals alleging sex discrimination against an employer. “The funeral home wants to serve families mourning the loss of a loved one, but the EEOC has elevated its political goals above the interests of the grieving people that the funeral home serves,” John Bursch, an ADF Vice President, lamented.
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 8:20; Ephesians 6:11-13.
PRAY: Religious freedoms prevail in our courts.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Chief Justice Roberts, I urge you to support the religious liberties of businesses in the upcoming Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC case.” Chief Justice John Roberts, Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20543.
U.S. REP. SUPPORTS ISRAEL AID CUTS
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reacting to the April 9 re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, supports cutting U.S. aid to Israel, adding such discussions were “certainly on the table.” “I hope to play a facilitating role in this conversation and a supportive role in this conversation,” she declared during an interview for Yahoo News’ Skullduggery Podcast. The United States supplies Israel with $3.8 billion annually in military aid under a deal signed by former President Barack Obama. Ocasio-Cortez also took exception to Netanyahu’s 11th-hour election proclamation to annex West Bank settlements. “I think what we are really seeing is an ascent of authoritarianism across the world. I think that Netanyahu is a Trump-like figure,” she bemoaned. Ocasio-Cortez has criticized Israeli policy in the past, particularly relating to the West Bank, and has advocated for the creation of a Palestinian state.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 122:6-7; Romans 15:27.
PRAY: America continues to financially support Israel.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Israel has been a long and loyal friend of the U.S. I strongly oppose efforts to cut military or economic aid.” U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, 229 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP DROPS SHARPLY
Only half of Americans say they belong to a church or other religious body, down from 69 percent two decades earlier, according to a new Gallup report comparing data from 1998-2000 to 2016-2018. Most of the decline is tied to the rise of the so-called “nones”—those who claim no religious affiliation. Gallup found the share of Americans who claim a religious identity declined from 90 percent to 77 percent in recent decades. Tim Carney, author of “Alienated America,” opines the findings confirm that being part of a house of worship is no longer viewed as necessary. “Americans are less likely to belong to anything. In America, historically, the thing most people have belonged to has been the church, and now more and more people are losing that.”
SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Hebrews 10:24-25.
PRAY: For an end to America’s spiritual slide.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, gather a list of area churches, schools and colleges, and host a prayer session for all, asking the Lord for revival.
U.N. DOC DROPS ABORTION REFERENCE
A United Nations resolution seeking to curb the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war passed April 23 after the White House successfully lobbied to have pro-abortion language removed. “We cannot accept unamended, explicit, or implicit, references [connecting abortion] to ‘sexual and reproductive health’” because “we do not support or promote abortion,” read a cable sent by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and U.S. Mission to the U.N. The veto threat is the latest in a series of actions the administration has implemented since taking office in 2017 by changing national and international policies to prioritize human rights issues, including protections for unborn babies. Among the policy changes was the removal of State Department references to the so-called “right” to abort an unborn baby from a global human rights report; the reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits taxpayer funding to groups promoting or providing abortions overseas, and a new Title X rule that requires healthcare entities to completely separate abortion from their taxpayer-funded services, a move that could cost Planned Parenthood as much as $160 million worldwide.
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 20:1; 2 Corinthians 6:17.
PRAY: The pro-life agenda expands at the U.N.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Secretary Pompeo, Thank you for your uncompromising pro-life stand in pressing for the U.N resolution addressing sexual violence as a weapon of war.” Secretary Mike Pompeo, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520.
VISIT NEW “BIBLICAL VOTER” WEBSITE
Salt & Light Opinion: In today’s often hostile and confusing political environment, it can be difficult to decipher which candidates and propositions to support. The process is now much easier thanks to our new election hub, https://www.biblicalvoter.com/. The website is a one-stop shop for election-related resources. Visitors can register online, as well as receive a host of new tools, including Biblically based voter guides, educational videos, Congressional score cards, polling locations, official party platforms, an Encyclopedia of Election Resources, and details on hosting voter-registration drives. Now, more than ever, it is vital believers live out their faith in the public square. Biblical Voter was created to help Christians to do just that.
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 29:2; 2 Chronicles 7:14-15.
PRAY: Christians are more committed to Biblical values.
ACTION: Host a Prayer and Action meeting and use the Biblical Voter website to familiarize the group with its resources. Brainstorm ways the website can be used as an outreach tool in your community.
SALT & LIGHT MINISTRY MOMENT:
NOTE: Ministry Moment is for educational purposes only. Information offered by organizations is from their websites and should not be used as a substitute for your own research.
Moms in Prayer International: Sally Burke — President
Started in 1984 by San Diego mom Fern Nichols, Moms in Prayer is an outgrowth of her desire to pray with other mothers over their children in school. The ministry started as Moms in Touch, and today serves families in every U.S. state and more than 140 countries. Through their regular prayer ministry, the group’s purpose is salvation: for their children, teachers and school staff; to offer support and encouragement to moms; to encourage Biblical values and high moral standards on campuses, and to be an encouragement and a positive support for schools.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 20:7; Acts 1:14.
PRAY: Moms in Prayer expands to every U.S. campus.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, invite a representative from a nearby Moms in Prayer group to discuss local school intercessory needs.
ANOTHER ATTACK ON CONSCIENCE
AB 569 by Assembly member Lorena Gonzales-Fletcher (San Diego) claims that reproductive choices—such as abortion—should be no concern of religious employers. The sweeping legislation would therefore require employers—with no listed exceptions—to drop all expectations that employees respect the sanctity of life in their own lives. Thus, a Christian school that teaches life begins at conception or a pro-life advocacy organization would be expected under the new rules to ignore employee conduct that contradicts those stated beliefs. In April, The Pacific Justice Institute – Center for Public Policy (PJI-CPP) sent a detailed opposition letter to legislators. Brad Dacus, president of PJI-CPP, warns, “This latest attempt by our Legislature to strangle voices of conscience is unjust and unconstitutional. There is no true religious freedom without the freedom to put faith into practice, both as an individual and as a religious community.” The Salt & Light Council agrees and advises continued communications opposing legislation intent on destroying religious freedom.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 3:13-17.
PRAY: Californians defend their religious freedoms.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard to your state legislators: “Dear State Sen./Rep. (Name), I oppose legislation, such as AB 569, that forces employers to ignore employee conduct contradicting sanctity-of-life beliefs.”
GAMBLING AMENDMENT COMING UP
As the Florida legislature negotiates on language for gambling initiatives, in mid-April the Florida Supreme Court gave the green light to a proposed constitutional amendment on gambling. The amendment gives Florida voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling.” Backers of the amendment will still need to gather more than 700,000 signatures to make the 2018 ballot. They had submitted 74,626 signatures as of Thursday, according to the state Division of Elections. In discussing social ramifications of gambling, Focus on the Family has cautioned, “Many people are beginning to notice failed promises and the darker side of subsequent gambling addictions. Despite the national trend toward embracing gambling as ‘gaming’ and classifying it as harmless entertainment, this activity—and related technology—has never been more deceptive and addictive than it is today. The underlying theme of ‘something for nothing’ is no more real today than it was several hundred years ago.”
SCRIPTURE: Mark 8:36.
PRAY: Help for people snared by gambling addiction.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard to state legislators’ district offices while the legislature is not in session. “Dear State Sen./Rep., I urge you to use caution in creating a proposed constitutional gaming amendment, as gambling can be highly addictive.”
URGE INDIANA AG TO APPEAL RULING
On March 31, federal Judge Tanya Pratt granted an injunction against the 2016 Dignity for the House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1337, a proposed 18-hour ultrasound requirement. In April, the co-authors and sponsors urged Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to issue an immediate appeal to the injunction pending the full resolution before the court. Expressing in a letter their deep dissatisfaction with the ruling, they wrote, “Our intent with HEA 1337 was to ensure that Indiana’s policy is to value life no matter who you are, where you come from, or what your disability may be; so to have that belief labeled as an ‘undue burden’ is disheartening to say the least.” Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, weighed in, saying “Planned Parenthood could easily install ultrasound machines at all 17 of their Indiana facilities in order to comply with the law.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 139:13-16.
PRAY: AG Hill appeals the injunction against HEA 1337.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard: “Dear Attorney General Hill, We urge you protect mothers-to-be from judges who rule against informed choices such as the recent injunction against HEA 1337.” Attorney General Curtis T. Hill Jr., Indiana Government Center South, 302 W Washington St., 5th Fl Indianapolis, IN 46204. Read full letter to AG Hill:
GOV. ABBOTT DISCUSSES HIS FAITH
In April, Gov. Greg Abbott shared with NBC 5 about his relationship with God: “Religion and faith [have] been part of my life [from] my very beginning.” Abbott, paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a tree, said, “If it’s a very difficult situation like losing your ability to walk and becoming paralyzed, your faith is tested.” Questioning why something like this would happen, he recalls, “I quickly felt the guidance of God and the realization that God has a different pathway for us than what we may think and that we cannot be locked into a certain pathway.” Another crisis came when Abbott was in the shower and was burned by scalding water. He could not feel the burns because of his paralysis. To face tough situations, he advises, “Whatever your challenge may be, the most profound way to deal with those challenges is through connecting with God. With God as your guidepost, you will be able to overcome any challenge that ever comes your way.”
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 13:7; James 1:12.
PRAY: Praise God for Gov. Abbott and pray for him.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard: “Dear Gov. Abbott, Thank you for sharing with NBC 5 your strong faith in God. I am praying for you.” Gov. Greg Abbott, Office of the Governor, PO Box 12428, Austin TX 78711-2428.
PARENTS RALLY AGAINST CURRICULUM
Fairfax County Del. Eileen Filler-Corn recently agreed that discussions about sex are best done at home, not in the classroom. However, she added, “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, but they’re not all learning that at home.” Parents in her district take strong issue with her assessment. Describing themselves as “a group of Fairfax County parents whose backgrounds include education, health care, and biology and whose children attend or graduated Fairfax County Public Schools,” they took it upon themselves to review the complete 2016-2017 Fairfax County Public Schools FLE curriculum, kindergarten through 12th grade, and then posted their evaluation on a website. The mother of an eighth grader says, “It took my son a year to confide in me how upsetting the FLE lessons were to him.” Filler-Corn introduced Bill 2257, recently passed by the Virginia General Assembly. Part of the state’s Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum, the bill requires the addition of “age-appropriate” information on “how to determine if someone is giving permission to engage in sex.”
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 3:1; 1 Corinthians 6:18.
PRAY: Virginians reject intrusive school curriculums.
ACTION: Go to the Salt & Light table. Write a postcard: “Del. Filler-Corn, I agree with you: Discussions about sex belong at home. Get intrusive government curriculums out of our public schools.” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, PO Box 406, Richmond VA, 22039.
Salt & Light Prayer and Action Meeting – Study of Ken Ham’s Foundations Series
When: May 24, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Where: Classroom F103
Your Salt & Light Coordinators: Chuck Collins and Bren Gibson
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The Salt & Light Council, Website: www.saltandlightcouncil.org