January 2020 Newsletter

January 2020

Preserving our Christian Culture through Biblical Citizenship!
Legally Vetted for Pulpit and Church Distribution

TOP SILVER BULLETS

  • High Court Upholds Ultrasound Law
  • “Fairness for All” Bill Falls Short

Take Action – Write, Email or Call! Let’s make our voices heard! One $.34 stamped postcard speaks for 1,000 constituents. Write one at your Salt & Light table.Find your federal and state officials at: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

NATIONAL ISSUES

HIGH COURT UPHOLDS ULTRASOUND LAW

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging a Kentucky law requiring women considering abortion be offered ultrasound images. The Dec. 9 decision means the pro-life law stands. Enacted in 2017, Kentucky’s Ultrasound Informed Consent Act requires doctors perform ultrasounds prior to committing abortions, display and explain the images, play the audio of any fetal heartbeat, and offer women the opportunity to view the images. It does not force women to view them. The ACLU challenged the law on behalf of a Kentucky abortion clinic. “Modern ultrasound technology opens an unprecedented window into the womb, providing undisputable evidence of the humanity of the unborn child,” declared Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of pro-life’s Susan B. Anthony List. “The abortion industry has proven incapable of policing itself and will stop at nothing to keep vulnerable women in the dark for the sake of profit, which is why state laws protecting women’s right to informed consent are so important.”
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 22:3; Matthew 18:14.
PRAY: The Supreme Court continues to uphold pro-life laws.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Chief Justice Roberts, I want to thank the Supreme Court for upholding Kentucky’s Ultrasound law.” Chief Justice John Roberts, Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20543.

“FAIRNESS FOR ALL” BILL FALLS SHORT

“Fairness for All,” a new House measure billed as a compromise measure to the Equality Act (H.R. 5) seeks to “balance” religious freedoms while still expanding “sexual orientation and gender-identity” protections. It has won the support of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and other religious groups. But numerous national organizations including the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Family Research Council are calling H.R. 5331, introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, misguided. “Its protections for religious liberty come at the high cost of enshrining a misguided sexual and gender ideology into federal law,” Ryan T. Anderson, Senior Research Fellow for Heritage Foundation wrote on the ministry website. “This will allow the federal government to use our civil rights laws as a sword to punish citizens who dissent from the reigning sexual orthodoxy. This is certain to create significant harm to the common good, especially for the privacy, safety, and equality of women and girls.”
SCRIPTURE: Acts 5:29; John 17:17.
PRAY: “Fairness for All” fails to gain traction.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Rep. Stewart, I strongly oppose H.R. 5331, a misguided attempt to balance religious freedom with sexual behavior and gender ideology. Rep. Chris Stewart, 2242 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.

POMPEO SLAMS ICC’S TARGET OF ISRAEL

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is decrying a decision by Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, to proceed with an investigation of Israel into war crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories. “We firmly oppose this and any other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly,” Pompeo declared. “We do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.” He also took to Twitter, writing, “We firmly oppose this unjustified inquiry that unfairly targets Israel. The path to lasting peace is through direct negotiations.” Bensouda announced Dec. 21 she was “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine.” Her investigation is centered on hostilities in Gaza in 2014 and will, she maintains, look at actions on both sides. The Palestinian Authority originally brought the case to the ICC five years ago.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 6:8; Acts 15:16.
PRAY: All anti-Israel bias in ICC investigation is exposed.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Secretary Pompeo, Thank you for defending Israel against the ICC’s war crimes investigation.” Secretary Mike Pompeo, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St., N.W., Washington, DC 20520.

STUDENTS RING IN 2020 WITH JESUS

It wasn’t your typical college New Year’s party—more than 65,000 young Christians gathering in an Atlanta stadium kicked off a new decade with worship, prayer and Bible teaching. While a Pew Research Center survey shows the “nones” or religiously non-affiliated Americans are increasing, with a decline in Christians over the last decade, the sold-out conference Passion 2020 seemed to outright defy that. With Passion founders Louie and Shelley Giglio as hosts, over three days, thousands of millennials and Gen Zers—along with their church and campus leaders—filled up the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “Passion is more than a conference. More than an event. More than a feeling,” the website states. “Passion is you and me saying goodbye to lesser things and saying yes to Jesus, the One whose name is above every name.”
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10.
PRAY: 2020 brings revival to the youth of America.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, invite a youth group to discuss how to reach this generation with the message of the Good News.

TRAFFIC STOP NETS A WARNING, PRAYER

A Texas couple pulled over for a non-speeding violation ended up with a warning—and a prayer—after State Trooper Ross Bates discovered they were headed to Dallas from the Houston area after the unexpected death of a family member. Middle-school teacher Lanell James told KHOU that after learning about the death of her husband’s younger brother, the trooper responded, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, do you know where he is?'” Her husband, Lamar, answered, ‘’Yes, at the morgue.” Bates responded, “No, he is now in his heavenly home.'” Lanell James admitted they were moved to tears. After running her ID, Bates returned to the car with a warning and offered to pray with them. “I have never had this happen before, but it was everything that we needed in that moment,” she offered, adding, “There’s just so much in the news with the negativity and the police killings and the racial tension—it’s a lot.”
SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; James 5:16.
PRAY: Christians become more visible with their faith.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Trooper Bates, Thank you for showing the light of Christ by praying with the grieving couple on a recent traffic stop.” Trooper Ross Bates, Texas DPS – Southeast Texas Region, 12230 West Road, Houston, TX 77065.

CONTROVERSIAL TV CONTENT ESCALATES

Salt & Light Opinion: The promised airing of pro-“LGBT” commercials on a historically family friendly cable network is another example of how the secular, anything-goes mindset is remaking culture and diluting our moral compass. It presents a firm reminder that believers must stay diligent, especially when it comes to exposure to our children. After being inundated with complaints from families, officials at the Hallmark Channel first pulled a controversial TV commercial featuring the wedding ceremony of two women, only to later bow to pressure from activists defending homosexuality by reinstating the ad. The channel then took it a step further announcing it would consider airing programming promoting homosexuality, including Hallmark movies. Truth is, while the Bible identifies homosexuality as sin, through the Cross many are finding freedom, as with all sin. For stories of those who have chosen to leave the homosexual lifestyle, go to https://changedmovement.com/. For good TV choices, The Parents Television Council has a plethora of valuable resources including study data, a family guide to TV, and how to hold advertisers accountable. See the link below, and use it to make your voice heard.
SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:11
PRAY: The Church rallies around God’s model of sexuality.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, invite parents to discuss how to respond to TV advertisers, using the resources and statistics available on the Parents Television Council’s website. http://w2.parentstv.org.

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.
Students for Life of America:
Kristan Hawkins—President

Founded in 1977 as a student-run organization, Students for Life now operates with “38 passionate professionals who have dedicated their lives to abolishing abortion.” They do so by transforming culture through recruiting, training and mobilizing pro-lifers to abolish abortion. They launch and support Students for Life groups in colleges, high schools, middle schools, law schools, and med schools throughout the nation who, in turn, educate other young people about the violence of abortion, create new pro-lifers, and transform campuses into places supportive of pregnant and parenting students. Their programs include a National Field initiative engaging full-time field teams across the country and active pro-life groups at more than 1,100 schools.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 127:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:3.
PRAY: Students for Life chapters start on all campuses.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Kristan Hawkins, I truly appreciate the important work being done by Students for Life and am praying for your ministry.” Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America, 4755 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA 22408.

STATE ISSUES

State CA

STATE SUED OVER FAITH DISCRIMINATION

A Catholic charity is suing California for blocking the opening of its safe house for sex-trafficking victims, saying the state would not license the shelter because of the charity’s religious beliefs. So far, Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH) has spent $600,000 to ready the shelter and is paying $15,000 in monthly operational costs as it sits empty. CIH alleges state officials withheld the license for more than 16 months because the ministry refuses to promote “LGBT” events, facilitate abortions, or provide transgender hormones, the suit alleges. According to the lawsuit, the license was denied because the Department of Social Services found the group’s Catholic faith “offensive.” “State bureaucrats have resolved to advance an anti-Catholic agenda rather than rescue young girls enslaved in sex trafficking,” the lawsuit reads. Paul Jonna, a lawyer with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, argues the state is illegally discriminating against CIH. “Right now, a desperately needed rescue home for sex-trafficked girls sits empty because the government refuses to license a care provider with Catholic beliefs.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 25:5; Galatians 5:25.
PRAY: Social-service religious discrimination cease.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Director Johnson, Blocking the license of Children of the Immaculate Heart’s shelter due to their beliefs is wrong. I urge you to reconsider.” Director Kim Johnson, California Department of Social Services, 744 P St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

State FL

COULD FLORIDA BRING PASSAGE OF ERA?

Florida Family Policy Council is sounding the alarm about a revived effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, with many supporters hoping the Sunshine State becomes the 38th and final state needed to ratify the 1972 initiative. Numerous councils and commissions have already passed resolutions asking Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to pass it. Opponents argue the amendment would grossly expand the power of the federal government, including abortion and “LGBT” rights. “If you love abortions and want to increase the power of government to force taxpayers to pay for them, then you will love the ERA. The ERA is bad. Very bad,” John Stemberger, President and General Counsel of Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), asserted. Florida Family Action, the lobbying arm of the FFPC, warns its passage would lock a “super-powered” Roe v. Wade into the US Constitution, overturning all state laws restricting or banning abortions. It would also create a sex-neutral society; bring inequity in sports; abolish female privacy in prisons, locker rooms, women’s shelters, etc.; and end incentives for women-owned businesses and female scholarships.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 20:1-3; Galatians 5:25.
PRAY: Attempts to ratify the ERA fail to materialize.
ACTION: Write a postcard to Gov. Ron DeSantis: “Dear Gov. DeSantis. I strongly oppose the ERA and urge you lead the charge against its passage in Florida.” Gov. Ron DeSantis, State of Florida, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399.

State TX

JUDGE SUES OVER FAITH DISCRIMINATION

Waco Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley is suing the State Commission on Judicial Conduct after the agency issued her a “public warning” for refusing to officiate ceremonies requested by same-sex couples because of her deeply held religious beliefs. To accommodate, Hensley created a referral system for same-sex ceremonies, including one just three blocks from her office for the same price she charges. “For providing a solution to meet a need in my community while remaining faithful to my religious beliefs, I received a ‘Public Warning.’ No one should be punished for that,” Hensley lamented. First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys, who represents Hensley, declared during a news conference the commission violated his client’s First Amendment rights. “All we’re asking for Judge Hensley is the opportunity to be afforded the same rights as anybody else to be able to either live their life according to their faith or make accommodations for when those areas may overlap in disagreement.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 25:5; Galatians 5:25.
PRAY: Justice Hensley prevails in her lawsuit.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Justice Hensley, I support your lawsuit’s well-reasoned stand to protect religious rights when conducting marital ceremonies.” JP Dianne Hensley, 501 Washington Ave., Suite 104-D, Waco, TX 76701.

ARE YOU REGISTERED? It’s hard to believe but 2020 is now here and primary elections are just weeks away. Are you registered to vote? What about family, friends and neighbors? You can help with the vital registration process by visiting SCVotes.org.

“LIKE” US ON FACEBOOK
“SHARE” us with your friends!
https://www.facebook.com/saltandlightcouncil

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Salt & Light Sunday: March 15, 2019
Prayer & Action Meeting: January 12, 2019
Your Salt & Light Coordinators
Email:chuckfc.sc@gmail.com or bkgibson.sc@gmail.comor call us at 843-427-4176
Website: SaltandLightGSBC.comNewsletter approved for church-wide distribution by legal firm: Liberty Counsel.
Liberty Counsel Website: www.LC.org Phone: (800) 671-1776
The Salt & Light Council, Website: www.saltandlightcouncil.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saltandlightcouncil