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TOP SILVER BULLETS
- Born-Alive Bill Fails in Senate
- Arizona Legislature Tackles Porn
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BORN-ALIVE BILL FAILS IN SENATE
The U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation February 25 that would have guaranteed medical care to babies who survive failed abortions. The vote was 53-44, short of the required 60 votes to end the legislative filibuster. The Born-Alive Act, S.311, intended to supplement existing law that recognizes babies as “human beings” with all the rights those terms entail. Until now, medical treatment was not mandated. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse requested the vote after multiple attempts to pass the bill by unanimous consent were blocked. The bill was introduced in 2015 and brought back in response to a recent interview in which Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam defended the prospect of letting any infant die after a failed abortion attempt, for which he later said he had no regrets. “It’s cowardly for a politician to say they’ll fight for the little guy but only if the little guy isn’t an actual seven-pound baby who’s fighting for life,” Sasse lamented before the vote.
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 31:8; Matthew 18:14.
PRAY: A similar bill passes in the House.
ACTION: Write a postcard to your U.S. Senators: “Dear Sen. (Name), I am outraged at the U.S. Senate’s inhumane failure to protect babies by its rejection of the Born-Alive Bill.”
ARIZONA LEGISLATURE TACKLES PORN
Arizona lawmakers are working to declare pornography a public health crisis, contending the erotic nature of the images “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society.” State Rep. Michelle Udall introduced House Concurrent Resolution 2009, which is largely symbolic and has no legal effect, but supporters hope it opens the door to new restrictions on porn. Supporters said the proliferation of erotic images online, and their toxic effect on behavior, is a growing health risk. “Pornography is used pervasively, even by minors,” Udall declared to lawmakers. Her bill reads, in part, “Potential detrimental effects on pornography users include toxic sexual behaviors, emotional, mental and medical illnesses, and difficulty forming or maintaining intimate relationships.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:37; 1 Corinthians 6:13.
PRAY: Other states are emboldened to reign in porn.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Rep. Udall, Thank you for tackling the issue of widespread pornography.” Rep. Michelle Udall, House of Representatives, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007.
GROUP TARGETS “TRANSGENDER” BILL
A bi-partisan group of pastors and evangelical ministry leaders has formed the Gone Too Far Movement, a coalition of interracial and interfaith Americans who want to preserve faith, family, freedom and traditional values. As one of its first actions, the group launched a petition to stop the Equality Act, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi identified as one of her top priorities for Congress. The bill has yet to be introduced, but past iterations would have stripped away protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 piece of legislation signed by President Bill Clinton that has been used by Colorado baker Jack Philips to refuse baking a custom wedding cake for a “same-sex” couple. A main element of the bill is to extend “transgender” protections critics argue will interfere with parental rights, as happened to an Ohio couple who lost custody of their child after refusing to allow their daughter to “transition” to a boy. The Daily Signal said it would turn supposed “anti-discrimination” laws—meant to protect disenfranchised minority groups—into a coercive sword.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:27; Colossians 3:1-5.
PRAY: The Equality Act fails passage in Congress.
ACTION: Sign the online Gone 2 Far petition to block the proposed Equality Act: https://gone2far.org/proclamation/
ISRAEL, ARAB LEADERS SHARE STAGE
Four Arab foreign ministers who spoke at the Feb. 13-14 Warsaw Middle East summit affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Times of Israel. The Prime Minister said the event, in which 10 Arab foreign ministers agreed to share a conference stage with an Israeli leader, signaled the “breaking of a taboo.” “Four out of five Arab foreign ministers who addressed the conference spoke strongly and clearly against Iran, saying exactly what I’ve been saying for years,” Netanyahu affirmed. “They were as clear as possible about the issue, and Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression.” He went on to note what transpired in Warsaw showed the Arab states are already “half-open” to normalizing relations with Israel. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the summit, praised the developments: “Poland and the U.S. welcome this outward symbol of this gathering, a symbol of cooperation and a hopeful sign of a brighter future that awaits nations across the Middle East.”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 2:14-17.
PRAY: For stronger Israeli-Arab relations.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Vice President Pence, Thank you for helping to foster improved Israeli-Arab relations.” The White House, Office of the Vice President,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.
JESUS GETS AIR TIME AT GRAMMYS
In a venue known for celebrating lyrics with bad language and violent messages, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards took an unexpected turn when two Christian musicians placed Jesus front and center. The Feb. 10 event honored Christian music in five categories. Artists Lauren Daigle and Tori Kelly each brought home two Grammys. Daigle, who has successfully crossed over to the secular market, won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “You Say” along with Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. During one of her acceptance speeches Daigle, who was recently criticized for waffling on national TV as to whether homosexuality is a sin, offered, “This record came out of a season of realizing we’re just supposed to look up…. I love that music give us the opportunity to spread love.” She concluded by adding, “I just wanna thank Jesus that He’s put a voice in my throat.” For her work, Kelly took home Best Gospel Performance/Song for “Never Alone” and Best Gospel Album for “Hiding Place.” Kelly also honored her Savior, declaring, “I have to thank Jesus, thank You so much for everything….”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 71:15-18; Luke 8:39.
PRAY: Christian artists can expand their influence.
ACTION: Offer a Movie Night and show the free, online documentary, Such Were Some of You (adults only). Include a discussion on the redemption of Jesus Christ for all sin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSFPdyH8x4
DARWIN DISSENTER LIST TOPS 1,000
Salt & Light Opinion: Even as Darwinists around the globe celebrated the biologist’s 210th birthday on Feb. 12, the Discovery Institute announced the number of doctoral scientists who have signed its “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” list has topped 1,000. The list’s signers collectively state, “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” The group includes academics at prestigious universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley, MIT and UCLA. David Klinghoffer, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, maintains the list grossly under-represents the actual number because of the fear of professional repercussions. “The 1,000-plus names represent only the tip of a vast iceberg.” Kudos to the scientists for having the courage to speak out.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 44:24-25; Revelation 4:11.
PRAY: More dissenters are willing to go public.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, invite an apologist to share ideas on how to effectively counter arguments in support of evolution.
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.
Answers in Genesis:
Ken Ham – Chief Executive Officer
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. The ministry also desires to train others to develop a Biblical worldview while seeking to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a “millions-of-years-old” earth. “The Bible—the ‘history book of the universe’—provides a reliable, eye-witness account of the beginning of all things, and can be trusted to tell the truth in all areas it touches on.” In addition to its resources, the ministry also operates the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 2:1-5; Hebrews 11:1-3.
PRAY: For Biblical literacy for Christian believers.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Ken Ham, Thank you for providing vital resources explaining the creation account in Genesis. Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, P.O. Box 510, Hebron, KY 41048.
CURRICULUM BILL BENEFITS PARENTS
State Sen. Mike Morrell has introduced Senate Bill 673, which reinstitutes parental rights for students in K-6. The bill was announced Feb. 22, just days after parents pulled their children from school for the day to protest the California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329). “The sex ed is out of control,” declared Aileen Blachowski, co-founder of the newly established Informed Parents of California (IPC). “It’s way inappropriate for kids. We want that pulled back. We want a parents’ right to choose and to be able to say what our kids are exposed to in the classroom restored.” According to state law, parents can opt their kids out of sex-ed classes, but not other subject areas like social studies and history, which are increasingly extolling a pro-“homosexual” and “transgender” agenda. The proposed bill requires the curriculum be age-appropriate and available for review online. It also requires that K-6 parents opt their child in before receiving instruction on the topic. The bill will first be heard in the Senate Education Committee, on which co-sponsor Sen. Ling Ling Chang sits.
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:1-4.
PRAY: Legislators are swayed by parental push back.
ACTION: Write a postcard to state Sen. Ling Ling Chang: “Dear Senator Chang, Please restore fundamental parental rights by supporting SB 673.”
WORKPLACE SUIT BRINGS $21.5 MILLION
Marie Jean Pierre, a devout Christian, is celebrating a $21.5 million verdict, ending a complaint she and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against her former employer, Conrad Miami Hotel, for firing her for not working Sundays. Pierre worked as a dishwasher at the Hilton-owned hotel from 2006 until 2016. For years, the hotel’s managers made accommodations for Pierre, who is involved in her church. But in 2015, her boss assigned her to work Sundays anyway. Pierre traded shifts with coworkers for several weeks, but the boss ultimately demanded she show up to do the work. Her attorney, Marc Brumer, commented the suit was filed to send a “message to other corporations whether big or small…They accommodated her for seven years, and they easily could have accommodated her, but instead of doing that, they set her up for absenteeism and threw her out. She’s a soldier of Christ. She was doing this for all the other workers who are being discriminated against.” Pierre was awarded $36,000 in lost wages, $500,000 for emotional anguish and $21 million in punitive damages.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 4:9.
PRAY: Employers accommodate religious needs.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Marie Jean Pierre, Thank you for your courage in standing up for religious freedom in the workplace.” Marie Jean Pierre, c/o Law Offices Of Brumer & Brumer, 1 SE 3rd Avenue #2900, Miami, Florida 33131.
BILL EXPANDS PUPIL MENTAL HEALTH
A comprehensive mental health and school safety bill that would track students from birth to age 22 has advanced from the Indiana Senate to the House. Promoted as a salve for school violence, Senate Bill 266 requires the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana to develop a behavioral health plan for individuals from birth to age 22 regarding: “(1) Comprehensive mental health services; (2) Early intervention; and (3) Treatment services.” The bill passed the Senate by a 29-20 vote on Feb. 26. Sen. Jim Tomes criticized the measure saying it was the wrong approach. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we have an element of mental health problems in our state and in our country. But sometimes I wonder if we don’t have more of an issue of a lack of moral character.” Although students would need parental consent before receiving services, Tomes lamented governmental interference. “These are children. They’re not specimens. Is this some major government program or experiment we’re going to conduct?”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 127:3; 1 Timothy 5:8.
PRAY: SB 266 fails to pass out of the Indiana House.
ACTION: Write a postcard to your Indiana state Representative: “Dear Rep. (name), I oppose Senate Bill 266. Please vote no on this intrusive legislation.” Rep. (name), 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
BILLS IMPERIL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
New bills introduced in the Texas legislature are espousing “sexual orientation and gender identity” laws (SOGI) that Texas Values Action, a pro-family nonprofit, alleges would attack people of faith so aggressively they can justifiably be described as “Ban the Bible” bills. “’Ban the Bible’ doesn’t have to mean confiscating physical Bibles,” Texas Values spokesman James Wesolek wrote in The Federalist. “LGBT activists aren’t that obvious with their intentions (yet). But it does mean something even worse: stripping Texans of their right to practice Biblical teachings in their day-to-day lives.” The proposed bills amend the Civil Practices and Remedies, Labor and Property codes to create “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” protected classes, forcing doctors, counselors, business owners and individuals to make accommodations, despite their closely held religious beliefs. “These bills would create new government power and protections that ban the free expression of Biblically grounded beliefs, especially teaching on marriage and sexuality,” Wesolek continued.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 5:20; Romans 8:4-6.
PRAY: SOGI bills fail to pass in Texas legislature.
ACTION: Write a postcard to Texas state legislators: “Dear Sen./Rep. (Name), I oppose newly submitted “sexual orientation and gender identity” bills as they intrude on constitutionally-protected religious freedoms.
State Rep. (name) Texas House of Representatives, P.O. Box 2910, Austin, Texas 78768.
Salt & Light Sunday: March 17, 2019
Salt & Light Prayer and Action Meeting
When: March 21, 2019
Where: Classroom F103 at 6:30 pm – You are invited to come to a discussion of the four bills we are tracking in the SC Legislature. Next month, April 18, we will be starting a study on Ken Ham’s The Relevance of Genesis (Part 1). We will be meeting in Classroom F103 at 6:30.
Your Salt & Light Coordinator Email:
Bren Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org and Chuck Collins (email@example.com)
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Liberty Counsel Website: www.LC.orgPhone: (800) 671-1776
The Salt & Light Council, Website: www.saltandlightcouncil.org