SEPTEMBER 2019 NATIONAL ISSUES
TOP SILVER BULLETS
- Planned Parenthood Shuns Funding
- Feds Probe Sports Policy Disparity
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PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHUNS FUNDING
A decision by Planned Parenthood to withdraw from the federal family-planning Title X program, rather than comply with new rules banning recipients from making abortion referrals, is showing the organization’s true colors, critics maintain. “Planned Parenthood’s decision today doubles down on their ultimate goal, which is political abortion advocacy, not healthcare,” declared Jeanne Mancini, March for Life President. She and others are chastising Planned Parenthood for walking away from legitimate family planning services to protect its abortion enterprise. The nation’s largest abortion provider announced Aug. 19 it was withdrawing from the federal program, which also prohibits abortion procedures in the same facilities where Title X grant money is used for women’s health. The decision to avoid separating its family planning and abortion divisions is expected to cost Planned Parenthood about $60 million annually. The Department of Health and Human Services crafted the new rules, which was upheld earlier this summer by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 8:12; 1 Corinthians 2:14.
PRAY: For the demise of all abortion mills.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Secretary Azar, Thank you for laying the groundwork for defunding abortion providers from Title X funds.” HHS Sec. Alex M. Azar II, 200 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.
FEDS PROBE SPORTS POLICY DISPARITY
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into claims by three Connecticut teens who allege the state’s sports policy on “transgender” competitors is unfair to female athletes and is costing them potential scholarships. Connecticut policy allows biological boys who “identify” as girls to compete in girls-only events. The students who filed the complaint argue the policy violates Title IX, a federal funding mechanism ensuring women are provided the same opportunities in both education and athletics. “Female athletes deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys makes them spectators in their own sports, which is grossly unfair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” Christiana Holcomb of Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the student athletes, warned. The teens also filed a complaint against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), which introduced the policy.
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:18.
PRAY: “Transgender” sports policies are revoked.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Glenn Lungarini, Please reconsider your “transgender” sports policy as it discriminates against well-deserving girls.” Glenn Lungarini, CIAC Executive Director, 30 Realty Drive, Cheshire, CT 06410.
NEW CURRICULM CALLED “ANTI-SEMITIC”
Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Instruction, is recommending curriculum for a newly mandated ethnic studies program be overhauled after widespread criticism the materials were anti-Semitic. “Jews are being attacked at this time in synagogues,” Thurmond offered during a press conference. “Acts of hate are happening against the Jewish people. They must be included (in the program).” Among those panning the draft curriculum was the entire California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Its chairman, state Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica called for major revisions. “Our concern is that the draft curriculum, as currently written, would literally institutionalize the teaching of anti-Semitic stereotypes in our public schools.” In one example, the lessons identify Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination, but do not include ways to identify anti-Semitism. Thurmond pledged he would appeal to the Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission to bring balance to the discussion of Israel.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:2; Romans 9:4.
PRAY: Anti-Semitic curricula is removed from all schools.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Stephanie Gregson, I strongly urge the Commission to reject all ethnic studies materials with an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias.” Stephanie Gregson, Executive Director, Instructional Quality Commission, CA DoE, 1430 N St., Room 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814.
“SCHOOL PRAYER ZONE” SIGNS POSTED
Students heading to school in Richland County, South Carolina, are being greeted by a new type of road sign. Thanks to a three-year effort by a local nonprofit, new signs declaring “School Prayer Zone,” are popping up on church properties alongside county highways. The green and white signs show stick figures of a man and woman praying. A reference to 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls on God’s people to pray, repent, and seek God for the healing of their land. Vanessa Frazier, founder and director of Christ Teens developed the idea and has been working since 2016 to earn the blessings of the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The department maintains the signs are legal because they are not in the public right-of-way.
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:7; Matthew 26:41.
PRAY: School Prayer Zones spread nationwide.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, research the feasibility of launching a similar campaign in your region or developing a regular prayer session for schools.
“IN GOD WE TRUST” BACK IN SCHOOL
“All Louisiana schools will display the words “In God We Trust,” thanks to a bill signed into law last year. Although Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 244 in May 2018, its deadline fell at the beginning of this school year. Each campus can determine how to display the national motto, but there is a minimum requirement of at least a paper sign. Educators must also teach students the histories of the motto and the U.S. flag. Shelby Ainsworth, Principal of West Monroe High School, supports the effort. “I still feel strongly that America is a Christian nation. I want our high school youngsters exposed to as much as that as possible.” The motto first appeared on coins during the Civil War and, in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation declaring “In God We Trust” the nation’s motto and mandating it be printed on all paper currency. State Sen. Regina Barrow introduced the measure declaring, “It’s really important that young people understand the patriotic history” of America.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 28:7; Mark 5:36.
PRAY: The “In God We Trust” motto returns to all schools.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Sen. Barrow, Thank you for bringing the “In God We Trust” motto back into the schools.” State Sen. Regina Barrow, 4811 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70811.
SCHOOLS NEED VIGILANT MONITORING
Salt & Light Opinion: As millions of students head back to school after a long summer vacation, we decided to dedicate most of our September newsletter to issues impacting them. Unfortunately, young minds have proven to be a strong magnet for activists opposed to Judeo-Christian values who are determined to shape public opinion from an early age. For instance, the opening bell had barely quit ringing in mid-August when a California middle-school science teacher used a colorful “Gender Unicorn” worksheet to disclose to his students that he identifies as “transgender.” About 50 of the sheets were distributed before the principal put a stop to it—but solely because such distribution is only permissible in health classes, Denair Unified School District Superintendent Terry Metzger told a reporter. This incident is a stark reminder for parents to remain vigilant throughout the school year.
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 51:12; 1 Peter 5:8-10.
PRAY: School boards return to Biblically based policies.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, arrange to receive advance copies of the local school board agendas and monitor for possible anti-family policy proposals.
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.
See You at the Pole:
Doug Clark – Promotion Coordinator
See You at the Pole (SYATP), a global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grassroots movement with 10 students praying at their school. Decades later, millions of pupils pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September, this year on Sept. 25. At its core, SYATP is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the flagpole before first bell to lift up friends, families, teachers, school and nation to God. It is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event. Many of these gatherings have proven to be the catalyst to launch campus Bible clubs and other ministries. “As in all great movements of prayer, See You at the Pole did not begin in the hearts of people. It began in the heart of God. God used the obedience of a small group of teenagers to ignite what has become an international movement of prayer among young people,” the ministry website reads.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 18:19-20.
PRAY: Students are emboldened to share Jesus on campus.
ACTION: For a Prayer and Action meeting, explore the SYATP website to find out ways to offer ongoing prayer support to your local schools.
State of CALIFORNIA
BAD BILLS HEADED TO GOVERNOR?
The California legislature is continuing its push to expand anti-family legislation with new bills further abandoning Judeo-Christian values. The following bills are expected to pass the legislature and land on Gov. Gavin Newsome’s desk:
• SB 24—Expand Abortion Services in College Health Clinics. Would require all state college campuses provide abortions through medication techniques.
• SB 132—“Transgender” rights in jail. Lets inmates pick their perceived “gender” and decide with which sex they would like to be housed.
• AB 175—“Transgender” Pronouns for Foster Care Youth. Students who “identify” as the opposite would have the right to be called by the name of their choosing and “gender” appropriate descriptive pronoun, such as “he”, “she”, “him”, “her”, etc.
• AB 624—Abortion Referral Number on Student ID Cards. Requires an abortion referral hotline number be placed on all ID cards for students in grades 7-12.
• ACR 99—Attacking Churches/Pastors for Counseling. Resolution pressuring clergy to condone LGBT lifestyles despite their own closely held religious beliefs.
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 29:29; John 17:17.
PRAY: Pro-family policy prevails in the Legislature.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Gov. Newsom, I urge you to veto the following bills should they land on your desk: ACR 99, AB 175, AB 624, SB 24 and SB 132.” Gov. Gavin Newsom, 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814
State of FLORIDA
COURT OKs ABORTION WAITING PERIOD
A Florida appeals court has reversed an earlier ruling declaring unconstitutional a 24-hour waiting period for abortion. Its reconsideration now returns the case to the Leon County Circuit Court. “Rather than singling out and burdening abortion procedures with arbitrary requirements, the state’s evidence indicates that the 24-hour [law] brings abortion procedures in Florida into compliance with medical informed consent standards and tangibly improves health outcomes for women,” Judge Timothy Osterhaus wrote in the 2-1 majority opinion. Denise Harle of Alliance Defending Freedom praised the ruling. “Abortion is a life-altering decision, and no woman should be rushed or pressured into it,” she noted. “Abortion advocates, with the help of the ACLU, sought to strike down this commonsense protection for women, even though the U.S. Supreme Court already upheld a similar law.” State Rep. Jennifer Sullivan sponsored the bill. “It’s just common courtesy to have a face-to-face conversation with your doctor about such an important decision, especially for such an irreversible procedure as an abortion,” she explained.
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 29:29; John 17:17.
PRAY: More judges support abortion restrictions.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Rep. Sullivan, Congratulations on your recent court victory over the 24-hour waiting period for abortions. Thank you for authoring the bill.” Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, 402 S. Monroe St.,
308 House Office Building, Tallahassee, FL 32399.
State of Texas
AUSTIN SEEKS ABORTION “SUPPORT” FUNDS
Members of the Austin City Council are pursuing a new budget amendment earmarking as much as $150,000 to fund logistical services to help women receive abortions. Some of the city’s leaders argued the proposed fund—which would provide services such as transportation, childcare and lodging—was prompted by recent passage of Senate Bill 22, a statewide law prohibiting Texas cities and counties from giving or using taxpayer dollars to partner with abortion providers. “Today, we are announcing that Austin is fighting back on behalf of our constituents,” Councilman Greg Casar, announced at an Aug. 19 press conference. “These far-right-wing, anti-abortion extremists have created barrier after barrier trying to make abortion impossible to access for our constituents, and we refuse to let that happen.” State Sen. Donna Campbell, who authored SB 22, pledged she will work with the Attorney General’s office to see if the Austin proposal is legal. “I have not read the amendment to the City of Austin’s budget yet but on its face, it defiantly violates the spirit of Senate Bill 22, if not an outright violation against the law.”
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 29:29; John 17:17.
PRAY: Efforts to undermine SB 22 are thwarted.
ACTION: Write a postcard: “Dear Mayor Adler, I urge the City Council to nix any budget efforts which undermine the intent of SB 22.” Austin Mayor Steve Adler, P.O Box 1088, Austin, Texas 78767.
Salt & Light Sunday: September15, 2019
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