Religious Liberty at Risk

a-pair-of-wedding-rings-sit-on-an-open-bible-dataOn April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for and against redefining marriage in America. Marriage between a man and a woman has existed since the beginning of human history. It is the cornerstone of our ordered society. Before federal judges began to overturn marriage laws, voters in 30 states had preserved natural marriage in their Constitutions.

Now the High Court is poised to decide for us all whether the emotional and sexual desires of adults should trump the needs and rights of children to receive the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual benefits from being raised by both a father and mother. This time-honored institution is in serious trouble. The consequences this decision could have on our religious freedom, the freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs, are staggering. Should the Court redefine marriage, our religious liberty — the foundation for all of our freedoms — is at risk.

The Family Research Council is asking churches across America to hold a special “Stand for Marriage Sunday” on April 26, just two days preceding the oral arguments before the Supreme Court. All believers should pray for the Supreme Court and the attorneys presenting the arguments, that truth would prevail and that natural marriage would be honored by the arguments and by the decision of the justices.

Please see this short video which explains the importance of this decision and the impact it will have on everyday Americans who seek to live out their faith. Forward it to your church leaders and ask them to host Stand for Marriage Sunday: Religious Freedom at Risk.​

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Restoring Religious Rights

Bill of Rights with hands tearingThe very first of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights guarantees religious freedoms. Yet, in recent years, states have had to reaffirm those rights with various “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRA), seeking to protect religious liberties, often in the face of discriminatory demands of homosexual and same-sex marriage advocates.

Since homosexual practices are choices, not guaranteed by the Constitution, they cannot be pursued as a “civil right.” Instead, same-sex marriages are demanded by some as an “equal rights” concession.

Most Americans have no hate or ill will towards homosexuals and, with traditional American tolerance, would be happy to “live and let live.” But, many (if not most) advocates for those lifestyles want to rewrite laws, challenge traditions and limit the religious liberties of others.

Let us pray for a society that extends religious liberties to its people, but also holds true to anti-discrimination ideals for all Americans.

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Be Zealous for Good Works

good-worksFor nearly 40 years, Congress has acknowledged the right of taxpayers to not have to sacrifice their consciences and pay for abortions, except if a pregnancy arises from incest or rape. This boilerplate stipulation, known as the Hyde Amendment, after Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, has been a rider on related spending appropriations for which federal funds are available under Medicaid, since 1976.

Yet the minority party has now brought the legislative process in the Senate to a halt, over a previously considered bi-partisan bill, S. 178, to limit human sex trafficking. They claim shock and surprise that this spending measure included the historic Hyde language ban on taxpayer-funded abortions. Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) says “the abortion lobby has been working very hard to derail this legislation” and the minority party wants to “re-litigate the Hyde Amendment.”

Contact your senators and ask them to pass this vital bill to limit human sex traffic and support the Hyde amendment rider in S.178.

Here is a Biblical basis for your stance on public policy and moral issues…

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14 NKJV

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Anti-Christian Bigotry

bigotryThe American Family Association (AFA) identifies over 200 groups in the U.S. which actively seek to oppose and intimidate Christians, sometimes by physical force and profane verbal assaults.

AFA’s interactive map identifies four categories of anti-Christian bigotry:

  • Homosexual agenda: These groups target Christians who exercise their First Amendment right to voice support for time-honored marriage between one man and one woman.
  • Anti-Christian: These groups file lawsuits and use intimidation to limit public expression and displays of Christian heritage and faith in America.
  • Atheist: These groups go beyond exercising their right not to believe in God and are critical of those who express their faith in public.
  • Humanist: These groups believe critical thinking and physical evidence are the sole basis for beliefs and oppose expressions of religion in public places.

Learn more at afa.net/bigotrymap.

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Now Hear This…

Senator_tom_cottonThe White House and Congressional members of the minority party are upset with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Armed Services Committee and veteran, who is demanding some accountability from the President, in his talks with one of the world’s largest state sponsors of terrorism.

In an open letter with 46 other senators, Sen. Cotton explained constitutional reality to the Islamic leaders of Iran. He stated that the U.S. Senate will have to approve any deal the President strikes with their country, if its terms are to extend beyond the limited, remaining time of his presidency.

While this White House is on the brink of a deal that relaxes the sanctions on the extremist leaders of the Islamic State of Iran, they continue to hold and torture an America citizen prisoner, Pastor Saeed Abedini.  Many feel President Obama should make clear the United States will not engage in further negotiations with Iran’s leaders until this innocent American is free.

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Religious Rights to Educate

studentsOur country’s rich tradition and constitutional right of religious liberty has allowed generations of Americans to benefit from Church-based education, with a religious and moral foundation.

Last month, San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop announced that all teachers in their local high schools would be required to sign certain contract clauses, affirming they will not publicly “contradict, undermine or deny” traditional church teachings on matters of human sexuality, marriage, life, pornography and other moral issues.

You can read the whole statement here. It restates the moral foundations for religious-based education in these Catholic Church-sponsored schools. The same goals are generally held by all private, religious schools. In fact, that is why so many parents sacrifice to send their children to church-run schools, to assist them in their parental duties of educating their children and encouraging them in developing mature moral values.

But now, the Archdiocese is getting push-back from some secular teachers and liberal lawmakers. Two California Assembly members are seeking to launch an investigation into the “working conditions” at high schools run by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

This is a blatant attack on the religious rights of churches to control what is taught in their own educational institutions.

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Skip The Speech?

speechThe White House is pressuring liberal leaders in Congress to boycott Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress. The President has ideological differences with the Jewish leader and seems to want to embarrass him, though he is an invited guest of the House leadership in Congress.

Adding to its pressure on liberal legislators, the White House called on the Black Caucus to back the president and make a spectacle out of Israel by WALKING OUT of this special session. Unfortunately, their skipping the speech will send a distorted message to Americans — especially the black community — that being black requires opposition to Israel.

Like on issues of abortion, homosexual marriage, and gun rights, African-Americans are once again not represented well by the black liberal leadership. The truth is, Blacks have long supported IsraelDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was outspoken in his support of Israel and today there is a street named for him in Jerusalem.

Conservative black leader, Star Parker, plans to organize many black pastors to take a stand in support of Israel and against the Black Caucus, which purports to speak for the whole black community.

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