“Many a man has failed because he had his wishbone where his backbone should have been,” observed Ronald Reagan.
Supporters of biblical marriage are faced with increasing examples of spineless representation:
- Please Call Your Senator and Encourage Them to Vote “NO” on H.R. 8404
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes:
You may recall that earlier this summer the United States House of Representatives passed the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act.” All Democrat Representatives voted in favor of it, along with 47 Republicans.
We’re now hearing that a vote in the Senate could come early next week.
H.R. 8404, requires states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and seeks to codify it into federal law, which goes beyond the “right” to same-sex marriage invented by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2015.
This Act is an assault on religious freedom and free speech.
Why is this happening now?
Well, on the heels of the Dobbs case that overturned Roe v. Wade, many in Congress are concerned that the Supreme Court could rule at some point that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, even though it is now recognized as legal in the U.S.
This bill is intended to force members of Congress to commit to a position on same-sex marriage, presumably to impact the general election in November.
Another thing the bill does is require states to recognize interracial marriages from other states, but that hasn’t been an issue anywhere in the country. That’s simply fearmongering from those introducing and supporting the bill.
If this bill is passed, it could open the door for the federal government to force everyone, including religious organizations like Focus on the Family, to affirm same-sex marriage, polygamy, and more. The law would lead to costly lawsuits and harassment of millions of Christians, pro-family Americans and organizations who believe in one-man, one-woman marriage.
What can you do?
Second, please call your senators and respectfully ask them to vote NO on the H.R. 8404, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” which attempts to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law.
The number is 202-224-3121.
Thank you for taking action TODAY.
2. Supreme Court Abandons Yeshiva’s Religious Freedom
From National Review:
Yeshiva University was enjoined by a New York state court to recognize a gay group on its undergraduate campus, in violation of the school’s Torah-based religious conscience. Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted the school an interim stay of the injunction on Friday, but late today, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that Yeshiva must go back to state court to ask the same appeals courts for the same relief — and must labor under the injunction in the interim. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined with the three liberals (including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson) in this ruling. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the four dissenters that Yeshiva should win on the merits and is being deprived of its religious liberty by having the case sent back, deeming it “ironic” that the Court denied to the nation’s most prominent religious Jewish university the same relief it once granted to Nazis:
Unless a stay is granted, Yeshiva will be required to recognize the [YU Pride] Alliance as an official student group and to grant it all the privileges extended to other such groups. As the Alliance has contended, this would force Yeshiva to make a “statement” in support of an interpretation of Torah with which the University disagrees. The loss of First Amendment rights for even a short period constitutes irreparable harm, and the appellate process in the state courts could easily drag on for many months. . . . The majority does not address our well-established standard for granting a stay but instead suggests that we cannot grant a stay because the New York courts have not entered a final order. But the state courts’ denial of interim relief constitutes a final order under National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U. S. 43, 44 (1977) (per curiam). It is ironic that the theory that supported a stay in that case is eschewed here. . . .
3. Mississippi first, New York last in ranking of religious liberty in the states
From the Washington Times:
Mississippi ranks first and New York is dead last in a ranking of how states enable religious free exercise, according to a new study.
Several blue states, including Illinois (2), Washington (5) and Maryland (8), each scored higher than GOP stalwart Texas, which placed in the middle at 25. Virginia was ranked 30th.
The study was conducted by the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, which is part of the Christian conservative legal foundation First Liberty Institute.
4. Lila Rose v. Dr. Phil: A Model of How to Engage on Life and a Harbinger of Things to Come
From the Daily Citizen:
Calmly and confidently. Unashamedly and unapologetically.
Those four words describe Live Action founder Lila Rose’s temperament and tone throughout this past Monday’s spirited exchange with Dr. Phil, along with audience members of his popular television talk show.
Invited on the program to ostensibly debate life in a post-Roe America, the deck was clearly and decidedly stacked against the pro-life stalwart. But no matter. Rose, who started Live Action when she was just fifteen years old, held her ground, challenging the host and enduring insults from the crowd.
When an audience member accused Rose of wanting to “legislate evil” for opposing the abortion of a child conceived by a ten-year-old rape victim, the Live Action president listened intently – and then responded.
“Abortion is devastating to women’s mental health,” Rose answered. “No one talks about that … The trauma is from the rape. The child is an innocent party there.”
The Dr. Phil – Lila Rose exchange from this past Monday represents a snapshot of the broader and deepening cultural divide on life. Few of us will ever be invited to debate or discuss the sanctity of life on national television – but all of us are or will be facing a form of this conversation in our families, workplace, church, or neighborhood. Some may want to run from it – but soon nobody will be able to hide.
In her style and substance of her delivery, Lila Rose was putting on a clinic, of a sort. When it comes to discussing the profoundly moral issue of life, there is no room for equivocation. As Christians, especially, we must defend pre-born life. It’s not political – it’s biblical.
Lila Rose didn’t raise her voice. Polite, measured and sober-minded, she simply shared the facts, all the while acknowledging the emotional feelings that accompany the issue.
Lila Rose also likely didn’t expect to “win” over Dr. Phil or the studio audience. Instead, she accepted the invitation because it was an opportunity to sow some seeds – and help save lives by challenging people to think about the issue differently. She wasn’t thinking short-term, but long. Some in the audience tried to shame her, but she stood up to them – and simply brought forth the message without apology.
Stepping into such a hostile setting, Rose wasn’t concerned about being liked or loved. She recognizes that holding to a pro-life point of view these days may not win you any points or popularity contests with the cultural elites. But it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t believe the lies of the Left that the pro-life movement is tired and old. In fact, it’s a diverse body of devoted champions including people like Lila Rose – a former homeschooled girl now married mother who is helping to show the way to saving more innocent lives than ever before.
Yes for Life: Support Kentucky’s Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment
From the Daily Citizen:
Kentucky has the opportunity to protect life, keep state funds from paying for abortions, and prevent activist judges from finding a spurious “right” to abortion in the state’s constitution.
Constitutional Amendment #2, dubbed the “Yes for Life Amendment,” is on the ballot November 8. The amendment would add Section 26A to the Constitution of Kentucky:
To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.
We spoke with David Walls, executive director of The Family Foundation, a Focus on the Family-allied public policy organization. The group works for policies and legislation that support families and marriages; ensure that life is valued and protected; and safeguard religious freedom in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
5. Oberlin College to Pay $36.6 Million to Family Bakery It Labeled ‘Racist’ After Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Appeal
Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio has agreed to pay the entire $36.59 million judgment awarded to a local historic bakery after it successfully argued it was libeled by the school following a shoplifting incident almost six years ago.
The college tried to fight the judgment, but the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in August that it would not take up the school’s appeal, NBC News reports. Oberlin College said in a statement last week that the school’s board of trustees decided not to pursue the matter further and has initiated the one-time payment to Gibson’s Bakery.
“We are disappointed by the Court’s decision. However, this does not diminish our respect for the law and the integrity of our legal system,” the statement from the private liberal arts school located near Cleveland said. “This matter has been painful for everyone. We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”
6. Decline of Christianity Shows No Signs of Stopping
From Christianity Today:
Pew Research Center isn’t ruling out a future religious revival in America.
But given the country’s steady trends away from faith affiliation, experts don’t know what it would look like.
Analyzing surveys about religious identity and religious “switching” going back to 1972 and trying to project the American religious landscape out to the year 2070, they can’t even say what demographic signs might indicate a coming swell of conversions.
“We’ve never seen it, and we don’t have the data to model a religious reversal,” Pew senior researcher Stephanie Kramer told CT. “There are some who say that revival never happens in an advanced economy. After secularization, you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. But we don’t know that. We just don’t have the data.”
- In Hong Kong, Children’s Books Are Now ‘Seditious’
From the Wall Street Journal:
You know a government has become Orwellian when it punishes publishers of children’s books. That’s where Hong Kong’s Beijing supplicants have taken the territory with the conviction last week of five executives of the local speech-therapists’ union for seditious conspiracy.
Judge Kwok Wai Kin found the five guilty for their role in publishing and disseminating the three books, which tell the story of sheep menaced by wolves. Hong Kong’s lupine leaders claimed the books were intended to incite “hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection” against the government. The five received a 19-month sentence.
Judge Kwok referred to protests in 2019, when millions of Hong Kongers marched in hope of preserving their liberties and the rule of law. The Chinese Communist Party responded with a national-security law that criminalizes dissent. Nearly all of Hong Kong’s political opposition is now in jail or exile.
Hong Kong “has more or less calmed down after the promulgation of” that law, but “it is clear that these people have little change in their attitude,” Judge Kwok wrote, in explaining the conviction. “They just go underground and the seeds of unrest are still there. The political situation appears to be calm on the surface but very volatile underneath. Under these circumstances, there is a strong pressing need to safeguard national security . . . to prevent riots and civil unrests of any magnitude from happening again.”
The judge is telling Hong Kongers they can be arrested for their “attitude” and for somehow carrying “seeds of unrest.” No one is safe from political arrest when that is the “law.”
8. Thousands of moms are microdosing with mushrooms to ease the stress of parenting
Thousands of mothers have turned to taking tiny amounts of psychedelic mushrooms to relieve stress. Colorado Public Radio’s Allison Sherry reports.
This burgeoning mommy microdosing movement has taken off nationally, psilocybin researchers and advocates say. There are support groups and social media followings. Moms are microdosing and doing yoga, watching Disney movies with their kids and going to parks. The mothers I spoke to said they sought out mushrooms because they’re more natural than prescription antidepressant medications, and they leave no hangover like alcohol.
Researchers are looking at lack of structural support for women or maybe too much pressure on parents in today’s times. Major depressive disorder is currently the leading cause of disease burden for women internationally. The moms making these decisions, though, say they aren’t necessarily trying to escape but that psychedelics allow them to be better in the present.
9. Don’t Settle for Cultural Kindness
From the Gospel Coalition:
Cultural kindness is more about tolerance, being nice, and enduring differences without complaining than it is about love. It asks us only to be pleasant to those who are different from us—it doesn’t call us to love them. When kindness exists without love, it quickly becomes insincere, something we do because we’re supposed to. But kindness without love isn’t kindness at all. It’s an imitation.
This is the problem with cultural kindness. It offers niceness and acceptance of others while putting on the facade of love. But at best it’s bland tolerance, and at worst it’s hatred with a smile.
In contrast, biblical kindness—true kindness—is always rooted in the steadfast and self-sacrificing love of God. He is “righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (Ps. 145:17). He is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness” (Neh. 9:17, NASB95).
To be kind in our culture means that we rarely disagree. We live in a nation in which outrage trumps listening and understanding, and disagreement means dismissal. Any number of current events might instigate Facebook posts that say something like, “If you don’t condemn ___, we’re no longer friends.” While condemnation of injustice is valid, these posts reveal how cultural kindness rigidly responds to disagreement: it cancels.
Not so for biblical kindness—God’s kindness is “meant to lead [us] to repentance” (Rom. 2:4). Godly kindness confronts us in love so we might be conformed to his image. Because he loves us and wants us to flourish, God’s steadfast loving-kindness will challenge us, tell us when we’re wrong, and change us. This is why the psalmist says, “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness” (Ps. 141:5). It is kindness when God corrects, rebukes, and convicts us because he loves us enough to see that we might become mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:4), and receiving our inheritance as his children.
10. Florida Chick-fil-A worker saves day by tackling would-be carjacker
From the Washington Examiner:
William Branch, 43, was taken down by a young employee when the woman was heard screaming outside the Fort Walton Beach restaurant.
Video footage shows the worker wrestling with Branch before putting him in a headlock. Other workers and bystanders can be seen rushing over to help. A woman then yells, “She had a baby in her hand! How dare you?” at Branch.
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Branch demanded keys from the victim as she was getting her child out of her car. He was wielding a stick and proceeded to grab her keys from her waistband before opening the car door and climbing inside.
Upon hearing her cries, the employee quickly arrived to intervene. Branch punched him in the face, but he did not sustain serious injury, per authorities.