A Supreme Case for Lives

(Family Research Council) In the most-watched case of a generation, the eyes of the nation’s pro-lifers were on the Supreme Court this morning as oral argument was held in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that will answer the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”

That’s legal-speak for a case that could see the demise of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decades-old cases that wrongly constitutionalized a right to abortion, and whose consequences we have been living with ever since.

Many are hopeful after this morning’s argument. The justices were mostly quiet when Mississippi’s Solicitor General Scott Stewart defended his state’s law outlawing abortion after 15 weeks. Only Justice Sonia Sotomayor showed serious antagonism to Stewart, and at one point was downright hostile with her abortion apologetic, absurdly asking him: “how is your interest anything but a religious view?” Stewart ably argued the state’s case, however, pointing out that Roe and Casey are without solid footing and do injustice to what the Constitution says about a right to abortion, which is nothing.  (Read More)

In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith

(The Federalist) Juhana Pohjola wouldn’t be cast to play his own part if Hollywood made a movie about a bishop put on trial for his faith. The Finnish pastor has inherited a place in the church of Martin Luther, but it appears none of Luther’s pugnacity or vitriol.

In person, Pohjola, 49, is forthright but unassuming, and gentle. Stereotypically, the Finn is thin and tall. He often pauses while speaking to carefully consider his next words. He listens attentively to others with far less impressive resumes.

In more than two decades as a pastor, Pohjola has ministered to congregations as small as 30. He has spent his life building a network of faithful churches across Finland, many of which started with a few people gathered for prayer, Bible study, hymn-singing—and communion, if they can get a pastor. In an in-person interview with The Federalist, Pohjola urged fellow Christian leaders to be willing to seek out “one lost sheep” instead of crowds and acclaim.  (Read More)

A Christian Worldview: Having a Voice

(Bob Shillingstad) “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

 

Most baby-boomers you talk to compare the world they live in today as an alien world compared to the world 60 years ago.  We lived in a world that was permeated with a Christian culture.  Almost every store closed on Sundays, most divorces very difficult to obtain, no movie ratings since all would qualify as “G”. Baccalaureate services for graduation at virtually every high school in the land with clergy speaking. Now, of course, you can’t say the word Christmas in schools, it is now “Winter Break”.  I could go on but you get the picture. The society had a Judeo-Christian worldview that was accepted as truth. When most Christians think about worldview, if they think about it at all, what comes to mind are ideas.

Worldview isn’t less than ideas, of course, but it is more. John Stonestreet defines worldview as the framework of fundamental beliefs that give us a view of and for the world. That framework includes ideas, but also our imagination, habits, and the fundamental stories—both cultural and personal—that shape our lives.

The historian Robert Wilkes wrote that “The Church is a culture in its own right. Christ does not simply infiltrate a culture; Christ creates culture by forming another city, another sovereignty with its own social and political life.”  What distinguishes this culture from the non-Christian world is not some kind of physical separation or spiritual withdrawal, but, to borrow Wright’s phrase, a “way of being in the world” that’s different than other ways.  The question posed to us as Christians is this: how do we infiltrate this world and culture with truth that influences politics, families, government – in fact all facets or our culture. The message of government today is that we “freedom of worship” not “freedom of religion”.  It is fine to worship, just keep it confined to the four walls of the church, unless there is a pandemic. The elites will take care of laws, government, education and culture. We know Political parties and their leaders are not our salvation.

In early November the Republican National Committee announced their partnership with Log Cabin (homosexual) Republicans at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump to create its first “Pride Coalition” which will invest in and mobilize LGBTQ+ communities. Donald and Melania were guests of honor and both Melania and RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel were awarded prizes for their commitment.  This is just one example, among many, of the disconnect between truth and the goals of the political parties. Evangelicals and Christians are just another voter bloc to win over with promises and rhetoric. This will shock only those who haven’t been paying attention.  Al Mohler described the relationship between Republicans and evangelicals as a “marriage of convenience”. In this case, marriage is a particularly painful and ironic metaphor.

I look at people who have left the world of politics to engage the culture with a profound Christian worldview. Tony Perkins was a member of the Louisiana legislature before helping found the Louisiana Family Forum in 1998.   In 2003 he became President of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. and has been a very effective voice on policy. Bob Vander Plaats is another person who went from politician, losing a close Governor’s race in Iowa in 2002, to founding a group called  “The Family Leader”.  This is a group that also focuses on aligning people of faith to be a voice in politics, government and culture.  Bob has recently been effective in helping organize similar groups in other states.  Their mission is; “Inspiring the Church to Engage Government for the advance of God’s Kingdom.”

Does Idaho, particularly the Panhandle, need this kind of organization and leadership? I think  it does.  We need churches and Christian leaders in unity on issues that affect families, our communities and government.  Not “union” but unity.  What happens if we don’t recapture America and restore it to goodness? Os Guinness in his book A Free People’s Suicide summarizes the issues this way: “Americans today are heedlessly pursuing a vision of freedom that is short-lived and suicidal. Once again, freedom without virtue, leadership without character, business without trust, law without customs, education without meaning and medicine, science and technology without human considerations can end only in disaster.”  He goes on to say that, “Claims to rights and entitlements without duty are destroying the cultural soil in which all rights and freedom itself have to be nourished.”

            It is my belief that it must be done but the hour is late.  There should be an “Idaho Family Leader” that is outspoken and not afraid to confront politicians, the media and the culture with truth.  A very important election is coming in May that will determine much of the direction for Idaho in the future. . If you have thoughts or comments on this topic, drop me a line at bjshill@mac.com.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  -2 Timothy 3:16-17

In Mississippi, a Prayerful, United Stand for Life ahead of Dobbs

(Family Research Council) In the almost 49 years since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion has sharply divided America like no other issue has. But last night, the abortion issue united leaders from coast to coast and across ethnic and faith backgrounds for a national prayer gathering in Jackson, Mississippi ahead of the monumental Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case that will be heard on December 1, which could potentially reverse Roe.

No less than 24 pro-life leaders, pastors, bishops, and lawmakers spoke and prayed during Pray Together for Life, including Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R), who led off the lineup of speakers with a hopeful message of unity.

“It’s reassuring as a leader to know that we are fighting for the lives of unborn children and that we are fighting together,” he said. “Tonight, I submit to you we are all Mississippians and tonight we pray together, we’re going to work together, and we’re going to fight together to make this nation the safest place in the world for an unborn child.”  (Read More)

Salvation Army withdraws guide that asks white supporters to apologize for their race

(Just The News) The Salvation Army has withdrawn its controversial “Let’s Talk About … Racism” guide following criticism and donor backlash over the text that asked white supporters of the charity group to deliver “sincere” apologies for their race and the past sins of the Church.

As a result of some of the guide’s more extreme positions becoming public, donors and supporters across the country have been rescinding their support of the organization.

In a statement titled “The Salvation Army’s Response to False Claims on the Topic of Racism,” the 156-year-old organization denies that the purpose of the guide or subsequent discussions revolving around the guide were meant to tell anyone “how to think.” However, the group has also opted to withdraw the guide for “appropriate review.”  (Read More)

Our Failed Pandemic Response Represents The Triumph Of Symbol Over Reality

(The Federalist) The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is here, and with it will likely come a revival of the failed, slogan-based policies that were widely embraced early in the pandemic: lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates, and of course vaccines and boosters for everyone, whether you want them or not.

In a video statement Friday, the World Health Organization said that with the arrival of the Omicron variant, the important thing is to “lower your exposure” to the virus and embrace “proven public health measures” like masking, social distancing, avoiding crowded spaces, and so on — all the things, in other words, that made no difference to the spread of Covid the first time around.

What the WHO is proposing, in other words, is not a policy response rooted in science and real-world experience with the pandemic, but one rooted in symbol. Indeed, symbol-based policy has largely come to rule not just our pandemic response, but much of American public life.  (Read More)

No, Women Will Not be Investigated for Miscarriages if Roe v. Wade is Overturned

(LifeNews) Abortion activists are stirring up unfounded fears once again that women will be criminally investigated for miscarriages if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Newsweek promoted their false claims this week as the high court prepares to hear a major abortion case out of Mississippi.

The truth is that pro-life advocates and the laws that they fight for do not and never have punished women, including laws that protected unborn babies’ right to life in the decades before Roe v. Wade. But abortion activists view the issue as a matter of control, believing erroneously that pro-life advocates’ goal is to control women’s bodies, not protect unborn babies’ lives.

To make their case, pro-abortion groups pointed to the recent manslaughter conviction of an Oklahoma woman who admitted to taking illegal drugs while pregnant with her unborn child. Her unborn baby died, and a medical examiner found illegal drugs in the baby’s body that likely caused or contributed to the baby’s death.  (Read More)

California’s new educational guidelines say math is racist

(Post Millennial) California is set to adopt new math teaching principles that are based in critical race theory. These changes, which include deemphasizing calculus and pulling programs for academically gifted students, will “apply social justice principles to math lessons.”

These guidelines do not instruct educators to teach critical race theory, but rather use critical race theory as a guide for the formation of teaching principles. Critical race theory is not being taught to students, but taught to teachers, who are then meant to use it to formulate their own practices.
The goal of the new math framework is “to maintain rigor while also helping remedy California’s achievement gaps” for black, Latino, and poor students. the reason for the changes is that California students are falling behind in math.
“We were transforming math education, and change is hard and scary,” Rebecca Pariso, a math teacher at Hueneme Elementary School District told the San Francisco Standard. “Especially if you don’t understand why that change needs to occur. But I didn’t expect it to go this far.” The inspiration for these new guidelines came from San Francisco educational standards.  (Read More)

A Time To Flee?

(Faith & Freedom) The church must not become silent—it must speak more clearly, more directly to the issues. The great preacher and theologian Charles Finney said, “The church must take right ground in regard to politics…Politics are part of a religion in a nation such as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as part of their duty to God…God will bless or curse this nation, according to the course Christians take in politics.”

And he said this at another time and place:

“The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently…Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it–and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course they Christians take in politics.”

This is not a time to flee. It’s a time to stand.  (Read More)

Pray That We Might Know Their Names: Uniting in Prayer for Dobbs

(Family Research Council) Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion on demand throughout the United States, over 60 million babies have been aborted. With a number so large, it can be challenging to feel a personal connection to each of the babies whose life has been lost. Still, it is essential to remember that each baby is a unique human being made in the image and likeness of God.

Each of the 60 million babies killed as a result of Roe v. Wade had a name. How many little girls named Maria, Nadia, Brittany, Monet, Emily, Monica, Simone, or Sandra are missing from this world? How many little boys named Tommy, Jervon, Billy, Nasir, James, José, Kyle, or Anthony will never have the opportunity to smile into their mother’s eyes because of Roe?

On December 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case widely recognized as the greatest opportunity to overturn the Roe decision since it was first handed down. In advance of those arguments, Family Research Council is hosting Pray Together for Life, a national prayer gathering on November 28 at New Horizon Church in Jackson, Mississippi, at 7:00 p.m. CT.  (Read More)

The Parental Revolt Is About More Than Just Critical Race Theory

(PJ Media) “Parents matter.” Perhaps being at home with the children during the pandemic and seeing firsthand how awful the schools were performing angered parents and gave them the confidence to challenge the powers that control their child’s education.

It’s not a race question, as desperate left-wing activists want you to think. It’s a question of who influences their children and the hopes and dreams parents have for their children’s future. Parents want their kids to grow up tolerant, generous, and kind. When schools are hell-bent on telling their children that they are oppressors and that they come from a long line of oppressors and that their “victims” are powerless to change that without the help of radical activists, strong pushback should be expected.

It’s not “race” that’s the issue. It’s “who’s in charge?” And parents are not about to surrender their authority or responsibilities to a bunch of race-baiting, arrogant elitists who want to use their kids’ education as a social science experiment.  (Read More)

What is an education scholarship, and how can it allow families to customize education to fit their child’s needs?

(Idaho Freedom Foundation) Parents are hungry for change. For some, pandemic-related distance learning programs have revealed what their children are learning—or not learning—in the classroom, and many parents are desperate for an alternative. A survey from education nonprofit EdChoice revealed that more than two-thirds of adult Idahoans feel that education is headed down the wrong track in their local school district.

Fortunately for parents, an education choice option known as an Education Savings Account, or ESA, offers students a customized education that best serves their unique needs and goals.

ESAs have been gaining momentum over the past decade. Idaho does not offer ESAs, but state lawmakers could change that by creating an education scholarship program that universally enables every student to succeed in academics.  (Read More)

The Daily Wire sues Biden administration over vaccine mandate, Alliance Defending Freedom takes the case

(Standing For Freedom Center) The Daily Wire is suing the Biden administration over the controversial COVID vaccine mandate for private employers. Alliance Defending Freedom and Dhillon Law Group will be representing the conservative media group.

The Daily Wire immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published official guidance earlier today on how it will enforce the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private businesses. The conservative media group claimed that the measure is egregiously unconstitutional, a move that is likely to be the first of many legal challenges to the federal effort to get another 80 million Americans vaccinated.

The request to issue an emergency stay order argues that the Biden administration lacks both the constitutional and statutory authority to issue the employer mandate.  (Read More)

If Kavanaugh And Barrett Betray Pro-Lifers, We Must Blow Up The Conservative Legal Movement

(The Federalist) Less than a handful of years after their hard-won elevation to the Supreme Court, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are sending a chill down the spines of conservatives with a string of bad signals from their seats on the court.

In July, Kavanaugh and Barrett joined the court’s leftist majority in declining to hear Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, a critical religious liberty case. They again sided with the court’s left in a similar decision to turn away a religious exemption challenge to Maine’s vaccine mandate — which Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas took pains to note was staggering in its hypocrisy.

“A State may not assume ‘the best of individuals engaged in their secular lives while assuming ‘the worst’ about the habits of religious persons,” the trio wrote.  (Read More)

As a Black Pro-Life Woman, Winsome Sears Is Left’s Worst Nightmare

(LifeNews) The significance of Virginia Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears’ victory cannot be overstated. But her victory is significant not only because she is a black woman and the “first” of her race and gender to hold the office of lieutenant governor in Virginia, but also because she has been described as an anti-racist. Sears does not buy into a victimhood that characterizes the Democratic Party’s view of people of color.

In her victory address, she said, “I’m telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream.”

I recall seeing white racists jeering at black students integrating a high school in Arkansas and a university in Mississippi. Last week the polarization was reversed with love replacing hate. Sears stood on a stage with her husband and two daughters and was cheered by a crowd that included many white people in Richmond, once the capital of the Confederacy.  (Read More)

Grants Pass School District Reinstates Teachers Fired in Free Speech Case

(Pacific Justice Institute) Seven months after putting them on paid administrative leave – and nearly three months after firing them – the Grants Pass School District has reinstated two educators who openly called for balance in educational policies concerning gender identity.

Rachel Damiano and Katie Medart, whom the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is representing in a free-speech lawsuit against the district in federal court, were effectively re-hired following a 4-3 vote Tuesday night by the Grants Pass school board. That was the same margin by which the board voted to fire the middle-school educators back on July 15; board member Cliff Kuhlman, who cast the deciding vote in that July hearing, swung the other way this time.

“The Grants Pass School District did the right thing by reversing its very unwise decision to fire Ms. Damiano and Ms. Medart,” said Ray Hacke, PJI’s Oregon-based staff attorney, who is representing the educators in their lawsuit against the district.  (Read More)

Indiana School Administrator Blows Lid off Deceptive Tactics Behind Push for CRT in Classrooms

(RedState) Failed Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe became the poster boy of sorts in America over the last couple of months for insisting that Critical Race Theory was not being taught in public school classrooms in the state, calling it a “racist dog whistle” and insinuating the parents who were lobbying against it at school board meetings were “racists.”

Concerned parents in the state knew his claims weren’t true, and got a big boost after the nation’s leading CRT critic Christopher Rufo confirmed it was being implemented in Virginia public schools in a lengthy Twitter thread last week debunking McAuliffe’s repeated lies – lies that were aided and abetted by some in the mainstream media, including NBC News “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

Debates like these are playing out at school board meetings across the country, including in Indiana, where we’ve seen parents of all colors rip into school boards over the insulting suggestion that white kids be taught that they are oppressors and black kids be taught that they are perpetual victims of their white classmates.  (Read More)

Opponents of CRT, COVID closures win school board races nationwide

(Just The News) Early returns Tuesday night showed that critics of COVID-19 reopening policies and critical race theory made headway in school board elections nationwide.

Conservatives now have a majority of the Carroll Independent School District in the wealthy Dallas suburb of Southlake, where parents previously led an electoral revolt against a proposed racial equity curriculum this spring.

Andrew Yeager won a “landslide victory” in a special election on a platform of opposing the “Cultural Competence Action Plan” for diversity training and curriculum changes, NBC News reported. The new board can now kill the plan.

Three challengers who oppose school COVID mask mandates defeated incumbents on Iowa’s Johnston school board, the Des Moines Register reported. They were backed by the group 1776 Action. In the same region, however, three supporters of school mask mandates won seats on the West Des Moines school board, the Register said.  (Read More)

Ybarra lies about Idaho’s government schools getting better

(Idaho Freedom Foundation) Idaho parents deserve to know the truth about the quality of the state’s government-run education system, not Sherri Ybarra’s rose-colored version of it.

On Wednesday, Ybarra’s Department of Education put out a misleading news release touting Idaho’s “academic success” as measured by the national publication “Education Week.”

Ybarra went as far as to claim that scores are “on the rise” and bragged that the state had gone from getting a D+ in a previous analysis to a C. She said the news was encouraging because in 2016, the state ranked 31st nationally and now ranks 17th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“That’s great,” Ybarra is quoted as saying. She used the word “great” twice in her press release and also called the results “gratifying.” And of course, some folks in the legacy news media reported, almost verbatim, the story Ybarra had to tell, inaccuracies, superlatives, and all.

The news release points out that the results are based on Idaho’s 4th and 8th grade 2019 math and reading assessments and Nation’s Report Card performance since 2003, so it’s easy to check the truthfulness of her statements.  (Read More)

Why Christ is the Answer to Cancel Culture

(Standing For Freedom Center) A comment unearthed, a sin exposed, a career ruined. It’s a familiar refrain. Under today’s woke standard, no sin — whether it be a real one or simply holding a view that is now considered unacceptable — is ever atoned for and sinners are simply canceled.

This realization leads its victims to obsessively attempt to please and gain forgiveness through rituals like virtue signaling, desperately apologizing with all the right approved language, pledging loyalty to the new moral code, and metaphorically bowing to those who espouse it. No matter, though. You are always just one “sin” away from eternal damnation by the Internet and the Woke Brigade. If you are seeking forgiveness in this culture, you will not find it.

But there is one place — the only place, actually — where you can find redemption: At the cross of Christ.  (Read More)

Big-City Mandates Hose Firefighters

(Family Research Council) On the calendar, it’s All Saints Day — but in cities across America, it’s “all shots day.” As vaccine mandates kick into effect in places like New York, the morning everyone was dreading is here. Firefighters, ambulance drivers, police, and even waste management employees will have to prove they’ve been at least half-vaccinated or be forced into unpaid leave. While Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) insists that he isn’t having “second thoughts” about the dictate, plenty of locals are. Vinny Argo, who lives across the street from one of the 26 closed fire stations, looked at Brooklyn Engine Co. 284 and shook his head. “We’re going to toast like marshmallows,” he warned.

Those feelings were mutual at FDNY headquarters, where spokesmen tried to tamp down the fears that this mandate will literally cost people their lives. The department’s Jim Long, who was sent to put out the PR fire, tried to reassure people that the closings weren’t permanent, and that some stations were just “temporarily out of service.” That did little to comfort leaders like Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R), who fumed, “If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates!”  (Read More)

Seattle-Most Anxious City in America

(Faith & Freedom) Seattle is not only “sleepless,” according to the US Census Bureau, it is also the most “anxious” major city in America.

The Seattle Times said yesterday, “Here in Seattle, we take a lot of pride in our status as the coffee capital of the nation. But starting tomorrow, you might want to consider switching to decaf.”

“Why?”

“Because Seattle is the most jittery major metro in the US, according to survey data from the US Census Bureau.”

The fix will likely require more than decaf.

Here’s what the Census Bureau found.

Be informed, not misled.  (Read More)

Is Stealing Wrong? Not on the Left

(Dennis Prager) To most readers of this column, the question is absurd. The reason is not because the question is, in fact, absurd; it is because most readers of this column are conservative, and many are religious.

Am I implying that most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong?

Yes, I am.

As incredible as this assertion is to just about all religious people and virtually all conservatives, most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong. Since I always draw a distinction between those on the Left and liberals, let me add that I suspect most liberals think stealing is wrong. But it almost doesn’t matter because they vote for people who do not think it is.

One proof is the passage of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed in 2014, under which theft of less than $950 in goods is treated as a nonviolent misdemeanor and rarely prosecuted. As a result, in Democrat-run California cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, retail theft has soared.  (Read More)

Florida elementary school under investigation for taking students on field trip to gay bar

(LifeSiteNews) A Florida elementary school is facing a state investigation after it took elementary school students on a field trip to a gay bar.

“I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone Wilton Manors Elementary’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s!” Broward County School Board member Sarah Leonardi wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday. “The students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community! A huge thank you to Rosie’s Bar and Grill for hosting this special field trip every year!”

It is not clear what grade the students are.

Rosie’s Bar and Grill is a gay bar and grill that says it wants to see customers “whether you are LBGTQ+ or an ally.” Leonardi did not respond to an email nor a voicemail left on her publicly available cell phone number on Thursday.

LifeSiteNews asked what the educational benefit of the trip was, if and how much taxpayer money had been spent on the field trip, and if any parents raised objections to the trip.  (Read More)

Bored of Education: State Activists Team up to Indoctrinate

(Family Research Council) “I would have never dreamt a year ago that I would be caught up in something like this,” Jason Martinez shook his head. “This,” as Americans everywhere are finding out, is the conspiracy of top education officials to radicalize the country’s children — with the secret help of outside activists. And not, Martinez will tell you, just in places like Loudoun County and California.

Even in Nebraska, a deep red state with a Christian in the governor’s office, dads like Martinez have been floored to see the kind of influence groups like Planned Parenthood have on the curriculum process. Staying up until 3 and 4 a.m. these past few weeks, he’s read through stacks of disturbing emails — all of them detailing how much contempt the state’s school board has for parents and any reasonable standard of morality.

It all started earlier this spring, when moms and dads pitched a fit over the Nebraska Education Department’s sex ed proposal. Suddenly, inside the state’s education headquarters, the disgusted messages started flying.  (Read More)