Baltimore Pays Pro-Life Crisis Pregnancy Centers after Losing Lawsuit

A group of pro-life pregnancy centers in Baltimore will be given $1.1 million in legal expenses after they sued and won a case involving a city law that infringed their First Amendment rights.
The Baltimore spending board approved the payment to the Center for Pregnancy Concerns last week, according to The Baltimore Sun newspaper.
The law would have forced crisis pregnancy centers – which provide free testing and assistance – to post signs saying they don’t offer abortions. The Center for Pregnancy Concerns sued and won at every level, including at the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the law violated the First Amendment rights of the centers. The Supreme Court did not take the case, although it sided in a similar case with California pro-life pregnancy centers.
Thomas Schetelich, chairman of the pregnancy center’s board of directors, told the newspaper he would have preferred that the city stopped appealing. Baltimore was the first city to pass such a law.
“I am enormously disappointed that there would be this level of litigation over what we thought was a very clear violation of the First Amendment,” he said. “We have no joy that we’ve won this case. We have no joy that we had to litigate this for nine years.”
Because the pregnancy centers won the case, they were entitled to reimbursements. The Board of Estimates voted 4-1 to reimburse the pregnancy centers, according to The Baltimore Sun. City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young was the lone “no” vote, saying it was “in poor taste” for the crisis pregnancy centers to want reimbursement “knowing that Baltimore is a poor city.”
The payout, though, was “a considerable discount” compared to what the pregnancy centers were due, according to city documents cited by the newspaper.

Michael Foust

Ball State University Changes Funding Policy After Pro-Life Group Files Lawsuit

Ball State University in Indiana has agreed to pay the university’s chapter of Students for Life $300 as a part of a legal settlement. The Students for Life organization had requested the money from the Student Activity Fee Committee earlier this year but was denied the funding because of their pro-life ideology.
Since the settlement, the college has changed its previous policy on student activity funding allocation which allowed discrimination against “religious, political, or ideological” expression and generally awarded funding to left-leaning political groups on campus.
According to The Christian Post, the fee committee granted funding to other politically aligned student groups including, Feminists for Action, Secular Student Alliance and the LGBT group Spectrum.
After being denied funding in February – that reportedly would have been used to share educational resources with pregnant and parenting students – the BSU Students for Life chapter filed suit in June.
The lawsuit notes that the university gave the fee committee authority to decide which groups would receive funding from the mandatory activity fees paid by all students. Reportedly, members of Students for Life paid a collective student activities fee totaling to more than $1,000 this year but were still denied access to funding.
According to the lawsuit, Students for Life accused the BSU student government association of “playing favorites” and “stifling free speech.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Reconsidering Liberty University’s Relationship with Nike

According to USA Today, Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, told them during a phone interview on Friday that the University is possibly reconsidering its relationship with Nike.
On Friday we reported that College of the Ozarks terminated their partnership with the massive athletics brand after Nike released the “Just Do it” slogan’s 30th anniversary ad campaign. The campaign features free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is known for starting the NFL kneeling demonstrations during the national anthem.
Now, Nike is at risk of losing its partnership with the largest Christian university in the United States, Liberty University.
Though Liberty University signed a contract with Nike through 2024 last year, the university openly values and supports law enforcement and military which is contradictory to Kaepernick’s beliefs.
Falwell told the outlet, “We’re exploring the situation. If Nike really does believe that law enforcement in this country is unfair and biased, I think we will look around.”
The university president continued, “If we have a contract, we’ll honor it, but we strongly support law enforcement and strongly support our military and veterans who died to protect our freedoms and if the company really believes what Colin Kaepernick believes, it’s going to be hard for us to keep doing business with them.”
Falwell then went on to recognize the possibility of Nike running the campaign as a ‘publicity stunt’ saying, “But if it’s just a publicity stunt to bring attention to Nike or whatever, that’s different. We understand that. We understand how marketing works. But they’re going to have to convince us that they’re not proactively attacking law enforcement officers and our military. If that’s the reason behind using this ad, we’re going to have a hard time staying.”
At this time Liberty University is still partnered with Nike and is looking into the company’s motives behind the ad campaign.

Chinese Authorities Tear Down Crosses and Close Down Churches in Henan

According to ChinaAid, Henan authorities have continued to tear down crosses across China.
Crosses have been taken down in Zhengzhou, Nanyang, and Yuzhou. ChinaAid reports that Christians sang hymns to encourage each other as a cross was ripped down at Gospel Fellowship Tongxin Church in Anpeng, Nanyang.
So far, in the Jinshui District of Zhengzhou, eight house churches have been shut down, but altogether locals have reported that it is difficult to estimate how many churches have been closed.
ChinaAid reports that Christians from Zhongmo County were informed by the local government that the crosses would be taken down. Some churches intended to cover the crosses with black veils to conceal them.
According to ChinaAid, Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness made a statement last Tuesday condemning the actions of the Henan authorities, voicing outrage over the treatment toward churches and the destruction of crosses. Reportedly, in the statement, the group states that persecution against religious people, principally Christians, has escalated since February when a policy change was made in China.
The statement tells of extreme oppression in the largely Christian province of Henan. Authorities in Henan have taken measures to restrict pastors and have reportedly forced churches to fly China’s flag and display a portrait of the president, violating the Chinese Christian’s freedom of religion.
It is being reported that churches will be merged together to decrease the number to only one or two in each county. Houses of worship are being told not to display crosses outside of the church buildings.
Furthermore, pastors and ministers are being required to take government supervised exams which will ask them to answer questions regarding regulations on religious affairs, government practices to secure freedom of religion, and core socialist values, among other topics.

Christian Man Killed and Family Assaulted By Muslim Mobs in Pakistan

Last month in Pakistan a Christian father was killed and his family beaten by a mob of Muslims. According to the International Christian Concern, on Aug. 2 Vicky Masih, a practicing Christian, asked his Muslim friend to pay him back some money that he had lent him.
According to The Christian Post, Masih, was then threatened by his ‘friend,’ Muhammad Ilyas, who said, we would be “teaching him a lesson.” Ilyas also called Masih a “choora” which is a derogatory term used toward Christians marking them as dirty and untouchable.
An Advocate named Tariq Zia told The Christian Post, “Within no time, the party turned into an exchanging of harsh words, a physical clash, and ended with Vicky’s murder.”
Reportedly, Masih was shot in the stomach and later died in hospital.
A little over two weeks after this incident there was another clash between Christians and Muslims in the area. A Christian family was beaten after resisting to allow their 19-year-old daughter to be forced into a marriage with a Muslim man.
Alvin John, the father of the assaulted family, told the ICC, “I shifted my family to this rented house about 10 months ago.”
John continued, “At first, we were asked to leave by some Muslim neighbors because of our Christian faith. But since Easter, we have been pressurized, threatened, and teased.”

He added, “My 19-year-old daughter Aresha then became the target. They would follow my daughter in the streets and markets, offering her a bright and secure future if she converted, and often abused her for her Christian faith.”
While speaking with the town elders in an attempt to resolve the issue, the family was attacked.
“A mob of Muslims, led by Muhammad Samad Zaheer, attacked me and my family around 11:00 p.m. on August 18,” John reported.
He then added, “They damaged the left eye of my son, Vickram John… The attackers also broke most of the house stuff, furniture, doors, and windows. We cannot go back to the house as there is unrest in the neighborhood.”

Christian Mom Suspended from Facebook for Labeling Transgenderism a ‘Mental Illness’

A Christian mommy blogger was suspended from Facebook last week after labeling transgenderism a “mental illness” and criticizing parents who wanted to change the names of their children.
Elizabeth Johnston, best known as the Activist Mommy, had posted on her Facebook page a LifeSiteNews story with the headline, “Parents of trans teens sue Ohio judge for refusing to approve gender-confused name changes.”
Above the Aug. 9 post she commented: “This is what bullying looks like in 2018. ‘Normalize our mental illness or we will sue you!’ Small minds must use these tactics. Pathetic!” She then added the hashtag “#GenderInsanity.”
But less than two weeks later, she received a notice from Facebook saying she was suspended from Facebook from seven days and could not post or comment during that time. It also said she previously had posted something “that didn’t follow” Facebook’s standards. The seven-day suspension began Aug. 24.
Johnson still was able to speak out on her Activist Mommy website.
“The left, headed by the big tech giants who are so successful at curating speech, will do whatever it takes to snuff out opposing narratives…particularly those that speak the plain, simple truth,” she wrote. “No one is advocating for hatred towards any other group of people. Regardless of how you may feel about what gender dysphoria really is, it is far from hateful to simply state a fact.”
Johnson added, “But it is with the label of ‘hate speech’ that the progressive left is waging war on the open exchange of ideas and the people they deem most dangerous to their radical agenda to fundamentally change the culture past the point of recognition as anything moral, virtuous, intelligent…and most of all, free.”
Michael Foust
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Tristan Billet

NPR Investigation Shows Federal School Shooting Stats Highly Inflated

This Spring the Department of Education released a document outlining the results from the Civil Rights Data Collection survey (CRDC). In the document the Department of Education included the number of school shootings that happened in the U.S. during the 2015-2016 school year, reporting, “Nearly 240 schools (0.2 percent of all schools) reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.”
In an effort to verify this data, National Public Radio (NPR) began to reach out to the schools that reportedly had one or more incidents involving a school shooting.
Over the course of three months NPR repeatedly reached out to the schools to ask them about what they reported and if the results of the survey were accurately representing them. Of the 240 shooting related incidents recorded in the document, NPR was only able to confirm eleven, finding that most of the shootings never happened.
NPR was not able to contact every school despite repeated efforts, however, in 161 cases, they found that representatives from schools or school districts confirmed that nothing happened and if something regarding a firearm did happen, it was not within the government’s definition of a shooting. A school shooting as defined by the government is, “any discharge of a weapon at a school-sponsored event.”
It is unclear how this error occurred. This was the first year the federal government surveyed school districts about shootings, and some are wondering if this was a coding mistake. NPR uses the example of the difference in one number in the California Education code which distinguishes the difference between a scissor related incident, 48915[c][2], and a gun related incident, 48915[c][1].
Jeff Davis, an assistant superintendent within the Ventura Unified School District in Southern California, told NPR, “I think someone pushed the wrong button.” Davis said, the retiring superintendent of the district, Joe Richards, “has been here for almost 30 years and he doesn’t remember any shooting.”
Experts are saying that it is possible that participants found the CRDC confusing. While the particular item in question specifically refers to “a shooting,” a question before it inquirers about incidents involving “a firearm or explosive device” lumping the two very different weapons into one category.
Temkin from Child Trends, who has studied bullying and school climate for a long time, says this wording “could cause confusion.”
“Best practices in data collection are not to include double-barreled items,” she says, such as asking about a “firearm or explosive device” in the same question.
At this time the Department of Education does not plan on republishing the results.
NPR spoke to a spokeswoman from the Department of Education, Liz Hill, who said, “at least five districts have submitted requests to OCR to amend the school-related shootings data that they submitted for the 2015-16 CRDC.”
The deadline for correction requests, however, passed on June 30th, 2018, and for this reason the results will not be reprinted, instead the department will issue an erratum to update the data.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Steve Harvey

Australia’s New Prime Minister Is an Evangelical Christian

Australia’s newest prime minister is a church-going evangelical Christian who isn’t afraid to stand up for his faith in a country largely viewed as secular.
Scott Morrison became prime minister Friday when the Liberal Party voted him in as its leader after ousting Malcolm Turnbull, the former prime minister and party leader. The Liberals are a center-right party in Australia, while the Labor Party is more center-left.
Morrison is a member of Horizon Church, a Pentecostal congregation in Sydney where he and his family are involved in ministries.
Hugh White, a professor at the Australian National University, told The New York Times that Morrison is a social conservative, although it remains to be seen how he will governor.
“The question is whether Morrison will choose to make his faith part of his political persona or to what extent he will,” White said. “At this point, he doesn’t seem to have shoved it in people’s faces.”
Morrison opposes same-sex marriage but abstained during a vote on its legalization. The Liberals had promised a vote on the issue if the public supported it in a public survey through the mail. The bill passed after the survey of 12.7 million people showed 61.6 percent supported it.
When Morrison was first elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 2008, he referenced his Christian faith.
“My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda,” he said. “As Lincoln said, our task is not to claim whether God is on our side but to pray earnestly that we are on His. For me, faith is personal, but the implications are social — as personal and social responsibility are at the heart of the Christian message.”
Morrison then asserted that it had become “fashionable” to stereotype Christians as “extreme” and to “suggest that such faith has no place in the political debate of this country.” He suggested that his Christian faith impacts his political beliefs.
“This presents a significant challenge for those of us … who seek to follow the example of William Wilberforce or Desmond Tutu, to name just two,” he said.
“These leaders stood for the immutable truths and principles of the Christian faith. They transformed their nations and, indeed, the world in the process. More importantly, by following the convictions of their faith, they established and reinforced the principles of our liberal democracy upon which our own nation is built.”
Australia, he said at the time, is not a secular country but rather a “free country.”
“This is a nation where you have the freedom to follow any belief system you choose. Secularism is just one. It has no greater claim than any other on our society. As U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not from religion. I believe the same is true in this country.”
Michael Foust
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Stefan Postles/Stringer

Christian feminist says that husbands who provide don’t deserve respect

WINTERY KNIGHT

In previous posts, I’ve described how I tried to keep the male provider role in mind when deciding how hard to study, what to major in, what jobs to choose, and how much to save. I wanted to earn the respect of my future wife, and have leverage to lead the family according to a (known) plan that would produce results for God. But not everyone sees self-sacrificial decisions that produce results as worthy of respect.
Here is a comment from a Christian feminist:
Based on this, and other things you’ve said, I… would frankly consider you ineligible for marriage. I have read some of your blog and it seems to me that you trust in your own earning power, your own planning ability, and haven’t even considered that it’s God who gives you the health and strength to carry out these things. Also, if you’re planning to retire at 50 with this net wealth, then you’re not giving enough money away. I don’t want to marry a dead beat guy who can’t provide. But I don’t want to marry an arrogant guy who thinks he can provide better than God either.
I think what she’s saying here, is that despite the husband’s abilities as a provider, wives are not obligated to respect their husbands. Why not? Because the husband’s preparation and planning to be the main provider was all a gift from God. The husband didn’t sacrifice anything or make good decisions in order to become a good provider. God did that. So, the wife should just give God the respect, not her husband.
Is her view consistent with Ephesians 5:22-24, 33?
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
What her view really means, in practice, is that the wife only has to “respect” her husband when she feels like it. And when is that? When he makes her feel happy. By doing what she tells him to do.
And, since provider ability was all God’s doing, the husband didn’t really make good decisions about education, work experience, and finances. God made all those good decisions. The husband doesn’t actually know how to make good decisions, and so he shouldn’t be making the decisions for the family.
In practice, only the wife knows what God has decided for her (and the family). God speaks to her directly, through her feelings. So really, she should just explain to her husband what God is telling her through her feelings, and the husband should submit to her decision-making.

United Methodist clergy declare their support for abortion
What does the Bible teach about women and marriage?
Consider Genesis 3:16:
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
Is the woman’s her desire for her husband a romantic or sexual desire? It is not.
Famous evangelical theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem explains in his book “Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood”:
The word translated “desire” is an unusual Hebrew word, teshûqåh. What is the meaning of this word? In this context and in this construction, it probably implies an aggressive desire, perhaps a desire to conquer or rule over, or else an urge or impulse to oppose her husband, an impulse to act “against” him. This sense is seen in the only other occurrence of teshûqåh in all the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), and the only other occurrence of teshûqåh plus the preposition ’el in the whole Bible. That occurrence of the word is in the very next chapter of Genesis, in 4:7. God says to Cain, “Sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it” ( NASB ). Here the sense is very clear. God pictures sin as a wild animal waiting outside Cain’s door, waiting to attack him, even to pounce on him and overpower him. In that sense, sin’s “desire” or “instinctive urge” is “against” him. 20
The striking thing about that sentence is what a remarkable parallel it is with Genesis 3:16. In the Hebrew text, six words are the same and are found in the same order in both verses. It is almost as if this other usage is put here by the author so that we would know how to understand the meaning of the term in Genesis 3:16. The expression in 4:7 has the sense, “desire, urge, impulse against” (or perhaps “desire to conquer, desire to rule over”). And that sense fits very well in Genesis 3:16 also. 21

Bottom line: not every church-attending woman who paints herself as a “spiritual” Christian (with words) takes the Bible seriously as an authority (in her actions).
Men: make sure you evaluate wife-candidates thoroughly, and make sure that they demonstrate the ability to do what the Bible says, especially when it goes against their feelings and desires. Never believe words about the future. Evaluate actions in the past. Your marriage must achieve something for God, and that means you must choose someone with proven character and ability, to help you execute your plan. That is why we evaluate women before proposing. Remember, after you marry her, you will be morally obligated to love her as Christ loved the church. Make sure you pick someone who is easy to love all the way.

America Has a ‘Faith Problem,’ Jacksonville City Councilman Says After Mass Shooting

A Jacksonville city councilman who represents the district where Sunday’s mass shooting occurred says America needs to return to God.
Florida city councilman Reggie Gaffney told WJAX-TV in Jacksonville that America and Florida have a “gun problem” and a “faith problem.”
“We’ve really got to ask ourselves two questions,” he said. “What are we going to do about guns? And we’ve really got to get focused on getting closer with the Lord, because this city is under attack.”
The shooting at a video game tournament at a waterfront mall known as Jacksonville Landing resulted in three deaths, including that of the alleged shooter, 24-year-old David Katz, who killed himself. Eleven were injured.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott echoed the Jacksonville city councilman’s comments about faith.
“Every parent has to say to themselves: What can I do better? Our church leaders have to say to themselves, ‘What can we be doing to get people more involved in faith?’ Because when I was growing up, this wasn’t happening. And it’s happening now,” Scott said.
Young men, Scott said, are taking actions that were unthinkable when he was growing up. “Something’s changed,” since he was a child, Scott added, according to First Coast News.
“There’s something wrong. Why are young men willing to give up their life? Who don’t they value somebody else’s life? We’ve got to figure this out,” Scott said.

Scott acknowledged that guns will be part of the debate but said guns weren’t the core issue.
“That’s the first thing people are going to want to do,” he said. “They’re going to want to talk about the means of something instead of the reason it happened.”
Scott asked: “What in his background” caused the shooter to want to kill?
“Is it technology? Is it relationships? Was it that he didn’t have close family relationships? You can isolate yourself in today’s society,” Scott said.

Michael Foust