This week's edition of "The 3", a week-in-review feature consisting of 3 stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes a story on Christian groups coming together, a denomination possibly breaking apart, and an apparent case of judicial activism where the courts have dictated where a child must attend school.
3 - Freedom Federation vows to block health care reform
A host of some 30 or so Christian and pro-family groups have banded together, calling themselves the Freedom Federation, uniting their efforts around a "Declaration of American Values". The organization has established a website, http://www.freedomfederation.org/, and held a press conference this week to primarily voice its opposition to health care reform, especially any reform that would force taxpayer funding of abortion. Some of those who spoke at the press conference shared some ways they saw that the system was working. USA Today had this report.
Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America referenced the philosophy of Obama health care advisor Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel. In fact, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of that philosophy this week. This driving philosophy that could lead to health care rationing is particularly troubling for the elderly, as well as children and adults with disabilities. Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life appeared on my radio program, The Meeting House, to discuss the abortion and the rationing elements of health care proposals, and you can download a copy through the Intersection Download Center at www.meetinghouseonline.info/download.
2 - Lutheran gay ordination backlash
Since last week, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to allow the ordination of non-celibate gay individuals into its clergy, there has been a groundswell of comments and action. The Christian Post had an article about a West Virginia church that went ahead and covered over the word, "Lutheran", on its church sign, and the minister took the opportunity to present a Biblical view of homosexuality.
Also, the leaders of the second- and third-largest Lutheran denominations spoke out against the ELCA's decision this week, according to The Christian Post. Plus, the United Methodist church, which had entered into full communion with the Lutheran denomination, said it would not accept gay clergy from the ELCA, again according to a report in The Christian Post.
This controversial vote by the ELCA does give churches an opportunity to examine the Biblical view on homosexuality, and can challenge us to view how we treat gay individuals - we are to reach out to them in love, but also remind them that Christ does provide a way out of this sinful behavior, as He promises freedom for all sinful activity.
1 - Bench bans homeschooling
It has provided some stunning aftershocks in the Christian community, and for good reason - imagine a judge dictating that someone can or cannot homeschool, declaring a particular form of education to essentially be too religious, or even too Christian. In the midst of a divorce case, a judge ruled that the mother, who has homeschooled her daughter, was too rigid in her faith, and that exposure to a diversity of views would be in the best interest of the child - in order to accomplish that, she ruled that the child must attend public school. CitizenLink has been following the story. Here is OneNewsNow's account. Alliance Defense Fund has asked the judge to reconsider her ruling.
This is not the first instance in recent years where we have seen a judicial decision that could be considered as antagonistic toward homeschooling. You may remember the case I followed earlier this year of a North Carolina mother who was ordered to place her children in public schools, ostensibly to challenge the Christian beliefs that were being taught at home. The website that tells the story is http://www.hsinjustice.com/. Click on the link, "New to the case? Get the basic facts".
And, you may remember the chilling effect that a California appeals court ruling had last year on parents throughout the state regarding the right of parents to homeschool there. Fortunately, just over a year ago, the court clarified its ruling and lifted the oppressive atmosphere upon confused parents. Home School Legal Defense Association had this report.
Clearly, there has been some opposition in the courts to this practice, and in the first 2 individual cases I cited, the free expression of religion, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, is in play. For a judge to rule that Christian training of children is somehow detrimental to that child is quite troubling.