On this week's edition of "the 3", my week-in-review feature, a new survey illustrates the continuation of a trend for fewer Americans to declare themselves as "pro-choice" regarding abortion, Memorial Day provides an occasion for a Christian legal advocacy group to launch a campaign to protect religious imagery at memorials, and dozens of Catholic groups file lawsuit against the Federal government regarding an Administration mandate to provide contraception services in violation of deeply-held religious beliefs.
3 - New survey indicates decline in number of pro-choice Americans
There has seemingly been a great deal of momentum in the pro-life movement in the last few years - even though the Administration in Washington has enacted and supported policies that serve to remove restrictions on abortion, in the statehouses of America there has been a strong surge in the amount of pro-life legislation that has been passed. Pro-life events, such as the March for Life in Washington and others, have enjoyed strong attendance, and polling data has begun to show that America is trending pro-life.
And, that was reinforced by a Gallup poll released this week, showing that the number of Americans self-identifying as "pro-choice" has dropped to 41%, which is a record low. That represents a 9-point deficit between pro-choice people and the 50% identified as "pro-life". Here's the story from the Christian Examiner, with a piece from Baptist Press.
Pro-life leaders were encouraged. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United
for Life, said the latest poll "is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact,
a growing number of Americans are uneasy with the unfettered,
under-regulated and unsavory abortion industry as it exists today."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony list, cited the effort to require
taxpayers to fund abortions as a key reason for the public's move away
from the pro-choice position, noting, "Those who would have us continue
to fund abortion with our tax dollars are arguing in direct opposition
to public opinion."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said that President Obama's "radical abortion
agenda is finally putting a face on the 'choice' movement, and it's not
pretty...What we're witnessing is the
nationwide backlash to three years of Planned Parenthood-style
governing," he said. "And led by the next generation, America is on the
verge of a social revolution that will ultimately reclaim this nation as
a culture of life."
With pro-life people passionately advocating for the unborn and reaching out with compassion to women in crisis pregnancy situations, in addition to the increased information through ultrasound technology regarding the development of pre-born children, there is great momentum for the viewpoint of life consistent with God's Word.
2 - Legal advocacy group launches Memorial Day campaign
On this Memorial Day weekend, we are reminded of the great sacrifice of the brave men and women who have fought and even given their lives in order to win and preserve our freedom. And, we can remember the hand of God as He has worked to establish our nation and as He has sustained us. There are vivid symbols of this symbiotic relationship between deep faith and military strength throughout our land in the form of Christian crosses, Ten Commandments monuments, and other religious symbols that illustrate the dependence on God that has been so vital in the life of our nation.
But, we have seen concerted efforts to remove these displays from the landscape of America, and it its Memorial Day campaign, the Christian legal advocacy group Liberty Institute is standing up for these bold symbols, including the large Veterans' memorial on Mt. Soledad in San Diego that has been in and out of the court system. Here is a background story from The Christian Post.
As it stands now, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the cross is unconstitutional, saying that it violates the so-called Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Liberty Institute is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the veteran's group that has acted as custodians of the memorial, and the U.S. Solicitor General has stepped in on the side of preserving the memorial cross. Liberty Institute has released a video including a song, "Don't Tear Me Down", that underscores that importance of this case, which could affect how and if religious symbols are used in veteran's memorials and other public monuments. For more information, you can go to www.libertyinstitute.org.
On this Memorial Day, we can be careful to look for evidence of our Christian heritage through the symbols throughout our land. It is important that these are preserved.
1 - Dozens of Catholic entities file lawsuits against contraceptive mandate
A new development arose this week regarding the opposition to the mandate by the Federal government that all organizations, including religious entities, must provide free contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization in their health-care plans. 43 Catholic entities, including educational institutions such as Notre Dame and Franciscan University of Ohio, health-care providers, and charities, filed multiple lawsuits against being forced to provide these services, which violate their religious beliefs. CitizenLink has been following the situation, and had this report.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said in a statement.“It is a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of
religious liberty." The Conference is not a party in the lawsuit.
This could be the largest religious liberties lawsuit in history, and carries with it some serious implications on the government's right to attempt to force religious institutions, as well as private businesses and others who operate according to Christian principles, to abandon their deeply-held beliefs. And, as the Catholic Association has pointed out, the President's support among Catholics has dropped significantly since the HHS mandate was issued. In a nation founded on the premise of freedom of religion, this entire situation has been a troubling series of events.