Sunday, October 11, 2015

The 3 - October 11, 2015

Welcome to another edition of my week-in-review feature, The 3, highlighting three news stories of relevance to Christians.  One of those stories involves another series of protests held across the nation and in other countries at Planned Parenthood facilities.  Also, this week, students were encouraged to bring their Bibles to school.  And, it appears that this year's edition of the "War on Christmas," has begun, with news of school districts under siege by a group devoted to removing religious expression from public life.

3 - Protests held at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide

Another large-scale protest was expected this past Saturday at Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation and in other nations. reports that thousands were expected to "protest the selling of body parts from aborted babies, as revealed in recent videos, and to demand the elimination of taxpayer funding from the abortion business."

A coalition of national and state pro-life groups, #ProtestPP, had scheduled a second protest since the release of the videos by Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which is headed by David Daleiden, scheduled to speak at the #ProtestPP event in Orange, California.
Protests were planned in all 50 states and several international locations, including Canada, England, and Ireland.

In August, the first protest drew over 78,000 pro-life activists to demonstrate near Planned Parenthood facilities.
The website,, states:

The primary sponsors of #ProtestPP are Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal and the Pro-Life Action League.

These three national activist organizations are joined by over sixty state and national pro-life groups committed to exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood and mobilizing the response of pro-life Americans to the baby parts scandal.

2 - Students encouraged to bring Bibles to school

The Facebook page for Bring Your Bible to School Day stated:

Still praising God for 140,000+ students who had the courage to celebrate religious freedom and share God's love with friends!

The Blaze featured a story about the effort, organized by Focus on the Family. It reports that President Jim Daly said that the annual effort was launched in 2014 to help young people unashamedly share their faith. He is quoted as saying: “I think that there’s been so much intimidation in the culture toward people of faith — and particularly Christians,” adding that Focus thought “this would be a good level-headed way to exercise a right that’s there.”

In the article, Daly answered critics of the effort, saying that he was somewhat perplexed by those individuals who were specifically infuriated over the effort to encourage children to bring their Bibles to school.  He said, "Why do we need to fear students expressing their faith or expressing their interest in the Bible? The Bible’s been with us,” adding, “Originally, the education system used the Bible as a book to teach children to read and write and for moral guidance.”

He said the effort was voluntary and student-led. He said, "Why would that be harmful? This is what America’s about...In the end, when we have shootings and all the others things occurring in schools today, wouldn’t it be nice to provide moral insights about life?” He continued, “We’re not thinking clearly as adults in this culture.”

1 - "War on Christmas" has early volleys

Just for the record, I'm not a fan of the phrase, "War on Christmas," but in the absence of some other descriptor, I will use it, and you can know of what I speak and write.  The WOC describes the attempt by some to eliminate or limit the mention of Christmas in our society, in either a state-sponsored setting or in a private-business setting.

It's even become a campaign issue, as Republican candidate Donald Trump said at the Values Voter Summit, according to Christian Today: "The word 'Christmas.' I love Christmas. I love Christmas. You go to stores, you don't see the word 'Christmas.' It says 'Happy Holidays' all over. I say, 'Where's Christmas?'." He said, "I want to see 'Merry Christmas.' Remember the expression 'Merry Christmas'? You don't see it anymore. You're going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now."

I'm not sure what the Trump plan is for increasing the visibility of "Merry Christmas" in the corporate sector.

In Indiana, though, it seems that the Freedom from Religion Foundation wants to remove Baby Jesus from a Christmas play.  As Todd Starnes of Fox News reports, this past Wednesday, the FFRF filed a federal lawsuit against Concord Community Schools in Elkhart, IN on behalf of an unnamed student who happens to be a performer in the district’s Christmas Spectacular.

The FFRF is demanding an injunction that would forbid the school from “presenting the portion of the Christmas Spectacular with the live Nativity Scene and the telling of the story of the birth of Jesus.”

The Concord School Board is apparently standing its ground. According to Starnes, Superintendent John Trout told the Elkhart Truth: “For more than 30 years, the Spectacular has been an important part of the Concord High School holiday experience,” adding, “It will continue to be so.”

Unfortunately, in Portland, OR, the outcome is not as merry for students there.  The Blaze reports that the FFRF had sent a letter complaining over the long-standing tradition of choir groups at Lane Middle School and Grant, Wilson, Lincoln and Cleveland High Schools performing at the Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights, according to the Oregonian.

The annual event dubs itself “the largest Christmas choral festival in the world,” and is run by a Catholic shrine called the Grotto.   As a result of the complaints to the Portland Public Schools, officials banned the performances, which had reportedly gone on for decades.

The Blaze article said that the FFRF said two unnamed Portland families complained.  A district spokesperson said there had not been complaints before. She told KOIN-TV that it wouldn’t have been fiscally responsible for the district on its “very limited budget” to go to court over a case that officials could very well end up losing.

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