Sunday, November 06, 2016

The 3 - November 6, 2016

This week's edition of The 3, includes a decision by the Washington, D.C. city council on the matter of assisted suicide.  Also, a law school at a Christian university in Canada has won a major court victory.  And, I want to conclude with some information and comments regarding Election Day this Tuesday.

3 - District of Columbia council passes assisted suicide bill

Recently, the City Council for Washington, D.C. approved a law called the "Death With Dignity" law, according to a report on the website, which reported that the law "would allow doctors to prescribe deadly, oral medication to people suffering from terminal diseases."

The article points out that "physician-assisted suicide" is also legal in California, Washington state, Vermont, and Montana.

An assisted-suicide measure is on the ballot this year in Colorado, and there are indications that it stands a good chance of passage.

The CBN report said that:
The hotly contested measure in D.C. was vehemently opposed by religious groups who believe in the sanctity of life and say only God should determine when a person dies.
Other opponents who fought against the passage of the measure for non-religious reasons say its language is vague and therefore vulnerable to abuses.
The final vote was 11 to 2 in favor of the law.  Among other components, the law pertains to those with six months or less to live.

2 - Canadian law school wins legal battle over accreditation

Trinity Western University, which is located in British Columbia, has been seeking accreditation for its proposed law school.  According to a piece on the Alliance Defending Freedom website, the Law Society of British Columbia had denied this accreditation. It had originally voted to accept graduates of the school, but then changed that decision in October 2014 due to, as ADF says, "the university’s biblical beliefs on appropriate sexual behavior."

The University challenged that denial in August 2015. The province's Supreme Court ruled "that the Law Society’s first decision, which approved the academic qualifications of TWU graduates, should be restored." Now, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the highest court in the province, upheld that ruling. The Court stated, "A society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society—one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal. This case demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism, can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”

The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, the Yukon, and Nova Scotia have already agreed to recognize TWU’s law graduates. The university has appealed a court decision against it in Ontario.

1 - Final considerations for election in advance of Tuesday vote

Tuesday is Election Day, and there is plenty of importance that is being attached to this day.  Of course, the major news story is the Presidential election, and there has been much discussion in the evangelical community about who will be selected as President.  Evangelicals can break down into four categories:  those who will vote for Donald Trump, those who will vote for Hillary Clinton, supporters of candidates who do not represent the two major parties: so-called "third party" candidates or write-ins, and those who will not vote for any candidate.

Christianity Today just published a summary of polling data from LifeWay Research indicating evangelical support for the candidates.  According to the survey:
45% of Americans with evangelical beliefs plan to vote for Trump
31% plan to vote for Clinton
23% plan to vote for a third-party candidate, or haven’t decided
Break that down by race or ethnicity and you'll see a divide:  65% of white Americans with evangelical beliefs plan to vote for Trump, with 10% for Clinton.  62% of African-, Hispanic-, or Asian-Americans with evangelical beliefs plan to vote for Clinton and 15% plan to vote for Trump.

Regarding the arguments for and against Trump and Clinton in the evangelical community, it seems, for me, a summary would be this:  Neither candidate offers strong appeal to the Christian community, but with regard to issues, such as Supreme Court nominees, abortion, and religious freedom, Trump is a better fit for evangelicals on these issues.  However, that LifeWay survey, as I have noted, shows that the top issues for evangelicals are the economy, national security, and personal character.  Only 10% of those surveyed, for instance, regarded Supreme Court nominees as their most important issue.

Some evangelicals are willing to overlook some of Trump's character flaws because he is closer to their own values on important issues.  However, there are a number of #NeverTrump evangelicals who will not support him due to character, but, likewise they will also not support Hillary Clinton. So, those voters, as a matter of personal conscience will either vote for someone like Evan McMullin, who is mounting a third-party bid, or write-in a candidate, perhaps sitting out the top of the ballot while voting in the down ballot races.

Whatever you do, I want to share these thoughts with you from a recent Front Room commentary:
First of all, I believe that voting, at the risk of sounding overly spiritual, but I believe it - voting is an act of worship. So, take that attitude with you as you go to vote. We have the incredible right and opportunity to speak into our society and select the leaders who will govern us. It matters to God, and it matters to our country.

Also, I challenge you to take your worldview into the voting booth. Select candidates who best reflect your own Biblical perspective. Determine the issues that are important to you, consistent with that worldview, and allow the Holy Spirit to direct your choice. But, you need to be, as I say often, prayerful and informed. You need the information, good information, so that you can make that choice about the candidate who lines up the best with those Biblically-informed issues.

Finally, there's something not to take into the voting booth - worry. Do not worry about the outcome. I will speak more to this in the coming days. We recognize the sovereignty of God, and He will work through whatever leaders are placed in the position. A President or other lawmaker may have an adverse view or set of views on issues we hold dear and champion policies that we find offensive, but even in the midst of adversity, we can continue to trust in Almighty God to work His purposes.
And, I would say, above all - PRAY!

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