Saturday, June 03, 2023

The 3 - May 21, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, highlighting three recent stories of interest to the Christian community, includes an end to a conflict between an Arizona school district and a Christian university in the state. Also, Christian in India have been victimized in a particular region, including the burning of churches. And, the state of Florida has implements significant protection of medical professionals and is guarding against incursions on people of faith regarding medical decisions. 

AZ school district, university reach agreement

A Phoenix-area school district that had cut ties with a university that espouses Christian principles has made a decision to not only pay $25,000 in attorneys' fees, but also to reinstate the program allowing students from the university to teach in the district's schools. related:

As CBN News reported, Arizona Christian University and the Washington Elementary School District in the Phoenix and Glendale areas of Arizona had an 11-year partnership where ACU students could student-teach in the district's public schools.

The article went on to say:

In February, the five-member school board voted unanimously to end its relationship with the school because it deemed the university's student-teachers Christian faith as a threat to LGBTQ students.
But ACU and the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in March, and according to CBN, "Washington Elementary School District has now agreed to pay attorneys' fees and reinstate its student-teacher partnership program with ACU after the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit in March."

President of ACU, Len Munsil, is quoted as saying: "This is a complete vindication of the rights of our students to be able to participate as student-teachers in a public school district without fear of religious discrimination," adding, "We obtained everything we wanted in this new agreement, without any sacrifice or compromise to our beliefs and our university's religious purpose."

ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation David Cortman said: "By discriminating against Arizona Christian University and denying it an opportunity to participate in the student-teacher program because of its religious status and beliefs, the school district was in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, not to mention state law that protects ACU's religious freedom..." Cortman commended the school board for doing "the right thing."  

Christian persecution in India reported in the form of burning churches

Christians faced violence in Manipur, India recently at the hands of Hindus in the region. Baptist Press reported:

Reports of the attacks against Christians included the burning of more than 50 churches, the destruction and looting at more than 1,000 other buildings, with thousands left homeless and fleeing to find safety, injuries to more than 300 and the death of more than 60.
Kamlen Haokip, who is from Myanmar, or Burma and serves as Burmese pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY, is quoted in the article. Members of his extended family live near the Burmese border with India and he is connected to people inside India. The article says that:
Haokip explained there has been long-standing tension between the religious groups in Manipur, specifically the majority Hindu people group (60 percent of Manipur’s population) known as “Meiteis,” and several minority or “tribal” Christian groups such as the “Chin,” “Mizo,” “Zomi,” “Zo” and “Kuki,” which is Haokip’s tribe of origin.
These minority tribal Christians in Myanmar objected to suggested legislation by the Manipur High Court, which they believe will take away several of their rights and affect their religious freedom.

The Baptist Press article related that according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, "a group of more than 60,000 tribal Christians began peacefully protesting in the city..." and violence spread to other cities.  

Florida implements protections doctors

The state of Florida has committed itself to protecting the conscience rights of doctors in the state, a component included in a total of four bills which The Daily Citizen says "protect Floridians from medical tyranny, empower doctors and prohibit gain of function research."

In addition to protecting "the free speech of doctors," according to the article, these bills:

  • Prohibit globalized public health institutions, such as the World Health Organization, from dictating policy in Florida
  • Provide permanent protections against forced COVID-19 testing, masking and vaccinations. Also protect against any mandate regarding mRNA vaccines and vaccines authorized for emergency use.
Also, doctors would be permitted to "...collaborate with patients to prescribe alternative treatments and protect medical professionals who choose not to use a certain treatment based on their moral, ethical or religious convictions."  

The Daily Citizen article says:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans saw government authorities use the crisis to weaponize government against people of faith.

Consider the 1,000 U.S. Marines who were fired for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccination because of their religious beliefs.

Or how about former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s arbitrary and discriminatory in-person worship restrictions that singled out churches for particularly stringent capacity restrictions.

And that’s to say nothing about the harm done to children, who’s educational and psychological development were irreparably harmed due to government mandates.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

The 3 - May 14, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, coming on the heels of the day when we celebrate mothers, consists of three pro-life stories, including cybersecurity concerns of a pro-life group that is part of the lawsuit against a federal agency's authorization to distribute the abortion pill.  Also, a group of U.S. Senators is challenging seven pharmacy chains, warning them about illegalities involved in selling the abortion pill. And, four California churches will be receiving a financial reward of $1.4 million to pay attorneys' fees in their lawsuit against a state mandate to include abortion in their health care plans.

Another type of attack on pro-life group: cybersecurity concerns

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of the abortion pill later this week, and one of the plaintiffs has experienced not a physical act of vandalism, but a cyber-attack. reported that "The pro-life American College of Pediatricians has become the target of ongoing, malicious cyberattacks after a federal judge ruled in its favor and halted the Food and Drug Administration's approval of mifepristone, a drug used in chemical abortions."

The article notes that:

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) was founded by "a group of concerned physicians who saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day."

Dr. Jill Simons, a board-certified pediatrician, and ACPeds' executive director, told the Daily Signal, that she contacted law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, after hackers attempted to access the group's website servers, email accounts, financial accounts, and social media accounts on April 24.
Fortunately, protective software thwarted the majority of the attacks, except for a website that had been archived, which suffered damage Dr. Simons termed, "costly to recover." But, she noted, "we will not be intimidated by these illegal bullying tactics that amount to a hate crime...,: and stated, "We will continue to promote the health and well-being of children by protecting the rights of born and preborn children, promoting biological integrity, and defending conscience rights for healthcare professionals."

Senators warn drug chains about abortion pill distribution

There's more news related to the abortion pill from a group of U.S. Senators. One, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, posted on her website, that she and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma "led colleagues in letters to seven major U.S. pharmacies that warn them of their obligations under federal and state laws, including longstanding federal laws that criminalize the mailing and interstate shipment of abortion drugs."

The website notes that "the most critical" of the letters "were sent to CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid for their intent to be certified to dispense abortion drugs." It also states, "Four additional letters were issued to Walmart, Albertsons, Costco, and Kroger encouraging them to maintain their current decisions not to seek abortion drug distribution certification."

The two afore-mentioned senators were joined by seven colleagues in the Senate, stating in the letters, “We write to express our support and agreement with 21 State Attorneys General, who have reminded you that Federal law in 18 U.S.C. 1461-1462 criminalizes nationwide using the mail, or interstate shipment by any express company or common carrier, to send or receive any drug that is ‘designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion...'" The Senators stated their disagreement with advice from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel saying that the ban on distribution of the bill only applies to situations where abortion is illegal.

A number of pro-life organizations supported the Senators' letters. 

Churches resist CA mandate to pay for abortion in their health care plans, collect damages

In 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care, or DMHC, issued a mandate that forced religious organizations to pay for abortion in their health care plans. The Alliance Defending Freedom website notes that according to Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus, "For years, California officials, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, have unconstitutionally targeted faith-based organizations."

A year after the mandate was handed down, ADF filed a lawsuit on behalf of three California Churches: Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch. The ADF website says that, "In August 2022, a federal court ruled in favor of the three plaintiff churches, concluding that the California abortion-coverage mandate was unconstitutional."

In 2016, another lawsuit was filed against the CA abortion mandate, this time on behalf of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego. ADF notes that, "In light of the court’s ruling in the Foothill Church case, state officials conceded that the abortion-coverage mandate also violated Skyline Church’s constitutional rights and agreed to a stipulated court order."

And at the end of last week, it was announced that the churches would collectively receive $1.4 million dollars that would be used for attorneys' fees. Regarding the positive rulings for the churches, Galus said, "This is a significant victory for the churches we represent, the conscience rights of their members, and other religious organizations that shouldn’t be ordered by the government to violate some of their deepest faith convictions.”

Sunday, May 07, 2023

The 3 - May 7, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, featuring three recent stories of relevance to the Christian community, highlights a new report on religious freedom identifying countries singled out for their violations.  Also, a Missouri school district has been found to be violating state law providing for parental notification when topics related to sexuality are taught.  And, the gospel was spread in Boston, site of a gathering of self-proclaimed Satanists. 

Arm of State Department issues religious freedom report

Each year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which is a division of the U.S. State Department, issues a report on religious freedom, including a listing of nations designated as Countries of Particular Concern. reported recently on the latest report, the cover of which, according to the article, "...features the face of the late Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman killed last year by Iran's morality police for violating the country's headscarf law. This is just one of many examples where religious freedom is under attack around the world."

Iran is one of the 17 nations who have been designated as CPC's, joining other repeat offenders, including: Burma, China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. 5 countries were added this year, according to the article, "Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Syria, and Vietnam."  There has been a concerted effort to return Nigeria to the list after being absent. 

Senator Marco Rubio noted, "These violations do not go unnoticed..."

The article concludes by saying, "The USCIRF hopes the president, State Department, and Congress will take action to address the global religious freedom violations, believing every country named in the report is watching to see how the U.S. will respond."

Missouri school district allows LGBTQ book, even though it violates state law

The state of Missouri has a law on the books, that, according to The Daily Signal, says: "School districts must notify parents of the 'basic content of the district’s or school’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student' and a 'parent’s right to remove the student from any part of the district’s or school’s human sexuality instruction...'"  

But, at a school outside of St. Louis, in the Webster Groves School District, an "elementary school allowed a parent to read the transgender-promoting children’s book 'I Am Jazz' to a second-grade class without first informing other parents, although state law requires school districts to notify parents beforehand about lessons on sexuality." The article says that the book, "is the story of transgender-identifying biological male Jazz Jennings. It is rated as age-appropriate for children aged 4 and up."

The article said the book was read as part of a "Mystery Reader" program, "where a family member surprises a child by reading to the class." It goes on to say, "A student’s parent asked for permission to read the book, and the school approved the request. But the school chose not to inform the parents of other students," according to a parent.

But, this is not the first time the district has pushed the envelope on gender ideology.  The Daily Signal states:
The Webster Groves district, with 10 schools and more than 4,400 students, has a history of pushing radical gender ideology on children. Also in September, a high school librarian encouraged students to check out sexually explicit books from her list of commonly banned books and enter a raffle for a “sweet prize.”

The school district also plans to include the personal pronouns “they/them” in math problems and hire certified teachers as “math interventionists” to fight racism and gender bias in math classes, following a curriculum evaluation.

One family was upset when their second grader came from school saying she had learned that boy bodies can have girl brains and vice versa. After the family expressed concerns, the teacher included two brief sentences about the classroom reading of “I Am Jazz” in a longer email to parents.

Unfortunately, a district spokesperson said that the district doesn't believe it violated state law.

SatanCon attendees hear the gospel

It was billed as the “largest satanic gathering in history," according to The Christian Post, referring to SatanCon, which occurred the last weekend in April in Boston. 

Lynn MacAskill, a regional leader for Intercessors for America, who was in Boston as part of a ministry team reaching out to conference attendees, said, “Numerous Christians from several teams did minister to SatanCon attendees...with some great stories, so seeds were definitely sown,” adding, “God really did move as we were able to be in the venue. Everyone was peaceful and polite, and we felt God gave us specific prayer assignments, especially on Sunday, that were powerful.”

She also noted, "...we were told by several sources that Revive Boston and YWAM evangelists did record 98 salvations and at least 15 recommitments to the Lord among regular people during street evangelism."  The Christian Post article went on to say:
“You could definitely tell a lot of prayer had gone before us due to the peaceful nature of interactions and openness of many, though definitely not all attendees, to dialogue with believers,” MacAskill said. The IFA Boston co-leader revealed that most of the attendees were “averse to being prayed for.”

“A lot of them had been raised Christian and had been hurt or oppressed by the church, so I think that’s something we as the Body of Christ need to learn from so as not to push people away from knowing Jesus,” she continued. “Several evangelists shared with me that although they were opposing the Church, many of them smiled or their eyes softened or even shed tears when they heard the name of Jesus and that He loved them.”

Nevertheless, MacAskill believes “seeds were sown,” and now she charged believers to continue to show the love of Jesus to the world: “We need to be faithful to continue to pray that these seeds will be watered and that other Christians will be called to show the love of Jesus to these people wherever they call home.”

The article noted that Boston was specifically targeted by the Satanic Temple after the city's refusal to allow a Satanic flag to fly at City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court decision finding that it was incorrect for Boston to reject the Christian flag simply because it was religious.  Satanists also desire to offer prayers at city council meetings. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

The 3 - April 30, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, featuring three stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes two stories relative to continued flashpoints on issues related to gender identity: federal officials have filed suit against an American state, Tennessee, to try to prevent a law to protect minor children from dangerous surgeries to try to change their biological gender.  And, Kansas lawmakers have passed strong legislation, overriding the governor's veto, to ensure privacy protections for women in the face of gender identity trends.  And, in Texas, one of the legislative chambers has voted to place the 10 Commandments in public school classrooms. 

Federal officials sue state of Tennessee over child protection bill

It's being described erroneously as a threat to health care for those who identify as transgender.  It's essentially a bill to protect minor children in Tennessee, and The Daily Citizen of Focus on the Family reports:

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued the state of Tennessee over its law protecting minors from harmful and experimental transgender medical interventions.

The DOJ is suing over Tennessee’s new law (SB1) that prevents healthcare providers from performing medical procedures on minors that enable “a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”

It is astonishing that, as this article points out, that a minor becoming a victim of experimentation under the premise of changing one's biological sex is somehow being denied health care.  The Daily Citizen piece notes:

“No person should be denied access to necessary medical care just because of their transgender status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in a statement.

From Assistant Attorney General Clarke’s statement, you’d think that transgender-identified individuals were being denied annual physicals, medications, and routine surgeries because they are “transgender.”

No. This is certainly not “necessary medical care.”
The writer, Zachary Mettler, continues by saying: "SB 1 only prohibits irreversible and harmful puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries from being performed on minor children, who cannot consent to these harmful interventions." He also points out that, "Of note, the idea that gender-confused children will commit suicide if their chosen identity is not fully embraced and affirmed is wrong for a myriad of reasons, and various studies bear this fact out."

Kansas defines "woman" in new bill

While there has been cultural confusion over what a "woman" is, the state of Kansas, despite an attempt by its female governor to veto the bill, the "Women's Bill of Rights" passed the Legislature and both chambers of that body voted to override Gov. Kelly's veto.

Liberty Counsel, on its website, noted on Friday:
The Kansas legislature passed a “Women’s Bill of Rights” yesterday which legally defines male and female based on a person’s reproductive anatomy at birth, and stipulates Kansans must use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.

The report states:

The law attributes the “distinction between the sexes” as “substantially related to the important governmental objectives of protecting the health, safety and privacy of individuals,” the bill reads.
It says that the bill "specifically protects women in restrooms, locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers." And applies, according to Liberty Counsel to "'other areas,' an intentionally broad term to cover a myriad of situations where 'biology, safety, or privacy' justify separate spaces for men and women."

The new law also provides that government uses "biological sex" in its "vital statistics."

Texas Senate passes requirement for 10 Commandments to be displayed in public school classrooms

You could make a strong case that if you want to teach young people in schools how to be good citizens and to understand the basis for our laws, then a reminder of the influence of the 10 Commandments would be helpful.  Lawmakers in Texas are attempting to require the display of the Commandments in public school classrooms, and a proposed bill has cleared its first hurdle with passage in the Texas Senate. reported that: "Texas public schools would be required to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom starting next school year under a bill that was approved by the Texas Senate...The legislation, Senate Bill 1515, will now head to the state House for consideration."

The article notes...
...Sen. Phil King said during a committee hearing earlier this month that he wanted the state to bring the Ten Commandments back into the classroom because they are a crucial part of the American heritage.

"[The bill] will remind students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America," King said during the hearing, according to the Texas Tribune.

The Senate also passed a bill, according to Fox, that "would allow public and charter schools to adopt a policy that would set aside time for students and employees to pray and read religious texts like the Bible at school."  In response, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick made a statement, which included these words: "Allowing the Ten Commandments and prayer back into our public schools is one step we can take to make sure that all Texans have the right to freely express their sincerely held religious beliefs..."

Monday, April 24, 2023

The 3 - April 23, 2023

In this week's edition of The 3, featuring three stories of relevance to the Christian community, the U.S. Supreme Court has continued to allow the sale of the abortion pill until the appeal of a lower court ruling against the FDA's original approval of the pill winds its way through the courts.  Also, a new law in Washington state would allow parents to lose custody of their children if they don't allow their children to try to change their sex.  And, in Kentucky, three church members who were ordered to quarantine after attending an Easter Sunday church service, have received a financial award from the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

U.S. Supreme Court allows abortion pill to be sold, for now

After a federal judge in Texas ruled that the abortion pill should never have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the case went on to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which put a hold on a portion of the ruling, but prevented the broader provisions of FDA approval implemented during the pandemic and even earlier, such as mail order abortions, from going back into place.

So, after an emergency appeal by the Administration and the manufacturer of the pill, the case ended up at the U.S. Supreme Court, which late Friday ruled that the distribution of the abortion pill could continue for now as the case works its way through the Fifth Circuit.

The SCOTUS Blog reported:

The battle over medication abortions, which account for over half of all abortions performed in the United States each year, now returns to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which is scheduled to hear oral argument in the case next month. The order means that the drug will remain widely available while litigation continues.

Two justices indicated that they would have denied the requests. Justice Clarence Thomas did not elaborate on his reasoning, but Justice Samuel Alito penned a four-page dissent in which he questioned the need for the court to act now.

Alito had issued the original stay of the lower court decision on April 14, which remained in effect until last Wednesday; the Court then extended its self-imposed deadline until last Friday. 

Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the suit on behalf of a group of pro-life organizations and physicians, posted a quote from its Senior Counsel, Erik Baptist, on its website; he said:

“As is common practice, the Supreme Court has decided to maintain the status quo that existed prior to our lawsuit while our challenge to the FDA’s illegal approval of chemical abortion drugs and its removal of critical safeguards for those drugs moves forward...
He added, "The FDA must answer for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and unlawfully removing every meaningful safeguard, even allowing for mail-order abortions. We look forward to a final outcome in this case that will hold the FDA accountable.”

Washington state allows children to be removed from parents who do not affirm gender identity

There are people in power in government who are so dedicated to furthering the LGBTQ+ agenda that they actually want to supersede parental rights.  That is the case in Washington, where, according to an article at

Washington state passed a bill allowing children to legally be taken away from their parents for not consenting to gender transition procedures on their child.

According to Senate Bill 5599, shelters could contact the Department of Children, Youth, and Families instead of parents for minors seeking reproductive health services or gender-affirming care.
That phrase, "gender-affirming care," is, of course, a misnomer - it does not "affirm" a child's gender, but erroneously seeks to change it. And, it certainly cannot be consider "care." The article refers to the comments of Senator John Braun, who "said the troubling legislation 'clears the way' for kids to 'game the system' by taking away parent's God-given rights.  He said, "The only thing SB 5599 would do is cause harm by driving a wedge between vulnerable kids and their parents, at a time when a teen lacks the perception and judgment to make critical life-altering decisions."

Kentucky congregants receive positive outcome in COVID restriction case

During the COVID pandemic, you saw governors across America abuse the executive power of their office to enact a variety of restrictions.  Using an "emergency" as an excuse, governors bypassed their own legislatures, violated the separation of powers and placed impractical restrictions on their citizens.

And, very few governors in America were less restrictive than the governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear.  In case after case, churches found themselves slapped with draconian restrictions, while businesses were able to remain open.  

One such example was Maryville Baptist Church, where congregation members were actually contacted and told to quarantine after attending church on Easter Sunday.  Three attendees sued the state, and earlier this month, according to, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling granting the trio a reward of in excess of $272,000 in attorneys' fees. 

The article states:

The fees were initially awarded after the plaintiffs successfully sued on the grounds that the governor violated their constitutional rights, The Daily Caller explains:
“Randall Daniel, Theodore Roberts, and Sally O’Boyle sued in August 2020 after they received notices logging their attendance at Maryville Baptist Church’s Easter Service and informing them they must quarantine or face “further enforcement measures.”

The Daily Caller article said that, "The group alleged...Beshear’s bans on religious gatherings and interstate travel violated their constitutional rights, which the Sixth Circuit affirmed in May 2020, according to court documents.”

CNS News notes: that in the "ruling, the appeals court notes that the initial decision reasoned that Gov. Beshear’s ban 'likely violated the Free Exercise Clause because it treated religious gatherings less favorably than comparable secular gatherings.'”

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The 3 - April 16, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, highlighting three stories of relevance to the Christian community includes two stories dealing with the life issue: a new bill has been passed in Florida that would ban abortion when a heartbeat can be determined and the U.S. Supreme Court has put on hold a lower court ruling on the distribution of the abortion pill.  Also, an Oregon mother who wishes to adopt two children has challenged the state's policy that would force her to affirm a child's so-called "gender identity."

Florida "heartbeat" bill signed into law

A bill banning abortion "once a preborn baby's heartbeat is detected" has passed the Florida Legislature and has been signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, according to the CBN News website, which adds that "The measure will take effect only if Florida's current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge before the state Supreme Court."

The article says that:

...Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, who carried the bill in the Florida House, pointed out that real lives are stake in the abortion fight. “We have the opportunity to lead the national debate about the importance of protecting life and giving every child the opportunity to be born and find his or her purpose," she said.

CBN adds that:

The Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America group also celebrated the development, tweeting, "This enormous triumph in the battle for human rights means tens of thousands of precious boys and girls will live and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, bless the lives of others, and enhance Florida's communities."
Liberty Counsel does point out that the bill "provides exception if the 'woman obtaining the abortion is doing so because she is a victim of rape, incest, or human trafficking' or if the life of the mother is threatened. In cases of fatal fetal abnormalities, abortion is allowed until the third trimester."  It also notes other elements of the bill, including a prohibition on taxpayer funding for transportation out-of-state for abortions, a ban on mail order abortions, and funding for pro-life pregnancy resource centers.

Mat Staver, the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel said, “We commend Governor DeSantis for signing the ‘Heartbeat Protection Act’ yesterday as well as the 15-week ban last year. Tragically, after the Roe and Casey abortion decisions were overturned, Florida has become a sanctuary for abortion. Now the Florida Supreme Court must establish this as a state that values unborn life according to the State Constitution.”   

Abortion pill case goes to high court, lower court rulings put on hold

The week began with pro-life celebration that a federal judge in Texas had ruled the Food and Drug Administration was incorrect when it approved the "abortion pill," known as mifepristone. An appeals court, the Fifth Circuit, essentially trimmed the ruling, but allowed some restrictions on the sale of mifepristone to remain in place, such as the current trend of mail order abortions. 

But, on Friday, after the Administration appealed the lower court action, the U.S. Supreme Court has put the lower court rulings on the abortion pill on hold.  Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the original lawsuit on behalf of four pro-life organizations said, well, "business as usual," with Senior Counsel Erin Hawley stating:

“The entry of a brief administrative stay is standard operating procedure whenever the Supreme Court is asked to consider an emergency request like this one. It gives the court sufficient time to consider the parties’ arguments before ruling. We look forward to explaining why the FDA has not met its heavy burden to pause the parts of the district court’s decision that restore the critical safeguards for women and girls that were unlawfully removed by the FDA.”

Oregon mother not allowed to adopt because of refusal to acknowledge a child's "gender identity"

Jessica Bates is the mother of five children and, because she is a widow, is now a single mom, according to a Christian Post article that reports on Bates' attempt to adopt two more siblings from foster care. 

But, the state has placed restrictions on Jessica's ambition and Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on her behalf.  The article says:

The lawsuit follows the Oregon Department of Human Services’ refusal to grant Bates the certification required to become an adoptive parent after she informed the state that her religious beliefs prevented her from complying with a state law requiring prospective adoptive parents to “respect, accept and support” the “sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression” of the children they seek to adopt.

Furthermore, according to The Christian Post:

The lawsuit contends that the Oregon Department of Human Services is violating Bates’ First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech, Association and Assembly as well as the Free Exercise Clause. It also cites the state and local officials’ behavior as violations of Bates’ right to “equal protection of the laws” under the Fourteenth Amendment. The complaint is seeking an order declaring the Oregon state law unconstitutional, preventing the state from enforcing it and awarding Bates attorney’s fees.

Monday, April 10, 2023

The 3 - April 9, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, with three stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes news of a significant ruling by a federal court judge who has rejected the FDA's approval of the abortion bill, mifepristone.  Also, there are several developments regarding individuals and groups committed to forcefully furthering the transgender agenda.  And, an Alabama university will be revising its speech codes that have been inhibiting free speech, according to a lawsuit; meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court will not be hearing the case of an evangelist wishing to speak publicly on another state campus.

Federal judge halts FDA approval of abortion pill

Chemical abortion now accounts for over half of abortions in America, according to reported statistics, and the use of abortion pills, which not only take the life of a pre-born child, but also present danger to the mothers, has increased since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed restrictions on chemical abortion during the COVID pandemic.

But, a federal judge contends the FDA should have never approved the abortion pill, and a huge ruling was handed down on Friday; Live Action News reported:

District Court Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ruled today to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone, the abortion drug that was approved for use in the United States in 2000. The FDA is likely to appeal the decision. Kacsmaryk gave a week for the order to take effect, giving the Biden administration that time to file an appeal.
The article says that, "The ruling means that mifepristone, the first drug of the abortion pill regimen, no longer has FDA approval and could result in a new FDA review of mifepristone. In anticipation of this ruling, the abortion industry has been planning to move to a misoprostol-only abortion method that carries a high failure rate."

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit challenging the approval of mifepristone last November, and on its website, it states:
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys argued for this result on behalf of four medical groups and four doctors experienced in caring for pregnant and post-abortive women: the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and doctors Shaun Jester, Regina Frost-Clark, Tyler Johnson, and George Delgado.
ADF Senior Counsel Erik Baptist stated, “By illegally approving dangerous chemical abortion drugs, the FDA put women and girls in harm’s way, and it’s high time the agency is held accountable for its reckless actions..." He added: “Pregnancy is not an illness, and chemical abortion drugs don’t provide a therapeutic benefit—they can pose serious and life-threatening complications to the mother, in addition to ending a baby’s life. The FDA never had the authority to approve these hazardous drugs or to remove important safeguards. This is a significant victory for the doctors and medical associations we represent and, more importantly, the health and safety of women and girls.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America reported on its website:
In a separate case, State of Washington v. United States Food and Drug Administration, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction blocking any change in the status quo on mifepristone only in the plaintiff states, but declined to issue a nationwide order.
Katie Glenn, State Policy Director for SBA Pro-Life America, stated, "Finally the FDA is being held accountable for its egregious violation of its own rules to fast-track dangerous abortion drugs to market,” adding, “The abortion drug regimen rubber-stamped by the FDA has proven disastrous for women as well as unborn children, with the FDA’s own data showing women have died."

Trans activists seek to shut down dissent

Accept us - or else...that seems to be the rallying cry of transgender activists who have resorted to violence or at least unruly, non-peaceful protest, in order to silence those that disagree with their abhorrent lifestyle. Case in point: according to, former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines was attacked at an event in which she spoke at San Francisco State University. The article says that, "Gaines posted a video to social media showing her being escorted by police after protesters seemingly surrounded her and followed her through a building's hallways while shouting at her."

The article pointed out that, "The incident involving Gaines followed a Supreme Court’s decision to allow a 12-year-old transgender girl in West Virginia to continue competing on her middle school’s girls sports teams while a lawsuit over a state ban continues."

Recently, according to, on the so-called Transgender Day of Visibility, the Florida House approved legislation that "would restrict the way teachers and students can use preferred pronouns in schools. The legislation also bolsters the ability of concerned parents, students and others to object to instructional materials and school library books." LGBTQ individuals "marched on the Florida Capitol" that day, as activists had done in Kentucky two days prior, when, according to Fox, "state police confirmed 19 people were arrested at the Capitol as large crowds gathered to protest...lawmakers overriding Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of legislation that bans puberty blockers, hormones and gender transition surgeries for children under 18."
And...according to the Fox News website:
Two days earlier in Texas, swaths of trans activists stormed the Capitol as the state House was debating a similar bill banning gender transition procedures for children. Protesters chanted "protect trans kids" and lay on the floor in an apparent effort to obstruct those trying to walk by.

Fox pointed out that "The protests came the same week police identified a transgender individual as the shooter responsible for murdering six people, including three 9-year-old children, in Monday's shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville."  Could it be deflection?  Certainly the actions of the Nashville shooter, Audrey Hale, do not paint the LGBTQ cause in a positive light. 

It is curious that protests occurred in numerous state capitols during the same time period.  In Tennessee, a pro-gun control rally that turned unruly, a series of events that contained transgender support elements that were included in original accounts.  Two of the three lawmakers were actually expelled from the Legislature last Friday.  But, consider the intensity of these rallies just after the Nashville shooting - all contribute to what seems to be an effort to direct attention away from the victims and their families in Nashville. 

Plus, the Daily Mail website reports on the troubling case of William Whitworth, who is reportedly "transitioning" from male to female and uses the name, "Lilly." The article says that, "A transgender teen is in custody after authorities say they recovered a manifesto detailing" the teenager's "plan to attack three schools and churches in Colorado just four days after Audrey Hale murdered six people at the Covenant School in Nashville."

Free speech developments at two Alabama universities

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has agreed to abolish its "speech zones" and craft new policies, according to a settlement agreement reached last week. The Alliance Defending Freedom website says that, "the Circuit Court of Madison County entered a consent order Monday stating that the case will be dismissed once the university amends its policy. In addition to abolishing 'speech zones' and the prior permission requirement, the university’s amended policy also eliminates provisions that granted administrators discretion to deny permission to speak based on the viewpoint of the speaker."

Last November, the Alabama Supreme Court had ruled, according to the wording on the website, "that the university’s speech zones as alleged 'plainly' violate Alabama’s law and that 'serious doubt' existed about the legality of the university’s requirement that even a single student seek permission in advance before speaking in the outdoor areas of campus."

There's also the free speech quest involving an evangelist named Rodney Keister of a ministry called Evangelism Mission. The Christian Post reported that:
Keister attempted to preach on a sidewalk at the Tuscaloosa campus of the University of Alabama, but was told by campus police that he needed to have a permit.

Keister filed suit against the university, with a district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit siding with the school. From there, Keister filed his first appeal with the Supreme Court in 2018, only to have the highest court in the land declined to hear arguments.

In 2019, Keister filed an amended civil rights suit against the university, only to have a federal judge rule against him in 2020 and a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit unanimously ruled against him last year.

“As state-funded entities, universities like the University of Alabama are subject to the First Amendment,” ruled the appeals court panel in March 2022.

“Nevertheless, the First Amendment does not guarantee a private speaker's right to speak publicly on all government property.”

The Christian Post article noted that, "The panel concluded that the sidewalk was a 'limited public forum,' which meant an area 'where only particular subjects may be discussed or that only certain groups may use.'”

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it would not hear the case, so the lower court ruling stands. 

Sunday, April 02, 2023

The 3 - April 2, 2023

In this week's edition of The 3, there is a brief review of the tragic shooting at a Christian school in Nashville and its possible implications - there is also an update on what several states are doing to protect children from permanent physical and emotional damage through surgeries and treatments designed to change their biological sex. Also, a negative attitude toward a Christian event at a local library in Tennessee has resulted in a librarian losing his job.  Plus, the governor of Virginia has signed a bill that protects churches from discrimination in the event of an emergency, which happened in the state during COVID.

Nashville Christian school endures shooting, state momentum on protecting children continues

There are six victims at the hands of a shooter who broke into the school she once attended and began to take lives until she herself was cornered by police and quickly lost her own life.  Because the tragedy occurred at a Christian school and because of the gender identity of the shooter, based on police comments, there has been speculation that the shooter's sexuality may have contributed to what occurred, especially in light of heightened rhetoric and threats within the transgender community.

CBN News reported that following the tragic event...

...investigators found more guns and evidence at Hale's home, including detailed maps, surveillance of the school, and a manifesto, all revealing a planned, targeted attack.

The Washington Stand quoted from Tennessee state representative Tim Burchett, who told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins: "Obviously, it’s a mental health issue, and it’s just a complete and total tragedy,” adding, "I honestly feel like this is some sort of demonic possession that has gotten into our world today. And it’s become accepted."

The article went on to say:

Perkins said the shooting shows that Christian school students are “not beyond the reach of” the “corrupting and chaotic influence of [U.S.] culture.”

Hale’s former classmate at the Nossi College of Art and Design confirmed that the shooter identified as male, using the name “Aiden Hale.” Reporters pressed Drake for additional details about what role Hale’s transgender identity played in the mass murder inside a church-run school.

“Do you have any reason to believe that how she identifies has any motive for targeting the school?" asked one journalist.

“We can give you that at a later time. There is some theory to that,” Drake answered.

Tennessee had just passed strong legislation preventing experimenting on minors by attempting to change their sex through surgeries and treatments.  The state also passed legislation preventing drag performances in front of children.  But, according to the Washington Examiner:

A federal judge in Tennessee temporarily blocked a new state law on Friday that would criminalize drag performances in public or in front of children. The ruling came just hours before the law was set to take effect at midnight.

Judge Thomas Parker issued a temporary restraining order, citing the law as a "vague and overly-broad" restriction to the constitutional protections of freedom of speech.

A number of states have passed legislation to protect children from the "gender identity" agenda, according to The Washington Stand, which reported:

In the first two months of 2023, four state legislatures passed bills offering some degree of protection to minors from health care professionals who would perform gender transition procedures on them. Utah’sSB 16 was signed into law on January 28. South Dakota’sHB 1080 was signed into law on February 14. Mississippi’sHB 1125 was signed into law on February 28. And Tennessee’sSB 1 was signed into law on March 2 (though passed in February).

This legislative progress accelerated in late March, as four state legislatures passed bills in rapid succession.

Those legislatures were in Iowa, Georgia, West Virginia, and Kentucky; about the Bluegrass State, the article said...

...on March 29, the Kentucky General Assembly voted (29-8 in the Senate and 76-23 in the House) to override a veto of SB 150 by Governor Andy Beshear (D). The measure protects children from gender transition procedures, as well as securing school locker rooms and bathrooms from members of the opposite sex and guaranteeing parental rights in education.

Actor's reading event results in librarian being fired

Also, in the Nashville area, actor Kirk Cameron was featured in an event in a library in suburban Hendersonville, Tennessee, reading his children's book, As You GrowThe Christian Post reported that the librarian there was generally unsupportive of the event. 

The article says:

The Sumner County Library Board voted 4-3 to fire Hendersonville Library Director Allan Morales, reported The Tennessean on Thursday, with Mayor John Isbell stating that the termination was "related to the Kirk Cameron event."

Missy Robertson of Duck Dynasty, who was featured at the event, along with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, had "...claimed that the library staff was talking loudly, playing music and banging cabinets when she and Cameron attempted to film a promotional video on the day of the event." The Post article also stated:

According to Robertson, a Brave Books team member then asked someone in charge if they could ask their staff to keep it down for a few minutes. While Robertson didn't mention Morales by name, that person allegedly told the Brave Books team member something to the extent of, "You're not even supposed to be here anyway."

According to the reality star, there had been "tension" leading up to the event, as some unnamed individual had attempted to lead a campaign against the library event.

The article goes on to say:

In a series of email messages between the library and a Brave Books representative obtained by CP, the former library director appeared concerned about the event's size and that it would be political.

The former library director noted that a recent Fox News article had created a "stir" and that the activities and guest appearances described by the outlet were not part of an original agreement.

County Commissioner Tim Jones made comments on the incident on Facebook. The article notes that Jones indicated that "Brave Books had a contract with the library stipulating that they could use the facility's community room for the event and that Morales 'reluctantly agreed' to let the group use the foyer to film promotional videos." It went on to say: "Jones believes that Morales did not intervene when his staff became disruptive, and he maintained a negative attitude despite the mayor expressing support for the event."

Virginia bill protects churches during emergencies

In state after state during the coronavirus pandemic, you saw governments that treated churches as second-class citizens, determining that churches were "non-essential" and had to remain closed, while businesses of different types, including liquor stores and abortion clinics, were allowed to stay open.

The state of Virginia had stringent regulations in effect, and a different governor, Glenn Youngkin has been elected.  Alliance Defending Freedom reported on its website that Youngkin signed "a bill that ensures churches are allowed to remain open during a state of emergency on the same or better terms as other businesses and services.

ADF Legal Counsel Greg Chafuen commented by saying:
While public officials have the authority and responsibility to protect public health and safety, the First Amendment prohibits the government from treating churches worse than shopping centers, restaurants, or gyms. This bill takes the modest step of ensuring that officials cannot use a public crisis to discriminate against religious services in churches and other houses of worship.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

The 3 - March 26, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, highlighting three stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes on update on concerns by pro-life organizations about what seems to be a slow-walk on arrest and prosecution of people responsible for attacks on pro-life organizations and churches, including a recently-filed lawsuit.  Also, a British Bible college professor tweeted out a strong statement on homosexuality and lost his position for it.  Plus, another state can be added to the growing list who have prevented doctors from performing gender change surgeries on minors. 

Attacks on pro-life centers provoke requests for information, lawsuit

Violence against pro-life pregnancy resource centers and churches continues to be an issue of concern; even over the last few weeks.  And, there is concern that federal law enforcement is turning a blind eye toward the attacks.

CompassCare, which operates three centers in New York state, reports on its website that its Buffalo center was attacked for the second time earlier this month; the site notes: "On March 16, CompassCare’s pro-life medical office in Buffalo was attacked again by pro-abortion, Maoist Antifa. The first time was on June 7th, 2022, with the catastrophic firebombing, injuring two firefighters."

The story notes that on February 20, CEO of Compass Care, James Harden, "...was concerned that another wave of pro-abortion Antifa violence was coming and asked if the FBI was planning on issuing a threat alert to Christian pro-life people and organizations similar to what they did for the Jewish community in New Jersey on November 3, 2022. They did not respond and issued no warnings."

The story noted, "The Washington Post leaked that the judge hearing the controversial abortion pill case was facing death threats along with his family and court staff while violent rhetoric continued to increase..."

On Saturday, March 25, a suspect was arrested pursuant to the most recent attack on March 16 on CompassCare’s pro-life medical office in Buffalo. According to a press release issued by the Amherst Police Department (APD), 39-year-old Hannah Kamke was arrested for one count of criminal mischief, a Class E felony carrying a mandatory 1-5 year prison sentence if convicted. This would be on top of any potential punishment precipitated by federal charges brought by the Department of Justice for a violation of the FACE Act.
The Christian Post reported that in September of last year, a number of pro-life organizations filed a Freedom of Information Act request about the Department of Justice response, or lack of response, to concerns that had been expressed.  The article states:
On Feb. 27, nearly five months after the plaintiffs and the other organizations submitted the FOIA request, the FBI informed them that it had closed the request because it did not "contain enough descriptive information to permit a search of our records." The complaint characterized the defendants' failure to respond to the FOIA request as a violation of federal law and DOJ regulations.
In light of this rebuff, the Heritage Foundation and Advancing American Freedom filed a lawsuit in federal court last week; the Christian Post reports, "The complaint maintains that the federal law enforcement agency has taken insufficient action to address violence directed at churches and pro-life pregnancy centers in recent years, including some that have been firebombed."  It goes on to say:
The plaintiffs are asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "order defendant to conduct a search or searches reasonably calculated to uncover all records responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA Request" and produce all relevant documents within 20 days of the court order.

The article noted that Attorney General Merrick Garland had testified before a U.S. Senate committee earlier this month, stating:

"You are quite right, there are many more prosecutions with respect to the blocking of the abortion centers, but that is generally because those actions are taken with photography at the time, during the daylight," Garland said. "Seeing the person who did it is quite easy."

"Those who are attacking the pregnancy resource centers, which is a horrid thing to do, are doing this at night, in the dark," he added.
James Harden of CompassCare, according to its website, contends that the Attorney General is "covering for" Kristen Clarke, whom he describes as "a known Antifa sympathizer and public hater of pro-life pregnancy centers," who leads the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, under whose authority investigations of these instances would fall.

Bible college professor in UK loses job over tweet on homosexuality

Aaron Edwards was a professor at Cliff College, which is described as a "Bible college" by CBN News, which reported on why Edwards is no longer employed at the school, which is located in the U.K.

His tweet was embedded in the story at; it said:
Homosexuality is invading the Church. 

Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this b/c they're busy apologising for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it's true. 

This *is* a "Gospel issue", by the way. If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Saviour.

CBN reports that "College administrators fired Edwards for 'bringing the college into disrepute' with his tweet addressing homosexuality."

The article goes on to say:

The professor’s counsel at the Christian Legal Centre accused a senior staff member of saying his client’s words “could be extremely damaging” and “impact the college’s core work” and “business plan,” Fox News reported.

In a statement to Fox, Edwards said: “The reaction to my tweet and the unjust treatment I have experienced by Cliff College and the Methodist Church in Britain completely illustrates the problem my tweet addressed,” adding:

“The tweet was not defamatory; it was not an attack on any colleague or individual; it was not abusive; and it was not an extremist religious view. It was addressed to evangelicals as a point of doctrine, and it has been misunderstood by many who wish to cause personal and institutional trouble for those who express that view.”

And, the article reports that in a disciplinary hearing, school officials had discussed reporting Edwards to a British organization that monitors terrorism.

Another state bans surgeries and treatments that claim to change children's sex

The Georgia Assembly, its Legislature, voted last week to prevent surgeries on minors that are designed to change their sex and to ban the usage of cross-sex hormones. The Post Millennial reported last week that:

Georgia has become the latest state to pass a bill banning doctors from prescribing cross-sex hormones or conducting surgeries related to a gender dysphoria diagnosis on minors.

On March 17, 2023, SB 140 passed the state house with an amendment that allows for doctors to be sued civilly and criminally for violating the law. On Tuesday, the bill passed with the amendment in the State Senate and is heading to Governor Brian Kemp's desk, where he is expected to sign.

There was concern expressed that the bill did not ban puberty blockers.

Fox5Atlanta reported that Governor Kemp signed the bill on Thursday and said, in a statement, " elected leaders, it is our highest responsibility to safeguard the bright, promising, futures of our kids - and SB 140 takes an important step in fulfilling that mission."

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The 3 - March 19, 2023

This week's edition of The 3 features several developments regarding the distribution of the abortion pill, including a new law in Wyoming and a hearing before a federal judge.  Also, an Iranian pastor and two other Christians have been released from captivity in Iran.  And, a Vermont Christian school that forfeited a girls' basketball game that included a biological male has now been punished by a state board. 

Pharmacy chain refuses to sell abortion pill in over 20 states, one state governor balks

There has been quite a bit of news recently about the sale of the so-called abortion pill, which is now reportedly the most popular method of terminating a baby's life - and has been proven to be quite dangerous.

SBA Pro-Life America reported last week that in Wyoming, "Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill to prohibit dangerous chemical abortion drugs." In a press release found at the organization's website, its Western Regional Director Adam Schwend is quoted as saying:

“We thank Gov. Gordon for signing SF 109 to prohibit dangerous abortion drugs that can cause hemorrhaging, the need for surgery and even death. According to Medicaid data, the rate of chemical abortion-related ER visits have increased 500% since mifepristone was approved. Wyoming’s new law will limit the abortion industry’s ability to jeopardize the health and safety of women and girls.

“The new chemical abortion law, along with the Human Life Protection Act and extending postpartum Medicaid coverage, make Wyoming one of the most pro-life states in the country.”

Meanwhile, last week, a Federal judge held a hearing on the FDA's approval of the abortion pill, in a lawsuit brought by several pro-life organizations. Live Action News reported:

The lawsuit was initially filed in November of 2022 on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM), a nonprofit membership organization representing nearly 30,000 health-care professionals including major medical groups such as the American College of Pediatricians, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. The group sued the federal government for “illegally approving chemical abortion drugs that harm women and girls.”

At a press conference following arguments before the court, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Erik Baptist and Dr. Donna Harrison (Chair of AHM), reiterated their case against the FDA.
Baptist said, "As time has gone on, the FDA has ignored the warnings from our clients about these drugs and has rolled back safeguards that make these drugs even more dangerous to take," adding, "The FDA never studied the safety of the drug regimen and disregarded clear evidence that the pills cause life threatening complications. As a result of ignoring the science, women and girls became victims of the FDA’s reckless, agenda-driven approval.”

Harrison is quoted as saying: “As the FDA has removed safeguards around the drugs, women and girls have been left more vulnerable than ever. These women most often have to face the trauma of passing a dead child and risk bleeding out and dealing with deadly infections alone, with no doctor either present or even involved to get her the attention she needs.”

Meanwhile, Baptist said, "After years of evading responsibility, it’s time for the government to do what it’s legally required to do: protect the health and safety of vulnerable women and girls. We hope the court will agree the FDA never had the authority to approve these dangerous drugs and reject the rolled-back protections and distribution of them.”

And, in related news, The Washington Stand had reported that week before last, "Walgreens would not sell the abortion pill mifepristone in the 20 states where pro-life attorneys general say distribution would violate state and federal law."  This prompted California governor Gavin Newsom to attempt to punish Walgreens for its decision.  The article, published March 8, related:

“California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” declared Newsom on Twitter Monday afternoon. “We’re done.” California, which has 13 million people on its Medicaid program alone, “is reviewing all relationships between Walgreens and the state,” said Newsom spokesman Brandon Richards.

Pastor, other Christians released in Iran

An Iranian pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, who, according to, was "once sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy," has become the "third Christian convert recently released from prison as part of the government’s annual amnesty marking the anniversary of the 1979 revolution."

He has been in and out of prison since that original death sentence in 2010, after which he was declared not guilty for apostasy.  But, he had been arrested for other so-called "crimes," including involvement in establishing house churches, and in 2018, had been serving a 10-year sentence at Iran's notorious Evin Prison. 

The Christian News article, from Morning Star News, said that the pastor was released in late February, "following the pardon and release earlier in the month of Hadi Rahimi and Zaman Fadaei, religious freedom advocates said. While welcoming the releases, they noted that those released had already served significant portions of their sentences in cases marred by legal irregularities even by Iranian standards." A representative of Middle East Concern stated, "Their pardon hardly addresses the injustice of the original sentencing and suffering that the men and their families endured,” adding, “But we are glad for their sakes that they are free and with their families again.”

The article notes: 
The February pardons were part of a larger game of musical chairs the Iranian state plays with prisoners of conscience, including religious conscience. On Jan. 28, authorities released Anahita Khademi, a Christian convert, on a bail bond of 180 million toman (about US$4,000) in connection with various charges, including distributing “propaganda against the system” and “disturbing public opinion.”

VT Christian school faces tournament ban for forfeiting game with transgender player

Not only is it unfair for biological males claiming to be female to compete in female sports, but it presents a threat to player safety, according to a Vermont Christian school team that forfeited a game recently, according to The Daily Citizen, which quoted from a statement from Mid Vermont Christian School to Fox News, published at National Review: “We believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

But, as The Daily Citizen reports, "Yet, in response to MVCS’ decision, their entire school is now being punished, excluded, and caste [sic] aside in the name of 'inclusion' and 'fairness.'"  The Vermont Principals Association, in a statement, said: "The VPA’s Executive Council met today, March 13th, 2023 to discuss the relevant forfeiture. The result was a determination that policies have been violated at the school level, thus there is an immediate determination of ineligibility for Mid-Vermont Christian in VPA sanctioned activities and tournaments going forward."

The article states, "All Christians should be calling foul at that decision."

The article points out that in events sponsored by the Association, a statement is read, and the article states that VPA "tells attendees and athletes to maintain respect for everyone’s religion,' but then punishes Christians for living up to their deeply held religious convictions – not to mention basic biological facts."

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The 3 - March 12, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, spotlighting three stories of relevance to the Christian community, including a story out of UK about a pro-life advocate who has now been arrested twice for praying outside an abortion clinic against the backdrop of a new law, which has been extended throughout the UK.  Also, a controversial nominee to the Federal Communications Commission has withdrawn her name from consideration.  Plus, the issue of biological males competing in girls' sports has had some developments recently, including proposed federal legislation. 

Pro-life lady in UK arrested for silent prayer at abortion clinic arrested again; new law passed

Perhaps you're familiar with the case of a British lady named Isabel Vaughn-Spruce.  In December, she was arrested in front of an abortion clinic engaging in silent prayer.  According to Liberty University's Standing for Freedom Center:

Vaughn-Spruce was initially arrested on December 6 for violating the Public Space Protection Order after police received a complaint that she might be praying silently in her head. Police searched and arrested her and she was charged with protesting and engaging in an act that is intimidating to service users, even though she was praying outside of operational hours. The charges were later dropped, but when police said she could be re-arrested in the future, Vaughn-Spruce sought an official ruling and a judge found her not guilty.
Just days ago, according to the article, Vaughn-Spruce was arrested again for silent prayer outside the clinic. The story goes on to say that the day that she was arrested again, "Parliament voted to expand censorial buffer zones around all abortion clinics across the U.K., banning anyone from attempting to influence — through thought, word, or deed — a woman’s decision to have an abortion."  The website, in the article published last Wednesday, said: 
Yesterday’s vote effectively expands the Public Spaces Protection Order across the entirety of England and Wales. That law, first implemented in October in five local councils, made it illegal to engage in various forms of “protest” in areas surrounding abortion clinics. Since then, multiple pro-lifers have been arrested for praying silently, including Isabel Vaughn-Spruce, who was charged by police in December and again this past Monday for the crime of “praying in her mind.”
Member of Parliament Danny Kruger said: “We are making a momentous step, we are crossing an enormous river. When we criminalize prayer… or indeed consensual conversations… we are doing something of enormous significance.”  Jeremiah Igunnubole of Alliance Defending Freedom UK, stated, " is extremely regrettable that Parliament, which exists to protect and champion the rights of the electorate, has taken a clear stance against fundamental freedoms, opening the door for nationwide thought-crime prosecution.”

FCC nominee withdraws from nomination

After three Senate hearings, hours of testimony, and opposition stated by advocacy groups like National Religious Broadcasters, Gigi Sohn, nominated to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, withdrew her nomination. The Washington Post quoted from the ex-nominee, who said, "The unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks on my character and my career as an advocate for the public interest have taken an enormous toll on me and my family." 

But, as Troy Miller, the CEO of NRB had stated, “Ms. Sohn is an activist lawyer who has made no secret of her contempt for conservative media,” adding, “As a professional association that exists to keep platforms open for Christian communicators, we have serious concern about Ms. Sohn’s demonstrated hostility to broadcasters and her apparent openness to the use of FCC regulatory action to censor ideas with which she personally disagrees.”  Miller noted that Sohn could possibly act by "jeopardizing broadcast licenses to limit what kinds of political perspectives can be expressed on-air."  

Developments occur on the issue of biological males in women's sports 

Across the nation, the allowing of biological males to compete against girls in female sports is facing challenges.  One of the most recent developments has to do with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to become involved in a case out of West Virginia, in which a law was passed to prevent male participation in female sports, which was upheld by a federal district court and placed on hold by an appeals court.  An article at states that a soccer player from the state, Lainey Armistead "...and her lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on her case against the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). That group is trying to strike down West Virginia's Save Women's Sports Act, which bans male student athletes who identify and present themselves as female from playing on girls' school sports teams."

18 states have passed legislation to prevent boys from competing in girls' sports. And, there is activity on the Federal level; ADF, on its website, reported on the introduction into the U.S. Senate of the "Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, a bill that protects women’s sports by clarifying that allowing males to compete on women’s teams violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for federally funded schools and colleges..."

Similar legislation has been introduced into the House, according to Alliance Defending Freedom's website, which also reported that a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit had upheld a policy in Connecticut allowing male participation in female sports, but that decision will be reviewed by the entire court; ADF's Christiana Kiefer stated: "We’re pleased the 2nd Circuit has decided to rehear this important case, and we urge the court to protect women’s athletic opportunities. Eighteen states have enacted laws that protect women and girls from having to compete against males, and polls show that a majority of Americans agree that the competition is no longer fair when males are permitted to compete in women’s sports. Every woman deserves the respect and dignity that comes with having an equal opportunity to excel and win in athletics, and ADF remains committed to protecting the future of women’s sports.”

Sunday, March 05, 2023

The 3 - March 5, 2023

This week's edition of The 3, highlighting three stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes developments on the gender identity front, with two states recently approving laws to protect children from damaging treatments and surgeries that falsely claim to help a child change his or her biological sex.  Also, a pro-life reality TV star's miscarriage has been mischaracterized by those who want to make her look as if she is being hypocritical.  And, a California teacher has lost her job because she would not be dishonest regarding disclosing information about a child's declaration of "gender identity" and the use of pronouns that do not represent a child's biological sex. 

MS, TN governors sign laws to protect children from gender treatments and surgeries

Liberty Counsel began a piece on its website in this way:

As the gender ideology assault on America’s children continues, state legislators are pushing back with legislation to protect minors from harmful puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries.

Approximately 100 bills have been proposed in 27 states aimed at protecting children from accessing hormone blocking drugs, surgeries and other types of “gender-affirming care.” Other draft laws being debated in state legislatures entail pronoun use in schools and biological boys in girls’ sports teams and bathrooms.

It noted that...

...Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law HB 1125, known as the “Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures Act,” which prohibits puberty blockers and any “gender transition” medical procedures on minors.

The Clarion-Ledger quoted the governor:

"There is a dangerous movement that's spreading across America today. It's advancing under the guise of a false ideology, and pseudoscience is being pushed onto our children through radical activists, social media and online influencers, and it's trying to convince our children that they are in the wrong body," Reeves said. "This dangerous movement attempts to convince these children that they're just a surgery away from happiness. It threatens our children's innocence, and it threatens their health."

Meanwhile, just a few days afterward, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill that would ban these types of treatments and surgeries for minors and protected children in another way.

Regarding the first bill, The Tennessean says that House Majority Leader William Lamberth, who sponsored the legislation, "said minors lack the maturity to make 'life-altering' medical decisions before they become adults." He added, "These treatments and procedures have a lifetime of negative consequences that are irreversible..." The article also reported that the governor signed a bill that would prevent drag shows from being performed in the presence of children:

Lee also signed off on a new law to prohibit "adult-oriented" entertainment, including "male and female impersonators," from public property and limit it to age-restricted venues.

Pro-life organizations respond to distortion of Christian reality star's miscarriage

Since the Dobbs decision returning abortion laws to the states, there has been a significant amount of misrepresentation from the pro-abortion side about the effects of overturning Roe v. Wade

Live Action reported on a recent instance, in which reality star Jessa Duggar Seewald's miscarriage was characterized in an irresponsible way. The article stated:

Seewald shared a video about her miscarriage on YouTube, expressing her heartbreak after the loss of her fifth child. After she began bleeding, she visited the doctor, who told her the outcome didn’t look good. “Nothing could have prepared me for the weight of those words in that moment,” she said in the video. “At that moment I was just in complete shock. I didn’t have words. I just immediately started crying.”

Because she had health risks preventing her from passing the body of her preborn child at home, she had to have a post-miscarriage dilation and curettage, or D&C. “I was able to thank God in that moment for giving us this life, even if we wouldn’t be able to hold this baby in our arms,” she said, adding, “Those 10 to 15 minutes before I was taken back to the room where Ben and my mom were waiting were probably some of the hardest in my life, just laying there feeling so alone.”

But some with a pro-abortion bent claimed she had had an abortion. Lila Rose of Live Action did not mince words; she tweeted out, “This is at best ignorance, at worst a cruel lie. Jessa miscarried. Her baby passed away & she needed a surgery to remove her little one’s body. An abortion intentionally kills a living baby. Abortion is an intentional act of homicide, a miscarriage is a tragic natural death.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute issued a statement regarding the coverage of the incident by Parade Magazine; saying: "Lozier Institute today called on Parade Magazine to apologize to Jessa Duggar Seewald and the millions of women who have walked through the valley of miscarriage, which the magazine chose to conflate with the intentional killing of an unborn child."

Dr. Ingrid Skop of the Institute, a practicing OB/GYN doctor, stated:

Parade chose to misrepresent Jessa Duggar Seewald’s tragic pregnancy loss and in doing so rekindled the hurt, sadness and grief experienced by thousands of women, their partners, and their families every year. Parade’s decision places the online media outlet’s pro-abortion ideology over basic human empathy. There is nothing pro-woman about their coverage.

California teacher loses job for not using gender pronouns

When students demand that teacher call them by pronouns corresponding to their so-called "gender identity," essentially, the teacher is being asked not to tell the truth about their biological sex. It is also unethical and unbiblical for a teacher to hide students' declaration of their gender identity from their parents. A California teacher is no longer employed by her school district because of her refusal to comply with the district's LGBTQ-friendly policies.

An article at The Washington Stand stated:

Jurupa Unified School District served physical education teacher Jessica Tapia, mother of three, with a Notice of Unprofessional Conduct for not embracing the district’s new polices promoting transgender identities and, on January 31, fired her after determining it could not accommodate her religious beliefs.
District administrators directed Tapia “to refrain from disclosing the gender identity of a student who is transgender to a parent who does not know the student’s gender identity” and “to address students by their preferred name and preferred gender pronouns.” But she told them that her religious beliefs made her “unable to comply” with the two directives.
Article writer Joshua Arnold said that in a meeting with school district officials last fall, according to Tapia, "I made sure to clarify..., too, with [the] district personnel that were sitting across from me. I looked them in the eye, and I said, ‘Are you asking me to lie to parents?’ and they said, ‘Yes. It’s the law.’”  

Arnold notes: 
This is false, of course. California law stipulates that “parents … have an absolute right to access to any and all pupil records related to their children.” In fact, accessing student records requires parental consent most cases. But if a school district is simply following the direction of the California Department of Education (CDE), they wouldn’t know that.

The article concludes by saying:

Tapia said she doesn’t believe God is “calling us to love by affirming those lies and confusion. I believe firmly that God created man and woman, and you are who he made you to be. And when someone has confusion about that, I believe that’s lies and confusion from the devil.”