Last week the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act could not force "closely held companies" (in this case, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties) to furnish abortifacients in corporate insurance plans. The case has been hailed a serious victory by religious freedom advocates and pro-life groups.
The Left has been declaring scorched earth since the decision, from Justice Ginsburg's apocalyptic dissent to various expressions of unbridled outrage across the blogosphere. Such feral shrieking is disturbing enough, but Harry Reid recently upped the ante by promising to "do something" to ensure that abortion-inducing contraceptives are provided by all employers despite "the values of 5 white men." We'll assume the Senator misspoke and did not mean to imply that Clarence Thomas's rejection of the administration's arguments amounts to a defection to Caucasia.
Such gaffes are understandable, considering that today's liberals are not accustomed to losing in court. This year alone has been a banner year for the cause of same sex marriage; the laws of 13 states defining marriage traditionally have been thrown out by judges in 2014. The last year has seen an astonishing amount of socially conservative photographers, bakers and other businesspeople be forced to surrender either their convictions or their businesses. There can be no serious question which side of the political spectrum has been on the winning end of the judicial stick. more >>
In a newsletter emailed to supporters this week, Florida pastor Paula White claims that God has shown her that "this is a season of victory for His people." The Christian minister also reveals a strong feeling "that a seed of $229 in accordance with 1 Chronicles 22:9 is a breakthrough seed for the month of July," and declares to recipients of her newsletter, "Do not hesitate to follow a prophetic instruction!"
White, who formerly led Without Walls Church International with ex-husband Randy White, is senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida.
In a newsletter emailed on Thursday to Paula White Ministries supporters, and titled "This Email Will Change Your Life!" White asserts: "YOU are on the verge of complete breakthrough in every area of your life. Spiritually, Financially, and Relationally God has shown me that this is a season of victory for His people." more >>
Pastors and churches have been banned from helping the thousands of illegal immigrant children housed in border detention facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, clergy in Texas and Arizona tell me.
"Border Patrol told us pastors and churches are not allowed to visit," said Kyle Coffin, the pastor of CrossRoads Church in Tucson, Arizona. "It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there -- even credentialed pastors."
A public affairs officer for the Border Patrol confirmed that ministers and church groups have been banned from the Nogales Placement Center. more >>
In a sense, we're all on death row. Death is on my mind because of the recent death of my much-missed older brother, Doug. I am so grateful he died as a Christian. To die in Christ is gain.
In our culture, we do just about everything we can to push death away from our thoughts. Often we don't even use the words. We'll say things like, "He passed away" or just "he passed." But these are just euphemisms for "he died."
There is an interesting contrast between the Puritans and us, when it comes to sex and death. Sex was all hush-hush, while death was front and center. more >>
It's been almost a week since the Supreme Court issued their ruling on the Hobby Lobby case, and there appears to be no end in sight to the Left's outrage over the outcome. As expected, given the controversial nature of the issue at hand, most of the ire is reflexive and purely visceral. It's unlikely that many are taking the time to actually educate themselves on the Court's reasoning behind the decision. In their eyes, misogyny and religious fanaticism won out over women's rights, period. On the Right, there is a temptation to fall into essentially the same error: ascribing moral significance to what is in reality a legal decision. While its understandable that conscientious Christians are heartened by the outcome of this case, we must understand that the Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case had virtually nothing to do with the Justices' personal beliefs about the morality of abortifacient drugs, and everything to do – as should be the case – with the law.
In the face of the hysterical fallout over this decision, legal scholar Eugene Volokh penned a piece for The Washington Post aiming to explain the reasoning behind the Court's ruling in layman's terms. He distilled the decision into five simple points, which I've paraphrased here:
1. Congress has decided that religious objectors may go to court to demand religious exemptions from federal laws, when the law makes them do things that they view as religiously forbidden. more >>
Christian preacher Francis Chan and his wife, Lisa Chan, have written a new book for couples who may be so caught up in trying to have the perfect marriage that they have unwittingly made their union, spouse or children into idols.
"The whole idea behind it is, sometimes couples can get so wrapped up on things here to where they're not focused on the kingdom," explains Mr. Chan in a promotional video for You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity.
In the video, Lisa Chan suggests that marriages are about a mission, and not "about how satisfied and happy are we with one another." Her husband points to 1 Corinthians 7, where the Apostle Paul discusses marriage as a potential distraction. Mr. Chan notes that "he was saying how we want to secure undistracted or undivided devotion to the Lord." more >>