Friday Five: Cooper restricts, Cunningham concedes, & more

Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families. 

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1. CAROLINA JOURNAL: Cooper tightens restrictions as state treasurer questions COVID-19 measures

“Gov. Roy Cooper moved North Carolina backward in economic reopening in another virtual news conference that shut out conservative publications. 

Cooper tightened restrictions on indoor mass gatherings, dropping the maximum allowed gatherings from 25 people to 10 people. He said he is targeting family groups and community gatherings, like those held around Thanksgiving.

The new limits, which take effect at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, won’t apply to schools or churches. Cooper didn’t say whether he will require travelers to quarantine if they’re coming from out of state, but he confirmed such measures remain “on the table” during a press conference Tuesday.  

Cooper has held virtual meetings and news conferences since March. The virtual format allows him to screen reporters and shut out media outlets he chooses not to address. State Treasurer Dale Folwell argues that North Carolina residents deserve open, transparent meetings.

‘We have to be willing to challenge an assumption without someone having the ability to adjourn the meeting by hitting a button,’ Folwell said in his monthly ‘Ask Me Anything,’ Tuesday, Nov. 10. ‘Not having open, transparent conversations … it’s beyond bizarre.’”

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2. WRAL: Wake officials finish counting absentee, provisional ballots. As of late Thursday, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley now leads Justice Paul Newby by 400 votes

“Every last vote could wind up counting in the race for state Supreme Court chief justice.

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, took the lead over Republican Justice Paul Newby by about 400 votes late Thursday. Newby had led in the race since election night.

The race is the closest of any statewide race in North Carolina, and it could go to a recount if the two judges are separated by fewer than 10,000 once all of the counties certify their results on Friday.”

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3. AP: In major blow to Democrat prospects of taking the Senate, Cunningham concedes to U.S. Senator Thom Tillis in North Carolina

“Democrat Cal Cunningham conceded to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina on Tuesday, saying “the voters have spoken” and it was clear Tillis had won.

With Cunningham’s concession, all eyes turned to Georgia, where two U.S. Senate runoff races in January are likely to determine the balance of the upper chamber.

With votes still uncounted and the races in North Carolina and Alaska still too early to call Tuesday, the Senate remained tied 48-48. Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan is favored for another term against Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. If the Senate ended up tied 50-50, Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would wield the tiebreaking vote.”

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4. THE CONSERVATIVE PUNDIT: Fitzgerald: No one wants an HB2 debate, again!

“It is shocking that mayors in Charlotte and other North Carolina cities would spend time and effort to reboot the divisive and tired debate on HB2 which resulted in boycotts and lost business. At a time of high unemployment and looming municipal deficits when our communities should be working together to recover from COVID-19, we question their priorities.

Every person should be treated with dignity and respect. And our laws should protect the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of every citizen, no matter who they are. Unfortunately, coercive sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”) laws like the ordinances pushed by Equality NC undermine both fairness and freedom.”

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5. URGENT: Urgent Need for Volunteers in Georgia for Recount!

Georgia will begin a full statewide recount and audit of its presidential election results for the first time in the state’s history. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger explained, “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once. It will be a heavy lift but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification.

Volunteers are also needed to help ensure an open, fair, and honest election during the Senate runoff on January 5. Please sign up on the same form.

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WEEKLY PRAYER: FAMILY

LORD, we cry out to you as Father. You are a model of the love, mercy, and authority of the perfect parent. We thank you for modeling for us what every parent should strive for, and for creating this wonderful institution called family. 

LORD, we thank you for creating us with a basic nature designed to not be alone. You made us to desire the intimacy of relationships, and it is here where we experience joys indescribable: the joys of marriage, the joys of having children; the joys of seeing our children have children. What a blessing and mercy you gave us in the family! In it we find our first teachers, our first guardians, and our first authorities. 

LORD, we recognize how deeply you love your children, and how deeply it pains you when they go astray. Alongside our adoration and thanksgiving, we pray in confession--as individuals and as members of larger communities--over any sins we may have committed that undermine your beloved institution. Forgive us when we endanger your institution through selfishness and arrogance. Forgive our communities and nation for attempting to redefine some of the most basic and deepest parts of being human--being made male and female, having lifelong marriage vows and responsibilities, and having parental rights over educating one's children. 

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17)

Amen

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Sincerely,

North Carolina Values Coalition

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