Friday Five: Important Court updates, Drag Queen story hour in Raleigh, and 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. FOX NEWS: Supreme Court rules NC Congressional Districts don’t need to be redrawn—political gerrymandering is not unconstitutional

"The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, vacated federal court rulings in North Carolina and Maryland, restoring Congressional districts that critics say had been gerrymandered for partisan reasons.

The opinion on gerrymandering, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, stated that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to rule on political questions such as this. It is up to lawmakers to deal with such issues."

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2. WRAL: Drag Queen Story Hour coming to Raleigh

"A local group is hosting what might be the first Drag Queen Story Hour in Raleigh this weekend. The event is slated for 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, June 29, at Medicine Mama's Farmacy, 4701 Atlantic Ave.

It's part of a national movement in libraries, schools and bookstores where drag queens read stories to children. The events have lured crowds at some venues and sparked outrage and protests at others."

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3. WSOCTV: Charlotte City Council noise ordinance silences Pro-Lifers

“This is really about squelching free speech of those who are pro-life,” the Rev. Leon Threatt said.

More than 120 people signed up to address the Charlotte City Council [90% of whom represented Love Life Charlotte in speaking against the ordinance]. Dozens of members of Love Life Charlotte sang and prayed in the lobby while the meeting was underway.

“Just because a nation has legalized something doesn't make it morally right,” Love Life Charlotte founder Justin Reeder said.

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4. AMERICAN THINKER: Making LGBT a Protected Class Will Kill Religious Liberty

"The current campaign to amend federal and state civil rights laws to extend protections to sexual orientation and gender identity isn't meant to eliminate discrimination — it's meant to eliminate religious freedom.

What else are we to believe when proponents of such amendments tell us as much?

Earlier this month, Michigan State Senator Jeremy Moss introduced legislation to amend the state's civil rights law to add sexual orientation and sexual identity as protected classes. One of the main objections to changing the law before now has been the harm it must do to conscience protections and the free exercise of religion. Like their federal cousin, the Equality Act, these laws can't ensure equality because, as gay writer Brad Polumbo explains, they work by "elevating [LGBT] rights over those of religious Americans."

Earlier this spring, leading Democrats in North Carolina introduced a similar bill called the Equality for All bill (HB 514 and SB 455) that would amend the North Carolina’s laws on housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, insurance, education, and jury service to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under anti-discrimination provisions. The bill, if passed, would essentially eliminate religious freedom just as the Equality Act does.

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5. COURT UPDATES: Supreme Court upholds cross on public land in Maryland; Appeals court allows Trump abortion referral ban to take effect

"A 40-foot-tall, World War I memorial cross can continue to stand on public land in Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in an important decision about the use of religious symbols in American life.

The justices said preserving a long-standing religious monument is very different from allowing the building of a new one. And the court concluded that the nearly 100-year-old memorial’s presence on a grassy highway median doesn’t violate the Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring one religion over others. Seven of the court’s nine justices sided with the cross’ backers, a lineup that crossed ideological lines."

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"The Trump administration’s plan to ban federally funded family planning clinics from giving abortion referrals will be allowed to go into effect nationwide, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. 

The ruling means the administration can implement a rule issued earlier this year that bans abortion providers from participating in the Title X family planning program, removes a requirement that clinics provide abortion counseling, and bars providers from referring women for abortions."

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WEEKLY PRAYER: OFFICIALS

LORD, we pray over the affairs of our country. You instructed us to pray for our elected and public officials, and so we raise our hands before you in public petition. We pray in particular over the Supreme Court and the various other federal and state courts. LORD, the past 6 months have especially evidenced the importance of this institution to the protection of our religious liberty. LORD, we pray protection and wisdom over them. May their judgments match your justice.

Grant all our public officials and servants humility, wisdom, and guidance.

Amen

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