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. Do you enjoy and benefit from NC Values' Friday Five? Would you consider making a $5 donation?
1. Justice Kennedy may be key to Jack Phillips' freedom
"A week has passed since oral arguments were made before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and an attorney says there is optimism that Colorado baker Jack Phillips will prevail.
"I'm a bit more optimistic than I was going in," says attorney Travis Weber of the Family Research Council. "And I think that's the general feeling of most people."
Weber was among the small audience that watched the Dec. 5 oral arguments unfold, describing in a Daily Signal story a fast-paced hearing in which justices grilled Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristin Waggonner and ACLU attorneys representing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
"We don't know for sure, obviously, until the Court rules," Weber tells OneNewsNow. "But there was a lot of attention unexpectedly focused on the free exercise argument, under the First Amendment, the idea that [Phillips] has a free exercise of religion here and the Colorado proceedings singled him out and targeted his religious beliefs.""
2. Bill banning Down syndrome abortions passes in Ohio, heads to Kasich's desk
"The GOP-led Ohio state Senate on Wednesday passed a ban on abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, and Republican Gov. John Kasich has sent signals that he will soon sign the measure into law."
3. Maine teachers forbidden from telling parents of their children's gender confusions, Charlotte Schools adopt same policy
"Teachers in Portland, Maine are now required to use students’ preferred gender pronouns and side with the children if their parents object to enabling their gender confusion.
The teachers will also be forced to undergo training on transgenderism. They are not allowed to tell parents if their children identify as transgender unless the children allow them to do so."
This same policy has been adopted by Charlotte schools and teachers have been told to refer to their students as "students" instead of using gender specific pronouns until the students themselves decide on their preferred pronoun.
4. Will the Trump Administration Push Back Against Transgender Ideology in Schools?
"At the heart of American liberty is parents’ right and freedom to form the worldview of their children. Insistence on adherence to a new sexual orthodoxy undermines that right. It trains children to disregard anything that conflicts with the new orthodoxy, whether it comes from parents, from religion, or even from science.
And what about the parents of children who are perhaps the most victimized by this new regime—the students who consider themselves transgender? Faced with the nebulous “guidance” in the new letter, risk-averse school administrators will be intimidated into accommodating every child’s confusion. While there are certainly parents who are willing and even eager to play along with the fantasy, many parents are horrified at the thought that their daughter would be treated as a boy or their son as a girl.
No bureaucrat has the right to substitute his or her own judgment for that of parents—especially in such a delicate and hotly debated area as gender identity. Nor can it be seriously argued that the judgment of parents who observe the authority of biology must be overturned because these parents are harming their confused children. The guidance letter’s failure even to mention parental rights is deeply troubling."
5. NC Values Starts Cumberland Protect Our Students Initiative Petition
If you agree that #PlannedParenthood's vulgar Get Real sex education curriculum isn't appropriate for our students, would you take a minute to use this click-to-contact tool to easily email and/or call your Cumberland School Board and Superintendent?
WEEKLY PRAYER: FAMILY
LORD, we cry out to you as Father. You are a beautiful Dad. 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. Our very nature calls us into the most intimate of relationships, 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.
LORD, we also bring these specific prayer requests to you, and pray that your Spirit may empower and protect our labor: Be with those brethren in Cumberland County as they try to stop perversion from being taught in their schools. LORD be with those parents and children in Maine who navigate these uncertain times, let those family come to you for guidance. Be with all of our families today, and we ask that your Spirit may empower us to be better fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and children.
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." (Deut. 6:6-7)
". . . and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:15-17)
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North Carolina Values Coalition