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. Masterpiece Cakeshop Vindicated by Supreme Court
Praise the LORD! Huge win for religious liberty. Read the following article written by NC Values Coalition Attorney, Deborah J. Dewart who wrote our Amicus Brief for this very case:
"Supreme Court observers have waited breathlessly – all eyes on Justice Kennedy – to hear the fate of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who declined to custom design a wedding cake for two men. Finally we have the good news that, ironically, it is Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion granting Jack victory. Startling perhaps, but Kennedy is radically libertarian. And while he has touted the right of gay persons to "express and define their identity," now he acknowledges that people of faith have comparable rights. In light of growing cultural hostility to religion, it is impossible to understate the importance of this victory.
North Carolina Values Coalition filed an amicus brief supporting Jack. In a nutshell, we argued that in its treatment of Jack Phillips and his religious faith, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission trashed the very values the LGBT community cherishes—tolerance, diversity, inclusion, equality. The Court's opinion, grounded primarily in the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment—rather than Jack's equally viable Free Speech claim—echoes these themes. The government must tolerate a variety of viewpoints and treat all citizens equally."
2. Be Salt & Light at the NCGOP State Convention
Will you be attending the NCGOP 2018 Convention in Hickory this weekend? We want to invite you to be Salt & Light at the state convention by participating in these six activities:
1. Attend Prayer Breakfast
2. Educate Fellow Attendees on Parental Consent Issue
3. Educate Fellow Attendees on Abortion Pill Reversal Issue
4. Support Pro-Family, Pro-Life, and Pro-Religious Liberty Resolutions
5. Visit Salt & Light Suite
To read more about about the speakers, events and schedule click below:
3. Recap of this week's Day at the Capital
This past Wednesday we were joined by many of you for our Annual Day at the Capital with CWA (Concerned Women for America). We focused on educating legislators about two important issues: Parental Rights, parents have a right to know what is being taught in their children's schools, and anytime human sexuality is taught parents should receive advance notice and easy access to review lessons. Abortion Pill Reversal, women have the right to know that they have a choice to stop the effects of a chemical abortion. We should pass HB 575—Require Info About Abortion Pill Reversal so that women seeking a chemical abortion will be told that there is a process to reverse the abortion if they change their minds.
"Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday on behalf of a church against the city of Monroe, North Carolina. The city recently enacted an unconstitutional zoning code that bars At the Cross Fellowship Baptist Church from holding worship services in its newly rented and renovated premises.
The new regulations prohibit the church from hosting worship services, even though another church had occupied space in the same building in the past, and the new code permits libraries, museums, and other nonprofit use of the same space.
“The government can’t discriminate against churches simply because they are religious,” said ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley, director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries. “At the Cross Fellowship Baptist Church is being told they are unwelcome—in the same part of the community where city officials would allow a library, art gallery, or museum. Zoning laws like Monroe’s are unconstitutional and violate federal law.”"
5. General Assembly passes bill to allow towns around Charlotte to open Charter Schools
Thanks to Representative Bill Brawley, parents in Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville, and Cornelius may soon have a choice about where their children attend school! Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District’s refusal to listen to parents on issues like Welcoming Schools and the Board's new Multiculturalism Policy are but a few of the reasons the bill was passed by both houses of the General Assembly. CMS adopted Welcoming Schools under the guise of bullying prevention, but it is actually focused on mainstreaming homosexual and transgender behaviors, causing children as young as Kindergarten to question their own gender and accept these behaviors in their peers as normal. The Board’s new Multiculturalism Policy added “sexual orientation and gender identity” as cultures to be studied by students across all subject areas. If the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District refuses to listen to parents and keeps advancing an agenda, we can expect more of this in the future. We will keep an eye on this bill as it has gone to Gov. Cooper, awaiting his signature to become law. The following article demonstrates how biased and untrue the arguments made by opponents of the bill and repeated in the Charlotte Observer truly are.
"The General Assembly has approved a measure to allow four Charlotte-area cities to open their own charter schools, essentially leaving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Critics have argued in the past that HB 514 may bring segregation back to our local schools.
Passage of what was called HB 514 means Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville and Cornelius will be able to open their own charter schools.
Critics say the four communities are all wealthy and predominantly white and will be able to give preference to their own residents for seats in those new classrooms."
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: LORD be with our schools and legislature as they try to protect our children! We thank you for our Day at the Capital and we pray that our family values left an impression on our representatives. LORD, be with Cross Fellowship as they are being denied the ability come together as a community to worship You. Dear LORD, we thank you for delivering Jack Phillips from the prosecution of his State of Colorado. It is a great victory that we can only attribute to you LORD. 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.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
North Carolina Values Coalition