Friday Five: Transgender cakes, canceled parades, 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. 



1. ERLC: Colorado is going after Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop again
Even after Jack Phillips' victory at the Supreme Court, Colorado is still attacking Jack Phillips for his faith. Now they're going after him for his faith-based refusal to bake a cake that celebrated transgenderism. "Twenty-four days after Phillips’ Supreme Court Victory, he was told by the Civil Rights Commission of Colorado that he was guilty of discrimination. His offense this time around? The official complaint reports that Phillip declined to make a birthday cake celebrating a man’s “gender transition” from male to female. According to the progressive standards of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, this constitutes an invidious form of public accommodation discrimination. Why? Because Phillips declined to make a cake on the grounds of a person’s self-disclosed “gender identity,” which is a protected class in Colorado, despite “gender identity” being a philosophically incoherent concept, as I argue in my book. In June 2017, a man entered Phillips’ cakeshop asking him to design a cake with pink coloring on the inside and blue coloring on the outside of the cake, ostensibly because the man’s inner gender identity is female, signified by the color pink. Receive news and culture content in your inbox each week Sign up for ERLC Highlights Phillips declined to make such a cake on the grounds that using his abilities to create a cake that expressed a message at odds with his religious convictions on sex and gender identity violated his own rights to free speech and religious liberty. He says he will not “promote the idea that a person’s sex is anything other than an immutable God-given biological reality.” With this, Phillips’ view mimics standard Christian teaching on the nature of male and female. Phillips has similarly declined Halloween cakes, divorce cakes, or cakes with a vulgar message such as racism or drug use."

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2. LIBERTY HEADLINES: Radical LGBTs get Salisbury NC holiday parade shut down forever
"An annual parade in Rowan County, NC has been permanently shut down after being accused of discrimination last year by an LGBT group. Parade officials said in an email on Tuesday that the annual Holiday Caravan parade is “no more.” At last year’s parade, Salisbury Pride, a well-known gay advocacy group in the area, accused officials of banning their float from the parade. Since then, parade officials said that they and their volunteers have “received hate mail, emails, and threats to protest the 2018 parade to not only their personal email addresses, home addresses, social media but also to their place of employment.”



3. KANSAS CITY: In this KC-area district, boys and girls will share gender-neutral restrooms

"No more separate restrooms for boys and girls, with rows of feet-showing stalls. The North Kansas City school district is going fully gender neutral at two new elementary schools, opening on Wednesday, as well as in a few renovated restrooms in North Kansas City High School and the sixth-grade centers."


4. WRAL: Judge issues injunction, delays ballot printing over Supreme Court race
UPDATE: "A Wake County judge issued injunctions Monday to keep the state from printing ballots in the November elections unless a pair of of candidates who've sued are identified as members of their preferred political parties. Chris Anglin and Rebecca Edwards switched their party registrations shortly before filing for office, missing a legal deadline."



5. FOX NEWS: Court rejects appeal for American pastor's  release from detention, Turkish media says

"Turkey on Wednesday rejected the U.S.' appeal for an American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media reported. Pastor Andrew Brunson's lawyer renewed an appeal on Tuesday for Brunson’s release from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted."



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 those individuals in our state who suffer from drug addictions. We particularly pray today for those suffering from addiction to opioids, which continues to be a growing epidemic in our state. We also pray for Pastor Andrew Brunson's family. Embolden them during their current trial. Finally, we pray for all the parents sending their children back to school this month. Father, protect those children, and be with their various teachers and student officials.

"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)





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