Choose Life!

May 9, 2019 by Dr Michael Brown

More than three-thousand years ago, Moses urged the children of Israel to “choose life.” He said to them:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live” (Deuteronomy 30:19, NJPS).

But why would anyone choose death? Why would anyone choose to be cursed rather than blessed?

The answer is that God’s ways lead to life and blessing, but many people would rather die than follow Him.

They view God’s ways as restrictive. Oppressive. Antiquated. Harmful.

In reality, God’s ways lead to human thriving. To liberty. To freedom. To fullness.

As Jesus said:

“I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

To be sure, God’s ways require discipline. And obedience. And denial of the flesh.

But fleshly habits bring bondage. Discipline sets us free.

Indulging our earthly desires brings dullness and addiction. Obedience lifts us into a higher realm, far above our animal appetites.

God is a God of life, and in Him is life beyond description. That’s why Jesus could say:

“I am the resurrection and the life. . . . I am the bread of life. . . . . Whoever follows Me . . . will have the light of life” (John 11:24; 6:35; 8:12). And that’s why John called Him “the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

Tragically, in recent decades, America has increasingly chosen a path of death, from abortion to violent video games, and from euthanasia to TV shows glorifying vampires and zombies. How can we turn the tide?

Here are some practical suggestions.

First, go about your normal daily activities, watching and reading and listening to what you normally watch and read and listen to, but this time take note of how much death is involved. How many images of the dead and dying? How many corpses? How much graphic violence? How much death are you seeing (by choice, not by necessity) over the course of a week?

Second, if you realize that you’re being influenced by a culture of death, then take a thirty-day break from all forms of death-related media entertainment, be it video games or favorite TV shows or gratuitously violent novels.

Third, immerse yourself in words of life. I would encourage you to read several chapters from Proverbs and the Gospel of John each day, noticing the constant emphasis on life. As the voice of wisdom says in Proverbs 8:

“For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death” (Prov. 8:35-36).

Fourth, when you spend time in prayer, ask God to flood your heart with His life and to give you the perspective of life, to see the world as He would have you see it.

Fifth, after thirty days, ask the Lord how He would have you to live. You might be surprised to see how your perspectives have changed. In the words of Paul:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things (Phil. 4:8, NIV).

If you’d like to take this even further, then consider three more steps.

First, get involved in the pro-life movement and work against abortion on demand in our nation. If Mother Teresa and others are right, this strikes at a major root of our culture of death, and by joining together as pro-life Christians, we can see the nation impacted.

Second, we can affirm the dignity of every human life by reaching out to the elderly, who are some of the most forgotten and neglected people in our society.

Third, get involved with another group that society discards, the poor and the hurting. Many churches have ministries to the poor and the needy, and every city has feeding programs and the like, and for the most part, they are greatly understaffed.

We celebrate life when we bring meaning and hope into the lives of the hurting, and we reaffirm that they too are created in the image of God, therefore of inestimable value and worth. It is something near and dear to the Lord’s heart.

The good news is that, across our nation, Americans are choosing life. In fact, already in March, a New York Times headline declared:

“Georgia Is Latest State to Pass Fetal Heartbeat Bill as Part of Growing Trend.”

The article noted that:

“The governors in Mississippi and Kentucky signed fetal heartbeat measures into law in recent weeks, and other states — including Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas — are expected to approve similar measures this year.”

May our nation choose life, that we and our offspring might live!

(Some of the material in this article was excerpted and adapted from my book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation.)

 

Original here

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City: OK for Catholic school to practice beliefs

Concedes its hiring nondiscrimination ordinance doesn’t apply

 

Bible

After being brought to court, officials in the city of South Euclid, Ohio, have conceded that their new hiring nondiscrimination ordinance doesn’t apply to a Catholic school.

Lawyers for the school, The Lyceum, had tried for months to find out how the city planned to apply its ordinance and whether it would affect the school’s decisions regarding hiring, employment and admissions.

The city either had ignored the requests, apparently in violation of state law, or told the school to hire an attorney and figure it out themselves.

The issue was significant, since offenders were subject to criminal penalties of up to $500 per day in fines and 60 days in jail.

The Alliance Defending Freedom explained that the city’s proposal initially had included an exemption for religious organizations.

But the exemption suddenly was removed, leading school officials to wonder whether they were being targeted by the city.

“Prior to filing this lawsuit, The Lyceum repeatedly asked the city to clarify how it intended to interpret and apply the ordinance. But the city refused to answer. The city twice illegally refused to respond to The Lyceum’s public records request, in violation of state opens records law,” ADF said.

“As a final measure, The Lyceum sent a letter to the city’s law director and mayor on February 1, 2019, specifically asking whether the ordinance impacts The Lyceum’s religious hiring decisions and whether the city views The Lyceum as a place of public accommodation subject to the ordinance,” said ADF.

So school officials were forced to go to court, reasonably fearing that operating their school consistently with their faith would directly violate city law and put them at risk of an up to $500 fine, restitution, or up to 60 days in jail per occurrence.”

“Because the city has finally agreed that the school isn’t subject to the law, ADF attorneys voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit against the city Tuesday,” the group said.

“Religious schools like The Lyceum have the freedom to operate consistently with their faith without fear of unjust government punishment – and we’re glad South Euclid now affirms this reality,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb.

“No one should have to file a federal lawsuit simply to find out whether they are violating a vague law with criminal penalties,” she said. “We’re disappointed that the city didn’t do the right thing right from the start, but we’re pleased that it now acknowledges that The Lyceum’s parents, students, and faculty have the freedom to seek out this unique, faith-based education and maintain community standards rooted in Catholic teaching.”

As a faith community, the school seeks to abide by and convey the teachings of the Bible and the doctrines of the Catholic church, including on marriage and sexuality.

“But in 2018, the South Euclid City Council passed a vague, sweeping ordinance that appeared to force the school to hire teachers or enroll students who disagree with its mission and teachings,” ADF said.

The decision to remove the exemption for religious groups prompted the conflict.

“The Lyceum has accomplished through litigation what it could not convince the city to produce in response to its letter: an answer,” said Holcomb. “We’re hopeful that other cities avoid such an unforced error and remain mindful that the First Amendment protects religious schools from government hostility, targeting, and discrimination.”

 

https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/city-ok-for-catholic-school-to-practice-beliefs/

VIDEO Georgia Gov Brian Kemp Signs Bill Banning Abortions When Baby’s Heartbeat Begins

May 7, 2019 by MICAIAH BILGER

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law Tuesday to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.

Kemp, a pro-life Republican, signed the pro-life measure despite a threat by actress Alyssa Milano and other Hollywood elites to boycott the state if he does.

“The Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act … recognizes something that many have know for years. It recognizes that science tells us that children in the womb are living, distinct human beings that are worthy of full legal protection,” Kemp said during the signing ceremony.

“Common sense tells us if you look at a child in the womb with a beating heart and a distinct blood type, and you ask a preschooler, a small child, ‘What are you looking at?’ … They would look and say that’s a baby,” Kemp continued.

“(The bill) is very simple but also very powerful: a declaration that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all life is worthy of protection,” Kemp, flanked by supporters of the bill, said Tuesday morning before signing the legislation at the state Capitol. “I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law. But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy. We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”

The bill passed the state legislature earlier this spring. It would ban abortions on an unborn baby after their heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks. It would allow exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. In addition, the bill would allow parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and include the unborn baby in census data. It also would allow mothers to collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth.

AL.com reports the ACLU of Georgia responded Tuesday with plans to sue to block the law.

“Every federal court that has heard a challenge to a similar ban has ruled that it’s unconstitutional,” spokesman Sean Young said.

Kemp acknowledged the possibility of a lawsuit Tuesday, the Huffington Post reports.

“I realize some may challenge it in the court of law,” the governor said. “But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy.”

Meanwhile, Hollywood liberals have been protesting the bill and calling for a boycott of the state, a popular filming location for movies and TV shows. Milano and other Hollywood liberals used their influence to try to stir up outrage about the heartbeat billCelebrities including Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow and Ben Stiller joined Milano in their condemnation of the pro-life bill.

Star Wars actors Mark Hamill and Natalie Portman said they would boycott the state as well.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports Amazon.com, Coca-Cola Co. and several other major companies also oppose the legislation.

“The surge in attempts to ban abortion in the earliest stages of pregnancy underscores that the end goal of anti-abortion politicians and activists is to ban all abortion—at any point during pregnancy and for any reason—even as they shamelessly spin a false and inflammatory narrative about abortion later in pregnancy,” Elizabeth Nash, of the Guttmacher Institute, told ThinkProgress in a statement.

But Georgia state Rep. Ed Setzler, the lead sponsor of the bill, said his goal is to protect unborn babies, who already are unique, living human beings by six weeks of pregnancy.

“Protecting life in the womb with a human heartbeat is what science, law and human conscience would suggest,” Setzler said.

This winter, pro-life lawmakers have introduced a number of heartbeat bills including in FloridaMississippi, Missouri, OhioSouth CarolinaTennessee and Texas.

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

Recently, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s new heartbeat bill. In January, a judge also declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down their laws as well.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

There is more hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.

Original here


EXCLUSIVE Heather Hobbs: Save The 1 to Sue Georgia to Remove Abortion Exceptions

TNA Exclusive interview with pro-life activist Heather Hobbs, speaker and blogger for Save the 1, in which she announces that Save the 1 will sue the state of Georgia to remove the discriminatory abortion exceptions contained in the LIFE Act (HB 481) that was signed into law on Tuesday, May 7, by Governor Brian Kemp.

Related links:
Georgia Governor Kemp Signs “Heartbeat” LIFE Act, With Exceptions, into Law

Georgia ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Has Exceptions – Pro-Life Speaker

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/32229-top-headline-heather-hobbs-save-the-1-sue-georgia-life-act-exceptions