- - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

1| Only 2 out of 1,037 Syrian Refugees Admitted in May were Christian

Meanwhile, ISIS’ Genocide Against Christians Escalates in Iraq and Syria as Demands for UN Action Grows

2| Crisis-trained Chaplains Return to Houston After Fatal Flooding |BillyGrahamEA

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT), along with a team from Samaritan’s Purse, are deploying to the Houston area once again in response to last week’s deadly flooding. Chaplains will focus on providing emotional and spiritual care to the Conroe and Magnolia communities.

3| Died: Jan Crouch, Cofounder of Trinity Broadcasting Network |Christianity Today

4| Mississippi Governor: ‘Secular’ World Angry Over LGBT Law |AP

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says the “secular, progressive world” vented at him for signing a bill that would let clerks cite religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Republican governor spoke in Washington last Thursday as the conservative Family Research Council gave him an award for signing that bill and a similar one in 2014 called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

5| Girl Scouts’ Plans for Modernization and the Digital Cookie |WSJ

MS. CHÁVEZ (Chief Executive of Girl Scouts): Since inception in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA and its local councils and troops have valued diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability.

Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority. That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe. 

6| Paul Kengor: Hillary Clinton’s Church Problem |Crisis Magazine

…There was great news at the United Methodist Church’s gathering at this conference this year in Portland. . In a blessed moment, the assembly voted overwhelmingly (and surprisingly) to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The conference also rejected a resolution titled “Responsible Parenthood,” which would have once again further advanced “abortion rights” in the name of John Wesley.

…And so, here is this big issue as related to the 2016 presidential race. All of this relates intimately to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee who proudly calls herself a committed Methodist. Will Hillary now follow the lead of her church and soften her fanatical position on abortion? Will she back off her push to redefine marriage? How does a self-described “old-fashioned Methodist” merrily take the liberty of redefining marriage and advocating unlimited “abortion rights?”

She will not change one bit. Not a chance.

But nonetheless, what happened at the United Methodist Church conference is very important and cannot be ignored. It now places Hillary Clinton’s cultural radicalism in direct and rising defiance of her own church and its teachings.

7| I can’t believe I have to say it: a human life is worth more than a gorilla’s |The Guardian

***Even if you don’t like the other humans in the club, we are trapped here, in our human clubhouse, by the strands of our shared DNA and our equal capacities for perception, emotion and communication. No other species on this planet could even take part in this discussion. They don’t have the same access to our state of being, the empathy, the sympathy, the language, the particular and unique sort of love that we share with each other. These are powerful, important things about being a human being, things that I think a lot of human beings don’t consider enough.

These things form the basis of human rights. And the idea that all people have equal intrinsic value is the one we should be focusing on. Yes: I would save the life of Ted Kaczynski, Idi Amin or Donald Trump, over any animal you’d could name. (Yes, even my beloved childhood pets: the cats Love and Honey, the dog, Yvette. Sorry, guys, RIP.)

8| When Being Pro-Life Did Not Mean Being Conservative |Religion & Politics

***Historian Daniel K. Williams’ 2016 book on this topic looks like a great read.

DKW: Before Roe v. Wade, there was a vibrant pro-life movement, but it was not allied with political conservatism or with evangelical Christianity. Most of the pre-Roe pro-life activists were Catholics with liberal political sympathies shaped by their Church’s social justice teachings and the New Deal. They viewed their campaign to save the lives of the unborn as a human rights cause, which is why much of their rhetoric closely paralleled the language of the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Several state pro-life organizations of the pre-Roe era coupled their demands for restrictive abortion laws with a call for expanded social welfare programs for pregnant women and infants, and some called for the expansion of the War on Poverty. Many pro-life activists opposed the Vietnam War. Pro-lifers’ insistence on using the arguments of secular human rights liberalism enabled a movement that had started among Catholics to begin attracting the support of a number of liberal Protestants and a few Jews in the early 1970s.

The movement’s supporters in this era included such nationally known liberals as Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister of John F. Kennedy), Ted Kennedy, Senator Mark Hatfield, Jesse Jackson, and a host of others.

By contrast, many of the nation’s best-known Republicans had little regard for the pro-life movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most of the nation’s first abortion liberalization laws were signed by Republican governors such as Spiro Agnew in Maryland, Nelson Rockefeller in New York, and Ronald Reagan in California. The nation’s leading conservative Republican, Senator Barry Goldwater, was an early supporter of abortion rights, as were many of the more moderate members of his party, such as Senators Howard Baker, Lowell Weicker, and Robert Packwood.

Evangelicals had mixed views on abortion in the early 1970s. Although a number of prominent evangelicals denounced abortion, very few joined a pro-life organization, which meant that the campaign for the rights of the unborn was led almost entirely by Catholics and a few mainline Protestants whose political views were well to the left of the nascent Christian Right.



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