- - Thursday, October 6, 2016

(1)Bring Bible to School Day to draw 300K students |Baptist Press

More than 300,000 students are expected to participate in the Oct. 6 Focus on the Family Bring Your Bible to School Day.

…”The heart of the event was just to one, help students understand what their basic religious freedom rights are and then, just to empower them to put that into practice in a way that is loving and redemptive in their individual schools,” Cushman said. “They are engaging in personal, private expressions of their own faith, their personal faith.”

School districts have confused and tried to narrow student freedom of religion rights, Cushman said, but FOTF has partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in providing attorneys on standby to protect students from such misinformation. Students may register for the event at focusonthefamily.com and download free resources there and at adflegal.org/issues/religious-freedom/k-12.

“If [students] are challenged on their rights, we encourage them to remain respectful and just politely explain that their goal is to participate in this religious freedom event … and just show them the information we make available about their legal rights,” Cushman said. “But if they’re still being told to stop, then it’s important that they do respect that authority, and they can get help with the online forum and the hotline later and pursue that after school.”


(2)Polish lawmakers voted to reject total ban on abortion

Polish lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to reject a proposal by an anti-abortion group that would have imposed a total ban on abortion, caving in to massive outrage by women who have been dressing in black and waging street protests across the country.

The mostly Catholic nation already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, with abortion only allowed in rare cases - rape or incest, when the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus is badly damaged.

The proposal for further tightening the law came from a citizens’ initiative that gathered some 450,000 signatures in this nation of 38 million. While supported by some conservative Catholics, it was highly unpopular with most Poles, with people balking at the idea that a teenage rape victim should be forced to have her baby, or that a woman whose health was badly compromised would be forced to carry to term. The proposal had also called for prison terms of up to five years for women who sought abortions.

With abortion already illegal in most cases, many women said what frightened them the most in the proposal was that it could have led doctors to be afraid to perform prenatal tests or that women who suffered miscarriages could start to fall under criminal suspicion.


(3)The Senator Opposing Obama’s Bathroom Mandate for Schools |Daily Signal

For two years, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., has persisted in fighting to scale back the Obama administration’s use of regulatory “guidance” on controversial issues such as transgender restroom use in schools.

Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, is known for his conservative values. So when he decided to take on the Obama administration over its mandate to schools on transgender bathrooms, it came as no surprise to those familiar with the reserved, red-headed senator.

But instead of attacking the Obama administration on the policy itself, which allows transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity instead of their biological sex, Lankford is taking a different approach.

The 48-year-old senator is challenging the process the executive branch used to implement the sweeping policy, arguing that it was wholly unlawful.

“This administration has been notoriously focused not on passing legislation, but trying to find ways to be able to do things through regulation,” Lankford told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “But even as they try to do things through regulation, they’re not trying to actually follow the rules of regulation—they’re just making it up as they go, and trying to push as hard as they can and saying, ‘Sue me … I’m going to do what I want.’”

… Lankford said he doesn’t object to extending greater protection against discrimination to students who desire it, but said those decisions should be left up to local school districts to work out.

“I don’t want any child to be bullied, I don’t want anyone having an unsafe situation at a school. But the local school districts should be those entities that actually handle that, not have someone from Washington, D.C., have a one-size-fits-all [solution] for every district, whether it’s Hawaii, Alaska, Oklahoma, or Maine, to say this is how you will handle this issue,” he said, adding:

Those districts can handle it, and they should have some sort of protections that are in place. It’s entirely reasonable for the federal government to step in and say to a district, ‘What are you doing to make sure that every student is protected and is in a safe learning environment?’ That’s a reasonable request by them. But to tell them exactly how to do it, that is an overreach. That is left up to the state to make that decision, not a federal responsibility.

 

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