Amendment Would Remove Legislative Oversight Public Education
A proposed constitutional amendment would make it more difficult for the Arkansas Legislature and the governor to oversee public education or hold educators accountable. Arkansans For World Class Education is working to place the “Public Schools Amendment of 2022” on the ballot this November. Among other things, the proposed amendment would remove the provision in the Arkansas Constitution that gives the state’s General Assembly the ability to make laws concerning the State Board of Education.
Currently, the Arkansas Constitution says, “The supervision of public schools, and the execution of the laws regulating the same, shall be vested in and confided to, such officers as may be provided for by the General Assembly.” Under this provision, the General Assembly gets to establish offices that oversee public education — such as a Department of Education, Secretary of Education and State Board of Education. The governor appoints people to fill those positions.
The Public Schools Amendment of 2022 would strike this provision from the constitution and replace it with new language that puts an unelected board in charge of public education in Arkansas. The amendment says that anyone who has served on the State Board of Education in the past 10 years would be ineligible to serve on this new board and that the governor and the Arkansas Legislature would not have the power to review or approve new rules or policies the board makes concerning public education in Arkansas. (familycouncil.org)
Interpreter Breaks Down While Translating Ukrainian President’s Speech
A veteran interpreter translating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech Sunday broke down in tears as she relayed the leader’s remarks after the country survived yet another night of attacks by Russian troops. “Russia is on the path of evil,” Zelenskyy said. “The world must deprive Russia of the right to vote on the U.N. Security Council.”
The interpreter then choked up when translating this comment from Zelenskyy: “Ukrainians, we know exactly what we are defending. We will definitely win. Last night was brutal in Ukraine. Again, the shelling, again the bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure.”
The unnamed interpreter for the German news outlet WELT could not translate the remainder of the Ukrainian president’s comments. After breaking down once more, she reportedly apologized before going off the air.
For his part, Zelenskyy — who has refused to flee his country despite threats against his safety — said Ukraine will fight as long as necessary to ensure its citizens’ freedom and autonomy from Russia. “The night was hard,” he said Sunday. “The people rose to defend their state, and they showed their true faces. This is terror. They are going to bomb our Ukrainian cities even more. They are going to kill our children even more insidiously. This is an evil that has come to our land and must be destroyed.”
“If children are born in shelters, even when the shelling continues, then the enemy has no chance in this — undoubtedly — people’s war,” Zelenskyy continued. “To victory! Glory to Ukraine!”
Faithwire spoke with a U.S.-based pastor born in Ukraine who said he is shocked by the scene unfolding in his home country. He said he is “proud” of believers in Ukraine who have placed their trust in God amid such harrowing circumstances. “They are rallying,” Pastor Andrew Moroz of Lynchburg, Virginia, told Faithwire. “They’re gathering in groups, they’re worshipping. There are videos going around of prayer services and worship experiences in subways and so I’m praying that Jesus is glorified. If He is peace — which we believe He is, He’s the Prince of Peace — then we want more of Him in these spaces where people are hurting.” He urged Christians to pray the Lord’s Prayer over the situation in Ukraine.
“I’ve been praying the Lord’s Prayer for the country of Ukraine,” he said. “We can pray that for each other, too, in just the same elements that Jesus lays out for us. This is what those people need. This is what I need right now: ‘Lord, I need Your Kingdom present in my life. I want Your Kingdom present in the Ukraine. I need Your provision and sustenance; they need provision.’” (faithwire.com)
U.S. Senate Defeats Bill to Legalize Abortions Up to Birth
Senate Republicans, with the help of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, voted to defeat a Democrat bill that would overturn every pro-life law in America and legalize abortions up to birth. Lawmakers voted 48-46 against cloture — against ending debate and allowing a vote on the misnamed Women’s Health Protection Act. As a result, the filibuster against the radical pro-abortion legislation was sustained and the bill is defeated, as 60 votes were necessary to move ahead to a vote on the bill.
Bans on partial-birth abortions, sex-selection abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions would be gone if the bill passes. Laws that protect women and girls would be eliminated, too, including parental consent for minors and informed consent laws that ensure mothers receive basic facts about their unborn baby’s development before going through with an abortion. (lifenews.com)
Ukrainian Store Runs Out of Bibles
The thirst for hope and the spread of uncertainty have been so rampant in Ukraine that at least one Christian store has totally run out of Bibles. Robert L. Briggs, president and CEO of American Bible Society, penned a commentary piece for Christianity Today, explaining how Christians in Ukraine are responding to the Russian crisis.
“As people grapple with unknown, many are experiencing the Bible’s message for the first time ever,” Briggs wrote. “According to Anatoliy Raychynets, deputy general secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society, priests and pastors over the past weeks have been flocking to the Bible Society store in Kyiv to buy Bibles.” The situation has been so intense the store reportedly ran out of Bibles, with Raychynets telling Briggs their biggest challenge is getting enough copies of scripture to meet the demand. “We need more Bibles,” he said.
Raychynets also revealed another crucial restorative detail about his relationship with Christian leaders in Russia, revealing that they communicate and have been united in Christ. In a world of such toxic division — and amid tensions that do anything other than unite opposing sides — this is a powerful testament to the fruit of the gospel in people’s lives.
Please continue to seek God on behalf of the people of Ukraine. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has invited the world to join him in prayer this Sunday. (faithwire.com)
Biden Selects Jackson as First Supreme Court Nominee
The White House announced Feb. 25 President Biden’s historic nomination of federal appeals court judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson, who serves on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, is the first African American woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Biden had pledged during the 2020 presidential campaign he would select a Black woman for the high court.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson, 51, would become the fourth female justice on the current court, marking the first time the Supreme Court has had that many women among its nine members. Jackson’s confirmation would make her the youngest current justice except for Amy Coney Barrett, 50, who was nominated by President Trump and confirmed in 2020.
As it has been for more than three decades, abortion is likely to be a major subject of debate during the confirmation process. Though Jackson reportedly has not issued an abortion ruling, some organizations on both sides of the issue commented on her nomination as if they expect her to be supportive on the high court of a right to the procedure.
As a member of a Boston law firm in 2001, Jackson and other lawyers filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Massachusetts law that established a moving “buffer zone” around people and cars nearing abortion clinics, SCOTUSblog reporter Amy Howe wrote. The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law.
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1996, Jackson served in a variety of public and private roles. These included service as a federal public defender in Washington, D.C., for two years and a stint as a staff member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and another as vice-chair of the commission. (baptistpress.com)