A Night to Honor Israel
Agape Church in Little Rock (701 Napa Valley Dr., Little Rock, Ark. 72211) will be hosting a “Night to Honor Israel” on Sunday, March 13 at 6 p.m. A Night to Honor Israel will be a time to honor the nation of Israel and will feature Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the keynote speaker. Sarah will speak about her time at the White House, where she served as Press Secretary for President Trump. She will speak specifically about the relocation of the United States embassy to Jerusalem and the significance of that event. The event is free to attend.
“A Night to Honor Israel is just that — a night to honor the nation of Israel and the Jewish people,” said Dr. Scott Stewart, Sr. Pastor of Agape Church. “This is not a political event but a spiritual obligation for Christians! We are commanded to bless the seed of Abraham, and this is our opportunity to do just that! Join us and celebrate our Judeo-Christian heritage!”
Arkansas House Passes Bill to Help Women
On Thursday, March 3, by a vote of 75 to 19, the Arkansas House of Representatives made history with their final approval of $1 million in state funding for pregnancy resource centers in Arkansas. The Arkansas Senate previously approved the same funding bill by a vote of 27 to 4.
In speaking for the appropriation, State Rep. Robin Lundstrum and State Rep. Cindy Crawford told lawmakers if Arkansas is going to make abortion illegal, the State needs to step up and provide help for women with unplanned pregnancies.
As part of our long-term plan to reduce the demand for Abortion in Arkansas, in January, we met with Governor Hutchinson along with leaders in the Arkansas Senate and House. Our recommendation was for Arkansas to follow a dozen other states by launching a State-funded program for pregnancy centers. The Governor agreed. House and Senate leadership drew up the plan and presented it as a part of this year’s state budget in Senate Bill 102.
Approximately, 45 non-profit pregnancy centers are in operation across Arkansas. Having funds for ultrasound machines and other equipment as well as diapers, formula, maternity clothes, and other supplies will be a game-changer for many clinics. Funds will be available through the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration after the new fiscal year begins on July 1.
Last year, we listed this funding for pregnancy centers as one of our goals for 2022. I am pleased to report that we have achieved that goal — partially. The next step is that we need to be ready to help pregnancy centers be successful in obtaining those funds without a bunch of strings attached. Here is how we plan to help.
First, the Department of Finance and Administration will write rules for how to apply for funds and how the funds can be used. As with all rules, they have to take public comments, and the rules have to be approved by the legislature. If they’re not done right, we and others can weigh in and do our part in making the rules work properly. Second, for any pregnancy center that needs help with navigating the application process, we plan to be there to help them from start to finish. Our goal is to help pregnancy centers maximize every penny of this money.
Sometimes we forget the larger picture. I am reminded that we are not just funding pregnancy centers. These dollars will save the lives of unborn children. None of us knows how many, but we’re safe to say that $1 million spent by pregnancy centers will help lots of women decide not to get an abortion. (lifenews.com)
NFL Greats Rally Behind High School Coach
NFL players, hall of famers and former coaches have joined former U.S. attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that a Washington school district acted unlawfully when it fired a football coach for praying on the field after games.
Numerous “friend-of-the-court” briefs have been filed in the case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, in which former Seattle-area football coach Joe Kennedy is seeking to reverse a lower court decision that allowed the school district to fire him because fans and students could see him take a knee in silent prayer at the 50-yard line after football games.
Those who have filed the briefs include several current and former NFL players, including Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, hall of famers Darrell Green and Steve Largent. Others include coach Tommy Bowden, the son of legendary football coach Bobby Bowden, former college and NFL coach Lou Holtz, 56 members of Congress, six former U.S. attorneys general and 60 state legislators. A brief filed on behalf of eight current and former NFL players contends that the players “support robust protection for the First Amendment rights of both coaches and student athletes at public high schools and universities across the Nation.”
The former attorneys general who filed briefs include Ed Meese, Bill Barr, Alberto Gonzales, Mike Mukasey, Jeff Sessions and former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.
In 2016, Kennedy sued after he was suspended as a Bremerton High School assistant football coach in 2015 for his practice of praying on the football field after games. He accused officials of violating his religious freedom, and has been fighting the legal battle ever since.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled against Kennedy in 2017. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the case, sending the case back to the lower court level. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton ruling against Kennedy in 2020. While the Supreme Court declined to review the case at the time, it allowed the lower courts to continue to develop the factual record. (christianpost.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)
What is the Mississippi Abortion Case About?
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court is reviewing a Mississippi law titled the “Gestational Age Act” that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, except in a medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality. This law replaces the “viability standard” created by Roe. The court is examining whether pre-viability restrictions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court admitted that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting unborn human life, but concluded that that interest did not become compelling until viability, because at that point the unborn child “has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb.” However, the choice of viability as the point before which a state may not forbid abortion is entirely arbitrary. Even the author of Roe and two authors of Casey’s three-justice plurality have admitted this. When the “viability standard” was initially created in 1973, viability was around 28 weeks, but it is now around 21 weeks. The viability line will keep moving as our modern medicine continues to improve. No Supreme Court decision has ever provided a principled justification for the viability standard.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Dec. 1, 2021. Now that oral arguments are completed, the court will spend the next few months researching and deliberating about this case. The final decision on what could be a watershed case in American jurisprudence will likely come at the end of next June as the court closes its term.
Why is the viability standard so important? The viability standard creates two classes of unborn children — those who are legally protected after viability, and those who aren’t. The Constitution does not create a right to an abortion of an unborn child before viability or at any other stage of pregnancy. The U.S. is one of only seven nations across the globe that allow abortion for any reason after 20 weeks gestation. With each passing day, especially in light of our technological age and the use of the ultrasound, more and more people recognize preborn lives are worthy of protection.
Why is this case so important? This Mississippi abortion case provides another chance for the court to come to that same conclusion and affirm the fundamental right to life. Even if the Supreme Court overturns the disastrous precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, abortion would not become illegal overnight. Instead, each state would then be free to set its own laws banning or allowing abortion. If Roe is overturned, an estimated 26 states will implement complete bans on abortion. This decision, rather than marking the end of the pro-life movement, will instead launch a new chapter as advocates turn their attention to protecting life in statehouses across the country and stopping the proliferation of chemical abortions.
If abortion becomes illegal in many states, many more vulnerable women and their preborn babies will need help and support. Christians must be ready to stand in the gap and provide love and care. Together, we must work toward a day when abortion is not only illegal but also unthinkable. (baptistpress.com)