Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 3/5/18 to 3/12/18
“Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit refused to save the historic cross-shaped Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial, which has stood since 1925 in honor of 49 Bladensburg-area men who gave their lives during WWI.” Now First Liberty appeals to the Supreme Court.
Read more here.
Prayer and Action
Living our faith means it impacts everything we do. Paul encourages unceasing prayer, and James makes a strong point that faith without works is dead. Have you considered how to positively impact your sphere of influence with the values and care that are derived from faith?
National Prayer Points
1. Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop
“The justices heard oral arguments in Jack Phillips’ right-of-conscience case on December 5. The day after oral arguments, the justices met in their closed session, voted on the case, and assigned an author to write a majority decision. We don’t know how the justices voted or who is writing the majority decision. The justices will announce their decision sometime before the end of the term in late June. This will be one of the most-watched cases of the term.
2. Will the Supreme Court grant review in the Rowan County legislative prayer case?
The county board of Rowan County, North Carolina, varied the practice of prayer by rotating through the members of the board. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged this practice, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit initially upheld the practice, but on further review the full court agreed with the ACLU, 10-5, that the practice violated the Establishment Clause.
But in a second case, last September the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 9-6, upheld the practice of county board members praying to open a meeting. The losing parties have asked the Supreme Court to hear this case, which is made more likely because of the split with the Fourth Circuit. CPCF filed an amicus brief supporting the board in the Sixth Circuit.
First Liberty created a cumulative compilation of recent documented instances of hostility toward free religious exercise. It is often cited by lawmakers, educators, opinion leaders, and the media.
State Prayer Points
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty. Also, pray that bills and resolutions that undermine our First Amendment Rights will be unsuccessful.
The CPCF legal team has researched best practices legislation and provided talking points on various religious freedom topics to assist legislators. Download their Report here. View a model school policy on invocations before games here.
“The city-owned directory in Coronado stands at the corner of Orange Avenue and Sixth Street, where it’s been since the 1960s.The Los Angeles Times reports that a city resident, Ryan Meoni, told the newspaper he never intended for the sign to be removed but disagreed with the word “church” on city property. Yet the city’s response was all but certain after Meoni complained to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the atheist group known for using the threat of lawsuits to make opponents back down….The same story also quotes attorney Charles LiMandri, who represented San Diego and its fight to keep the Mt. Soledad cross. He told the Times he contacted Coronado, offering to represent the city for free, but never heard back.”
“Donna Dunbar said she had been holding weekly Bible study sessions for almost a year when she received notice on Feb. 6 that she would have to discontinue the meetings. According to the HOA resolution, “prayers and other religious services, observations, or meetings of any nature shall not occur … in or upon any of the common elements.”
“Attorney General Sessions made national news last fall when he directed the Department of Justice to file a ‘statement of interest’ in a federal lawsuit against Georgia Gwinnett College’s ‘speech zone’ policy. Few people realize that the plaintiff in this case is an Evangelical Christian student prevented by Georgia Gwinnett from speaking to fellow students about his faith. And this is only one of several instances in which Georgia’s public colleges have used restrictive codes and zones to silence Christian speech.”
“A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled Wednesday that the federal government can force a Michigan funeral home to allow a male employee to dress as a woman despite the family business’s sex-specific dress code. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which has locations in Detroit, Garden City, and Livonia.”
“Wayne State University decertified a longtime student organization on its campus for requiring its leadership to agree to a statement of beliefs, a new lawsuit alleges. The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, alleges Wayne State stripped the university’s chapter of InterVarsity of official student organization status illegally.
‘Asking religious leaders to practice what they preach isn’t discrimination, it’s integrity,’ Lori Windham, senior legal counsel at Becket, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that focuses on religious freedom and is representing InterVarsity, said in a news release. ‘Targeting one Christian group that’s served the campus for over 75 years, while giving itself and dozens of larger groups a pass, is truly discriminatory.'”
From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is pleased that a Minnesota county has removed a Ten Commandments plaque that was long on display in one of its courthouses.”
“A Baptist pastor will no longer be permitted to serve as a chaplain for an Oklahoma high school football team after a notorious group of atheists filed a formal complaint.”
From FFRF site: “Gov. Gary Herbert recently sent a letter on state of Utah letterhead and signed with his official title in which he asked the ‘faith community to unite in thanksgiving and prayer during the first week of March 2018.'” FFRF outraged.
From FFRF site: “FFRF asked the Kenosha Unified School District to immediately take corrective action to end infringements of the U.S. Constitution in an elementary school in the district after several concerned Kenosha Unified School District parents contacted FFRF to report instances of what appeared to be the promotion of Christianity.
A fourth-grade classroom at Roosevelt Elementary School had included Christian displays that FFRF asserted needed to be removed from classrooms and school walls. These displays included a Latin cross, a poster that said, “Blessed is the nation whose god is the lord,” with an accompanying bible verse (Psalm 33:12), a poster listing “vices” and “virtues” drawn from another bible verse (Galatians 5:20–23), and a poster promoting devotional Christian music.”
From FFRF site: A high-profile case involving the teaching of the bible in a West Virginia school district has reached the next stage. Elizabeth Deal, a parent challenging bible classes in Mercer County, W.Va., filed an appeal before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, March 5. The appellate brief filed by Attorney Marc Schneider and Freedom From Religion Foundation Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott argues that Deal and her daughter may continue to pursue claims against the school district even though her daughter is now attending a neighboring school system.
National Prayer Opportunities
Congressional Prayer: Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol.
The American Prayer Caucus Network is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 federal and state elected leaders who are standing for faith and impacting the culture. Please commit to praying daily for them, their families, and staff.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization created to support government leaders who wish to partner prayer with legislative and citizen action to protect our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious freedom. Please pray for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation team, our State Directors, legal team, Board of Directors, web developers, technical team, production team, design and graphics team, CPCF intercessors and donors.
Email me to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Commit to praying for the Members and families of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, The American Prayer Caucus Network, and the CPCFoundation.
Prayer for Anti-Faith Groups
For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.