Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 6/4/18 to 6/11/18
“Promoting and defending religious freedom is a priority for this Administration. To elevate the effort to ensure that everyone is able to live in accordance with the dictates of their conscience, Secretary Pompeo will host the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington on July 25-26. We will convene government and religious leaders, rights advocates, and civil society from around the world to discuss challenges, identify concrete means to push back against persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.” Read more.
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 today?
National Praises Points
In July of 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was sued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for respectfully declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage when it violated his deeply held religious beliefs. CPCF supported his efforts in the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief, and, on June 4, that court ruled in his favor!
The Supreme Court ruled that the state commission had demonstrated open bias against Mr. Phillips’s religious beliefs when deciding his case. This was shown not just in several negative remarks by commissioners but also in the inconsistent treatment his case had when compared to the commission’s finding no violation when bakers refused to bake cakes with Biblical verses they considered to be “hateful.”
The court avoided deciding whether, by declining to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage, Mr. Phillips or others like him could be punished for sexual orientation discrimination in the absence of such overt discrimination. That question is presented currently in other cases the Supreme Court has been asked to take in which there were adverse rulings against those opposed to facilitating and associating with a ceremony with which they have religious objections. It also underscores the need to pray and work for legislation in every state protecting people like Jack Phillips.
“Barronelle is a floral artist … and a grandmother. You’d never expect to see someone like her at the center of a firestorm. Barronelle had lovingly served her client for many years. But she affirms the biblical teaching, as people across the globe and throughout history have, that marriage is the sacred union of a man and a woman. She could not help celebrate her friend’s wedding because it would violate her convictions. Out of kindness, and because they had been friends for many years, she referred him to other excellent florists in the area… she is being sued both professionally and personally by the Washington Attorney General and the ACLU…
If she loses, the ACLU could take everything she owns — her business, her home, and her life’s savings.” Last year, ADF asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider Barronelle’s case and are still awaiting a decision.
Prayers for a favorable outcome in other pending religious liberty cases as well.
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.
International Prayer PointsPray For The Persecuted
“Christians are facing the threat of murder, rape and torture around the world, with new areas around the world emerging as the next “hotbed” for persecution. Learn more.
“The American Center for Law and Justice says an outrageous miscarriage of justice continues in Turkey.The Christian-based legal group is referring to the trial of 50-year-old American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. The North Carolina native is charged with terrorism and espionage, despite his 23 years of service to the Turkish people.”
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.
“AB 2943 poses an imminent threat to civil liberties in California. It does little to protect LGBT persons and only limits the number of perspectives (and assistance) they have access to, while setting a dangerous, Orwellian precedent for government-mandated censorship…This expansive law would impose widespread censorship that could implicate authors, speakers, counselors, colleges and universities, and even religious leaders seeking to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. The bill has passed the General Assembly and is in a senate committee. Use these Talking Points when calling your senator or the Governor.
“An Indiana teacher says he was forced to resign after he refused to comply with the school district’s policy of addressing transgender students by their preferred names. John Kluge, the former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, Indiana, argued that the policy ― which also requires teachers to refer to students using the pronouns which best align with their gender identity ― goes against his religious beliefs and violates the First Amendment.”
CrossFit fired its chief knowledge officer and oftentimes unofficial spokesperson for voicing his stance on marriage. The company deemed Russell Berger’s opinions prejudice and harmful and officially terminated him Wednesday, the same day he made the remarks on Twitter.
CPCF Legal Team: The case involves the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a memorial to area men who died in the First World War. It has stood since 1925 without bothering anyone until in 2014 the American Humanist Association felt that the monument violates the Constitution’s establishment clause. The district judge tossed the case, holding that the tiny amount of government money that is spent on upkeep does not endorse religion. The Fourth Circuit held 2-1 that this offends the First Amendment. On the petition for rehearing en banc the court declined by 8-6. Pray that the Supreme Court takes this case and reverses the Fourth Circuit ruling.
“Redemption Community Church has a heart for reaching out to the underprivileged and homeless in the community. In order to follow this calling, they sold their property outside of the city and bought property in downtown Laurel. Their plan was to operate a non-profit coffee shop in order to connect with the surrounding community during the week and host a church service on Sundays. The church also planned to donate the proceeds from the coffee shop to other local non-profits that share its goal of serving the community. Shortly after the church purchased a building downtown, however, the city changed its zoning laws to exclude non-profits, making the property useless for the church’s intended plans. A few weeks later, the city changed its laws again, requiring churches that were on less than one-acre lots (nearly every church in the area) to apply for a ‘special exception’ under the law – an expensive and time-consuming process that does not even guarantee the church will be granted the exception at the end of it all.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation says the mayor of a coastal Mississippi city violated the constitution when he led high school students in a prayer last month.
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 join us in 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