A Religious Liberty Victory, The Vanishing American Adult, Israel’s Six-Day War, D-Day and Other Milestones

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Religious Liberty Victory. The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a major victory for religious liberty yesterday. In a unanimous ruling, the high court ruled in favor of three Christian hospital systems that had been facing a lawsuit over funding of their pension plans. According to WORLD, “Employees of the hospitals claimed the institutions violated federal law by not fully funding their pension plans. The hospitals argued federal law has long recognized an exemption to the funding law for churches and faith-based institutions.” Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion. The opinion upheld the idea, long a part of tax law, that the definition of “church” can extend to hospitals and other organizations operated as a ministry of the church.

Vanishing American Adult. We have written often at BreakPoint about the phenomenon of “perpetual adolescence.” It goes by a variety of names, such as “Peter Pan syndrome” or “failure to launch.” In recent years we have also seen a variety of good books on the topic. I would recommend Diana West’s “The Death of the Grown-Up,” for example. But it’s not often that you find a sitting U.S. Senator who so thoughtfully engages an issue—any issue—as Sen. Ben Sasse engages this one. His new book, “The Vanishing American Adult,” combines his experience as a college president with his deep Christian commitment in ways that make compelling reading. You can read an excerpt of his book here.

Six-Day War. June 5 marked the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War. The war with Egypt and Syria expanded Israeli territory and, many historians say, established Israel as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. For the best short explanation of the war I’ve heard in a while, I recommend to you Mindy Belz’s interview at WORLD Radio, which you can hear here. On a personal note, I happened to be in Israel 10 years ago this week, on the 40th anniversary of the war. I was sitting at an outdoor restaurant in Tiberius overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Israeli Air Force jets did a flyover, a barge had been hauled a half-mile offshore, and a massive fireworks show began at dusk. I noticed that the restaurant was playing sweeping orchestral music to correspond with the fireworks show. Or at least that’s what I thought it was until I started listening more closely. It was the theme from “Gone with the Wind.” I leave you to draw your own conclusions about what that means.

More Milestones. This week also marks the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and crackdowns. Street protests took place in Hong Kong to commemorate the event, an event not officially acknowledged by the Chinese government. . . . Controversial evangelical leader Lonnie Frisbee was born on this date in 1949. He died of AIDS in 1993. I wrote about his life, and its lessons for the evangelical church, here. . . . And, of course, today is the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, when 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in the largest seaborne invasion in history. D-Day began the liberation of Europe from Nazi control, and was a vital step toward winning World War II.

Image copyright St. Martin’s Press.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.


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