Pro-life Victory in California, Hillsong Pastor Waffles, Fired over Sexuality, and Billy Graham’s Birthday

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Fighting FACT. Pro-lifers have won a rare victory in California. According to WORLD, “Pro-life pregnancy care centers in Los Angeles will not be forced to promote abortion after a state trial judge last week halted enforcement of California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act.” A Riverside County judge issued a permanent injunction against the 2015 law, which, among other requirements, forced pro-life facilities to give women the number of a local abortion provider. “The FACT Act compels speech, and regulates content,” Trask said in her ruling. “This speech is not merely the transmittal of neutral information, such as the calorie count of a food product, or the octane of gasoline purchased at a pump.” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Liberty Counsel were among the groups fighting the law. The groups now plan to turn their attention to a similar, though even tougher, law in Hawaii.

Fired for Being Straight? Camille LeNoir claims she was denied a coaching job in women’s basketball because she is no longer a lesbian. A former college star at the University of Southern California, she played pro ball briefly before moving into coaching.  New Mexico State University offered her a job coaching, but then rescinded the offer after NMSU’s coach Mark Trakh saw a video in which LeNoir talked about how her faith had led her away from homosexuality, which she now considers “wrong.” NMSU retracted the offer, and now LeNoir is suing. “I felt the job was taken away because of my heterosexuality,” LeNoir, 31, said in an interview reported in the Washington Post. LeNoir’s suit says she was discriminated against because of her religious beliefs and sexual identity.

Hillsong Pastor Waffles on Abortion. Carl Lentz, pastor of the 20,000-member Hillsong Church in New York, is generating controversy for not taking a firm stand on abortion. When Lentz appeared on “The View,” and the show’s co-host Joy Behar asked him, “So, it’s not a sin in your church to have an abortion?” Lentz responded: “That’s the kind of conversation we would have finding out your story, where you’re from, what you believe. . . . I mean, God’s the judge. People have to live to their own convictions. That’s such a broad question, to me, I’m going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, ‘What do you believe?’” James Silberman, writing in The Federalist, called Lentz’s comments particularly destructive because pro-abortion groups are attempting to “infiltrate religious narratives.” He says Lentz “provides cover” for those who claim the Bible is ambiguous on the abortion issue.

Billy Graham’s Birthday. Evangelist Billy Graham turns 99 today, and his library in my hometown of Charlotte, N.C., is serving what is reportedly his favorite cake, lemon cake with lard icing, to celebrate. The birthday also kicks off a year-long celebration of the life of Billy Graham that will culminate on his 100th birthday next year.

Image courtesy of YouTube and ABC.

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


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