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  New Mexico State University offered her a job coaching, but then rescinded the offer after NMSU’s coach Mark Trakh saw a video in which LeNoir talked about how her faith had led her away from homosexuality, which she now considers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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  • Phoenix1977

    “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.”

    Seriously? Perhaps the offer was rescinded because she advocates “praying the gay away” which is a pretty big no-no in academics. Not to mention she openly admits she believes being gay is wrong, which is discriminatory and would open the university to even more law suits. And she wasn’t even fired; she was simply not hired. Which had nothing to do with her being straight or a Christian but because she admitted, on camera, she is a bigot and (gay) students cannot be considered safe around her and her views.

    • Jason Taylor

      Oh? You mean school is now a place to hear safe views?

      • Phoenix1977

        If you want to read that in my comment, fine with me. But let me ask you a question. Would you invite the local bully who threatens your son or daughter into your house as a babysitter while you and your wife are out? If not, why would you expect a university to invite a bully who, on camera, threatens LGBT students to coach them?

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          Please identify what the threat was, Phoenix.

    • Scott McMahan

      The disconnect I’ve experienced discussing this issue with non Christians is this. When we as Christians say that the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin, nonbelievers take that to mean that we are singling out and condemning all people with same sex attraction to hell and labeling them as inferior to us. If that were true your accusations would be correct. And for some professing Christians I’m sure it is true. But for most of us who seek to be faithful to God’s teaching that is not true.

      What is true is this. God teaches that sex is a good gift to us under one condition and one condition only: the covenant of marriage between man and woman. In all other circumstances it is adultery and a defilement of His creation, of our body temples He gave us. All forms of adultery are sinful, not just homosexuality. Jesus goes so far as to say that any time that we lust after another human being other than our spouse we are committing adultery in our heart. The bar is so high that we can never reach it without God’s help. We all Are sinners who need Christ.

      To try to suppress this teaching is suppression of not just our freedom of speech and religion, but a suppression of God’s purposes and aims. As Peter said in Acts, Whether we should listen to and obey God’s commands or yours is for you to judge.

      • Phoenix1977

        “When we as Christians say that the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin, nonbelievers take that to mean that we are singling out and condemning all people with same sex attraction to hell and labeling them as inferior to us.”
        Take it from a gay man who has been singled out, condemned, harassed and even violated by Christians that assumption is quite accurate. I have both the physical and emotional scars to show for it. And with me quite a few LGBTs in the world.

        “But for most of us who seek to be faithful to God’s teaching that is not true.”
        Trouble is, those of us who suffered by the hands of Christians simply no longer believe or trust you. And we certainly don’t trust you with the safety of our children, especially not the LGBT ones.

        The truth is this: your god doesn’t exist. Your god was imagined a little over 2000 years ago by a group of people who desired power and managed to maintain in power by inducing fear into the hearts of people. But people are overcoming that fear, causing the Christian churches to lose their hold over people.

        “We all Are sinners who need Christ.”
        And yet, once you have rejected Christianity the entire “sin” argument goes out the window, setting you completely free. You see, I was a Christian once, but I noticed quite some discrepancies between Christian teachings and the way the world actually works. And that was even before I accepted my sexuality. I left Christianity behind as the fraud it was and I never desired to change that decision even once.

        “To try to suppress this teaching is suppression of not just our freedom of speech and religion, but a suppression of God’s purposes and aims.”
        Your fellow Christians should have thought about that decades ago. Right now we (as in non-Christians) have decided the only way to keep ourselves and our children safe from you is to keep you at arms length. If that means ignoring your rights, let’s say most of us won’t lose much sleep over it if it means others won’t have to suffer the same abuse as we did.

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          You’re bashing again, Phoenix. Tone it down. You may have seen the note on the last Youth Reads that I’ll be gone soon; I know for a fact that the next comment screener will not be as lenient as I’ve been. If you want to keep commenting here, you’re going to need to watch it.

  • Gina Dalfonzo

    If you haven’t figured it out by now, after being told time and again, there’s not much I can do to help you.

    • Phoenix1977

      Perhaps because what you see as bashing I see as simply stating the obvious and the truth. And if you consider my comments bashing I wonder how you view today’s world. Because, compared with quite a few people out there, I’m pretty gentle in my speech.

      • Gina Dalfonzo

        That’s funny, I was just wondering how you survived today’s world when you consider someone saying you’re wrong about something to be bullying! 🙂

        • Phoenix1977

          By keeping them at arms length. And, as I told you before, the laws in my country are quite different. Saying negative things about LGBTs is discrimination and hate speech in the Netherlands (and several other European countries). This woman could face jail time here, not to mention she would never work anywhere ever again.

  • Phoenix1977

    There is, however, one extremely big difference: Christians have not been hunted by atheists; carnivors have never been hunted by vegans. But LGBTs have been hunted, harassed, violated, maimed and even raped and killed by Christians. So whenever a Christian says it’s wrong to be gay we know from (recent) history they might back up that claim by actions instead of just words.

    • David Carlson

      Hi, Phoenix . . . Atheist communist regimes have hunted down Christians and continue to do so.

      That said, as this article is a week old, and we seem to have come full circle, I (the less lenient moderator Gina warned about . . . and I type that with a smile) am going to close the discussion.

      Thanks to all.