Ohio Supreme Court rules for life, California baker wins, politics is downstream from culture, and the Mexico City Policy works

Signs & Wonders

For Life. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a state order shutting down an abortion clinic was constitutional. According to the Cincinnati Inquirer, “Justices found the Ohio Department of Health acted within its rights in 2014 when it decided to shut down Capital Care of Toledo. Justices say the clinic violated a requirement because it no longer had a valid patient-transfer agreement.” A second ruling by the court found that an Ohio budget bill that imposed regulatory requirements on abortion facilities was unconstitutional. Ohio’s high court refused to hear the case, saying the abortion facility bringing the case had not demonstrated harm.

Cake Artist Wins. A California judge said a state agency cannot punish a Christian for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding reception. By denying the agency’s injunction Feb. 5, Judge David Lampe of the Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield said the state’s case against Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery, “cannot succeed on the facts presented as a matter of law.” The United States Supreme Court is hearing a similar case involving Jack Phillips, a cake artist from Colorado. Oral arguments in that case have been heard, and a decision is expected by the summer.

The Real Threat. Chuck Colson was fond of saying that “politics is downstream from culture” and “salvation will not come on Air Force One.” He was right. Our political conversations, including the decisions of our legislatures and courts, are reflections of what is going on in the culture. The always interesting David French, writing this week in National Review, puts it this way: “Over the long term, this is the real threat to religious freedom. It’s not, ultimately, the government. It’s the combination of media and cultural pressure — of external and internal anger — that slowly but surely bends church institutions to its will. Talk to thoughtful pastors and religious leaders, even in ruby-red communities, and they’ll concur.” I commend the entire article to you. You can find it here.

Mexico City Policy Effective. Perhaps the hottest political potato of the past 35 years has been the so-called Mexico City Policy, which blocks U.S. funding for foreign organizations that provide or advocate for abortion. Every Republican president since Reagan has instated it by executive order, and every Democratic president has rescinded it. But few deny it works. For example, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is refusing U.S. government money rather than give up abortions, even though they are having to cut back on the number of abortions they perform – which is, of course, the point of the policy. Elisha Dunn-Georgiou of Population Action International said, the policy had a “huge, huge chilling effect” on pro-abortion activism in countries receiving U.S. aid.

Milestones. On Feb. 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th and last contiguous state admitted to the Union…. The Israeli parliament, called The Knesset, first convened on this date in 1949.


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