Episode 357

US reviews religious freedom act progress at 25-year mark; ERLC opposes education transgender proposal; Embrace God’s Word

May 17, 2023

Christians and other faith groups saw increased religious freedom in some countries while suffering continued and growing persecution in others, the U.S. State Department said May 15 in its 2022 report on international religious freedom; The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) submitted public comments Monday (May 15) objecting to a Department of Education proposed rule regarding students who identify as a gender other than the biological sex of their birth; In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Nate Pickowicz remembers a time when reading the Bible was a struggle

Transcript

Christians and other faith groups saw increased religious freedom in some countries while suffering continued and growing persecution in others, the U.S. State Department said May 15 in its 2022 report on international religious freedom.

Advances noted in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Croatia and the Central African Republic were tempered by new and increased restrictions against Muslim Uyghurs in China, Catholics in Nicaragua, women in Iran, Christians and Shia Muslims in Afghanistan, religious minorities in Burma and targeted attacks and government restrictions against Christians and others in India.

 

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) submitted public comments Monday (May 15) objecting to a Department of Education proposed rule regarding students who identify as a gender other than the biological sex of their birth. The proposal for kindergarten through college would prohibit schools receiving federal funds from implementing wholesale bans on student participation on athletic teams aligned with their gender identity instead of their biological sex.

While the proposed regulation would permit restrictions on some older student-athletes who identify as transgender, it would forbid a “one-size-fits-all” ban on their participation. Such a categorical prohibition, the proposed rule says, would violate Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that accept federal money.

ERLC President Brent Leatherwood said in his submitted comments, however, the proposed rule actually would violate Title IX’s intention to protect equality in education programs for females. And the department’s explanation of the criteria for prohibiting males who identify as transgender from participating on female teams “renders the exception virtually useless,” he said.

The proposed regulation is another in a series of actions by the Biden administration in its effort to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.

The policy battle over gender identity in athletics is being waged also in legislatures and courts.

 

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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Nate Pickowicz remembers a time when reading the Bible was a struggle. He was trying to stay with his Bible reading plan but was finding the times of study very dry.

In his piece, he offers an alternative idea of reading,

“Instead of plowing through a few verses and then speeding off to work, slow it down. Instead of laboring through the whole Bible in a year, go a little deeper. Instead of reading your Bible simply to check it off the chore list, change your mental approach—change your philosophy.[1] Instead, take a longer view of learning your Bible—two, three, five, or even seven years. Make your end goal not merely to read the Bible but to know and understand it—to love and treasure it as God’s holy, sufficient, transforming Word.

I distinctly remember being in a place of utter desperation and needing some fresh air. It was at that place that I discovered this paradigm shift.”

     

     

                   

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

                  Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

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