With Halloween upon us, pastors are sharing their views on the oft-times controversial holiday, with many encouraging congregants to use the festivities to point people toward faith.
According to a survey from Lifeway Research, 71% of preachers “view the celebration as an opportunity to invite people to church events such as a fall festival or ‘trunk-or-treat’ party.” However, 13% discourage parishioners from participating at all.
Religious liberty rundown
This week brings three big stories on the religious liberty front. A California baker who declined to make a same-sex wedding cake and found herself in a years-long legal battle was victorious. Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, won her legal plight after a state agency sued her for discrimination.
“I’m hoping that, in our community, we can grow together,” Ms. Miller said after the ruling. “And we should understand that we shouldn’t push any agenda against anyone else.”
Then there’s high school football coach Joe Kennedy who, fresh off his Supreme Court victory, is slated to be reinstated in his role after a nearly decade-long battle. Mr. Kennedy was infamously fired for praying on the 50-yard line after games — a move the court said was unconstitutional.
Now, he will return to his role with the Bremerton High School football team on or before March 15. Read more about the latest developments here.
Across the pond, U.K. police have apologized and paid more than $11,200 to a Muslim-turned-Christian woman arrested for preaching against Islam. Hatun Tash’s “rare” victory led to a settlement, which she donated to the Christian Legal Centre.
“This payout to Hatun is a rare admission by the police that they got it wrong,” CLC Chief Executive Andrea Williams said after the stunning win.
Iranian Christians’ bold move
Meanwhile, Iranian Christians — a minority population whose members risk their lives for holding biblical views — are joining protests after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of Iran’s infamous morality police, who arrested her for wearing her hijab too loosely.
More than 300 Iranian Christians took the rare step of writing a public letter likening the current Iranian regime to a “bloodthirsty infection.”
Plus, all eyes have been on the U.K. for another reason: Rishi Sunak just became the first Hindu prime minister in British history — a notable and historical moment.
Back in America
Back in the U.S., the abortion debate continues to rage. Georgia is currently at the center of a trial to see whether abortion bans as early as six weeks — after a heartbeat is detectable — will remain in effect in the state.
On another important note: A prominent Jewish leader said synagogues in America are “absolutely making progress” on security measures after 11 people were killed at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018. Eric Fingerhut, president of the Jewish Federations of North America, spoke out as anti-Semitism has dominated headlines.
“We will ensure that there is a professionally run ‘Community Security Initiative’ in every Jewish community in North America,” Mr. Fingerhut told The Washington Times.
In our opinion
There are also some must-read columns in the opinion section this week. Everett Piper tackled the “boogeyman of Christian nationalism,” writing, “With the midterm elections just a couple of weeks away, the woke cries of Christian nationalism are again on the rise.”
And Billy Hallowell dove into one of the most hypocritical and downright diabolical facets of the pro-abortion lobby: the penchant some of its adherents have for exulting pro-abortion narratives, lionizing these stories into hero narratives while excluding divergent experiences.
Finally, Michael McKenna wrote an impassioned open letter to President Biden — and it’s worth a read.
“In the last six months, there have been attacks on nearly 100 Catholic churches and more than six dozen pregnancy centers,” Mr. McKenna wrote. “During this time, you — a self-described devout Catholic who carries a rosary on his person to remind you of the sacrifice of Mary, Mother of God, whose own pregnancy led to the redemption of the world — have remained silent with respect to these attacks.”
That wraps up this week’s Higher Ground. Read The Washington Times for more daily headlines.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.