From Chick-fil-A to the U.S. Senate

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Tim_Scott_Official Portrait_113th_Congress

By now you likely know that  South Carolina’s Tim Scott has become the first African-American Republican from the South to be elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

Logic dictates that he won the seat because more people voted for him than voted for his opponent.

But there’s more to the story.

Isn’t there always?

How Tim got to the night of November 4th is a tale almost too good to be true.

But it isn’t.

Five Things Last Night’s Election Taught Us

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Girl holding American flag

Let the spinning begin.

Pundits and analysts from both sides of the political spectrum are deciphering, interpreting and calculating the impact of last night’s mid-term elections. Our own public policy analysts were up late into the night closely watching the returns from across the country.

What’s our take?

I’ve lived long enough and seen enough to subscribe to the old adage that rarely is anything as good as you hope for – or as bad as you fear.

Encouraging Stories from “Bring Your Bible to School Day”

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Student holds Bible

A few weeks ago, I encouraged families to consider taking part in the first-ever “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” sponsored by Focus’ Day of Dialogue free-speech and religious freedom initiative.

Today I want to share with you three amazing things God did through the Oct. 16 event and the students – some just elementary school-aged boys and girls – who participated.

1. “Bring Your Bible to School Day” received positive media attention nationwide
With this being the first year we were sponsoring the event, we kept our efforts small, spreading the word mainly through our website and local Christian radio stations, so families could prayerfully consider participation.

Why are These Pastors Being Threatened with Fines of $1,000 Per Day?

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Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post Chapel. [CREDIT: ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM]

Meet Donald and Evelyn Knapp.

Both in their late 60s, the Knapps have owned and operated the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since 1989. In that time, they’ve performed more than 34,000 weddings. The chapel is conveniently located across from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses.

The Knapps are more than wedding chapel owners, though. They’re also ordained ministers from the Foursquare Church, an evangelical denomination. They take the tenets of their faith and denomination seriously, including the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Freedom of Houston Pastors Still at Risk

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Statue of Jesus

Last week’s bombshell out of Houston that its mayor, Annise Parker, had subpoenaed the sermons from area pastors is still causing ripples both inside and outside the faith community.

On Friday, city attorneys revised their demands. Instead of requesting the pastor’s sermons, they’re now demanding “all speeches or presentations” related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The controversial law, also known as the “Bathroom Bill” allows men who consider themselves women to use the women’s restroom.

Pastors’ Sermons Subpoenaed in Houston

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Church

The city of Houston has subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It’s a chilling turn of events for those of us who practice our faith and value the self-evident right to religious freedom recognized by the First Amendment.

The reason why this subpoena is being made is especially ominous: It targets high-profile pastors who opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which, among other things, gives people who identify as transgender the right to file a discrimination complaint if they’re barred from accessing a restroom.

SCOTUS and Gay Marriage: No Court Can Change the Truth

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Husband/wife wedding rings

Google “Supreme Court” and “gay marriage” today, and you’ll get dozens of articles on today’s news that the justices rejected to hear appeals from five states. The New York Times headline declared the move a “tacit victory,” because it allows for weddings in five more states.

Here’s the statement Focus on the Family’s judicial analyst, Bruce Hausknecht, released today in response.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to accept five state marriage cases sets the stage for the further spread of same-sex marriage, and with it, a further expansion of threats to religious freedom.

Loving Your Neighbor Includes Public Policy Involvement

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American flags

There’s no way around it: our nation’s laws impact families. The question is, will the influence be beneficial or harmful to our marriages and children?

Today I’m highlighting my recent interview with Citizen, Focus on the Family’s magazine devoted to public policy news and trends. In it, I share why I believe our faith mandates cultural engagement – and why that engagement includes politics. –JD

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A Political Conversation

With a major election approaching, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly takes time to articulate his views on public policy and Christian responsibility.

Elementary School Students Now Being Censored and You Can Help

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Elementary school student

In my blog, I’ve often shared examples of Christians being punished for remaining true to their Biblical beliefs. Just a few weeks ago, we called attention to Christian college students encountering discrimination.

Even more disturbing is that this discrimination is happening to our youngest students. In today’s guest blog, our education analyst, Candi Cushman, gives more detail and explains how you can help. –JD

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The right to freely acknowledge and practice one’s faith was a cherished freedom our Founding Fathers were willing to risk their lives to protect.

When Political Correctness Endangers Children

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Human trafficking

The children were beaten, raped and trafficked.

Conservative estimates put the number of underage victims at about 1,400.

A recently-released report published by an independent auditor describes what happened in Rotherham, England – and it is a difficult read.

It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.