Tuesday Briefing: State stats, Johnny Football, and the Court gets religious

Meredith Flynn —  February 10, 2015

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Three-dimensional map of Illinois. USA.It’s “State of the States” time at Gallup, and the researcher is releasing new findings every other day. Last week’s data covered President Obama’s job approval rating, political party identification, and ideology–each measured by state. To see how Illinois ranked (a quick preview: The state had the 10th highest approval rating for the President), go to Gallup.com.

Phillip Bethancourt examines “Johnny Manziel, Rehab and the Gospel” on FaithStreet.com, in light of the Cleveland quarterback’s entry into a treatment center earlier this month. “As Christians, our response to the collapse of Johnny Manziel should not be an ‘I told you so’ triumphalism or an ‘anyone could see that coming’ dismissiveness,” wrote Bethancourt, executive vice president for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “Instead it should be a ‘such were some of you’ recognition that, apart from Christ, we might also be there.”

Pew Reseach reports the U.S. Supreme Court could face some religion-themed decisions this year, including two very different cases related to employment. In one, a would-be employee at Abercrombie & Fitch is arguing for her right to wear a head covering. In the other, religiously affiliated non-profits say they shouldn’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.

At the Feb. 5 National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama compared current acts of terrorism committed by ISIS and other groups to past movements–including the Crusades–he said were often committed or justified in the name of Christ.

“His flawed comparison to atrocities that happened hundreds of years ago minimizes the severity of ISIS and other groups that are brutalizing and killing innocent people,” Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd told Baptist Press. “Instead of focusing on the past, America needs heroic leadership in the present–leadership that champions religious liberty for all people.”

Christian rapper Lecrae Moore gave credit where credit is due during his Grammy acceptance speech Sunday night.  “…You can’t celebrate gifts without celebrating the giver of all gifts. So I want to celebrate Jesus for gifting us all with the gift of love and sacrifice.” Lecrae’s song “Messengers” (featuring for KING AND COUNTRY) won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Song/Performance. Read more at ChristianPost.com.



Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.