The Briefing: Transgender troops ‘disastrous,’ Alito’s ominous sign

ib2newseditor —  July 5, 2016

The BriefingTransgender troop ban repeal called ‘disastrous’
The Obama administration’s decision to allow openly transgender people to serve in the U.S. military has been classified by Southern Baptist leaders as “deluded,” “disastrous” and a step toward self-inflicted “national weakness.” Mark Coppenger, a former Illinois pastor and retired Army officer, said lifting the ban imperils “decency” and “military readiness.

Justice Alito’s warning about religious freedom
The Court’s decision not to hear a case challenging a Washington state law that forces a family-owned pharmacy to dispense emergency contraceptives is an “ominous sign” for those who value religious freedom, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said. “If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern,” Alito said in a critical dissent.

SCOTUS marriage ruling sparked ministry
Numerous Baptist state conventions have helped equip churches for ministry in the new marriage culture. “Our energy is going into making sure churches understand their religious freedoms regarding same-sex marriage assertions, and helping them take steps to protect those liberties through their bylaws and written operating procedures,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. We have used conferences, articles and especially downloadable resources on our website to make these protections as accessible to churches as possible.”

We’re talking about religion
When it comes to who’s having those religious conversations with family and friends, it’s particularly evangelicals and black Protestants. The majority of evangelicals talked about religion in the last month with their immediate family (70%) and people outside their family (55%). Most black Protestants also had religious conversations with immediate family (61%) and extended family (51%). \

Russian law would prohibit evangelizing
The proposed Russian laws, considered the country’s most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history, place broad limitations on missionary work, including preaching, teaching, and engaging in any activity designed to recruit people into a religious group. To share their faith, citizens must secure a government permit through a registered religious organization, and they cannot evangelize anywhere besides churches and other religious sites. The restrictions even apply to activity in private residences and online.

Sources: Baptist Press, Daily Signal, Baptist Press, Facts and Trends, Christianity Today