Texas County Ends Taxpayer Funded Abortions
Thursday afternoon, board members of Central Health (formerly Travis County Healthcare District) voted unanimously to end using $450,000 of taxpayer money annually to fund abortion. Travis County was the first Texas county to use taxpayer money for abortion, which it distributed to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. A law passed during the Texas Legislative Session ends state funding for healthcare districts that use taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Existing law prevented federal and state-level taxpayer funding for abortion, but this law closes the loophole to make sure that no taxpayer money in the State of Texas funds abortion. While this is a great step forward for life in Austin, the war continues nationwide as the Obama administration continues to expand abortion services covered under insurance, including several controversial birth control medications.
Religious Hostility Climbs Worldwide
Every day, Liberty Institute works to preserve religious freedom nationwide for individuals wishing to express their beliefs and churches fighting simply for the right to exist. While we are engaging in more battles than ever before, we are winning.
However, global trends often (though not always) give us glimpses of where our country could be headed if we follow certain footsteps or vary even slightly from our current system.
So what is the global trend? A study released this week shows that trends for religious freedom are getting worse – and quickly. From mid-2006 to mid-2009, eight of the world’s 25 largest countries saw increased restrictions on religious freedom stemming from either government restrictions or social hostilities. Some of these countries might surprise you: China, Egypt, France, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the most harassed religious group is Christianity, which saw government or social harassment in two-thirds of the world. Following closely is Islam, which experienced harassment in 59 percent of the world.
The findings of this study should lead us to two things: first, to pray for our brothers and sisters worldwide as they live and work in countries in which they experience hostility to their beliefs. Secondly, this must lead us to prayer and stewardship for our own country. If we stray from the religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, we will see great consequences. We must stand for freedom in our own backyards before we can effectively help our neighbors.
Americans Respond in Prayer
On Saturday, over 40,000 Americans of all races, young and old, rich and poor, gathered at Houston’s Reliant Stadium to pray for our country. Here, there was no distinction between people; there was simply a desire for God’s favor in America. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 40,000 people, plus many more who were a part of the live webcast in their homes and churches nationwide, called out to God and repented for the sins of our country and begged for revival. After the event, many people, especially young adults, felt a renewed hope for our country.
Even so, critics still attacked the event, citing politics (which was not even mentioned) or “separation of church and state,” which was shown to be invalid as the lawsuit against the prayer gathering was thrown out of court as baseless. The Response was a celebration of all things American – freedom to worship in public, freedom to speak about religion, and humility in praying for our country. Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute, wrote an editorial on this very subject.