For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? – Isaiah 14:27
As we continue to roll along in 2021, a lot is happening across the nation. There are bright spots among a number of other rather dark developments. Through it all, one thing is sure: we know who is in control of all that happens, and nothing that happens is unknown by our Creator.
Here is the latest prayer update in our ongoing prayer initiative Under God, One Nation.
The Hyde Amendment
As we have shared before, the Hyde amendment is a long-standing policy that has been included in Congressional spending bills for decades to prevent taxpayer money from funding abortion (in most cases). President Biden and many on the left want to eliminate the Hyde Amendment so that government can begin to use taxpayer funds for abortions in any instance.
We are now in the season when Congress is working on annual spending bills and there is an all-out war to rip the Hyde Amendment out of those bills. It is likely that Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives will remove this essential pro-life provision in the coming weeks. Fortunately, if that does happen, Republicans and even a few Democrats in the Senate have pledged to oppose any spending bill that does not have Hyde’s protections. That is good news because as we have noted before, there is a requirement for 60 votes to advance legislation in the Senate. God willing, and as long as conservatives and a few key Democrat senators stand strong, these spending bills will fail to advance in the Senate.
We continue to pray for pro-life protections in all Congressional and federal government activity and we pray against the political forces advancing the culture of abortion. We pray for the strength and resolve of those who will stand in the gap to protect life.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation and The Equality Act
There has been a lot happening in this particular area over the past few weeks. Here is a quick rundown.
Equality Act –
The House passed the Equality Act in February. After a hearing or two, the bill has been sitting idle in the Senate for some time. While it was expected that the bill would receive action in June, that did not occur. We have heard that the outcry from voters against the bill as well as the multiple efforts to protect women’s and girls’ sports had a significant impact on stalling this bill in Congress. Much of that is thanks to your willingness to speak out! Moreover, to pass anything, the Senate would need 60 votes. It is unclear why the bill has not come up for a vote, but it could be that there are not yet 60 votes to pass it in the Senate at this time.
We continue to pray that those who oppose the Equality Act will stand strong and not cave to the intense pressure they are sure to feel in the coming months.
Title IX –
Since the Equality Act has not yet been approved, the Left has seized upon other means to accomplish their goals administratively—without having to go through the work of the legislative process. For example, the Biden administration effectively gutted Title IX protections for girls and women in recent weeks. This came as a major hat-tip to the LGBT community during their effusive PRIDE Month. The Biden Administration’s action completely redefined the word “sex” in the law – which means male and female – to instead include “gender identity,” the idea that you can be whichever sex you feel like. That undermines the very purpose of the law, which was originally enacted in the 1970’s to give girls and women more access to educational opportunities, including athletics. Now, the Department of Education is ironically using the law to put girls at risk of losing athletic opportunities, while at the same time permitting members of the opposite sex to invade private spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms in schools.
In another bizarre move, some on the far Left in Congress, attempting to remove basic ideas of sex from even motherhood, began referring to mothers as “birthing people”.
Other Bills –
While the Equality Act has not advanced, there are at least 100 other bills in Congress that include similar proposals. Some opportunists in Congress see the advantage of including pieces of the Equality Act in many different proposals – hoping that no one will notice. They hope that once a few of them are passed the rest will follow along.
We continue to pray that these efforts will fail, and that no girl will be harmed or endangered by these ill-conceived changes. We also pray that administrative efforts to enact radical LGBT mandates will fail after meeting intense opposition. Similarly, we pray that subversive efforts in Congress will be exposed in every instance and thwarted. Because administrative changes like these do not have the permanency of enacted law, we also pray that the next administration will have the determination to root out all of these changes.
As we have shared before, the filibuster is a procedural rule in the US Senate that requires 60 votes to advance any particular legislation to a final vote.
Right now, we know that there are at least two Democrat Senators (maybe more) who are standing strong against changing this rule. With the 50-50 split in congress, those now opposed would have to agree to a change in the rule for it to occur. The importance of this point cannot be overstated – as long as the filibuster remains, the bar to pass radical legislation like the Equality Act is high enough to preclude a lot of bad things from happening.
We continue to pray that the filibuster will remain in place and that the Senators who are receiving pressure to change it will stand strong no matter what. We are also praying that any efforts to get around the filibuster or weaken it would fail.
Supreme Court –
In recent weeks, the Supreme Court has issued a few positive rulings – here are the three most important.
- The court ruled unanimously to preserve the religious freedom of Catholic Charities adoption services to only certify married man and woman couples for foster care or adoption, based on their faith.
- The Court also ruled that state laws requiring non-profits to release donor lists was unconstitutional. This is a win for people of faith who want to privately support important causes!
- Lastly, the Court has upheld the right of states to pass voter ID requirements and other important provisions that preserve the integrity and safety of elections.
These three rulings are particularly important because each one of them strikes a severe blow to certain pieces of legislation that many on the Left were seeking to rush through Congress this year. The recent attempt to federalize elections has been severely hampered by the 2nd and 3rd rulings noted above. (One vote on one of the election ‘reform’ bills failed in recent weeks.)
These three rulings are a relief, but they also raise the specter of those on the Left who wish to change the Supreme Court. For some, their goal is to expand the Court so that the Biden administration has an opportunity to add more left-leaning judges in order to restore what the Left calls ‘balance’ on the Court.
We are praying prayers of thanksgiving for these rulings and the direction that they represent from the Court. We are also praying against the forces that would manipulate the system in order to pack the court with ideological leftists. As noted above, we are praying that the filibuster holds as it is the stopgap preventing this proposal from advancing as well.
Save Girls Sports –
As a quick update, 8 states passed Save Girls’ Sports legislation this year—with possibly Texas joining in as the 9th. Those states chose to elevate the matter to state law and in so doing pushed back against the national movement to impose sexual orientation and gender identity policies. These states now have drawn a line in the sand and created an opportunity to challenge the Biden Administration’s concerning actions on Title IX (mentioned above).
We are thankful for the men and women who stood strong during their state legislative sessions to get these laws enacted. We especially pray for Texas to show its strength in joining as the ninth state to protect their daughters’ sports and hope more states will take the necessary steps to enact these laws in 2022.
Prayers for LGBT Individuals –
Finally, as noted above, June has been deemed by many as LGBT PRIDE month. While many see it as a month of promoting a lifestyle and exploiting corporate and national sympathies to advance an agenda, we see it as an opportunity to pray for those trapped in LGBT lifestyles. At the beginning of June, Meridian Baldacci, our Policy and Communications Strategist, launched a new video series called Ask Meridian. Her first video was a heartfelt message about how to address these issues with LGBT individuals and perhaps more importantly, how we can be praying for those individuals. It was an excellent video, especially helpful to those of us who know LGBT individuals but are unsure whether we should approach the issue with them and if so, how to do it. You can read more and watch the video HERE.
We appreciate you partnering with us in prayer. Please share this list with your church, your small group, your pastor, and your Sunday School class in the coming days. Please encourage them to join you in signing up for a prayer time so that we can continue to lift the nation and these issues in the coming weeks and months.