Gov. Mike Parson declared the week of Jan. 20-26 School Choice Week in Missouri. Southern Baptists have traditionally favored school choice provided there are no federal strings attached. Southern Baptists hold to the true meaning of “separation of church and state:” the government is not to meddle in the affairs of the church and the church will not “drink from the government trough.”
Two critical issues face the church as it thinks through the idea of school choice. First, we must ask: How does school choice work in Missouri? If it means education savings accounts, where parents pick the school they want their children to attend and then the government money goes to the school – not the parents – it might or might not work. Perhaps the best way would be tax credits. The key will be avoiding a faith-based school from getting entangled with government demands that could pressure the school into violating its beliefs. Second, the assessment that states require to measure how students are performing in the classroom must not discriminate against faith-based schools. If the assessment promotes a secular worldview, then school choice must be opposed.
Observers say education reform is coming to Missouri. Parents need to watch and listen to see what that means. In the meantime, pray righteousness will prevail.
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Meanwhile, a Marist poll of 1,066 adults conducted Jan. 8-10, found that 63-19 percent support people for whom religion is important serving as appointees in the federal government. Some 62-23 percent expressed support for those whom religion is important serving as federal judges. By 55-33 percent, Americans support protection of religious freedom – even when it goes against government laws.
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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected president was because he vowed to appoint conservative judges to the federal judiciary. In the first two years of the Trump presidency, he has appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court and 64 other conservative judges to federal posts. That compares to 49 appointments by President Obama in his first two years in office. If Trump maintains the same pace, there is a chance that all of the nation’s 11 appellate courts could have conservative majorities by 2020. An astounding development and a promise kept by Trump.
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I get a kick out of reading the predictions of demographers. One of the best is Kenneth Gronbach (a follower of Christ) who is in demand by the world’s largest corporations. In his latest newsletter, Gronbach offers five observations for 2019:
1. Women will take charge. They outnumber men by a wide margin in colleges and law schools.
2. Baby Boomers (those roughly aged 55-74) will flood Florida, changing it in many ways.
3. The Millennials (those roughly aged 19-38) say they want to live in cities, but as they increasingly have children, schools will become too expensive. Like the Boomers, they will flee to the suburbs.
4. In 2008, we had too many houses. In 2019, we do not have enough. With the Millennial generation being the largest in the nation’s history (87 million), we will need housing, causing another economic boom.
5. Expect a management shortage to temporarily surface because Generation X (those aged roughly 39-54) are too small in number. It will require the rapid training of Millennials to fill the void.
While these things may, or may not come to pass, one thing we know for sure, our God is sovereign and nothing surprises Him.
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Jan. 22 marked a sad day. It marked the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in our nation. Since that day in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent human beings in the safety and comfort of their mothers’ womb have been poisoned and dismembered.
Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also marked the somber day. “We’ve distorted things to the point where people believe that anyone who opposes mothers killing their babies is waging a war on women. How can we be so foolish to believe such a thing? One must be able to recognize the depravity to which we have sunken as a society when valuing a baby’s life is frowned upon.”
Please pray the killing will end.