In today’s News:
Virginia Christians oppose new law
Churches, ministries, schools and Christian-owned businesses from across the state of Virginia signed an open letter to Gov. Ralph Northam and members of the Virginia General Assembly that urges them not to force religious citizens to violate their beliefs under the so-called “Virginia Values Act.” The law, enacted July 1, on its face compels churches, religious schools and Christian ministries to hire employees who do not share their stated beliefs on marriage, sexuality and gender identity — or face fines of up to $100,000 for each violation. A companion law requires the ministries and other Christian nonprofits and Christian-owned businesses to include in employee health care plans coverage for “sex reassignment” and “gender affirming” surgeries that run contrary to their beliefs. It also prohibits the ministries from offering sex-specific sports, classes for parenting and Christian discipleship, if those programs are based on biological sex.
Medicaid money withheld from California
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that his department was taking action against California and a hospital in Vermont that implemented policies violating the conscience rights of those opposed to abortion. Azar was among many notable speakers at a White House event, called “Life Is Winning: Celebrating 4 Years of Pro-Life Accomplishments,” hosted by Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday. During his speech, Azar highlighted how the Trump administration was “protecting conscience rights more aggressively than any previous administration in history.” He went on to announce that $200 million in federal Medicaid funds would be withheld from California for the first quarter of 2021 due to the state’s refusal to amend its policy “imposing universal abortion coverage mandates on health insurance.”
Pro-abortion Representative to Biden’s Cabinet
A New Mexico Congresswoman who was accused of defaming young, pro-life teenagers at the march for life is President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for Secretary of the Interior. The Hill reports Biden nominated U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, a pro-abortion Democrat, to join his Cabinet this week. Haaland has a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee. Her votes include opposing “The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would protect newborn babies from infanticide. Haaland was sued for defamation in 2019 after she trashed pro-life teenager Nick Sandmann and other high school students who were attending the March for Life, the Los Alamos Monitor reports.
D.C. mayor backs off Christmas restrictions
Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has eased restrictions on houses of worship following a lawsuit by the Catholic Church accusing the Democrat of “arbitrary” and “discriminatory” restrictions on churches ahead of Christmas. In a lawsuit filed Dec. 11, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington said Bowser’s restrictions “bear no relation to either the size of the building or the safety of the activity” and “single out religious worship as a disfavored activity, even though it has been proven safer than many other activities the district favors.” Bowser modified the city’s attendance limits in a Wednesday order, removing the 50-person limit for religious gatherings and instead capping places of worship at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 250 people.