CHPP Daily Brief - June 30, 2009
• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• Supreme Court Overturns Sotomayor Decision
• Next Sunday: Call2Fall
• The Good News Corner
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"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:23)
The Daily Brief
1. Supreme Court Overturns Sotomayor Decision - Citizen Link; Fox News
Plaintiff Frank Ricci tells FOX he, colleagues expect 'promotional ceremony' after Supreme Court rules they were unfairly denied promotions due to race, reversing decision endorsed by court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
• Offer praise to the LORD for this victory for these hardworking men in the New Haven fire department. Ask the Lord to cause the members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee - as well as the full Senate - to weigh the Implications of this decision as they consider the nomination of Sonia Sotomayer to serve on the highest court of the land.
• "He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. . . He will defend the afflicted among the people." (Psalm 72:2,4)
2. Obama open to new health-benefits tax - Washington Times
The White House left open the possibility Sunday that President Obama might pay for his health care overhaul by taxing employer-provided health insurance even though he had campaigned on not raising taxes on middle-class families.
• God, regarding this additional heavy tax, we recall the days of Rehoboam who listened not to the counsel of the wise men to lessen the taxes imposed upon the people, but rather followed the counsel of the younger generation of that day saying, "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins." (I Kings 12:9-15)
We ask you, Father, that you bind under the blood of Jesus every anticipated increase in taxes aimed ultimately at the employer who provides health insurance and to their employees. Pull down every evil word that would put these ungodly health care programs into effect. We speak defeat to the deceptive plans of wickedness through this so-called "new health-benefits tax." We declare that its destructive powers will meet with the host of heaven who will fight this major battle for the people, driving it into derision and total annihilation. In Jesus Name.
3. Acorn Role in Census Challenged - Wall Street Journal
Some Republican members of Congress want the U.S. Census Bureau to end a 2010 Census partnership with Acorn, the community organizing group that was hit by accusations of voter-registration fraud in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
• Father, cause the scales of deception to fall from the eyes of the U.S. Census Bureau that they would see what the affects of being in league with Acorn would bring upon their future status of respectability. Give them clear, unobstructed vision and willing hearts to keep the status quo without reproach. The purposes of both entities are diametrically opposed to one another. In Jesus Name.
• "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." (Psalm 101:7)
4. U.S. won't forcibly inspect N. Korean ship - Washington Times
The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.
• Our Father, which is in heaven, who oversees all the works of mankind, we plead that the United States not lay down in submission when it is evident that the enemy forces are approaching. Raise up godly officials who will advise the military to hear the direction of the Lord and stand firm to protect our shores and our people. In Jesus Name.
• "So shall they fear the Name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)
5. Al-Maliki: Iraq ready to take over - USA Today
Iraq's prime minister said Saturday that the full withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from cities and towns was a message that his country was ready to take over its own security, even as he appealed for national unity after a week of attacks left more than 250 people dead.
• Father, we petition You to bring righteous leaders to the forefront of the Iraqi government. May Al-Maliki see visions of Jesus and repent of his sins and the sins of his nation with all the terrorist activities, and reveal to him that the Lord God is their only answer. May the Holy Spirit circumnavigate around all of Iraq and powerfully fall upon men and women and children everywhere to bow on their faces before the Mighty God in repentance. Deliver this nation by the blood of Jesus and raise it up to be a glorious light in the Middle East. And bring back to America every person in our military who has fought the good fight of faith to a glorious victory. They have maintained their cause to help free the Iraqi people and to protect the shores of America. Reward them freely from the throne of Grace. In Jesus Name.
• "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1, 2)
6. Iran's Mousavi rejects panel for partial recount - AFP; USA Today
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Saturday refused to support a panel set up by electoral watchdog the Guardians Council to hold a partial recount of presidential election votes. Meanwhile, several thousand protesters -- some chanting "Where is my vote?" -- clashed with riot police in Tehran on Sunday as Iran detained local employees of the British Embassy, escalating the regime's standoff with the West and earning it a stinging rebuke from the European Union. Iran's supreme ruler has also called for national unity and urged both sides in a bitter election dispute "not to stoke the emotions of the young."
• Continue to maintain a vigilant watch in prayer over all events related to the election and the protests in Iran. We have not seen the end of this story yet. Pray for supernatural protection for those who are voicing their dissent, for they live under a brutal regime. Pray that the government that GOD desires to put in place for the people of Iran will be made known to man. Pray!
• "'For it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' saith the Lord." (Zech. 4:6)
7. EU Eager to Restart Nuclear Talks With Iran - Fox News
The European Union wants to restart talks on Iran's nuclear program, an official said Sunday, even as Tehran ratcheted up tensions with the bloc by detaining Iranian employees of the British Embassy.
• In the Name of Jesus and by the power of His Shed Blood, we declare that the enemies of God's purposes for the nations be completely brought down to nothing. Send angels into Iran and destroy every nuclear weapon that is aimed primarily at Israel and America. May rats and water seep into every mechanism rendering these weapons useless. Scatter the unity in the camps of the enemies of God and let not one agree with the other. Bring down evil and all wicked imaginations that their plans spin out of control and be defeated.
• "Hear, O Israel, you approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." (Deuteronomy 20:3, 4)
8. U.S. and Russia Differ on a Treaty for Cyberspace - NY Times
The United States and Russia are locked in a fundamental dispute over how to counter the growing threat of cyberwar attacks that could wreak havoc on computer systems and the Internet.
• Father, we are dealing with two major nations whose agendas often clash. We fully submit the solution of this treaty for cyberspace into Your hands to work out all differences for a mutual plan. In Jesus Name.
• "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)
9. Reparations Disclaimer on Slavery Apology Stirs Backlash Among House Dems - AP
A disclaimer at the end of the Senate slavery apology, dealing with the touchy issue of reparations, is causing some dissension among House Democrats and may prevent the two chambers from coming together on the measure.
• Lift up the House version of this bill, which passed the Senate just before this recess period. Ask the Lord to bring forth a spirit of reconciliation between the House and the Senate on this very important and timely piece of legislation, so that differences in its language will be amenable to all. It is time to heal . . .
• ". . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6)
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong" (Psalm 30:7a)
1. US professors: Support for Israel eroded - Jerusalem Post
Unwavering support for Israeli policy has eroded dramatically both on American college campuses and within the United States as a whole, according to a group of American university professors who on Sunday concluded an academic exchange program here, sponsored by the Yitzhak Rabin Center.
2. Final preparations head of Barak-Mitchell meeting - Ynet News
"The settlements will not be an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians." That is the message Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be carrying with him on his upcoming trip to meet with special US envoy George Mitchell. Barak is being dispatched in an attempt to dissipate the tensions between the White House and Jerusalem, and to allow the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians.
3. Blair: Peace within reach if Israel compromises - Ha'aretz
Former British prime minister Tony Blair said Friday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be within reach if Israel compromises on issues such as halting settlement expansion.
4. Livni: Deals with Hamas will gravely harm Israel - Ha'aretz
Opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced on Sunday that "agreements with Hamas clearly, and gravely, harm the interests of the state of Israel," in response to reports in Haaretz Sunday morning that Israel and Egypt were negotiating terms of a new Gaza cease-fire.
5. Report: Israel, Hamas reach compromise on Shalit deal - Ynet News
The London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted European and Egyptian sources Saturday, as saying "real progress" has been made in the prisoner exchange talks between Israel and Hamas, which could expedite the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Supreme Court Overturns Sotomayor Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a much-discussed decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's pick to fill a seat on the nation's highest court.
The case, Ricci v. Destefano, involves 18 white and Hispanic New Haven, Conn., firefighters who sued to receive promotions they were denied when the city refused to affirm the results of a Fire Department promotions test. City officials were concerned they might be sued for discrimination because no black individuals and only two Hispanics passed the exam.
The firefighters filed a reverse-discrimination suit, which was dismissed by a federal district court on the grounds that the city was justified under the law in junking the test. Federal nondiscrimination laws presume discrimination when a test has such a disparate impact on minorities.
That's when Sotomayor entered the case -- as part of a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that heard an appeal of the lower-court ruling. The panel upheld the decision, which was overturned today by the Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote. The majority opinion, from Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, said the standard for tossing out a promotions test has to be based on something more than just the test results.
"There is no evidence -- let alone the required strong basis in evidence -- that the tests were flawed," Kennedy wrote.
Some family advocates consider the Ricci case a good example of Sotomayor's "empathetic" approach to judicial decisions.
Gary Marx, executive director of the Judicial Confirmation Network, called the high court's reversal of the 2nd Circuit ruling a "great day for the New Haven firefighters and those who believe in applying the law equally."
"Racial preferences were thrown out," he said. "The identity politics that (Sotomayor) has time and time again practiced have been rejected by the highest court in the land."
Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said he hopes Sotomayor's upcoming confirmation hearings include a robust examination of her record as a jurist.
"What I would like to see happen," he said, "is a good, thorough discussion of just what the proper role of a judge is and what the proper role of the Supreme Court is." (CitizenLink)
Next Sunday: Call2Fall
Churches and individuals are invited to answer the Call 2 Fall on Sunday, July 5. The initiative is aimed at praying for the healing of America and declaring dependence on God immediately after celebrating the nation's independence from Great Britain.
"It's incumbent upon the church to assume the responsibility for where the nation is and leading us forward, not from a political standpoint but from a spiritual standpoint," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said. "If the spiritual things are in order, the political things seem to be a lot easier to solve."
Family Research Council has set a goal of seeing 8 million Christians in 40,000 churches participate in Call 2 Fall, and church leaders are encouraged to offer their buildings as host sites July 5. FRC will publish an online directory of those churches so that people will know where they can participate.
Observances can take several forms, Perkins said, from a three- to five-minute period during a worship service when people would get on their knees and pray to a full day of praying and expressing dependence on God. Those who commit to participate will receive periodic e-mails linking to resources such as free devotionals, inspirational videos, sermon outlines, bulletin inserts and prayer suggestions.
"From homosexual 'marriage' to proposed curbs on religious speech, there are serious matters for the church to address humbly and with great earnestness before God," Perkins said.
The Good News Corner
Pro-Life Bills Close to Law in Arizona
Two important pro-life bills are one step closer to becoming law in Arizona.
House Bill 2564 -- The Abortion Consent Act --- passed the Legislature and now is on to Gov. Jan Brewer for a signature. If she signs, parental consent will be required for any minor girl intending to abort her baby. The legislation also includes an informed-consent provision offering women information on abortion before they decide whether or not to have one.
Arizona Sen. Linda Gray said she and her colleagues heard testimony from women who did not know enough about abortion before going through the procedure. "They had emotional scars throughout their life," she explained, "because they were not informed of what was going to occur with their abortion procedure."
In addition, the act would require women to wait 24 hours after meeting with an abortion clinic worker before having an abortion. It also protects the conscience rights of health care workers who do not want to participate in abortions.
Another piece of legislation, House Bill 2400, which would ban partial-birth abortions, also passed the Legislature and is headed to the governor's desk. (Citizen Link)