Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CHPP Daily Brief Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
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The Daily Brief Tuesday, June 25, 2013


(Please note: the term "SCOTUS" is the acronym for "the Supreme Court of the United States")

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)

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this link.


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The Daily Brief

The Daily Brief:

All headlines for today's Special Edition of The Daily Brief are listed below, following the Middle East in Focus and the Persecuted Church. Thank you.

The Middle East in Focus

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

" "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercies endure forever."
(Psalm 118:1)

1. Kerry seeks Netanyahu-Abbas meeting - Ynet News

US Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East for a new round of meetings on Thursday in an effort to press Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

2. Officials: Obama's policy team trying to 'reign in' Kerry over pledges to allies, rivals - Ha'aretz

Since becoming America's top diplomat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has issued several as yet undelivered - and perhaps undeliverable - foreign policy promises, including a historic breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

3. Report: Abbas interested in restarting limited peace talks - Jerusalem Post

Palestinians are ready to restart negotiations with Israel, according to media reports on Monday night, just three days before US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to return to Israel and the Palestinian territories for his fifth visit in four months.

4. Diplomats: Netanyahu ready to release Palestinian prisoners - Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to release a limited number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dropping the return to the '67 lines as a precondition to resuming peace talks, diplomatic sources said Monday.

5. Hezbollah creates staging grounds in Syria - Asia Times

The extent of Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war has become more intense following the recent fall of the strategic, central-western Syrian border city of al-Qusayr in Homs governorate to Syrian military and Hezbollah forces.

6. IDF conducts surprise large-scale drill - Times of Israel

The IDF held a large-scale, surprise drill on Sunday that simulated three concurrent major terror attacks on Israeli soil, including a hostage situation. Although the exercise was planned and prepared for a year in advance, the exact date was not set and it was conducted as a surprise exercise for the participating soldiers.

The Persecuted Church

Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church

"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry." (Psalm 34:15)

1. Indonesian Christians Concerned about New Mass Organization Bill - Jakarta Globe

Lawmakers are planning to go ahead with their plan to pass a controversial mass organizations bill into law in a plenary meeting scheduled for today, despite strong opposition from the public.

House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Pramono Anung said he hoped that NGOs and mass organizations opposed to the bill would not resort to violence in expressing their disapproval, saying there was a proper channel provided under the Constitution for the public to voice their rejection, which was through the Constitutional Court.

"Tomorrow it will be passed into law. And if there's any objection, it's OK, please go to the [Constitutional Court]. That's the forum [to file an objection]," Pramono said in Jakarta on Monday.

He said lawmakers had accommodated input from the public related to the mass organizations bill and that they had revised some of the points rejected by critics.

He added that lawmakers had deliberated the bill thoroughly and that they could no longer postpone passing it into law.

2. 48,000:0 Afghanistan's Mosque-to-Church Ratio as of June 2013 - Frontline Missions International

Afghanistan ranks third among nations most severely opposed to the Cross. There are 48,000 mosques in the country-but not a single church building. Afghanistan's population is 31 million, but estimates show there are less than 5,000 indigenous believers in this nation that has radical Islamic sharia law written into its constitution. Because of strong family traditions, any Muslim who comes to Christ is often in danger of an "honor killing" by the family even before the government decides to pursue them, and Muslims who convert to Christ are subject to harsh imprisonment and possible execution by the authorities.

3. President of Nigeria Asserts Radical Islamic Insurgency "Goes Beyond Religious Issues" - World Watch Monitor

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan was reported last week to have said that statistics show that more Muslims than Christians have been killed by Boko Haram.

Speaking at his Presidential villa in the capital at the opening meeting of the Honorary International Investors' Council, led by UK Baroness Lynda Chalker (a former Secretary of State for International Development), he is reported to have said: "Initially, people thought the insurgency is about religious issues, but the pattern of attacks shows clearly that it has nothing to do with religion. Just as there are threats to churches, so also there are threats to mosques.

"They attack everywhere, killing Muslims and Christians. Even more Muslims have died in the conflict than Christians have. So the groups, whether political or whatever interest have external influence, considering the issues of Al Qaeda.

"Basically, it goes beyond religious issues. They are terrorists that have decided to destabilise the country for some reasons, sometimes it could be Western influence, governance issues and so on. They are terror groups that are not representing any religion."

For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.

SCOTUS Voids Key Part of Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court voids key part of voting law,
sets up standoff between feds and states

A landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act has set up a stand-off between Republican-led states and the Obama administration over controversial voting laws that until now had been stalled.

The 5-4 ruling on Tuesday addressed a 1960s-era provision that largely singled out states and districts in the South -- those with a history of discrimination -- and required them to seek federal permission to change their voting laws.

The court ruled that the formula determining which states are affected was unconstitutional.

In doing so, the court potentially opened the door for certain states to proceed with voter ID laws and other efforts that to date had been held up because of the Voting Rights Act. Prominent among those are voter identification laws in Alabama and Mississippi. . . .
. . . Attorney General Eric Holder warned states against going too far. He said the Justice Department would not hesitate to take "swift" action against states looking to "take advantage" of the ruling.

He, like President Obama, said he was "deeply disappointed" in the decision, saying discriminatory practices live on and need to be addressed.

"These problems have not been consigned to history," Holder said.

Holder and Obama urged Congress to create a new formula.

"Today's decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent," Obama said.

But their statements acknowledged that until Congress intervenes, officials' hands are largely tied when it comes to screening particular states. (Read more)

- Offer praise for this decision by the Supreme Court, which will now allow states to review their own Voter ID laws. If Congress does revisit the required formula, as Obama has suggested, pray that they be given "wisdom from above" in so doing. Pray!
- "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5)

A Commentary on Voting Rights Decision

"A Victory For Common Sense"

by Gary Bauer

The Supreme Court today struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act routinely subjected the laws of nine states and many other local jurisdictions to the intense scrutiny of the Justice Department whenever they sought to change any aspect of their election laws.

For example, Attorney General Eric Holder used the Voting Rights Act to block popular voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina. While congressional and state redistricting was left to most state legislatures, certain states were required by the Voting Rights Act to get "preclearance" or approval from the Justice Department in order to complete their plans.

Today the Supreme Court declared that regime unconstitutional. The court's majority objected to the fact that the law relied on "a formula based on 40-year-old facts, having no logical relationship to the present day." Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts rightly observed, "Our country has changed."

Indeed it has. America has elected and reelected its first black president. During his campaigns, Barack Obama won two southern states -- North Carolina and Virginia.

Senator Tim Scott, a black man, now represents the state of South Carolina. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both Hispanics, represent Florida and Texas. Susana Martinez, who is Hispanic, is governor of New Mexico. Brian Sandoval, also Hispanic, is governor of Nevada. Indian Americans Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Nikki Haley of South Carolina are governors of their respective states.

The Voting Rights Act seems unnecessary when states like Louisiana and South Carolina are electing minorities to high office.

This ruling was a victory for common sense. Tomorrow morning we will find out whether the court has enough common sense to uphold the definition of normal marriage.

SCOTUS to Rule on Gay Marriage Tomorrow

Ruling on Wednesday on Proposition 8


Andy Pugno

Prop 8 General Counsel

Dear Friend,

Wednesday is the big day!

This morning we were in the Supreme Court again, anticipating a possible decision in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case. It did not come today, but the Chief Justice announced from the bench that the Court will rule on Proposition 8 tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 10:00 AM Eastern time (7:00 AM Pacific).

The courtroom was packed with attorneys, media reporters and various other onlookers, and I bet it will be even more packed Wednesday morning. So much attention has come to focus on this case, as well as the sister case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The media was out in full force on the courthouse steps, hoping that a ruling would come today, but I can assure you they'll be back tomorrow even stronger.

The ruling could be very straightforward, or it could be complex and create uncertainty. Either way, our Legal Defense Team will digest the decision the moment it comes out, and update you immediately with the results.

You can also monitor the minute-by-minute coverage of Wednesday morning's Supreme Court session by visiting the SCOTUSblog site shortly before the Court convenes.

Looking back, this has been a very long journey. Four years ago we upheld Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court. Five years ago we passed Proposition 8. Thirteen years ago we passed its predecessor, Proposition 22. And eighteen years ago I had the honor of shepherding legislation to protect traditional marriage when it first came under attack in the California Legislature in 1995. After nearly two decades of battle, let's hope and pray for a just and definitive outcome.
P.S. The Chief Justice will rule on Proposition 8 and DOMA tomorrow morning.
Very truly yours,

Andy Pugno
Prop 8 General Counsel

- Lord, at this historic time we have prayed for our Supreme Court and continue to do so. We have asked for heavenly justice and rulings. We now pray that as these decisions come out that there would be right and godly responses and that You would prepare people for them. We also pray for the media; we ask You to turn the hearts of all reporters and all editors in the direction of TRUTH, so that all news we receive about the actions of this Court be "fair and honest." In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

- "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)

SCOTUS to Review Buffer Law

Supreme Court Will Review Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Law

"We are optimistic that the Court will not only strike down the Massachusetts law, but also revisit some of its own prior precedents that have led lower courts to believe that, as a matter of law, pro-life speech is less deserving of protection."

(Washington, DC)-The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review a decision of the First Circuit upholding a Massachusetts law that severely restricts the free speech of pro-life advocates.

In McCullen v. Coakley, seven Massachusetts residents who engaged in pro-life counseling outside of abortion clinics challenged a state statute creating a thirty-five-foot fixed buffer zone around driveways and entrances of abortion clinics. The law prohibits everyone except clinic patients or employees from "entering or remaining" in the zone. The lower court upheld the buffer zone despite its prejudicial intent and application. Life Legal Defense Foundation filed an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief in the Supreme Court arguing that this buffer zone is unconstitutional.

"We are delighted that the Court is going to weigh in on this clear case of viewpoint discrimination," stated Dana Cody, Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. "Activists who make disturbances at military funerals, animal rights protests, and 'occupy' demonstrations are not bound by the sort of restrictions applied to peaceful pro-life witnesses who invite women to learn about abortion alternatives," Cody explained, "It's a true double standard and an unbelievable violation of First Amendment rights."
Adding insult to injury, the First Circuit justified singling out pro-life speech for disfavored treatment by analogizing it to sexually oriented businesses. Just as "adult" bookstores and theatres have harmful "secondary effects" that allow cities to impose special zoning restrictions, so too, according to the First Circuit, pro-life sidewalk counseling and picketing have harmful "secondary effects" that governments can mitigate by imposing buffer zones and other restrictions. Cody explained, "In fact, what governments most fear about pro-life speech is not any "secondary effect." It is that women heading into clinics are hearing the truth about abortion."
"Just the fact that the Court has taken the case should give pause to San Francisco, Chicago, and other cities that have recently imposed more draconian restrictions on pro-life speech," Cody said. "We are optimistic that the Court will not only strike down the Massachusetts law, but also revisit some of its own prior precedents that have led lower courts to believe that, as a matter of law, pro-life speech is less deserving of protection." (Life Legal Defense Foundation) Read more.
(Reported by: Breaking Christian News)

- Pray now over this case, offering praise to the Lord that the Supreme Court WILL review the findings of the lower courts regarding the first amendment rights of these pro-life advocates and counselors. Pray that these citizens will find favor before the Court, and that their ability to engage in sidewalk counseling will be restored. In Jesus' Name, amen.

- "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)

SCOTUS to Review Recess Appointment Policy

Supreme Court to hear challenge over Obama recess appointments

The Supreme Court stepped into an important constitutional dispute Monday between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the chief executive's power to make recess appointments.

The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that found Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate last year to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board.

The high court case is the latest chapter in the partisan political wrangling between GOP lawmakers and Obama over appointments to the labor board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans want to rein in both agencies' powers.

The Constitution gives the president the power to make temporary appointments to fill positions that otherwise require confirmation by the Senate, but only when the Senate is in recess.

At issue for the Supreme Court: What constitutes a congressional recess and does it matter when a vacancy occurs? (Fox News) Read more.

- Offer praise to the Lord for this direct answer to prayer! Recently, we asked your intercession over this case, as Republican members of Congress brought the matter of "recess appointments" to the attention of the Supreme Court.

At that time, it had been reported that the president defined the Senate, during a "lunch break", as being in recess . . . and then went ahead and installed an appointee of his own choosing, without congressional review or approval.

Enough is enough! Pray that the Supreme Court will rule in accordance with the intention of our Constitution, so that the legislative branch of our government will be enabled to fully carry out its mandate to hold the executive branch accountable in its doings. Pray!

- "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us." (Isaiah 33:22)

The Good News Corner

The Good News Corner:

Texas House approves abortion restrictions in early-morning vote

AUSTIN - - Republicans used their majority to cut short debate and give preliminary approval early Monday to some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country as time was running out on the Texas Legislature's special session.

Many members of the conservative majority had flyers on their desks that read "Psalm 139:13-14," which reads in part, "You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Democrats gained strength from more than 800 demonstrators who packed the hallways of the Capitol carrying signs reading, "Stop the War on Women" to oppose Senate Bill 5. The measure would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limit abortions to surgical centers.

Supporters say the bill will raise the standard of women's health care, but opponents point out the bill would shut down 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in the state.

"If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and daughter of the late former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Republicans . . . needed to end debate and move the process forward if they hope to make a midnight Tuesday deadline, when the session ends. House members must still give final approval to the bill, and then it must sit for 24 hours before the Senate can consider it. (Fox News) Read more.
- Pray for passage of this bill in the State of Texas.

- "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13)

Worship With Us Today!

Worship With Us Today!

Shadow of Your Wings

My Lord, You're faithful
You supply all good things
You know completely
All my thoughts
My deepest needs