Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families. We would be very grateful if you could make a donation of $100, $50, $25, or $10 today towards our work producing these Friday Fives and fighting for your values on the public square!


1. ABA JOURNAL: 11th Circuit upholds school’s ban on transgender students using bathrooms corresponding with gender identity

“In a decision that creates a circuit split, a federal appeals court has upheld a Florida school district’s policy that bans transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In a 7-4 opinion issued Dec. 30, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta said the policy implemented by the school board of St. Johns County, Florida, doesn’t violate the Constitution or Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.”

A decision like this vindicates our Coalition’s past hard work on the issue. More importantly, the circuit split decision means that the Supreme Court will probably take up the issue.

Read more: https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/11th-circuit-upholds-schools-ban-on-transgender-students-using-bathrooms-corresponding-with-gender-identity


2. NEWS & OBSERVER: NC teacher files lawsuit saying he was fired for criticizing Critical Race Theory

“In the lawsuit, Phillips is alleging racial and religious discrimination, saying he was unfairly treated due to his views as a white male Evangelical Christian. He’s asking for, among other things, to be reinstated as an instructor at the Governor’s School and to be awarded back pay and damages for the pain and suffering he experienced. Phillips has received the support of conservative groups such as the N.C. Values Coalition, which says that he was wrongfully terminated.

‘Our taxpayer funded educational institutions should be teaching students how to think critically and promoting a diversity of viewpoints, instead of censoring ideas competing with far-left ideology,’ Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, said in a statement.

‘I strongly support ADF’s challenge to Dr. Phillips’ termination and hope justice is served for Dr. Phillips. If proven correct, the school should be brought to task not only for teaching Critical Race Theory but for also punishing those who challenge it.’”

Read more at: https://www.newsobserver.com/article270301007.html


3. WRAL: Republican gains and new faces likely to affect NC lawmakers’ 2023 agenda

“The new session of the state legislature gets underway this month, and it’s likely to bring more proposals on culture-war issues than we’ve seen in the last few years. Several new lawmakers could make some old battles less partisan this session.

Ever since Democrats broke the Republicans’ veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate in 2018, the threat of a veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has dissuaded GOP leaders from advancing many bills on hot-button social issues. But the balance of power has shifted in this new legislature.”

Read more: https://www.wral.com/slimmer-margins-new-faces-likely-to-affect-nc-lawmakers-2023-agenda/20653232/


4. ABC NEWS: FDA says it will greenlight pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pill

“If pharmacies jump on board, the FDA action could dramatically expand access to the drug in states where it’s already legal. Doctors, for example, might be more willing to get certified to prescribe the drug because they would no longer have to stock it themselves and could write a prescription much as they would any other medication.”

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fda-greenlight-pharmacies-fill-prescriptions-abortion-pill-agency/story?id=96115469

5. NEWSMAX: Univ. of Idaho to Pay $90K for Violating Christian Students’ Free Speech

“The University of Idaho has been ordered to pay a $90,000 settlement to a group of Christian law students and a college professor, after apparently violating First Amendment protections.

The previously disputed case involved three University of Idaho law students who are also members of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) student group — along with a law professor, who doubled as the CLS faculty adviser.

All four filed a free-speech lawsuit against the school, according to The Columbian.

Read more: https://www.newsmax.com/us/idaho-students-christians/2022/12/09/id/1099928/


Weekly Prayer: Life

LORD, we recognize that you are Sovereign over all creation. We recognize you made man from the dust, and in your mercy, you crowned creation with man and woman made in your image. What a wonder it is that you would bestow upon us this blessing and responsibility!

LORD, may we not take this blessing for granted. We pray that this great responsibility and dignity may motivate us to love You, our neighbors, and our families more. LORD, may we as a culture truly see and believe that children are a blessing from the LORD—born or unborn; able or disabled. All children should have an opportunity to experience the liberty of life. LORD, make us your vehicle to change our culture into one that cherishes and protects life. Keep at the forefront of our minds our responsibilities to respect, cherish, and serve the youngest and oldest in our society.

Finally, LORD, we pray even further for our children. Across our state, country, and world, an entire generation of youth have seen their lives and education ruptured by the pandemic and its closing of schools. Father, as a result so many of these children are not only wounded by the quality of their education, but by a likely onslaught of mental illness brought about by social isolation. LORD, bring them hope and healing as only You can.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'” (Matthew 18:1-6)



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Tami & Team
NC Values