G3 Weekly—March 25, 2023

Ben Zeisloft

G3 Weekly 1920

Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.

This week, the state of Florida introduced possible new restrictions on the teaching of LGBTQ ideology from fourth grade through twelfth grade. Lawmakers in Israel proposed a bill that would have outlawed sharing the gospel, causing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the legislation. Meanwhile, a high school assistant football coach fired for praying on the field with his students received a nearly $2 million settlement with his school district.

Florida Introduces Rule to Ban Most Sexualized Content for All Students

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Officials in the Florida Department of Education introduced a rule that would partially expand a prohibition on classroom instruction about “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” through all thirteen years of government education.

The measure, however, allows such instruction if the material is “either expressly required by state academic standards” or is “part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend.” Lawmakers also introduced a bill that would bar employees and students from being forced to reference another individual with their “preferred personal title or pronouns” unrelated to the individual’s sex.

The proposed rule comes one year after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned instruction about LGBTQ ideology for students between kindergarten and third grade. Disney denounced the legislation and subsequently lost trust among some conservative consumers.

Israeli Bill to Ban the Gospel Nixed by Netanyahu

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halted a bill that would have imprisoned Christians who attempt to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish members of the Israeli Parliament, also known as the Knesset, who are members of Netanyahu’s coalition offered legislation that would have punished evangelists with one year in prison, as well as two years in prison should they attempt to convert minors. 

Netanyahu disapproved of the legislation as the proposal made headlines in the United States. “We will not advance any law against the Christian community,” he said on social media.

The population of Israel is 41% Jewish and 17% Muslim even as less than 1% of residents identify as evangelical Christians, according to data from HeartCry Missionary Society, which describes the professing church in the nation as “complicated by the unending barrage of religious noise and confusion produced by the convergence of every creed under Christendom.”

Football Coach Wins Enormous Settlement after First Amendment Case

“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken” (Psalm 37:25).

Joseph Kennedy, an assistant high school football coach in Washington state who was fired for praying on the field with students, was reinstated to his old position and received a nearly $2 million settlement to resolve his legal fees.

Kennedy had prayed after every football game in 2008, the start of his employment at Bremerton School District, and 2015, the year in which a school administrator confronted him in response to an opposing team’s complaint about his practice. Kennedy was placed on leave and his case reached the Supreme Court, where Justices granted him a favorable verdict.

“Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse republic,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said in his majority opinion. “Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a personal religious observance, based on a mistaken view that it has a duty to suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

Bremerton School District promised to operate in accordance with the Supreme Court decision even as board members said they “look forward to moving past the distraction” of the case.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Author G3 Weekly 1920

Ben Zeisloft

Ben Zeisloft is the editor of The Sentinel and a former staff writer for The Daily Wire. He and his wife, Neilee, are members at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.