1. Supreme Court Religious Bonus: The Justices extend their Blaine ruling to school vouchers.

By The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2017, Pg. A16, Review & Outlook

Good news: Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on religious liberty was even better than we thought. The Justices ruled 7-2 that a church could not be banned from a public benefit program merely because it is a church. On Tuesday the Justices extended that principle by overturning a ruling that struck down Colorado’s school voucher program on religious grounds.

The win comes at a good time for school choice advocates who have been building momentum in the states.

School choice is spreading because parents want the chance to get their child a better education than they receive in local public schools. Sometimes that enhanced opportunity is offered by religious schools, and the First Amendment does not allow the state to discriminate on the basis of religion.


2. State Department reprimands China over sex trafficking and forced labor.

By Carol Morello, The Washington Post, June 28, 2017, Pg. A9

The State Department on Tuesday listed China as one of the countries with the worst records on sex trafficking and forced labor, a downgraded designation that Beijing labeled irresponsible and which could complicate Washington’s efforts to further isolate North Korea over its nuclear weapons.

China was dropped one notch on a watch list to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, in the State Department’s annual human trafficking report. The report said China had made no meaningful efforts to curb forced labor and human trafficking, and suggested the country had backslid by decreasing law enforcement efforts. Tier 3 is reserved for countries deemed not to meet minimum standards. Theoretically, the rating could result in sanctions, although presidents often waive that step.

In remarks introducing the report, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China’s downgrade was partly due to its use of North Korean workers whose salaries are remitted directly to the government in Pyongyang. He said North Korea earns hundreds of millions of dollars a year in hard currency, despite international sanctions, from the earnings of 50,000 to 80,000 laborers forced to work overseas in mining, construction and food services.

China took umbrage at being lumped in the same category as North Korea and Syria. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the United States was applying its own laws to China. He defended his country’s efforts to combat trafficking and forced labor as “obvious for everyone to see.”


3. Pro-life activist sees advertising discrimination from Twitter: Live Action messages deemed ‘hate content.

By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, June 28, 2017, Pg. A6

Pro-life groups are free to advertise on Twitter — as long as they don’t talk about what abortion is, show pictures of ultrasounds or criticize Planned Parenthood.

That’s what Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said Twitter’s ad policy against “hate content” amounts to. She said the social media company has sought for years to prevent Live Action from promoting pro-life content through paid advertising, even as Planned Parenthood is given free rein to reach massive audiences.

“I think it’s clear that Twitter is discriminating against the pro-life voice,” Ms. Rose said. “Planned Parenthood is allowed to promote their pro-abortion and misleading messages, while Live Action is barred from promoting any content exposing abortion and Planned Parenthood.”
She said Twitter shut down Live Action’s ability to advertise on the platform after repeated violations.

The Washington Times obtained emails showing examples of tweets that were deemed unacceptable by Twitter ad bots and members of the Twitter sales team.

One tweet, sent from Ms. Rose’s personal account Jan. 18, said Planned Parenthood is “about abortion, not women’s health care.” It included a short, all-text video questioning the extent of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion health care services.

The policy prohibits, among other things, “inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.”


4. Pope repudiates ‘martyr’ moniker for suicide bombers.

By Associated Press, June 28, 2017, 6:42 AM

Pope Francis has repudiated the idea that suicide bombers can be considered “martyrs,” saying true martyrs don’t harm others but rather are meek, honest and persecuted for their faith as true children of God.

Francis dedicated his weekly Wednesday catechism lesson to the strength of martyrs, returning once again to an issue he has raised frequently amid Islamic extremist attacks against Christian minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Francis has lamented that there are more Christian martyrs today than in the times of the early church. He has demanded Muslim leaders reject committing violence in God’s name.