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By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter

Jewish groups have come to the defense of an Evangelical Christian postal worker who claims he was forced out of his job for refusing to work Sundays, the Christian day of the sabbath.

A joint amicus brieffiled last Tuesday by the American Jewish Committee and religious scholars Asma Uddin and Steven Collis asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of Gerald Groff, who began working for the U.S. Postal Service in 2012 and accused his former employer of refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for his religious practices.

Groff claimed that he was forced to resign from his job in 2019 because USPS would not “honor [his] personal religious beliefs.”

After the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Groff last year, the Supreme Court will hear the postal worker's case, Groff v. DeJoy, on April 18.

Groff is asking the court to reconsider a ruling in the 1977 case Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, which set limits for the accommodations employers are required to make for religious employees on the Sabbath.

The brief supported by the American Jewish Committee argues that the interpretation of “undue hardship” in Hardison permits employers to escape liability and avoid any need to accommodate even the “most modest needs” of their religious employees under Title VII. As the brief noted, the act was amended in 1972 to protect employees that practice the Sabbath on Saturdays and other religious minorities.

Furthermore, the brief stated that religious discrimination still exists within the American workplace by allowing employers to claim “undue hardship” under the Hardison standard. The brief argues that the standard is particularly harmful to minorities, including Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Seventh-day Adventists.

Despite comprising only 5% or 6% of the U.S. population, these groups bring over 65% of religious discrimination cases, of which two-thirds result in claimants losing in appellate courts due to the Hardison standard, according to the brief.

The Quarryville Postmaster in Pennsylvania, where Groff worked, entered a contract with Amazon in 2013 to deliver packages, which included Sundays, although Gross was initially exempt.

However, in 2016, the USPS and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, a union, entered an agreement that required Groff to work Sundays during the peak season. The postal worker transferred to a smaller office, which also started doing deliveries through Amazon.

Groff claimed that his employer required him to find people to cover his shifts if he did not want to work on Sundays. He eventually resigned after facing multiple disciplinary actions for not working on Sunday when scheduled.

“Rejecting the Hardison standard and thawing its chilling effect will not result in a flood of expensive claims that injure American businesses,” the brief argued.

“In fact, this Court should expect that increased religious accommodations in the workplace will help American businesses, in the same way that disability accommodations maximize the value of disabled employees.”

Another amicus brief filed on Feb. 28 by the Zionist Organization of America made similar arguments about the 1977 Supreme Court ruling. The group argued that employers are free to deny religious employees “the most minor accommodations.”

“The interpretation of ‘undue hardship’ as nothing more than a de minimus cost to the employer is not supported by the plain meaning of the term,” the brief argued. “‘Hardship’ alone means more than de minimus or insignificant. Dictionaries define ‘hardship’ as ‘adversity,’ ‘suffering’ or ‘a thing hard to bear.’”

The group also called for re-evaluating the “undue hardship” standard on the basis that violence against Jewish people in the U.S. is reportedly on the rise.

“To discourage anti-Jewish bias and ensure equal employment opportunity for Jews, Title VII’s ‘undue hardship’ standard should be re-evaluated, and the de minimis cost standard abandoned,” ZOA wrote.

Another group that has voiced its support for Groff is the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization that joined with several other religious groups to file a Feb. 28 amicus brief.

“Religion is a protected class under the law and must be treated that way. If religious protections for employees can’t be enforced, they are effectively meaningless,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “People of faith will forever be unable to participate fully in society if they are forced to choose between their religion and earning a living. We urge the Supreme Court to revisit this decision and adopt a legal standard that will more effectively protect religious accommodations in the workplace.”

ADL was joined in submitting the brief by the Baptist Joint Committee, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Jewish groups support Christian worker at center of SCOTUS case | U.S. News (christianpost.com)

April 15

8:00AM EST 3/7/2023 STEVE REES

As Holy Spirit-led revival stirs students' radical devotion to Jesus on campuses across the nation, historically Black colleges are experiencing powerful outpourings of salvation, repentance, worship and prayer.

A Spirit-filled pastor in Atlanta, Georgia believes student revival and Holy Spirit outpouring is manifesting on campuses near his church—a predominantly Black congregation in the city.

Pastor Arthur Breland highlights three Atlanta-area schools—recognized as historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)—that show signs of God moving mightily among students.

The lead pastor at United Church Atlanta, Breland notes three campuses that are experiencing fresh outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, along with Clark Atlanta University—all three secular schools—are marked by student revivals like those on other secular and Christian campuses.

"They are gathering in groups of 50 to 70 students to pray, do evangelism, repent of sin and worship Jesus," Breland wrote on social media.

Hoping to fan the flames of revival, a movement of radical Millennial and Gen Z missionaries will visit four Atlanta-area campuses beginning Monday, March 6th.

A fourth Atlanta school, Morris Brown College, will be the first stop for the missions group that hopes empower students in their Christ-centered callings.

The Black Voices Movement gathering is empowering leaders of color into their Christcentered calling and it is a tool the Holy Spirit is using to stir even more revival on college campuses and, ultimately, to reach the nations with the gospel.

Comprised of Black evangelists who love Jesus, the cross of Christ and His gospel, BVM is aligned with Circuit Riders, a missions organization that empowers and inspires leaders to share the good news of Jesus.

A student at Morehouse, Carlton Bates travels with BVM, which will boldly proclaim with one voice the name of Jesus on his campus March 8.

Morehouse is one stop in Atlanta and 30 outreaches to HBCUs nationwide.

"There are young Black boys who can look and see that there's a young Black male that's going across the nation encouraging people, saying 'man, if no one else believes in you, I believe in you,'" Bates told a news network during a BVM stop in Greensboro, North Carolina.

After its first event on the Greensboro campus, the BVM team was gripped by the fact that most of the students did not know Jesus.

Full of faith and on fire for Jesus, Bates and his teammates returned the next day to preach the gospel in the student union, a three-story building.

"People stopped in their tracks all across the student union as he boldly says, 'If you know you need to give your life to Jesus today, I want you to come down here right now and we're going to pray for you," says BVM leader Yasmin Pierce.

From the third-floor people streamed down to commit their lives to Jesus Christ.

At another tour stop, a young man on the BVM team shared the gospel with three males. "They were so gripped that they call their friends over. All nine of them give their lives to Jesus," says Pierce.

Most campuses and universities have less than 5% of the student body engaged in Christian community. On many campuses it's closer to 1%, Pierce estimates.

A few years ago, a part of Circuit Riders sensed an important call to reach HBCUs. "We started to meet all of these on-fire Black, Bible-believing leaders who felt called to be missionaries; they started joining Circuit Riders," Pierce recalls.

In Revelation 7, the writer John describes a vision of every nation, tribe and tongue before the throne of Jesus Christ, declaring in a loud voice that salvation belongs to God. "That's the heart of Black Voices Movement and Circuit Riders," Pierce says.

A missionary herself, Pierce knows students want a relationship with Jesus, who says to pray for laborers to bring in the harvest.

"We're empowering this generation to share the gospel and, specifically, young Black men and women as laborers, creatives, musicians, worship leaders, preachers and evangelists," says Pierce.

While BVM is sometimes mistaken for Black Lives Matter in political conversations, the two movements are worlds apart. "In Joshua chapter 5, God shows up and He tells him He's on neither side.

"Even Moses, Joshua's predecessor, tried to work justice from his frame of mind, but God pulled him to the burning bush to say, 'I have My way of doing this; surrender to Me for the work I want to do,'" Pierce says.

Simply, BVM provides a biblical understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. "He's a God of solution and, as we surrender to Him, He will lead us to be ministers of solution," says Pierce.

BVM is driven, especially as missionaries, by the Great Commission to preach the gospel in every nation according to Matthew 24.

Throughout revival history, large open-air meetings marked by bold proclamation of the gospel have produced great harvests. Seeking to fulfill its role as a tool of Holy Spirit awakening, BVM is headed to Newark, New Jersey—with its majority-minority population—in April for a weeklong gospel festival including preaching, training and outreach. The main event is Friday evening, April 21 beginning at 7 p.m.

Steve Rees is a former general assignment reporter who, with one other journalist, first wrote about the national men's movement Promise Keepers from his home in Colorado.

Holy Spirit Moving Mightily at Secular Black Colleges — Charisma News

April 8

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2023

By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter Pope Francis condemned transgender ideology in a recent interview, declaring that it is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations.”

The pontiff, who was born and raised in Argentina, spoke with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion last week, in advance of his 10th anniversary of assuming the papacy.

When asked if he “had been asked to write a document on the subject of gender,” Francis responded that while “no one” had requested that he create such a document, people always seek “clarifications” on the Catholic Church’s views on the matter.

The term "gender ideology" is often defined as a set of beliefs that characterizes gender as a social construct, not based on one's biological sex, and rejects the gender binary of male and female. It is often associated with the LGBT movement.

In his remarks to La Nacion, Francis suggested that a difference exists between compassion for people who identify as members of the LGBT community and adherence to gender ideology.

“I always distinguish between what pastoral care is for people who have a different sexual orientation and what gender ideology is,” he said. “They are two different things. Gender ideology, at this time, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations.”

Francis said he views gender ideology as “dangerous,” lamenting that “it dilutes differences” between men and women. He described “the tension of differences” as “the richness of men and women and all of humanity” and stressed that “growing through the tension of differences” constitutes an important part of humanity.

Francis also decried gender ideology for “diluting the differences and creating an equal world” that is “all blunt, all the same” and “goes against the human vocation.”

According to the pontiff, “there are somewhat naive people who believe that it is the path of progress and do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or various sexual options from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it annuls differences, and that it annuls humanity, the richness of humanity, personal type, as cultural and social, the differences and the tensions between the differences.”

While gender ideology is known to be particularly prevalent in the United States, it also exists to an extent in Argentina, as the South American nation decided in 2021 to allow citizens to identify as nonbinary on their national ID card.

The embrace of gender ideology in the U.S. has led to policies enabling athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity as opposed to their biological sex, allowing people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their stated gender identity and permitting transidentified youth to undergo gender transition procedures.

Concerns about the short-term and long-term impact of these policies have led to pushback and the enactment of laws intended to counter those effects.

In defining its policies USA Powerlifting said that, on average, men have “increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue."

The biological differences between the sexes have led to fairness concerns about the impact of allowing trans-identified males to compete against women.

In December 2020, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study that found that biological males, on average, retain certain competitive advantages over females even after two years of taking feminizing hormones.

At present, 18 states require athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex rather than their stated gender identity: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Additionally, gender ideology is tied to the promotion of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for trans-identified youth.

The conservative group the American College of Pediatricians warns that puberty blockers can cause “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, [and] cognitive impairment” while cross-sex hormones give users “an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.”

A smaller but growing number of states have implemented laws that restrict the performance of some or all gender transition procedures on transidentified youth: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Pope: 'Gender ideology' is 'dangerous,' against 'human vocation' | Church & Ministries News (christianpost.com)

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