Weekly Briefing

Weekly briefing: Church burnings, transgender, heartbeat

Photo: Getty Images/Radoslaw Slupecki/EyeEm |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

3 black churches burned; suspect arrested

Three black churches that are each over 100 years old were burned in southern Louisiana in the span of two weeks. Holden Matthews, 21, was arrested this week and charged with three counts of arson on religious buildings.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning noted that Matthews was attracted to black metal music.

He called the fires “an attack on our God and our religion.”

Baltimore lets transgender students use their preferred pronouns, locker rooms

Under a newly approved policy, students attending Baltimore public schools will be allowed to use the pronouns and names they prefer without being required to have already changed their name legally. The transgender students may also use locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. 

Ohio bans abortions after detection of heartbeat

Months after former Ohio governor John Kasich vetoed a bill banning abortion when a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, Gov. Mike DeWine signed such a bill into law this week to the applause of pro-lifers.

A fetal heartbeat can be found as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

“Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end, to protect those who cannot protect themselves.” — Mike DeWine

Gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg stirs controversy with Pence, Trump comments

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is in a same-sex marriage, called out both President Donald Trump for being a hypocritical Christian whose life is inconsistent with Scripture and evangelicals for supporting him.

He also targeted Vice President Mike Pence, saying, "My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man — and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.”

Pence’s wife, Karen, responded to the jab, arguing that people should not be attacked for their religious beliefs.

Some conservative Christians also pushed back, arguing that Buttigieg is living a life inconsistent with the Bible.

We spoke to pastors about suicide and depression.Read how they get through depression

Pray for

David Lin, a U.S. pastor currently imprisoned in China

New releases

mary magdalene
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara star in "Mary Magdalene," slated for release in March 2018. |


Mary Magdalene (April 12)


Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey (April 12)

Paradoxology by Elevation Worship (April 12)


Finding a Loving God in the Midst of Grief by Susan M. Erschen (April 12)

On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer by Antonin Scalia (April 9)

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