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Daily briefing

Today’s News With biblical perspective

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The Daily Briefing highlights the news of the day and research that reveals the spirit of the day.


The Daily Briefing is a newsletter sent straight to your inbox every morning that provides biblical insight on today's news. This five-minute read gives an overview of the news driving the day and provides Nick Notes. These Notes offer biblical insight of the highlighted article.

Dr. Nick Pitts writes the Daily Briefing each morning. Nick earned his PhD from Dallas Baptist University, where he also serves as the Executive Director of the Institute of Global Engagement. Nick also co-hosts the Point of View radio talk show each Wednesday and frequently appears on Glenn Beck's Think Tank. His op-eds have been published by Huffington Post, Religion News Service,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Today’s Edition

Top News

6. Supreme Court says law banning registration of 'scandalous' trademarks violates First Amendment (CNN)

“The Supreme Court struck down Monday a provision of federal law that prohibits the registration of "immoral" or "scandalous" trademarks as a violation of the First Amendment. The justices' ruling clears the way for a clothing designer to apply for a federal trademark for his clothing line called F*C*.
“Entrepreneur Erik Brunetti said he founded a clothing brand in 1990 to question authority and the assumptions of society. He said his company's name stands for "FRIENDS U CAN'T TRUST."

Nick Note: Voltaire supposedly quipped that though he disapproved of what someone said he would defend their right to say it. If someone could silence one group, they may come next for his group. Such is the case in this particular instance. Though I disagree with their choice of words, I believe they have the right to use it. And in today’s culture, a growing number of individuals have become increasingly comfortable using such language. Today women not only swear more than men but their preference and willingness to cuss has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. 67 percent of millennial women and 66 percent of millennial men curse at work. Studies suggest a positive relationship between the use of profanity and the perception of honesty and authenticity. As Christians, we should fight for free speech but model gracious speech. Similar to Job, we endure harsh speech and understand the power of our speech. We slowly use our tongue but quickly turn our ear, knowing that we emulate God when we listen closely and provide a home for God when we sing his praises. (Eph. 4:29, 1 Pet. 3:12, James 1:17, Ps. 22:3)

5. Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran, Adding to Tensions (NY Times)

“President Trump announced on Monday that he was imposing new sanctions on Iran, stepping up a policy of pressuring the nation’s leaders and further squeezing the Iranian economy in retaliation for what the United States says are recent aggressive acts by Tehran… The new sanctions are aimed at preventing some top Iranian officials from using the international banking system or any financial vehicles set up by European nations or other countries.
“Speaking in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said the new sanctions order would bar Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the international financial system. The Treasury Department said it was also imposing sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders, including the head of a unit that the Americans say was responsible for shooting down an American drone last Thursday.”

Nick Note: Pres. Trump imposed new sanctions and Iranian officials mocked his actions. Iranian President Rouhani called the White House “mentally retarded.” In a widely circulated tweet, one Iranian noted: “The only people left to sanction are me, my dad and our neighbor’s kid. The foreign ministry should share Trump’s phone number so we can call him and give him our names.” Why would they mock him? Over at The Atlantic, Jeffery Goldberg wrote that mocking spurs him to action. Michael Doran went further and hypothesized that Iran is playing upon Pres. Trump’s rambunctiousness, which threatens the order the European Union holds so dear. According to Doran, Iranian leadership “intends to leverage the fears that haunt these Europeans by raising the specter of war and simultaneously offering a cooperative, multilateral way to exorcise it, namely, by returning America to the JCPOA.”Essentially they are provoking Pres. Trump to action, which may “win a place on the short list of Trump’s major sins against a rules-based international order.” I am convinced Pres. Trump wants peace but I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s observation regarding the pursuit of peace. “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe.” This morning, join me in praying for peace in the region and wisdom for our leaders. Iranian officials may mock Pres. Trump but no one mocks the God of peace (1 Tim. 2:1-2, Gal. 6:7, John 5:15-16).

4. A look inside East Tennessee's Diversity Prom (CNN; photo: Sebastian C.)

“It's a Friday afternoon and in a few hours, the doors to the Central United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee will open and LGBTQ students from high schools all over the South will pour into the church to celebrate prom. Inside the fellowship hall, adult volunteers are putting the final touches on the "Under the Sea" decorations.
“The East Tennessee Diversity Prom (DivProm) gives students a night off from worrying about being bullied. And it lets them do things other kids take for granted -- like dressing how they want, choosing to wear makeup, and bringing whomever they want as a date…. The LGBTQ education organization spearheaded this year's 9th annual Tennessee Diversity Prom.”

Nick Note: In Footloose, students wanted to dance. At DivProm, students wanted to have their own dance. The culture is changing but God’s word is not.And in the midst of this change, people are adjusting. Examples include university leadership, poll numbers, and business support of the Equality Act. Yesterday, Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines announced his resignation. Emily Miller of RNS speculated this could have been due to disputes between conservative and liberal factions at this evangelical university. Concerning poll numbers, 62 percent of Americans say they have become more supportive of transgender rights compared to their views 5 years ago.And relative to the Equality Act, more than 200 major businesses publicly advocated for the bill earlier this year. In the 2015 version of the bill, only 4 companies publicly supported it. The culture is changing but God’s word is not. In the Scriptures, God’s love is not contingent upon our orientation and our love shouldn’t be either. Our disagreements with them should not hinder our love of them. God literally loved us to death and we have the chance to love others so that they might experience the fullness of life in Him (Col. 1:21, Jn. 3:16, 1 John 4:16, Col. 3:14)

Cultural News

3. Republicans Don't Understand Democrats—And Democrats Don't Understand Republicans (The Atlantic)

“According to the Democratic caricature, most Republicans stridently oppose immigration, hold deeply prejudiced views about religious minorities, and are blind to the existence of racism or sexism. Asked to guess what share of Republicans believe that immigration can strengthen America so long as it is “properly controlled,” for example, Democrats estimated about half; actually, nearly nine in ten agreed with this sentiment.
“Democrats also estimated that four in ten Republicans believe that “many Muslims are good Americans,” and that only half recognize that “racism still exists in America.” In reality, those figures were two-thirds and four in five."

Nick Note: Just My Imagination Running Away With Me? You can sing that again, Temptations. 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans say they have “just a few” or no close friends who are Republicans or Democrats, respectively. 14 percent of Republicans say they have “a lot” of friends who are Democrats. 9 percent of Democrats say they have "a lot" of Republican friends. Unfortunately, most media outlets don’t help this predicament. If you follow the news “closely,” you don’t see your adversary accurately. According to the research, you misjudge the other side by 30 percent. Contra to popular perception, Republicans aren’t trying recreate The Handmaid’s Tale, Democrats aren’t trying to take our guns during Drag Queen Story Time, and not all Christians go to Westboro Baptist. There are far fewer extremists than meets the screen-lit eye. As Christians, we don’t bear false witness or project insincere positions upon the other side. Love looks for the best and tries to redeem the worst in a gentle fashion – even with our political opponents. (Ex. 20:16, Eph. 4:15, Lk. 17:3, Gal. 6:1)

News You Can Use

2. Baby ROCKY Training Montage (h/t: Willy Mo.)

Nick Note: Watch it here. “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling… (Phil. 2:12)”

1. Father-Of-Bride Brings Guests To Tears With Emotional Dance After Brush With Death. (InspireMore)

Nick Note: Watch it here. “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13)”

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