WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY – Apr 17, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Ohio Governor Signs Heartbeat Bill Restricting Abortion
Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed legislation into law referred to as a heartbeat bill, which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This usually occurs at about six weeks of pregnancy. The Ohio legislature passed a heartbeat bill last term, but it was vetoed by former Ohio Governor John Kasich. Though Kasich is a Republican and describes himself as pro-life, he said the legislation wouldn’t hold up under legal challenge, so he refused to sign it into law. DeWine had no such qualms, even though the American Civil Liberties Union has announced its intention to sue the state, and Planned Parenthood of Ohio is expected to do the same. The new legislation in Ohio comes on the heels of heartbeat bills passed in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia in recent weeks. In Kentucky, a federal judge blocked the law from going into effect while it faces a legal challenge from the ACLU. In Mississippi, the heartbeat bill was challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which expanded its existing lawsuit to block a state policy banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In Georgia, the ACLU has announced plans to sue to block the bill once Governor Brian Kemp signs it, which he has promised to do. read more
In this year alone, over 250 pro-life bills have been introduced in over 41 state legislatures across the nation. According to the Guttmacher Institute almost 50% of these bills would ban abortion in “some or all circumstances.” And even more encouraging, there are now only six states with a single abortion facility without laws banning abortions. The pro-life cause is gaining ground thanks to millions of people praying and working to see abortion ended. But the battle to protect life is not only taking place in our legislatures and our states, but also in our culture. The pro-life movie Unplanned not only had its Twitter account briefly suspended following the movie opening, but we recently learned Google labeled the film, “propaganda” on its online searches last Thursday. Despite the discrimination from social media, Unplanned is still changing hearts and minds. Nearly 100 abortion clinic workers, who used the technology My Faith Votes provided during the movie, are seeking to leave the industry. This is an amazing answer to prayer worth celebrating!
Pray for the protection of unborn lives in your community and across our nation. Pray for the Unplanned movie to continue reaching people to help make abortions unthinkable in America. And pray for those who have had their eyes opened to the reality of abortion and want to leave the abortion industry.
Are you standing for life? Check out our list of ideas to help you get started. We can all to something to make a difference for the lives of the unborn in our communities.
Death Toll Rises to 9 as Tornadoes bring Destruction in South
“The death toll rose to nine and dozens more were injured after a wave of suspected tornadoes swept through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, several people remained unaccounted for and almost 100,000 homes and businesses in the region remained without power. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency on Sunday night. read more
Job’s friends tried to make sense of the tragedy, but God drew near to Job in the tragedy. Tornado forecasting technology has increased the average warning time to 13 minutes. Yet “confirming the threat” and “the shadow effect” keep individuals from heeding warnings. “The shadow effect” concerns how some people draw on past experiences with tornadoes to inform how they respond to present threats. Sometimes this entails “confirming the threat,” which means that they go to a particular place or look out their window before they take cover. In the Scriptures, we never read why God allows such tragedies, but we do know he draws close in them. He doesn’t take away the hurt, but He does begin to heal the hurt (Job 38, Jeremiah 17:14, 1 John 4:19-21, James 5:13-16).
Pray for those who have lost loved ones, that God would comfort them in the midst of their grief, and pray for those who have damaged or destroyed property in these devastating storms.
Natural disasters just remind us that it’s important for us to be connected to our church and local food pantry, so we can quickly roll up our sleeves and help if tragedy comes to our community. Consider donating food or resources to your local food bank or church.
San Jose City Council Displays LGBTQ Flags Outside of New Chick-fil-A Location
The city of San Jose, California will fly rainbow flags near a new Chick-fil-A that is slated to open at the city’s airport. The city council voted 11-0 this week to display a rainbow flag and a transgender rights pink, blue and white flag near the San Jose International Airport. "I made the suggestion to put the flags next to the restaurant, and council members liked that idea but also said that maybe put flags elsewhere, too, like outside," Ken Yeager, the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County, told NBC News. Chick-fil-A has not commented on the council’s decision. In 2018, the city council voted to approve a Chick-fil-A location in the airport’s food court. Chick-fil-A has recently made headlines after the restaurant was barred from opening a new location in the San Antonio, Texas airport. The San Antonio city council voted in March to stop Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the airport because of its LGBTQ donations and history. read more
Chick-fil-A has made numerous headlines over the past few weeks as a university and two airports made the decision to ban the restaurant from opening. Now, the Chick-fil-A at the Mineta San Jose International Airport is the company’s latest location to be targeted. Council Members state their decision to allow the fast-food chain to open was just an "oversight." Like many, they misidentify the speck in Chick-fil-A’s eye because the log in their eyes impairs their view. In the Scriptures, we find promises that life won’t be easy if we follow Jesus (John 16:33). Some will reject us, but God has chosen us (1 Peter 4:12). Don’t let the bitterness from rejection overwhelm the kindness that flows from the reality of being chosen.
Pray that the leadership at Chick-fil-A would continue to stand boldly for Christian values and love each of these cities well despite opposing beliefs. As Luke 6:27-28 says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Today, the Texas legislature is hearing public testimony on two pieces of legislation: the Free to Believe Act (HB 1035) and the First Amendment Defense Act (HB 3172). Both religious freedom bills would help ensure companies like Chick-fil-A are not discriminated against in Texas. Some are calling today, “Save Chick-fil-A Day.” So, we encourage you to support Chick-fil-A with your purchase or use the hashtag #SaveChickfilA on social media!
Notre Dame Fire: Macron Promises to Rebuild, but Paris Monument Suffers ‘Colossal Damage’
The spine-tingling, soul-lifting spire and roof of Notre Dame Cathedral were reduced to ash Monday, as a catastrophic fire spread through a building that has embodied the heart of Paris for more than 800 years. The fire, which came during Christianity’s holiest week and was apparently accidental, left a smoldering stone shell where there had once been a peerless work of architecture, engineering and craftsmanship. Cathedral spokesman Andre Finot told reporters that the building had sustained “colossal damage” and that the medieval wooden interior — a marvel that has inspired awe and wonder for the millions who have visited over the centuries — had been gutted. “Nothing will remain from the frame,” he said. read more
Notre Dame took almost 100 years to construct. It survived the anti-Christian fervor of the French Revolution and the bullets of World War II. Henry VI of England was made king of France inside Notre Dame in 1431. Almost 400 years later, Napoleon was crowned emperor in that hallowed place. If those walls could talk, they would sing. Augustine noted that the mind was particularly delighted when truth was presented to it in an indirect way, through symbols or spaces. Logic tends to come through the front door of the mind. But when the front door is locked by stubbornness, beauty has the capacity to open the back door so truth may enter. David gazed at beauty and the Psalmist described heaven as shining forth in perfect beauty (Psalm 27:4, 50:2). Yesterday, the world didn’t just lose a cathedral but a signpost pointing to the New Jerusalem.
Pray for Paris, and pray the city officials of Paris would be able to work to restore this historical cathedral. Pray that investigators would come to know the cause of the fire.
While we grieve the loss of such a historic building, we must keep the perspective that this world is not our home. This week, as we prepare to remember the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, take time to reflect on all He has done for you. Our friends at The Chosen just released the powerful first episode of the first-ever, multi-season tv series on the life of Jesus. It’s a unique opportunity to see Jesus from the perspective of those around him. Watch here. We know you’ll be deeply moved.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.