WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - APRIL 27, 2022
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In this week's Intersect, read about:
DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Disney's Self-Governing District
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that would eliminate a private government district controlled by the Walt Disney Company by June 2023. The Reedy Creek Improvement District was established in 1967 to allow Disney greater autonomy in building Walt Disney World, which would eventually become the largest single-site employer in the country. The loss of the special district could have significant tax implications for both Disney and nearby Florida residents. The bill was widely seen as retaliation for Disney’s stated opposition to the Parental Rights in Education law, called the “Don’t Say Gay” law by opponents. While Disney was initially reluctant to take a stand on the controversial legislation, the entertainment giant eventually said its ‘goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.’” read more at AllSides
This Republican governor is taking flack for protecting parents against the attempts of powerful corporations to indoctrinate their children. Regarding Disney’s intent to push for the repeal of the Parental Rights in Education bill, DeSantis said, “I’m just thinking to myself, you’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re going to marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state. We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that.” Governor DeSantis isn’t acting alone. A survey released in early April found that 61% of registered voters in the country agree with the language of the Florida Parental Rights in Education law. Disney’s stance, on the other hand, appears to be unpopular. Its stock lost almost $50 billion in value after the company came out against the Parental Rights in Education bill. Albert Mohler pointed out, “It is not a radical bill. But Disney nonetheless took what in essence was a radical position against the bill. And it is now paying the political price.” These developments should encourage us to speak out to our state elected officials, together, with other like-minded citizens. Our federalist structure of government allows states to make decisions based on what’s best for their own citizens as long as they do not violate the Constitution. We should be emboldened to ask our legislature to uphold biblical values, regardless of whether they look like the values of other states. The Florida legislature gave Disney the power to govern itself in a special district; therefore, they have the power to take it away. While questions remain about how this will affect taxes and local governments that will assume responsibility for Disney’s district, state and local officials have over a year to work it out before the law takes effect.
Heavenly Father, thank you for those who fulfill your purpose for government–to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. (1 Peter 2:14) Thank you for giving us a representative form of government so we can influence our public servants, or even become one ourselves. Let us be faithful stewards of this responsibility, for Your glory and the protection of the children whom You dearly love.
On November 8, 2022, 88 of the country's 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections. Elections in those 88 chambers represent a whopping 84% of the country's state legislative seats. Your vote matters. Text the word “VOTE” to 50457 to get election reminders for your specific elections. Then share this easy-to-use tool with three friends to encourage them to be prepared to vote this year!
Supreme Court Tackles Case About Praying Football Coach
“A coach who crosses himself before a game. A teacher who reads the Bible aloud before the bell rings. A coach who hosts an after-school Christian youth group in his home. Supreme Court justices discussed all those hypothetical scenarios Monday while hearing arguments about a former public high school football coach from Washington state who wanted to kneel and pray on the field after games. The justices were wrestling with how to balance the religious and free speech rights of teachers and coaches with the rights of students not to feel pressured into participating in religious practices. The court’s conservative majority seemed sympathetic to the coach while its three liberals seemed more skeptical. The outcome could strengthen the acceptability of some religious practices in the public school setting.” read more at the Associated Press
In the nearly 2 hour hearing, the High Court focused on two questions: (1) Whether a public school employee who says a brief, quiet prayer by himself while at school and visible to students is engaged in government speech that lacks any First Amendment protection; and (2) whether, assuming that such religious expression is private and protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses, the establishment clause nevertheless compels public schools to prohibit it. Who is Coach Kennedy and why was he fired for praying on the 50-yard line? First Liberty, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated to defending religious liberty, took on the coach’s case and gave an inside look at his life and court case here. Last fall, My Faith Votes joined more than 70 organizations and individuals, in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, affirming that personal prayers are protected by the First Amendment. We recognize the important precedent that this case may set for the future of religious freedom. “God intended prayer to be a direct and personal way to praise, make our requests known and deepen our relationships with our Creator," said Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes. "By mislabeling prayer as anything other than a humble expression of our devotion and need for God, we threaten the very rights the Founding Fathers wished to protect in our Constitution.” The High Court’s ruling is expected this summer.
Father, we pray for coach Kennedy. We pray that You would preserve his religious liberty, as well as the religious liberty of every American citizen. Give wisdom to the justices as they rule on this important case.
Next Thursday, May 5th, is the annual National Day of Prayer. My Faith Votes is hosting: Praying for the American Justice Systems: An Online National Day of Prayer Event. America’s three distinct branches of government were wisely structured to ensure separation of powers, but this system is not immune from the pressures of our modern world and must be covered in prayer. This is why My Faith Votes is hosting a prayer event for America’s courts and judicial system on the National Day of Prayer. Watch our website and next week’s Intersect for details as well as a free resource we've designed to help you pray effectively over this branch of government.
With California Looking to Legalize Infanticide, Pro-Lifers Are Resisting
“Last month, shocking news came out that California was looking to legalize infanticide. It's not an exaggeration, as an amended version of the bill's text still reads that ‘Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights under this article, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.’ As pro-abortion and pro-infanticide as the state's elected officials may be, there are many pro-life forces fighting against such legislation in the state.” read more at Townhall
Assembly Bill 2223 was amended because its own committee analysis found that it could be interpreted to sanction infanticide. Olivia Summers, Associate Counsel with the ACLJ, concludes in her legal analysis that the language still opens the door to infanticide despite the amendments. “While one may think that can’t possibly be what the legislators intended, it is well known in legal circles that ill-worded laws often lead to unintended consequences at the hands of creative defense attorneys,” she states. The legislature’s intent with this bill, she continues, is to “shield women and those who assist and aid them in self-performed abortions from having to provide medical attention – or any attention – to babies born alive after botched abortions.” Up to 3,000 pro-lifers showed up at the CA state Capitol last Tuesday to protest this bill. Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, who helped organize the rally, urged Christians, “California’s the place to come and fight for what’s right because if we don’t stop it in California...what happens here winds up in your state within three years.” While California seeks to become a sanctuary state for abortion, Marquez, Texas recently became the forty-sixth Sanctuary City for the Unborn in the nation. (Forty-eight cities have passed such an ordinance, but two have since been repealed.) Such measures should encourage pro-lifers to take action at both the state and local level. Most local ordinances enable private enforcement, which, like Texas’ heartbeat law, can be applied even before Roe v. Wade is overturned. Many of them are worded to protect the unborn from chemical abortions as well, which accounted for 54% of all abortions in the U.S. in 2020. The Tenessee legislature just passed a bill prohibiting abortion pills from being dispensed through the mail. We can be grateful to the Christians in California for standing for life, even in a hostile environment. What starts in California often spreads to other states. Let’s heed Pastor Hibbs’ admonition: “Vote for a biblical worldview, and then you need to make sure that the person you voted for hears from you from time to time.”
Heavenly Father, our hearts break for the innocent victims of our depraved culture. Let the truth about this bill be exposed and awaken Your church to oppose the murder of unborn children, with one voice. Have mercy on us, Lord. Help us to shine as lights in the world, and even more so in the darkest environments.
How do we stand against the forces of darkness and be an influence for Christ in a hostile culture? This Saturday, April 30, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills is hosting Come Back California, an in-person one-day event with influential speakers to talk about how to stand, engage, and vote biblical values. Once the event is filled, the event will be livestreamed to watch online. See details here.
Has Liberal Thought Hijacked the Church?
Pastor and author Lucas Miles answers that question in an engaging and eye-opening conversation with My Faith Votes CEO, Jason Yates. Miles discusses how the Left knows they can’t win elections without disrupting the church and the family, his story about his initial interest in “Christian socialism” and why he thought he’d never vote, and the lack of pastoral guidance on critical issues. WATCH HERE
One of Miles’ sobering quotes from the interview is this: “I think that many pastors are afraid to talk about these issues. I'd like to think the great majority of evangelical pastors, if you took a poll of them, would still offer support, you know, at least philosophically for conservative values, right? And biblical values. But I can tell you that in 2016, I lost 40 percent of my church because I started teaching about what does the Bible say about abortion? What does the Bible say about gender? What does the Bible say about sexuality in leading up to the election? I didn't wear a red hat. I didn't have a banner on the stage that endorsed a candidate. We didn't even have an American flag on the stage. We just taught what scripture said about some of the most pressing social issues in the nation. I'm in a red state with a supermajority, but I'm in a blue county. Our mayor was Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who went on to run for president in 2020, who I'm sure we've not seen the last of. And we had 40 percent of our church walk out the door almost in one week over talking about these issues. What I didn't realize was how many people in my congregation were, you know, were really willing to put progressive notions above biblical ideals.” Be sure to watch the rest of our conversation with Pastor Miles. One of the great privileges we’ve had at My Faith Votes is the opportunity to talk with a variety of influencers over the years. To date, we’ve conducted over 60 interviews with people, like Pastor Miles, who can speak into cultural issues from a biblical worldview to inform and motivate Christians to see how our faith should influence every aspect of our life, including the voting booth. These interviews can be found on our YouTube page. And be sure to join us for our upcoming conversation with our Founding Honorary National Chairman, Dr. Ben Carson, tomorrow, April 28 here.
Lord, we pray that the church will be filled with people who hunger for You and for studying Your Word. We know one of the enemy’s primary targets is Your Church. If he can hinder the testimony of a believer or congregation of believers, he can distract us from the things of You and create disunity. As the New Testament local church was exhorted to pray without ceasing, let us also be a people who pray for the church without ceasing.
Did you know we created a free toolkit you can use to equip and motivate your church to vote? Our Church Votes has all the resources you need to engage, educate, and equip Christians to take their faith and convictions from the pew to the public square. From videos, bulletins, and sample letters to send your pastor to sermon outlines, how to host a voter registration drive and more, we’ve got you covered! All resources are free and can be downloaded to use and share at any time here.
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.