WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - August 21, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Miftah Group that Planned Tlaib-Omar Israel Trip Once Referred to Suicide Bombing as Sacrifice ‘for the cause’
Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are ramping up their criticism of Israel's decision to block them from entering the country, where according to Tlaib "racism and the politics of hate" are "thriving." But in defending its decision, the Israeli government is citing the radical history of the group that was slated to sponsor the trip. That group, named Miftah, has a long record of anti-Israel rhetoric that includes downplaying attacks on Israelis and even describing suicide bombers as "sacrificing their lives for the cause." It's a record poised to see new scrutiny as senior Democrats reportedly weigh retaliatory measures for the snub of the two freshman Democrats and the Trump and Netanyahu administrations hit back. "The organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement), and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. Netanyahu cited Miftah as he alleged the lawmakers had ulterior, anti-Israel motives in their planned Israel trip. read more
Israel Katz, the foreign minister and a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party, told the WSJ that the lawmakers’ planned visit was “intended entirely for provocations and incitement against the state of Israel.” David French strongly advocated that what has happened should be a “national scandal,” stating “The most important element of the story is the fact that two American congresswomen shunned a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel to go on an independent trip to Israel sponsored by vicious anti-Semites. Another important element of the story is that, as of today, the mainstream media have whitewashed Omar and Tlaib’s vile associations.” This controversy comes at a dangerous time for the Jewish people. The Sunday Times recently profiled a number of Jews who moved from the UK to Israel because of rising anti-Semitism at home. A new report says anti-Semitic incidents in Britain have spiked to their highest level since records began in 1984. And here on American soil, a man who allegedly threatened to carry out a shooting at a Jewish community center in Ohio has been arrested. A recent survey found that one in five Americans (and thirty percent of young adults) do not believe that the Nazi regime exterminated six million Jews during the Holocaust. The Hudson Institute warns that “America is facing a shocking spike in anti-Semitism. Whatever we think of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians (or any other political issue), we must be careful to stand diligently and passionately against hatred of the Jewish people.
Pray for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. Pray for God’s hand of protection to be on them and for American leadership to continue to stand by our most faithful ally in the Middle East.
Christians, especially younger generations of Christians, need to understand why we should care about Israel today. We encourage you to read this informative article from Jewish Voice and get equipped to know why Christians stand with Israel.
Planned Parenthood Pulls Out of Family Planning Program
Planned Parenthood announced that the organization will withdraw from the Title X federal family planning program, after the Trump Administration implemented restrictions surrounding abortion referrals for those receiving money from the federal program. The organization will lose about 60 million dollars per year by withdrawing from the program. The Trump Administration’s rule forbids clinics which receive Title X funding from referring women for abortions, doubling down on the President’s promise that taxpayer dollars will have no hand in funding abortions. Planned Parenthood officials, after the Trump Administration backed them into a corner, erupted on Twitter, claiming that the administration forced them to leave the program. But the administration did not force the organization to withdraw, Planned Parenthood simply had to comply with the rule that employs the same principle as the Hyde Amendment: protecting taxpayers from funding abortion. read more
Our choices don’t make us, but they do reveal us. Planned Parenthood’s refusal reveals their priorities. Their 2017-2018 annual report indicated they performed 332,757 abortions during the reported year, the most since 2011-2012. While abortion services increased, non-abortion services decreased. For example, they performed 570,444 breast exams and pap tests during the reported year, down from 617,677 in 2016-2017. Concerning their financial situation, they had approximately $1.9 billion in net assets, up from $1.6 billion in 2017. With this choice, they are taking a relatively small financial hit. But every choice comes with a cost -- especially for a child in the womb. In the biblical narrative, Solomon had to make a choice. Two mothers approached him in great need. One woman stole a child in the middle of the night and the other woke up next to a dead child. She soon realized the other woman swapped the dead child for her living child. After listening closely to their cases, Solomon decided he would cut the living child in two. The mother cried out against the ruling while the other woman agreed with the ruling. For the mother, she was willing to sacrifice greatly for that which she loved deeply – even if it meant parting with her own child. As those who love children in the womb deeply, we will one day stand before someone wiser than Solomon and give an account for what we were willing to do for that child, or rather His child. (1 Kings 3, 2, Corinthians 5:10). In related news, a jury ordered Planned Parenthood to pay $3 million in a settlement to a former Planned Parenthood director. She was fired after reporting “an abortionist’s illegal conduct and high complication rates, falsification of affidavits and patient records, incomplete abortions, and failure to report statutory rape.”
Thank God for these pro-life decisions and for our President and his administration willing to defend the most vulnerable in our society. Pray for the mothers currently considering abortion, that they would choose life. And pray for Planned Parenthood and the abortionists' influence to continue to diminish.
Sixty million in tax dollars per year will no longer be claimed by Planned Parenthood. There is a tremendous opportunity for pro-life pregnancy centers to meet the needs of women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. Consider getting involved in a local pregnancy care clinic in your area to be part of the solution so that Planned Parenthood clinics are no longer the medical centers of choice for women.
89 Percent of British Young Adults Say Life Has No Meaning, Poll Finds
A new United Kingdom survey showing an overwhelming majority of 16-29-year-olds believe life has no purpose or meaning can be directly attributed to the decline of Christianity in the country, says the founder of Answers In Genesis. The poll of 1,500 British people by Yakult UK showed 89 percent of those ages 16-29 say life lacks purpose or meaning, compared to 55 percent of those over 60 who answered that way. The Sun newspaper was the first media outlet to report the survey. Answers In Genesis founder and CEO Ken Ham blamed a lack of faith among young people for the tragic data. A separate 2018 poll showed only two percent of those ages 18-24 are affiliated with the Church of England. “When we understand and embrace God’s Word, we will know the difference between the truth and the lies, and we won’t be deceived,” Ham wrote in an online analysis. “Where do meaning and purpose come from?” Ham asked rhetorically. “It comes from our Creator! It comes from having a proper perspective on the history of the universe and humanity — one that starts with God’s Word. We’re not accidents, the result of millions of years of random, chance processes. read more
Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis said, “This belief that life has no meaning or purpose is the outworking of the religion of evolutionary secularism that permeates the education system and the media throughout the UK, and here in the United States. When you adopt the religion of atheism, you have to deal with the consequences — and one consequence is that ultimately there’s absolutely no meaning or purpose to life!” According to a 2019 Pew Research Survey, only 18 percent of Americans reject evolution entirely, believing humans have always existed in their present form and did not evolve. A majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe science and religion are in conflict. And among those who attend church at least once a week, half believe religion and science conflict. Our education system, at least in America, has separated God from science for decades, and as Ken Ham points out, the consequences of those ideas are now experienced throughout society. In America, a series of Supreme Court decisions prohibited the teaching of creationism or intelligent design altogether in public schools. In 1987, in the case, Edwards v. Aguillard, the Supreme Court ruled that a Louisiana law was unconstitutional for requiring public schools to teach both evolution and creation science. And for the past 20 years, science and religion have been primarily viewed as incompatible. When we read God’s Word, we learn God created the heavens and the earth, humankind, and all the creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:1). We are created in God’s image and are designed with a purpose - to glorify God in all that we do (Genesis 1:27). When our culture accepted the lie that God did not create us, society lost the answer to finding purpose and meaning for life.
Pray for the truth and the light of God’s Word to be used to overcome the lies and the darkness that the evolution theory has perpetrated on entire generations. Pray for God to give you opportunities to share with others about the Creator of the Universe who designed people with purpose and meaning.
Take a few minutes to watch the informative video from Ken Ham, Why Does Creation Matter? And understand why it is more critical for Christians than ever before to have answers to some of the difficult questions society asks about creationism and the Genesis account.
Illinois Adopts Law Requiring LGBT History Lessons to be Taught in Public Schools
LGBT history must now be taught in Illinois public schools, according to a recently passed law. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation requiring public schools in the Midwestern state to teach students about the historical contributions of LBGT persons in U.S. history. Supporters of the law insist that the curriculum will curb bullying against students who identify as LGBT. The law also requires that the state Board of Education must provide a list of textbooks authorized for purchase under the law every year. The legislation reads: “Each public school district and state-recognized, non-public school shall, subject to appropriations for that purpose, receive a per-pupil grant for the purchase of secular and non-discriminatory textbooks. "In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State." read more
The new education policy will go into effect in July 2020. Similar LGBT history curriculum already exists in both California and New Jersey schools. The American Principles Project spoke out against this new policy in Illinois stating, "Parents need to reclaim their role as the primary educators of their children — especially as it pertains to their children’s sexuality. No one else has that right or responsibility." Proverbs 22:6 instructs parents to train up a child in the way he should go. No subject matter is more difficult or controversial in our culture today than the issue of sexuality and gender. This new policy should remind Christians, especially Christian parents, to take ownership of their children’s education. We cannot assume that anyone else, public school, private school, or even a Sunday School Teacher, will train your children in a biblical worldview. Phil Vischer, the co-creator of the popular kids cartoon ‘Veggie Tales’ recently said Christian filmmakers will soon need to address the LGBT topics on their shows. “Parents are definitely going to have to deal with a growing LGBT presence in children’s media,” says Vischer. He continued, "The thing that concerns me about the volume of kids programs out there is that it's mostly secular, and in all those thousands of hours of TV that our kids are consuming, they'll never see someone step foot in a church or bow their head in prayer," Vischer said. These words should serve as a warning to us; we must raise our children with the Word of God and teach them His principles for all of life. We cannot leave it to our schools or our culture.
Pray today for the next generation. In particular, pray for the school-age children in your life as they navigate growing up in a secular culture. Pray that their hearts would hunger after truth, and that they would not accept the lies from our culture but instead, embrace the principles of God’s Word that bring peace and life.
I just read the new book “A Change of Affection: A Gay Man’s Incredible Story of Redemption” and it was one of the most fascinating books I’ve read on the subject of the of the power of the Gospel, transformation and how Christians can think well and be prepared to address the issues of homosexuality in our country today. Pick up a copy and you can also watch Eric Metaxas interview the author, Becket Cook, 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.