WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - AUGUST 3, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
The Blueprint for Our Nation's Success Still Exists
Confidence in our nation, built as a constitutional republic, and its political institutions is at an all-time low. Even the Supreme Court, which has enjoyed higher approval ratings than the other two branches of our government, has suffered a recent and steep decline. Only 25 percent of Americans now approve of the justices’ performances, according to a June Gallup poll. It is no secret that a deep political divide marks this moment. The chasm between us has eliminated discourse and ground to a halt the legislative progress. Our elected officials cannot seem to engage in meaningful dialogue on critical issues, and absent from the halls of Congress are collaboration and negotiation that result in significant progress toward maximizing the common good. Progress seems to only come through executive order, committees (of the unelected) or the courts. ‘Is the United States on the brink of decline and breakdown?’ I asked myself this week as I walked past the Supreme Court building to pray for our nation, witnessing the protests, anger and confusion.” read more at The Western Journal
What is the blueprint formula for liberty to prosper for another 246 years? It’s found in the world’s largest solid granite monument on top of a hill overlooking Plymouth Rock and it is called the National Monument to the Forefathers. Reaching 81 feet high, at its center is the virtuous figure of Faith. Four smaller statues underneath Faith represent the virtues of Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty. Dedicated in 1889, The National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is one of America’s most meaningful monuments. In 1974, the monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service as having “—exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States.” What is the significance of a monument? After the people of Israel supernaturally crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, God commanded Joshua to “choose twelve men, one from each tribe and tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight’” (Joshua 4:2–3). These stones of remembrance would serve as a permanent national reminder and a memorial to future generations of the miraculous river crossing. Remembering the past plays a vital role in the identity of any nation. Sociologists claim that a society aspiring to endure must become “a community of memory and hope.” There is an important biblical principle to train our children in the importance of remembering. As our spokesperson, Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.) says, “I believe God’s call to remember is more for our future than it is for our past. And the future of the United States depends in large part on how well we collectively remember and cherish what liberty really is – God's hand of blessing upon us and freedom from the terror of tyranny. There is a high cost to forgetting.”
Lord, it’s so easy to see the mess around us and feel hopeless, worried and disheartened. But we know that Your kingdom is still advancing, the Church is still growing, and You still reign from Your Holy Throne. Give us resolute hearts to be faithful to You and You alone. Thank You for the ways we can remember Your faithfulness. Let us not forget to honor You and to remember we are to be faithful to You.
To help you better understand these timeless principles, My Faith Votes developed a free e-book and short educational videos outlining the blueprint of the five essentials for a better America. By studying the Monument, much can be learned by young and old alike about the principles and virtues of the Pilgrim settlers that were ultimately carried over into the writing of America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Watch and share.
Justice Alito Dismisses Criticism from Global Leaders of Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe
“Associate Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the Supreme Court's landmark opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, waved away criticism of the ruling from foreign leaders in recent remarks focused on the importance of religious freedom. Speaking in Rome last week in remarks made public Thursday, Alito said he considered calling attention to opinions on religion by foreign courts but decided against it – even though, he said, foreign leaders had plenty to say about the high court's abortion ruling. ‘I had the honor this term of writing, I think, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders, who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law,’ Alito said at the event, which was organized by the Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative.” read more at USA Today
Justice Alito’s first public remarks since the court’s decision caused a stir in mainstream media, who labeled his brief comments as a “mockery of foreign critics” which included a jab at Prince Harry. But what the media failed to draw attention to is the nearly 40 minute talk Justice Alito presented on the theme of Religious Liberty. The justice said that in order to “win the battle to protect religious freedom in an increasingly secular society, we will need more than positive law.” He noted, “Religious liberty is under attack in many places because it is dangerous to those who want to hold complete power,” Alito said. Attacks against religious liberty, he added, also probably grow “out of something dark and deep in the human DNA: a tendency to distrust and dislike people who are not like ourselves.” Reflecting on current hostility to religion he said: “It is hard to convince people that religious liberty is worth defending if they don’t think that religion is a good thing that deserves protection.” Religious liberty is an unimaginable dream for millions of Christians around the world. Some must meet secretly and, if discovered, could be jailed or killed. For those of us in free nations, religious liberty has been taken for granted and often ignored. America is one of the few nations that has religious liberty written into its Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (from the First Amendment). Yet that liberty is often squandered. Church buildings sit empty while bars and casinos are full. The presence of religious liberty should cause Christianity to explode in numbers and practice, but history reveals the opposite to be true. So here is our call to action: Christians should use our religious freedom to practice our faith, share the gospel, speak for biblical virtues on social issues, run for office, and vote in every election. Truth shines brightest in the darkest places. Christians enjoying religious liberty should not squander the sacred right of freedom but thank the Lord for it and use it to further the work of God in our communities, our nation and around the world.
Lord, You have placed us here at this time and place for Your purposes. May we not take that lightly. We are humbled to live in a nation whose foundation was based on religious liberty. Thank You for the freedoms we have, both now and throughout our history, to serve and worship You. You have brought America through tremendous trials and adversity. We are grateful for Your hand of guidance. We ask that You enable those in positions of authority to continue to preserve the right to freely worship You and that they would not establish any belief or philosophy that would overrule the observance or expression of faith in You.
The Senate is expected to vote soon on the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act.” While there are compelling reasons for Christians to oppose redefining marriage in federal law, concerns related to religious freedom are equally alarming. While the majority opinion in Obergefell stated that “those who adhere to religious doctrines” may continue “to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction” that same-sex marriage should not be condoned, what has happened across the country in recent years is instead what Justice Samuel Alito anticipated would happen in his dissent. At the time, Justice Alito predicted that the court’s decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” He presciently observed that those who disagree about same-sex marriage “will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.” The consequences for religious liberty in this bill are serious. Send a message to your Senators today, urging them to vote “no.” If you already took action on this last week, thank you!
White House Admits Inflation Reduction Act, Pushed by Manchin, Schumer, will Barely Impact Inflation
“The $739 billion Democratic spending plan dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act will barely affect prices over the next decade, experts say — and even the White House admitted it Monday. According to Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, the 725-page bill hammered out by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) would only lower the Consumer Price Index – a closely watched gauge that measures what consumers paid for goods and services –0.33% by 2031.” read more at the New York Post
It appears that the main purpose of this bill is to enact climate change policies, not to reduce prices. Vox calls the bill, “the single most important legislative step the US has ever taken to combat the climate crisis.” A summary of the bill can be read here. It allocates $369 billion towards climate change policies over the next decade. This will be paid for through taxes and fees on fossil fuel companies, and a fifteen percent minimum tax on corporations with annual profits of at least one billion dollars. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) commissioned by Congress, almost half of that tax will affect U.S. manufacturing companies–and by extension, manufacturing employees and their families. While President Biden claims there will be no new taxes on people making under $400,000 a year, taxes on corporations effect their employees, customers, and investors as well. According to the JCT, taxpayers in almost every income category would still see their average tax rate increase next year under this bill. As the Wall Street Journal put it, “The reality is that the Schumer-Manchin bill is a tax increase on nearly every American.” According to Zandi, households are spending almost $493 more each month to buy the same items they were buying a year ago. Opposing unnecessary burdens on our neighbors who can ill-afford it is one way to love them as ourselves. The Inflation Reduction Act needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate. Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, strongly condemned it: “...When leaders in Washington think the best thing they can do to solve our economic crisis is to raise taxes and accelerate spending, they are instead squeezing America’s families of their livelihood and dignity. This isn’t just a tax increase but another sinister effort by the Biden administration to shove socialist, progressive policies down the throats of Americans. This isn't a game. Their plan will spend even more money, raise more taxes and, by fiat, try to socially engineer a new America in which Americans don't wish to live. This bill will crush the working class above all. It will prolong a recession the administration refuses to acknowledge at a base level. The Inflation Reduction Act is not only poor public policy, but also immoral policy.”
Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that the earth is Yours, and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1) This includes the money we pay in taxes. We pray that our congressmen and women will consider this truth and steward Your money more wisely. We desire a better economy for our families and our neighbors. Yet give us the faith to say, “Even if the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vines, if the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food…Yet I will triumph in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
A rising cause of anxiety among young people ages 16-25, exacerbated by a media and educational narrative, is the fear about climate change, known as “eco-anxiety.” Conveying the truth about energy policy could greatly benefit a young person in your life. We encourage you to check out these short, informative videos by the Texas Public Policy Foundation that explains how energy policy affects all of us.
Survey Results: This is Your #1 Issue
“We recently sent out a survey to My Faith Votes followers, asking ‘What is the most important issue to you this year?’ When we compiled the results, we were reminded (once again) of the profound opportunity before us this midterm election cycle.” read more at My Faith Votes
54.8% of respondents identified Abortion as the most important issue with 48.6% stating Immigration and Border Security as the second most important issue. Religious freedom and the economy were a very close third and fourth issue, respectively, as both are impacting the day-to-day lives of believers and putting a strain on the nation. Yesterday, Kansans were the first to vote on an abortion-related ballot measure since Roe's reversal. Seen as a bellwether on the issue of abortion at the state level, the ballot measure sought to overturn a 2019 state Supreme Court decision that said abortion rights were protected under the state constitution. Under the court’s ruling, lawmakers can’t pass laws restricting abortion access without “strict scrutiny” from the court. Unfortunately, the measure failed 58 to 41 percent. Abortion will remain enshrined in the state Constitution. Over 900,000 Kansas voters turned out for the primary election, reaching an all-time high for a primary election and approaching turnout levels seen in a presidential election year. President Biden praised the outcome saying, “This vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,” he said. "Congress should listen to the will of the American people and restore the protections of Roe as federal law.” The Value Them Both Coalition stated: “Kansans endured an onslaught of misinformation from radical left organizations that spent millions of out-of-state dollars to spread lies about the Value Them Both Amendment,” the group said. “As our state becomes an abortion destination, it will be even more important for Kansans to support our pregnancy resource centers, post-abortive ministries, and other organizations that provide supportive care to women facing unexpected pregnancies. We will be back.” No matter which issues are motivating you to get to the polls this year, we pray the Lord uses your faithfulness to vote and influence the communities we live in for our good and His glory.
Every day, the news is full of stories of people and communities impacted by these issues we face at the ballot box. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”. Pray for God to equip you to shine His light to those around you and have the boldness to bring biblical truth to the issues impacting your community.
Get familiar with and bookmark our My Voter Hub so you’re equipped and prepared to vote. This tool allows you to see your specific ballot (when it’s released), find your polling location, check your voter registration, get an absentee ballot, view party platform guides and so much more.
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.