WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - August 7, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Two Mass Shootings in Less than a Day Leave at Least 31 Dead and 53 Injured
Over less than 13 hours and nearly 1,600 miles apart, two mass shootings this weekend left at least 31 dead and 53 injured, leaving the country reeling from yet more gruesome scenes of violence and death. On Saturday morning, a gunman opened fire into a crowd at an El Paso, Texas, retail area that is popular among both local residents and shoppers from just across the southern border with Mexico. Then early Sunday, a shooter attacked a crowd outside a popular bar in Dayton, Ohio, as patrons were enjoying a night out. One suspect was in custody in the El Paso case. Federal prosecutors were treating it as a domestic terrorism case. Texas authorities are still investigating the motive for the shooting, but El Paso police Chief Gregory K. Allen said Saturday evening that it appeared to have "a nexus at this point in time to a hate crime." Law enforcement officials believe the gunman in El Paso may have posted a screed online less than 30 minutes before the attack on an extremist website. In Dayton, authorities said that the shooter was wearing body armor and carrying ammunition magazines for the .223-caliber rifle used in the attack. He was shot and killed by police about a minute after the attack began. read more
President Trump on Monday addressed the nation and called for reforms to consider mental health, gun laws, and “red flag laws”. He stated, “We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil.” The President also condemned white supremacy in response to reports that the El Paso shooter was a white supremacy racist. Governor Mike Huckabee said on Fox News, "Those of us who would try to say, 'Well, look for spiritual answers.' How can you tell a young man that God wants to be your father if his image of a father is someone who abandoned him or beat up his mother? This is why we have to rethink, but recognize at the same time, that ultimately the hole in the human heart can never be filled just by human things. It has to be filled ultimately by spiritual things." Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick said, “As long as we continue to only praise God and look at God on a Sunday morning, and kick him out of the town squares and our schools the other six days of the week, what do we expect?” The Lt. Governor also pointed to the danger of video games, and research clearly shows that it does contribute to this problem. And research also shows that the absence of fathers is one of the “most powerful predictors of crimes.” Then there is mental health and social media, which also plays a role in a subset of crimes. Research indicates that an increase in the number of hours on social media correlates directly with aggressive behavior. And many would say we must focus on guns. Research out of Alabama shows a country’s rate of gun ownership correlates with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. Some want to point the finger, but we all need to grab a hand. As Winston Churchill noted, we haven’t made it this far because we are made of sugar candy. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. As Churchill notes and the Bible attests, unity is our greatest strength and disunity can serve as our chief weakness (Romans 12:16, John 17:23).
Pray for the 31 families who are mourning the tragic loss of their loved ones. And pray for all the injured who are still recovering. Most of all, pray that these events would reveal the great need for God in our lives and in our nation.
What can we do to help the victims and their families? You can consider donating blood or making a donation to charitable organizations working to assist these victims. And most importantly, be prepared to explain why God allows evil to exist and why our nation desperately needs God.
Abortion Pills Could Soon Be Mandated on California College Campuses as Lawmakers Move Forward with Bill
California lawmakers are currently considering legislation to require public college and university campuses to provide students with free access to an abortion drug recently linked to severe behavioral and biological consequences. The bill — S.B. 24 — is a slightly altered version of legislation presented last year, when former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was in office. He vetoed the bill due to the simple fact abortion services are “widely available” not at all far from virtually any state campus. During an interview Thursday with Faithwire, Tony Sands, president of the Right to Life League of Southern California in Pasadena, commended Brown — who is hardly a champion for the pro-life cause — for vetoing the bill. “It’s bad law,” Sands explained. “Part of the reason it’s bad law is women who take this, if something goes wrong with this, who do you blame? Well, who you’re going to blame is the state.” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said late last year, before being sworn in, he “would have supported” the bill. But he has not yet commented on the latest iteration of the proposal. If the governor does sign the bill, though, he is putting the state’s seal of approval on medicinal abortion, suggesting it “is good medical practice,” opening up California “to all kinds of blame and lawsuits,” according to Sands. read more
The California State Senate approved S.B. 24 in May and the bill will soon be voted on in the California State Assembly. The bill would not only require public college and university campuses to provide students with free access to abortion medication, but it also puts the health of college women at a greater risk. Beyond the moral implications, chemical abortions can be a painful and traumatic experience that, if not administered at the appropriate time, could lead to complications and even place the women’s life at risk. Recently, the abortion pill has been linked to severe behavioral and biological consequences. The bill would also create a fund to provide a $200,000 grant to every public university student health center to pay for the cost of offering abortion drugs, with money coming from state and federal government agencies and private sector entities. The legislation encourages health centers to offer abortion counseling services but specifically excludes pro-life counseling. Stated in the bill as “a constitutional right and an integral part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care,” abortion on public college campuses would not only be promoted but enshrined as part of state law. My Faith Votes partnered with the movie Unplanned, which tells the true story of Abby Johnson and her powerful conversion from a Planned Parenthood Director to a staunch pro-life advocate after witnessing and ultrasound-guided abortion. The movie creates a nessesary conversation about abortion in our country. After its unexpected box office success last spring, it will be available on DVD August 13th. Get your copy here.
Pray this legislation does not become law in the state of California. Pray for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to understand the dangers this bill poses not only to the state of California but more importantly, to women on college campuses.
Californians are not powerless to this bill. It is we the people who vote others into office to serve us, and we the people must speak out against bills pushed through without public input. If you live in California, take action today with our easy tool and contact your elected officials. If you don’t live in California, but you know someone who does - send this link and ask them to take action. What happens in California is likely to spread to other states across the nation. We must all be vigilant to defend life and protect women.
Mario Lopez Reportedly on Verge of Being Fired After Comments About Transgender Children
A popular entertainment host could be out of the job because he admitted he sees problems with allowing 3-year-old children to determine their sexual and gender identities. Mario Lopez’s future with NBC’s “Access Hollywood” is reportedly “in doubt” several weeks after the 45-year-old TV personality said it’s “dangerous” for parents to allow their very young kids to embrace transgenderism. He first made the comments during an interview with conservative firebrand Candace Owens, who referenced actor Charlize Theron’s decision to raise her now-7-year-old son Jackson as a female. Lopez, the incoming host of “Access Hollywood,” told Owens it’s “sort of alarming” to think some parents would let children as young as 3 years old dictate their sexuality. “I just think about the repercussions later on,” he said. Predictably, the former “Saved by the Bell” star faced an onslaught of criticism and issued a statement apologizing for his 'ignorant and insensitive” comments.' I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself,” Lopez said. “Moving forward, I will be more informed and thoughtful.” read more
It Takes A Village…to cause Lopez to retract his earlier statements. To a certain degree, Mario experienced what 50 percent of dads encounter: dad shaming. Sixty percent of moms say they've been criticized for their parenting skills. In his book When Harry Became Sally, Ryan Anderson outlines the four-step protocol transgender proponents utilize when a child identifies as the opposite sex. First, a social transition involving the changing of the name and wardrobe. Second, activists administer puberty blockers to prevent maturation and development. Third, around the age of 16, the teen is given cross-sex hormones, which mimics the process of puberty. Finally, transgender individuals at age 18 undergo sex-reassignment surgery. In scripture, we read how parents shoot their children like arrows toward the glory of God, the good of the world, and the joy of the child’s soul (Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, Psalm 127:3). Research out of Johns Hopkins University indicates that living as a transgender person is extremely dangerous and difficult. Parents aim their children and their village supports the children. But when your village shames instead of supports a biblical worldview, parents may need to reconsider village input.
Pray for the children in our nation. Pray for God to protect their hearts and their minds from lies about gender and sex that are contrary to God’s Word and His perfect design. Pray specifically for the children in your church to embrace God’s truth and hide it in their hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Psalm 119:11).
How should we, as Christians, respond to the growing trend of supporting gender transitions at younger and younger ages? Take a few minutes to read the three truths The Denison Forum reminds Christians to remember as we respond to this cultural issue.
Fed Cuts Interest Rates For 1st Time Since 2008
The Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates for the first time in over a decade — a preemptive move aimed at extending the already record-long economic expansion. The Fed lowered its target for the key federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point. The move should decrease the cost of borrowing, including credit cards, auto loans and mortgages. "The outlook for the U.S. economy remains favorable and this action is designed to support that outlook," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. He described the rate cut as an insurance policy against potential speed bumps for the economy, including rising trade tensions and a slowdown in global growth. "There is really no reason why the expansion can't keep going," Powell said. "Inflation is not troublingly high. If you look at the U.S. economy right now, there's no sector that's booming and therefore might bust." read more
The cuts are expected to help customers by trimming rates and monthly payments on credit cards, home equity lines, adjustable-rate mortgages, and auto loans. Some didn’t like the move. Former New York Fed President Bill Dudley believes the cut is “needlessly stimulating the economy when it is already growing at an above-trend rate.” President Trump disagrees. He said: “As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn’t have started in the first place - no inflation.” Essentially the Fed seeks to maintain high employment and stabilize inflation. In such conditions, individuals have a greater opportunity to capitalize on God’s original command: cultivating the land to draw value from it (Genesis 2:15). This “liberates the energies of individuals and independently organized communities,” according to Michael Novak in his classic The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. You can disagree with the cuts, but I would caution against disobeying the command.
Pray for Christians to be good stewards with the resources they earn and the opportunities this strong economy provides. Pray for God to give you the wisdom to steward your finances well so that you can not only provide for yourself and your family but also serve and help others.
Read about biblical stewardship as you consider steps to take in your own life to be a better steward of what God has given you.
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.