WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - JANUARY 15, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Trans-Identifying Teen Sues New York to Change Sex on Birth Certificate
A trans-identifying teenager is suing the state of New York to change the sex listed on her birth certificate. In 2014, the Empire state enacted a law that allows adults to change the sex listed on their birth certificate but does not extend that right to residents 18 years old and younger. The teenager is being represented by LGBT rights group Lambda Legal which argues in the lawsuit that forbidding a minor to change their sex on legal documents “violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal dignity, equal protection of the laws, fundamental rights to privacy, liberty, and autonomy, and freedom of speech.” “Possessing accurate identification documents that are consistent with a person’s gender identity — a person’s core internal sense of their own gender — is essential to their basic social and economic well-being,” the lawsuit reads. Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose office is being sued in the legal action, appears to be supportive of the teenager. read more
This high school student is female but identifies as male. The teen was born in Ithaca, New York but now lives in Houston, Texas. Current New York law bars children and teenagers from changing their sex on a birth certificate. In a statement, the teen said, “Having an inaccurate birth certificate can cause the disclosure of my transgender status when I enroll in college classes or when I get my driver’s license, and expose me to possible harm.” The gender has already been changed on social security records and passport. Only seven states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington) permit minors to change their gender on birth records. While the transgender community pushes their gender identity activism, America’s first non-binary person is speaking out saying it was all a big mistake. In 2016, he became the first person to change his gender to “non-binary.” An Oregon judge, just recently, legally restored his name to James Shupe and his gender to male. James now lives with his wife and said, “The mental health system just rubber stamps you with gender dysphoria (discontent with a person’s assigned gender) and they don’t look at the underlying behavior.” He continued, “My case is still being used in non-binary gender lawsuits. I want people to know that I don’t agree with that anymore. My hope is by making my story public, I can help reverse what I helped unleash.” It’s clear that God’s plan in Genesis 5:2 is best for humankind - His creation. He created male and female in His image.
Pray for the people in our nation who struggle with gender identity and for those who have accepted the lie that God made a mistake with their gender (Numbers 23:19). Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to show Christ's love to those in the transgender community and share with them Christ’s saving grace.
We encourage you to watch Watermark Church’s Real Truth Real Quick Video, How should I respond if my child says they want to change their gender? This biblical response is important for all Christians to know as gender activism increases.
New Survey Shows Young Democrats Most Likely to Say Other Countries Are Better Than USA
A new survey from the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel shows younger Americans are more likely than older adults to say other countries are better than the U.S. And they also are more likely to say it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the US. The survey conducted last fall shows most Americans overall still view their country as standing "above all other countries" (24%) or that it is "one of the greatest countries, along with some others" (55%). One fifth (21%) of the overall population says there are other countries better than the United States. But among Americans ages 18 - 29, more than a third (36%) say there are other countries better than the US, the largest group surveyed to say so. When divided by political party, 47% of under-30 Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said there were countries superior to their own, as well as roughly a third (34%) of those ages 30 to 49. Among Republican or Republican-leaning under-30s, the number of those who see other countries as better was much less at 19%. Pew reports it's nothing new for these views to be divided along partisan lines. But the gap has widened in recent years with Democrats becoming more likely to say there are other countries better than their own. read more
America is not a perfect nation. We have sins that stain our history such as slavery and abortion and no nation in the world is exempt from transgressions. However, America has, by and large, offered freedom and opportunity unlike the world has ever known. The U.S. Constitution is the longest surviving written charter of government in the world. Our unique form of government, dividing power equally between three different branches, has preserved liberty for over two centuries. Today, almost 80 percent of the global population experience severe limitations on their rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The freedom enjoyed in America should not be taken for granted, and it’s our responsibility to make sure we share this message with the next generation. Unfortunately, this is not the only troubling study that has come out about Millennials and Generation Z. A new research study, The Connected Generation Report from the Barna Group, found that young people around the world are more interested in the pursuit of professional success than they are focused on family formation and building a home. As Christians, God calls us to train up the next generation in His ways (Proverbs 22:6), and tell them of God’s faithfulness (Psalm 78:5-6). It’s our job to share with them the blessings we’ve been given to be living in America (Luke 12:48) and our biblical charge to make disciples and spread the Gospel (Mark 16:15).
Pray and thank God for the incredible blessing you have to be living in America (Psalm 9:1). Thank him for the freedom he has given you to speak your mind and to practice your religious beliefs free of government oppression.
Take a few minutes to watch this informative PragerU Video, Goodbye America, in which it asks the important questions, “How is America to be defined? By its failures or its triumphs? Today, there seems to be an obsession with the former and a dismissal of the latter. Is this dark vision of the freest and most prosperous nation on earth an accurate narrative or a cynical distortion? How we view America's past will very much shape America's future.”
New GOP Rep. Jeff Van Drew Will Sign Petition Demanding Pelosi Allow Vote on Bill to Stop Infanticide
New Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew has not voted pro-life during his congressional career. But the Democrat, who switched parties after Democrats voted to impeach President Donald Trump, will support pro-life legislation for the first time. In 2019, Van Drew didn’t vote pro-life on abortion-related legislation even one time and he was never listed as a co-sponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would stop infanticide and provide medical care and treatment for babies who survive abortions. But 2020 is a new year. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have refused to allow a vote on the bill 80 times. As a response, Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Representative Ann Wagner moved forward with a discharge petition to force Speaker Pelosi to schedule a vote. That’s a petition any member of Congress can sign to allow legislation to move out of committee and to the House floor when the party controlling Congress refuses to allow a vote on it. read more
If 218 members of Congress signed the petition, Speaker Pelosi would be forced to move the bill out of committee and schedule the bill for a vote on the House floor. In the first few days of 2020, tremendous new progress towards this goal is being made. Congressman Van Drew, a Democrat turned Republican just last month, signed the petition on January 7, bringing the total number of signatures to 204, only 14 signatures shy of the requirement. (Take a look at the ACT section of this story for what you can do about this!) And this month other pro-life elected officials are also standing for life. Governor Pete Ricketts released a proclamation designating January 22 as a day of prayer for Nebraska. January 22, 1973, is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Governor Ricketts stated, “Since Roe v. Wade, over 50 million unborn children have been killed by abortion in the United States,” the proclamation says. “... It seems right and fitting that the citizens of the State of Nebraska are urged to pray for an end to abortion and for our fellow citizens who need our love and support.” And just two days after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, on January 24, many elected officials and thousands of pro-life people will gather together in Washington D.C. to march for life. We will be in Washington D.C. at the march, and we hope to have you join us either in person, via live stream or at a location near you. Get all the information on the March for Life here.
Pray specifically today for your elected leaders. If your elected officials are already pro-life, pray for them to become even bolder and wiser to advance protections for the unborn and help bring an end to abortion. If your elected officials are not pro-life, pray for God to move on their hearts and open their eyes to understand that abortion takes a life.
Will you stand with us right now to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act? Use our easy tool to send a powerful message urging the other 231 members to sign the petition to allow a vote on this vital piece of legislation. Every member of the House of Representatives is facing re-election in November. Christians hold immense voting power. Together, in one united voice, we will let these representatives know that we are not afraid to use it.
‘They are Lying That Our Enemy is America; Death to Dictator!’ Iranian Protesters Outraged Over Downed Ukrainian Plane
Thousands of outraged Iranian protesters are back in the streets condemning Iranian authorities who say they accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane last week, killing all 176 people on board – most of whom were Iranian citizens. Iranian leaders were forced to admit their errors on Saturday after facing mounting international pressure. Initially, they denied shooting down the plane and blamed the accusations on Western propaganda. The Iranian government’s apologies for the tragedy have done little to deter civilians from taking to the streets and calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down immediately. Iranian authorities are responding to the demonstrations by open firing on civilians and using tear gas. The protesters know they are risking their lives. The Iranian government has a history of slaughtering demonstrators. Iranian officials killed approximately 1,500 demonstrators over the last few months and shut down the internet in response to anti-government protests. read more
President Donald Trump tweeted, “To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!” Many are protesting, but one person is defecting. Iran's sole female Olympic medalist, Kimia Alizadeh, announced that she permanently left her country for Europe. “They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me… I wasn't important to them. None of us mattered to them, we were tools.” Protesting in Iran is a dangerous endeavor. Videos depict troops firing machine guns mounted on trucks at protesters. And followers of Jesus are viewed as a “threat to national security.” One person was listening to Christian music when officials stopped his car and started assaulting him. And just this week, Iran destroyed the grave, just a simple concrete slab, of an Iranian Christian pastor who was hanged thirty years ago. The new commander of the Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, is believed to have overseen the crackdown against protesters in 1992 and to have a personal connection to Pastor Soodmand’s case. According to Faithwire’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, the heinous desecration was indicative of Iran’s increasingly hostile attitude towards followers of Jesus. Protests are riddling the country, but God is moving. A revival is sweeping across the nation despite persecution from government officials. We don’t know how long the protests will continue but we do know how this story will ultimately end. Christian Music Artist Phil Wickham put it well in his song You Cannot Be Stopped: “Our fears and our failures hang dead on the cross, you cannot be stopped.” (2 Timothy 3:12, Phillipians 1:6).
Pray for the people of Iran. Pray for the protesters who are standing courageously against an evil government. And pray protection for the Christians who are following Jesus despite extreme persecution.
Today, Iran has one of the fastest-growing Christian communities in the world, and there are not enough Bibles to meet the demand. Read more about Christian persecution in Iran and stand with other Christians in prayer by posting a brief prayer on the prayer wall here.
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