WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - JANUARY 18, 2023
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Critical Race Theory in Schools
“On her first day in office, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order declaring that critical race theory ‘indoctrination’ should not be allowed in schools. Shortly after being sworn in on Tuesday as Arkansas' first female governor, Sanders, the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former White House press secretary, signed an ‘Executive Order to Prohibit Indoctrination and Critical Race Theory in Schools.’ The order, one of several signed by Sanders Tuesday, declares that ‘CRT, discrimination, and indoctrination have no place in Arkansas classrooms.’ read more at The Christian Post
- In basic terms, Critical Theory divides all of society into oppressors vs. the oppressed. Critical Race Theory (CRT) claims people are either privileged or oppressed based on the color of their skin, regardless of their personal life circumstances. A former teacher in Englewood, New Jersey documented the consequences of this teaching she observed. “The school’s ideology requires students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood...This theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it pervades (the school) as the singular way of seeing the world,” she stated in a letter to her school.
- Since CRT is an academic concept, not a curriculum, it conveys the understanding that laws, policies, social systems, criminal justice, the labor force, the education system, etc. are all grounded in systemic racism. Governors taking action, like Gov Sanders did, is the beginning of the process of ridding our schools of having this divisive and destructive theory taught as though it is a settled fact. Christians and those who understand that all people are valuable and created in the image of God need to stay vigilant in standing against public policies and elected leaders who push CRT’s divisive ideology.
- Where does your state stand on CRT? A liberal-leaning group has the most up to date tracking on which states are “expanding” and which are “retracting” academic frameworks based on CRT.
- Governors are outlining their priorities for 2023 in state of the state or commonwealth addresses, as well as inaugural addresses for new and re-elected governors (there were 36 gubernatorial elections in 2022). Do you know the priorities of your governor?
Pray that your governor will seek the Lord’s counsel and not just the counsel of men. Pray they surround themselves with counselors of integrity who are motivated to seek the good, and who flee from evil and corruption.
Every governor must weigh countless, sometimes competing actions. He or she must determine what they think is best for their state or commonwealth. From helping craft a budget, to deciding which officials to install in lower government positions, to bracing for natural disasters and responding to them, your governor needs wisdom and your prayers. Take just a few minutes to send your governor a message with our easy-to-use tool to let them know who you are and that you are praying for them.
U.S. Will Hit its Debt Limit Thursday, Start Taking Steps to Avoid Default, Yellen Warns Congress
“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified Congress that the U.S. will reach its statutory debt limit next Thursday, and asked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to either suspend or increase the debt limit. Yellen wrote that the Treasury Department will begin ‘taking certain extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations.’” read more at CNBC News
- Secretary Yellen warned that should the limit not be raised, it would result in harm to the economy. Programs that could be affected include Social Security, Medicare, government retirement funds, and military salaries.
- Like a credit card, the debt limit doesn’t cap spending; it limits the amount the government can borrow to finance that spending. Since 1960, Congress has acted 78 separate times to permanently raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit. The current limit is 31.4 trillion dollars.
- “[T]here ought to be specific concrete limits on spending attached to a debt-ceiling increase,” Representative Chip Roy (R-TX), said. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) asked, “Why would we sit back and be so arrogant to say, ‘No, there’s no waste in government?’” McCarthy pledged to cut spending in order to gain enough Republican votes for the speakership last week. Many conservatives want spending cuts that are almost certainly more than what the Democrat-controlled Senate will approve, setting up a potential standoff soon.
- While the crucial task of stewarding the nation’s finances can be a contentious process, the founding fathers intentionally gave the power of the purse to the branch of government most directly accountable to the people. They did not entrust an executive or even a department of appointed officials with deciding how your money would be spent.
- Regrettably, it has become an accepted practice to keep raising the debt limit to the extent by which our nation lives outside its means. Proverbs 22:7 reminds us that “the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
Heavenly Father, give wisdom to our congressmen and women. Help them to make decisions for the good of our country, and future generations. Forgive us for not living by Your principles, which bring flourishing and freedom.
Do you feel like you want to do something to help our country return to biblical principles, but you aren’t sure what to do? Consider becoming an Action Partner with My Faith Votes! Our Action Partners are people like you who know what’s at stake, believe in our mission, and are committed to volunteering with our ministry to take action. Visit our website and become an Action Partner today!
Republicans Pass Pro-Life Resolution and Bill; Democrat Uses Scripture to Support Abortion
“House Republicans used their new majority to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would require health care practitioners to provide the same life-saving medical care to babies born alive after surviving an abortion as they would any other baby born at the same gestational age. This represents the first time the House has voted in favor of providing protections for unborn children since 2018. In addition to the Born-Alive bill, the House also passed a resolution condemning recent vandalism and acts of violence against pro-life facilities and churches.” read more at The Washington Stand
- 220 Republicans voted for the common-sense measure; 210 Democrats voted against it. Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) was the only Democrat to vote for the measure. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) voted “present.” Both measures are unlikely to pass in the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats. Only 18 states have laws offering protections to babies who survive abortions, although others have recently taken steps to strengthen their laws.
- Democrats criticized the bill during debate on the House floor, arguing that the measure was not needed because infants are already protected through a law Congress approved in 2002. But that 2002 law contained no penalties for failing to provide proper care to an infant born alive after an abortion. It simply said that, for purposes of federal law and regulations, a child born after an attempted abortion counts as a person.
- House Democrats argued that the bill sought to address a “nonexistent problem.” But according to the Abortion Survivors Network, nearly 18,000 babies have survived an abortion attempt on their life since 1973 and an estimated 600 abortion survivors have reached out to the organization for help and counsel for themselves and their families. Watch this powerful quick clip from our interview with Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor and founder of the organization.
- It’s important to note that in the resolution passed, three Democrats joined Republicans, denouncing violence against pro-life groups and churches. At least 78 pro-life groups and 116 Catholic churches have been attacked since May of last year.
God of heaven and earth, You create every human life in your image. You knit us together with care and sustain us each day. Lord, we lament for a world that does not recognize the value of every life, whether born or preborn. Lord, we pray for those who need You most: for those, even Christians, who believe the lie of culture that life is only as valuable as its capabilities or resources, we ask for You to soften hardened hearts and reveal Your truth. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we pray.
On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating January 22 as the annual National Sanctity of Human Life Day. His call to action stated: “Let us gather in homes and places of worship…to offer reparation for the appalling tragedy of abortion and to rededicate ourselves to works of charity and justice on behalf of America's unborn children and their mothers.” Just as President Reagan did 34 years ago, we ask each of you, to reaffirm your commitment to the dignity of every human and the sanctity of every human life
3 Key Ways People of Faith Made Their Mark on 2022 Elections
“Citizens across the nation experienced a range of emotions after the midterm elections. Feelings were no doubt heightened by the lengthy vote-counting process and a drawn-out Georgia run-off that followed an already grueling election cycle. Few saw clear victory — however, a significant number of votes for values that are pro-family, pro-freedom and pro-life provide three clear takeaways from the midterm elections.” read more at Fox News
- My Faith Votes was thrilled to be featured in this weekend’s op-ed written by our CEO. We know that faith-based “good news” from election results isn’t always mainstream news.
- I encourage you to read the entire story, but here’s an important point: Faith-based voter engagement was most effective when the local church was involved. As stated in the op-ed, “When it comes to elections, we must concern ourselves with what concerns God, which is recorded clearly in scripture. When ballots present issues, we must see them through a biblical lens. Voting is the most straightforward way to live out what we see through that lens. With prayer and biblical literacy as our foundation, we put our faith into action.”
- From an organization that started 7 years ago to where we’re headed, we’ve seen God work in incredible ways through those, like you, who have followed, supported, volunteered, and voted by putting your faith in action through praying unceasingly, thinking biblically and voting consistently.
- Our mission remains the same in an ever-changing culture: My Faith Votes exists to motivate and equip Christians in America to act on their faith in the public square and to vote biblically in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth.
Ask God for the courage to act on your faith to live out biblical principles in such a way that others are drawn to Christ in our communities and in our nation! As Matthew 5:16 says, “...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
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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.