WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MARCH 1, 2023
Thanks for taking our survey in last week’s Intersect. 99 percent said the US is headed in the wrong direction, with over 48 percent saying the President and his administration were at fault. Government Authority/Corruption and Abortion were tied as the top two issues that will impact your 2024 vote and an overwhelming 97 percent said that your Christian identity rather than party affiliation was a greater influence on your vote.
In this week's Intersect, read about:
12 Democratic-led States Challenge Restrictions on Abortion Pill
“Twelve Democratic-led states have sued the Food and Drug Administration to challenge certain federal restrictions imposed on the distribution of the abortion pill mifepristone, saying those limits are not supported by evidence. The lawsuit, led by Washington state and Oregon, was filed on Thursday in federal court in Yakima, Washington and aims to expand access to mifepristone by allowing it to be prescribed and dispensed by any doctor or pharmacy, like most drugs. Currently, doctors who prescribe mifepristone, and pharmacies that dispense it, must obtain a special certification. Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit by anti-abortion activists that seeks to end access to the drug is proceeding in Texas.” read more at NBC News
- If the FDA’s restrictions are removed, it would open the door for more pharmacies to become dispensers of death. A law professor noted that the current requirement for a pharmacy to be certified in order to dispense abortion pills “might chill smaller pharmacies, or those that don’t already have these processes in place, from applying for certification.” A separate lawsuit in a different federal court by pro-life OBGYNs argues that the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill in 2000 should be revoked because it bypassed legally required safety testing. The two lawsuits could produce conflicting rulings by different federal courts, possibly handing the Supreme Court another huge abortion question.
- Your votes determine what part your state will play in these legal battles over the abortion pill. Most state attorneys general are elected. Some are suing for greater access to the abortion pill. Others from 20 conservative states have warned pharmacies that they could take legal action against them if they sell abortion pills in their states in violation of state law. Still other states are facing lawsuits against their elected legislature’s pro-life laws. The lawsuits argue that states cannot impose greater restrictions on the abortion pill than the FDA. Those decisions will greatly affect states’ rights, ruling whether the Dobbs decision that returned abortion restrictions back to the states includes the abortion pill, where a federal agency (the FDA) is now involved.
- A coalition of 20 states led by Democratic governors have formed the Reproductive Freedom Alliance. They will cooperate to share strategies for protecting abortion access in their states. The alliance is led by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who stated, “This Alliance is a moral obligation to what is right and will stand as a firewall to fight for and protect providers, patients, and all who are affected by these attacks on fundamental rights.”
- Do you have the same fervor as Governor Newsom–but for what is truly right in God’s sight? I’m thankful for our nation’s separation of powers: at a horizontal level (where the legislative, executive, and judicial branches check each other’s power), and a vertical level (where states can challenge the federal government’s encroachments on their rights or call the federal government to uphold its own standards). Pro-lifers have many avenues to fight this battle, if we choose to engage. Pray for more warriors.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the federal judges ruling in both cases. May justice and the right to life be upheld. Stir more Christians to realize the impact their vote has on whether life is valued or destroyed. Thank you for placing us here for such a time as this. Let that knowledge call us to action on behalf of these women and children.
The FDA and the DOJ approved dispensing of abortion pills through pharmacies and several chains are now preparing to provide these medications. Please contact the CEOs of CVS and Walgreens and share your voice. Encourage them that you would like to continue as a customer but will not do so if they provide the means of terminating the life of a child. Here is their contact information:
Karen Lynch, CEO, CVS: 1 CVS Drive, Woonsocket, RI 02895; Phone: 401-765-1500; Email: Karen Lynch
Rosalind (Roz) Brewer, CEO, Walgreens: 108 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015; Phone: 800-925-4733; Email: Roz Brewer
WSJ: U.S. Energy Department Report Says Lab Leak Most Likely Source of Global Coronavirus Pandemic
“The coronavirus pandemic most likely began with a laboratory leak, a U.S. Energy Department classified intelligence report now before the White House and key Congress members sets out. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday the Energy Department’s revised assessment of the pandemic’s origins is based on fresh intelligence noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.” read more at Breitbart
- “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17) Disagreeing and evolving positions on the origins of COVID-19 by our government highlight the need for discernment and humility. It also points to government’s limitations and flaws (because humans are limited and flawed, not to mention sinful). This is one reason why government must be properly restrained. It does not know everything, and its decisions, even if well-intentioned, can be based on faulty conclusions and have negative, even dangerous, consequences for many people.
- This is even more true on an international scale. This week, the United States and other member nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting to discuss updates to its pandemic preparation and response. Two topics of consideration are 1) updating existing International Health Regulations (IHR), and 2) a draft of a treaty that would expand the WHO’s power.
- “The proposed amendments to the IHR will, if adopted, considerably increase the WHO’s health emergency and bio-surveillance powers, and in particular those of its [Director-General],” writes Dr. Silvia Behrendt, director of the Global Health Responsibility Agency (GHRA). As for the treaty, while the current draft reaffirms the principle of national sovereignty, any nation that signs on would be heavily encouraged to adopt its measures. Those measures also expand the WHO’s power.
- The goal is to have both the treaty and the IHR amendments completed for possible adoption by May of 2024. Constitutionally, the U.S. cannot agree to a treaty without ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. To guard against workarounds, several U.S. senators have introduced a bill, No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act, which would require “any convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response reached by the World Health Assembly to be subject to Senate ratification.”
- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, pointed out that this is about more than health. “This is precedent setting. You start here, where people have this sense of vulnerability and they’re looking for security,” he said. “And so they cede rights. They give up freedoms in order to get this, quote unquote, ‘protection,’ … This will set a precedent for global governance.”
The only one-world government that will bring human flourishing is the reign of King Jesus. Remember the Father’s promise to His Son in Psalm 2:8, “I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.” Pray for wisdom and humility for our earthly government. Pray that the U.S. will not enter into agreements that run contrary to God-given rights and biblical values. Pray that we will be a shining city on a hill, not a fish swimming with the current.
Are you frustrated by what you see happening in our government? You’re not alone—and thanks to the Founding Fathers, you’re not helpless to do something about it, either. We’re thrilled to partner with Patriot Academy to offer you a FREE course on how we got here, and why we’re full of hope for the future called Biblical Citizenship. This eight-week online course gives you the tools you need to defend your freedom and your faith in these dark and uncertain times. You’ll gain more constitutional knowledge than 99% of Americans and learn tangible action steps for preserving liberty. Be entertained, inspired, and educated…with a few special guests too! The first session starts March 16. Learn more and sign up to join us here.
Oklahoma Senate Moves to Ensure Only US Citizens Are Voting in State Elections
“The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation aimed to help county election boards remove illegal aliens from voter registration rolls in a move that lawmakers say will prevent unlawful voting from taking place. The bill, known as SB 377, was authored by state Sen. Brent Howard (R-District 38) at the request of the Oklahoma secretary of the State Election Board. Specifically, under the legislation, the voter registration of anyone who has been excused from jury duty for not being a U.S. citizen would be canceled.” read more at The Epoch Times
- Notably, the bill, which would go into effect on November 1, passed the Oklahoma Senate in a 45–1 vote with seven of the Senate’s eight Democrats joining Republicans in supporting the bill. It’s expected to pass in the House where Republicans hold a super majority.
- While non-U.S. citizens are prohibited from voting in federal elections, including elections for president, vice president, the Senate, and House of Representatives, ambiguous language in state constitutions has allowed states or municipalities to grant noncitizens the right to vote in local races or school board elections. As a result, some states are moving to change the wording of their constitutions as it pertains to voting rights. In Rhode Island, Democrats in the General Assembly recently introduced legislation that would give municipalities the option of providing illegal aliens and foreign nationals the ability to vote in local elections. Local ordinances in Democrat-controlled states throughout the country have already passed resolutions permitting noncitizens to vote including in San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
- According to the liberal leaning Brennan Center, as of January 25, 2023, state lawmakers in at least 32 states pre-filed or introduced “150 restrictive voting bills” and 34 states pre-filed or introduced 274 “expansive voting bills.”
- One state looking to “expand” voting is Minnesota, with 17 voting bills that would, among other things, restore voting rights for convicted felons and establish automatic voter registration. Meanwhile in Texas, the Senate introduced a bill that would make illegal voting a felony.
- What does it mean to vote? Identified in Latin as votare (as the verb ‘to vote’), from the noun coming from Latin in votum, the word “vote” means “a vow, a pact of devotion to God or tribute to a divine entity over the intimacy of a request.” The Greek word “vow” means to pray. So, when you think about it, voting is making a vow and a prayer which you are accountable to God for. That’s an incredibly important responsibility that we and our government should take seriously.
You can be praying for election integrity for every election taking place in our nation. We know, as President Ronald Reagan said, freedom is not passed on “to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.” The election process is the means by which freedom is preserved. Pray faithfully for this system to be lawful, fair, and free in America. Download and share this election integrity prayer guide that gives seven ways to pray right here.
As state legislatures move to either protect or hinder election integrity, send a message to your state representative and senator, encouraging them to protect elections with these reforms. As their constituent, let them know where you stand. We’ve crafted the message for you. All you have to do is enter your info and click send.
Revival Spreads to Texas A&M, Indiana Wesleyan and LSU
“As the outpouring that began at Asbury University continues to spread, some of the signs may not involve massive worship services in an auditorium. There's still plenty of proof that God is on the move, like outdoor prayer gatherings and baptisms at more colleges, even secular ones that don't have regular chapel times.” read more at CBN
- What started this revival at Asbury? On February 8, Zach Meerkreebs, a volunteer soccer coach and leadership development coordinator for the missions organization Envision gave a sermon on Romans 12 during a regular chapel service. He started by saying, “I hope you guys forget me but anything from the Holy Spirit and God’s Word would find fertile ground in your hearts and produce fruit. That’s the star, okay? God’s Word and Jesus and the Holy Spirit moving in our midst, that’s what we’re hoping for.” Upon finishing, he didn’t think it went well and texted his wife, “Latest stinker. I’ll be home soon.” But God had other plans!
- The continuous revival services that began at Asbury University have come to a close. Wilmore, Kentucky (population 6,027) saw over fifty thousand visitors, including students from over two hundred schools. When the daily services concluded, one student said, “We don’t want to stop this. Why would we want to stop something that is so good and so pure? What God wants us to do now is take this, take what we’ve experienced and take everything that God has filed with us and to move and to go out with it.” Impacts of this revival spreading throughout the world have been witnessed both publicly (over 100 million social media hits) and personally (record baptisms happening in local churches).
- Low church attendance and being labeled as the least Christian generation in American history led many to characterize Gen Z (those born from 1997 to 2012) as uninterested in religion. But they are surprisingly open to learning about the gospel. A recent Barna study observed that three-quarters of U.S. teens want to learn more about Jesus.
- Because Christianity is no longer the dominant shaper of the American worldview, many young people have grown up without a deeper knowledge of the Christian faith and are curious about learning more. The phrase “spiritual but not religious” characterizes many young people disconnected from the church. Often young seekers construct a personal spirituality from a variety of influences, designed to address personal fears and worries. As the Asbury revival demonstrates, however, Gen Z is aware of their need for the gospel. This should be encouraging to Christians everywhere, especially given the current trajectory of our culture. The gospel is as powerful as it has always been (Romans 1:16) and just as relevant to Gen Z.
- Gen Z voted in record numbers the midterm election, motivated by political and social change. Abortion was their top concern (74% want to protect abortion access). Half of Gen Z identifies as independent saying, “There is no party which represents their views reasonably well” yet they certainly lean progressive by voting for Democrats more than Republicans. Gen Z, with Millennials, will become the largest voting bloc in 2024. But a generation transformed by the gospel can also transform culture for good.
Lord, let this revival spread and let it begin with me. We pray for our churches and communities to be brought out of a state of dormancy or stagnation, resulting in changed lives and a renewed pursuit of personal righteousness for Your glory. We specifically pray for Gen Z, that as they seek to find their identity, that they would find it in You, Jesus. Give us the wisdom to disciple and model Christ’s example, helping them to understand a biblical worldview on issues and seeking truth through Your word.
A few years ago, we talked with Pastor Greg Laurie about his book, Jesus Revolution and his thoughts on revival happening again in America, as it did with youth in the 1970s. That book is now a movie of the same name and I’ve been hearing amazing things about it. I can’t wait to see it! Make plans to see Jesus Revolution in theaters right now.
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.