WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MARCH 17, 2021
In this week's Intersect, read about:
California ‘ethnic studies’ proposal teaches kids white Christians are evil, chant to Aztec gods
“The California Department of Education is set to vote on a new ethnic studies curriculum aimed at the “decolonization” of American society and includes lessons teaching students to chant to Aztec gods. If approved, what is being called the "Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum" will be implemented statewide in the Golden state’s primary and secondary public schools, which serve approximately 6 million students in some 10,000 schools, according to investigative journalist Christopher Rufo who wrote about the issue in City-Journal. The co-chair of the curriculum, R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, developed much of the material cited throughout the proposed lessons in which Christians, specifically those of European ancestry, are viewed as the source of evil to be resisted and overthrown. White Christians are guilty of “theocide” against indigenous tribes, the killing of their deities and replacing them with the Christian faith, Cuauhtin argues in a chart. “White settlers thus established a regime of ‘coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide,’” Rufo wrote of the curriculum materials in a corresponding Twitter thread Wednesday, adding that what is billed as the “solution” to this is to “‘name, speak to, resist, and transform the hegemonic Eurocentric neocolonial condition’ in a posture of ‘transformational resistance.’" The ultimate goal, according to Cuauhtin, is to engineer a "‘countergenocide" against whites. The lessons also include an official “ethnics studies community chant,” and it's recommended that teachers lead students in indigenous songs, chants, and affirmations, including the “In Lak Ech Affirmation,” which is a direct appeal to Aztec gods.” read more at the Christian Post
Read the quotes from R. Tolteka Cuauhtin in the news story again. How do you think such statements will affect a student’s perception of Christianity? Instead of being credited for founding the freest and most prosperous nation on the planet, Christianity is being blamed for founding a so-called white supremacist nation. Christopher Rufo, an investigative journalist, summed it up well in his assessment of the proposed curriculum: “The chants have a clear implication: the displacement of the Christian [G]od, which is said to be an extension of white supremacist oppression, and the restoration of the indigenous gods to their rightful place in the social justice cosmology.” I encourage you to read Rufo’s entire explanation of what is taking place in our schools. Another instance of anti-Christian sentiment is the rapid use of ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ (CSE), which sexualizes young children and affirms homosexuality and transgenderism as simply another form of self-expression. A bill introduced in the New York Senate would force all public and charter schools to conform to standards consistent with CSE, instead of letting each school district decide their own curriculum. The state curriculum would conform to the National Sex Education Standards, which were created in partnership with a group called SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. The stated goal of SIECUS is to advance “sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy their own sexual and reproductive freedom.” One of the aspects of comprehensive sexuality education is to teach children that their gender identity doesn’t have to match their biological sex. Sadly, at a time when the church should be standing for truth, a private Christian school in Manhattan has changed their policy and is encouraging students to stop using the terms “mom,” “dad,” “boys,” and “girls”. “As part of our Episcopal identity, we recognize the dignity and worth common to humanity,” a school official stated, explaining the reasoning behind the change. Our friend Dr. Jim Denison has written an insightful commentary on this conformity to culture. “When we alter or reject biblical revelation on sexuality or any other issue, however kind our motive might seem, we do far more harm than good…It is a paradoxical fact that the less we seek the acclaim of people, the more faithfully we can minister to them,” he writes. “This threat of internal compromise in the body of Christ is growing exponentially today,” he continues, giving three principles for action: 1. See persecution as a call to courageous perseverance, 2. Seek the reward of God before the acclaim of the culture, and 3. Choose to engage the culture with truth and grace. In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul, after reminding us of our heavenly citizenship, urges us to “stand firm thus in the Lord”. How are you standing firm, as an example to the young people in your life?
Heavenly Father, our hearts break for the young children whose minds are being polluted by false teaching in our schools. Forgive us for neglecting our responsibilities and the stewardship you’ve given us over them. Inspire your church to equip parents. Help us to love our children with Christ’s love, teach them how to discern truth from error, and bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you live in California, the contact information for the CA Department of Education can be accessed at this website. The proposed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum can be viewed at the link as well, and we encourage you to review it. The Department will present a final draft and a summary of public comments to the State Board of Education (SBE) at its March 17-18, 2021 meeting, where the curriculum will be voted on.
‘Easy to Vote, but Hard to Cheat’: Iowa Passes Major Election Legislation
“Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed significant election reform legislation on Monday. The new law decreases Iowa’s early voting period and closes polls an hour earlier on Election Day. State Sen. Roby Smith, a Republican, says the new law “enhances Iowans’ confidence in the elections in this state by implementing common sense reforms like providing a defined deadline on receipt of absentee ballots, aligning poll closing times for all Iowa elections closer to its bordering states, and bringing the absentee and early vote windows closer to the national average.’ ‘These reforms continue to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat in Iowa elections,’ Smith, an author of the bill and chair of the Senate State Government Committee, added in a statement provided to The Daily Signal. ‘In order for our republic to maintain the consent of the governed, they must have confidence in our election system,’ Smith says. In a statement released Monday, Reynolds said the new law will give “Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot’ and it will promote “more transparency and accountability.’ ‘It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election,’ Reynolds said, adding: ‘This legislation strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, as well as a clear appeals process for local county auditors.’” read more at The Daily Signal
In 43 states, over 250 bills have been introduced that are designed to strengthen state election systems and processes, showing that there is momentum for election reform at the state level. More news stories coming out demonstrate the need. Local officials in Texas, New Jersey, and Mississippi have been indicted on nearly 200 total election fraud charges, state attorneys general have announced in recent days. They follow similar incidents across the U.S. It’s no surprise that elections have consequences, which is why your vote is critical. Every 10 years, after a new census count, states adjust the boundaries of state legislative and U.S. House of Representatives districts to account for population shifts. The 2020 census was shortened by the pandemic and the results have been delayed, putting some states in a bind: The numbers needed to draw new districts might not arrive until late summer or fall when candidates typically launch their campaigns and states reach deadlines for redistricting. As the U.S. population grows, the number of total districts does not increase in the U.S. House of Representatives. In fact, it sits, by a nearly century-old law, at 435 members. Those 435 seats are distributed among the states by a formula adopted in 1941 and administered by the Census Bureau. States that have grown the most gain seats, and states that grow slowly— or have even lost population — lose seats. Of the 10 new congressional seats expected this year, six are likely to be in Southern states, with one new one expected in North Carolina, two in Florida, and three in Texas. Republicans control the legislatures in those states, leaving them with say over what those new districts will look like — a contrast to other parts of the country where state governments are either divided or where nonpartisan commissions are tasked with redrawing congressional and state legislative lines. Some experts note Republicans could win control of the House in 2022 based on redistricting alone. Whoever controls the map-drawing wields enormous and long-lasting influence over the U.S. political system.
Father God, I ask You to move powerfully in the hearts and minds of our legislators. Give them the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and discernment to see and recognize how their votes impact their constituents. Give them the courage of Daniel to stand against any legislation that does not restrain evil or promote good. Cause them to know You are sovereign and that their first loyalty must be to You and not their political party.
The right to vote is one of the most sacred rights that we as American citizens can exercise. Legitimate concerns exist about the fairness and accuracy of our elections and there need to be reforms. But dangerous and irresponsible federal legislation known as H.R.1 has now passed in the House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. If it becomes law, it is certain this would undermine our election integrity forever and elections-related power would be unconstitutionally transferred from the states to the federal government. Send a message to your Senator with our easy-to-use-tool right now, urging them to vote NO.
Vatican Bars Blessing of Same-Sex Unions: God 'Does Not and Cannot Bless Sin’
“The Vatican on Monday pointed to Scripture and centuries of church teaching in stating it does not have the power to bless same-sex unions. The statement was issued by the Vatican’s doctrinal office and was approved by Pope Francis himself, and says it came in reaction to a question posed to the Vatican. That question was, ‘Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?’ ‘Negative,’ the answer states. An explanatory note added that ‘God loves every person and the Church does the same,’ but on the question of same-sex unions, Scripture and Vatican teaching are clear. The Vatican also released an “article of commentary” on the issue. ‘The Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex,’ the Vatican said. Blessings, the Vatican said, ‘belong to the category of the sacramentals,’ whereby the Church ‘calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life.’ ‘For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,’ the Vatican said. A marriage blessing, the document said, ‘refers back to the creation account, in which God's blessing on man and woman is related to their fruitful union.’ The document cited Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 2:18-24. A same-sex relationship, the Vatican said, is ‘a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God.’” read more at Christian Headlines
What prompted the statement? The Vatican said it had received questions about blessing such unions sacramentally in recent years. The Rev. James Martin, a prominent Catholic advocate of LGBT issues, said the statement was likely in response to conversations within the German church about celibacy, contraception, and homosexuality. Pope Francis has also drawn questions with recent comments encouraging the Catholic Church to be more welcoming toward LGBT people, calling for civil union laws. When it comes to fighting for a social and cultural issue like marriage it certainly feels like the sun is darkening, even within the church. White evangelical Protestants are the only major religious group in which a majority opposes allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry (34% favor, 63% oppose). Majorities in every other major religious group support gay marriage. Seventy percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. In June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states which further normalized same-sex marriage. To a large extent, the LGBT lobby strongly influences the institutions of culture and power: government, academia, arts and entertainment, and big business. The late Paula Ettelbrick, a pioneer in the LGBT quest for legal recognition, was quite candid about the agenda, stating, “Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. It is an identity, a culture with many variations. It is a way of dealing with the world […] Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society [….] We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s view of family.” Biblical marriage is a key institution for human flourishing on so many levels. But our society is drifting away from its importance and significance. Marriage rates are at the lowest since the federal government began keeping data in 1867, with only 6.5 new marriages per 1,000 people. Declining religious adherence and growing acceptance of unmarried cohabitation have also played a big role in its decline. A biblical understanding of marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, as well as the condemnation of any sexual activity outside of that relationship, represents the only approach we can take toward issues of sexuality that is truly loving and gracious. Even if the world does not see it that way, God does.
Ephesians 5:21–33, is one of God’s chosen illustrations of Christ’s covenant love for his church. For all of us (whether single, married, divorced, or widowed) this passage not only speaks of the things we can pray for married couples, but also celebrates the intimate union of all believers with Christ—the one to whom we will one day be united with.
One of the most impactful conversations I’ve ever experienced is with Becket Cook. As someone who lived the gay lifestyle and then had a powerful encounter with Jesus that would radically transform his life. Becket’s goal is “to challenge the current cultural narrative about homosexuality by demonstrating through his personal testimony and biblical truth that, yes, homosexuality is a sin, and that following Christ is infinitely more satisfying and joyous.” Watch our conversation.
Arkansas Governor Signs Legislation Banning Almost All Abortions
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a sweeping abortion ban that only contains an exception for the life of the mother in a medical emergency. Signed on Tuesday, the anti-abortion legislation is one of the most restrictive in the U.S. and is likely to face the type of legal challenges other state measures faced in recent years. In a statement, Hutchinson acknowledged the bill, SB6, defied Supreme Court precedent and suggested that additional exceptions would have made it more likely that the nation's highest court would consider the issue. ‘I will sign SB6 because of overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions,’ he said. ‘SB6 is in contradiction of binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law. I would have preferred the legislation to include the exceptions for rape and incest, which has been my consistent view, and such exceptions would increase the chances for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.’” read more at Fox News
While the Biden administration is pushing pro-abortion policies at the federal level, pro-life state legislators have continued to pass anti-abortion laws. Fourteen states have seen lawmakers propose sweeping abortion bans across the United States in the first few months of 2021. The Arkansas law could protect nearly 3,000 unborn babies from abortions every year. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have already promised to file a legal challenge. Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert, the lead sponsor of the bill, said the legal challenge is part of the point, and he hopes it will prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. At the federal level, the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, the Democratic Women’s Caucus leaders, and other members of the House and Senate sent a letter to President Biden last Tuesday asking him to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment, and the Helms Amendment from the budget. The Hyde and Helms amendments restrict the use of taxpayer funds for elective abortions in the U.S. and abroad, respectively. The Weldon Amendment restricts funding of states that discriminate against health care entities opposed to abortion. At the state level, A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has once again ruled against an Indiana law limiting a minor's ability to get an abortion without parental consent. Although the Seventh Circuit had affirmed a lower court decision against the new law in 2019, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment last July and sent the case back to the appeals court. But Planned Parenthood isn’t thriving everywhere like many would have you believe. The Planned Parenthood abortion chain closed three facilities in Washington state already this year amid financial struggles and declining patient numbers. Planned Parenthood facilities in Kent, Shelton, and First Hill permanently shut their doors this winter, and six more could close soon, too. The abortion chain blamed the coronavirus pandemic and low reimbursement rates in the state Medicaid program for the closures. While the intensity of abortion legislation on both sides remains at a fever pitch, it is important to remember there are real lives involved. We found one such story out of Fargo, ND this week that speaks to the power and blessing of choosing life over abortion.
Lord, we rejoice at the news that life is affirmed and protected in Arkansas. We pray that the decision will not be overturned. We pray for all states in our nation to follow this and pursue the protection of life.
In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the US in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. A powerful movie called Roe v. Wade will be released in April. It shows how abortion became legal through what the film’s director calls “corruption.” Learn more about the movie and consider hosting a screening in your community.
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.