WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MARCH 4, 2020
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Supreme Court Set To Argue Important Election-Year Abortion Case
The Supreme Court this week gets a fresh look at its recently decided ruling on abortion access, a challenge to a controversial Louisiana law that will now be decided anew in the middle of a presidential election year. What the justices say on the politically and socially charged issue could be the start of potential legal rollback of broader abortion rights. That all could depend on President Trump's two conservative appointees to the bench, when they confront reproductive rights for the first time as justices. Oral arguments in the Louisiana case will be today, with a ruling expected by June. At issue is a state statute requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A federal appeals court had upheld the law, despite an almost identical statute from Texas that was declared unconstitutional by the justices in 2016. "This case could decide the future of abortion access in this country," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which will be among a number of abortion rights groups that will rally outside the high court. But abortion opponents are also expected to be present in support of Louisiana, when the justices hold their public session. The Alliance Defending Freedom calls it "common-sense protections that ensure the maximum amount of safety for women." read more
Louisiana currently requires doctors at outpatient surgical centers to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. “Abortion has known medical risks, and the women of this state who are often coerced into abortion deserve to have the same standard of care required for other surgical procedures,” said Katrina Jackson, a Democratic State Senator who authored the law, called the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. The Trump Administration is supportive of the Louisiana law, and has been given time to present a supporting argument in the court proceedings today. Last Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, Vice President Mike Pence extended an invitation to pro-life Democrats who feel unwelcome in their current Party, declaring, “You have a home in today’s Republican Party.” This comes in the wake of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stating that being pro-abortion is an “essential part” of what makes a Democrat. In other news, last week the ACLU declared that they are suing seven Texas towns that have declared themselves “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn”. These towns have passed ordinances outlawing abortion within the city limits. The pro-life group Texas Right to Life said they are confident that the ordinances will hold up in court. In other pro-life news this week, a disturbing video recently posted on the popular new video app, TikTok, has made the news. The videos show a teenage girl laughing as she goes to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion and currently has over 4 million views. This video breaks our hearts for the life that was forcibly taken, for the young girl who believed the lies and made a terrible decision, and for the fact that our culture celebrates death and calls it “choice.”
Pray that wisdom and articulation will be given to the pro-life lawyers arguing today before the Supreme Court. Pray that the Justices will uphold the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.
Do you know the true story behind Roe v. Wade? Our friend, Lila Rose, explains this in one of her latest LiveAction videos. Watch this video to learn this important Roe v. Wade history.
Biden rolls to Super Tuesday Victories Across the South, Sanders Wins Colorado and Vermont
Former Vice President Biden swept to victory in a slew of Super Tuesday contests in the South and elsewhere, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scooped up wins in more reliably liberal territory – divvying up the map on the biggest primary day of the season and indicating a tight battle between the two that is likely to drag on for weeks or more. Biden so far is projected to win Minnesota, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Oklahoma -- a remarkable turnaround after his poor performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Earlier in the night, Sanders handily won his home state of Vermont in addition to Colorado and Utah, Fox News projects. "We're gonna win the Democratic nomination, and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country," Sanders told cheering supporters late Tuesday in Essex Junction, Vermont, as the crowd erupted in chants of "Bernie!" Biden's support has coalesced in recent days as establishment leaders and onetime rivals, including Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and Amy Klobuchar, backed his campaign. read more
The contentious Democratic presidential race continues, and the field is narrowing. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have pulled ahead of the others and it appears to be a tight two man race. Yet as of this press time, many are saying Biden is clearly surging ahead. He won Minnesota, a state many did not expect him to win. In Biden’s speech last night he credited Senator Amy Klobuchar for helping him win the state. The obvious disadvantage Biden still faces is that many voters cast their ballots early, before Mayor Pete Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed Vice President Biden. Michael Bloomberg previously stated he would stay in the race until the “bitter end”, but his campaign has now said he will reassess his candidacy for president following his poor performance on Super Tuesday. And if there is one shocking thing Americans have learned throughout this Democratic primary contest it is that voters are developing a more favorable view of socialism than ever before. Exit polls conducted in Texas, California, Tennessee and North Carolina have found Democrats have a more favorable view of socialism than unfavorable views. In Texas, Democrats favor socialism 57 percent to 37 percent, and in California, 53 percent to 33 percent. Even if Bernie Sanders does not clinch the nomination, he has pushed the nation, and Democrats in particular, to embrace a more socialistic agenda. And while the country is closely watching the results of the Democratic presidential primary, there were thousands of other critical primary elections across the nation receiving little to no attention in our own communities. It’s important that we remain engaged throughout the primary process, praying for those who are running for office at every level - for local and national offices - and praying for Christians to do their part to research the candidates and vote to defend God given principles.
Please continue to pray for our nation as states hold their primary elections. Pray for Godly candidates to win their nominations, and for Christians to bring biblical values to the polls and exercise their right to vote.
If your state held its primaries yesterday you can view your election results here. If your state hasn’t held its primaries yet, get ready! Your vote is incredibly important. Take some time to find out what’s on your ballot, your polling location, and access your voter guide at our Voting Assistance Center.
Israeli Scientists Say They’ll Have a Coronavirus Vaccine in Just Weeks
Israeli scientists say they are just weeks away from releasing the world’s first vaccine against the deadly Coronavirus. The Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) spent four years creating a vaccine against the highly contagious coronavirus that infects birds called Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Now, they’re adapting the vaccine for the human coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. “Congratulations to MIGAL on this exciting breakthrough. I am confident that there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” said Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis. Akunis will fast-track the approval processes for the human coronavirus vaccine so it can hit the market as soon as possible in the form of an oral pill. “Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development. Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next 8-10 weeks, and to achieve safety approval in 90 days. This will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public. We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners that can help accelerate the in-human trials phase and expedite the completion of final product development and regulatory activities, “ said MIGAL CEO David Zigdon. read more
God often accomplishes his purposes through human ingenuity and technology. As Christians worldwide pray for an end to the coronavirus, this could be one of the ways God will answer those prayers. As Vice President Pence clearly acknowledges, since God is sovereign over his creation and gives wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5), it is imperative that we seek him in prayer. A photo of Pence leading the Coronavirus Taskforce in prayer generated criticism from many who don’t understand that prayer is not taking the place of action, but instead it is in prayer that we ask for God’s wisdom on how to act. We should be thankful that the person in charge of this crucial task recognizes our dependence on God (Proverbs 29:2). In related Israeli news, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thousands of his supporters celebrated on Monday after a perceived win for a fifth term in office. But Israel likely is headed for its fourth election since April of last year because Netanyahu’s Likud party and its allies held 59 of 120 seats in parliament, two seats short of the 61 needed for the necessary majority. Neither Netanyahu nor his opponent, Benny Gantz, have won a majority of seats in the Israeli parliament or managed to form a governing coalition with other parties. Netanyahu goes on trial for corruption charges on March 17. More than 70 percent of Israelis showed up at the polls Monday in hopes of choosing a leader and breaking through a nearly year-long political stalemate.
Pray for God to continue to be glorified even through the coronavirus. Pray for an end to the virus, and that many will hear the good news of Jesus and receive the hope of eternal life in Him. Pray for wisdom and guidance for our leaders, the Israeli medical researchers, and all who are combating the disease. And continue to pray for Israel as they face ongoing uncertainty in who will lead their government.
Read this article about how Christians in China are courageously taking the opportunity to spread the message of Jesus to their neighbors.
Death Toll Jumps to at Least 24 After Tornado Rips Through Nashville and Central Tennessee
At least 24 people were killed, several others injured and tens of thousands of households and businesses left without power when a tornado struck parts of Nashville and central Tennessee early Tuesday, officials said. The deaths occurred in at least four counties, including Davidson, where Nashville is, and Putnam, Benton and Wilson, according to officials. "We have had loss of life all across this state," Gov. Bill Lee, who declared a state of emergency, said. Besides those confirmed dead, some people are unaccounted for, he said. "There are folks missing." The carnage in Tennessee marked the most deadly tornado event in the United States since 23 people were killed in Lee County, Alabama, exactly one year ago, on March 3, 2019. Twisters killed 38 people in Tennessee on March 22, 1952, and 22 died in a tornado on Feb. 5, 2008, according to federal authorities. read more
We don’t know the time or circumstances of our death. Many people hardly had any warning before Tuesday’s tornado hit. At a time when great human achievements and technological advances can lure us into thinking we have more control over our lives, disasters like this are sobering reminders of our human frailty and lack of control. Romans 8:22 says that the whole earth is groaning as it waits for the day when God will make everything new. As Christians, we look forward to the day when God will “wipe away every tear” and eliminate death, sorrow, and pain (Revelation 21:4). Until then, it is our job to mourn with those who have experienced loss, serve them practically, and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us why we have such hope in the midst of tragedy. Several churches as well as the Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse are reaching out to help the affected communities, and President Trump has pledged the support of the federal government and will visit the state on Friday.
Pray for the families of those who lost their lives, and everyone who lost their homes and businesses. Pray for protection and guidance for first responders and volunteers as they search for survivors. In a recent issue of the Intersect, we reported on a revival occurring in numerous churches across Tennessee. Pray that the faith of Christians will grow stronger, and that many people would turn to God for salvation.
If you would like to help those affected by this deadly tornado, we encourage you to visit Samaritan’s Purse to learn about their efforts to provide relief and consider making a donation or volunteering to help those devastated by this storm.
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