WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MAY 4, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
National Day of Prayer: Praying for America's Justice Systems
God alone sets the standards for justice. And it’s ironic that some of our political leaders are obsessed with pursuing “justice” yet refuse to acknowledge the God who established it. Their misunderstanding is a reminder that scripture instructs us to pray for our leaders and authority figures. Too often our prayers start and stop with our president or a few members of Congress. America’s three distinct branches of government were wisely structured to ensure separation of powers, but this system is not immune from the pressures of our modern world and must be covered in prayer. Join us and special guests, David Nammo, CEO of the Christian Legal Society, and Gregory S. Baylor, senior counsel and director of the Center for Religious Schools for Alliance Defending Freedom this Thursday, May 5 at 12pm ET. RSVP and we'll send you a reminder to join the online event as well as a free resource we've designed to help you pray effectively over this branch of government. RSVP here
Months ago, our team at My Faith Votes felt strongly that we should focus this year’s National Day of Prayer on America’s justice systems. Today, we see everything that has to do with life and godliness being arbitrated through the court systems yet understanding and knowing how to effectively pray for this branch of government is sorely lacking. It’s not ironic that in a week that has brought our justice system to the forefront of national conversation through the unprecedented leak of the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, God placed on our hearts to focus prayer on this critical judicial branch. The National Day of Prayer is a unique part of our American heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including in President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual National Day of Prayer to be observed. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. While we pray for our nation and specifically our judicial branch on Thursday, let us also be praying for Christian citizens — that we would again commit to read, study, know, and understand the Bible. America can be no stronger than its citizens, and whether the citizens will be strong and virtuous depends on whether they know the power of God and His Word (Matthew 22:29). As John Adams noted in 1798, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Lord, You established the standards for justice as the author and deﬁner of the entire universe. We pray that our judges and justices will be Godly (Ps 37:4&5), Wise (Ps 2:10), Righteous (Ps 19:9), and Trustworthy (Deut 1:16). We pray that judges and justices understand that one day, they will stand before You, the Eternal Judge. Like King David may they be able to say - Judge me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; therefore, I shall not slide (Ps 26:1).
It's challenging to understand how judges and justices are placed into positions of authority and how they’ve come to have so much influence over our daily lives. Join us for our online event this Thursday, May 5, at 12pm ET for a time of understanding our justice system as well as time in corporate prayer. RSVP here and we’ll send you the link to join and the free resource guide to equip you for prayer.
Supreme Court Has Voted to Overturn Abortion Rights, Draft Opinion Shows
“The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO. The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. ‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,’ Alito writes. ‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,’ he writes in the document, labeled as the ‘Opinion of the Court.’ ‘It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.’” read more at Politico
Within minutes of Politico’s unprecedented story release, SCOTUSBlog tweeted, “It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.” The 98-page draft opinion, which has been confirmed, states "Abortion presents a profound moral question." Alito added, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.” He concluded, adding, "The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives." Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, responded to the news that the Senate will soon vote to codify the right to abortion. The federal legislation, which would allow abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy and invalidate any state laws, already failed to pass the Senate in February. But Schumer is pushing it again saying, “A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise, this is as urgent and real as it gets.” President Biden on Tuesday called a woman's right to obtain an abortion "fundamental" and called on voters to elect candidates who support abortion stating, "At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law." What will happen if the Court’s draft opinion holds true? Abortion will be decided state by state. At least 13 states have so-called “trigger laws” that would take effect immediately, banning most abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, those states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, which just passed its trigger law last month. There are also five additional states – Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin – with an abortion ban still on the books from before Roe v. Wade that could be reinstated if the law is overturned. In addition, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina all have laws banning abortions after the six-week mark, which have been ruled unconstitutional but would likely be revisited. There are also four additional states – Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska – that appear likely to ban or severely restrict abortions if Roe is overturned, based on current legislative efforts. Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws that permit abortion and 4 of those states permit abortion with no restrictions. If Roe is overturned, then our votes at the state level become much more critical as the fight for unborn children will be waged in the states. Abortion supporters will intensify and increase their efforts there as well. Since abortion would still be available, we will need to focus on what has always been the heart of the issue: ministering to women who are considering abortion and advocating for a culture that values life.
Lord, strengthen the hand of the justices to not buckle under such enormous pressure. Protect them and their families from any threats and attempts to harm them. Lord, give courage to those who are standing to protect life and install more elected officials who are committed to outlawing abortion. Empower Your church to put on your full armor (Eph 6:10-18) to stand against the spiritual forces of evil (Eph 6:12) in this war on the sanctity of life. May we, as believers, boldly and willingly “rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold[ing] back those who are stumbling to the slaughter (Prv 24:10-11).
Read the Press Release from our CEO, Jason Yates:
The unprecedented leak of Justice Alito’s draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade is a blatant attack on our judicial system and our entire republic. The abhorrent decision to further undermine trust in the institutions upon which the freest country in the world was built demands accountability. Reckless pro-abortion activists will stop at nothing to intimidate those who value the sanctity of human life. We will have to wait and see the ultimate outcome, but these events remind us again why God led us to establish our ministry. Christians are called to engage our faith in every aspect of life – including government. And we must remain steadfast in prayer as we bring biblical values into every one of our civic decisions. Let history record that our stand gave a voice to the unborn.
Mayorkas Testifies DHS is Creating 'Disinformation Governance Board'
“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security is creating a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ to combat misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms. Mayorkas appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the fiscal 2023 budget for the Department of Homeland Security. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., cited reports on how minority communities are being targeted in misinformation campaigns and asked Mayorkas what DHS will do to address it. Mayorkas said a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ had recently been created and will be led by Undersecretary for Policy Rob Silvers co-chair with principal deputy general counsel Jennifer Gaskill.” read more at Fox News
Misinformation is everywhere today, and anyone can be vulnerable to it. While both misinformation and disinformation can deceive audiences, the distinction is that disinformation is intentionally, maliciously deceptive. But who gets to decide what is and is not disinformation? In a world that is inherently political, and when you're talking about the government of the United States of America, what does it mean that our Homeland Security Department has now put together what it acknowledges is a Disinformation Governance Board? When Congress created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, it did so to better protect the country against foreign terrorism. Today, the acting secretary of homeland security sits atop the largest federal law enforcement organization in the country, with well over 60,000 law enforcement officers under his authority. Over time, the department also bolstered its cybersecurity capabilities and responsibilities, and it shares information and intelligence regarding domestic terrorism. What Congress didn’t do, however, was intentionally create a national police force. And that is very well what concerns many with this new board. In fact, critics quickly jumped to calling it the “Ministry of Truth” – a reference to the famous book “1984” by George Orwell. What is also raising red flags is who the President has chosen as its Executive Director. Nina Jankowicz has written two books, How to Be a Woman Online and How to Lose the Information War. Her bio says she “is an internationally-recognized expert on disinformation and democratization” but her views and online presence are cause for concern. Earlier this year, DHS issued a threat about “false or misleading narratives or conspiracy theories” that “undermine trust in U.S. government institutions.” Another DHS subagency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security, has a Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation team, “charged with building national resilience to mis-, dis-, and malinformation and foreign influence activities.” They also have a “Rumor Control” section specific to the election process. Do we want a government agency deciding what is true and punishing those who disagree? Or do we want the freedom to debate and argue for truth in the public square? "It can only be assumed that the sole purpose of this new Disinformation Governance Board will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech. This is dangerous and un-American. The board should be immediately dissolved," Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said. He plans to introduce legislation this week aimed at eliminating the board.
In an age of propaganda, lies, and distorted truth, we must be determined to be men and women of the Bible. Let the Word be your plumbline. We can do that by hearing the Word (Jer 3:15), reading the Word (Deut 17:19), studying the Word (Prov 2:1-5), memorizing the Word (Ps 119:11), meditating on the Word (Josh 1:8), and obeying the Word (James 1:22).
One person we have appreciated for giving us helpful information is our founding Honorary National Chairman, Dr. Ben Carson. We spoke with him last week about current tensions in America and gleaned his insights for the upcoming elections. Be sure to watch our conversation with him and now through May 10th, if you donate $25 or more, we’ll send you an autographed copy of his new book releasing this month. You can get it here.
Biden Eyes Long-Awaited Student Debt Relief Starting at $10,000 Per Borrower
“President Biden plans to move forward with student loan debt forgiveness, with two sources telling The Hill he is considering action to expunge at least $10,000 per borrower. The debt forgiveness would be through executive action and follows the president asking the Education Department to look into his authority to act unilaterally on student loans a year ago, the results of which have not been publicly announced.” read more at The Hill
Fiscal responsibility is a moral issue–for individuals as well as the government. We must remember that it is a matter of stewardship. Our money is ultimately not ours; it is entrusted to us by God for His kingdom. The government’s money is ultimately not its own; it is taxed from the people to ideally enable the protection of a just and peaceful society. (Romans 13) If the public officials we vote for do not keep this perspective in mind, they will undoubtedly be reckless with our money. Is federal student loan forgiveness a biblical or responsible use of the public’s money? First, we and Christian officeholders must understand the difference between commands God gives to individual Christians as opposed to the government. For example, Jesus’ command in Luke 6:35 to “lend, expecting nothing in return,” was made to His disciples, not governing authorities. Second, is it practically responsible? French economist Frédéric Bastiat famously said, “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.” Forty-three million Americans currently owe a combined $1.6 trillion in federal student loans. Given that the federal government itself is $30 trillion in debt, it is hardly in any position to be generous. But it’s not generosity at all, since the money lent to students does not originate with the government; it comes from the taxpayers. Forgiving the loans will likely encourage more students to take out loans instead of being fiscally responsible. If the federal government forgives debt now, it justifies forgiving more in the future, and taxpayers will be on the hook for those loans in addition to the current $30 trillion. We would do well to heed the warning of Proverbs 22:26-27. At $91,000 of debt per U.S. citizen, our government can’t afford to put up security for debts. Forgiving student loans actually does little to help those who are in deep financial hardship. According to the left-leaning Brookings Institution, “almost a third of all student debt is owed by the wealthiest 20% of households and only 8% by the bottom 20%.” Electing leaders who are fiscally responsible is not just good policy, it is in line with Christian principles.
Heavenly Father, we know our government is a reflection of our cultural attitudes. We confess the areas where we have been irresponsible in our stewardship of Your money. Your Word says a cheerful giver should not be under compulsion to give (2 Cor 9:7) but You also tell us to be generous with the gifts we’ve been given. Help us to be wise in the selection of those we elect as public servants, that they would take stewardship seriously and recognize the consequences of their policies.
“Can a person follow Jesus and support capitalism?” That’s the question answered in Jay Richard’s book, Money, Greed, and God - The Christian Case for Free Enterprise. This is a very helpful book for thinking through the various myths surrounding Christianity and fiscal policy, and why many Christians support politicians and policies destructive to a free society.
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.