WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - November 13, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
On 100th Anniversary, Trump Makes History as First US President to Ever Speak at Veteran's Day Parade
Veterans Day celebrations marked America's thankfulness and pride in the military men and women who serve our country. And President Trump made history by honoring veterans at a huge parade in New York along with the first lady. "Today we come together as one nation to salute the veterans of the United States Armed Forces, the greatest warriors to ever walk the face of the earth. Our veterans risked everything for us. Now it is our duty to serve and protect them every single day of our lives," Trump said. It is common for the American president to be formally invited to the Veterans Day event, but Trump is the first president to accept the offer. Prior to his presidency, Trump was a supporter of the parade. In 1995, he offered to donate $200,000 to help the parade when it was struggling financially. "It is truly an honor to come back to New York City right here in Madison Square Park to be the first president ever to attend America's parade," he said in a speech Monday. read more
Veterans have invited the sitting president to attend the event every year for 25 years, and President Trump is the first to accept the invitation. The White House said the president has made it a priority to serve and support the veterans who protect our country. On Monday morning, more than 30,000 patriotic Americans lined the streets of Manhattan, carrying on a noble tradition that began 100 years ago to share the nation’s deepest gratitude to every man and woman who has worn the uniform of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines. It was one hundred and one years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in a forest in France, Germany surrendered to the Allied nations to end the most horrific war to that point in human history - the War To End All Wars. Even today, our soldiers fight in countries ruled by despots or authoritarian regimes that oppress their citizens so that, in America, we have the freedom to believe and worship as we choose without fear of persecution, freedom to pursue our interests and build lives of personal satisfaction, freedom to choose for ourselves who sits at the helm of our great country. We can live the American Dream because they have given up many of their dreams to protect us.
Pray that more Americans would come to understand the true magnitude of these heroes and their sacrifices. Pray that every veteran of our nation’s armed forces would know they are truly and appropriately honored by the attention and appreciation of their fellow citizens. Pray for God’s protection and blessing on their life.
While we celebrated our veterans this week, brave U.S. military personnel are stationed across the globe. As we gather for the upcoming holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas, many of these men and women won’t be home with their families. We encourage you to take some time to send a holiday card to our active duty military to show your care and respect.
Lesbian Minister Appointed New Head of National Abortion Federation
A female clergy member of the Episcopal Church has been confirmed as the new head of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). Rev. Katherine Ragsdale had been interim President and CEO of the NAF since September 2018 but has now been confirmed as its official leader. “Abortion providers are some of my personal heroes and modern-day saints,” Ragsdale said upon news of her permanent appointment. Openly gay, in 2011, Ragsdale married fellow Episcopal priest, Mally Lloyd. Pro-life campaigners were horrified at the appointing of a church leader to such a prominent position in the abortion industry. Many, however, suggested that it was not surprising to see Ragsdale take such a job. “For decades, Katherine Ragsdale, a false prophet, has been trying to put religious vestments on child-killing,” national director of Priests for Life and president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, Father Frank Pavone, told LifeSite. “She led the ‘Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights’ (now the ‘Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice’), which actually provides rites of blessing for parents about to kill their children, and for the facilities in which the blood is shed.” Pavone added that ministers like Ragsdale are trying “in vain to take the stigma out of abortion.” He says, “They ran out of arguments a long time ago to try to justify abortion, So now, all they have left is to disguise it in ‘spirituality.’” read more
We are living in perilous times when evil is called good and good is called evil (Isaiah 5:20). A U.S. District Judge, Paul Engelmayer, ruled last Wednesday that the Trump administration cannot enforce a rule protecting healthcare workers from being forced to participate in abortions, claiming it was “unconstitutional.” And this week, another pro-abortion organization ignited a debate with a social media campaign claiming abortion is “an act of love and selflessness.” In the words of the National Women’s Law Center, the campaign was intended to “reframe” the conversation and “fight back against the assault on abortion rights in our country.” As Christians, we should be horrified to hear this rhetoric so boldly proclaimed in our culture, but it should also cause us to get off the sidelines and stand for truth, whether that be by taking action or speaking out against such falsehood. Thankfully, we have individuals and organizations leading the charge to fight back against this damaging false philosophy. Focus on the Family announced they will be expanding their highly successful “Alive” program to five cities in 2020. Each public event will have live 4D ultrasound images of an unborn third-trimester baby, so attendees can get an unfiltered peek inside the womb. The message is intended to help in “changing hearts and minds by showing the world that a pre-born baby is viable and worthy of protection.” And Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who is now a staunch pro-life advocate, has an organization called “LoveLine” that provides a 24/7 crisis call line for women facing unplanned pregnancies who feel they have exhausted resources in their area and need immediate help.
Prayer changes hearts. Pray for a culture of life to be celebrated and proclaimed in our country today. Pray against the lies that life is expendable and only worthy if convenient.
We created a simple resource for you to find various ways to take action and get involved in all aspects of standing for the sanctity of life. You can find it and download the information here.
DACA lands before Supreme Court: Showdown over Trump bid to end ‘Dreamer’ program
The long-running battle over the Trump administration’s bid to end the Obama-era program for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” landed before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. And with a ruling expected in the midst of a presidential election year, the case puts the high court at the center of one of the most politically charged issues since the start of President Trump’s term. For the administration and Dreamers alike, it all comes down to the Supreme Court, where Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch now sit. Federal appeals courts across the country have rejected efforts to phase out the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but the administration has looked to the high court for support. read more
The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, the court case looking at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA was created via an executive memorandum by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect illegal aliens brought into the country as children from deportation. Progressives argue that SCOTUS will decide the fate of 800,000 "dreamers" who contribute to American society. President Trump argues it is his right as president to overturn Obama's executive memo. The Supreme Court took the unusual step of taking up the cases before they had been fully heard at the lower court level. Those federal courts have issued nationwide injunctions, blocking the administration's plans, at least for now. One thing the Trump administration and many DACA backers agree on is that Congress could rectify the issue, by passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would include Dreamer protections, backed by the force of law. But now, it’s up to the courts. In the court of popular opinion, DACA remains popular. A Fox News poll in June found 73 percent of registered voters favor allowing Dreamers to stay in the U.S., while 24 percent are opposed.
Pray for those arguing the case before the Supreme Court, and pray for the justices to rule according to the Constitution. Pray that our country’s principles would reaffirm a commitment to an immigration system that respects human dignity and upholds the rule of law, keeps families together, strengthens our economy, recognizes our nation’s tradition as an inclusive nation of immigrants, and establishes a path toward legal citizenship.
Learn more about the history of this critical SCOTUS case, and understand how this ruling will impact our nation here.
Biological Male Runner Named Conference’s Female ‘Athlete of the Week’
A biological male runner who identifies as a female was named the Big Sky Conference women’s cross country athlete of the week, sparking – yet again – a debate over fairness in women’s sports and the collegiate rules that govern transgender athletes. The University of Montana’s June Eastwood won the honor after finishing second in a field of 204 runners at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif. It was only the latest impressive finish for Eastwood, who finished first at an Oct. 4 meet and third at a Sept. 21 race. But last year Eastwood was known as Jonathan Eastwood and competed on the Montana men’s cross country and track teams. Eastwood finished seventh in May 2018 in the men’s 1,500-meter run at the conference’s outdoor championship. Eastwood’s picture and bio as a male athlete is still listed on the athletic department’s website as a former member of the men’s team. Now, though, Eastwood identifies as a female athlete and is listed on the website as June Eastwood and a member of the women’s team. Eastwood won multiple state titles as a male in high school, according to KULR-TV in Billings, Mont. Under NCAA rules governing transgender athletes, Eastwood had to sit out one year and undergo testosterone suppression treatments for 12 months in order to compete as a female. Eastwood, though, assumed the NCAA rules would be more defined. read more
Scripture is clear on this issue in Genesis 1:27, “so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Yet, in our sinful culture, we are walking further and further away from God’s truth and trying to change the person God created and formed in the womb. Although transgenderism is on the rise, according to one source, hundreds of young people regret the decision they made and seek to return to their original gender. Still, our culture continues to affirm, advance and celebrate homosexuality and transgenderism - and it’s growing at a rapid pace forecasting a bleak picture for those who oppose. As those who follow after Jesus, we must love like Him and gently proclaim His truths (1 John 3:18). As transgenderism and homosexuality continue to become more popular, Christians will have increased opportunities to show Christ’s love and share biblical truth to those living as a homosexual or transgendered. Just as Jesus relentlessly pursues after us and patiently puts up with us, we should do with our neighbors – regardless of their disposition. While we must stand for truth, we should be prepared to offer words of healing and hope. We must be bold in standing apart from the culture and firmly on the Word of God, being “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Pray for a loving boldness as you proclaim His truth to nonbelievers. Pray for hearts to hunger after truth, and that they would not accept the lies from our culture but instead, embrace the principles of God’s Word that bring peace and life.
We recently had a captivating conversation with Becket Cook, author of "A Change of Affection: A Gay Man’s Incredible Story of Redemption". As someone who lived a gay lifestyle, apart from God, and is now redeemed, choosing to live a life set apart for the Kingdom, there is no one better than Becket to help us navigate this critical topic. You will be challenged and encouraged as you hear Becket’s story and see his passion for the truth of the Gospel message proclaimed.
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.