WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - OCTOBER 18, 2023
New Interview Released: Abraham Hamilton, III is a husband, father of six children, lawyer, home-school dad, Bible Teacher and General Counsel and Public Policy Analyst for the American Family Association. Watch this important conversation about the role of faith and strong families in America.
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Israel's Parliament Approves National Unity Government
“Israel's parliament approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emergency unity government on Thursday, including a number of centrist opposition lawmakers, to display its determination to fight the war with Hamas in Gaza. The government, approved after Saturday's attack by the militant Islamist group Hamas that governs the Gaza Strip, underlines the suspension of normal political rules during one of the most serious crises in Israel's history. ‘This is a war for our home, it must end with one thing - in total victory, and the crushing and elimination of Hamas,’ Netanyahu told parliament, calling Oct. 7 ‘the most horrible day for Jewish people since the Holocaust.’ Under the agreement, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and members of his small centrist party will join Netanyahu's coalition, one of the most right-wing governments in Israel's history, which Gantz had previously bitterly opposed.” read more at Reuters
- The establishment of the new “national emergency government” was an unthinkable prospect amid recent long months of bitter national divisions over Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plans. Gantz had opposed any potential entry into the current government, but he and other opposition members changed their tune, saying all internal disagreements needed to be set aside to project a unified front to Israel’s enemies. The unity government will only exist until the end of the war in Gaza, according to the agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz.
- President Biden is set to visit Israel today to express his support and meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and top officials. His visit could be one of the reasons as to why the ground war hasn’t begun yet. The Pentagon announced that 2,000 troops are on high alert and prepared for deployment, to assist Israeli forces if needed.
- Israel has no option but to destroy Hamas if it's going to survive. That is understood by the American government and by other governments. It should be understood by anyone looking at this situation honestly. Israel and Hamas will not be able to coexist, and Hamas has made that murderously clear. But the terrorist organization of Hamas has intentionally embedded itself in a community using human beings, in this case Palestinians and Israeli hostages, as a human shield. They are counting on the fact that support for Israel will fall away once Israel does what it is going to have to do in routing out Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
One of our board members and Middle East expert, Johnnie Moore, has been vocal around the world, even addressing the EU Parliament last week, urging Christians to support the Jewish state and to be abundantly clear about calling out Hamas as evil. Watch this eye-opening interview so you can be informed and know how to pray.
There’s a narrative unfolding that should concern all of us and it’s the blurring of lines in calling what is happening by true definitions, with some even sympathizing with terrorism. So, what is the difference between war and terrorism? Download this quick guide to be sure you have a correct understanding.
Glenn Youngkin Thinks He Has a Republican Response to Democrats’ Abortion Attacks
“The Virginia GOP is trying to flip the script on an issue that has dogged Republicans for a year and a half. So far, Republicans have been doing their best to not talk about it. But now Youngkin is going after Democrats as extremists who don’t support any restrictions. Republicans, the new campaign says, are the reasonable ones who back a ban after 15 weeks with exceptions for cases of rape, incest and life of the mother.” read more at Politico
- For years, as the left pushed to expand abortion rights, conservatives tried to protect life without solidly addressing the evil of abortion. Afraid to define abortion for what it is and take an unwavering stand against it left many limping through debates and incapable of competing against the big abortion lobby. Governor Youngkin is challenging the Virginia GOP to reverse its course by pioneering a new strategy. Does the strategy go far enough?
- In the last few years, the left’s extreme position has become effective, with some believing that their messaging about abortion is what kept Conservatives from winning more seats in the 2022 midterm elections. A recent poll by researcher Ryan Burge revealed the shocking levels within church denominations who disagree with this statement: “Make abortions illegal in all circumstances.” Unfortunately, those attitudes were reflected in the 2022 ballot measures results that expanded abortion as well.
- My Faith Votes' statement of faith regarding life is this: God has created mankind in His image (Imago Dei) and human life begins at fertilization. God, in his infinite sovereignty, uniquely formed human beings, giving special dignity, personal freedom, and individual accountability among all the works of creation. God created each person’s inmost being, knitting each person together in his mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) As God’s individualized and personal creation, each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) God has ordained all the days of each person’s life before they came to be. (Psalm 139:16). We desire to see a United States — and a world — in which abortion is unthinkable and every life is valued as an image bearer of God.
Lord, we pray unceasingly for a culture of life to take root in our hearts and in our nation. Help us to see that this isn’t just about the words we use, but the actions we take to stand and protect what You have created.
Join us and thousands across the nation to pray county-by-county for the people of Ohio as they prepare to vote on Issue 1 on November 7, an amendment that radically expands abortion as a constitutional right in any case. Simply click here to select a county to pray for. Refresh the page to see the colors change as your prayers are added.
House is Expected to Move to Second Vote After Jordan Fails to Win Speaker's Gavel
“House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed to win enough votes to be elected speaker of the House on the first ballot. Jordan and his allies anticipated this failure, and he is expected to call for further rounds of voting. The House voted 200 to 232, with 20 Republicans voting against Jordan. Several members voted for previous candidates for the job, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.” read more at NPR
- What will it take to elect a new Speaker? To become Speaker of the House, Jim Jordan — the Republican nominee — must receive 218 out of 435 votes. Last January, Kevin McCarthy's quest for the speakership took four days and 15 ballots. While it has taken over a week for Republicans to simply settle on a nominee this time around, few anticipate the House will go through 15 ballots before their next Speaker.
- Who is Jim Jordan? The Ohio Congressman has served in the United States Congress since 2007. He currently resides as Chairman over the House Judiciary Committee where he has gained recognition for investigating the Biden family’s business dealings. He is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and is also a pro-life conservative who opposes Issue 1 — Ohio's ballot measure to expand abortion without restrictions. Learn more about Issue 1 here.
- Why is this role so important? Among other things, the Speaker of the House sets the legislative agenda, controls committee assignments, maintains order in the House, and plays a central role in shaping national policy. As we watch the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Israel and brace for another budget showdown it is critical that we have a fully functioning House of Representatives. Without a Speaker, the legislative branch is effectively paralyzed.
Jesus says in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Right now, as conservatives are divided, pray that God would bring resolution and that His will would be done. Pray for our elected officials to set aside personal vendettas and unite so that America can stand firm in the face of evil.
In situations like this, when we feel helpless and hopeless, the most important and powerful thing we can do is pray — pray for our country and pray for all of those who represent us. My Faith Votes has put together a Prayer Guide for Government Officials. It provides prayer points and the names and titles of elected officials in a leadership position at the federal level. You may download it here.
Republican Jeff Landry Wins the Louisiana Governor's Race, Reclaims Office for GOP
“Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, has won the Louisiana governor’s race, holding off a crowded field of candidates. The win is a major victory for the GOP as they reclaim the governor’s mansion for the first time in eight years. Landry will replace current Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was unable to seek reelection due to consecutive term limits. Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South.”read more at Newsmax
- The jungle primary, a race in which candidates of all parties appear on the same ballot, was called for Landry late Saturday night after he received 51.6% of the vote. Behind Landry with 26% was former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, a Democrat. Had no one reached 50%, the race would have gone to a run-off election in November.
- Louisianans also passed four constitutional amendments on Saturday, including Amendment 2, which will “Provide in the Louisiana Constitution that the freedom to worship in a church or other place of worship is a fundamental right that is worthy of the highest order of protection.” It passed by a substantial margin of 79% to 21%. Four more measures will be voted on in the upcoming November 18 election.
- Democrats and Republicans face more tough races next month, including a contentious gubernatorial election in Kentucky and elections to determine control of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. If you live in KY, VA, PA, LA, OH, and NJ you have important elections coming up in November. We have helpful election fact sheets specifically for your state. Visit My Voter Hub and click on your state to get started. Make sure you save and share these resources as you prepare to vote and encourage others to vote as well.
Pray that your governor will seek the Lord’s counsel and not just the counsel of men. Pray they surround themselves with counselors of integrity who are motivated to seek the good, and who flee from evil and corruption.
Louisiana had the lowest voter turnout for a governor’s election in 12 years with just 36% of registered voters casting a ballot. That’s a lot of influence left on the table, and it underscores the importance that every vote matters. Make sure you’re prepared for your next election. Our simple tool will email or text you when you’ve got an upcoming election for your address. Be a prepared and engaged voter!
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.