WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - OCTOBER 21, 2020
In this week's Intersect, read about:
New Data Analysis Finds 353 Counties With 1.8 Million More Registered Voters Than Eligible Citizens
A total of 353 counties in 29 U.S. states have 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens, according to an analysis by Judicial Watch. In addition, eight states, including Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont, were found to have statewide registered voter totals that exceeded 100 percent of eligible voters, according to the nonprofit government watchdog. Judicial Watch compared the registration data available for 37 states with the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recently available American Community Survey (ACS) numbers for the period 2014–2018 on a county-by-county basis. “This new study shows 1.8 million excess, or ‘ghost’ voters, in 353 counties across 29 states,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement announcing the study Oct. 16. “This data highlights the recklessness of mailing blindly ballots and ballot applications to voter registration lists. Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections.” read more
With just 13 days to go, how votes are counted and who votes is proving to be a big deal. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court was divided 4-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court's liberal bloc, over whether it should put a hold on a Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruling. Because the high court, which is short one member after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tied in its decision, the ruling, which allows Pennsylvania to count mailed-in ballots received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election even if they don’t have a clear postmark, stands. Republicans, including President Donald Trump’s campaign, have opposed such an extension, arguing that it violates federal law that sets Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and that such a decision constitutionally belongs to lawmakers, not the courts. In Michigan, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a lower court order that had extended Michigan's receipt deadline for absentee/mail-in ballots. The appellate panel reinstated the original receipt deadline of 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020. And in California, a new study from the Election Integrity Project California has found that close to 400,000 ballots have been sent to people who moved or died, creating concern over election integrity. In 2015, My Faith Votes was established to motivate and equip the 25 million eligible Christian voters who typically sit on the sidelines and do not vote. Imagine the impact of 25 million Christians standing together to vote in every election from the local to the state and federal levels of government! While voter fraud may be of concern, one way we can significantly counter that is to simply show up and vote. With many elections being decided by a small number of votes, voter turnout is crucial. Your vote absolutely matters.
O God, we acknowledge You today as Lord, not only of individuals, but of nations and governments. We thank You for Your law, which our Founding Fathers acknowledged and recognized as higher than any human law. We thank You for the opportunity that this election year puts before us, to exercise our solemn duty, not only to vote, but to influence countless others to vote, and to vote correctly. (download the rest of the Election Day prayer here)
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'Digital Civil War': Media and Big Tech Suppress Major News Story with Damaging Email on Biden
A bombshell story that could have a major impact on the presidential race is being suppressed by the mainstream media and by big tech censors. The New York Post Wednesday produced emails showing Joe Biden's son Hunter appears to have introduced the then Vice-President Biden to a Ukrainian energy executive. An April 2015 email reads in part, "Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving me an opportunity to meet your father and spen(d) some time together." Vice President Biden and Hunter have stated repeatedly that he had no involvement in his son's foreign business dealings and they have allegedly never even discussed them. When ABC News asked Hunter Biden last year if he and his father ever discussed Ukraine, Hunter Biden said, "No, the only discussion was after a news account. There's no 'but' to this. No, not in any way. Dad said, 'I hope you know what you're doing' and I said, 'I do' and that was the end of our discussion." Campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa Wednesday, President Trump said, "Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son's corrupt business dealings and this is a big smoking gun." The Biden campaign denies the allegation. When New York Post editor Sohrab Ahamri tried to post the story on Twitter, his tweet was blocked. He called it "... a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war." read more
Twitter and Facebook blocked users from sharing the New York Post article. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, said his company had been wrong to block the links, but Twitter still refuses to unlock the Post‘s account unless it deletes posts about its reporting on this issue. Several other prominent conservative voices have recently been blocked on Twitter, including the President’s press secretary. Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley called on the heads of Twitter and Facebook to testify about alleged social media censorship and said a subpoena was in the works, as critics claimed the social media platforms have been suppressing reports critical of Democrats. Former Facebook executive, Tim Kendall, who was recently featured in the popular Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma,” which tackles the negative impact social media and Big Tech can have on people, states that Big Tech is a threat to democracy that could eventually lead to a civil war in America. "Extreme outcomes are the logical end conclusion if there is no action on social media reform during the increasing destabilization of civil society," Kendall recently told Fox News. A new survey by Gallup and the Knight Foundation found “deepening pessimism and further partisan entrenchment about how the news media delivers on its democratic mandate for factual, trustworthy information.” They note that 86 percent of Americans see political bias in news coverage. According to 73 percent of us, this lack of objectivity is a “major problem” in our society. Here is where the survey is especially illuminating: 71 percent of Republicans have a “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable opinion of the news media, but only 22 percent of Democrats share this view. Seventy percent of Democrats say attacks on the media are not justified, while 61 percent of Republicans say they are. Americans believe a free press is vital for democracy but are very concerned about media bias and intentional misreporting.
Lord, help me to seek truth today, to find it in places and people I would not otherwise notice. Teach me that in truth there is wisdom and understanding. May seeking truth help me overcome my fears and frustrations. Lord, help me to cherish truth, knowing that You are the author of all that is beautiful, good, and true. May truth reign in my heart, no matter what I encounter today – lies, mockery, confusion, or betrayal. Lord, thank You for your Word and thank You that You are Truth. (John 14:6)
Franklin Graham is urging followers of Jesus across America to fast and to pray for our nation and the elections this SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25. Mark it on your calendars and prepare to join us. We hope individuals, families, and churches will join in asking for the Lord’s help and for His will to be done in this critical election. “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord” (2 Chronicles 20:3-4).
Amid Tumult Over Constitution, Chile Watches Two Churches Burn
As Chile reels from protest and tumult fueled by a push to rewrite the country’s Pinochet-era constitution, the Catholic Church appears caught in the middle, with two churches being torched over the weekend while onlookers cheered, part of a broader pattern of street violence. At least five people have been arrested for setting one of those churches ablaze, with one detained inside the church and four outside. Twitter videos show protesters entering the back of the church, removing religious figures and other objects that were either destroyed or used to erect barricades. The violence came as part of broad national demonstrations ahead of a referendum next Sunday to decide whether, and how, a new constitution will be drafted to replace the one adopted during Augusto Pinochet’s notorious military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990. The spark for the movement was a modest increase last year of 30 pesos, the equivalent at the time of 4 U.S. cents, in the cost of a subway card, but the protests have since morphed into a broad critique of the country’s economic model and high cost of living and culminated in the press for a new constitution. Observers say it’s unclear why the two churches in Santiago, the national capital – the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the parish of the Carabineros, Santiago’s police force – were targeted. Some cite popular anger over Chile’s massive clerical sexual abuse scandals, others say it’s a broader rage against all national institutions. read more
We see throughout history that social unrest can provide an opportunity for people with evil ambitions to gain power. This should reinforce the urgent need for all Christians to pray for leaders in authority according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Our goal should be to preserve the freedom to “lead a peaceful and quiet life” which draws others to faith in Jesus by our good witness. With this in mind, let’s look at other international news: Several protests have occurred in Nigeria since October 8th, calling for, among other issues, an end to human rights abuses committed by a specific section of the police force. A June report by Amnesty International documents 82 cases of abuse and torture over the past three years by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of Nigeria. Additionally, Nigerian Bible translators are asking for urgent prayer and assistance after having to suspend 30 translation projects due to the pandemic, rampant terrorism, and an economic collapse that has left many starving. Over 500 languages exist in Nigeria, but amidst such a great need, Bible translators are not currently able to meet to check each other's work. I can’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s plea to the Colossians to pray that “God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.” (Colossians 4:3) In the Middle East, the majority-Christian country of Armenia and the predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan are engaged in what is considered the worst conflict between the two countries in decades. Despite Russia’s attempts to broker a cease-fire, the situation continues, with the staunchly Muslim president of Turkey supporting Azerbaijan and calling it a “righteous struggle”. Despite the chaotic news, there is an encouraging development regarding Sudan. On Monday, President Trump announced that he will remove Sudan from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list due to their transitional government’s agreement to pay the families of 17 U.S. sailors who died in an attack by al-Qaeda, a terrorist group harbored by the previous Sudanese government. Sudanese Christians are also cautiously optimistic regarding the new government’s more tolerant attitude towards Christianity.
Pray for wisdom for Chile’s government leaders as the country holds a referendum on its constitution. Continue to lift our brothers and sisters in Nigeria in prayer as they are suffering intense persecution from terrorists. Lastly, pray for a good resolution to the conflict in the Middle East, and continued tolerance from Sudan’s government.
Translators are pleading for help to restart Bible translations and they need help in providing a safe place for translation workshops and the tools to complete their work. Consider supporting the efforts of Wycliff Bible Translators in Nigeria. You can learn more and give to their work here.
Christian Leaders React to Joe Biden's Support for 8-y-o Kids Identifying as Transgender
Christian leaders and conservative commentators denounced Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's support for allowing children as young as 8 years old to self-identify as transgender. At an ABC News town hall Thursday night, the former vice president was asked a question by a mother who claimed one of her children identified as transgender and wanted to know Biden's views on the subject. "The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides to, 'You know, I decided that I want to be transgender, that's what I think I'd like to be, it would make my life a lot easier.' There should be zero discrimination," he said. He added that there should be no right denied to the questioner's trans-identified child that would be otherwise given to her other child who does not identify as transgender. In recent years, parents and students have opposed allowing students who identify as trans to enter bathrooms, locker rooms and showers designated for the opposite sex. LGBT activist groups have pushed school districts to give students who identify as transgender access to all facilities, regardless of sex designation. "Joe Biden thinks 8-year-olds, have the capacity to make a life-altering decision to change their gender and says for someone to deny them that right (I assume parents included) is discrimination! Either he is pandering for votes or he's totally lost it," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins commented on Twitter Friday. read more
Depending on how far Biden would take his policy, this could have serious implications for the religious freedom of Christians who refuse to support something that directly contradicts God’s design. Recently in Washington State, a couple was told that their application to become foster parents of their great-granddaughter would likely be denied based on their religious convictions about gender and sexuality. The couple was asked in a hypothetical situation whether they would support their great-granddaughter if she decided to undergo hormonal therapy treatments to change her sexual appearance as a teenager. While affirming their constant love for her, the couple responded that they would not be able to support that kind of treatment. Thankfully, a federal judge ruled in their favor, saying that the state’s policies “favor certain secular viewpoints over certain religious viewpoints”, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment. This is an especially important development as more children are likely to need foster care due to the effects of the pandemic. Kimberly Offutt of Bethany Christian Services reported that roughly 424,000 children are currently in the foster care system, with nearly 125,000 available to be adopted right now. Many foster parents possess sincerely held religious beliefs regarding gender and sexuality. They must not be forced to choose between those convictions and the children they desire to foster. That would be true discrimination.
One interesting fact about the Washington Federal judge is that he was appointed by President Obama, and yet he ruled in favor of religious liberty. Pray that our judges would always rule correctly according to the Constitution. And pray for the children who are currently in foster care. Pray that Christians would take the opportunity to love and care for them and introduce them to the one true God who loves them perfectly.
We encourage you to watch the new documentary, In His Image, which uses personal testimonies, Bible teaching, and scientific evidence to present the truth about God’s design for gender and sexuality. This is a valuable resource that you can view for free at the website: inhisimage.movie.
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.