WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - OCTOBER 26, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
‘Gender-Affirming’ Mastectomies in Children Spike 389% From 2016 to 2019
“The latest wave of the sexual revolution is undeniably targeting children. New research published in JAMA Pediatrics chronicles a mind-bending spike in the number of adolescents who underwent “gender-affirming” chest reconstruction surgeries — double mastectomies — in just a few years. In 2016, roughly 100 children went under the knife for the procedures. Just a handful of years later, in 2019, that number soared to 489 — a 389% increase.” read more at Faithwire
- My heart breaks for these young people, more than ninety-eight percent of whom are girls who will never be able to breast-feed their babies in the future. What are we doing to our children?
- Like the U.S., the UK also saw an enormous increase in children being referred to the nation’s pediatric gender clinic over the last few years. However, they are now taking a more cautious approach based on an ongoing review of their current practices for treating minors who express discomfort with their biological sex. A key admission is that gender incongruence “may be a transient phase, particularly for prepubertal children”.
- The UK is pulling the brakes on this destructive freight train. Whether our own country will follow suit or continue down this reckless path will be determined, in part, by the votes of Christians, because so many candidates support extreme policies that usurp parental rights, confuse our young people, and lead to the destruction of their bodies.
- This election is a battle in the ongoing war over our nation’s children. One side is attempting to prevent such destructive and permanent procedures from being performed on young people, while the other side is trying to prevent parents from helping their children to be at peace with their biological sex.
- President Biden, when asked over the weekend by a prominent transgender influencer whether states should have the right to ban transgender procedures on children, stated emphatically, “I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to do that. As a moral question and as a legal question. I just think it’s wrong.”
- Meanwhile, in a shocking attack on parental rights, Virginia state legislator Elizabeth Guzman announced plans to introduce a bill that would, according to National Review, “expand the definition of child abuse so that parents could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor for refusing to honor their child’s request to be treated as the opposite sex.” But after public uproar, she backed down.
- Guzman defended her proposed legislation partly by twisting the Scripture, saying, “The Bible says to accept everyone for who they are.” A proper understanding of Scripture, in contrast, includes the good news that while God calls us as we are, He does not leave us as we are! And so, Christian parents are called to model the love of our Heavenly Father to their children, while also bringing them up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) We must help our children walk in truth, not lies.
- This election is about whether we will continue to have freedom to do that. Even voters who are not parents or grandparents must consider what this country will look like in just a few years if policies like Guzman’s become the norm.
Heavenly Father, the children of this country are being led astray, and we know it grieves and angers You. Lord, we are in a spiritual and physical attack on the rights of parents to raise their children to love You and instruct them on Your purpose for them. We will step out in faith to think, pray, and vote for these children. Go before us and establish our steps. Help us and our children to stand in the strength You have given us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
You’ve probably heard of the four parenting styles. Did you ever consider that laws which punish parents for not affirming their child’s gender transition, or school policies that hide children’s transition from their parents, are mandating one particular parenting style (the permissive parent)? We are setting up an entire generation to either take over our lives or be Americans alongside us as we live life. If you’re explaining what’s at stake for parental rights to a voter who doesn’t share your Christian values, this might be an effective line of argument.
Biden Vows to Push Abortion Rights Bill if Democrats Keep Control of Congress
“President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to push for an abortion rights bill if Democrats keep control of Congress in the November midterm elections. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, Biden said that if Democrats both hold the House and add seats to their Senate majority, he would offer make a bill to codify abortion rights his first priority. He said that if it passed, he would aim to sign it into law by the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in January.” read more at NBC News
- President Biden made a statement we agree with regarding this election: “it’s a choice between two vastly different visions for America.” His declared commitment to a federal abortion law makes clear what is at stake. On one hand, our country could be a place where the most vulnerable among us–the unborn children–are protected in many states. On the other hand, we could be a country that forces every state to legalize the murder of those unborn children–their most vulnerable people. That is exactly what the Democrats’ proposed federal abortion legislation would do.
- The attack on life is occurring at both the federal and state level. In addition to pro-life versus pro-abortion state candidates, remember that five states–California, Kentucky, Montana, Michigan, and Vermont–have proposed changes on the ballot to their state constitutions regarding abortion. California, Michigan, and Vermont’s proposals would enshrine a “right” to abortion in their constitutions, while Kentucky and Montana have pro-life constitutional amendments. Voters will decide these critical questions on November 8.
- These ballot proposals are key because after the Dobbs decision, the latest tactic of the pro-abortion movement is to enshrine a “right” to abortion in state constitutions, or have activist judges declare that such a right already exists and therefore pro-life laws violate the state constitution. Through these ballot measures, voters will decide what the constitutional position of their state is.
- My Faith Votes is hosting an event this Thursday in Michigan to rally faith-based voters against Proposal 22-3, which would establish a “new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to…abortion.” Voters in Michigan need to know what’s at stake with this proposal.
- The cultural narrative says it is extreme to stand against such “reproductive rights” measures. I will happily accept the label of “extreme” for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. But I think it is more extreme to legalize the murder of innocent human beings up until birth. It is extreme for the Pentagon–an institution whose purpose is to defend life and safety–to announce it will help fund abortions for service members. And it is extreme to ignore the attacks on pregnancy resource centers while arresting pro-lifers. Biblical principles seem extreme only when lawlessness is considered the norm.
“O God…Awaken your people to a commitment to justice, to the sanctity of marriage and the family, to the dignity of each individual human life, and to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin, and not one moment later. Lord, we rejoice today that we are citizens of your kingdom. May that make us all the more committed to being faithful citizens on earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” You can download the rest of this Election Day prayer here.
iVoterGuide has a side-by-side comparison of the arguments for and against Proposal 22-3 in Michigan, along with a list of its supporters and those who oppose it. View it here and share it with your friends in Michigan so they are equipped to vote! If you live in Michigan, please make sure you vote.
Americans Trust the Gov’t More than the Church to Make 'Meaningful Change': Barna
“Americans are twice as likely to say the government is responsible for creating ‘meaningful change’ in the nation than they are to say the same about the church, according to a new Barna survey. The poll, released this week, found that 52 percent of U.S. adults believe the national government is ‘responsible for creating meaningful change,’ while only 26 percent answered that way about religious organizations and 25 percent about Christian churches.” read more at Christian Headlines
- The survey also noted that Christians believe the Church can create meaningful change. But that view that is not shared by the American public at large. Forty-eight percent of practicing Christians believe Christian churches are change-makers, while just one-quarter of U.S. adults (25%) says the same.
- Political issues are often concerned with people as they are, not with people as they ought to be. Part of the task of the Church is to help people order their lives in order to lead them to what they ought to be. Assuming they are already as they ought to be always leads to disaster.
- Our faith in Christ has the answer to the problems this nation faces. It’s available to all at no cost. It is the only source that will lead to what many are longing for when they say they want “meaningful change.”
- As my friend, Caleb Backholm wisely states, “When they [government] contradict what God has said, they aren’t just talking politics, they are teaching false theology. As we see in the founding documents of America, our rights and ultimate authority come from God, not government. Politicians, whether they know it or not, are servants of God, even before they are servants of the people (Rom 13). This means politicians have no right to legislate false theology. On the other hand, the church -- as the ambassador of Christ on earth -- has both the right and the responsibility to publicly call out government’s theological errors. We have a duty to correct these errors with our words, our actions, and our votes. In Ezekiel 3, God tells Ezekiel, ‘I have made you a watchman’ for the people. ‘Whenever you hear a word from my mouth you shall give them warning from me.’ If you ‘give him no warning…his blood, I will require at your hand.’ What a grave admonition this is. Don’t fall for the line that the church should remain silent on hot-button issues of the day. When the church and government are at odds, and when God has spoken plainly to those same issues, it is the government that has overstepped its bounds. So the problem isn’t that pastors are ‘talking politics’ from the pulpit. The problem is that politicians are ‘preaching theology’ from the halls of Congress and doing it very poorly. The church must correct the record.”
- One of Satan’s deceptions is that we can rest our hope for cultural morality and godly living in politicians and government officials. A nation’s hope for change is not to be found in any country’s ruling class or political party. It’s when people’s hearts are changed by Christ that godly governments and institutions will follow. What we need is not better government, but better men and women in government.
Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, follow Your Word, and be willing to put faith in action. Give us courage to speak out, to be salt and light. Help us not to stay silent but to do all things through Your wisdom and power. We bring honor to Your name in these days, for You alone are worthy.
There’s a problem YOU can help fix. A third of the Christians who attend your church are unlikely to vote in the midterm election November 8th. That’s a huge, missed opportunity to apply biblical values when choosing the people and policies governing our nation, states, and local communities. Ask your pastor if they would increase the number of Christians in your church who vote by participating in My Faith Votes Sunday. Here are three things they can do during the service(s) on Sunday November 6.
- Play a video - During your worship service(s) play the “Do Good. Go Vote.” video from My Faith Votes. In just 30 seconds it explains the importance of Christians voting their biblical values and the difference they’ll make when they do.
- Ask for a commitment – After the video, ask the people in your congregation to commit to voting according to their faith in the election on November 8.
- Ask for prayer - Invite the congregation to pray for the election and stream the My Faith Votes Prayer Event Monday evening November 7 at 8PM ET. www.myfaithvotes.live
If your church would like to participate, they can learn more and download resources they’ll need by going to this linkwww.myfaithvotes.org/sunday
CDC Advisers’ Vote to Put COVID Shots on ‘Vaccine Schedule’ Ignites New Fight in Midterm Campaigns
“The recent federal endorsement of COVID-19 vaccines for children won’t turn into school mandates overnight, but the routine decision has injected a fiery new debate into late-October campaigning. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration and an assortment of others agree that a unanimous advisory panel recommendation to add COVID-19 shots to the 2023 immunization schedule won’t make the vaccine mandatory for children to attend school — unless a state decrees it so.” read more at The Washington Times
- Recommendation or mandate? On Oct. 20, the CDC advisory committee unanimously voted to add COVID-19 vaccines to the 2023 childhood and adult immunization schedules. While the the CDC’s recommendations are influential, they do not determine which vaccines students are required to receive to attend school or day care. It’s the states that set those requirements. State legislatures set parameters including medical, religious and philosophical exemptions that can be taken. This year alone, 84 percent of all state legislative seats are up for election.
- Several Republican Governors and gubernatorial candidates were quick to confirm that the update would not lead to mandates in their state. Few Democrat governors or gubernatorial hopefuls reacted to the pending immunization schedule changes. States such as CA, NM, IL, and OR, already have laws in place that require vaccines that are listed in the schedule, including the COVID vaccine.
- Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and leading medical doctor spoke out against ACIP’s decision saying, “There has never been a vaccine added to the child immunization schedule without solid clinical evidence that it reduces disease significantly in the community.” He continued, “The COVID vaccine in children will be the first – it will be added with no clinical data.”
- Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Health recommended against getting the COVID vaccine for any healthy child ranging from infancy to age 17.
- On Monday, the National Assessment of Educational Progress — known as the “nation’s report card” revealed devastating results from the impact of the pandemic. Across the nation, math scores saw their largest decrease ever. Reading scores dropped to 1992 levels. Nearly four in 10 eighth graders failed to grasp basic math concepts and not a single state saw improvement in their average test scores, with some seeing double-digit declines.
- Scores on the ACT college admissions test by this year's high school graduates hit their lowest point in more than 30 years — more evidence of the enormity of learning disruption during the pandemic. Even worse, an increasing number of high school students failed to meet any of the subject-area benchmarks set by the ACT — showing a decline in preparedness for college-level coursework.
- There is a battle for our children today. These times are too challenging, too grave, for us to sit idly on the sidelines any longer. Let us be committed to raising our children in a godly and biblically based manner regardless of the personal cost. It is not too late; the trial is not over, and the verdict has not been rendered. Our children are the greatest mission field in America.
Lord, as a mom, it’s so easy to feel anxious and unsure of what the future holds for my children. I can get so caught up in the never-ending doom and gloom news cycle shrouded in fear and bias. So today, help me to focus on You. You are unchanging, eternal, and my firm foundation. Thank you that I don’t have to fear but instead, I can trust in You who works all things together for my good and for Your glory. I pray that as I raise my children in this chaotic culture that I continually point them to You. Help me and my husband to have a Christ-centered home with the intention of sending our children off into the world on the firm foundation of Your grace, mercy and truth.
Where do the candidates stand on issues such as parental rights, education and vaccine mandates? We’ve identified 14 key states where the elections will have significant impact, and created Candidate Comparison Guides for you to view, download and share. You can find them here. To view party platforms, you can find those here. Be sure you are an informed voter on election day.
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.