WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - September 11, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
San Francisco Officials Brand NRA a ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization” and urged the federal government to do the same – the latest escalation in the heated rhetoric from Democrats regarding the NRA in the wake of several deadly mass shootings. The resolution, which passed, says the U.S. is “plagued by an epidemic of gun violence,” accuses the NRA of using “its considerable wealth and organization strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.” “All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence,” the resolution says. The document resolves to assess the relationships that those who do business with the city have with the group and says “the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization.” read more
In San Francisco, a convicted felon is now a “justice-involved person,” a juvenile delinquent is only “a young person impacted by the juvenile justice system,” and NRA members are now “domestic terrorists.” Concerning the arming of violent people, 84 percent of NRA members have taken a gun safety course, compared with 67 percent of gun owners who don’t belong to the NRA. Relative to lobbying efforts, the NRA has contributed approximately $13 million to political endeavors between 1998 and 2016. In comparison, the National Association of Realtors spent roughly $72 million on lobbying efforts in 2018 alone. Today we frequently fight for our rights but rarely ask what is our duty. Although no silver bullet can stop every bullet, numerous studies do reveal sources that feed this problem. Research clearly shows that the absence of fathers is one of the “most powerful predictors of crimes.” Also, mental health plays a role in a subset of crimes. But the rise of social media shows a significant trend. Research indicates that an increased number of hours on social media correlates directly with aggressive behavior. And regarding the media, research suggests that violence is contagious and the 24/7 news cycle is like the wind. Jay Forrester was right: “With a high degree of confidence we can say that the intuitive solution to the problems of complex social systems will be wrong most of the time.” We don’t lack the resolve to end gun violence, but we do need the wisdom.
Pray for our elected officials at the local and federal level to leave name calling and partisan political agendas behind and instead seek God’s wisdom on this difficult issue our nation is facing (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
The discussion surrounding gun control is only growing. Take a few minutes to gain a biblical view on the issue by watching this Real Truth Real Quick Video from Pastor Todd Wagner.
Trump Says Peace Talks with Taliban are Now ‘Dead’
U.S. peace talks with the Taliban are now "dead," President Donald Trump declared Monday, two days after he abruptly canceled a secret meeting he had arranged with Taliban and Afghan leaders aimed at ending America's longest war. Trump's remark to reporters at the White House suggested he sees no point in resuming a nearly yearlong effort to reach a political settlement with the Taliban, whose protection of al-Qaida extremists in Afghanistan prompted the U.S. to invade after the 9/11 attacks. Asked about the peace talks, Trump said: "They're dead. They're dead. As far as I'm concerned, they're dead." It's unclear whether Trump will go ahead with planned U.S. troop cuts and how the collapse of his talks will play out in deeply divided Afghanistan. Trump said his administration is "looking at" whether to proceed with troop reductions that had been one element of the preliminary deal with the Taliban struck by presidential envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. "We'd like to get out, but we'll get out at the right time," Trump said. read more
Today, we remember the 2,977 people who lost their lives in the evil attacks of 9/11, and our prayers are with their families. It’s hard to believe it has been 18 years since terror struck American soil. Next week, President Trump plans to name a new National Security Adviser as John Bolton has left the White House, citing strong disagreements. This week, President Trump canceled a negotiation meeting with the Taliban, but they have no plans to cancel their terror. A Taliban spokesman said this move “will lead to more losses to the U.S.” He went on: “Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.” Thus far, over 2,300 Americans have lost their lives in the Afghanistan War. Writing at Fox News, Jim Hanson offered this sober take: “Let’s be honest. Afghanistan is ungovernable. Our efforts to create a stable democratic government that will work closely with the U.S. as our ally are hopeless. But we can set a more modest goal – prevent the Taliban from once against turning Afghanistan into a terrorist haven.” Is such pessimism a good thing? In scripture, we hear pessimism reverberate in the laments of Jeremiah, the mourning of Mara, and the reluctance of Jonah. A pessimist has low expectations; an optimist has high expectations, but each must deal with reality even if it doesn’t match their expectations. Leaders define reality while Christians engage reality, but both hope to change reality for the better – especially in Afghanistan (Jeremiah 9, Ruth 1, Jonah 2-3, Matthew 5:13-16, James 1:27).
Pray for President Trump, his administration, and our military to have wisdom as they seek to keep Americans safe from those who wish to perpetrate evil. And pray today for the families that were forever changed 18 years ago today. Pray for God to continue to heal their hurts and draw them near to Him. Pray for the 9/11 observances taking place across the nation that it would remind people of our shared values and bring unity in our communities and society.
On September 14, 2001, Billy Graham spoke at the National Cathedral following 9/11 in Washington, D.C. His words brought healing to our nation, and they still provide truth today. Take a few minutes to read his words.
Drew Brees Criticized for Promoting “Bring Your Bible to School Day”
New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees is taking heat from left-leaning media after he was featured in a recent video clip shared by the socially conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school. Bring Your Bible to School Day was launched in 2014 by Focus on the Family to encourage students to “celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends.” Since its launch, thousands of students have taken part and the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom has vowed to provide pro-bono legal support to any student who is prevented from participating. In the 22-second video titled “Shout Out From Drew Brees,” the 12-time pro-bowler encouraged kids to take part in the national Bible movement. Brees tells the audience that one of his favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7, which states “For we live by faith not by sight.” “So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on ‘Bring your Bible to School Day’ and share God’s love with friends,” Brees concludes in the video. “You’re not alone.” Left-leaning websites contend that Brees should not engage with an organization that has funded campaigns in the past to advocate for traditional Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality. read more
The Bible used to be the foundation for American education, yet today secularists have sought to remove God from every aspect of the public square, including education. Benjamin Rush wrote in his essay, A Defense of the Use of the Bible, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.” Our country has drifted so far from our founding beliefs. We appreciate the bold stand many voices of influence have taken to empower students to bring their faith into every area of life, including our schools. Other celebrities who have stepped up to promote Bring Your Bible to School Day include Sadie Robertson, singer Tauren Wells, the Christian band Newsboys, singer Francesca Battistelli and rock artist Zach Williams. We should remind our children of the promise found in Matthew 10:32, “If you stand before others and are willing to say you believe in me, then I will tell my Father in heaven that you belong to me.”
Pray today for the children in your school district. Pray for Christian students to have the boldness to bring their Bible to school and share the Gospel with others. And pray for students hearts to be receptive to hearing the truth from God’s word.
Consider sharing the “Bring Your Bible to School” Day with your children, your grandchildren, or other Christian students in your community. Take a few minutes to learn more about this important day for our schools on October 3, 2019.
Buttigieg Family Member Calls on Him to ‘Repent’ After Abortion Remarks
The brother-in-law of Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg said Friday that the South Bend, Ind., mayor should “repent” for invoking the Bible to justify late-term abortions and accused him of being "a false teacher." Rhyan Glezman, 34, an evangelical pastor who serves a small-town Michigan church, told the Washington Examiner in an interview that Buttigieg’s claim that the Bible talks about how life begins with breath is “outrageous” and is an example of the presidential candidate “weaponizing” Christian beliefs. "If we're going to say we're for all people and we love all people, but we don't value human life in the womb, that's being a hypocrite," Glezman, the brother of Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, told the Examiner. "You're hypocritical if you don't stand up for all life. So that's why I'm speaking out." He added, “I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, 'No, that's not true.’ God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn't start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother's womb.” read more
My Faith Votes Honorary National Chairman Mike Hukabee wrote about this situation and Buttigieg’s expectation that Christians “fall in line” and endorse or support his interpretation of Scripture. Presidential candidates are vying for Christians votes in 2020 and Christians must be vigilant to pray about their decision, read about the candidates’ track records and compare them against the Word of God. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Do you know how to answer the question regarding when life begins from a scientific standpoint? Take a few minutes to watch this video by Dr. Sander Lee, Molecular Geneticist, answering the question, “Do we really know when life begins?”
Pray for Christians to have God’s discernment regarding what candidates will stand for biblical principles as political rhetoric increases leading up to the 2020 elections (Hosea 14:9, Psalm 119:66).
In just a few days, on September 14, Americans across the nation will participate in the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. This event calls on Americans to remember those who have been killed by abortion and to hold a vigil at one of the 52 gravesites across the United States dedicated to aborted children. Learn more about this event and find a location near you here.
Don't forget to grab your copy of Unplanned, the inspiring and eye-opening true story of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson and her journey of transformation. Get your copy here.
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.