WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - SEPTEMBER 14, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
What is Constitution Day and Why is it Celebrated?
“Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence every 4th of July, marking the seven years of sacrifice undertaken to gain independence. The thirteen states signed Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union but these historic documents left the fledgling nation’s federal government largely powerless. In fact, a new government was required. The states held a new Constitutional Convention in 1787 where 55 delegates drew up the foundation of US democracy. On 17 September 1787, 39 delegates signed the new US Constitution which has formed the backbone of the nation for 235 years.” read more at AS USA
What is the purpose of Constitution Day? In 2004, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to “commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.” Federal law also states that the President may issue a yearly proclamation inviting everyone to celebrate Constitution Day. In addition, state and local governments and schools are urged to make plans “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.” It is incredibly important for students (and adults!) to know our Constitution, how it is intended to protect our rights, and how we can hold our elected official accountable. Be discerning, however, with the instructional materials used. Incorrect ideas abound about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, even in the above news article. For example, did you know the word “democracy” is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, even though many constantly refer to our government as a democracy rather than a republic? I recommend reading the Constitution for yourself first. Our ACT section contains a link to download a free copy. Next, read what the Founding Fathers themselves wrote about it. Wallbuilders holds many of their writings. As a start, Federalist 51 by James Madison is a brilliant explanation of why the Constitution contains a separation of powers and checks and balances as a safeguard against tyranny, in line with a biblical understanding of human nature. And Federalist 10 explains why a republic, rather than a pure democracy, better protects our liberty. After reading original sources like these, you will be able to see whether a modern teaching about the Constitution is accurate. Our Founders created the most remarkable Constitution in the world. It is a safeguard for our God-given rights–but we must remember John Adams’ warning. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Sovereign Lord, You raise up nations and tear them down. We owe our existence to Your sovereignty and grace. Thank You for our founders who read Your Word and understood the rights You have given us and the authority which You gave government for our good. Help us to be faithful stewards of this remarkable nation in which You have placed us, for this time in history to bring You glory. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
As we take time to reflect on our nation’s pivotal document, we wondered: Who is known as the “Father of the Constitution”? Answer to find out...and we’ll give you a free Constitution e-book just for taking the quiz!
GOP Leaders Past and Present Call on Senate to Safeguard Same-Sex Marriage
“More than 400 Republicans leaders from across the country, including current and former GOP lawmakers from every level of government spanning the last two decades, are calling on the Senate to pass legislation that enshrines same-sex marriage protections. ‘We call on the U.S. Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and reaffirm that marriage for gay and lesbian couples is settled law,’ the letter reads.” read more at U.S. News
Why are so many Republicans and self-proclaimed conservatives standing in opposition to traditional marriage by supporting this bill, HR 8404? Reading the signed letter, it appears there are two main reasons: (1) They believe in a different version of conservatism. (2) They believe it is politically advantageous. The letter states that “we believe strong families and lasting relationships strengthen communities…” but they forget that it is a family with a committed, loving, mom and dad that truly fosters an environment where children flourish, and communities thrive. This is self-evident and backed up even by secular studies. A biblical position would seek to conserve such basic principles of reality. Ironically, the signers of the letter do believe in some boundaries regarding the definition of marriage. When they say, “civil marriage is a fundamental freedom central to individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I doubt their definition of marriage would include adult/child or polyamorous relationships. What will stop other groups from claiming that their “fundamental freedom” is being infringed because their relationships are not called “marriage”? The letter also reveals that many Republicans believe it is politically smart to vote for this bill. “We stand with the 71 percent of Americans today, including a majority of registered Republicans, who support the freedom to marry for all-Americans.” According to U.S. News, fifty-five percent of registered Republicans support same-sex marriage. But how many truly know how this bill threatens our freedoms, particularly religious liberty? Leaders of many prominent, pro-family and traditional values organizations wrote their own letter to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, stating their reasons for opposing the bill. I encourage you to read the letter in its entirety so you will know the dangerous implications, particularly for people of faith. “The truth is, while H.R. 8404 does nothing to change the status of, or benefits afforded to, same-sex marriage in light of Obergefell, it does much to endanger people of faith,” they state. There is no provision for a religious exemption in the Act, revealing that its goal is not, “You live your life, I’ll live mine,” as one GOP candidate has reasoned. The damage to religious liberty includes potential loss of tax-exempt status for some 501(c)(3) organizations who continue to hold to their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman only. It would also open up anyone acting “under color of state law” to lawsuits for their belief about marriage. This goes beyond the scope of state employees to potentially include faith-based organizations partnering with the government in social services. In short, they warn, “anyone who supports this measure is crossing a line into aiding and abetting the persecution of people of faith.” Sometimes, politicians will do the right thing simply because it is right. Most of the time, however, they will do what is in their political interest. Therefore, we need to make it politically advantageous for them to do the right thing. That requires our voices and our votes. If our Senators only hear from the hundreds of businesses as well as others telling them to vote for this bill, what are they more likely to do? See the ACT section for how you can make your voice heard right now. The vote is expected early next week.
Persevering prayer is critical for marriages and families worldwide. The enemy is working to destroy marriage because solid marriages are the foundations of strong families. When families fall, societies fall. Please download our new prayer guide for strong marriages and families here. As His church, may we pray for biblical marriage to be held in high regard, for unity in families, and for God’s word to be honored and obeyed. Pray that this Act would not pass, and that we would have the freedom to uphold God’s good design for marriage.
URGENT: Many people, rallied by LGBTQ organizations, have already contacted their Senators, urging them to support this bill. Will the voices of Christ-followers be heard? We have created a message to send to your Senators, urging them to vote NO on HR 8404. All you have to do is add your information and hit “send”! Click here to send the message your Senators and then forward this to your church and like-minded friends and family so they can do the same.
The Quiet Faith of Queen Elizabeth II
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks a watershed for Britain and for those of us who have never known any other head of our state—as is true for any lifelong British citizen under the age of seventy. Remarkably, she began her reign while Winston Churchill was prime minister and then lived to see a further fourteen individuals hold that high office. Without question she saw more change in British society than any of her predecessors, and throughout it all she remained a calm and steadfast figurehead for the nation.” read more at First Things
Born April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth II was born to King George VI and became the Princess of Wales during WWII. On her twenty-first birthday, she told the nation: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” She added, “God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.” When her father died of cancer, the 25-year-old Princess became Queen in 1952. She ruled for 70 years, longer than any other monarch, and saw 15 Prime Ministers lead Britain during her reign. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell noted, “Despite spending nearly three quarters of a century as one of the most famous and admired individuals on the planet, the Queen made sure her reign was never really about herself—not her fame, not her feelings, not her personal wants or needs. She guided venerable institutions through modern times using timeless virtues like duty, dignity, and sacrifice.” Such praise is somewhat ironic coming from a nation that rebelled against the queen’s third great-grandfather King George III. But unlike her ancestor, Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated humility with God as she exercised authority–a rare trait. Our Declaration of Independence from England boldly stated in 1776, “All men are created equal.” Our nation exists in rejection of the “divine right of kings” doctrine so prevalent in much of the world, the belief that God rules humans through a single human. We also reject the theological assumption that, because humans are finite and fallen, we cannot govern ourselves. To the contrary, because humans are finite and fallen, we believe that none of us can be trusted with unbridled authority over the rest of us. Our Founders therefore created a system of checks and balances on unbridled power and insisted that we need a consensual morality by which to navigate our lives and our nation. But they did not believe that a single monarch was needed or could be trusted, hence our rebellion against Britain and the constitutional republic that followed. Why do Americans venerate the queen of a country against whose king we once rebelled? One reason is obviously her uniqueness as a queen and as a person. Television shows like The Crown have made her story accessible to millions of Americans, many of whom are young enough to be her great-grandchildren. Her unfailing dignity, grace, wisdom, and perseverance have been on display across seven decades in the public eye. She is beloved and well respected. On a personal note, I unexpectedly got a glimpse of the Queen a decade ago. One afternoon during a vacation to London I happened upon several King’s Guards leaving the Horse Guards Parade in St James's Park in an unofficial capacity. Curious, I stopped one of them and asked what was happening. He informed me that they were rehearing for the annual Trooping the Colour taking place the next day and said if I wanted to see the Royal Family, I should arrive early to get a good spot. I did, along with thousands of other clearly devoted onlookers, and as the family rode by in their horse-drawn carriages, the crowd was elated and joyful (Kate Middleton was of particular interest at the time). But as the Queen passed by in a carriage with Prince Philip, there was an obvious reverence and honor bestowed from the crowd. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Many will continue to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the days to come. But not everyone will understand the source of her godly character and servant heart. For her ninetieth birthday, the queen participated in the publication of a book titled, The Servant Queen and the King She Serves. The book was published by Bible Society UK; over 100,000 copies were given away and used as faith-based conversation starters by Christians and churches all over the world. It proved so popular that the Bible Society had to print another 150,000 copies to meet demand. May her legacy live on remind us we serve the One True King.
Lord, thank you for the life of Queen Elizabeth and the example she set for so many. We pray that we may live our own lives as an example to those around us…to live with integrity, humility, steadfastness. May those we meet know us by our light (Matthew 5:16).
Britain is in a period of official national mourning that lasts until the queen's funeral, which takes place Sept. 19. It's safe to say we will never witness a historical moment like this, again. The pomp and circumstance of these 10 days are quite remarkable. View this guide of the events planned for each day, including maps and historical insights here.
Michigan Supreme Court Clears Abortion Measure for November Ballot
“The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a ballot measure on the state's abortion restrictions can be voted on in November. The 5-2 ruling allows the Michigan Right to Reproductive Freedom initiative to appear on the ballot, which activists hope will boost Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's reelection bid by fueling Democratic enthusiasm. It failed to make the ballot during an Aug. 30 Michigan Board of State Canvassers vote that deadlocked 2-2 along party lines. The measure, if it passes, would cement ‘the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care’ into the state constitution.” read more at the Washington Examiner
In 2022, there are six ballot measures addressing abortion — the most on record for a single year. Measures have been certified for the ballot in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont. Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont will be the first to decide on ballot measures to establish state constitutional rights to abortion. Voters in Kansas rejected a measure to provide that the state constitution cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion. On November 8, voters in Kentucky will decide on a similar amendment. These types of amendments are designed to address previous and future state court rulings on abortion that have prevented or could prevent legislatures from passing certain abortion laws. Montana will be voting on a ballot measure that would provide medical care for infants born alive after an attempted abortion. Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill that would ban abortions nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Graham, who previously said abortion decisions should be left up to states, said elected officials have the power to define and regulate abortion, including in Congress. Graham indicated he was motivated to act following attempts by Democrats to enshrine abortion protections into federal law. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and provides some exceptions in cases of rape or to protect the life of the mother, has no chance of getting to the Senate floor under Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other pro-abortion Democrat leadership but it begins the process of moving the legislation ahead if Republicans take back the House and Senate in the Midterms. The battle over protecting life has intensified in the last few months. "The Supreme Court's decision on Dobbs this summer has had a major impact on electoral politics heading toward the midterm elections," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Not only are Democrats more motivated to vote than Republicans because of the Court’s decision, Democrats remain energized whereas Republican interest has faded since June." While the polling may show one message, the real impact on pro-life or pro-abortion legislation will be determined by the voters who show up to vote.
A recent survey of My Faith Votes followers showed that abortion is the #1 issue that is most important in the Midterm Elections. We’ve created a helpful one-page prayer guide you can use (and share) to help you pray for the November 8 elections.
As Christians, we value life because our Creator God values life. And that must be reflected in our votes. This Sunday, September 18, My Faith Votes is hosting the fourth annual National Voter Registration Sunday, a day for Christians to register to vote or check their voter registration. Be sure you are ready to vote this November 8. You can check your registration or register to vote in My Voter Hub. It’s quick and it’s easy!
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.