WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - SEPTEMBER 27, 2023
Don’t be alarmed: On Wednesday, October 4 at 2:20 p.m. ET, every TV, radio and cellphone in the U.S. will blare out the distinctive, jarring electronic warning tone of an emergency alert. Heads up, it’s just a test.
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Biden Makes Border History with Most Immigrant Encounters in August Ever Recorded
“More than 300,000 immigrants attempted to enter the United States unlawfully or were paroled during August, surpassing all national records and spelling a catastrophe for the Biden administration that claimed its sweeping policy reforms were working. In August, 304,162 people were apprehended by Border Patrol while crossing the border illegally, were deemed inadmissible by customs officers at ports of entry, or used new Biden initiatives to bypass the border and fly under the umbrella of temporary parole, according to data published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday.” read more at the Washington Examiner
- For context, the 304,162 is between five and 10 times higher than the average monthly totals seen during the Obama and Trump administrations. Since President Biden took office, Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 7 million people who illegally entered the country between ports of entry nationwide.
- Beyond the numbers, here’s the human cost of not enforcing the laws and incentivizing law-breaking: Earlier this month, a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old boy drowned while their families attempted to cross the Rio Grande. Last year, over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdose, particularly fentanyl, much of which is smuggled over the border by cartels. Women and children are victims of human trafficking. Citizens are endangered by increased criminal activity. Border patrol agents’ morale is low. Cities are overwhelmed and resources are strained.
- In Eagle Pass, Texas, the mayor declared a state of emergency last week as roughly 4,000 illegal migrants arrived over the course of a few days, straining the small city’s resources. The mayor said he heard that many of the illegal migrants were single males, and some had criminal records. “We don’t want these people just to be walking our streets,” he said. "Please, just enforce the laws that are on the books," the mayor pleaded on CNN. "We are a nation of laws. That's all I ask for, is that it shouldn't be like this. We should be able to enforce laws.”
Lord Jesus, we look forward to the day You return to reign and make all things right. Until then, we mourn the destruction and devastation of our border crisis. Help our elected officials seek Your wisdom and desire to do what is right. Let our laws be justly enforced. Rescue the victims being exploited by cartels. Be with our law enforcement officers dealing with this crisis every day. In Your name, amen.
I invite you to watch the recording of our prayer call last week with Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Pastor Cruz emigrated from an oppressive dictatorship in Cuba in 1957, and he is passionate about his love for America. His prayer for our country was powerful, and we certainly need more prayer warriors right now!
Newsom Vetoes Controversial Gender-Identity Bill in California
“Deviating from his past legislative support of transgender youth in California, Democratic governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have required parents to demonstrate affirmation of their child’s gender identity in custody court battles. Under California Bill AB957, judges would have been legally obligated to specifically consider whether parents have affirmed their child’s gender identity or gender expression in determining ‘the health, safety, and welfare of the child.’ The California State Assembly passed the bill along strictly party lines earlier this month, hoping to advance transgender rights in the state.” read more at The National Review
- Governor Newsom vetoing legislation as problematic as California Bill AB957 is a welcome development since we’ve discussed the bill in past weeks. However, it's important to note that while he expressed concerns about the bill's potential impact on the judiciary, he also emphasized his belief that the bill's goals are already achieved through existing judicial and legislative practices. In fact, the very next day Newsom doubled down and signed a package of nine bills focused on advancing LGTBQ+ ideology to our children. In a statement he said, “These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities.”
- Included are Assembly Bill 5, which sets deadlines for school teachers and staff to undergo LGBTQ cultural competency training, Assembly Bill 223, which makes minors’ court petitions to change their sex and gender identifiers confidential and Senate Bill 760, which requires all K-12 public and private schools to have at least one all-gender restroom.
- While we can certainly celebrate when governors veto dangerous bills like AB957, we should remain vigilant and discerning about the true character and motives of all our political leaders. As Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves," underscoring our need to be alert and engaged for good.
As Christ followers, we are not given the option of letting our frustration and disagreement with political leaders prevent us from praying for them. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" (1 Timothy 2:1-3). So, while we can work against the policies of those with whom we disagree politically, we must still pray for them - especially for their salvation. Will you pray for all your elected officials today?
How does someone navigate the assault on children and parents happening in every state? We’ve created a free eBook, Know Your Child’s School, to help Christian parents and grandparents like you understand the changing landscape of public education. We also provide you with practical steps you can take to identify what is happening in your child’s school and position you to influence the governance of your local public school(s) to protect children. Download and share this free eBook today.
Dallas Mayor to Switch to GOP
“Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced Friday that he is switching parties and will serve as a Republican-affiliated mayor of the blue-leaning city. While the Dallas mayoral office is nonpartisan, Johnson previously served as a Democrat in the Texas legislature. He slammed his former party in an op-ed for Wall Street Journal published Friday, blaming Democratic policies for ‘exacerbated crime and homelessness.’” read more at CNN
- Johnson’s switch makes Dallas the largest Republican-run city in the nation. What were his reasons? In his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled: “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One,” Johnson mentioned differences in policies like public safety, property taxes, and welfare policies. “The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism,” he stated.
- As Christian voters, we should be thinking about what principles make for good government. The Bible gives us insight into the role of government in punishing evildoers and protecting the innocent (Romans 13:1-6, 1 Peter 2:14, Proverbs 31:8-9). It also provides wisdom for stewarding resources (Exodus 20:15, Psalm 24:1, Proverbs 22:3). A biblical worldview is the best standard by which we can assess each political party’s stances on important issues.
- Local elections tend to have dismal voter turnout, yet they often have greater impact on your everyday life than high-profile, national elections. A Portland State University study of the country’s 30 largest cities found that turnout was low almost everywhere, and Dallas had the lowest rate of voter participation in the U.S. In last May’s election, only 8.8% of Dallas County voters cast a ballot. Do you plan to vote in your next local election? It’s a blessing we can use for God’s glory and the good of our neighbors.
Take time to pray (by name, if possible) for your city council members. Pray that they would know the Lord as their personal Savior, that they would seek His guidance, and serve your city well.
What are the differences between the political parties? My Faith Votes has an entire page with resources to help you understand what each party stands for. See for yourself and recommend it to a friend!
DOD Support for Ukraine Will Not Be Hindered by Potential Government Shutdown
“The Department of Defense’s support for Ukraine will not stop in the event of a government shutdown, which would occur if Congress doesn’t come to a funding agreement before the end of the month. The determination, made by the Pentagon, will allow the U.S. military’s training for Ukrainian troops and the transfer of weapons to continue as Ukraine continues efforts to reclaim Russian-occupied territory before the winter conditions make it harder to conduct these operations.” read more at The Washington Examiner
- Last week, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy landed in DC to make a deal with his nation's largest financial supporter, the US. During the meeting, President Biden announced a $325 million military aid package, which includes air defense capabilities, artillery and ammunition, and anti-tank weapons. This package is separate from the additional $24 billion the president wants Congress to approve for Ukraine; the funding Zelenskyy lobbied Congressional members for last week. Polls indicate 51% of Americans say the US has already done enough to help Ukraine.
- The money keeps flowing. Congress has appropriated more than $113 billion since 2022 for the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine, according to a March release from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General.
- What about us? Ukraine war funding became the latest issue in House Republicans’ struggle to pass any spending legislation before a Sept. 30 deadline. A group of 28 Republicans from the House and Senate wrote to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young to announce their opposition to the $24 billion request for Ukraine aid. They demanded details about how aid has been spent so far and an explanation of the administration’s strategy for Ukraine to win the war or wind down U.S. involvement. One of the letter's signatories, House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) has said Congress should not consider additional funding for Ukraine while crucial domestic issues remain unresolved. "In the midst of a historic border crisis and looming government shutdown, the United States is in no position to fund the endless war in Ukraine," Williams said.
When war rages with no clear end in sight, we become numb to its cost. Father, we lift up the Ukrainian people. Strengthen them in their time of need and bring a swift end to this war. Help our leaders to take responsibility for our country and steward our money in a way that honors You.
As we mentioned last week, the federal spending numbers demand action. If you didn’t get a chance, take 2 minutes now and send a message to your elected representatives in Congress, urging them to prioritize fiscal responsibility as they debate and vote on the upcoming annual budget. Use this easy tool to send a message now.
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.