NUMBER ONE CONCERN: IS TRUMP A MAN OF HIS WORD?
The number one concern: Is Trump a man of his word?
Donald Trump in baseball capDonald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2016 – and evangelicals are trying to find a way to make peace with that.
The healing is set to begin on June 21 when about 500 evangelical leaders will meet with Donald Trump in New York City. Among them will be Christian apologist and radio talk-show host Dr. Alex McFarland, who says evangelicals want first of all to know Trump is a man of his word.
"The number-one thing that I, as a conservative, want to hear is that some of his promises will be held true through an administration, if he is elected," McFarland shares with OneNewsNow.
As a former Democrat and pro-abortion candidate, Trump will have something to prove to the group. He says he's now pro-life, although he's had a couple of "misstatements" on that subject. He's more liberal than most evangelicals on gender and sexuality issues, although he says he doesn't support same-sex "marriage." And he's had to walk back a couple of statements on religious freedom.
Consequently, McFarland says he'll be looking for strong comments by Trump on "protecting the free-speech rights of Christians [and] our strong defense of morality and marriage, [America's] relationship with the nation of Israel, strong national defense, and of course the economy."
The religion and culture expert says many evangelicals ding Trump for some of his less-than-Christian traits. "They fear that Donald Trump is driven by ego; [that] he's a narcissist, he's a man who's proud of his accomplishments," he offers. "I want to say that may definitely work in the nation's favor."
He argues that the White House needs someone who will not accept second place and will go hard after – in the candidate's words – "Making America Great Again." McFarland also says Trump can help his cause by surrounding himself with good people.
"The name first and foremost in my mind, at least, as part of the 'brain trust' if not a VP pick, might be Mike Huckabee," McFarland suggests. (Rankings: Trump's top 10 VP picks, The Hill)
In a recent OneNewsNow poll, readers were asked what two questions they would ask Trump at next month's meeting with evangelical leaders. The top two answers align closely with issues mentioned by McFarland: "Why is religious freedom central to American values?" and "Why is America's relationship with Israel crucial?" (Contributor: By Steve Jordahl for One News Now)
The proposed meeting lacks universal agreement among evangelicals, with differences on both sides as to the propriety and value of such a gathering. Pray that conflicting viewpoints might be shelved so as to find a sufficient level of agreement for a polite and candid exchange, plus a unified witness to Mr. Trump. Pray that the leaders will remember that help for America must come from the Lord.
“Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help … whose hope [instead] is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth … Who keeps truth forever … the Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.” (Ps. 146:3, 5-7)
LONG-DREADED SUPERBUG FOUND IN HUMAN AND ANIMAL IN U.S.
The antibiotic resistance factor MCR, which protects bacteria against the final remaining drugs of last resort, has been found in the United States for the first time—in a person, and separately, in a stored sample taken from a slaughtered pig.
Department of Defense researchers disclosed Thursday in a report placed online by the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that a 49-year-old woman who sought medical care at a military-associated clinic in Pennsylvania last month, with what seemed to be a urinary tract infection, was carrying a strain of E. coli that possessed resistance to a wide range of drugs. That turned out to be because the organism carried 15 different genes conferring antibiotic resistance, clustered on two “mobile elements” that can move easily among bacteria. One element included the new, dreaded gene mcr-1.
The discovery “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,” the DOD personnel, Patrick McGann, PhD of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Kurt Schaecher, PhD of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, along with eight colleagues, write in the journal report.
Dr. Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the CDC has begun working with the researchers and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to understand how the woman came to be carrying the highly resistant bacterium. (Later Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf confirmed the case, and the CDC joint investigation, in a statement.) The DOD researchers who described her case, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, provided no other information on her case, except to say that she had not traveled in the previous five months, suggesting she did not pick up the bacterium outside the U.S.
“It is extremely concerning; this is potentially a sentinel event,” Bell said in a phone interview. “There is a lot that needs to be done in terms of contact tracing and field investigation, to have a sense of who else might have been exposed or might be carrying this resistant bacterium.”
Bell disclosed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will shortly announce the first identification of MCR in the United States in an animal. It was found in a stored sample of pig intestine that was collected as part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, a shared project of the CDC, USDA and Food and Drug Administration that looks for resistant foodborne bacteria in people, animals and meat.
“We have been intentionally looking for this since MCR was first announced,” she said.
The Department of Health and Human Services subsequently confirmed the pig finding in a blog post Thursday afternoon.
The existence of MCR was reported for the first time just last November, in a report by British and Chinese researchers who said they had found the gene in people, animals and meat in several areas of China. Subsequently it has been found in people, animals or meat in at least 20 countries across the world.
MCR is so troubling because it confers protection against colistin, the last remaining antibiotic that works against a broad family of bacteria that have already acquired resistance to all the other antibiotics used against them. Colistin has worked up to this point because it is a toxic drug from the early days of the antibiotic era, seldom prescribed because of its side effects; because it was used so infrequently, bacteria had not adapted to it. But because it is effective, if harsh, agriculture adopted it instead, using it widely and legally for prevention of diseases in food animals. By the time medicine discovered it needed the drug back, resistance to colistin was already moving from agriculture into the human world.
Colistin is not actually used in animals in the United States, though it has been approved for use by the FDA. That makes the arrival of colistin resistance a mystery that will have to be plumbed through genetic sequencing.
Advocates who track antibiotic resistance, especially in agriculture, reacted to the news of US colistin resistance with the gravity it deserves.
“This shows that we are right on the verge of getting into the territory of routine bacterial infections being untreatable,” Steven Roach, the food safety program director at the Food Animal Concerns Trust, said by phone. “It underscores the failure of both the federal government and Congress, and the industry, to get a grasp of the problem. We can’t continue to drag our feet on taking needed action.”
The Pennsylvania woman’s diagnosis occurred thanks to a system set up within the DOD after MCR was discovered. Since last fall, any E. coli that was already resistant to a family of drugs known as ESBLs (extended-spectrum beta-lactams), as hers was, has been sent up the chain to Walter Reed, to be scrutinized for colistin resistance. That kind of systematic checking for antibiotic resistance, known as active surveillance, is rare in the United States. Most civilian surveillance systems are patchy; they focus only on foodborne illnesses, or rely on physicians or labs to report diagnoses, or draw from a few state health departments with already well-funded labs.
“This shows how much we need comprehensive surveillance, so that things are not discovered by accident,” Bell said. The CDC recently received additional funding under the Obama Administration’s national strategy for antibiotic resistance that will allow it to begin to set up regional lab networks. “We’ll be able to identify things systematically, identify clusters and begin contact investigations quickly,” she said.
“The first known case of MCR-1 in a U.S. patient underscores the urgent need for better surveillance and stewardship programs to combat antibiotic resistance,” agreed Dr. David Hyun, an infectious-disease specialist who is a senior officer in a long-running antibiotic resistance project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
If there is any good news in the announcements of MCR’s appearance in the United States, it is that it has not, as yet, combined with other resistance genes into a completely untreatable organism. Bacteria acquire resistance genes like gamblers amassing a hand of cards, but the way the “cards” arrive is not step-wise—bad resistance, and then worse resistance, and then the worst—but randomly. What that means, in this case, is that the Pennsylvania E. coli possesses ESBL resistance (bad) and colistin resistance (worst)—but it remains susceptible to other intervening categories of drugs. (The stored pig sample has a yet different resistance pattern, colistin plus what is known as ASSuT, for the drug families represented by ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfas and tetracycline.)
But the random roulette of bacterial genetic recombination makes it more likely that an untreatable combination—of, for instance, colistin resistance plus carbapenem resistance, which the CDC has previously called “nightmare bacteria”—might occur. In fact, it already has occurred in patients in China, where MCR was first identified.
“We’re one step closer to carbapenem-resistant and colistin-resistant E. coli bumping into each other in someone’s gut,” Lance Price, a molecular biologist and the director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, said by phone. “It doesn’t matter in which direction the transfer takes place—if the carbapenem-resistant strain picks up colistin resistance, or if the colistin-resistant strain picks up carbapenem resistance. It’s double jeopardy.”
Once bacteria begin to collect resistance to multiple families of antibiotics, the speed and direction of their spread becomes hard to predict, because using any of the antibiotics to which they are resistant allows them to increase in number. (Not because the drugs affect the resistant bugs—they don’t—but because they kill susceptible organisms nearby, freeing up additional living space and food.) That makes it crucial to create surveillance systems that can identify them early.
The Department of Defense system that detected the Pennsylvania organism is a model for how surveillance ought to be carried out, Price said: “We need active surveillance for multi-drug resistant or high-priority resistant organisms, in animals and people, throughout the U.S.” (Contributor: By Maryn McKenna for National Geographic)
Those who do research and those who report in this field have been telling us for several years that some sort of “crisis time” is coming with the growing cycle of resistance between the so-called “super bugs” and the increasingly powerful drugs to fight such infestations. Intercessors, please pray for providential mercy toward our country. Pray for a nationwide turning back to God.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
5 SURPRISING INSIGHTS ON THE SUPREME COURT'S UPCOMING ABORTION CASE
One current Supreme Court case stands at the center of the abortion debate in America — Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a legal challenge brought by Texas abortion providers claiming state safety regulations of abortion centers are "unconstitutional."
State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, who authored the Texas pro-life law under scrutiny, has seen conflict erupt nationally over what she calls "common sense medical safety standards." On May 16, Laubenberg briefed the national prayer coalition Texas Loves Life via conference call.
"The coalition Texas Loves Life exists solely to pray for the Supreme Court, believing for life to be upheld as the court considers this important Texas pro-life law," says Matt Lockett of Bound4LIFE International. "We are thrilled to have Representative Laubenberg share her considerable expertise with people of faith who stand on the power of prayer."
Recent coalition conference calls, primarily featuring pro-life leaders in Texas, are available online and reveal surprising insights into this ongoing court case.
- According to a leading survey, the Texas law has saved 40,000 lives since enacted.
Formerly an abortion clinic director, Carol Everett now serves as president of The Heidi Group — one of the state's largest pregnancy care center networks.
"We recently surveyed our network of 183 life-affirming pregnancy centers in Texas, who reported increases as high as 300 percent of women using our ultrasound and other services," said Everett.
She continued, "Working from that detailed survey, we estimate at least 40,000 lives have been saved in Texas since HB 2 was enacted in 2013."
- This case is about whether the abortion industry should have any regulations.
Recognizing the importance of this case, 174 members of the U.S. Congress signed on to an amicus brief in support of the Texas pro-life law. Zach West, legal counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and lead author of the brief, addressed pro-life prayer leaders on one of the first calls.
"This is the first case in about ten years that is significant to abortion policy; the last major case was in 2007," reported West. "We're going to see if the Supreme Court is actually serious in the language it has used in the past, indicating that the abortion industry is not free and immune from health regulations."
West summed up the key question before the Supreme Court: "Can the abortion industry be regulated, or are they untouchable? This law isn't asking very much. The state legislature should be able to determine whether abortion providers are excepted from health laws that protect women."
- Planned Parenthood has been staging events in Texas to sway public opinion.
Paul Nelson, who leads a weekly pro-life prayer gathering at the World Prayer Center in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, relayed headlines he has seen in Texas media on the latest conference call.
"Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, has not backed down at all. She has been here in Texas, stirring up people to try to shift public opinion against this pro-life law. She has been working hard on behalf of the views she holds," said Nelson.
News accounts confirm a recent San Antonio rally benefiting Planned Parenthood, as well as several interviews Richards has provided to Texas-based media outlets.
Nelson also noted: "I'm thankful for Bound4LIFE, which rallied us back into formation to pray for this case. The battle is not over."
- Clinics have shut down because they chose economic benefit over patient safety.
"All the way up to the Supreme Court, pro-abortion groups are challenging these basic health and safety standards," recounted Nicole Hudgens, policy analyst for state-based group Texas Values, referring to the battle over HB 2.
"The real reason why abortion clinics are shutting down in Texas is because the clinics and the abortionists are choosing economic benefit over women's health and safety," she stated.
Hudgens continued, "We care about the child in the womb, but we also care about the mother who is carrying that child. That's why this law is so important. We at Texas Values know this law, fully enacted, will help prevent another woman from dying in a sub-standard abortion facility."
- Once before, Justice Kennedy changed his vote at the last minute on a crucial case.
Allan Parker, President of The Justice Foundation, recalled 1992 abortion policy case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, saying, "Shortly after oral argument, the justices meet again together and take a preliminary vote. On that day in 1992, Justice Anthony Kennedy initially voted with the majority to reverse Roe v. Wade and eliminate abortion as a constitutional right."
"After the vote is taken, then the justices begin to write their opinions. This is the phase that the current court is in," Parker continued. "The judges are free to change their minds; something in the written documents may alter their thinking or discussion of the justices may lead to consensus."
About the 1992 case, Parker concluded, "Several months after Casey was argued, Justice Kennedy changed his mind. He did not go back all the way to upholding abortion as an absolute right — which is actually what they're asking him to do in this case, to strike down all state regulations on abortion. Kennedy changed, and all of the justices are allowed to do that until the decision is announced."
The eight Supreme Court justices continue to deliberate this case, with a decision expected to be released by the end of June. National pro-life and prayer groups have participated in the Texas Loves Life coalition, including 40 Days for Life, Students for Life of America and United Cry. (Contributor: By Josh M. Shepherd for Christian Post)
The prayer focus here is clear to us all. We are grateful for the tenacity of many intercessors who have pledged before God that they will not stop praying until the scourge of abortion is seen for what it is. The truth is a reality that so many refuse to face, that “abortion stops a beating heart” and that “the ‘fetus’ is a child, not a choice.” Please continue to intercede.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa. 55:6-7)
OFFICIALS IN 12 STATES TO SUE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Officials in 12 states, including Texas, say they will sue the White House over its new transgender directive in schools, once again pitting the Lone Star State against an administration they have relished fighting.
Three individual school districts and a number of states joined Texas' federal lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and obtained by CNN. Joining Texas are Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. Two school districts in Arizona, one school district in Texas and Maine Gov. Paul LePage are also listed as plaintiffs.
Mississippi intends to join the other states in suing the White House, Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state's attorney general, Ken Paxton, would challenge the controversial order, which tells school district to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. No other details were immediately available Wednesday about the number of states joining in on the suit. Abbott announced the litigation in a tweet.
Abbott, a former state attorney general himself, has made his lawsuits against the Obama administration a touchstone of his political profile. The state is currently awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration.
Obama has defended the directive as a measure to prevent bullying for "vulnerable" students.
"I think that is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are loved, and protected, and their dignity is affirmed," he told BuzzFeed News in an interview last week.
The nonbinding guidance was distributed jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice earlier this month. (Contributor: By Theodore Schleifer for CNN)
We continue to follow this story with heart-felt prayers. We touched on it last week, and the momentum continues. May God grant mercy and give persevering grace to these state officials as they seek to overturn this push by President Obama and his administration to force an “unnatural” blurring of sexual and gender identity on schools. Intercede that this momentum be reversed.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20)
ZIKA FEARS PROMPT 125 PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS TO CALL FOR OLYMPICS TO BE MOVED FROM RIO
A group of 125 prominent scientists, doctors and medical ethicists released a letter calling for this summer's Olympic Games to be postponed or moved from Rio de Janeiro due to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.
In a letter directed to World Health Organization Director Dr. Margaret Chan, the group said that new findings about the Zika virus should result in the games being moved or postponed to safeguard the thousands of athletes, staff and reporters scheduled to attend the games.
"Currently, many athletes, delegations, and journalists are struggling with the decision of whether to participate in the Rio 2016 Games," the group wrote. "We agree with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommendation that workers should 'Consider delaying travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission'. If that advice were followed uniformly, no athlete would have to choose between risking disease and participating in a competition that many have trained for their whole lives."
New information about the Zika virus was cited by the group in the letter as an additional reason to postpone or move the games. The disease has been found to cause the birth defect microcephaly in pregnant women and has also been linked to an immunological reaction called Guillain-Barré syndrome.
"That while Zika’s risk to any single individual is low, the risk to a population is undeniably high. Currently, Brazil’s government reports 120,000 probable Zika cases, and 1,300 confirmed cases of microcephaly (with another 3,300 under investigation), which is above the historical level of microcephaly," the group said.
The group of experts also pointed out that current mosquito-killing programs in Rio were ineffective and that when they looked at dengue fever, which is spread by the same mosquitoes that spread Zika virus, the infections were up markedly in 2016 compared to the previous two years.
The group also claimed the WHO had a conflict of interest due to a decades-long partnership with the International Olympic Committee and said previous statements by WHO officials have been "troubling."
"To prejudge that 'there's not going to be a lot of problems,' before reviewing this evidence [on Zika virus effects] is extremely inappropriate of WHO, and suggests that a change in leadership may be required to restore WHO's credibility," the group wrote.
The WHO and the International Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.
Art Caplan, director of the NYU Division of Medical Ethics and co-author of the letter, told ABC News that the group was not alleging any wrongdoing by the WHO or IOC but wanted to bring up these issues to spark a dialogue about the risks involved and encourage health officials unrelated to the Olympics to weigh in.
"What we’re really focused on is can we have transparent, open, frank, televised, out-in-the-open discussion with experts" unconnected to the Olympics, Caplan said. "We think WHO is close to the IOC. ... They work together a lot."
The big fear, Caplan said, is that the giant sporting event will enable the transmission of the virus through infected travelers to other parts of the globe that have yet to be affected by the disease.
"We’re worried about bringing the mosquito back to places it isn’t, like India," Caplan aid. "You have people who will be infected and ... there are people literally coming from everywhere."
Earlier this month, the director of the WHO addressed Zika virus fears amid the Olympics, saying the WHO would not call for the games to be moved but that they were using a "targeted approach" to decrease transmission and warning those most at risk not to visit the country.
"I do share the concern of some athletes and travelers and, as I said, it is very much an individual decision," Chan said at the time. "The role of WHO is to provide them with support so they can make the right decision." (Contributor: By Gillian Mohoney for ABC News)
Because of the planning and hosting the summer Olympic Games, there will be strong resistance to a change of venue from Rio de Janeiro. But the Zika virus is a genuine threat and international travel for the Games will expedite its spread. Pray for individuals involved and governments to make wise decisions to prevent an international epidemic. We need God’s mercy to prevail and protect us all.
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts….” (Ps. 95: 6-8)
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DEFY ATHEISTS, RECITE LORD'S PRAYER AT GRADUATION
It was the best kept secret in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Just moments before the graduation ceremony at East Liverpool High School on Sunday, the senior class gathered in a nearby auditorium. Together, they decided to do something that would make national headlines.
The week before students learned they would no longer be allowed to perform “The Lord’s Prayer” – a graduation tradition dating back some 70 years.
The school district banned the song after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that “The Lord’s Prayer” violated the U.S. Constitution and promoted religion.”
Fearing a possible lawsuit, the district dropped the tradition – which seemed to appease the group of perpetually-offended atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers from Wisconsin. You can read more about these loathsome bullies in my best-selling book “God Less America.”
The school district’s decision devastated the entire community -- especially students in the high school’s esteemed music program.
“It breaks my heart,” choir director Lisa Ensinger told me. “Our students are really sad.”
It appeared a cherished tradition would be eradicated to satisfy the bloodlust of a bunch of out-of-town bullies.
And that brings me back to the senior class – gathered in that room last Sunday. They were lining up to march when some of them began talking about that long time tradition – now outlawed.
“Pretty much everyone was in agreement,” senior Bobby Hill told me.
The graduating class had decided to defy the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“The class thought it was wrong that we were being forced to remove it,” Bobby said.
Bobby’s father was sitting in the bleachers inside the gymnasium when he received a text message from his son.
“He told me when and how they were going to do it,” Mr. Hill told me. “I was thrilled to find out.”
Just after the valedictorian welcomed the crowd, the seniors stood to their feet and began committing an act of disobedience.
“Our Father which art in Heaven…”
“I was very proud to see the youth, our future leaders, decide to stand up for what they believed in,” Mr. Hill said. “I can’t lie—I teared up.”
It was an emotional moment – a poignant example of Americans standing up for what they know to be true – for what they know to be right.
“I’ve always taught my two boys to stand up for what you believe is right,” Mr. Hill said. “The same lesson my parents taught me. It doesn’t matter if it’s over religion or something else – take a stand.”
Technically, the graduation class did not break any rules. They were ordered not to sing “The Lord’s Prayer.” The school district did not say anything about reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin those meddling menaces from the Freedom From Religion Foundation are muttering under the breath, “Curses, foiled again.” (Contributor: By Todd Starnes for Fox News - Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations.)
This is a “good news” story about some students with righteous convictions. Give thanks for this class of high school graduates who would not be silenced. God’s Word is powerful, and He will reward their determination to recite the traditional “Lord’s Prayer” even in the face of atheistic intimidation. Pray that this account will inspire others to stand up for their freedoms.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CO-OPTS STATE LEGISLATURE TO SUPPRESS FREE SPEECH
Planned Parenthood is sponsoring legislation in California to criminalize the publication of evidence of its business practices, which include harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.
Assembly Bill 1671 would make it a crime to publish confidential conversations with health care providers—even if those conversations disclose criminal activity. Moreover, the bill includes volunteers and independent contractors of abortion clinics as "health care providers." This means anyone who posts a photo or video of an interaction with an abortion clinic employee or volunteer—including clinic escorts—could be prosecuted under the bill. AB 1671 provides for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and one year in state prison.
Legislative analysts expressed concern that the bill would violate the First Amendment, which "gives the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in democracy." The U.S. Supreme Court has held that "prior restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights."
The original, broader version of the bill, which did not single out health care providers for protection, drew opposition from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and animal rights activists. After the bill was amended to more specifically target anti-abortion investigative activities, these groups withdrew their opposition. Neither the ACLU nor any other civil liberties or journalism organization has voiced opposition.
AB 1671 is a direct attack on the efforts of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress to expose Planned Parenthood's illegal practice of selling fetal body parts for profit. Since the release of Daleiden's videos, eleven states have voted to defund the nation's largest abortion provider.
"California legislators are willing to trample on the right to free speech to protect Planned Parenthood's financial interests," said Alexandra Snyder, Life Legal Defense Foundation's Executive Director. "AB 1671 violates the First Amendment rights of all Californians and we urge legislators to oppose this unconstitutional bill."
AB 1671 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday (May 26, 2016) and appears to be headed to the Assembly floor for a vote. (Contributor: By Alexandra Snyder for Christian Newswire)
Pray against this assault on free speech and truth. Christians preach and teach the Gospel of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. But the Gospel also presents the truth of God’s wrath and judgment on all who will not repent of their sins. Planned Parenthood seeks here to rob the citizens of California of God-given rights. This is dictatorship in the making. Please intercede.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.” (Eph. 5:6-7 NIV)
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: WE NEED MORE DANIELS
Evangelist Franklin Graham is proclaiming that the time has come for Christians to see America as their mission field and stand up like the Old Testament prophet, Daniel, did for God’s Truth — and shine His light in an increasingly godless nation.
When the son of the iconic world evangelist, Billy Graham, spoke to a crowd from the steps of the North Dakota State Capitol during his 26th stop on the Decision America Tour in Bismarck, he expressed a grave concern about the next generation of Americans.
"Daniel, in the Bible, lived in one of the most heathen, pagan countries in the world, but became prime minister under seven kings and two empires," the younger Graham shared. "We need Daniels today."
It starts with the youth
Spreading the Old Testament message from the book of Daniel to her students, 7th-grade Bible teacher Lois Johnson from Williston Trinity Christian School, has made it a mission to raise “Daniels” in her classes so that they will “stand up and stand out in a secular society.”
"I just see the need for prayer in our country," said Johnson, who drove four hours to attend the event sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). "I thought it was a great opportunity for our students to experience this, especially since it's such a pivotal year in America."
When others on campus heard that Johnson was going across the state to attend the event, her entire middle school decided to make it a field trip —including many parents and Williston Trinity Christian School Principal Cory Fleck.
"It is very special — in our country — to have this opportunity," expressed Fleck, who joined 3,100 other North Dakotans at the Decision America Tour. "We are also aware that these freedoms could be taken away from us. I think that's why I felt the importance to come here. And if the students don't understand their rights as Americans — and as Christians — we'll be overrun, eventually."
Counting our blessings
Angela Nible, who teaches social studies at Williston, said that it was important for her students to attend a public prayer rally so they could experience exercising their religious freedom as Americans and learn to appreciate how blessed they — and their parents — are to be able to choose a Christian education.
"It's so important to have educational options — whether it's public school, Christian school or homeschool," Nible stressed. "And to be able to come together like this and meet with the whole family of God is a freedom I don't take for granted. I hope this freedom continues. It's really important."
Traci Shirk — a colleague of Johnson, Fleck and Nible at the Christian middle school — shared that the prayer rally served as a reminder to students that the only reason why America is free and blessed is because of God.
"We talk a lot about politics and we study the history of our country, but we as Christians need to define who we are —our founding fathers were Christians,” Shirk explained. "We need to speak up and remind [the students] that our country is founded on faith and that's what will keep us strong — and that's what will keep our country blessed. These students need to experience what it's like to pray for our country, represent our country and have a voice for our country and our God."
Setting the standard
As Billy Graham comes closer to his 100 birthday, 5th and 6th grade Bible teacher Andrea Black pointed out the timely nature of the BGEA event in getting students better acquainted with the acclaimed evangelist’s — and the significance of his ministry over the decades throughout the world.
"I have talked about Billy Graham in class, and I explain to the students that he has lived an uncompromised life of ministry," Black shared. "When someone can live that long and not compromise, we should listen to what he has to say. And now, to see his son here carrying on that legacy is a wonderful thing."
Black sees Billy and Franklin Graham as role models for Christian youth —and she longs for her students to become more than modern-day Daniels — she wants them to become champions of faithfulness and Christian beacons for posterity.
"I want them to understand [that] their parents have put them in a Christian school because it's important to them," Black impressed. "It's up to them to carry on that legacy to the next generation." (Contributor: By Michael F. Haverluck for One News Now)
IFA’s leadership has watched Franklin Graham emerge with God’s distinctive favor and grace as a trusted prophetic voice for truth across America. We urge persistent intercession for God’s protection and guidance for Mr. Graham as he speaks to the youth of their opportunity to stand as “modern-day Daniels.” Give thanks for the Graham family, and pray for a national turning back to God.
“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus….” (Acts 5:29-30)