Friday Church News and Notes

U.S. SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE  – On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that wrongly made abortion a constitutionally protected right and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion. The recent opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, says, “We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” Joining Alito were Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three are Trump appointees. More than 63 million unborn babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court’s decision (“State of Abortion 2022,” National Right to Life). Though pro-abortionists are having a conniption, the Supreme Court ruling fails to grant the unborn child constitutional protection and does not outlaw abortion. It simply leaves the matter up to the states. Currently, there will probably be abortion bans in about half of the states. The following states currently allow abortions through every stage of pregnancy: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia (until the third trimester), and Washington. The following states currently allow abortion, but have trigger laws that will ban abortion in the eventuality that Roe v. Wade is overturned: Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming. Some large corporations have announced that they will pay their employees to travel to other states for abortions (Fox Business, June 24, 2022). These include Airbnb, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Apple, Citigroup, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Disney, GoDaddy, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan, Levi Strauss, Lyft, Microsoft, Starbucks, Tesla, Yelp, and Uber.

MYTHS SURROUNDING ABORTION RIGHTS AND ROE V. WADE – The following is excerpted from “9 Myths,” Christian Headlines, June 24, 2022: “MYTH #1: ABORTION WAS A COMMON AND WIDELY ACCEPTED PRACTICE THROUGHOUT HISTORY. Truth: This inaccurate claim was repeated throughout the 1960s. The fact is that abortion was rare well into the 19th century. … If abortion is to be considered a common practice throughout history, the method was infanticide or abandonment. MYTH #2: ROE WAS BASED ON A CAREFUL INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTS. Truth: When Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were tried in the lower courts there were no trials, and the judges did not look at evidence. One of the attorneys even stated that ‘the facts don’t matter.’ … MYTH #3: WOMEN WERE DYING BY THE THOUSANDS BECAUSE OF BACK-ALLEY ABORTIONS. Truth: The number of maternal deaths from all causes was 780 in 1972 (down from 7,267 in 1942). Of the 780 maternal deaths, 140 were listed as “abortion deaths” by the National Center for Health Statistics, and included in this number were those deaths caused by spontaneous miscarriage. … MYTH #5: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FETUS WAS NEVER TREATED AS INFANTICIDE IN THE AMERICAN LEGAL TRADITION. Truth: Anglo-American law, in a tradition inherited from Roman law, had called the fetus an ‘unborn child’ or ‘child’ since at least the 1200s. In the 19th century statutes enacted in 17 states referred to the crime against an unborn child as ‘manslaughter,’ ‘murder,’ or ‘assault with intent to murder.’ Most of these statutes called the unborn child a ‘child,’ not a fetus or some term which could undermine the full personhood of the unborn. … MYTH #9: THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IS ANTI-WOMEN. Truth: Women are less supportive of abortion than men. According to a 2010 Rasmussen poll, 53 percent of women believe abortions are too easy to get, compared with 42 percent of men. Likewise, 58 percent of women believe abortion is morally wrong in most cases; 49 percent of men agree with the same statement.”

ABORTION INCREASING IN AMERICA  – The following is excerpted from “Long-Term Decline in US Abortions Reverses,” Guttmacher Institute, June 15, 2022: “The new data released by Guttmacher include several notable trends: (1) In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the United States, an 8% increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017. (2) Similarly, the abortion rate increased from 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2017 to 14.4 per 1,000 women, a 7% increase. (3) In 2020, about one in five pregnancies ended in abortion. More specifically, the abortion ratio (the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies) increased from 18.4% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2020, a 12% increase. (4) The increase in abortion was accompanied by a 6% decline in births between 2017 and 2020. Because there were many more births (3.6 million) than abortions (930,000) in 2020, these patterns mean that fewer people were getting pregnant and, among those who did, a larger proportion chose to have an abortion. (5) The number of abortions increased in all four regions of the country between 2017 and 2020. The rise was largest in the West (12% increase) and Midwest (10% increase); abortions increased 8% in the South and 2% in the Northeast.”

SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH WHO WAS FIRED FOR A POST-GAME PRAYER  – The following is excerpted from “High School Football Coach,” Fox News, June 27, 2022: “The Supreme Court handed a big win to a former Washington high school football coach who lost his job over reciting a prayer on the 50-yard line after games. The Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 6-3 decision … ‘Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress,’ Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the Court’s opinion. … ‘The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.’ Joe Kennedy was a junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach with the Bremerton School District in Washington from 2008 to 2015. He began the practice of reciting a post-game prayer by himself, but eventually students started joining him. According to court documents, this evolved into motivational speeches that included religious themes. After an opposing coach brought it to the principal’s attention, the school district told Kennedy to stop. He did, temporarily, then notified the school that he would resume the practice.”

TRANSGENDER “WOMEN” BANNED FROM INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING EVENTS – The following is excerpted from “Transgender Women,” Christian Headlines, June 20, 2022: “Three months after a transgender athlete won an NCAA title, the international organization that oversees swimming competitions on Sunday approved new rules prohibiting biological males from competing in women’s competitions if they have gone through male puberty. The International Swimming Federation, known worldwide as FINA, approved the new policy with 71.5 percent of the vote. It will prohibit swimmers such as Penn’s Lia Thomas from competing in international competitions–including the Olympics–and from being eligible for world records. Thomas, in March, became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA championship with a dominant performance in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Thomas previously swam for Penn as a man. The new FINA rules prohibit transgender athletes from swimming in women’s competitions if they transitioned after the age of 12. FINA says it will work toward establishing an ‘open’ category for swimmers who are transgender women. Male to female transgender athletes may only compete in FINA meets if they ‘can establish they have not experienced any part of male puberty,’ said FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki. FINA cited studies showing that males have a ‘relative performance advantage over biological females.’ ‘A biological female athlete cannot overcome that advantage through training or nutrition,’ FINA said. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic said male-to-female transgender athletes maintain their advantage even after taking hormone suppressors.”

THE COMMUNICATING FIREFLY  – The following is from, April 22, 2022: “There are more than 200 species of fireflies around the world. Almost everyone has seen these small insects flying about or sitting in the grass. On dark summer nights they can be seen flashing their lights like ships far out at sea. As they flash, they are communicating very specific messages to one another. The light created by fireflies is called cold light because it is produced without creating any heat. To make a flash, the firefly must make and mix a chemical called luciferin with oxygen and an enzyme called luciferase. This mixture is combined with a catalyst to create the flashes of light. The result is a method of producing light that is far more efficient than any source of light in your home. A relatively tiny amount of energy creates a generous amount of light. Fireflies do not make light so they can read a book. Their flashes are used for finding a mate. Fireflies are able to read the light signals of other fireflies. These signals may contain several messages. Some flashes can tell a firefly whether the sender is one of his species. Light flashes are used to identify whether the sender is a male or female. If it’s a female, the flashes can identify whether she has already mated. This is another example of the unlimited creativity and extravagance of our Creator God. The same beauty of the firefly that creates wonder in the child should also fill us with wonder at the limitless imagination of God. Author: Paul A. Bartz.”

CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).