Weekly Review


Warren Cole Smith

The Family. The new NetFlix documentary series “The Family” profiles a group called The Fellowship, which hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. It mentions The Colson Center’s namesake, Chuck Colson, several times. Perhaps for that reason, a lot of people have asked what we think about it. My answer: not much. Megan Basham of WORLD has written the best review of the series I have so far seen. She says it “could have been an insightful exploration of the poisoning effects of secrecy and political power on faith. Instead, it contributes to the divisive age we live in by turning common failings into Da Vinci Code–style conspiracies and subtly suggesting evangelicalism itself is a threat to the nation.” Watch it if you must but read Megan Basham’s review first.

Transgender Investigation. Boys have been competing, and winning, as girls in a number of high school sports events. Now, as a result of complaints from parents, the U.S. Department of Education is investigating a Connecticut high school policy that allows transgender athletes to compete against the opposite biological sex. The families of three female high school track athletes filed a complaint with the help of the religious liberty organization Alliance Defending Freedom. The complaint says that allowing biological males into female competition costs the young women higher race finishes and potential college scholarships. The complaint also says the policy violates Title IX, a federal law that attempts to create equal opportunities for women and girls in education and sports.

Title X Funding.  New Title X regulations from the Trump Administration say that any organization receiving these taxpayer dollars cannot perform abortions or refer women to abortion providers. Planned Parenthood said Monday it would refuse funding rather than comply with the rules. Planned Parenthood had been receiving about $60 million per year in Title X funds. This development is good news, but these funds are only a fraction of the nearly $400-million in taxpayer funds Planned Parenthood receives each year. (Some say that number is much higher, exceeding $1-billion.) The hard truth is that more taxpayer money is paying for abortions this year, the third year of the Trump Administration, than in any single year during the Obama Administration. In 2018, Planned Parenthood performed 332,757 abortions, a 3.5 percent increase from the year before.

Assisted Suicide. A New Jersey judge blocked the enforcement of that state’s new “right-to-die” law. The Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act took effect on Aug. 1. However, because of a 15-day waiting period required by the law, no doctor-assisted suicides had taken place before it was challenged. A Jewish doctor, Yosef Glassman, filed suit, saying the law clashes with his religious beliefs and his medical obligation to heal people. If the law survives the challenge, New Jersey will become the ninth state (plus the District of Columbia) to allow assisted suicide.

Milestones. William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian whose Christian faith motivated him to campaign against the slave trade, was born this week (Aug. 24) in 1759….


Image: Netflix’s “The Family,” YouTube


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