Weekly Review

Pro-life and Pro-death, Asia Bibi update, Freddie Mercury, Sophie Scholl, and John Quincy Adams

Life and Death. A survey released in mid-February by Americans United for Life (AUL) said 53 percent of Americans call themselves “pro-choice.” Just 47 call themselves pro-life. Still, 79 percent of Americans think it is unethical to abort a child in the third trimester, including 66 percent of Americans who identified as “pro-choice.” “This survey vividly reveals both the American people’s commonsense appreciation for the sanctity of life and the widespread horror, even among self-identified pro-choice Americans, of new laws like New York’s that effectively allow abortion up until the moment of delivery,” AUL President Catherine Glenn Foster told WORLD. “Planned Parenthood and elected officials like Gov. Cuomo who support abortions up to the point of birth are out of step with not only their supposed core constituents, but also our country’s essential tenets of life, liberty, and the opportunity to pursue happiness.”

In the States. In Tennessee, the state House and Senate are considering bills that protect the unborn from abortion throughout pregnancy. Rep. Susan Lynn, one of two sponsors for the bills, said the act “would restore constitutional protections for our unborn and for the women of Tennessee.” In Pennsylvania, a bill to safeguard children with a Down syndrome diagnosis from abortion is coming back to Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives. “Most of us know a family touched by a Down syndrome child and know that these children lead joyful and fulfilling lives,” Rep. Matt Dowling, a co-sponsor of the measure, wrote on his Facebook page. The bill died in the state Senate last year. On the other end of life, and of the ideological spectrum, New Jersey legislators are considering a bill that would allow patients given fewer than six months to live the option of self-administering doctor-prescribed drugs that would end their lives. It would be the eighth state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize assisted suicide.

Asia Bibi Update. The Asia Bibi case continues in flux. She’s the Pakistani Christian who was sentenced to death for blasphemy. After years in confinement, Pakistan’s Supreme Court said she could go free. She is now out of jail, but she is still in the country, and some fear her life is in danger. However, WORLD is reporting that Asia Bibi is not in solitary confinement or trapped. “She is in a comfortable and spacious location and is being well looked after,” said Shaan Taseer. Taseer is a credible source. His father, Salmaan Taseer, was governor of Punjab and assassinated in 2011 for coming to Bibi’s defense. He said Bibi’s defenders and local authorities are merely waiting for the right time to escort her to safety.

Academy Awards. The Oscar program takes place this Sunday night. Leading contenders for awards include “Vice,” a movie that got mixed reviews because of its anti-Republican propagandizing. Stephanie Zacharek of Time said “Vice” “turns Dick Cheney into a cartoon villain.” Also dragging down the Oscars is “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a movie that celebrates Freddie Mercury, who was part of a small group of gay men whose sexual profligacy played a key role in spreading the HIV virus during the 1980s, a critical time in the early spread of the disease. AIDS ultimately infected 90-million people and has so far killed 50-million. Given current Hollywood fare, it is tempting to simply ignore the Oscars and related awards shows. However, as we wrote in a BreakPoint commentary in 2016, we don’t call them “moving pictures” for nothing. Film is a great worldview and culture shaping force today, and we Christians need to understand why and how they share the way we and our neighbors think, believe, and behave.

Milestones. Sophie Scholl died on Feb. 22, 1943. That’s 76 years ago Friday. Motivated by her Christian faith, Sophie Scholl resisted the Nazis and paid for her activism with her life. The Nazis executed her by guillotine after convicting her of distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. For years, her story was mostly forgotten, but in the 1970s it became popular again in Germany, where she is today widely celebrated…. On Feb. 21, 1848, John Quincy Adams gave an anti-slavery speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, collapsed at his desk, and died two days later. Adams left behind 50 volumes of diaries, which have become a rich original resource for historians. In those diaries he often mentioned his daily Bible readings, as he had a longstanding practice of reading the Bible for an hour each day.


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