Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—the landmark opinion that claimed a constitutional right to an abortion. The Presbyterian Church in America narrowly decided to block men openly identifying as homosexual from serving in church offices. Meanwhile, Toy Story spinoff Lightyear faceplanted at the box office after it included a lesbian kiss scene.
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5).
In its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—the 1973 opinion which purported that abortion is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The decision came nearly two months after Politico leaked Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion, which argued that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch on the decision to support Mississippi’s fifteen-week abortion ban, but he also sided with the Supreme Court’s progressive jurists on the question of overturning Roe.
The end of Roe v. Wade—which remained in effect for nearly 50 years—occurs only after the murder of over 60 million preborn babies.
Several Republican-led states saw their “trigger laws”—provisions attempting to ban abortion as soon as Roe is overturned—go into effect. These laws, however, vary in strength. Louisiana’s trigger law, for example, penalizes abortionists with $1,000 fines, even though animal cruelty is fined at up to $25,000, according to The Daily Wire.
As many progressive states continue to remove all restrictions on abortion, many conservative states—and American evangelicals—must now contend with the question of how to ensure equal protection under the law for all image-bearers of God.
PCA Bars Self-Professed Homosexuals from Church Office
“An overseer must be above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2).
The Presbyterian Church in America voted at their general assembly in Birmingham, Alabam, to disqualify men identifying as homosexual from holding church office.
The theologically conservative denomination has been grappling with the issue of homosexuality over the past several years—especially in light of advocacy from Greg Johnson, a Presbyterian minister who calls himself “gay” while remaining celibate and affirming biblical sexual morality. In 2019, however, the PCA approved the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Nashville Statement, which denies the notion that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception” is consistent with the gospel.
In this year’s meeting, the PCA adopted Overture 15, which says that “men who identify as homosexual, even those who identify as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy in that self-identification, are disqualified from holding office” in the denomination. Yet the measure narrowly passed, with 54% voting in the affirmative and 46% voting negatively.
The vote occurs days after other denominations—including the Southern Baptist Convention and the Christian Reformed Church—weighed measures meant to double down on biblical morality amid the winds of a shifting culture, with varying levels of success.
Lightyear Fizzles in the Box Office
“He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made” (Psalm 7:15).
Toy Story spinoff Lightyear had a poor opening weekend in the box office following news that Pixar intentionally included a same-sex kiss in the film.
Lightyear drastically missed projections by earning a meager $51 million during its opening weekend, despite relatively low competition from other children’s movies, according to Business Insider. Yet other flicks—such as Top Gun: Maverick—have managed to succeed in the post-lockdown box office.
Pixar, a Disney subsidiary, included the same-sex kiss between two females after the entertainment giant opposed a Florida bill banning classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity for young children. Chris Evans—the actor who voiced Buzz Lightyear—even characterized parents hesitant to show their children the movie as “idiots.”
“Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” Evans, who also played Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, told Reuters.
Earlier this year, Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau said in footage obtained by conservative journalist Christopher Rufo that she harbors a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” and desires more “queerness” in children’s programming.
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