Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, Fairview Baptist Church Pastor Tim Stephens was cleared of all charges for inviting his congregation to worship despite government lockdowns. The Supreme Court heard two cases that could end affirmative action in college admissions. Meanwhile, NPR drew shock and backlash by playing audio from an actual abortion.
Pastor Tim Stephens Acquitted for Defying Canadian Tyrants
“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church was acquitted on all personal charges brought by his decision to breach public health edicts in Alberta, Canada, and open his church for Sunday morning worship.
Stephens was arrested on two separate occasions last year, charged with six provincial tickets, and forced to spend twenty-one days in jail for his alleged breaches of public health mandates. The Provincial Court of Alberta dropped the final two outstanding tickets against Stephens, according to a statement from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
“This is vindication, not only for me, but vindication that the government grossly abused their power,” Stephens commented on social media. “In all of this, I rejoice since the gospel of Jesus Christ went forth in power, and Christ built his church. All glory to God!”
Officials in Alberta, who have since apologized following local and international backlash against the decision to sanction ministers of the gospel, appear to have backed down from lockdown regimes, although the national government continues to enforce federal health mandates.
Supreme Court Poised to End Affirmative Action
“You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15).
The Supreme Court considered two cases, one against the University of North Carolina and the other against Harvard University, that will likely end colleges’ use of affirmative action in admissions processes.
Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and other conservative-leaning members of the Supreme Court grilled counselors for the universities on whether discriminating against Asian-American students on behalf of African-Americans and Hispanics truly increased the learning experiences at their institutions. Clarence Thomas noted that the term “diversity” seems to “mean everything for everyone,” according to a transcript published by the Supreme Court.
Color Us United President Kenny Xu, one of the activists who persuaded residents of California to overwhelmingly reject a ballot measure that would have returned affirmative action to the state, said during an interview with The Daily Wire that race-conscious admissions violate “two sacrosanct principles” of the American experiment.
“The first is, don’t treat anybody by your race. You should be treated by the content of your character, not the color of your skin,” he remarked. “The second is meritocracy as the basis for the American dream. That is why immigrants come to this country: because they believe that they’re not going to be treated on the basis of their background. Because this is a land of opportunity, and we will have a chance to work hard and make it in this country.”
NPR Broadcasts Audio from an Abortion
“I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech” (Leviticus 20:3).
NPR drew criticism for playing audio of an abortion, complete with the sound of doctors vacuuming an eleven-week-old child from the womb, in a segment about the midterm elections.
Doulas and nurses appeared to reassure the mother, who apparently consented to NPR recording audio of the murder, as she moaned and cried. Once a device evacuated the mother’s womb of the baby, the staff members congratulated the mother, while some appeared to offer lighthearted laughter. The mother of the aborted child offered her thanks.
The issue of abortion has been central to pundits’ forecasts for the upcoming midterm elections, since Democrats are hoping for high turnout following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this year. Planned Parenthood has raised more than $20 million in the current election cycle, according to an analysis of federal data by watchdog group OpenSecrets.
Americans are broadly resistant to the notion that abortion should be abolished. Only 8% of the population believe that the procedure should be illegal without exception or compromise, according to data from Pew Research Center.