Ark. Children’s Hospital Voices Concerns About Issue 4
Arkansas Children’s Hospital joins a growing list of organizations that have expressed concerns about Issue 4, the amendment to legalize marijuana in Arkansas.
In a statement, Arkansas Children’s Hospital said, “Preventing injury and illness is at the heart of safeguarding child health. Our first responsibility, as parents and caregivers, should be to our children — because they rely on us to keep them safe and well. Marijuana policies are no different. We must be careful, thoughtful and keep our children in mind. Various states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. These changes coincide with a decrease in the perceived harmfulness of the drug and an increase in its use among youth. Even with age restrictions, any policy that leads to increased adult use of marijuana is likely to lead to increased adolescent use, despite attempts to restrict sales to underage youth. This is of critical concern because of the potentially harmful impact of marijuana exposure on children and adolescents.”
Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s concerns about Issue 4 echo concerns that other Arkansans have raised about marijuana legalization. A 2020 study published in JAMA Network Open found that more than 1 in 8 teen drivers reported recently driving after using marijuana, and teens were more than twice as likely to drive after using marijuana than they were to drink and drive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the CDC report that after alcohol, marijuana is the substance most often associated with impaired driving. In Colorado, traffic fatalities where the driver tested positive for marijuana have increased by 138% since the state legalized marijuana in 2013. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Washington doubled after the state legalized marijuana. (familycouncil.org)
Abortions Drop 6% In
Two Months After Dobbs
A new report in the New York Times shows abortions quickly declined after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. In just the first two months after the Dobbs decision in late June, abortions had already dropped 6% as more than 10,000 babies were saved from abortion.
“Thirteen states banned or severely restricted abortion during those months, mostly in the South, and legal abortions in those states fell to close to zero, according to detailed estimates made by a consortium of academics and abortion providers,” the report said. “Nine more states added major abortion restrictions, and legal abortions in those states fell by a third. In states with bans and restrictions, there were about 22,000 fewer abortions in July and August, compared with the baseline of April, before the decision.”
That 22,000 decline in the number of babies killed was more than enough to offset the increase of 12,000 abortions in blue states that advertised abortions to women in pro-life states that protect women and children.
While the CDC and state health departments are notoriously slow to report abortion data, the new statistics come from a pro-abortion group that gets its information directly from abortion businesses, which makes it quicker to compile and possibly more accurate. (lifenews.com)
Canadian Bill Would Allow Doctors to Euthanize Patients Without Consent
Senator Pamela Wallin, who strongly supports euthanasia, known as Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in Canada, introduced Bill S-248: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), to permit involuntary euthanasia (MAiD) by advanced directive when a person is not capable of consenting to be killed.
When Canada legalized euthanasia (Bill C-14) in 2016, it specifically created an exception to homicide in the Criminal Code. S-248 would amend the Criminal Code by creating another exception — enabling a person to sign a contract so that, if a person loses the ability to request or consent, a medical or nurse practitioner can still “administer a substance to a person to cause their death.” Bill S-248 also enables the person to include in the contract a specific date and time that they have chosen to be administered a substance to cause their death.
Bill S-248 and the recent push by the Quebec College of Physicians to approve infant euthanasia, undermine that a person needs to be able to request or consent to euthanasia. (lifenews.com)
After Court Win,
Coach to Be Reinstated
A high school football coach whose right to pray at midfield following games was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court after he was removed from his job is to be reinstated by next spring.
In a 6-3 opinion in June, the high court ruled Joseph Kennedy did not violate the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion with his post-game prayers. Instead, the justices decided the Bremerton (Wash.) School District actually violated his First Amendment rights by removing him as a coach because of its concerns his practice infringed on the Establishment Clause.
In a joint filing on Oct. 25 in state court, lawyers for Kennedy and the school district said the coach “is to be reinstated to his previous position as assistant coach of the Bremerton High School football team on or before March 15, 2023.”
A spokeswoman for the school district told ABC News that areas remain “where there are still questions” between the sides as to how Kennedy’s prayers will be accommodated in keeping with the high court’s decision.
In the court’s opinion, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, 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 religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”
Joining Gorsuch in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a dissenting opinion that was endorsed by Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. (baptistpress.com)
Majority Believe US Meant To Be a Christian Nation
Close to half of Americans (45%) believe the U.S. ought to be a “Christian nation,” according to new data collected by the Pew Research Center.
Interestingly, a clear majority of those surveyed (60%) believe the U.S. was, in fact, intended to be a Christian country. However, only 33% of respondents said the U.S. remains so today.
The data also revealed that about half of Americans (47%) think Scripture should have “a great deal” or “some” influence on U.S. laws. And 27% of survey participants said, if the law and the Bible conflict, Scripture “should have more influence than the will of the people.”
Of those who believe the U.S. should be a Christian nation, 78% said the Bible “should have a great deal or some influence on U.S. laws.” Interestingly, 21% said Scripture should have “little or no influence.”
The new data comes as debate swirls over the ambiguous definition of “Christian nationalism.” Dr. Michael Brown, a Christian apologist, recently spoke with CBN’s Faithwire about the oft-divisive topic, explaining that, in his view, “there’s a healthy Christian nationalism, there’s an unhealthy Christian nationalism and there’s the boogie man Christian nationalism that the left has kind of exaggerated.”
“Healthy Christian nationalism would be, ‘I love Jesus and I love my country. Our country has strong Christian roots. Let’s recover those because that’s in the best interest of the country,’” he said, noting he doesn’t see “a contradiction between loving America and being a Christian.” Brown went on to explain, however, that such a perspective becomes unhealthy and dangerous if people begin to combine their American and Christian identities.
“Unhealthy Christian nationalism… is the merging of American identity with Christian identity,” he explained. “The idea that America is kind of like ancient Israel, with a special covenant with God; and, therefore, we must be Christian, that it’s a certain destiny and that… you want to make Christianity the religion of the nation.”
That “blurring of politics with the gospel” can become problematic, he elaborated. “When the things get blurred — the kingdom of God gets too mingled with the kingdom of the world — that’s a concern,” said Brown. “The moment we forget that America is a fallen nation like every other nation and that the church is God’s people in the midst of the nation and the midst of all nations — the moment we forget that and think of America as somehow equaling the kingdom of God, or that God will uniquely back America because America’s ‘a Christian nation’ — that’s where we lose our perspective.” (faithwire.com)