On this week's edition of "The 3", pro-life advocates stood together against some alarming business practices of Planned Parenthood, as well as its enormous amount of taxpayer funding. Also, the Super Bowl gave Christian athletes a chance to be in the spotlight and to testify to their relationship with Christ. And, finally, in our top slot, the National Prayer Breakfast featured the President and other addressing matters of faith.
3 - New undercover Planned Parenthood videos show complicity with trafficking
The hard-working young people at Live Action are at it again, revealing potentially damaging information about the nation's largest abortion provider, which receives millions of dollars per year in taxpayer dollars. In the latest undercover videos from Live Action, one clinic manager in New Jersey and one clinic employee in Virginia are shown aiding individuals involved in sex trafficking, who are attempting to arrange abortions, STD testing, and contraception for their underage clients. After initially calling the New Jersey video a "hoax", Planned Parenthood fired the New Jersey manager seen on the video. Here is the story from the Live Action website on the situation there.
Here is the story on the Virginia undercover videos.
Already, there is a campaign in Congress to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving over $350 million annually in tax dollars. Here is a story from Fox News about this effort, which is supported by a host of pro-life, pro-family organizations.
This new series of videos shows the corruption that surrounds the abortion industry. In addition to the participation in this heinous procedure of taking an unborn human life, abortion clinics operate without the type of regulation that is found in other medical facilities, and, as the Live Action videos have shown not only now, but in the past, are potentially involved in questionable, even illegal activity.
2 - Super Bowl offers opportunity to showcase faith
With the Super Bowl coming up in just a few hours as this blog is being composed, I want to highlight the opportunities that Christian players have had this week to share their stories of faith. During the media events, players are asked a variety of questions, and the faith perspective is one that frequently emerges.
Take, for instance, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Baptist Press quotes Rodgers as saying that he tries to follow the example of Jesus, "leading by example". Here is a feature story on Rodgers' faith journey. Rodgers takes his leadership role very seriously, and apparently depends on the Lord to direct his path. Other Packer players who have a strong faith story include wide receiver Donald Driver, who was a finalist for the FCA's Bart Starr Award (which was won by New Orleans QB Drew Brees), and Ryan Pickett, who was a spokesman for a noted anti-pornography campaign that is being observed in churches across America today.
Veteran coach Dom Capers, who is now a Packers assistant after serving as a head coach in the NFL, is also someone who emphasizes the importance of faith, as this Baptist Press piece points out.
On the Steelers sideline, Christian leadership can be found in the persons of Head Coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Here is a profile from Baptist Press.
Other Steelers who embrace faith in Christ include offensive lineman Tony Hills, who was baptized at the Steelers' practice facility earlier this year, and punter Daniel Sepulveda, who is featured in the high-profile "I Am Second" campaign. More on Steelers' players who embrace faith in Christ can be found in this Baptist Press article.
The Super Bowl gives an enormous platform for Christian players, who are, like their teammates, scrutinized by a host of media outlets. Fortunately, the subject of personal faith is not one that is off-limits, so inspiring quotes abound on the subject, which can be inspirational for all football fans, including young people who look up to these individuals as role models.
However, the faith message is apparently not one that is acceptable to the people at Fox Sports, who rejected an ad by the Fixed Point Foundation of Birmingham, AL, that has as its centerpiece the verse, John 3:16. Here is a New York Times report on the ad, which promotes the Foundation's "Lookup 3:16" campaign. The spot will reportedly be placed locally in some markets, including Birmingham. Check out www.lookup316.com for specifics on the campaign and to view the commercial.
1 - National Prayer Breakfast features President Obama, others
This week's National Prayer Breakfast again featured President Obama, attempting to enunciate his own personal faith amidst the national perception that he could be a Muslim, and the evaluation that his policies are not consistent with evangelical Christianity. The President encouraged attendees to use their faith as a foundation for greater civility, and talked about how his faith had been strengthened over the past 2 years. Here is a report from the Kansas City Star. Obama also mentioned the Tucson shootings and the turbulent situation in Egypt.
In fact, astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was critically wounded at the Tucson incident, gave the closing prayer, issuing the hope that perhaps good would come out of the tragedy. He also expressed his faith in God, the Creator, as he has had the opportunity to see Earth from aboard a spaceship on 3 occasions. Here is a story from CNN's "Belief Blog".
Also at the National Prayer Breakfast, one of the rescued Chilean miners, Jose Henriquez, talked about how faith inspired and galvanized those trapped underground, and how they were encouraged by the Bibles that were delivered through the supply tubes into the mine shaft. Again, here is some material from the CNN "Belief Blog".
These and similar events serve to remind us of the deep thread of faith that is present in our national consciousness. In these times, where some individuals and organizations are attempting to minimize or eradicate the rich faith tradition we enjoy as Americans, this was an event that reinforces the faith element that has been present and foundational since the formation of our nation.