Unintended Consequences. Supporters of President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration say it will make America safer. However, it is likely that it won’t help persecuted Christians around the world, or so says Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of church mobilization for World Relief. World Relief is one of nine refugee resettlement agencies working with the State Department. According to an article in WORLD, “Soerens . . . believes the methodology of the executive order actually will lower the number of Christian refugees allowed into the United States.” Soerens concludes: “For a lot of reasons, we don’t think this order will help protect persecuted Christians, and our Christian faith compels us to help others as well.” Others have noted that America’s actions could motivate other countries to expel Christian missionaries from their country.
BSA Still On Slippery Slope. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) says it will now admit transgender boys—that is, girls who self-identify as boys. The Associated Press reported Monday that “the organization’s leadership had considered a recent case in Secaucus, New Jersey, where an 8-year-old transgender child had been asked to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender. But the statement issued Monday said the change was made because of the larger conversation about gender identity going on around the country.” Zach Wahls, founder of the pro-homosexual group Scouts For Equality, called the decision “historic.” However, the AP story did not quote anyone opposed to the decision, even though this issue has been divisive in the BSA. In an e-mail to this writer, Mark Hancock, the CEO of Trail Life USA, a Christian alternative to Scouting, called the decision “tragic.”
First Combat Death on Trump’s Watch. William “Ryan” Owens died in combat in Yemen, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced Monday. Owens was a Chief Special Warfare Operator in the Navy SEALS. The 36-year-old died during a raid on an Al Qaeda position, the DoD said in a statement. He was from Illinois. According to Chicago’s WGNTV, “Three other troops were also injured, and 14 Al Qaeda fighters were reportedly killed in the firefight.” The raid was planned with the approval of President Obama, but the “green light” came from President Trump, making Owens’ death the first known combat fatality of his presidency. President Trump issued a statement following the death: “Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism. My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member.”
This Week in History. A few interesting things happened on this week in history. Robert Frost, one of the great American poets of the 20th century, died on Jan. 29, 1963. . . . Michael Martin Murphey’s “Wildfire” released on Feb. 1, 1975. The song went on to #1 on the charts and went on to sell 2 million copies. . . . Christian music pioneer Tom Howard died on Jan. 30, 2010. He produced, arranged, and played piano for Mark Heard, Daniel Amos, Michelle Tumes, Phil Keaggy, Sixpence None the Richer, and many more. . . .
Image copyright Boy Scouts of America.
Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.