Weekly Review

David Daleiden Wins, Pakistan Honors Christian Leader, The Vatican Gets Two Gingriches, and Remembering Wilberforce


Warren Cole Smith

Pro-Life Victory. Pro-life activist David Daleiden won another legal battle last week. According to Fox News, Daleiden “won an appeal in a federal court against a group of research lab employees from the University of Washington and abortion facility personnel who were seeking to have their names redacted from public documents about their work.” The employees had sued Daleiden, saying his undercover videos might subject them to harassment. However, a three-judge panel unanimously agreed that the employees suing Daleiden must be public in their accusations. Daleiden and an associate, Sandra Merritt, went undercover to film Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry workers from 2013 to 2015. California prosecutors said Daleiden and Merritt violated the privacy of the abortion workers, and filed 14 felony against them. However, in June all the felony charges were dismissed. To read my 2015 interview with Daleiden, click here.

Pakistan’s Mother Teresa. Until now, no Christian has ever been honored with a state funeral in Pakistan. But there have been few people like Ruth Pfau, sometimes called the “Mother Teresa of Pakistan.” Pfau died on Aug. 10 at age 87. She had devoted her life to the overwhelmingly Muslim country of Pakistan, working in Karachi to eradicate leprosy. Pfau had become an evangelical Christian while studying medicine in Germany; she eventually converted to Catholicism and joined a Catholic order. She planned a trip to India in 1960, but a visa problem forced her into Pakistan, where she remained and began a life’s work that benefited millions of people.

Ambassador Gingrich. No, the Other Gingrich. President Trump has named Callista Gingrich the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she is the wife of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Senate must still confirm that appointment, but approval is expected, so to prepare for the inevitable, Newt Gingrich last week attended a class to learn how to be an ambassador’s spouse. According to Politico, the weeklong program began in the 1950s, when it was called the “Wife’s Seminar.” Today it is called “Spouse School,” and Gingrich’s class included 11 women and one other ambassadorial husband. Topics of study included entertaining and decorating the ambassador’s residence.

Milestones. William Wilberforce is an important figure in church history, and a guiding light for us here at The Colson Center. Our colleague Eric Metaxas wrote an excellent biography of Wilberforce, and each year we give the Wilberforce Award to someone who embodies the spirit of  Wilberforce in today’s world. (This year’s recipient was Alliance Defending Freedom’s Alan Sears.) Wilberforce devoted his life to eradicating the slave trade and to the “restoration of manners” in his beloved homeland of England. Wilberforce was born 258 years ago this week, on August 24, 1759.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Illustration designed by Heidi Allums.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.

Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BreakPoint. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.


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