Weekly Review


Warren Cole Smith

California Nightmarin’: Both houses of California’s state legislature passed a bill requiring health centers at state-run universities to dispense abortion-inducing drugs to students. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will sign the bill into law. Critics say the abortion drugs will result in “toilet bowl abortions.” According to Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, “These toilet bowl abortions would create havoc on campuses, as girls are sent to their dorm bathrooms to bleed and pass an aborted infant in a toilet, without medical supervision or assistance.”

Dead Abortionist Horrifies. The remains of at least 2,246 babies were found in the Illinois home of a deceased abortionist. Ulrich Klopfer worked at an abortion center in South Bend, Ind., the home of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and Notre Dame University. Klopfer died earlier this month, and when his family was cleaning out his home they discovered the remains and contacted the sheriff’s office. “We are horrified,” said Mike Fichter, the president of Indiana Right to Life. Authorities are still investigating. Klopfer had his medical license suspended in 2016.

VeggieTales Is Back. Phil Vischer, the co-creator of the once wildly popular VeggieTales, hopes to bring the talking vegetables back to the table. The VeggieTales Show is scheduled to premiere Oct. 22 on the Trinity Broadcasting Network with new episodes, but with the original format – and most important to Christian fans, the same emphasis on teaching Bible lessons to children and the adults who might be watching with them. Rapid and unmanaged growth sent VeggieTales’ parent company, Big Idea, into bankruptcy. Vischer sold the company in 2003 and new owners failed to understand that the biblical ideas behind the shows were vital to its popularity with a Christian audience. But Vischer says the new 22-minute episodes will feature “richer theology” and more biblical stories.

Sperm Editing. Six months ago, the World Health Organization called for a global ban on editing human embryos. That hasn’t stopped a team of biologists in New York City from using the gene editing tool CRISPR to modify the genes in sperm. They say their work does not violate the ban because it does not destroy human embryos. But medical ethicists are not impressed. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re manipulating the embryo or you’re manipulating the sperm,” Françoise Baylis, a bioethicist who advises the World Health Organization about gene editing, told NPR. “The concern is what kind of world are you creating as you move down the path to start manipulating human genetics?” Editing the human genome, even with good intentions, remains a bad idea. David Prentice, vice president and research director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told WORLD, “Use of CRISPR to manipulate genes or remove them entirely from the human germline presents a host of scientific and ethical questions that we can’t possibly answer at this time. We simply don’t have any ability to ascertain the long-term effects germline mutation will have on future generations.”

Milestones.  Poet, novelist, professor, and critic Robert Penn Warren died this week (Sept. 15) in 1989. Many people (including me) consider his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All The King’s Men the greatest political novel ever written. Among his students: documentarian Ken Burns…. The Civil War Battle of Antietam took place on this date in 1862. It remains the bloodiest single day in U.S. history, with more than 22,000 dead, wounded or missing…. Rich Mullins died this week (Sept. 19) in 1997.


Warren Cole Smith is the Vice-President of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.


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