Weekly Review


Warren Cole Smith

Oregon Drops Protection. Oregon has allowed doctor-assisted suicide since 1998. However, the “Death With Dignity Act,” which enabled the practice, had a 15-day waiting period. Last week, Oregon did away with the waiting period if a physician predicts a patient has fewer than 15 days to live. Pro-life activists opposed the change. Liberty Pike of Oregon Right to Life told WORLD, “[Removing] the waiting period makes it even easier for a bad actor to coerce or force someone to end their own lives. And the number of reasons that somebody might want to do that are various and sundry to be sure, whether it’s financial motivation, or the caregiver is tired of being involved in the process, whatever it might be.” Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the new bill into law last Tuesday. Last year, 249 Oregonians died from ingesting lethal drugs prescribed under the act. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow assisted suicide.

Sex-Selective Abortions. More than 200 baby boys have been born in 132 villages in the Uttarkashi region of India in the past 3 months, but not a single baby girl. Authorities suspect sex-selective abortion is to blame. A strong son-preference in many parts of the world leads parents to abort their daughters. In Uttarkashi, authorities have launched an investigation into what appears to be systematic use of the practice to eliminate girls. “It cannot be just a coincidence. This clearly indicates female feticide is taking place in the district,” social worker Kalpana Thakur told NDTV. “The government and administration are not doing anything.”

No More Manholes. The city of Berkeley, CA., passed an ordinance last week enforcing gender-neutral language in official city communications. The ordinance contains a list of about 40 banned words, including “fireman,” who is now a “firefighter,” and “manhole,” which is now a “maintenance hole.”

Gentrification is Good. Gentrification of inner-city neighborhoods has gotten a bad rap, even among some Christians who work in inner-city ministry.  Some say gentrification, the practice of wealthier people moving into poorer neighborhoods, make the neighborhoods unaffordable for long-time residents. However, a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the U.S. Census Bureau found that poor residents mostly benefited from gentrification. Those who owned their homes saw values rise, and those who rented typically didn’t experience rent increases. The study examined low-income, center-city neighborhoods in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States in 2000 and between 2010 and 2014. Poor families who moved out of gentrifying neighborhoods typically moved to wealthier neighborhoods, not poorer ones. “Overall, we find that gentrification creates some important benefits for original resident adults and children and few observable harms,” the study concluded.

Milestones. British parliamentarian and churchman William Wilberforce died this week (July 29) in 1833, but not before he saw his lifelong crusade to end the Atlantic slave trade come to an end . . . Christian music pioneer Keith Green died on July 28, 1982. He died in a plane crash that also killed two of his children…. The great Christian novelist and short story writer Flannery O’Connor died 55 years ago this week (Aug 3, 1964). I once visited her grave with my daughter Brittany and my mentor Marion Montgomery. You can read about that pilgrimage here.


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


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