PODCAST: Funeral Held for John Lewis (UCNN 7.25.20)

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According to BBC News, A memorial service has been held for US civil rights icon John Lewis in his hometown of Troy, Alabama. Mourners were required to wear masks at Troy University’s Trojan Arena because of the coronavirus outbreak, and the number of visitors was limited to 800. Lewis, a Democratic congressman, died last week of pancreatic cancer aged 80. He was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington. He was a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia’s 5th District, an area which covered most of the state capital, Atlanta. Saturday’s memorial service started several days of tributes that will culminate in Lewis lying in state in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington DC.

According to New York Post, The Washington Post on Friday agreed to settle a monster $250 million lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann over its botched coverage of his 2019 encounter with a Native American elder. Sandmann declared the victory in a tweet on his 18th birthday. It’s unclear how much the newspaper settled for. “On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit,” he wrote. “Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do,” he continued. It’s the teen’s second win in a whopping $800 million defamation battle against a number of news outlets including the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Hill and NBC. CNN agreed to settle with Sandmann in January this year as part of a separate $275 million claim.

According to CBS News, Thirteen nuns at a Roman Catholic convent in Livonia, Michigan, have died of COVID-19 complications since the outbreak began, said a spokeswoman for the Felician Sisters of North America. Seventeen nuns recovered. The nuns — who ranged in age from 69 to 99 — included teachers, an author and a secretary in the Vatican Secretariat of State, according to the Global Sisters Report, an outlet of the National Catholic Reporter publishing company. The Global Sisters Report said the 13 deaths “may be the worst loss of life to a community of women religious since the 1918 influenza pandemic.” Sister Andrew told Global Sisters Report, “I first heard two aides had contracted the virus. We don’t know who they are, and we don’t want to know. Then it hit sisters on the second floor, and it went through like wildfire.” The outlet reported that at least 19 other nuns have died of COVID-related complications in the U.S. as of July 16.

According to Daily Mail, The only baseball player who refused to kneel during a moment honoring Black Lives Matter in Dodger Stadium on Thursday claimed he did so because of his Christian faith. Sam Coonrod, a 27-year-old reliever for the San Francisco Giants, explained his act by saying he only kneels before God. Coonrod also said that his faith kept him from endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement because of its Marxist political platform. “I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism. And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that.” “I meant no ill will by it,” Coonrod maintained. “I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I’m a Christian. I just believe I can’t kneel before anything besides God — Jesus Christ. I chose not to kneel. I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn’t mean any ill will toward anyone.” Most players from the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, LA Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants who played Thursday took hold of a black ribbon and knelt in honor of Black Lives Matter before their games, and many also knelt during the national anthem.

According to New York Post, Three federal agents who were sent to Portland, Ore., to try to help quell the city’s violent protests were “likely left permanently blinded” from clashes, White House officials said Friday. “A federal agent’s hand was impaled by planted nails, another federal agent was shot with a pellet gun, leaving a wound deep to the bone, and tragically, three federal officers were likely left permanently blinded by the rioters using lasers pointed directly into their eyes,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Friday. All five of the injured federal agents were hurt Monday during ongoing protests at the Multnomah County Justice Center and a nearby federal courthouse in Oregon’s largest city. In addition to targeting the federal agents, the demonstrators tossed fireworks at the federal courthouse, where one person also threatened to cut off the building’s water supply, according to the report.

According to ESPN, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has opted out of the 2020 season, he wrote on social media, becoming the first NFL player to publicly say he won’t suit up this year. Duvernay-Tardif, 29, is a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada, and he had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area during the coronavirus pandemic. In his social media post, he called the decision one of the most difficult of his life. “Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system,” he wrote. “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.” Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill applauded his teammate’s decision on Twitter. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said Saturday he was surprised but respects what Duvernay-Tardif is trying to do.

According to ESPN, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, have announced the birth of their second child together: Win Harrison Wilson. The newest member of the Wilson family was born Thursday weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce, according to an announcement from the quarterback. Win joins sister Sienna and brother Future Jr. Russell Wilson’s father, who died in 2010, was Harrison III.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!