Over the weekend, the United States sent an aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, to patrol the South China Sea against Beijing's wishes.

The South China Sea is claimed by China, but those claims are contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. The Navy explained that the patrol was just a part of the beginning "routine operations." According to the U.S. Defense Department, about 30 percent of global trade goes through the South China Sea, equaling about $5.3 trillion dollars. The sea is also the home to plentiful fishing, natural gas and oil reserves.

Last week, the spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry spoke out against the news of the patrol.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters ... China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country's attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.

He also asked the United States to "refrain from challenging China's sovereignty and security" in the South China Sea. China has also been creating islands in the sea and arming them with weapons and military-level airfields.

This isn't the United States' first time in the sea. Most recently, a Navy patrol plane and a Chinese surveillance plane flew just a thousand feet from each other in the waters.

New Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been clear on his position on China's activities in the sea.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed.” Discuss

Across the country, more than 100 individuals who participated in last week’s “A Day Without an Immigrant” protests have been fired according to several reports. At Tennessee’s Bradley Coatings Incorporated alone, more than a dozen people lost their jobs, because, according to the company, they were warned not to join the strike and skip work.

According to additional reports, 25 people were fired at a restaurant and catering company in New York for joining the strike, along with 21 people at a boat company in South Carolina, 30 masonry workers in Denver and a dozen restaurant employees in Oklahoma. There were also other cases around the country.

The national boycott was a way of protesting the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration and deportations. Discuss

The woman at the center of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in American history died this weekend at the age of 69.

When Norma McCorvey was 22 years old, she could not find a doctor in her home state of Texas to perform an abortion. At the time, abortion was mostly illegal (there was an exception if the mother’s life was in danger, which McCorvey’s was not).

Two lawyers took up her case, and in 1973—years after her child was born and placed up for adoption—the Supreme Court heard the case. Her lawyers used the alias “Jane Roe” during the trial in which they sued Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade. Roe v. Wade made it illegal to prevent women from getting abortions, and has had a massive effect on American history. Since then, more than 58 million abortions have been performed in the U.S.

Decades after Roe v. Wade, McCorvey became a Christian and a pro-life advocate. She even went on to work for the pro-life group Operation Rescue. She once told NPR,

I'll be serving the Lord and helping women save their babies. I will hold a pro-life position for the rest of my life. I think I've always been pro-life. I just didn't know it.

This week, we talk with Judah Smith, the pastor of The City Church and author of the new book "How’s Your Soul," about the importance of community, being vulnerable and caring for your soul. We also play a new game (sorta) ripped from the headlines: “Fake, Fake News?” The gang also discusses Chance the Rapper’s powerful Grammy performance, talk about a new sitcom based on “living Biblically,” hear your best Valentine’s Day stories and more! Read More

Atlantic Records just released a song from Lecrae off the soundtrack of the upcoming film adaptation of The Shack. The rapper collaborates with Breyan Isaac on "The River of Jordan," which ends up being an intimate track about the pressure off organized religion contrasted against the freedom of actually knowing God.

The song's content can feel heavy, but it keeps hopeful twist. Here's how he concludes:

I lost my religion but I found God
Sounds odd but I’m better at seeing how far
did I come from the dark is the nights to the light
irregardless of all of my many flaws

Discuss