It was the author F. Scott Fitzgerald who once wrote:
“One should be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”
Frustrated as you look at the headlines? Maybe what Mark Twain said of Richard Wagner was true after all: “The music isn’t as bad as it sounds.”
- Americans Support Florida’s Education Reform Bill, Poll Shows
From the Spectator World:
A new poll found that Americans overwhelmingly support the language of the Parental Rights in Education bill signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis this week.
Celebrities at the Oscars on Sunday night shrieked about the alleged attack on LGBT rights and Disney executives were caught on tape promising to create more queer content for children in response to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies indicates that these woke institutions are wholly out of step with the concerns of normal Americans. When registered voters were shown the actual language of the bill, which prohibits age or developmentally inappropriate sexual education in pre-K through third grade, they supported it by more than a two-to-one margin.
Overall, 61 percent of voters supported the text of the bill. Just 26 percent were opposed.
Among parents, support was even higher: 67 percent. Shockingly, support for the bill’s text even cut across party lines, with 55 percent of Democrats supporting it versus 29 percent opposing.
Why is So-Called “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Bad – But Ongoing “Don’t Say God” Policy Good?
From The Daily Citizen:
It’s important for Christians to think clearly and critically on these matters in order to make sure the left’s attempt to corrupt language doesn’t somehow corrupt our own sense of discernment.
For example, a group called “PEN America” – which supposedly champions free speech – has falsely labeled Florida’s (and other similar laws from other states) common-sense legislation as being “educational gag orders.”
It’s a richly ironic charge, because these bills actually serve counter government overreach, prohibiting the gagging of moms and dads, whose authority is being usurped by state bureaucrats. We applaud legislation that protects the freedom of parents to determine how and when their children should be taught about delicate and complex moral issues.
What’s curious about this latest fracas, though, is that many of the same radicals who are upset teachers aren’t allowed to chat up LGBT topics with very young students have no problem with the strict prohibitions placed on public school teachers sharing about their faith.
Those objecting to the legislation say LGBT teachers shouldn’t have to hide who they are and what they believe – but those of us with deeply held religious convictions must remain silent?
2. White House Celebrates ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’ by Endorsing Sex-Change Procedures for Children
From The Daily Citizen:
The White House on Thursday endorsed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and sex-change surgeries for children and teens confused about their sexual identity.
In essence, the administration endorsed the chemical and surgical castration of children and teens.
March 31 is “International Transgender Day of Visibility.” To “celebrate,” the White House did numerous things to promote transgenderism.
- President Biden issued a short video proclaiming his support for “transgender Americans of all ages.”
- The White House issued an official Presidential Proclamation recognizing “the resilience, strength, and joy of transgender nonbinary and gender nonconforming people.”
- The White House released a fact sheet announcing all the ways that the Biden administration is advancing “visibility” for transgender Americans.
- What a Tangled Web
From First Things:
Consider two bills currently under consideration in the Maryland House of Delegates. Both deal with abortion and are clearly meant to be preemptive strikes in case Roe is overturned by the Supreme Court. House Bill 1171 (Declaration of Rights – Right to Reproductive Liberty) proposes a change to the state’s constitution so that Article 48 will read as follows:
That every person, as a central component of the individual’s rights to liberty and equality, has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty which includes the right to make and effectuate decisions regarding the individual’s own reproduction, including but not limited to the ability to prevent, continue, or end their pregnancy. The state may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.
In many ways this is standard pro-abortion fare, assuming as it does that the baby in the womb lacks personhood and thus has no rights.
Yet it stands at odds with the other pro-abortion bill that Maryland is considering, House Bill 626 (Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022), which suggests that sometimes the baby in the womb does have personhood.
This bill exemplifies the kind of confusion over human personhood that characterizes today’s politics of taste and convenience. First, and commendably, it allows the state to prosecute for murder somebody who deliberately and knowingly kills a “viable fetus.” Yet it explicitly exempts the mother (and presumably anybody acting on the mother’s instructions) from any such charge. So is the fetus a person? If so, the exemption of the mother from a potential murder charge makes no sense. Or does the fetus lack personhood? If so, charging anyone with murder is incoherent. Perhaps the bill’s authors should read some Peter Singer. He would have no truck with this flip-flopping on the matter.
Yet the spirit of Singer haunts another part of the bill. Section H explicitly states that the bill cannot be construed as authorizing any investigation of the mother for “experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to a failure to act, or stillbirth.” So a child who dies in perinatal circumstances due to the mother’s inaction has not been murdered. The ambiguity is chilling. What constitutes a “failure to act”? A failure to provide food and hydration? What constitutes “perinatal”? The medical definition includes the first twenty-eight days after birth. Perhaps the Maryland bill is thinking of seconds rather than weeks, but this is nowhere made clear. In short, it is a license to mothers to kill.
The confusions to which these two bills witness are the deep-seated confusions of our wider culture. The West no longer has any consensus on what it means to be a woman or even a person. And thus the ethical codes that assume such a consensus are falling apart with dramatic consequences for all sorts of areas, from Ivy League sports to the safety of our society’s most vulnerable—the very young and the very old who rely on others to care for them. We have no shared moral vision and hence we default to the experts—the biologists and the medical professionals—abdicating our responsibility to their technical expertise. Yet this approach does not give us an adequate view of reality. That is why we have abortion bills that flip-flop on fetal personhood and candidates for the Supreme Court who defer to biologists while trying to avoid gender essentialism. This conceptual chaos, rooted in a denial of reality and responsibility, can only lead to chaos. To quote Sir Walter Scott, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
4. Why ‘Consent’ Isn’t Enough for a Sexual Ethic
From the Gospel Coalition:
Consider an article from Helen Lewis in the Atlantic last year, “The Problem with Being Cool about Sex.” Lewis claims that the new generation of feminists hasn’t reconciled “what we should want with what we do want.”
Pornography has saturated the lives of young people and colored an entire generation’s expectations of what sex should be. “If two or more adults consent to it, whatever it is, no one else is entitled to an opinion,” or so goes the commonsense thinking about sexual encounters. The problem, Lewis writes, is that the sexual revolution’s promises haven’t panned out.
“Our enlightened values—less stigma regarding unwed mothers, the acceptance of homosexuality, greater economic freedom for women, the availability of contraception, and the embrace of consent culture—haven’t translated into anything like a paradise of guilt-free fun.”
The sexual revolution isn’t working. The utopia promised by blowing up old moral strictures hasn’t arrived. What’s more, in some cases the situation seems worse.
- Church-Owned School Fights Government Religious Hostility in Massachusetts
From The Daily Citizen:
It is basic First Amendment law that the government may not discriminate against religious belief without a compelling reason. So, when government officials stonewall a new Christian school’s application for recognition to operate, and openly express hostility over the religious content of the school’s curriculum, as in the case of Vida Real Church in Somerville, Massachusetts, the evidence is persuasive that the government has crossed a constitutional line.
In September 2021 the church applied to the Somerville Public School Committee, the government entity with authority to approve the operation of schools in Somerville, to open a private school called the Real Life Learning Center (RLLC) to serve the church’s families, comprised of mostly Hispanic immigrants in the local community.
Over five months later, the church has gotten nowhere with its application.
Vida Real is now being represented by attorneys with First Liberty Institute, who along with the Massachusetts Family Institute, a Focus on the Family-allied public policy organization, sent a letter to the Committee on March 30 demanding prompt approval of the church’s application.
6. Nixon’s Example of Sanity in Washington
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Nixon believed the election was stolen. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen wanted him to challenge the results. Nixon thought it could take months and might not succeed, but his thoughts went deeper than that. In the Cold War, the nuclear age, unity at home and abroad was needed. Young democracies looked up to us. If they thought our elections could be stolen it would hurt the world’s morale.
The New York Herald Tribune had launched an investigative series, but Nixon talked the reporter into stopping it: “Our country cannot afford the agony of a constitutional crisis.”
In Evan Thomas’s brisk “Being Nixon: A Man Divided,” he reports that the GOP wise man Bryce Harlow urged Nixon to challenge, but Nixon said no: “It’d tear the country to pieces. You can’t do that.”
So he didn’t. On Jan. 6, 1961, Nixon presided over the formal certification of his opponent’s election. “This is the first time in 100 years that a candidate for the presidency announced the result of an election in which he was defeated and announced the victory of his opponent,” he said. “In our campaigns, no matter how hard-fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict and support those who win.”
For once his colleagues gave that complicated man his due, with a standing ovation that wouldn’t stop until Nixon took a second bow.
History went on and took its turns. Nixon came back and won the presidency in 1968. But when you read all this you wonder: Why can’t self-professed patriots love America like that now—maturely, protectively? And: How important it is to know something of history, to know it so well you can almost trust it. Instead of just feeling what you feel and making a hash of things.
- Senators Call for DOJ to Stop Labeling Parent Protesters as Domestic Terrorists
From CBN News:
Some Republican lawmakers have a strong message for the Department of Justice: Stop labeling outspoken parents as domestic terrorists.
Eight senators have signed a new letter calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to rescind an October memo that came after the National School Boards Association called some parents domestic terrorists.
Although the memo doesn’t actually use those words, the group of senators say it targets parents who speak out.
The letter reads, “Our country is experiencing an uptick in actual violent crime. Several of our major cities hit new homicide records in 2021. Illicit drugs are flowing across our border and into our communities, but instead of cracking down on crime, you decided to target parents advocating for their children. This no doubt continues to have a chilling effect on parents’ participation at school board meetings as parents are afraid to attend these meetings for fear of being investigated.”
- The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge rose 5.4% in March, the highest since 1983
The Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation measure showed intensifying price pressures in February, rising to its highest annual level since 1983, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Excluding food and energy prices, the personal consumption expenditures price index increased 5.4% from the same period in 2021, the biggest jump going back to April 1983.
Including gas and groceries, the headline PCE measure jumped 6.4%, the fastest pace since January 1982.
Surging prices dented consumer spending, which rose just 0.2% for the month, below the 0.5% estimate. Disposable personal income increased 0.4%, a touch below the 0.5% expectation, while real disposable income fell 0.2%. Savings nudged higher to $1.15 trillion, or a rate of 6.3%.
- ‘My Spirit Was…Floating’: Woman Nearly Dies and What She Reports Seeing Before Being Revived Shocks Lee Strobel
Christian author Lee Strobel has been on a mission to uncover evidence for the afterlife following a health crisis 10 years ago that left him on the edge of death.
And his investigative mission exposed some shocking cases that convinced him of the veracity of near-death experiences and evidence of heaven and hell.
“I almost died 10 years ago. My wife found me unconscious. She called an ambulance. I remember waking up in the emergency room and looking up at the physician,” Strobel told CBN’s Faithwire. “He looked down at me, and he said, ‘You’re one step away from a coma, two steps away from dying.’”
“The Case For Christ” author decided to embark on a journey to find evidence that “supports the idea that there is an afterlife.” He shares his investigative voyage in the new feature film “The Case For Heaven,” headed to theaters April 4-6 via Fathom Events (the film is based on a book, as well).
“As a Christian, I believe what the Bible teaches about the afterlife, but at the same time, I’ve got this skeptical gear,” he said. “My background is in journalism and law, so I tend to question things.”
That journey left Strobel astonished, particularly over the well-documented and researched data on near-death experiences.
“I was completely surprised by the evidence for near-death experiences. I was a skeptic about it,” he said. “I thought maybe it was just a lack of oxygen to the brain that causes hallucinations or something like that. And what I discovered is there have been more than 900 scholarly studies on near-death experiences published in scientific and medical journals over the last 50 years.
- 90-Year-Old California Woman Gives Birth to Triplets
From The Daily Citizen:
It’s a scene (almost) straight from the book of Genesis, but with a few notable exceptions:
The mother’s name is Penelope, not Sarah. Her husband is Alfred, not Abraham.
And instead of baby Isaac, there’s Allie, Benjamin and Wyatt.
After 69 years of marriage, Penelope and Alfred Cruz have stunned family, friends and the larger medical community by announcing the birth of a daughter and two sons. They were born by Caesarean section just after midnight Friday at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
“We’re absolutely thrilled!” said Penelope. “And maybe a little stunned, too,” admitted Alfred.
The arrival of the Cruz triplets to parents of such advanced age shatters previous records. According to Guinness World Records, Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara of Spain, 66, was previously the oldest woman to give birth. Sons Christian and Pau arrived in December of 2006.
“We’ve been deeply burdened by the declining birth rate in both America and around the world,” said Penelope. “All this talk about overpopulation is utter nonsense. We wanted to do our part.”
Married on the eve of Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration in January of 1953, the Cruz family still lives in their original bungalow in the Hollywood Hills.
“We paid $11,000 for the place,” said Alfred. “I used to see Dean Martin with his friend Buddy Ebsen buying cold cuts at the corner deli down the road. Boy, could those guys eat bologna and coleslaw. Buddy bought seltzer water by the case.”
A surgical team from Children’s Hospital praised and marveled at Penelope’s health and the robust weights of each of the three newborns.
“I’ve always eaten what I want, how much I want, and whenever I want,” said the new mother of three. “It has obviously paid off. Chubby babies are the best.”
Strong Christian believers, Penelope and Alfred have enjoyed being compared to Sara and Abraham, but some of the joking has worn thin.
“I’m concerned enough about being father to three young children, let alone father of many nations,” sighed Alfred. “I may look 99, but I’m not. I’m only 92. But I know everyone means well.”
Former president Donald Trump, familiar with the glances that often accompany older fathers, congratulated the family of five in a late-night text message.
“Congratulations! Tremendous news. Babies are terrific. I’ve never met an ugly baby. Some were close, but never ugly. I’ve welcomed five children into this world, and nothing beats the experience, even winning the presidency, which was pretty terrific. That I can tell you. My glorious hole-in-one ranks up there, too. Celebrate the miracle of life! X3!”
At press time, Penelope and the three Cruz children were resting comfortably, though Alfred was expressing concern with the work to come.
“I still have to scrape the lead paint and put on a fresh coat for the nursery” he said. “But my lumbago is killing me! At least the kid’s birthdays are April 1st – that will be easy to remember as I get up there in age.”