Alan Simpson, the former senator from Wyoming, once noted:
“There is no ‘slippery slope’ toward loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders.”
We begin with this morning’s “Houses of Worship” column in the Wall Street Journal, where the former executive director of government relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops makes a similar argument:
- How the Pro-Life Democrat Went Extinct
From the Wall Street Journal:
It’s ironic that the Democratic Party, which is ostensibly built around the defense of the weak and the marginalized, is so fervidly committed to the right to kill the most vulnerable. Roughly one-third of Democrats in Congress today identify as Catholic, while simultaneously advocating abortion. Apparently cultural ties to the Catholic Church are more robust than doctrinal ties. Or, more likely, these elected representatives are more devoted to their party platform than to their faith. (To be fair, this also is true of some Republicans.)
How did it get this bad? In 1964 Sen. Ted Kennedy convened a group of prominent priests at his Hyannis Port, Mass., compound to discuss abortion policy. The meeting largely initiated the Democratic Party’s embrace of abortion.
Having spent more than a decade representing American Catholic bishops on Capitol Hill, I can attest to how dramatic the transformation of Democratic politicians from pro-life to pro-abortion was. In 2009, 64 Democrats in the House voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which would have prohibited any federal funds flowing through the bill from being used to underwrite abortion. The amendment didn’t survive, but the 64 Democratic votes were a sign of bipartisan strength for the pro-life cause.
All but one of those Democrats has either left Congress or come to embrace abortion. There are now countless examples beyond Congress of prominent politicians who are Catholic speaking out of both sides of their mouths, including President Biden and former Govs. Mario Cuomo and Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter a Republican). Perhaps most tragic is that these elected officials offer uncompromising support of abortion yet face little resistance from the church. This is a scandal for the faithful, a pastoral failure to the politicians themselves, and a catastrophe for the unborn and women who are victims of the abortion industry.
What is particularly maddening is that this is the result of a 50-year trajectory that was there for everyone, including the bishops, to see. Kennedy started the trend, but the outcome wasn’t inevitable. What if bishops had recognized that politicians who supported abortion had removed themselves from the Catholic community and responded accordingly? What if bishops or religious superiors had ousted priests who excused abortion advocates? It is not hard to imagine that bishops taking a harder line with pro-abortion politicians would have stemmed the conversion of the Democratic Party to a cult of death.
The church leadership’s failure over the past 50 years has been fatal. Some misapplied Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s “consistent ethic of life,” mistakenly seeing the principle as a so-called seamless-garment approach that raised social justice and other pro-life issues to the same importance as ending abortion. Others, such as the disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, called for a gentle approach to garner support for other issues.
- Illinois ends its parental notification requirement for minors getting abortions
From Just the News:
Wednesday marked the repeal of parental notification of underage abortion in Illinois, and each side of the argument is making their position known.
The 1995 parental notification law didn’t go into effect until 2013 after years of litigation. The law allowed for a judicial bypass of the notification requirement.
Last year, the Democratic supermajority at the Illinois statehouse passed a measure to repeal parental notification. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the repeal in December. The repeal took effect June 1, 2022.
At a campaign stop in East St. Louis Wednesday, Pritzker promised to keep abortion legal in Illinois, even for girls without their parents being notified.
- Japan’s New Thinking On Low Birth Rate: Don’t Worry, Be Happy
From the Wall Street Journal:
In the world’s most aged country, thinking about the low birthrate has shifted. Instead of trying to lift it up dramatically, both the government and outside specialists are looking for ways to make population decline manageable.
Japan said Friday that the nation’s total fertility rate in 2021—a snapshot of the average number of babies a woman would have over her lifetime—fell to 1.3, the lowest level in 16 years. While the fall partly reflected the temporary impact of the pandemic, the figure hasn’t been above 1.5 since the mid-1990s, trending far below the level needed to keep the population steady over the long term.
The latest release followed an announcement in April that the population shrank in 2021 by 640,000 people to about 125.5 million. The decline was big enough to attract the attention of Elon Musk, who tweeted in May that on current trends, “Japan will eventually cease to exist.”
Conservatives warn that the low birthrate is an issue for Japan’s defense against populous China, and the nation’s military is already having trouble attracting recruits.
But the issue no longer gets much high-level political attention. In a policy speech in January discussing major priorities, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida brushed by the low birthrate in a single line, although he did push through more generous insurance coverage for fertility treatments. Currently such treatments account for about 60,000 births annually, so even a significant increase wouldn’t make much of a dent in population decline.
- ‘What Is A Woman?’ – Matt Walsh Uses Humor, Pathos and Truth to Expose Lies and Harms of Gender Ideology
From The Daily Citizen:
Matt Walsh’s provocative documentary, What Is a Woman?, aired online at The Daily Wire on June 1, in what the political commentator and podcast host said was “an all-out assault on gender ideology.”
It’s an ideology that uses the language of “boys and girls” and “men and women,” but can’t define what any of those are.
Walsh used thoughtful questions and humor – there are some laugh-out-loud moments – to point out the fallacies behind “gender theory.”
But even the humor has a disturbing edge, when you realize how pervasive this post-modern belief system is, how far away from the truth, and how many are in its grip.
As one of my sons said, “It was funny until you realized how sad it was.”
Parents Win First Legal Round Against School District Over Gender ‘Transition’ Policy
From The Daily Citizen:
Last November, two sets of parents sued the Kettle Moraine School District in Wales, Wisconsin, over its official policy of keeping secrets from parents. More specifically, they objected to the district’s policy of honoring a student’s desire to go by a different name or gender pronouns than their given name or birth sex indicated, and to withhold such information from their parents.
Rather than admit its policy violated the parents’ constitutional right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, the district immediately moved to dismiss the parents’ lawsuit.
The good news, however, is that recently the judge overseeing the case denied the district’s motion, ruling the parents had the right to bring such a lawsuit and had properly alleged a claim the district must respond to.
North Carolina preschool teacher who used flashcards with pregnant man resigns
From the Washington Examiner:
A teacher at a North Carolina elementary school has resigned after a parent complained that they were using colored flashcards portraying a “pregnant man” in preschool and kindergarten classes.
The teacher taught at Ballentine Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, and is not named in reports. The use of the cards came to light in a press release from the office of North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, who said a “concerned constituent” had notified state Rep. Erin Pare, another Republican who represents Wake County, of the cards.
The press release said that Pare contacted the principal of the elementary school, who discovered the gay- and transgender-themed flashcards in a preschool classroom that had been used by the teacher for lessons on colors.
In a statement quoted by ABC 11, the Wake County School District said it was “concerned to learn of the inappropriate instructional resource found in a preschool classroom” and that the flashcards were not part of the school district’s regular curriculum.
- 53% of Republicans believe US headed towards civil war, 44% of young male Democrats approve assassinating a ‘politician who is harming our country or democracy’: Poll
A concerning percentage of Americans believe that the country is on a collision course with a civil war, according to a new poll. The survey also revealed there is an alarming number of Americans who would support carrying out political violence against government leaders.
The Tulchin Research group conducted a survey of 1,500 Americans in April, and the Southern Poverty Law Center published the distressing results on Wednesday.
When asked if “gender ideology has corrupted American culture,” there was a stark partisan divide – with 72% of Republicans saying it had damaged the culture versus only 34% of Democrats.
According to the SPLC poll, 44% of young male Democrats and 34% of young male Republicans would approve of assassinating “a politician who is harming our country or democracy.” The percentage plummets to 6% of older male Democrats and Republicans.
6. Evangelical Christians Aren’t Living in a Bubble. They’re Living in Reality.
From The Daily Citizen:
As culture becomes increasingly and frequently unmoored and uneven, evangelical Christians are actually the ones most closely in touch with reality. It’s the radical left who live in illogical bubbles bursting under the weight of lies each and every day.
As an evangelical Christian, I believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative word of God that explains the origin of the world and the meaning and purpose of life. Atheists contend we come from a primordial ooze and will soon return to it.
We believe that life begins in the womb, that a pre-born child with a heartbeat and ten fingers and ten toes is a baby, and not just a blob of tissue, like abortion activists contend.
We believe there are two genders – male and female. A man cannot become a woman and a woman cannot become a man. There is nothing in between. Repeating a lie over and over doesn’t somehow make the lie true.
We believe mothers and fathers have the authority to raise and rear their children – not government bureaucrats who seem determined to use our kids to engage in grand, devious, demented and perverted social experiments. Thomas Sowell was right when he observed, “Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”
We believe bakers, florists and other artists shouldn’t be forced to use their creative gifts in a way that violate their deeply held religious convictions.
It might be true that holding to these foundational beliefs and convictions increasingly puts us on the fringe of popular culture. But that doesn’t make what we believe any less real. In fact, it very well may make it more.
“Heaven is reality itself,” wrote C.S. Lewis. “All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”
7. What Can the Church Do About Child Protection?
From the Gospel Coalition:
How can your church begin to take steps toward a robust child safety ministry? Consider these three child safety measures.
The best way to take child protection seriously in your church is to start at the top: in your organization’s leadership. As the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention’s general counsel Sally Wagenmaker says, “Child Protection starts with good, godly governance.”
Every person who interacts with kids needs training on how to recognize the signs of abuse, grooming behavior, and abusive behavior. They also need training on how to respond to abusive incidents that occur both inside and outside of the organization. In your church’s training program, emphasize a proactive position toward child safety, rather than a reactive one, so you’re not reacting to situations after the damage has already been done.
Develop a written response plan before an incident of abuse occurs. The first 24 hours after a report is made are often the most crucial, so make all staff and volunteers aware of the plan so they can access it quickly.
God calls his people to care for the vulnerable and protect his church from those who would do it harm (Ps. 82:3–4; Isa. 1:17; Acts 20:28–30; 1 Cor. 5:9–13; James 1:27; Jude 4). Maybe this is your first introduction to the problem of abuse, and maybe it seems too big to handle. But there are measures we can put in place both to prevent abuse and to respond properly, and there are plenty of ministries, Christian lawyers, and even insurance agencies who would love to help! The witness of the church is strengthened when we work together and do whatever it takes to protect and care for children.
- New York City runs ad campaign ’empowering’ heroin users
From the Post Millennial:
A campaign by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is encouraging addicts not to be “ashamed,” rather “be empowered” that they are “using safely.” The ads are showing up on subways all over town.
The ad, which was spotted on a New York City subway reads, “Don’t be ashamed you are using, be empowered that you are using safely.” The campaign appears to be designed to encourage the prevention of overdoses by giving tips on how to safely use illegal and dangerous narcotics.
The ad then gives tips to prevent an overdose beginning with the first tip, which is to “avoid using alone and take turns,” thereby encouraging addicts to shoot up together.
Secondly, the ad suggested to “Start with a small dose and go slowly.”
- Proposing a New Ritual for America’s Civic Religion
From First Things:
Americans could benefit from their own version of Shavuot Eve—an annual rite of rededication to America’s principles through the reading (and rereading) of foundational texts.
Call it “Founding Night.” Once a year, bars, cafes, think tanks, and museums could stay open late into the night for lectures or texts study. Topics may range from one of the Federalist papers to the role of churches in early American political life and the music of that era. Love and veneration can also be expressed through criticism. Sessions could cover the founders’ accomplishments and sins, and their deliberations on slavery and the Native American tribes. Throughout the night people could drop into music concerts, receptions, and parties happening around town. Coffee would flow. It would be non-partisan. Founding Night could host a wide range of viewpoints while still being a clear celebration of the spirits of 1776 and 1787.
Founding Night could aim to revive a broadly-shared American identity. Only 15 percent of the country now “strongly agrees” that “Americans have a lot in common with each other.” And yet we have a common inheritance—the outlook expressed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. It is, as Lincoln called it, the electric cord that links the hearts of all liberty-loving Americans.
- Prince Louis Steals Show From Queen Elizabeth II As Photo Of His Reaction To Flyover Goes Viral
From The Daily Wire:
Queen Elizabeth II made a public appearance at Buckingham Palace Thursday during the Trooping The Colour parade, but it was Prince Louis who stole the show when a photo of his reaction to the flyover portion went viral.
During the annual public event that celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, the queen was joined on the balcony of the palace by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with their three children, Prince Louis, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte. It is there that Kate Middleton and Prince William’s youngest made it clear that the military flyover wasn’t his favorite part of the festivities, which involved a parade complete with 1,500 military personnel and 350 horses going through the streets of London, People magazine noted.