Good Morning! 

Writing several years ago in the Wall Street Journal, television notables Roma Downey and Mark Burnett created a firestorm when they suggested: 

“It’s time to encourage, perhaps even mandate, the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a primary document of Western civilization.” 

In buttressing their argument, they quoted from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling: 

“The Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.” 

Please mark your calendars for next Thursday – and encourage students you know to bring their bible to school: 

  1. Be Strong and Courageous’: Annual Bring Your Bible to School Day Will be Held on October 7

From The Daily Citizen

Focus on the Family’s annual Bring Your Bible to School Day (BYBTS) will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2021. 

The nationwide event encourages students to read Scripture, celebrate religious freedom and share their faith with their friends. 

Last year, 514,609 students participated in bringing their Bibles at 50,000 different schools. 

This year, John Cooper, lead singer, bassist and co-founder of the Christian rock band Skillet, is encouraging kids to sign up. 

Emerson Collins, the Project Manager for Bring Your Bible, told The Daily Citizen that the goal of BYBTS is to encourage students to be “strong and courageous for God.” 

“This special event provides all students with the powerful invitation to stand with hundreds of thousands of their peers to tell others about Christ and what He has done in their life from the inside out,” Collins added. 

“We hope all students will let others know they believe in God’s Word and that His words dwell richly inside of their being.” 

  1. Manchin draws line at $1.5 trillion, won’t back social-welfare spending above that amount

From The Washington Times

Sen. Joe Manchin III, who holds the power to scuttle President Biden’s proposed spending packages, confirmed on Thursday that he has set a limit of $1.5 trillion for his support of Democrats’ social welfare and climate package, less than half of what the president is seeking. 

The West Virginia Democrat said $1.5 trillion is the top line for what “we can afford” without jeopardizing the economy. 

“I believe in my heart that [amount is] what we can do with the needs we have right now — what we can afford to do without basically changing our whole society to an entitlement mentality,” Mr. Manchin told reporters at the Capitol. 

He reiterated that he supports spending on children and seniors. 

The figure is less than half of the $3.5 trillion that Mr. Biden and most congressional Democrats had been envisioning, and would mean the left will have to dramatically scale back their hopes for creating a slew of new benefits and climate change initiatives.  

  1. Congress passes government funding bill to prevent shutdown

From CBS News

The House and Senate on Thursday both approved a short-term government funding bill that keeps federal agencies open through early December and staves off a partial government shutdown, just hours before funding is set to expire. 

The stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 65 to 35, overcoming the 60-vote threshold needed for approval. It was then swiftly taken up by the House, which cleared the bill with a vote of 254 to 175. 

4.Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case of Boston’s Religious Discrimination Against the Christian Flag 

From The Daily Citizen

In an important First Amendment case, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a dispute sparked by the refusal of the City of Boston, Massachusetts (City), to allow a faith-based civic organization to display the Christian flag on one of the City’s flagpoles for an event. For years, the City has sponsored a program of allowing civic organizations to display their flags at that location, but the Christian flag was the first and only one they ever prohibited. 

Harold Shurtleff is the founder and director of Camp Constitution, an organization whose mission, according to its legal filing with the Supreme court,  “is to enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, the American heritage of courage and ingenuity, the genius of the United States Constitution, and free enterprise.”  

In September 2017 Shurtleff desired to commemorate the annual celebration of Constitution Day by hosting an event at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, with short speeches by local clergy and the raising of the Christian flag on one of the City’s flagpoles. Shurtleff filled out an application provided by the City to request permission for the flag-raising event. 

The City has three flagpoles in the plaza. The first one is for the American and the POW/MIA flags; the second is for the flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and the City’s flag is raised on the third. 

  1. Pelosi’s bishop calls for massive ‘campaign of prayer and fasting’ for ‘her conversion of heart’ on abortion

From Fox News

 The archbishop of San Francisco is calling for a “massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting” for the conversion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s heart as she pursues what pro-lifers have called “radical” abortion legislation. 

“Witness the House of Representatives’ passage of HR 3755, which would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said of the California Democrat in a statement Wednesday. 

“A conversion of heart of the majority of our congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I am therefore inviting all Catholics to join in a massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting for Speaker Pelosi: commit to praying one rosary a week and fasting on Fridays for her conversion of heart.”  

  1. Alito speaks out on Texas abortion case and ‘shadow docket’

From Politico

Justice Samuel Alito leapt into a political fray over the Supreme Court on Thursday, lashing back at critics who have accused the justices of increasingly issuing momentous decisions on its emergency docket without the benefit of a full briefing or oral arguments. 

Alito said complaints about the court’s “shadow docket” are misplaced and intended to conjure up images of justices conspiring to advance their ideological agendas under the cover of darkness. 

“The catchy and sinister term ‘shadow docket’ has been used to portray the court as having been captured by a dangerous cabal that resorts to sneaky and improper methods to get its ways,” Alito said during a speech at the University of Notre Dame. “This portrayal feeds unprecedented efforts to intimidate the court or damage it as an independent institution.” 

One measure of how directly Alito was stepping into the political battle: As he acknowledged during his speech, just yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to air criticism of the high court for its use of the so-called “shadow docket” in high-profile cases. 

In his address, Alito repeatedly railed against the media for propagating what he called “unfair and damaging attacks” on the court, but also accused “political figures” of doing the same. 

“The media and political talk about the shadow docket is not serious criticism,” Alito insisted. At another point, he snarked at the press: “Journalists may think we can dash off an opinion the way they dash off articles.” 

In defending the high court against its critics, the George W. Bush appointee discussed in some detail three recent, high-profile emergency rulings. They include a decision earlier this month allowing a controversial Texas abortion ban to go into effect, a ruling last month requiring the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era Remain-in-Mexico policy for many who are present at the border seeking asylum, and another decision from August blocking enforcement of a coronavirus-related, federal ban on evictions. 

  1. CDC issues warning after study finds 2 million teens used e-cigs this year

From Fox News

The number of teenagers who have used e-cigarettes has reached 2 million, and more than 80% of those middle and high school students used flavored e-cigs in 2021, according to a study released today by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Since 2014, they have been the most frequently used smoking product among U.S. youth. 

Of the students that were surveyed, 43.6% of high school students and 17.2% of middle school students have used e-cigs in the past month. Of those students, 27.6% of high school and 8.3% of middle school students admitted to daily use. Flavored e-cigs are prevalent. 

The most popular brands include Puff Bar, Vuse, SMOK, JUUL and Suorion, with Puff Bar being the go-to among youth, according to the study. The coronavirus pandemic did not slow down the use of e-cigarettes. Karen Hacker, director of CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, says its usage “remains a serious public health concern. 

“It’s critical we continue working together to protect young people from the risks associated with product use, including e-cigarettes,” says Hacker.

8. Suicidal Sweet Sixteen: A Reflection on Trans Youth Medicine

From Public Discourse:  

In acute situations of crisis, parents and young people need immediate help, as well as support to slow down and aim for the best long-term outcomes. This is similar to the wisdom of not making major decisions after a significant loss or in a time of grief. But that is not what is happening. Instead, parents are led astray by a rogue and en vogue “trans-affirmative” medical establishment, in which financial and ideological motivations override good clinical practice.  

Responsible clinicians who do want to explore and address the trauma that is quite common among trans-identified youth may be rebuffed by young people conditioned to look for the solution in a pill. Describing their own clinic experiences, a group of Australian professionals reported that “a large subgroup of children equated affirmation with medical intervention and appeared to believe that their distress would be completely alleviated if they pursued the pathway of medical treatment.” These magic-bullet beliefs were the product of peer influence, social media, and previous encounters with other healthcare workers. 

Advocates of “gender affirming care” congratulate themselves for helping kids “live their best lives.”  Yet, as the leaders at the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine recently reminded us, in the original Dutch study of seventy kids who took puberty blockers between 2000 and 2008, subjective ratings of their depression levels improved by only three points out of sixty-three after receiving the treatment. On a scale of zero to one hundred, the children’s overall functioning improved only four points. Other measures revealed no gains at all. All of the children then proceeded to cross-sex hormones. Fifty-six children went on to have surgery, one of whom died from post-surgical complications. 

While the long-term outcomes are still unknown, there is abundant evidence of clear and present harm. Trans-affirmative doctors can no longer say to parents and children, “We’re sorry. We did not know.” They know. And they do it anyway. When “best clinical practices” are shaped by politically influenced beliefs and willfully blind optimism, clinicians become “cheerleaders for transition.” Parents are then misled about the “scientific certainty” of transition and bullied for being concerned. Worst of all, children are prescribed a dark future different from the one I couldn’t picture at sixteen but have been blessed to enjoy. 

  1. Despite Crisis Upon Crisis, Chaos and Confusion in the Culture, Here Are 5 Ways to Live a More Joyful Life

  From The Daily Citizen

Dr. Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, remembers turning one day to Kathy, his wife and the mother of their then three young sons. In a rather sober tone, he remarked that with children, a parent can never be happier than their unhappiest child.   

In essence, when you love someone so dearly, your emotions and happiness are directly tied to their circumstances – for good or bad. 

I’ve thought about that reality in terms of the state of our country and culture. Given all of the horrific and bad news, is it still possible to live a life of joy in the midst of crisis and confusion? 

It is – and Christians have a distinct advantage doing so. 

Here are five ways to living a more joyful life 

  1. Read Your Bible More than Your Favorite News Site 
  2. Pursue Joy – Don’t Chase Happiness 
  3. Be Careful What You Watch and Read 
  4. Forgive Those Who Have Hurt You 
  5. Count Your Blessings  


10. Meet the winners of America’s Kindest Family contest

From Today: 

Meet the Barróns: the winners of the Parents magazine America’s Kindest Families contest

“As soon as we heard their story, we knew they had to be the winners,” TODAY 3rd Hour co-hosts and contest judges Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Al Roker told Parents. 

Luke and Holly Barrón, who live in Oklahoma, lost their 8-year-old son, Keaton, to acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2018. Ever since, the couple and their children, Reid, 7, Holden, 5, and Conley, 2, have worked tirelessly to continue Keaton’s legacy by helping others through their foundation, the K Club. 

The foundation, which was Keaton’s idea, primarily helps children fighting cancer and their families. It is also committed to doing random acts of kindness. While in the hospital, founding member Keaton wrote that the club’s mission is “to be kind to others, be courageous, compassionate, and caring.” 

Hope you have a great weekend!