Good Morning! 

A fallen world leads to regular servings of contradiction – we say one thing and do the other.  Sometimes it’s deliberate. Other times it’s not. 

Writing in 1984, George Orwell called out this trend: 

“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.” 

This morning, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board leaves as an open question whether the Attorney General contradicted himself in word and deed: 

1.   Merrick Garland Gets Schooled 

From the Wall Street Journal:  

Merrick Garland told Congress Thursday why he recently ordered the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to look into threats or violence against local school boards and school officials. Readers can decide if they believe him. 

The Attorney General stated categorically that he “can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children.” He further declared: “I do not believe that parents who testify, speak, argue with, complain about school boards and schools should be classified as domestic terrorists or any kind of criminals.” 

That’s good to hear. But the reason that clarification was necessary is because the Oct. 4 memo he issued calling for federal involvement followed a letter to President Biden from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) describing school-board protests as possible terrorism. Among the evidence the NSBA submitted for its claim of a “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation” was the arrest of an angry father at a June 22 meeting of the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia. 

We’ve since learned that the man in question, Scott Smith, is the father of a ninth-grader who reported she was sexually assaulted in a Loudoun County public-school bathroom. He says he became enraged after hearing another member of the audience deny his daughter had been assaulted. 

On Thursday Mr. Garland provided no evidence to suggest an escalation in violence against school boards—and no explanation for why such acts, even if criminal, are federal offenses. Mr. Garland says he respects the First Amendment right of parents to speak up. But his memo, with the reminder that the FBI will be watching, is bound to have a chilling effect. The AG would do better to withdraw his letter so his agents can pursue real offenders. 

  1. NSBA Collaborated With White House Before Letter Describing ‘Domestic Terrorism’ At School Board Meetings: Report 

From the Daily Wire: 

The White House collaborated with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) before the group sent its letter stating that the classification of actions carried out by some at school board meetings “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” and requesting federal intervention, per a new report. 

Emails obtained via public records requests by Parents Defending Education and provided to The Washington Free Beacon has led to questions about the Biden administration’s involvement with the contents of the letter, and its motives for actions taken afterward. 

While the original letter did acknowledge “recent discussions with White House and U.S. Department of Education staff on many critical issues facing public schools, including threats school officials are receiving,” the emails revealed details showing the NSBA was in talks with the White House before the letter was released. 

They also showed that the letter was sent without prior approval from the board of the organization. 

  1. Condoleezza Rice denounces critical race theory: ‘I don’t have to make White kids feel bad for being White’ 

From Fox News: 

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday denounced the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in schools, declaring that Black children could be completely empowered without making White children feel bad for their race. 

During a guest host appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Rice, the first Black woman to head the State Department, cited her experience growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, as she argued that young children didn’t need to be taught CRT and parents needed to have a say in their children’s education. 

“My parents never thought I was going to grow up in a world without prejudice, but they also told me, ‘That’s somebody else’s problem, not yours. You’re going to overcome it and you are going to be anything you want to be,'” Rice said. “That’s the message that I think we ought to be sending to kids.” 

“One of the worries that I have about the way that we’re talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow White people now have to feel guilty for everything that happened in the past –  I don’t think that’s very productive – or Black people have to feel disempowered by race,” she added. 

4.   New Study Confirms What Women Seek in Good Provider 

Focus on the Family’s Tim Goeglein writes in The Daily Signal: 

A few weeks ago, I came across an article written by Rosemary Hopcroft, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Hopcroft reported on her new research that documents how high-income men are more desired by women for marriage than men at the lower end of the financial spectrum. 

On the other hand, men were far less concerned with the income level of their prospective spouse. 

Hopcroft’s findings are similar to those reported in a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. That survey found that 71% of adults thought it was very important for a man to financially support his family if he is to be a good husband, while only 32% (and 25% of men) felt the same about a woman doing so to be a good wife. 

What this research illustrates is the value that women (and society) still put on a man to serve as a provider for his wife and family, even in this day of dual-earner families. Unfortunately, today, that sort of man is becoming harder to find. 

  1. Christian Employers Fight Federal Rule Requiring Health Coverage for Gender Transitions 

From The Daily Citizen: 

A new federal lawsuit raises a religious freedom issue stemming from requirements of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mandating insurance and healthcare services that violate the religious conscience rights of employers. 

The Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) is a religious employer itself as well as a membership organization consisting of numerous Christian employers. With the help of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), CEA has filed a lawsuit in a North Dakota federal court seeking an injunction protecting the religious conscience rights of CEA and its members. They are asking a judge to block the federal mandates, which require employers with more than 15 employees – with no exemptions granted for religious employers – to provide health insurance for employees that includes gender transition surgeries and related procedures that are morally objectionable. 

The lawsuit piggybacks on the success earlier this year of two similar cases in another North Dakota federal court dealing with the HHS transgender mandate, Sisters of Mercy v. Azar and Catholic Benefits Association v. Azar, which resulted in a favorable ruling and injunction that protected the religious conscience of those organizations. That ruling is being appealed by HHS. 

6.   Confessions of a pro-life Catholic Democrat in a divided nation 

Former House of Representative member Dan Lipinski writes in America: 

If we do not find a way to restore the public square and reform government institutions so that people on both sides are willing to work with each other—through debate, argumentation and compromise—the republic created under our Constitution cannot survive. 

My life in politics was grounded in the conviction that our personal relationship with God gives us our primary identity. We have many different identities: in our family, our job or profession, or as a member of a club, sports team or a political party. But as Jesus taught us, sometimes in stark ways (as when he told the man who wanted to follow him that he could not take the time to bury his father), God must always come first. 

It is from this identity that the mission of any Christian should flow. What was my mission as a congressman that followed from my Catholic identity? It was to work for policies that served the common good, as explained in the deep and rich teachings of Christ and the church and understood through prayer and reason. 

I did not back down from being outspoken in protecting life. I spoke at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and in Chicago. In Congress, I was the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and sought to bypass Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act to the House floor. 

When the votes were finally counted the day after the Democratic primary, a day before everything in Illinois shut down because of the pandemic, I suffered a narrow defeat. 

  1. Are Internet Services as Good as Church? 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

Seventy-five percent of evangelical Protestants in the U.S. have attended church online during the pandemic, according to a recent survey by Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research. “We found that 45% of those who experienced online church services now believe that worship online is equal or superior to the in-person experience,” said Mark Dreistadt, president and founder of Infinity Concepts. Only 44% want to return exclusively to in-person worship, according to the report, which surveyed more than 1,000 evangelical Protestants. 

Although Pew Research found in April 2020 that a quarter of U.S. adults said their faith had become stronger because of the pandemic, some pastors are skeptical about the long-run effects of online worship. “People tend to try to multitask when they are watching online. The result is that they are not focused on God or the worship at times,” says Mr. O’Sullivan, a pastor of the Shelter Rock campus in Syosset, N.Y. “We are trying to keep them engaged.” 

The Infinity Concepts report also found that many American evangelicals used the pandemic lockdowns to “digitally visit” new churches—another cause for concern among some pastors. “One has to wonder whether this will ultimately lead to church nomads, who surf the internet for new church experiences rather than putting down roots and becoming part of a church community,” Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter, says. 

  1. OSHA Instructs Federal Agencies Not to Record Adverse Reactions to COVID Vaccine 

From Townhall: 

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration [OSHA], which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor [DOL], is instructing federal agencies not to record adverse reactions or side effects from the coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden mandated the shot for all federal workers and contractors. He did the same in September for private companies with more than 100 employees.  

“Are adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine recordable on the OSHA record keeping log?” the frequently asked questions section for COVID-19 states on “DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, coronavirus vaccines have a number of side effects, including heart inflammation in young people.  

“As we go into younger and younger age groups, they’re less and less at personal risk of severe Covid, and on the other hand, somewhat more at risk of this inflammatory heart condition with the mRNA vaccine,” Dr. Ofer Levy, who sits on the FDA vaccine approval board, told CNBC last week. 

  1. Where’s the Discussion About Natural Immunity?

From The Daily Citizen: 

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Americans not travel for Christmas. Now, the agency has made a similar recommendation for this year. 

In 2020, the CDC recommended, “The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel.” 

The CDC has now updated its guidance for safely celebrating this year’s holiday season, advising, “CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.” 

According to the CDC’s data, two thirds of the population age 12 and older has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

For the one third of Americans who aren’t fully vaccinated, many may ask the glaring follow up question to the CDC’s new holiday guidance. 

What about those who aren’t fully vaccinated, but have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19? 

  1. Amid Supply Chain Woes, Prepare Your Family for a Simple Little Christmas 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Back in 1944, songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine composed the music and penned the words to what would become an annual classic Christmas tune – a carol first sung by Judy Garland and later by Frank Sinatra: 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on
Our troubles will be out of sight 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yule-tide gay
From now on
Our troubles will be miles away 

More than three quarters of a century later, Christmas “troubles” in the form of a half-million unloaded shipping containers off the California coast are miles away – but not out of sight.  

But should supply lines make Christmas shopping more difficult this year, might we be able to do with less? 

We give gifts to people we love – but there are many gifts that money will never buy, nor get held up on a barge in the Pacific Ocean. 

Christmas is a lot more than glitter and store-bought gifts – it’s a time to celebrate the Ultimate Gift, the greatest birthday story ever told about the greatest man who ever lived and walked the earth. 

And here is the best news of all – the supply chain to Him can never be delayed or broken.