François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, once wrote, “As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.”
We begin with a classic case of chutzpah:
- VP Harris Calls for Church Leaders to Encourage and Support Abortion
From Life News:
Kamala Harris urged Baptist pastors to fight for “light” over darkness Thursday while at the same time advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Houston Chronicle reports Harris mentioned abortion during her speech to the National Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas, which about 2,000 pastors and church leaders attended.
Although Christianity recognizes the value of every human life from the moment of conception and condemns the killing of innocent human beings, Harris defended abortion as part of her talk.
She criticized Texas lawmakers for passing laws that protect unborn babies from abortion, saying women should be allowed to “make decisions about their own future,” according to the report.
“These ideals now hang in the balance, and in this moment then we count on the strength and conviction of our faith leaders to help lead us forward,” Harris said.
She attempted to portray her pro-abortion beliefs as Christian by bringing up how she went to church as a child and studied the Bible. She also implied that killing unborn babies in abortions is moral when she challenged the Baptist pastors to fight for the “light” over darkness.
Michigan Supreme Court clears abortion measure for November ballot
From the Washington Examiner:
The 5-2 ruling allows the Michigan Right to Reproductive Freedom initiative to appear on the ballot, which activists hope will boost Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reelection bid by fueling Democratic enthusiasm. It failed to make the ballot during an Aug. 30 Michigan Board of State Canvassers vote that deadlocked 2-2 along party lines.
The measure, if it passes, would cement “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care” into the state constitution. The group that introduced it seeks to overturn a nearly century-old law that outlaws abortion in all cases except when the mother’s life is at risk.
The election board certified that more than 500,000 of the 700,000 signatures collected to get it on the ballot were valid, which would usually mean it could appear. However, the Board of State Canvassers does not have to take the recommendation from the Michigan Bureau of Elections, which is why the initiative faltered during the vote. Opponents claimed the method in which signatures were collected may have confused some signers.
- Faith-Based Adoption Provider Wins Big Religious Freedom Victory in New York
From the Daily Citizen:
It took four years, and some help from an appellate court, but a faith-based adoption agency in New York has won a permanent legal victory that keeps the state from closing it down for operating in accordance with its religious beliefs that children do best with a married mom and dad.
New Hope Family Services (New Hope) is a private adoption agency, a temporary foster-placement agency and a pregnancy resource center in Syracuse, New York. It accepts no government funds but is supported by private donations and grants.
New Hope’s adoption services are regulated by the state of New York, however, and the state’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) contacted New Hope in 2018 and informed it that if it continued to refuse to place children with unmarried and same-sex couples, the agency would be closed down by the state.
New Hope sued OCFS in order to stay open and vindicate its religious freedom right to place children only with a married mom and dad. After an initial loss in a federal district court, New Hope appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and in 2020 the 2nd Circuit reversed the lower court.
3. Christian baker in Oregon returns to Supreme Court over refusal to bake same-sex wedding cake
From the Washington Times:
A Christian baker is back at the Supreme Court, asking the justices once again to take up her challenge to Oregon’s public accommodations law after the state put her out of business for refusing to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Melissa Klein and her husband Aaron owned “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” They served all customers without discrimination until 2013 when they were approached by repeat customers for a custom cake — but this time it was to celebrate the same-sex marriage of a lesbian couple.
They refused to participate, citing the Bible’s teaching against homosexuality and their faith. As a result, the couple filed a complaint with the state, which fined them $135,000.
When they first appealed to the Supreme Court, the justices sent their case back down to Oregon courts citing the 2018 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where they sided with a Christian baker who refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake for a gay couple.
- How Long Will Christians Let Their Children Stay in Public Schools?
Dr. Al Mohler on The Briefing:
For decades now, I’ve been warning as clearly as I can that the time is coming when that idea is going to be implausible, when the public schools are going to be so hostile to Christian conviction and are going to be so given over to Progressivist ideologies and the Secularist agenda, it’s going to be extremely difficult for any Christians to continue working in the schools, even serving in the administration of the schools or sending their children to these schools.
Now, I’m not saying that all school systems, public school systems, in all locations are at the same point in this line of regression. I’m not saying that. Where there is greater local control and the local school board holds to far more traditional, educational values, not to mention morality, well, you still have a bit more time perhaps, but school district by school district, the time ran out and has run out and is running out and school by school and system by system, the issues are becoming more stark and more clear.
Something else we need to note is that the public schools were never neutral when it came to ideology. For one thing, there was a common ideology assuming that a new national identity for the United States needed to be inculcated in the young people in the children of the land. There were certain democratic rituals, there were certain kinds of patriotic patterns that took place in the schools as a part of helping those children to grow into American citizens with an understanding of what it meant to be an American.
In the last half of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, there was something else, and that was a huge influx of immigrants, particularly from Europe and often from Eastern Europe. They would come in and some of them would speak Italian, some of them would speak German, an awful lot of them in the American Northeast came from Irish backgrounds. The question for the nation at that point was, how do we assimilate all these children into one nation? And that’s where we run into some very interesting and troubling developments.
- A Call for a More Balanced Approach to Dating and Marriage
Peterson: From talking to college students, I heard that many first-year students quickly pair off in serious relationships, going against the wider pattern of relationship avoidance. I also heard that sexual boundaries can be especially fragile in these relationships. Perhaps one understandable hesitation with the “cornerstone marriage” idea is that it may contribute to dating too intensely due to a premature focus on marriage and commitment. What advice would you have for young people who desire commitment, but may not be ready for marriage?
Carroll: I think your question highlights what I call the erosion of courtship and dating in our culture. Right now, there’s a lot of emphasis on “hookup culture” and relationship avoidance, but this is only one half the picture. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a lot of these “hooked at the hip,” 24/7, rapid-escalation relationships. We’ve lost the middle ground. You’re either at one end of the spectrum in this kind of “hanging out,” nobody’s partnering-off world, or you’re in this other, quickly-attached, prematurely entangled space. To be fair, I think the two extremes are related. A lot of people who’ve been exposed to the “hanging out” world may see this as the only viable alternative—you either jump in and have the immediate boyfriend or girlfriend or you end up without any commitment. And others may be willing to date more but worry that asking someone on a date will be interpreted as a jump into a full-time relationship.
Now, relationship aversion is creating real problems, but overly rapid relationship development can create problems, too. You start getting all the markers of commitment early on that start to push couples along too quickly. It’s a version of Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades concept of “relationship inertia.” They have primarily tied this to cohabitation, but it can also apply to other forms of premature entanglement in dating. If you are seen and treated as a committed couple by your friends and family and you’re spending all your time together, you may find yourself in a deeply committed, almost quasi-engaged relationship. For many couples this also includes a collapse in sexual boundaries and suddenly you think to yourself, “wait, do I even really know this person?!”
And this is also where soulmate thinking is problematic. After all, if that person is “perfect for you,” you don’t need to develop or check and evaluate the relationship. You just dive into that soulmate pool and press forward with this optimism that everything will work out. None of this fits what we know about healthy progression of commitment in relationships that truly last.
- Sex Education Book Instructs Parents To Let Their Young Children Watch Them Have Relations
From the Daily Wire:
A screenshot of an excerpt from a sex education book that recommends parents invite their young children into bed to watch while they have sexual relations circulated on social media on Thursday.
The book, “Sex Education for 8-12 Year Olds: Kids Book for Good Parents,” written by Ana Leblanc, was removed from Amazon following dozens of one-star reviews and comments from readers who were disturbed by the book’s content.
Courage Is A Habit, an account dedicated to “creat[ing] tools & strategies for the average parent so they can defend their child from indoctrination in the K-12 system,” shared screenshots to Twitter of the book which immediately went viral.
“This is what sex education means now. The next time you meet someone that says ‘it’s just about safety/inclusion/empathy,’ show them this & watch them break their groomer spine trying to justify it,” the account said on Thursday.
7. Science Confirms: Lockdowns Don’t Stop The Spread
From the Federalist:
A spike in pneumonia cases in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China was quickly found to be caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses usually cause the common cold, but this one could be lethal. It would eventually come to be called Covid, as I will call both the virus and the disease.
Covid was very contagious. Someone with the flu infects, on average, about 1.1 other people. The first estimate for Covid was 2.5. Think of how many times you’ve had the flu, and you can see the problem. What lessened the blow was that Covid is not very lethal. In 2019, about 0.85 percent of the U.S. population died, in 2020 and 2021 it was just above 1 percent, meaning about 0.15 percent probably died of Covid.
The deaths mostly occurred in the older subset of the population. If you were over the age of 80 and got infected, you had a one in six chance of dying. Odds improved dramatically the younger the person. 75 percent of the deaths were people over 65, less than 1 percent under 30.
Experts knew that with these characteristics, the virus was going to spread very rapidly. Most people would probably be infected at some point. It took only one month from its discovery in China to identify the first case in the United States, from a sample collected on January 18, 2020.
8. Hundreds of Millions of Christians Facing Persecution Worldwide
From the Daily Citizen:
The fact that hundreds of millions of Christians are currently facing significant persecution worldwide is perhaps one of the most underreported stories of our generation.
According to Open Doors USA, there are more than 360 million Christians currently facing persecution for their faith around the globe.
David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, recently told the Daily Signal that there are “50 to 60 countries where there is intense levels of persecution.”
The type and intensity of persecution varies depending on the country, from oppression and surveillance to physical violence and murder.
According to Curry, 100 million Christians in China are currently “being surveilled using technology—facial recognition, using artificial intelligence—and they are being punished for going to church too often, for trying to take their kids to Sunday school. There’s a social score in China and a deduction to be a follower of Jesus and to practice that faithfully.”
China is currently ranked number 17 on Open Doors USA’s list of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
In North Korea, which is ranked number two, Curry shared that if you are a follower of Jesus, and you’re caught, “you’re going to spend the rest of your life and die in a labor camp … And they’ll be executed in some cases.”
Open Doors USA reports that the country where it is most difficult to be a Christian is Afghanistan.
- New survey reveals highest and lowest ranked college campuses for student free speech
According to a recent study conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a non-profit civil liberties group, Columbia University ranked as the worst school for student free speech.
The annual FIRE study was the “largest survey on student free expression ever conducted” and included responses from more than 45,000 students from January to May of this year. Students had to be enrolled as full-time undergraduate students in a four-year program to qualify for the survey.
The comprehensive list includes the free speech ranking of 203 campuses in the United States.
The survey, released on Wednesday, categorized each school from “exceptional” to “abysmal.”
10.Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s Longest Serving Monarch, Has Died at 96
From BBC News:
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.
He said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.
“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
During the coming period of mourning, he said he and his family would be “comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held”.
Queen Elizabeth II: “Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love.”
From the Daily Citizen:
But beyond being drawn to the pomp and the pageantry, beyond the intrigue with the richness of royalty, what was it that drew so many of us to the Queen and her extended family?
I think at the center of it all is our deep and abiding desire for family and stability. Queen Elizabeth represented that. Yes, there was the dysfunction – and sometimes it was headline news.
But more often than not, the Queen’s reign ran like a train traveling on time through a beautiful, picturesque countryside. She was reliable, dependable. She also appeared unflappable and always firmly in command.
We all intrinsically want that, don’t we? We want to be loved and we want someone to love. We’re drawn to the security of loving parents, a devoted spouse, children who mean everything to us – and hopefully, we mean everything to them.
So what was the Queen’s secret? How did she pull it off?
It really wasn’t a secret at all. In message after message, usually at Christmas, she said her personal faith in Jesus Christ was “the anchor” in her life. She said in 2014, “Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love.”
Whether you’re the Queen of England or living in Queens, New York, it’s usually the little things that make the biggest difference.
The very best way to honor the memory of Queen Elizabeth the Second’s long and storied life is to love the people God has placed in your life and on your path.
God saved the Queen for seventy years – and now because of her faith in Him, she lives on with Him in a World without End.