“To get the full value of joy,” Mark Twain once quipped, “you must have someone to divide it with.”
In our first story, we’re reminded that marriage is the best place to accomplish that tactic, and it’s also the key to raising successful, well-adjusted children:
- Fathers are Responsible for the Children They Help Create, Not Government
From the Institute for Family Studies:
The most important thing conservatives should be doing to support motherhood is using every ounce of political and cultural capital to reconnect marriage and childrearing. There is no greater example of privilege in America today than a child who grows up with his or her married biological parents in a stable and loving home. Given the relationship between marital status and abortion (i.e., most women seeking abortions are unmarried), now is the time for conservatives to bring a distinctive pro-life message into the public square that is built on the foundation of marriage and responsible fatherhood.
Pro-life politicians and social commentators need to make it clear that men are responsible for the children they create, not the state. They need to consistently promote the link between marriage and positive social and emotional outcomes for children. They need to reorient our society away from the contemporary model of family formation characterized by casual sex, conscious co-parenting, and commonplace abortion.
What conservatives should create instead is a comprehensive pro-life agenda built on the foundation of marriage that sees children as blessings to be enjoyed and celebrated, not burdens to be managed and overcome.
Conservatives who argue for more support from the state for pregnant women are motivated by compassion and a sense of responsibility to children. The problem is that any discussion of family that fails to include marriage and the responsibilities of fathers will yield marginally better results than what we would expect from pro-choice devotees of the Sexual Revolution.
Roe is no more, and none of us know exactly what will come next. That is why now is the perfect time for conservatives to extol the benefits of marriage and speak life into an area of our culture that has been marked by death for far too long.
2. Elon Musk Hits The Bullseye On Fertility But Misses The Target On Family
From The Federalist:
For years now, tech mogul Elon Musk has been warning the public that fertility rates have dropped precipitously. The titan of industry, a proponent of having more babies, seems to promote fertility as a worthy goal in itself. Previously, Musk said, “If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble.”
And though he offers his children love, immense privilege, and quality time, his approach to progeny isn’t something that should be emulated. The crisis we face is not just falling birth rates, it’s collapsing families.
To bear a child is not particularly difficult compared to the immense responsibility of raising them to be healthy, happy, productive members of society. This is where Musk, with his ten children born to three different mothers (that we know of), is failing to model and promote the right message.
Lately, Musk has multiplied broken households as he multiplied offspring as if wealth and status can compensate for an intact family life, where mom and dad live under the same roof, love each other, and raise their children together.
Musk may be a genius, but he is fooling himself if he thinks we can resolve the fertility crisis simply by producing more babies.
The serial entrepreneur has fathered 10 children so far among three different women, most of whom were conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Musk had six children with his first wife, Justine Wilson, one of whom sadly died in infancy but is not married to either of the women who gave birth to three of his children late last year. Singer Clair Boucher (Grimes) produced a second child with Musk via a surrogate, while Shivon Zilis, Director of Operations at Musk’s company, Neuralink, gave birth to his twins just weeks before.
No, Children Do Not Cost Too Much
From the Daily Citizen:
The Brookings Institution, a leading center-left Washington DC-based think tank, recently released estimates that it now costs more than $300,000 to raise child today. And that is just through high school!
Goodness, massive numbers like that are enough to scare anyone away from parenting, especially young couples considering starting a family.
Brookings calculates that a married, middle-income couple with two children would spend on average $310,605—or $18,271 a year—to raise a child born in 2015 through age 17. This figure is based on U.S. government inflation figures, a massive increase over the $233,610 the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported it cost to raise a child in 2017.
These estimates consider things like housing, food, clothing, health and child-care, even things like haircuts, shoes, sports equipment, dance lessons and myriad other costs. Most media outlets do not report these figures do not apply to all families. Obviously, different families have different financial abilities and standards of living. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated a few years ago that cumulative child-raising costs through 18 years of age could range from $175,000 for low-income families and as high as $372,000 for the highest-income families.
- Scientists Grow “Synthetic” Embryo With Brain and Beating Heart – Without Eggs or Sperm
Scientists from the University of Cambridge have created model embryos from mouse stem cells that form a brain, a beating heart, and the foundations of all the other organs of the body. It represents a new avenue for recreating the first stages of life.
The team of researchers, led by Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, developed the embryo model without eggs or sperm. Instead, they used stem cells – the body’s master cells, which can develop into almost any cell type in the body.
By guiding the three types of stem cells found in early mammalian development to the point where they start interacting, the researchers mimicked natural processes in the lab. The scientists were able to get the stem cells to ‘talk’ to each other by inducing the expression of a particular set of genes and establishing a unique environment for their interactions.
The stem cells self-organized into structures that progressed through the successive developmental stages until they had beating hearts and the foundations of the brain They also had the yolk sac where the embryo develops and gets nutrients from in its first weeks. Unlike other synthetic embryos, the Cambridge-developed models reached the point where the entire brain, including the anterior portion, began to develop. This is a further point in development than has been achieved in any other stem cell-derived model.
4. Save the Girl: India’s Christians Lead Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs on Ending Gendercide
From Christianity Today:
Nine million girls have gone “missing” in India over the past two decades due to sex-selective abortions, according to a new report on sex ratios and gendercide in the world’s second-most populous nation.
The problem rests mainly within the Hindu and Sikh communities, according to government-backed data, while the subcontinent’s Christians have maintained a “natural balance” of sons and daughters since 2001, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released today.
Pew estimates that Christians account for 53,000 of the missing girls in India, whereas Hindus account for 7.8 million girls, Muslims account for 590,000 girls, Sikhs account for 440,000 girls, and other religious groups such as Buddhists and Jains account for 110,000 girls.
The tallies were disproportionately high for Hindus, who comprise 79.8 percent of India’s population yet 86.7 percent of the missing girls, as well as for Sikhs, who comprise 1.7 percent of the population yet 4.9 percent of the missing. The tallies were disproportionately low for Muslims, who comprise 14.2 percent of India’s population yet 6.6 percent of the missing girls, as well as for Christians, who comprise 2.3 percent of the population yet 0.6 percent of the missing.
- Sign of the Times: Baseball Team Abruptly Cancels Family Night, Shuts Out Pro-Life Groups
From PJ Media:
The way things are going in Old Joe Biden’s America, the most surprising part of this story may be that the Rocky Mountain Vibes, a Pioneer League baseball team in Colorado Springs with an anthropomorphized s’more featuring a smiling toasted marshmallow for its mascot, scheduled a Family Night in the first place — one that was sponsored by pro-life organizations, of all people. Were there no drag queens in Colorado Springs who could have come and set up a stripper’s pole at second base? But the guardians of acceptable opinion ultimately prevailed: the Vibes, marshmallow men to the last, canceled their Family Night just hours before game time.
Fox News reported Friday that Family Night was canceled “due to objections to two organizations partnering on the event.” One of those organizations was Save the Storks, which states: “Our mission is to create a story of hope and empowerment for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy.” Gee, who could possibly object to such an organization? Save the Storks itself is sure that UCHealth “was behind this shut down.” The Rocky Mountain Vibes play in UCHealth Park. UCHealth, however, denied that it had any role in canceling Family Night, and the Vibes themselves cheerfully avowed that the cancellation was all on them.
The team explained:
“While we value all our sponsors and ticket holders, they do not make decisions regarding the nature of our post-game entertainment, or groups that come out to our stadium to raise awareness for their causes. The Vibes made this decision after seeing the proposed assets from the partner in question because they felt that the partner would hinder the team’s mission in providing fun and affordable family entertainment. Any statement placing blame on any outside party for cancelation of tonight’s events is inaccurate. The Vibes made this decision internally and stand by their choice.”
- Christians in Afghanistan Face Routine Torture, Persecution from Family Members
From Fox News:
Christians who remain in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover face routine torture and persecution from both the government and their own friends, families and communities, according to humanitarian and watchdog groups.
“There are still Christians in Afghanistan,” said Todd Nettleton, an author and radio host who works for the international humanitarian nonprofit Voice of the Martyrs. “I think during the time of the Taliban takeover a year ago, there was a lot of coverage that kind of suggested that all the Christians had fled the country.”
Christians are also forbidden to openly worship or evangelize in the country, where the population is 99.8% Muslim and both local and national governments are “highly antagonistic” toward Christian believers. The number of Christians who are martyred there, though small, generally die “without public knowledge,” the guide further explains, and “converts from Islam are often killed by family members or other radicalized Muslims before any legal proceedings can begin.
- America’s Fire Sale: Get Some Free Speech While You Can
From The Atlantic:
The concept of free speech evolved in the West for 2,000 years, beginning with the Athenians (although not without a few setbacks, such as the death of Socrates). But America was the first country in history to enshrine a formal, legal, and enforceable protection for free expression, ensuring that people have the right to speak no matter who’s pissed off or how powerful they are.
Whenever a society collapses in on itself, free speech is the first thing to go. That’s how you know we’re in the process of closing up shop. Our legal protections remain in place—that’s why so many of us were able to smack the Trump piñata to such effect—but the culture of free speech is eroding every day. Ask an Oberlin student—fresh outta Shaker Heights, coming in hot, with a heart as big as all outdoors and a 3 in AP Bio—to tell you what speech is acceptable, and she’ll tell you that it’s speech that doesn’t hurt the feelings of anyone belonging to a protected class.
And here we are, running out the clock on the American epilogue. The people on the far right are dangerous lunatics and millions on even the center left want to rewrite the genetic code.
If you don’t want to stick around for the fire sale (The Federalist Papers! “Letter From Birmingham Jail”! Everything must go!) and you’re not too eager to get knifed on a Friday morning because of something you said, you might want to look into relocating to one of the other countries shaped by the principles of the American Revolution. They aren’t hard to find. Just go to Google and type in the free world.
8. Teachers unions want parents to forget what happened during COVID. Don’t let them.
From USA Today:
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has kicked off the “What Kids and Communities Need” campaign.
It’s total gaslighting.
What kids and communities need is simple: They need reliable schools where teachers show up and do their job. Yet, that’s not has what happened in far too many cases in the past two years.
There’s a reason why 1.5 million students left their public schools in the 2020-21 school year – parents weren’t happy with extended closures and the uncertainty that came with it. So they chose private schools that stayed open, or they home-schooled.
D.C. Mayor Bars Unvaccinated Students From In-Person School and Virtual Learning
From the Daily Citizen:
In our nation’s capital, students who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 may soon be barred from receiving an education altogether.
Perhaps most startlingly, parents who still refuse to get their children vaccinated may be reported to Child and Family Services and the Office of the Attorney General.
Washington, D.C. is one of the only cities in the nation that still has a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for certain students set to return to school in-person this school year.
Guidelines from the city’s health agency states that students in 8th – 10th grade, or students 13 – 15 years old, are required to receive a “Full Course of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series.”
9. J.C. Penney’s Long Forgotten Christian Roots & Our Call to Publicly Live Our Faith
From the Daily Citizen:
According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in grades K-12 can expect to spend upwards of $800 on back-to-school shopping this summer – yet another financial blow in an increasingly expensive, inflation-charged year.
One of the oldest retailers competing for those dollars is J.C. Penney – the Plano, Texas-based company with 669 stores operating across 49 states.
But lost to the years and rapidly changing cultural conditions are the Christian roots of the legendary business, which started as a 25-foot-by-40-foot dry goods store in the mining town of Kemmerer, Wyo.
James Cash Penney, the son of a Baptist preacher, originally called his store, The Golden Rule – after Jesus’ teaching that, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
But the Great Depression rocked Penney’s company, and caused him to suffer a near mental breakdown, sending him to a medical facility – where he recommitted his life to Jesus.
“At that time something happened to me which I cannot explain,” Penney would later reveal. “It was a life-changing miracle, and I’ve been a different person ever since. I saw God in His glory and planned to be baptized and to join a church.”
In our increasingly secular culture, many in corporate America grow nervous about the blending of faith and business. Just consider the heat Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby have taken for leading with their deeply held religious convictions. But the words of James Cash Penney should be heeded and heralded as a good reminder that believers cannot and should not separate their faith from any of their activities.
“The assumption was that business is secular, and service is religious,” he once said. “I have never been able to accept that line of arbitrary demarcation. Is not service part and parcel of business? It seems to me so; business is therefore as much religious as it is secular. If we follow the admonition to love God, and our neighbors as ourselves, it will lead us to understand that, first of all, success is a matter of the Spirit.”
- August 29, 1776: Remembering the Fog that Saved America
From the Daily Citizen:
But for some summer rain and dense fog, an independent America may never have been.
It was late in the day on Thursday, August 29, 1776 – 246 years ago. General George Washington and his fledgling Continental Army were trapped in Brooklyn Heights, NY., along the East River, across from the island of Manhattan.
Great Britain’s Redcoats, a well-trained army twice in size and far better fortified than the colonists’ ragtag militia, had been pummeling the Americans for days during what would become known as the Battle of Long Island. General William Howe’s British forces were positioned on Staten Island, and on 400 ships across New York Harbor – readying and raring to ignite the fatal and final blow.
During this most recent attack, nearly twenty percent of Washington’s troops had been either killed, injured or captured. Only 9,000 American soldiers remained.
Barring a miracle, the Revolutionary War was all but over.
And a miracle is exactly what happened next.
Just as the American troops fell back in Brooklyn, likely assuming their sorry fate sealed, the clouds rolled in, the skies darkened, rain began to fall, the wind shifted – and a dense fog rolled in as day became night.
Recognizing an opening to escape across to Manhattan, Washington ordered his troops to seize the moment. Soldiers were ordered into boats. The oars were wrapped in towels in order to help muffle the sound of the wood smacking the water. According to accounts of that night, the fog was so thick the men couldn’t see more than six feet in front of them.
By the time morning came and the fog had lifted, all 9,000 troops were safely across the East River and into Manhattan and points beyond.
But that was then, and this is now, right? Does the Lord still intervene in the mundane affairs of men and women?
Of course He does.
Instead of seeing circumstances as matters of coincidence, we should be willing to see them as signs of God’s sovereignty. Rather than calling it luck – why not interpret it as the Lord’s perfect plan?
Perhaps we already have enough holidays, but in the pantheon of significant American dates, the 29th of August should rank high on our list to remember and give thanks for.