Good Morning! 

There’s an old saying attributed to Sextus Empiricus, a physician and philosopher from the second/third centuries. He wrote: 

“The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.” 

Some Tennessee lawmakers might agree: 

1. Federal Appeals Court Reverses Itself, Allows Tennessee Ban on Down Syndrome Abortions to Go into Effect 

From The Daily Citizen: 

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week reversed an earlier order issued by three of its own members and lifted an injunction against the operation of a Tennessee ban on abortions performed because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, or because of the race or sex of the baby – also known as “reason bans.” 

Tennessee is widely considered to be a pro-life, conservative state. So when the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate approved a  ban on such abortions in June 2020 by large margins, no one was surprised to see Governor Bill Lee sign it into law. The law also included a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

However, the law was immediately challenged in court by abortion sellers in the state and a federal district court blocked the law from taking effect by issuing an injunction against state officials charged with enforcing it. 

When the state appealed to the 6th Circuit, however, things got complicated. In November 2020 a three-judge panel reversed the injunction as to the reason bans but kept it in place as to the heartbeat abortion provision. Then, almost a year later, in September 2021 another three-judge panel reversed the previous panel decision and reinstated the injunction against the reason bans. 

Confused yet? It gets even more interesting. As we know, the Texas Heartbeat Act was making several trips up to the U.S. Supreme Court beginning in September 2021 at the same time as the Tennessee law was working its way through the 6th Circuit. In December, the entire complement of 6th Circuit judges – 17 in all – known as an “en banc” court, voted to vacate (i.e., erase) the panel’s decision against the heartbeat bill and reschedule oral arguments at some future date. 

After all the legal dust cleared this week, Tennessee’s law prohibiting abortions for reasons of race, sex, or diagnosis of Down syndrome will be in effect for the time being. And the ultimate fate of the Tennessee law – both the reason bans and the heartbeat abortion ban – could depend on what the Supreme Court says when it issues its Dobbs decision, expected by the end of June. 

  1. Teen Girls’ ‘Sexy’ Tik Tok Videos Take a Mental Health Toll 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

When Jula Anderson joined TikTok at age 16, her first video featured her family’s home renovations. It got five likes. After seeing others post risqué videos and get more likes, she tried it, too. 

“I wanted to get famous on TikTok, and I learned that if you post stuff showing your body, people will start liking it,” Jula, now an 18-year-old high-school senior near Sacramento, Calif., said. 

Sudden TikTok fame is catching teens off guard, leaving many girls unprepared for the attention they thought they wanted, according to parents, therapists and teens. In some cases, predators target girls who make sexually suggestive videos; less-dangerous interactions can also harm girls’ self-esteem and leave them feeling exploited, they say. 

Mental-health professionals around the country are growing increasingly concerned about the effects on teen girls of posting sexualized TikTok videos. Therapists say teens who lack a group of close friends, and teens with underlying mental health issues—especially girls who struggle with disordered eating and body-image issues—are at particular risk. 

“For a young girl who’s developing her identity, to be swept up into a sexual world like that is hugely destructive,” said Paul Sunseri, a psychologist and director of the New Horizons Child and Family Institute in El Dorado Hills, Calif., where Jula began receiving treatment last year for anxiety and depression. “When teen girls are rewarded for their sexuality, they come to believe that their value is in how they look,” he said. 

3. Men Play Consequential Role in Women’s Decision to Have an Abortion, Survey Finds 

From The Daily Citizen: Probably the most oft repeated and false phrases of the pro-abortion movement is that abortion is a “woman’s issue.” They’ll claim, “If you don’t have a uterus, you don’t have a say.” 

But a study has found that men play a consequential role in their partner’s decision to have an abortion. 

The study was conducted by Care Net, a network of Christian crisis-pregnancy centers, and surveyed 1,000 men with an online survey. 

The study found that more often than not, when men found out that their partner was pregnant, they responded by encouraging her to get an abortion. 

For men whose partner had an abortion, 47% said they were attending church at least once a month. Ten percent were attending more than once a week while 20% were attending about once a week. 

Only 28% were never attending church. 

The idea that abortion only effects women, or that men can’t have a say in the issue, is a lie. Plain and simple. 

4. When Asked ‘What Are Your Pronouns,’ Don’t Answer 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

While being subjected to constant rituals of pronoun exchanges may seem silly or annoying at best and exhausting at worst, in reality participating in this ostensibly benign practice helps to normalize a regressive ideology that is inflicting enormous harm on society. To understand why, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with its core tenets. 

Coercing people into publicly stating their pronouns in the name of “inclusion” is a Trojan horse that empowers gender ideology and expands its reach. It is the thin end of the gender activists’ wedge designed to normalize their worldview. Participating in pronoun rituals makes you complicit in gender ideology’s regressive belief system, thereby legitimizing it. Far from an innocuous act signaling support for inclusion, it serves as an implicit endorsement of gender ideology and all of its radical tenets. 

The effort to resist gender ideology is reality’s last stand. We simply can’t ignore fundamental realities of our biology and expect positive outcomes for society. Pronoun rituals are extremely effective at normalizing and institutionalizing the abolition of biological sex in favor of gender identity. These rituals take advantage of people’s confusion and compassion to achieve compliance. But the time for politeness has long passed. The only proper response to the question “What are your pronouns?” is to reject the premise and refuse to answer. 

  1. Playboy Makes Perversion Woke 

From First Things: 

Some years ago Playboy declared that it would no longer feature photographs of nude women. While this may sound like progress, it was unfortunately less a sign of morality than a sign of the times—an indication that the static and (by later standards) tame photographic fodder that the magazine promoted was incapable of competing with internet pornography. And of course, Playboy‘s new policy was short-lived. 

Criticism of Playboy’s rapid onset wokeness is easy. Perhaps it has always been a serious opinion journal trapped inside the body of a skin magazine? More disturbing than the cynical public handwringing is the fact that Hugh Hefner’s sleazy exploitation of women was well-known in his own lifetime. That he now stands accused of degrading perversions, rape, and much worse surely shocks nobody. Yet this is the man who was a spokesman for Carl’s Jr., the family-friendly burger chain. When Hef was cool, his perversions were ignored (even indulged), invitations to his mansion were coveted, and his commercial imprimatur was keenly sought. And of course, conservative critics who dared to point out who he was and what he stood for could expect to be decried as puritanical killjoys, lacking, as they did, “sex positivity.” 

This brings us to the true significance of corporate wokeism: It is a sign of the morally vacuous nature of our times. In modern America, morality is nothing more than the sum total of the tastes of the moment. When free love and throwing off the sexual restraints of earlier generations was hip, Hef was a godlike figure who was the public face of a family restaurant chain. Now that the human cost of this revolution has become clear, Hef is a demon, denounced even by those who owe their livelihoods to him and to the capital acquired by his peddling of sleaze. 

The fate of Hefner’s reputation, like the success of his career, speaks eloquently about the state of America and perhaps the West as a whole. Self-indulgent to a tee, the only morality it knows is that which chimes with whatever the tastes of the moment happen to be, whatever works, whatever makes money. Promiscuity yesterday, wokeness and inclusivity today. And the tragedy is that such amoral morality, always driven by market forces rather than a true understanding of what it means to be human, must inevitably come with a hefty price tag, as the A&E documentary on Hefner will no doubt reveal in graphic and painful detail. Still, at least the new woke Playboy will now make sure that its profit margins are built on moral chaos that is inclusive of all, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, age, ability, or zip code. 

6. The Left Is Weaponizing ‘Misinformation’ to Silence Dissent 

FroFrom Newsweek: 

Labeling skepticism about official narratives “misinformation” is steadily becoming the liberal establishment’s favored tool to silence and defame dissenting perspectives. The term “misinformation” is often employed with such reckless abandon that one need not actually spread malicious falsehoods to be assailed by it. Thus, a comedian like Rogan, who makes no claim to intellectual authority or expertise, is now at the center of this ridiculous controversy. 

It is utterly hypocritical for establishment liberals to accuse skeptics and dissenters of willfully spreading malicious “misinformation” and call for unconstitutional censorship of their perspectives when their own “facts” have been shown time and again to be fungible. 

This hostility towards independent media’s influence is not proof of misinformation but of a deep insecurity. The very existence and success of independent actors unattached to the mainstream media poses a severe threat to the hegemony of corporate media. Accusing dissidents of “misinformation” acts as a moral cover against the misinformation that the liberal establishment is itself guilty of proliferating.

7. Fox’s Shannon Bream announces new book about mothers in the Bible

From the Washington Examiner: 

Fox News @ Night anchor Shannon Bream is set to release her second book, Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak: Lessons on Faith from Nine Biblical Families

Bream’s first bookThe Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today, was released in March 2021 and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for 15 consecutive weeks. 

The anchor said the first book focused on timeless problems and solutions seen in biblical women’s lives but that readers can expect to see connections of faith and family in Mothers and Daughters

“This brand new book does look at a lot of these women through the lens of motherhood, of daughterhood, of traditional families, of families that come together in adoption, giving us a bigger picture of God adopting us into His family,” Bream said. 

“Another big theme in the book is spiritual mothers and daughters,” Bream said. “Not all of us are going to be moms — not all of us are going to have daughters — but if we share faith, we can be mentors, we can encourage, and who has not needed that over the last couple of years?” 

Bream has not been shy about her faith, saying her discovery of women’s stories in the Bible has helped her in life. 

“I think when you’re suffering or stuck in a period of waiting, it can seem pointless,” Bream said. “What these women’s stories remind me is that there’s purpose in all of it. There are so many puzzle pieces out there, and we only get to see the ones in front of us. When we can look back and see how it all fits together, it reminds us of the verse in Romans 8 that says all things are working together for good. There are definitely valleys in that process, and to watch these women walk through them and see what was waiting on the other side has been incredibly encouraging to me.” 

8. If You’re Eligible, Consider Giving Blood to Help Solve the Blood Shortage Crisis  

From The Daily Citizen: 

The Red Cross is warning of “life or death consequences” of a decreasing national blood supply – yet another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is upending donation patterns and canceling drives at churches, businesses and schools. 

Assuming there are no medical or other justifiable reasons not to, every Christian should prayerfully consider becoming a blood donor. While just under 40% of the population are eligible to give blood, just 10% actually do. Why? As a people committed to loving and serving others, selflessly giving a small part of ourselves is a very loving act that’s consistent with our Christian witness. 

Click here to find a location near you. Please consider making an appointment as soon as possible. 

There’s a problem – there’s a blood shortage crisis. 

As Christians, we can be part of the solution. 

9. 5 Christian Athletes to Watch in the Winter Olympics 

From the Gospel Coalition: 

If you’re looking for athletes to root for, we recommend following these five Christian competitors—and also a specific way you can pray for each of them. 

Eric Staal, Hockey, Canada: In a 2018 interview with Promise Keepers Canada, Eric Staal said that playing hockey “is a chance to try to live our lives for God and show our fans and teammates that there are better things up above.” 

David Wise, Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe, United States: In a post on his blog from 2018, Wise said: 

I appreciate the opportunity to represent my country, my hometown and MY people in the Olympics this year more than I knew I was capable of. I also know that all of this is temporary, and that is ok. Everything that I have is a gift from God, and He can take it away when He wants to. I am surrounded by people who truly love and support me for who I am, not what I do on a pair of skis and not for any level of success I could attain.  

Elana Meyers, Bobsledding, United States: While Meyers has experienced loads of success, her ultimate purpose transcends the accolades. 

“God put me here for a specific reason and I don’t think it’s just to win medals,” she adds. “At the end of the day, I’m in this sport to glorify God, so if that means I come in last place or I win the gold medal, that’s what I’m going to do.” 

Part of glorifying God through the sport of bobsledding, means leveraging the evangelistic opportunities that come her way. As Meyers put it: 

“One of the big reasons I was put in bobsled is to help people not only reach their goals, but come to Christ.” 

Paul Schommer, Biathlon, Unites States: Paul Schommer doesn’t just want to talk about God on his social media platforms. He is striving to live a life that fully integrates his faith with his sport

“I don’t want [people to see] I’m a Christian only from my Facebook profile. I want it to be a life lived in a way that it’s like, ‘There’s something different about him.’” 

Nicole Hensley, Hockey, United States: After winning the gold medal with Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Hensley is back in the net as the goalie for the 2022 squad. 

And she will take the ice knowing the gifts God has given her to steward are an opportunity to touch the lives of others

I feel that with the abilities and love for hockey that God has given me, He’s also given me a bit of a platform to possibly reach others who are wondering about their faith, or maybe don’t have any faith, or want to grow stronger in their faith. Maybe it’s a way to start a conversation with somebody. 

10. 100 Year-Old Woman’s ‘Secret’ to Her Long Life  

From CBN: 

A Maryland woman recently celebrated her 100th birthday by revealing the “secret” to her longevity: “loving the Lord.” 

Martha Bailey was born in 1922 and grew up in Virginia, where she often sang in church. Her family describes her as the pillar and a wonderful mom and grandparent. 

Bailey has a daughter, five grandchildren, and dozens of great-grandchildren, whom she fiercely loves, according to WUSA-TV

And when it came time for the outlet to ask Bailey what she believes helped her reach age 100 when she celebrated her birthday last month, she wasted no time in giving all the credit to God. 

Photo from Twitter.