It appears that one unnamed and unknown Supreme Court justice would concur with the perspective of Ernest Hemingway, who once observed:
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
We begin with reaction to the Dobb’s leak from Justice Clarence Thomas:
1. Clarence Thomas Laments Dobbs Draft Leak: ‘Kind of an Infidelity’
From National Review:
“The institution that I’m a part of—if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, you would say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that,’” Thomas said, according the Washington Post, at the Old Parkland Conference, which was sponsored by conservative think tanks the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, and the Manhattan Institute.
“There’s such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, belief in what we’re doing, that that was verboten,” Thomas added. “And look where we are, where now that trust or that belief is gone forever. And when you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity, that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”
2. How the Fate of Roe Might Swing on a Failed Supreme Court Nomination and an Unlikely President Trump
From The Daily Citizen:
It may well be premature to officially label Justice Samuel Alito as the author of a Dobbs’ decision finally overturning the tragic and chilling Roedecision of 1973 – but with no Harriet Miers’ withdrawal in 2005, Samuel Alito’s ascent to the Supreme Court would have been unlikely, if not impossible.
And with no Justice Alito, and the very real likelihood of a more moderate jurist in Harriet Miers in his seat on the court – we’re very likely looking at a 5-4 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts upholding Roe.
Indeed, everything matters. That’s because everything effects everything else.
If 107,000 voters in just three states had voted differently back in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have become president – and not Donald Trump.
And with no President Trump, there would be no Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kavanaugh or Justice Barrett – three members of the court who appear poised to join Justice Alito and Justice Thomas in overturning Roe.
It was the Puritan preacher Thomas Brooks who once wrote, “The sovereignty of God is that golden scepter in His hand by which He will make all bow, either by His word or by His works, by His mercies or by His judgements.”
Of course, God’s sovereign authority doesn’t mean everything turns out the way we want things to turn out. But it means everything turns out the way He wants things to turn out.
And that is a very good thing.
The Woman Who Killed Roe: Marjorie Dannenfelser’s single-minded pursuit of an end to abortion.
From The Cut:
Every Monday for the past few months, Dannenfelser has led a call to pray for her favored outcome in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade. She invites notable guests to lead the prayer, such as Ben Carson and Mike Pence, and on Monday May 2, the guest was the anti-abortion activist Father Frank Pavone. “Each Supreme Court justice is under incredible pressure,” she said at the beginning of the call. “There is a hidden and visible assault on the part of the dark side. Let’s name him: the Devil.” Dannenfelser was a little out of breath. It was the end of another long day, she had hurried from dinner, she was leading the call from her car, and now, for some reason, her staff was texting her, interrupting the earnest prayer with the incessant ding of incoming texts. “Lord God, you rescued us from nothingness,” said Father Pavone. Ding, ding. “You delivered them with your mighty hand and with signs and wonders and miracles.” Ding. Dannenfelser was annoyed. Her staff knew she had the call at this time, a moment to focus on what it was all for. Nevertheless, she allowed her attention to be drawn from Pavone’s words to find that she could now read a leaked draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion on the very case about which they had come together to pray.
When the prayer was over, she drove home taking calls and parked in her driveway, where she continued to receive texts as she scrolled through Alito’s decision. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” she read. Ding. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Ding. “At the time of enactment, only six countries besides the United States ‘permit[ted] nontherapeutic or elective abortion-on-demand after the twentieth week of gestation.’ ” From this summary of Mississippi’s argument, she followed a footnote that led to a citation of SBA List’s research arm. She had known this moment would come. She had not known it would come so fast.
This decision marks, for Dannenfelser and her staff, a new era of fragmented political struggle. The work only multiplies. It is now, she says, a “51 front” war, all the states and Congress, too. Already, her organization is heavily involved in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. She has held 21 meetings with state governors, with more to come. “It has taken this long,” she says, “for us to arrive at the beginning.”
3. Abortion is a tragedy, not a workplace benefit
Benjamin Watson writes in the Christian Post:
I want to talk about the cost of abortion. I want to talk about what justice and empathy would really look like here — and it does not look like subsidizing employees’ efforts to kill their children.
Of course, the costs can’t really be quantified. There is no way to translate life lost into dollars lost. The lives can be counted, though. And more than 62 million children have died at the hands of abortionists since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That is 62 million future voters, future leaders, future workers, future mothers, future fathers.
That’s an outrage. It’s an outrage that defending and perpetuating the killing of the unborn has come to exploit the language of justice. It’s an outrage that these corporations adopt political causes without giving serious thought to the actual harms and goods at hand.
The actual harm at hand is the systematic, widespread, socially-condoned killing of our unborn. This demographic has been thoroughly deprived of legal and cultural personhood — so much so that pregnancy is considered without shame by many to be a kind of diseased state, and children to be parasites. It will take dramatic, ongoing, coordinated effort to restore children to their rightful state.
Why is the Left Suddenly Vandalizing Churches and Pro-Life Organizations?
From The Daily Citizen:
Yes, the title of this article is merely rhetorical. We all know why churches and pro-life organizations are suddenly being targeted by pro-abortion radicals on the left.
Obviously, the leaked Alito draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that purports to overturn Roe v. Wade, first reported by Politico on May 2, has stirred up quite the reaction.
The Christian Post has put together a sobering roundup of the damage and destruction done across the country since the leak.
Besides the fire-bombing of the offices of Wisconsin Family Action, which The Daily Citizen has previously reported on, the sudden spate of mayhem includes:
- The Salem, Oregon, offices of Oregon Right to Life were attacked on May 8 using incendiary devices, one of which caught the building on fire. Thanks to the quick response of fire fighters, damage was kept to a minimum.
- Loreto House, a pregnancy resource center in Denton, Texas, was vandalized. Its roadside sign and front door were spray-painted with the words, “Not a clinic,” apparently referring to the fact that no abortions were performed there. The perpetrator(s) also added “Forced Birth is Murder.”
- The Alexandria, Virginia office of Concerned Women for America was vandalized by an unknown male who urinated on the doors and windows of the facility and offered his middle finger to the building’s security cameras.
4. California churchgoers detained gunman in deadly attack
From the Washington Post:
A man opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday, killing one person and wounding five senior citizens before being stopped and hog-tied by parishioners in what a sheriff’s official called an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.”
Four of the five people wounded suffered critical gunshot injuries during the violence at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
The suspect in the shooting, an Asian man in his 60s, was in custody and deputies recovered two handguns at the scene, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. A motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately known but investigators don’t believe the gunman lives in the community, he said.
The majority of those inside the church at the time were believed to be of Taiwanese descent, said Carrie Braun, a sheriff’s spokesperson.
5. Hillsdale Takes On Biden’s DOE
You know you’re hitting the target when your opponent starts fighting back. In this case, the target is good education, namely charter schools, and the opponent is Biden’s Department of Education.
In the same week the New York Times was digging for any kind of dirt it could toss at Hillsdale College’s charter-school initiative, a new DOE rule went into effect. The rule, proposed in the unplumbed depths of the federal register a month prior on March 14, added some 14 pages of federal regulations on the traditionally local process of charter-school application, approval, and administration. Among other things, the rules would give school boards and “community leaders” a unilateral veto over new charter-school applications that don’t directly collaborate with the public schools.
Charter schools, which use a combination of public and private funding to provide parents and their children an alternative to public schooling without the additional costs of private or home education, have long been a thorn in the side of public schools and “educators.” This is in part due to the fact that children who attend charter schools have historically performed far better than their public school counterparts, prompting parents and voters to ask the obvious questions.
The new rule states that charter schools were created to invite “innovative approaches to teaching and learning for all students while being held accountable for academic performance,” the twist of irony being that academic performance at charter schools typically far outstrips that of regular public schools. If anyone needs to be held accountable for academic performance, it is the Department of Education and public schools.
6. ‘Parents Are Always in the Parent Role’: When Adult Children Move Home in Crisis
From the Wall Street Journal:
Many adult children are returning home lately because they need help. Some adult children have addiction or mental-health disorders, while others are emotionally and financially distressed after a divorce, broken relationship or job loss.
The pandemic accelerated the trend of adult children living at home. In 2021, close to one-third of adults aged 18 to 34 lived with their parents—which would include those in the younger age range who came home when campuses moved to remote learning—up from 27% in 2005, according to U.S. Census figures.
For parents, this often means shelving retirement plans and new worries about their child’s emotional and mental health, as well as their grandchildren’s well-being. They have to figure out how to be supportive but not enabling and set boundaries and expectations.
“Parents are always in the parent role,” says Karen Fingerman, a professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Fingerman, who researched the pandemic’s impact on psychological well-being, says young adults had more stress, more life changes and more isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic than older adults. Six out of 10 young adults aged 18 to 24 reported anxiety or depressive disorders during the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 25% of young adults abused drugs or alcohol to help cope with the pandemic.
- America Needs More Houses
From the Wall Street Journal:
America faces a housing shortfall. For too long, supply simply hasn’t kept up with demand or household formation. Fewer new homes were built in the decade following the 2008-09 financial crisis than in any decade since the 1960s. Estimates vary, but the U.S. needs at least 1.5 million more homes.
The shortfall of affordable housing hurts America’s businesses and the broader economy by preventing workers from living in areas with economic opportunities but high housing costs. Employers are forced to operate below their potential because they can’t attract or retain workers. One study estimated that this misallocation could cost up to 2% of gross domestic product, or more than $400 billion a year in lost economic output. Housing costs also play a major role in inflation, making up the largest component of the consumer price index.
First, encourage the elimination of unnecessary barriers to housing production. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws—like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements and prohibitions on multifamily housing—have inflated costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities.
Second, address other constraints to the production of housing across the country, from rising material costs to labor supply challenges.
Third, make it easier for developers to finance new housing, especially housing that is affordable to low- and middle-income families.
8. Small Screen-Habit Changes Make a Big Difference
From Plugged In:
Researchers from the University of Bath in England conducted research on a group of 154 people, ages 18 to 72, who used social media daily. On average, most of the participants spent about 8 hours a week on social media, or a little more than an hour daily. Researchers split the participants into two groups: One would continue to use social media normally and a second group that committed to trying to abstain completely for a week.
Dr. Jeff Lambert, one of the researchers on the study, emphasized again that even small changes in our screen-time habits can have significant effects. “Scrolling social media is so ubiquitous that many of us do it almost without thinking from the moment we wake up to when we close our eyes at night. … Many of our participants reported positive effects from being off social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact.”
Social media and the screens that deliver that content aren’t going anywhere. It will continue to be a challenge faced by families—parents and teens alike—in the years to come. But studies like this one are important, because they show us that even relatively modest adjustments to our usage can yield big benefits as we reshape our habitual interactions with technology.
9. Narnia Is for Grown-Ups, Too
From the Gospel Coalition:
Despite the treasures of good stories, too often the harried pace of adult life steers us away from them. Taxes, deadlines, health crises, and the daily urgency of getting kids out the door and dinner on the table crowd out the books that shaped us as children. Life is too frenetic, and our work too important, to busy ourselves with childish things.
And yet, C. S. Lewis flatly rejected the notion that we can outgrow great stories. “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so,” he wrote on the subject. “Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
Indeed, as we age, great stories can offer us glimpses of hope to sustain us through the hardest of days. “Don’t you miss the peace that a good story left behind in your soul?” writes children’s author Mitali Perkins, who credits children’s literature with opening her mind to the gospel. “Children’s books can still do that good work for adults. . . . Good stories for children, after taking us through a hero’s journey fraught with danger and loss, leave us with hope.”
- Five Star Resort Shows the Better Way to Live
Focus president Jim Daly and Paul Batura write for the Colorado Springs Gazette:
For the 62nd consecutive year, The Broadmoor hotel, a century-plus-year-old Colorado Springs landmark otherwise known as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies,” has earned five stars from the Forbes Travel Guide. No other hotel or resort has been so good for so long.
In order to qualify for this high ranking, resorts must possess myriad qualities and characteristics, including “luxurious beds,” “supreme service” and “helpful housekeeping.” Even the time it takes to deliver a cup of room service coffee is calculated by reviewers and taken into consideration.
The Broadmoor hotel is an oasis nestled into the southwest part of town, sitting quietly in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain. For generations of families, it’s been the site of countless memories and hosted numerous historic events. But it’s actually much more than a top-rated resort attracting presidents, celebrities and even royalty. It serves an even greater purpose than simply meeting and even exceeding the expectations of its guests.
The “Broadmoor Way” models the way we should live individually and corporately. In this increasingly coarse and corrosive culture, we would be wise to heed the resort’s commitment to good manners and its tireless devotion to both its staff and guests.
For example, Broadmoor employees are trained and required to acknowledge and make eye contact with each guest they encounter. It’s more than just a good business tactic.
To be “seen” is among the greatest longings of the human heart. In an automated and impersonal world, it feels good to be personally greeted, and especially by name.
So, instead of just silently passing someone on the trail or in a store and looking down or looking away the next time you’re out, smile and say hello.
The hotel staff is trained to anticipate guests’ needs and desires. This thoughtfulness is one of the features that distinguishes the resort. Little niceties can make a big impact. I know couples who have celebrated an anniversary or milestone there, and they unexpectedly found a basket of fruit in their room, along with a handwritten note. Our marriages, friendships and work relationships would all benefit from this proactive and considerate approach.
The Broadmoor also practices and adheres to an understated elegance. Privacy is highly regarded and fiercely protected. Many years ago, the legendary comedian Bob Hope was staying at the resort and planned a quiet dinner with his wife, Dolores. The hotel was concerned they’d be interrupted and stopped on the way to their table. The solution? The lights were dimmed and staff arranged to have a flaming dessert brought to a table on the other side of the restaurant. With eyes and attention diverted, Mr. and Mrs. Hope were surreptitiously escorted to a quiet corner spot. Being sensitive to a person’s situation and safeguarding their privacy is a mark of true friendship.
With well-funded and trained landscape crews, the hotel’s exteriors are exquisitely kept and well-manicured. The lawns are mowed, and the trees are trimmed. Flowers are colorful and seasonal. While we may not all be able to afford such opulence, keeping our yards neat and attractive shows respect and care for our neighborhood. As the old Dutch saying goes, “If everyone sweeps in front of their own door, the whole world will be clean.”
Colorado Springs is a better place because of The Broadmoor — and the city and its people will be better off if they adopt some of the habits and policies that continuously make it one of the finest and highest ranked resorts in the world.