The freedom to pray publicly is at the center of Monday’s upcoming Supreme Court case – but why do we pray at all? The late Dutch priest Henri Nouwen suggested:
“It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you my beloved daughter, my beloved son, my beloved child. To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being.”
- Please Pray for Coach Joe Kennedy
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly announces a special prayer initiative:
Many will remember the case of high school football coach Joe Kennedy.
Coach Kennedy was fired back in 2015 from Bremerton (Wash.) High School for praying silently on the 50-yard line after games. The coach never forced anyone to join him. He didn’t even pray out loud.
And for that, he was dismissed from his job.
Coach Kennedy will finally have his day in court on Monday. Our friends at First Liberty will be representing him, and I’m confident they’ll do a great job. But he needs our prayers, and I hope everyone in our audience will commit to praying for him.
To help with the effort, we’ve launched a social media campaign along with our friends at the Family Policy Alliance. It’s called Pray 50. Every day is a good day to pray, but we’re asking folks to set aside some time this Sunday to prayer for Coach Kennedy, his legal team and the nine justices on the Supreme Court.
If possible, find a school’s 50-yard line where you can gather with family, friends, or members of your church or school. If that’s not possible, please pray wherever you are on Sunday. Take a picture of your group and use the hashtag #Pray50. We hope your boldness will help encourage others to pray for the coach, too.
It’s absurd to think that, in a sport where concussions and injuries regularly happen, the school district is concerned about a man who silently prays and thanks God for his team and the safety of players.
Let’s be reasonable. We cannot simply ignore the assertion in our Declaration of Independence that God has given us inalienable rights like the freedoms of speech and religion – and that it is the duty of government to “secure” those rights.
As a former teenage boy who was once helped by a man in the mold of Kennedy, I know how important men like him are. Now that I’m a dad, I would love for my two sons to have had coaches and teachers like him – people who live out the principles of honor, hard work, conviction and compassion. These are things we can all agree are right and good.
In the end, this really isn’t just about Coach Joe Kennedy. This about much more than one man’s right to pray. What’s at stake is everyone’s religious freedom.
- Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens Will Headline Focus on the Family’s Pro-Life Event SeeLife 2022 – Registration Now Open for Livestream Experience!
From The Daily Citizen:
This year Focus on the Family is thrilled to announce that Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens will headline as speakers at SeeLife 2022 Livestream Experience.
This live event will be held June 14, 2022 at 7 p.m. MT on the Focus on the Family campus in Colorado Springs and will be accessible to viewers online in real time.
SeeLife 2022 will feature many prominent pro-life champions including President of Focus on the Family Jim Daly, President of the March for Life Jeanne Mancini, contemporary Christian musician, singer, and songwriter Phil Wickham, and Christian author and speaker Jesse Minassian.
SeeLife 2022 will rally pro-life friends to pray and get equipped to live out their pro-life values.
Pro-Life Medical Experts Rip Media Coverage of Abortion: Not Following ‘Science’ but ‘Political Science”
From Fox News:
“Very rarely, if ever, is the reality of what happens in an abortion discussed [by the media],” Dr. Christina Francis, a pro-life OB/GYN told Fox News Digital.
Instead, they use “unrealistic and euphemistic terms in order to disguise” the “reality of the situation,” she claimed.
“In fact, the word ‘abortion’ is often not even used. Instead, they say ‘reproductive healthcare,’ ‘reproductive rights’ or ‘reproductive justice.’ Abortion is a violent procedure that interrupts the natural process of pregnancy with a single intent – to end the life of a developing human being,” Dr. Francis added.
While avoiding describing what abortion does, some news outlets ignore the scientific arguments from the pro-life side that support fetal heartbeat bills. When states like Texas passed a fetal heartbeat bill, media outlets including CNN, The New York Times and NBC News mocked the idea that a baby has a heartbeat in early development.
- Subsidizing Single Moms Is Not A Substitute For The Fathers American Kids Desperately Need
Focus on the Family’s Tim Goeglein writes in The Federalist:
Earlier this month, a new study for the RAND Corporation claimed to have found that problems our children and society face are not because of the lack of dads, and in fact fathers are not needed at all. According to Kathryn Edwards, the researcher behind the study, the problem is that the government is not spending enough money on subsidizing single parenthood.
This is sheer folly. Doing so would not only perpetuate the problem, but exacerbate it. All one needs to do is look at the “Great Society” programs of the 1960s, which threw billions and billions of dollars to supposedly solve the issues of fatherlessness and poverty, and failed.
In the 1960s, when the Great Society was launched, approximately 25 percent of African American children were living in fatherless homes. As of 2019, 64 percent of African American children lived in single-parent homes. In 1960, only 4 percent of the children getting welfare had a mother who had never been married. More than 30 years later, approximately two‐thirds of children on welfare had an unmarried mother.
Since 1980, the percentage of children born into unmarried homes has risen from 18.4 percent to 40 percent. The consequences of this for children and society are catastrophic: 85 percent of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes, as do 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children. In addition, fatherless children are more than four times more likely to live in poverty.
As Mary Eberstadt, a senior fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute, writes, “It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to grasp that the fractured family is a major engine of the increased welfare state. Why? Because, overall, the state is the financial backer that makes single motherhood – and absent fatherhood – possible.”
- ‘We Don’t Meddle in the Affairs of Companies’; Governor of State that Persecuted Jack Phillips Invites Disney and Twitter to Move There
From The Daily Citizen:
A tweet from Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis is raising eyebrows after Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis recommended that its state legislature revoke special privileges granted to Walt Disney World in 1967 worth millions of dollars in local taxes. DeSantis’ action was taken in response to Disney’s very public opposition to the recent passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching children in grades K-3 about homosexuality and gender identity.
DeSantis has also promised to look at ways to make Twitter’s board of directors more accountable for potentially breaching their fiduciary duty to shareholders, in response to the Twitter board’s reaction to the attempt by billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company and take it private. Musk has expressed concerns that Twitter inhibits free speech by censoring conservative views.
In a tweet, Colorado’s governor criticized Florida and has invited Disney and Twitter to consider coming to Colorado.
“Florida’s authoritarian socialist attacks on the private sector are driving businesses away,” Polis wrote. “In CO, we don’t meddle in affairs of companies like @Disney or @Twitter. Hey @Disney we’re ready for Mountain Disneyland and @twitter we’re ready for Twitter HQ2, whoever your owners are.”
But there appears to be a double standard on display in The Centennial State governor’s invitation to Disney and Twitter to relocate there.
- Florida Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Disney’s Special Tax District
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Republican-led Florida Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate a special tax district that has allowed Walt Disney Co. DIS -4.81% ▼ to govern the land where its theme parks sit, as lawmakers target the company for opposing legislation restricting classroom instruction on gender and sexuality.
The measure still needs to pass the GOP-led House, which is expected to approve it. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who called for lawmakers to consider such a bill in a special session he convened this week, has made clear he would sign it.
The measure potentially delivers a blow to the company’s operations in the state. The special district, created in 1967 and known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, exempts Disney from a host of regulations and certain taxes and fees related to emergency services and road maintenance. It saves Disney tens of millions of dollars a year, according to a person familiar with the company’s finances who studied the issue over a decade ago.
On Wednesday, Disney declined to comment on the bill.
- Florida Health releases guidance opposing surgery, drugs to treat gender dysphoria in children
From the Post Millennial:
On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health released guidance on treating children and adolescents with gender dysphoria, noting a number of treatment courses that would not be recommended, specifically those called “affirming care.”
The guidance comes in response to to a guidance titled “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People” released last month by the US Department of Health and Human Services highlighting different “gender-affirming care” treatments that can be used on children and adolescents, including social affirmation, puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries.
The Florida DoH said in its guidance that it wants to “clarify evidence” that was cited within the US DHHS guidance, noting that “Systematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.”
The Florida guidance states: “A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80 percent of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the nonbirth sex. One review concludes that ‘hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects, but evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact is generally lacking.'”
- California Democrats Are Pushing A Bill Opening The Door To ‘Decriminalizing Infanticide,’ Pro-Lifers Warn
From the Daily Wire:
California Democrats racing to enact abortion protections ahead of a major Supreme Court case are pushing a bill that opens the door to legal infanticide, pro-life activists and experts told The Daily Wire.
“States including California, Colorado, and Connecticut are in a race to the bottom when it comes to abortion policy as Americans await a decision in Dobbs and states prepare for a post-Roe future,” Melanie Israel, policy analyst in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Wire.
“California policymakers are seeking to make the state a so-called ‘abortion sanctuary,’ at the expense of unborn children and at the behest of the abortion industry which profits from their deaths and hurts women in the process,” she added.
AB 2223, which passed the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, states that mothers cannot be held liable for either civil or criminal penalties “based on their actions or omissions” connected to a “perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.”
8. How to Renew a Decadent Evangelical Culture
From the Gospel Coalition:
God doesn’t need evangelicalism to thrive or even exist. If it’s the hidden will of the Lord that our evangelical institutions, seminaries, and churches languish in decadence in perpetuity until they’re merely a historical footnote in the drama of the kingdom of Christ, then we must simply agree that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether (Ps. 19:9). But our task as Christians is never to discern the hidden will of the Lord, but to remain faithful with the resources we have, in the generation he has placed us. Decadence is not faithfulness. This means we need to think carefully and wisely about what evangelical renewal would look like.
One of evangelicalism’s craftier enemies is competitive pragmatism. Reformed evangelicals may pat themselves on the back for rejecting seeker-friendly theology or worship, but a numbers-based, results-oriented spirit still tends to find its way inside our institutions and discourse. This is where some recent criticism toward “elite evangelicals” rings true. Articles about the loveliness of small, local churches have been written by authors hoping their writing would unlock a more exciting career or platform than what their own local context could offer. Books on humility and repentance have been written by pastors who were sacrificing integrity and accountability for bigger growth. Evangelicals cannot make these stories go away by pretending they never happened. There must be honest confession of where we’ve simply failed to practice what we preach.
9. Warren Buffett is Very Successful, Very Rich – and Very Wrong about These Three Very Important Things
From The Daily Citizen:
While investment choices are important, the Omaha guru said, “Choosing what you do and who you do it with is everything.” He added that finding the right spouse and settling down into a happy marriage is “90%” of the formula for success.
He’s right – not even the most successful business empire will ever supplant a happy home life.
“Happy is the man who is happy in his wife,” said Charles Spurgeon.
But for all the sage sentiments Mr. Buffett shared during last week’s interview with Rose, he said something and has done things that seem uncharacteristically off and shortsighted for a man who prides himself with taking the long view of life.
Warren Buffett has been extremely philanthropic – but he’s also given to some of the very worst organizations. Spearheaded by his late wife, Susan, their foundation has reportedly donated $4 billion over the years to pro-abortion interests, including over $700 million to Planned Parenthood.
Stressing how much better off Americans are financially today than a century ago, Buffett suggested to Charlie Rose last week that the bottom 5% of the country are better off than John D. Rockefeller was in 1936 – the year before the great industrialist died. He went on to say Americans today have access to better medicine, better education and better entertainment – stressing that “you can do everything better.”
If only that were true.
If by “better” Buffett is referring to ease and access, there’s little doubt life is exponentially more convenient. But better? Families may have been economically poorer in 1936, and by a lot, but they were, on average, faring better on so many other measurable fronts. Today, the divorce rate is double what it was in the 1930s – and cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births have skyrocketed.
Warren Buffett famously said the most important factor in picking a successful investment is judging the durability of a company’s competitive advantage. But during a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in 2008, a shareholder asked the investment giant about the most successful decision of all, asking him if he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“No, I am an agnostic. I don’t know whether there is a God or not. Maybe when I die, I will find out, but I don’t know.”
As he ponders investments and company performances all day long, I hope and pray Mr. Buffett will pursue his curiosity, even as the Lord pursues him. For a man so wise in business, I hope he recognizes that the most important factor in living a meaningful life is knowing why God made him – and what purpose He has for him for the remaining days he has left on earth.
10.Progressive Christians Waiting Until Marriage To Remove Each Other’s Masks
From the Babylon Bee:
Progressive Christian couples across the nation are saving themselves for marriage by waiting until their wedding night to remove each other’s masks.
“Removing someone’s COVID mask is a sacred and intimate experience. That’s why my spouse Jeremy and I are waiting until marriage to lie together maskless,” said the soon-to-be Mrs. Pittman. “I’ve never even seen the lower half of his face!”
“Once we are one flesh, then it will finally be appropriate to see each other in our most vulnerable, unprotected state,” explained fiance Jeremy Pittman. “We have remained pure throughout our relationship, so we can wait just a little bit longer until our wedding night.”