Thursday July 7, 2022

Good Morning!

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “Action is character.” Theodore Roosevelt, a man of both character and action, urged Americans to, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

The rising “Mama Bear” movement provides a good example of what both Fitzgerald and Roosevelt were talking about:

1. A Mama Bear Shares 5 Things She’s Doing to Protect Her Children 

From The Daily Citizen:

Here’s what’s we’re doing now:

  1. We’re talking to our oldest boys about gay “marriage.” Not because we want to but because someone else (Disney, the coffee shop employee and the man at the park) thought it was time my kids heard about this topic. These people may have had the first say with my kids, but they won’t have the final one.
  2. We are canceling Disney+ (we’re late to the party on this one, I know).
  3. We’re being more mindful and prayerful about how soon we talk to our kids about these topics. We won’t explain every detail about every cultural issue, but we will continue to discuss with our kids the truthful and biblical worldview and teach them how to respectfully debate these topics with unbelievers as they get older.
  4. We will continue to cultivate the best “greenhouse” we can for our kids’ innocent souls to grow in godliness and wisdom. Will outside influences still try to penetrate their hearts and minds? Sure. But those outside influences will have to first make it through their father and me, their grandparents, and their loved ones—all fighting on our knees in prayer for the souls of our four children.
  5. What Satan meant for evil this week (Look, kids! Love is just love! No big deal! The Bible’s commands are outdated! Who cares what values your parents hold!), God will use for good. These Scripture-soaked, prayer-covered conversations are already happening in the safety and love of our home. Why? Because as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ashley speaks for countless parents navigating an incredibly mixed up and debased world. Here at Focus on the Family, we stand ready to help and encourage. Parenthood has never been for the faint-at-heart, but moms and dads are faced with a unique set of challenges in this summer of 2022.

2. Why Overturning Roe Is Good for Women 

From the Gospel Coalition:

Abortion Is Anti-Woman.

I know many smart and compassionate women who are mourning the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade because they’re outraged by what they genuinely perceive as an attack on women.

But I’ve got to be honest—as a woman, I find the idea that abortion is a good thing for women deeply offensive. Here are three reasons why legalized abortion is harmful to women.

1. Supporting abortion assumes the best thing for women is to be like men.

Our society is shaped by men. Most of our institutions were established by men and therefore default to a male perspective. The fight for female empowerment in the U.S. has focused on women having all the same things that men have, which is a helpful standard when it comes to legal protection, enfranchisement, and access to the workforce.

2. Supporting abortion pits women against their children.

One common pro-choice argument is that abortion opponents are really “pro unborn life.” In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, you’re either on the mom’s side or the baby’s side. Not only does this either-or framing put a huge burden on the pregnant mother, essentially forcing her to choose herself or the unborn life, but it’s also a false dichotomy.

3. Supporting abortion permits the death of women.

Roughly half of all babies are female. This means at least half of the babies destroyed in abortions are little girls who would have grown up to be women. How is the killing of millions of girls each year an empowerment for women? And because of the disparity in how men and women are valued around the world—and the availability of sex-selective abortions—the global rate of girls killed in abortions is likely much greater than 50 percent.

3. Veteran-owned business announces it will cover employees’ parental leave, adoption costs 

From the Christian Post:

Instead of covering employees’ abortion-related travel expenses, Buffer Insurance announced in a June 27 post on its Facebook page that the company would provide benefits for employees who are giving birth to or adopting a baby. The company plans to cover the medical costs of childbirth or adoption and offer paid maternity or paternity leave.

“After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, we took the opposite stance that these big corporations are making, and they’re making it easier for people to abort their babies. We want to make it easy for employees to grow their families,” Buffer Insurance President Sean Turner told The Christian Post in an interview.

“And then if employees want to grow their families through adoption, we want to pay towards those expenses as well,” he added.

Turner added that Buffer Insurance is working with “any and all” employers to help them implement the same benefits and offer them to their employees.

RELATED: (WASHINGTON TIMES) Pro-life doctors push back on expanded access to abortion pills, post-Roe ‘fear-mongering’ 

RELATED: (TOWNHALL) Elizabeth Warren Declares War on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

4.   Divergent Opinions in Dobbs Provide a Way Forward for State Family Policy

Professor Helen Alvare writes:

Abortion law ought to be understood in the wider context of family policy, given how it intersects with the present and future familial circumstances of women, men, and any children conceived. It is no surprise, then, that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the landmark abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, touches upon family matters, even though the Court did not set out to make family policy, but rather to determine whether the federal Constitution contains any provision that might be interpreted to guarantee a right to legal abortion. Of course, neither the Dobbs court nor courts generally have jurisdiction to make policy decisions about how to strengthen or assist families. State legislatures do, with their jurisdiction to make laws about their citizens’ “health, safety, and welfare” (a body of powers together known as a state’s “police powers,” which every state has).

Together, the Court’s divergent set of opinions illustrate how state abortion laws closely intersect with a large range of family matters, to wit: respect for the lives of vulnerable members of the family, the degree of welcome offered to children no matter their sex, race, or level of abilities, the safety of pregnancy and childbirth, the ability of mothers to participate robustly and with a sense of support and equanimity in education and employment, and to be accepted as equals in all of these spheres.

The majority opinion suggests that states who choose to greatly restrict abortion can credibly work to satisfy all of these family needs. Unlike the dissent, the majority opinion portrays women as efficacious actors in their own destiny, and the law’s movement to accommodate mothering. The dissent, on the other hand, stresses women’s aloneness, their vulnerability and oppression, particularly respecting pregnancy and parenting, and argues that abortion laws that protect human life before birth cannot co-exist with a legal regime that values women’s equality, dignity, and opportunity. The most visible pro-choice activists appear to conclude similarly.

However, within pro-life advocacy, there is a strong strain insisting that respect for women and children go hand-in-hand. Groups adopting this perspective advance legislative agendas seeking to realize family policies implied by both the majority and dissenting opinions in Dobbs, involving programs and practices touching upon welfare, healthcare, family leave, work flexibility, and care for low-income women and children. They argue that women are regularly pressured to live as if their natural ability to bear children, and their desire to rear them, are disabilities impairing their access to myriad economic and employment opportunities. They insist that the American economy, especially employers, acknowledge that pregnancy and childbearing are facts of most women’s lives, and that women need substantial support throughout. Today, instead, employers regularly hold women to the standard of corporations’ “ideal male worker,” and encourage women to act as if they have no childcare responsibilities.

5. Nearly $2 million raised for child who lost parents in Highland Park shooting

From the Post Millennial:

Two-year-old Aiden McCarthy was left bloodied and alone after his parents were killed during the horrific shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday.

On Tuesday, a GoFundMe was set up to help raise money for Aiden and his extended family, who will now have to care for him. Donations have since reached nearly $2 million.

“In the aftermath of the Highland Park, IL shootings on July 4, the North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about,” wrote Irina Colon, organizer of the fundraiser. “We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family.”

“At two years old,” she continued, “Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents.”

Colon went on to explain that Aiden is “surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

6. Gallup Literally Asks the Wrong Question About Interpreting the Bible

From the Daily Citizen:

The George Gallup polling organization follows trends over decades by continuing to ask the same questions every year or every few years. It has revealed trends on how the public has felt on every subject from marriage to presidential approval ratings.

Asking the right questions, however, can prove to be difficult, and as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” And a question that may have sounded correct to people’s ears in the 1970s can cause a different reaction in the 2020s.

I’m no theologian, but when Gallup asks, “Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your views about the Bible?” and then offers me only three choices, none of which any Christian ought to choose, how am I to respond?

In its July 6 report entitled, “Fewer in U.S. Now See Bible as Literal Word of God,” Gallup reports that the number of people who believe the Bible is the “actual word of God, to be taken literally” has dropped from a 1980 high near 40% to a 2020 low of only 20%.

7.   Autism among American children and teens surged 50% in three years from 2017, with one in 30 kids diagnosed with the disorder by 2020, study finds

From Daily Mail:

The number of children in the United States being diagnosed with autism has rocketed in recent years, a new study finds.

Researchers Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, in China, found that 3.49 percent of U.S. children and adolescents – or around one-in-every-30 – had autism in 2020.

This is a sharp 52 percent rise from the 2.29 percent of youths in America that had the condition in 2017.

While the research team did not give an exact reason for the jump, many experts have speculated the increase is related to parents better understanding early signs their child has autism and more surveillance for the condition.

8.   What the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Can Teach Us About Marriage & Family Happiness

From the Daily Citizen: 

Leadership at the Ritz has identified and developed three steps of service every employee must employ with each and every guest:

  1. A warm and sincere greeting:Employees are required to greet each guest with a smile. If possible, they’re encouraged to use the person’s name. It was Dale Carnegie who famously observed, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

How we greet our spouse or children sets the tone for the next few hours. Do we greet them at the door with a smile? Or do we grouse or growl about the problems we’re facing?

  1. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs:Ritz employees are trained to immediately size up the situation. Is the guest on business or leisure travel? Will they be needing a restaurant recommendation or a suggestion for an afternoon outing with the kids? They’re trained to look for clues, ask questions and offer to help.

Mind-reading may be an impossibility, especially when it comes to our spouses and children – but servant leadership calls for a sensitivity to other’s needs and desires. Maybe it’s putting an umbrella in your wife’s car when there’s rain in the forecast or calling on the way home from work to ask if there’s anything she needs at the store.

  1. Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye:First impressions may be lasting, but final ones can linger, too. Ritz staff are trained to be as warm and friendly in the last few minutes with guests as they were upon their arrival.

How do you say goodbye to your spouse or the children? Do you keep your head buried in your phone or tablet – or do you give them a hug and pray with them before they head out the door?

The ongoing goal of the Ritz-Carlton is to leave a lasting impression – and encourage guests to come back again and again. That’s smart business – and also a very wise tactic when it comes to deepening our relationships on the home front.

9. Fitness crisis? Only 7% of U.S. adults have good cardiometabolic health

From StudyFinds:

More than nine in 10 American adults may want to think about skipping the summertime barbeques and go on a diet instead. A new study has found that less than seven percent of the nation’s adult population have what health experts consider good cardiometabolic health.

Researchers from Tufts University say this measure includes five key components of health: blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, adiposity (being either overweight or obese), and the presence or absence of cardiovascular disease.

Using information on roughly 55,000 people over the age of 20, the results show just 6.8 percent of American adults reached optimal levels of health in all five categories in 2018. Moreover, the study found American health has been in steep decline over the last 20 years.

In 1999, one in three adults had healthy levels for adiposity, meaning they had a healthy weight and were not overweight or obese. By 2018, that number fell to just one in four Americans.

10.Keanu Reeves Proves Once Again To Be Nicest Star In Hollywood After Airport Interaction With Young Fan Who Had A Lot Of Questions For Actor

From the Daily Wire:

Superstar Keanu Reeves proved once again to be the nicest celebrity in Hollywood following an airport interaction with a young fan who had a whole lot of questions for the actor.

The 57-year-old star was photographed signing an autograph for one fan after getting off an international flight from London to New York on Monday, the New York Post reported in a piece published Wednesday. Reeves also took a series of “rapid-fire” questions from the fan. The entire exchange was noticed by TV producer Andrew Kimmel who tweeted out the interaction between Keanu and the young boy.

“Keanu Reeves was on my flight from London to NYC today,” the producer tweeted.  “A young boy asked for an autograph at baggage & then began to fire off a series of rapid-fire questions.”

“Keanu happily responded to every single one…,” he added.

Photo from Shuttterstock.