How important are fathers?
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society,” said Dr. Billy Graham.
We begin with good news about fatherhood out of Florida – and reaction from those who somehow disagree:
1. DeSantis Signs Bill Allocating $70 Million to Support Involved Fatherhood in Florida
From National Review:
Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday to invest $70 million in programs that support involved fatherhood in the state.
HB 7065, dubbed the “Responsible Fatherhood” bill, aims to encourage fathers to take an active role in their children’s lives and provides grants to community-based membership programming.
It will help fund resources for educational and mentorship programs to assist children, fathers, and families in Florida through the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
The funding will enable DJJ to launch a mentorship program for at-risk youth, which will include programs including barbershop talks and fatherhood classes.
Leftists Rage at Tony Dungy for Standing with DeSantis on Fatherhood
From Fox News:
Left-wing Twitter went ballistic on Monday over coach Tony Dungy standing with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a pro-fatherhood bill into law.
NFL Hall of Famer and sports broadcaster Tony Dungy attended the ceremony and hailed the bill as an important aid for fathers in the state.
“This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida,” Dungy said. “This bill is so important. I want to thank all of the men and women that have been behind this. It is going to allow groups like All Pro Dad and people like those here today to do great things for our fathers here in Florida.”
Leftists on Twitter, however, believed that Tony Dungy had shown his true colors by standing alongside DeSantis, who they described as a homophobic bigot due to his anti-child grooming bill that will prevent school teachers from discussing sexuality with kindergarteners.
- Virginia Governor Signs Parental Notification Bill into Law
From The Daily Citizen:
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin recently signed a bill into law requiring that parents be notified of any sexually explicit content that students will be provided in instructional materials.
The bill (SB 656), according to a press release from Gov. Youngkin’s office, requires the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to develop model policies by July 31, 2022 that ensure “parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content.”
Each local school board will have until January 1, 2023, to adopt the model policies that the VDOE comes up with.
The VDOE will also include information, guidance, procedures and standards for local school boards relating to:
- Ensuring parental notification.
- Directly identifying the specific instructional material and sexually explicit subjects.
- Permitting the parent of any student to review instruction material that includes sexually explicit content and provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests.
The Virginia state Senate passed the legislation on February 9, in a bipartisan vote of 20-18. All present Republican state senators voted for the legislation, as did two Democrat members.
3. There is No Such Thing as “Anti-LGBTQ” Legislation
From The Daily Citizen:
Surf any mainstream news site or pick up any newspaper these last few weeks and you’re sure to see stories heralding the rise of so-called “anti-LGBTQ” proposals.
Only there is no such thing as “anti-LGBTQ” legislation.
Instead, there have been legislative proposals designed to protect the innocence of children and preserve the integrity of women’s sports.
It’s misleading and disingenuous to qualify any of these types of bills as “anti” anything, with the exception of maybe calling them anti-delusionary pieces of legislation.
It’s not “anti-LGBTQ” to prohibit innocent minds from being confused and confronted with damaging and immoral teaching. It’s pro-child
It’s not “anti-LGBTQ” to protect girls and women from being exposed to confused or devious biological men prowling in female locker rooms. It’s pro-woman and pro-girl – and pro-common sense.
It’s not “anti-LGBTQ” to limit girl’s and women’s sports to biological women and girls. It’s pro-female athlete.
Repeating a lie over and over doesn’t somehow make it true. Despite repeated assertions, a lie is still a lie.
By framing pro-child and pro-woman legislation as “anti-LGBTQ” the intent is to demonize, stigmatize and delegitimize individuals who are championing family-friendly policies.
- Family Friendly Bills Signed into Law in Alabama
From The Daily Citizen:
Two bills passed by the Alabama legislature on Friday, April 8, were signed into law the same day by Governor Kay Ivey. The first, as The Daily Citizen reported at the time, bans “sex reassignment” surgeries and puberty blockers for minors as treatments for sexual identity confusion. The second bans the teaching of young children in grades K-5 about sexual orientation and gender identity, and requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex.
Senate Bill 184 (SB 184) protects minors from making life-altering decisions about medications and treatments that purport to resolve sexual identity confusion. Also known as the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, SB 184 penalizes school employees who encourage or coerce minors to withhold information from their parents about their sexual identity struggles, or who themselves withhold such information from parents.
Studies show, as the Alabama legislature recognized, the vast majority of minors who deal with sexual identity confusion outgrow their confusion once they go through puberty. Several European countries have already recognized that the surge of such medical interventions among minors in recent years has more to do with social pressures than from a medical or psychological issue, and are calling for caution.
What I wish I’d known when I was 19 and had sex reassignment surgery
From the Washington Post:
When I was 19, I had surgery for sex reassignment, or what is now called gender affirmation surgery. The callow young man who was obsessed with transitioning to womanhood could not have imagined reaching middle age. But now I’m closer to 50, keeping a watchful eye on my 401(k), and dieting and exercising in the hope that I’ll have a healthy retirement.
In terms of my priorities and interests today, that younger incarnation of myself might as well have been a different person — yet that was the person who committed me to a lifetime set apart from my peers.
There is much debate today about transgender treatment, especially for young people. Others might feel differently about their choices, but I know now that I wasn’t old enough to make that decision. Given the strong cultural forces today casting a benign light on these matters, I thought it might be helpful for young people, and their parents, to hear what I wish I had known.
Sorry, Jen Psaki, It’s Not ‘Best Practice’ to Damage and Mutilate Gender-Confused Children
From The Daily Citizen:
At a recent briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki excoriated the Alabama legislature for passing legislation to protect confused children from damaging and disfiguring puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries.
Psaki said that Alabama lawmakers were “currently debating legislation that, among many things, would target trans youth with tactics that threatens [sic] to put pediatricians in prison if they provide medically necessary, lifesaving healthcare for the kids they serve.”
She went on to add, “To be clear, every major medical association agrees that gender-affirming healthcare for transgender kids is a best practice and potentially lifesaving.”
This, despite the paucity of evidence that affirming a child’s sexual identity confusion is helpful, along with the fact that many doctors, medical organizations and countries reject such medical interventions for children with sexual identity confusion.
‘Do Conservative Religious Families Have To Just Shut Up And Take It’?: Father Denied Religious Exemption For Young Son’s Gender Ideology Assignment
From the Daily Wire:
Boston Public Schools denied a religious exemption to a father requesting that his 11-year-old son be exempt from a gender ideology assignment, emails obtained by The Daily Wire show.
Brian Ruka’s son Brody is a fifth-grader in the Boston Public School system, where he was given an assignment on the short story “The Gender Reveal,” the father told The Daily Wire. The short story is included in the book “Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood,” and tells the tale of a 13 year old who comes out as nonbinary.
Ruka, the host of the political podcast Right & Wrong, told the school system in a March 15 email that he could not find the full story when he attempted to preview it for his son, and could only see the section for which students were assigned questions.
“I’m troubled that an assignment like this was so casually dropped into the curriculum without any regard for the religious and moral beliefs of the families in this class,” he said in an email provided to The Daily Wire.
5. How Digital Media Helped Shape the “Modern Self”
From Public Discourse:
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok are exacerbating the fixation on sexual identity and sexual liberation that defines modern culture. In his book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman aptly describes our current ills as expressive individualism, and examines the underlying philosophical causes that have given rise to them. Trueman, a Christian theologian at Grove City College, explains how we arrived at the “triumphs of the erotic, the therapeutic, and the transgender.”
In this article, I want to explore Trueman’s insights further by considering how modern technology, in the form of social media, has exacerbated these trends. By shedding light on technological factors, I hope we can become wiser in thinking about how to counter the disturbing modern “triumphs” that are antithetical to Judeo-Christian understandings of sex, gender, marriage, and the family.
I will highlight four ways in which social media have contributed to this sexualized era of the modern self: 1) creating infinite space and opportunity for expressive individualism; 2) fostering an environment of celebration and affirmation of sex as identity, particularly transgenderism; 3) censoring speech that is “harmful” to today’s privileged sexual identities, and inflating the meaning of victimhood; and 4) promoting the “pornification” of culture through increasingly extreme online pornography.
- States that locked down receive failing grades for COVID pandemic outcomes: Study
Two years ago, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States led governments at the federal, state, and local levels to adopt unprecedented restrictions and extraordinary economic interventions in the name of public health. Lock downs, social distancing requirements, and quarantine policies kept customers at home, shuttered businesses, interrupted schools, and put the economy on pause at great cost to mitigate the spread of the virus.
But was the cost worth it? A new comprehensive study seeks to answer that question by comparing health, economic, and educational outcomes in each state.
In the United States, there was never a top-down COVID-19 policy from Washington, D.C. Under the Constitution’s federalist system, all 50 sovereign states were left to develop their own COVID-19 mitigation strategies. While most followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, others did not, with varying results.
The National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper by three economists who wanted to examine how pandemic health, economy, and policy differed across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and what the outcomes were for those states. The study considered health outcomes, economic performance throughout the pandemic, and the impact on education, assigning each state a letter grade based on these factors.
7. ‘Chemical weapon’ horror as Putin drops ‘poisonous substance’ on city – ‘People suffering’
Russian forces have dropped a “poisonous substance of unknown origin” from a drone on military and civilian targets in the besieged port city, Mariupol, according to the city’s Azov Battalion. People are reportedly suffering respiratory failure and neurological problems as a result. The Regiment’s report states: “The victims have respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome. The consequences of using an unknown substance are being clarified.”
Ivanna Klympush, the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Integration of Ukraine to the EU, said that Russia had “most likely” used “chemical weapons” in the attack.
The unconfirmed report comes hours after President Joe Biden warned Russia would pay a “severe price” if it used chemical weapons against Ukraine.
Russia has killed 10,000 civilians in Mariupol alone, mayor says
From Fox News:
The Russian military has killed 10,000 Ukrainian civilians in the city of Mariupol alone, the city’s mayor stated Monday.
Mayor Vadym Boychenko spoke over the phone with the Associated Press on Monday, saying bodies of civilians “carpeted” the streets. Boychenko also alleged that Russians had brought mobile crematoriums to dispose of the bodies and conceal the deaths.
Mariupol has seen some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine since Russia began its invasion in late February. The city has faced near-constant shelling and is now largely unrecognizable.
Boychenko’s announcement is a sharp increase over earlier civilian death estimates from city officials, which reported 5,000 deaths.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Monday that the city “is destroyed.”
- Christian radio station broadcasts in exile
From World Magazine:
Six weeks ago, the New Life Radio team occupied a sleek, modern space on the top floor of a Christian university building in Odesa, Ukraine. The walls were decorated with the silhouette of a sunglasses-wearing Jesus fish over a plaque bearing the Reformation motto “Sola fide” and its Russian translation, “Tolko veroy.”
Today, split between two locations and dramatically short-staffed, the radio station is pushing ahead with its mission to bring 24/7 Christian broadcasting to the Russian-speaking world and drawing up plans to expand its evangelism to Ukrainian speakers in the coming months.
Previously based in Moscow, New Life Radio (NLR) relocated to Odesa in 2019 amid tightening Russian restrictions on press and religious freedoms. More recently, faced with an imminent invasion in Ukraine, the team began preparing for another relocation a few months before Russia launched its assault this year, packing a go-bag of essential station equipment and purchasing a 2007 Nissan SUV for transport.
Аir raid alarms sounded across the country in the early hours of Feb. 24. Station manager Ivan Zhurakovski called Daniel Johnson, the president of Christian Radio for Russia — the U.S.-based nonprofit sponsoring NLR — and said, “It’s war.”
Four days later, Zhurakovski, his wife and three children, and his sister, NLR programmer Eva Zhurakovski, joined the procession of cars on the road from Odesa to Chisinau, Moldova. A local pastor had made arrangements to house the team and set up a temporary broadcasting station.
9. Your personality can protect or age your brain, study finds
Being more conscientious and extroverted keeps mild cognitive impairment at bay longer, while having higher levels of neuroticism increases the chances of cognitive decline, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“Personality traits reflect relatively enduring patterns of thinking and behaving, which may cumulatively affect engagement in healthy and unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns across the lifespan,” lead author Tomiko Yoneda, a psychology postdoctoral student at the University of Victoria in Canada, said in a statement.
“The accumulation of lifelong experiences may then contribute to susceptibility of particular diseases or disorders, such as mild cognitive impairment, or contribute to individual differences in the ability to withstand age-related neurological changes,” she said.
10. Dad sets a record pushing his quintuplets in half marathon: ‘Anything is possible’
Chad Kempel, a father of quintuplets, has multiple reasons to feel proud. He just set a world record for running a half marathon in 2 hours and 19 minutes — while pushing his five youngest children in a stroller.
Between the carriage and his 4-year-olds, Kempel was propelling an additional 240 pounds when he crossed the finish line at the Oakland Running Festival in California last month.
“I carried a sign with me that said, ‘Anything is possible,’” Kempel, who lives in Idaho, told TODAY Parents. “I repeat that phrase all the time — and it seems to be working. The other day, my daughter was like, ‘I can’t lift this,’ and then she stopped and said, ‘Wait — anything is possible.’”