A former professor at Princeton and president of the City College of New York during the early part of the twentieth-century, John Huston Finley once observed:
“Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.”
That’s a good reminder, especially for parents training up children today:
- Prepare Kids for Uncertain Times
From the Gospel Coalition:
Through the pandemic, racial tensions, and political unrest of recent years, we’ve been freshly reminded we live in a fallen, broken world that’s ravaged by the curse of sin. But the truth is, we’ve always lived in uncertain times, and none of us knows what tomorrow will bring (James 4:14).
While we can’t know exactly what challenges our children will face, we can still prepare them to navigate the world. I’ve found 2 Timothy to be relevant for parents and churches today. In this epistle, Paul offers four ways we can prepare the next generation to live faithfully whatever comes.
1. Help them understand the times.
Some consider 2 Timothy to be Paul’s last will and testament in which he passes on some final wisdom to his son in the faith. He writes, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty” (2 Tim. 3:1). The phrase “last days” can have several meanings; in this case, Paul seems to indicate the time inaugurated by Christ’s earthly ministry and continued until Jesus’s return. We live in these last days.
2. Teach them God’s Word.
Paul tells Timothy that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). We want the children we love to be complete and equipped as they go out into the world, and God’s Word is profitable—fruitful and productive—toward those ends.
3. Set an example for them.
Timothy’s sincere faith was intimately connected to people, namely his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5). Paul exhorts him, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it”—think Lois and Eunice as well as Paul himself— “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14–15).
4. Remind them of the reward.
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul is brutally honest about the hardships he faces—and that Timothy will also face. He anticipates “a time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching,” and he urges his young friend to “be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:3–5). Then he goes a step further.
Franklin Graham: Concerned parents must stand up for America’s kids ‘at a critical time for our nation’
From Fox News:
“Our educators have taken God out of schools. Our politicians have taken God out of politics. Our nation is not better [for it]. Our nation is worse,” he said.
Graham added, “People don’t know how to tell the truth. They have no clue what the truth is. It just seems that we go from bad to worse,” he said.
That is why, he said in compelling comments, “the only hope is God. Only God can turn this nation around,” he said.
Rev. Graham added, “We have become so violent. Our entertainment is so violent. God judged this world with a flood. He flooded the entire earth — and one of the reasons is because mankind had become so wicked and the world so violent. And look at how violent we are today.”
In terms of what everyday American families can do about the problems they see in their communities and, more broadly, across the country, Rev. Graham advised concerned parents to become more active in their communities, and to use their voices and their beliefs to stand up for their children.
“Parents need to go to the school boards,” he said.
“We need to get Christian men and women to run for school boards,” he added. “I think the most important elected official is a school board member.”
- A Post-RoeLegislative Agenda for Congress
From Public Discourse:
In addition to legislation that tangibly supports families and expectant mothers, legislators should introduce strong anti-abortion legislation that recognizes the personhood of the unborn, strips federal courts of jurisdiction over the statute, and empowers individuals to enforce it through a private right of action. And if such strong medicine is too politically impracticable, pro-life legislators should at the very least tax abortion providers and abortion-pill manufacturers as a mechanism for promoting a pro-life social policy.
Recognize Preborn Personhood
Most importantly, Congress must recognize that unborn children are legal and constitutional persons within the meaning of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. This is not a new idea: Every Republican Party platform going back to 1984 has called for “legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”
Strip Jurisdiction from Federal Courts
Advocates of abortion would no doubt sue to stop a statute like this from going into effect, and with enough shots-on-goal could probably find a judge to enter a nationwide injunction. The solution to this overreach is to eliminate federal courts’ power to entertain these abusive suits. Lower federal courts are created by statute, and their jurisdictions can be limited by statute. As Justice Clarence Thomas explained for a plurality of the Supreme Court in a 2018 case, “when Congress strips federal courts of jurisdiction, it exercises a valid legislative power no less than when it lays taxes, coins money, declares war, or invokes any other power that the Constitution grants it.”
Use the Taxing Power to Cripple the Abortion Industry
A bill with these three features would have an important messaging and educational purpose. But of course such a bill would be unlikely to achieve the sixty-vote Senate threshold to avoid the filibuster and achieve cloture, even after the 2022 midterm election (much less survive a presidential veto). So in the meantime, another tack is warranted: pro-life legislators should levy a tax on abortion providers. This provision could be enacted into law with fifty-one Senate votes through the reconciliation process, and could be added to must-pass legislation.
3. Babylon Bee asks a compelling question amid Twitter’s cancel culture war
From the Washington Times:
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon told me something last month during an interview that was quite thought-provoking and compelling. He pondered why Twitter itself won’t simply remove the posts — perhaps the most astute question amid the many curiosities and concerns surrounding these free-speech conundrums.
“To require us to go in there and delete the tweet and affirm that we engage in hateful conduct — I mean, how can you expect us to do that?” Mr. Dillon told CBN’s Faithwire. “They’re more than welcome to delete that tweet if they want to. It’s their platform. But why should we have to do it? They just want us to bend the knee.”
Mr. Dillon, it seems, is on to something. If Twitter’s concern is simply keeping its platform clean of ideas with which it disagrees, why not simply remove those messages? Furthermore, why demand compliance to stop account revocation?
After all, Twitter is wielding its power in the first place by limiting these accounts, so why not just delete the tweets, reinstate the accounts, and call it a day?
Curtailing speech is diabolical in its own regard, but the alleged bullying tactics used to get people and institutions to admit to something sinister to regain access simply ups the ante on the 1984-esque rendition of the Upside Down in which we’ve all become entrapped.
- Kansas Governor Vetoes Bills Banning Biological Males From Women’s Sports, Protecting Parental Education Rights
From the Daily Wire:
The Democratic governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill banning biological males from women’s sports and another protecting parents’ rights in education.
SB 160, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, would have required “interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by public educational institutions to be designated based on biological sex.”
SB 58 would have established a “Parents’ Bill Of Rights” stating that “all parents have a right to direct the upbringing, education, care, and mental health of their child” and the right to “direct the education and care of the parent’s child and the right to direct the upbringing and moral or religious training of the parent’s child.”
The bills were driven by conservative Republicans and mirror similarly constructed legislation passed in other states. The issues will likely play a big role in Republican midterm messaging.
- New Jersey Democratic governor Phil Murphy admits some gender identity materials provided to small children in his state may not have been ‘age appropriate
In response to widespread public outcry over gender identity lesson plans that were discovered by parents of first and second graders in New Jersey, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has softened his initial stance, admitting that some of the materials provided to small children may not have been “age appropriate” but insisting that that these lesson plans represented a mere “handful” of the lesson plans implemented in the state and that they “do not accurately reflect the spirit of the [state’s] standards.”
The controversy originally arose in February when parents of students in Westfield, New Jersey, were alarmed to receive materials at a school board meeting that purported to be reflective of the state’s new gender identity standards for second graders, which include “performance expectations” like discussing “the range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior.” One lesson plan, which was intended for parents of first grade students, asked first graders to be able to define “gender, gender identity and gender role stereotypes,” and name “at least two things they’ve been taught about gender role stereotypes and how those things may limit people of all genders.”
- Russia Rounding Up Thousands of Ukrainians in ‘Filtration Camps,’ Mariupol Authorities Warn
From the Daily Beast:
Russian forces are holding approximately 27,000 Ukrainians in “filtration camps” near the besieged city of Mariupol, according to local authorities.
The filtration camps along the Mangush-Nikolske-Yalta line are aimed at preparing the Ukrainians for deportation to Russia, according to Petro Andriuschenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol.
The report coincides with alerts from the Mariupol City Council and the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine that have warned that Russians are using screening camps in the Donetsk region from Bezimenne to Dokuchaevsk, forcing civilians there en masse and taking away their documents.
The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, has been working to ferret out the Ukrainians’ allegiances in the filtration camps, such as whether they’ve worked with law enforcement or with the Joint Forces Operations, the directorate said. Some reports show the Russians have been downloading data from the Ukrainians’ phones and taking their fingerprints at the filtration camps before shipping them off to Russia.
- Travelers Breathe Sigh of Relief; Federal Judge Strikes Down CDC Mask Mandate
From The Daily Citizen:
In a win for personal freedom and a blow to overreaching federal agencies, a federal judge has vacated (i.e., ruled invalid) the travel mask mandate issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2021. The judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by two airline travelers and a consumer group that the agency exceeded its authority and violated federal laws requiring a public notice and comment period before issuing its mandate.
Judge Kathryn Kimbal Mizelle, a federal district court judge in Tampa, Florida, appointed by President Donald Trump in 2020, issued her ruling on April 18, right in the middle of a 15-day extension of the mandate that runs through May 3. The February 2021 masking order applied to airplanes, trains and other forms of transportation.
The judge examined the law governing the CDC’s authority granted by Congress under the Public Health Service Act, which permits the agency to issue regulations aimed at “identifying, isolating, and destroying” diseases.
Other provisions in the Act provide the CDC with the limited power to “apprehend, detain, examine, or provide conditions for the release of individuals coming into a state or possession from a foreign country, or traveling between states.” In the latter case of interstate travel, the CDC is only empowered to act when it “reasonably believes” that a person is “infected with a communicable disease” and is a “probably source of infection” to others.
- ‘Decenter Book Reading and Essay Writing,’ Says National Council of Teachers of English
From The Daily Citizen:
A report from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) encourages English and Language Arts teachers to move away from “book reading and essay writing” – and toward “speaking and listening” and “media education literacy.”
The NCTE commissioned a Task Force on Critical Media Literacy in June 2020. Anyone else remember what was happening that school year?
48 states had closed in-person education for more than 50.2 million public school students. But the NCTE thought it was important to assess “the current national landscape of policies, practices, resources, and dialogue related to critical media literacy education.”
Given that most schools were unprepared for distance learning, teachers were scrambling to keep up with basic lessons, and students were falling through the cracks, the launch of the Task Force was an exercise in tone-deafness, a disconnect from parents’ real concerns about their children’s education.
- A Home Is Your Castle Against Rising Inflation
From the Wall Street Journal:
Mortgage interest rates have been rising at their fastest pace in years. Last April, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.2%. Today it’s 5%, the highest in more than a decade. “We’ve never seen a time where mortgage rates have risen as quickly as they have and the market hasn’t cooled off,” real-estate economist Ralph McLaughlin told the Journal. “I don’t expect the market to collapse, by any means, but certainly it’s going to go from a gangbuster market to one that hopefully looks more normal.”
But if you’re holding back from buying a house because of the rise in rates, consider that inflation is up even more. A year ago it was running at 2.6% on a year-over-year basis (March 2020 through March 2021). Today, this retrospective annual inflation measure is 8.5%. We haven’t seen inflation this high since the early 1980s. If inflation continues at this rate, you’re better off borrowing money today at 5% and paying it back a year from now with dollars that have depreciated by 8.5%.
But the story is more complicated. Retrospective inflation isn’t the same as prospective inflation. Prices rose by 1.2% last month alone. That’s an annualized inflation rate of 15.4%. In that case, the current 5% mortgage rate is even more of a bargain in the short term.
10.Due To Inflation, Cost Of Free Speech Rises Sharply To $43 Billion
From the Babylon Bee:
According to the latest reports, inflation has hit a 40-year high affecting the prices of many consumer goods. However, one consumer staple is actually at an all-time high. Speech, which as recently as earlier this year was free, is now valued at $43 billion.
Elon Musk has offered $43 billion to restore free speech for Twitter, which appears to be the market rate, though some liberals at Twitter are rejecting the deal, saying free speech is “dangerous and shouldn’t be freely available on the streets of America for any price.”