When it comes to a post Roe America, the words of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass come to mind:
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
We begin with progress in Idaho:
- Idaho Supreme Court Rules Against Planned Parenthood: Abortion Bans Can Take Effect
From the Daily Citizen:
The Idaho Supreme Court, with a 3 to 2 ruling released on August 12, declared that two abortion bans could take effect.
Idaho Family Policy Council President Blaine Conzatti praised the decision, saying,
“As of this afternoon, the civil enforcement mechanism of our Idaho Heartbeat Law is in effect!”
That means abortionists can now be held civilly liable for every unlawful abortion they perform after a preborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected!
Conzatti told the Daily Citizen that his organization drafted the Heartbeat Law and introduced it to legislative committees.
The Supreme Court explained that in 2020 the legislature passed a Total Abortion Ban, “making it a felony for anyone to perform or attempt to perform or assist with an abortion.” The law allowed for a defense “where the abortion is necessary to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest that was reported to law enforcement.”
- Florida Bans Harmful ‘Sex-Change’ Procedures Under Medicaid
From the Daily Citizen:
Florida will soon bar taxpayer dollars from funding harmful and experimental “sex-change” procedures under the state’s Medicaid program.
Under a new rule, promulgated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (hereafter the Agency), Florida’s Medicaid program will no longer cover the following “sex-change” procedures:
- Puberty blockers;
- Hormones and hormone antagonists;
- Sex reassignment surgeries;
- Any other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics.
The rule is set to take effect on August 21, 2022 and comes after the Agency published a report in June 2022 which examined the efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and “sex-change” surgeries on the treatment of gender dysphoria.
Biden’s Title IX Takeover Will Give America an Extreme Makeover
When did confusion become a virtue and clarity a vice?
This indoctrination is happening in government-run schools across the country. Both students and teachers live in fear of violating rules that are unconstitutional, anti-science, and demand a new kind of discrimination that elevates all things LGBTQ above everything else. I have two sons and two daughters. My girls deserve an even playing field in sports, not one taken over by guys who “identify” as girls. Because we know how well that goes (here, here, here, and here)!
We must fight for females’ equality against the LGBT patriarchy. I’m honored to join an incredible coalition of over 140 organizations nationwide that are doing just that. Every American should. This Title IX takeover has everything to do with increasing enmity among us all, not increasing equality. I refuse to bow to an ideology that wants to erase women, punish free speech, and obliterate objective truths.
The acceptance of transgenderism as a ‘social good’ requires the rejection of basic biology, common sense, and compassion. As one of those informed and involved Loudoun County parents branded “terrorists” by the DOJ, I care about the harmful ideological climate change in our schools. And it gets worse by the day.
There’s nothing loving about promoting a lie. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. And that starts with being told the truth.
- The Atlantic: Rosaries Are Worse Than Firebombings
From National Review:
It would be hard to find evidence more damning of the worldview of the editors of the Atlantic than the decision to run these two articles two days apart:
Kaitlyn Tiffany on “The Right’s New Bogeyman: A mysterious pro-abortion-rights group is claiming credit for acts of vandalism around the country, and right-wing activists and politicians are eating it up” and Daniel Panneton on “How Extremist Gun Culture Co-Opted the Rosary: The AR-15 is a sacred object among Christian nationalists.
Now ‘radical-traditional’ Catholics are bringing a sacrament of their own to the movement.” Read in combination, they perfectly encapsulate an asymmetrical threat assessment, in which “our” people are never really bad, but “their” people are to be viewed with constant suspicion. In this view, even actual terrorism by people on the cultural left is dangerous only because it helps conservatives politically, while even the slightest hint of association with the smallest number of extremist weirdos is enough to justify denouncing a core Catholic devotional prayer.
Somebody ought to tell Atlantic readers that firebombings and assassination attempts are worse than the Rosary. It does not seem that the editors of the magazine have the heart to be the ones to do it.
- Reclaiming a Positive Vision of Liberty
From First Things:
Over the past two and a half centuries, the word “liberty” has become talismanic in the West. At least two revolutions, the French and the American, were fought in its name, and it is ritualistically invoked by all sides in political debates, each one claiming ownership of it. But every attempt to define it runs into roadblocks. “The right to do as you please” won’t work, at least without serious qualification, since today we know all too well what some people have been pleased to do. In the nineteenth century, the philosopher John Stuart Mill famously refined the definition with his “harm principle.”
The “only” reason, he wrote, for stopping someone from doing what he pleases “is to prevent harm to others.” But the harm principle has its own problems. What kind of harm? Physical? Emotional? Spiritual? Left alone, liberty can pull us into some dark doings.
Ryszard Legutko, a professor of philosophy at Jagiellonian University in Poland and a member of the European Parliament, has been pondering this problem for some years, sharing his thoughts in lectures, books, and journal articles, some of them in recent issues of First Things.
In his view, a certain type of liberty (or freedom—he uses the terms synonymously) is indispensable to the functioning of any republic. But everything depends on the kind of liberty prevailing there. “Positive” liberty, as he notes in his most recent book, The Cunning of Freedom, is the liberty that aims at cultivating the skills and habits that enable people to live together as citizens of a flourishing community. “Negative” liberty is the kind that aims at a utopia in which people can boast, “There is no one else to hinder or stop me from doing what I want to do” or “force me to do something I do not want to do.” The reductio ad absurdum of this, Legutko thinks, would be the life of Robinson Crusoe on his desert island. He lived in absolute freedom there: He could do whatever he pleased and take orders from nobody. But it “would be more like a nightmare that we shake off with relief once we waken.”
- Understanding the Teenage Brain
From the Institute for Family Studies:
Today it is common knowledge that teenage brains are neurologically immature. Essentially everyone recognizes and accepts that the teen brain is “under construction.” But the idea that the adolescent brain is under development is a relatively new concept. It’s only been in the last three decades that we’ve understood the degree to which the brain continues to develop beyond childhood.
As brain imaging techniques advanced, theories emerged alongside to explain why teens can be so difficult. Studies show that this is what happens as our children’s brains develop (and this is seen across cultures):
- During childhood we see grey matter (commonly termed brain cells or neurons) increase enormously fast.
- This makes the cortex become thicker and more voluminous up until the early teen years.
- But as the teen years progress, the number of brain cells and neuronal connections decline (and cortical thickness and volume diminish) at a vanishingly fast rate, eventually levelling off as our children arrive in their mid-20s.
- While this reduction of grey matter (brain cells) occurs, the development of cerebral white matter (myelin) increases through a process known as myelination.
From childhood, the brain has more neurons and more connections between those neurons than it needs. They develop because the brain collects information through experience and holds onto all that it can. As the brain matures, it must prune excess neurons and connections to make the brain circuitry more efficient.
Think of it like your broadband connection. It works great until everyone is using the WiFi. Once you’ve got five phones, three laptops, and two TVs all downloading content, it can’t keep up. Too many connections! So, in the same way that you start shutting a few of those devices down to keep the signal going where you need it most, the brain starts pruning cells and connections to improve connectivity and efficiency.
As neurons prune themselves, myelin begins to develop. Myelin acts as an insulator, making the process of sending and receiving signals more efficient. This myelin works the same way that the rubber or plastic wrapped around an electrical wire works. It directs the signal from A to B without it diffusing into the environment. And it speeds the signal up!
- Kayleigh McEnany’s Sister Launches New Dating App For Conservatives: The Right Stuff
From the Daily Wire:
Ryann McEnany, sister of former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, has launched a new dating app geared toward young conservatives looking for a like-minded partner.
The Right Stuff is already allowing conservatives to sign up for early access to the site, which is set to go live next month.
“The Right Stuff was created for conservatives to connect in authentic and meaningful ways,” the app’s website says. “Other dating apps have gone woke. We bring people together with shared values and similar passions.”
In the same vein, the app is only for “ladies and gentlemen” — so if you’re looking for “preferred pronouns” and obscure gender identities, The Right Stuff is not for you.
- Study blames climate change for children eating too much and not exercising enough
From the Post Millennial:
The talk show CBS Mornings cited a study on Saturday that correlated the growing trend of American obesity to climate change, as increased heat, the study says, is making children stay indoors, consume more calories, and embrace a sedentary lifestyle.
“The study published in journal Temperature found today’s children are 30 percent less aerobically fit than their parents were at their age,” the CBS host said. “Fewer children are reaching the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 60 minutes of exercise a day.”
In the study from Temperature, Shawnda A. Morrison argued that rising temperatures have caused children to stay indoors, grow inactive, and eat more. Her work focused on “heat stress assessment” and makes the point that it’s more dangerous and less fun to be active if it’s extremely hot outside.
However, the author conflates metrics from the Covid-19 shutdowns that led to increased obesity in some regions as evidence for her assertions.
- More than 2 million infant swings and rockers recalled after 10-month-old dies
From CBS News:
More than 2 million MamaRoo swings and RockaRoo rockers are being recalled after the strangulation death of a 10-month-old and close call involving another child, Thorley Industries and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Monday.
The recall involves 2 million MamaRoo swings and 220,000 RockaRoo rockers sold by Thorley’s 4moms line at BuyBuy Baby and Target stores nationwide, as well as online at 4moms.com and Amazon. The swings and rockers were sold from January 2010 through August 2022 for between $160 and $250, according to the notice posted by the CPSC.
Another 60,000 MamaRoo swings and 10,000 RockaRoo rockers were sold in Canada, the agency and Pennsylvania-based company said.
4moms has received two reports of infants getting entangled in the strap under an unoccupied MamaRoo infant swing after crawling under the product’s seat. One 10-month old died from asphyxiation and another 10-month-old baby suffered bruising to his neck before being rescued by a caregiver, they said.
9. The Elvisification of America: How the King of Rock & Roll’s Curious and Complicated Faith Journey Mirrors Modern Times
From the Daily Citizen:
Come Tuesday, it’ll be 45 years since news broke that Elvis Presley had been found dead inside his Graceland bedroom. He was just 42-years-old.
There’s an old saying that distance lends enchantment to the view. Such would be the case for Presley, whose star continues to shine bright in many fan’s eyes thanks to the draw of his evergreen music and nostalgic appeal.
This is all despite his controversial, very uneven, and decidedly tragic life.
Though a musician known for singing well over 30 Gospel classics, he appeared to be struggling spiritually. Press reports suggest he was baptized twice – first as a young child by a Trinitarian Pentecostal preacher, and then as a teenager by a Oneness Pentecostal minister.
As he gained fame in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, one of his ministers would later suggest Presley confided in him, “Pastor, I’m the most miserable young man you’ve ever seen. I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need to spend. I’ve got millions of fans. I’ve got friends. But I’m doing what you taught me not to do, and I’m not doing the things you taught me to do.”
Towards the end, Presley was reportedly reading the Book of Mormon and The Tao Te Ching. He also wore a cross and a Star of David.
“All I want is to know the truth, to know and experience God. I’m a searcher, that’s what I’m all about,” he told a friend.
Only the Lord knows where Elvis was spiritually by the end of his life, but his roller coaster journey and uneven approach in seeking God’s truth seems very much in line with trend lines in today’s culture.
Whether he believed it at the end of his life like he proclaimed at the beginning, Elvis was nevertheless right when he once announced,
“There’s only one king…and that’s Jesus Christ.”
10. Dreams Come True: “Mom, I’m going to the Major Leagues. I’m going Momma! I promise. I’m going.”
From the Daily Citizen:
After toiling away in baseball’s minor leagues for the better part of eleven seasons, Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Wynton Bernard’s lifetime dream finally came true.
He then promptly called his mother to share the news – and his joy.
“Mom, I’m going to the Major Leagues,” an emotional Bernard said during a FaceTime exchange from Albuquerque. “I’m going Momma. I promise. I’m going.”
The video of Wynton’s call to his mother talking about the fulfillment of that dream quickly went viral over the weekend.
Maybe it’s because we all like a good story. But maybe it’s also because we all have hopes and dreams – not necessarily to make the Major Leagues – but perhaps something even more significant. Have you been praying for your child for a very long time? Has someone been praying for you?
What desire has the Lord placed on your heart? Has it been there a long time? Are you still working towards it? Have you ever grown resentful because your progress towards it seems slowed?
Keep going. Keep plugging away.
At the conclusion of that now viral phone call, Wynton’s mother, Janet, reminds him that even if he only stays in the Major Leagues for just one day, he’ll still have made it. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from him.
This is no small thing.
That’s because though the Lord gives us dreams to help us accomplish His purposes, I think He also gives us the struggle on the way to those dreams to help shape and mold us into the man or woman He has made us to be.
Photo from Shutterstock.