Thomas Sowell may have said it best:
“Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.”
We begin with a warning:
- The State Hates Families
Rod Dreher writes in the American Conservative:
This news from Maryland, and the courtoom of Judge Paul Grimm (above), is a shocking sign of the times:
A judge on Thursday dismissed a complaint against the Montgomery County school board by parents who alleged that the system’s student gender-identity guidelines violated their state and constitutional rights.
Three parents, who filed anonymously in 2020 against the Montgomery County Board of Education (MCBE), argued that the guidelines curtailed their ability “to direct the care, custody, education, and control of their minor children,” under the Fourteenth Amendment, according to a memorandum opinion.
The parents said that the Montgomery County Public School “2020-2021 Guidelines for Student Gender Identity” were designed to work around parental involvement “in a pivotal decision” in their children’s lives and that the guidelines enable school personnel to allow children “to transition socially to a different gender identity at school” without parents’ notice or consent.
In the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Judge Paul W. Grimm sided with the MCBE’s argument that the guidelines advance the state’s goal of protecting students’ safety and privacy, according to the memo.
“MCBE certainly has a legitimate interest in providing a safe and supportive environment for all MCPS students, including those who are transgender and gender nonconforming,” Grimm said in the memo. “And the Guidelines are certainly rationally related to achieving that result.”
Do you get it now? Do you? We have here a federal judge — an Obama appointee — ruling that the State has the right to deceive parents about whether or not their children are choosing to live as the opposite sex. The State — in the form of the local school board — has the right to deceive parents about this fundamental aspect of their child’s life.
Under Communism, the State usurped the family.
How much more explicit does it have to be, people? We are ruled by a malignant class that wants to destroy the family and capture the souls of our children. It really is as simple as that. We have to fight these people as hard as we can with the tools left to us as citizens of a democracy, but we ALSO have to start developing now strategies to protect the souls of our children, to defend the truth, and to help people who are resisting this evil, no matter what.
This. Is. Totalitarian. Straight up. To my mind, there is almost nothing more important, politically, than protecting children from the State. At the very least we had better start voting for politicians who are openly and uncompromisingly on the side of families, not the state, in these matters — while we still can. The day is coming when the young people propagandized by these schools and the media become the voting majority. If we have not forestalled this day, and prepared for it, we will have no means of resistance.
Help Protect School Children From Department of Education’s Title IX Rule
From the Daily Citizen:
Parents of school-age children are right to be concerned about the Department of Education’s (DOE) proposed Title IX rule. Among other problems, the rule redefines “sex” to include “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.”
“Sex” in all federal education policies and regulations would no longer refer to the biological reality of being male or female. The DOE is attempting to redefine – and erase – God’s design of humans as male and female, with individuals either male or female.
Sexual orientation” is a social construct that discounts human biology and reduces people to sexual behavior or attractions. “Gender identity” is a subjective term where male and female no longer matter, but anyone can become any so-called “gender” they think or feel at the moment.
This terrible proposal is something all Christians should be profoundly concerned about – even if our children have graduated from high school or we don’t have children.
Keep an eye on your student’s mental health this back-to-school season
Students across the country are moving into dorms or getting ready to board school buses for their first day of class.
But unlike the past two years, COVID-19 numbers are down nationally and most students are walking in the school doors without masks. From kindergarten all the way through college, educators are trying to convey a sense of normalcy, and for Dr. Richard Martini, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Utah, that push comes with added baggage.
“For some of these kids, [there is] a good bit of anxiety around getting back into the classroom on a regular basis,” he says, “They’re understanding and trying to deal with everything that has happened over the last two years.”
While the pandemic caused widespread disruption to learning, one of the biggest concerns, for students of all ages, has been how it has affected their mental health. High numbers of teenagers have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless, and the Biden Administration has tried to make student mental health a priority.
2.Court Rules Man Who Identifies as Woman Must Be Allowed in Women’s Jail
From the Daily Signal:
In a split decision on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “gender dysphoria” is a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The court ruled that a male identifying as a female, named Williams, who was imprisoned in Fairfax County, Virginia should be housed with the female inmates, even though he retains male body parts.
The prison has a policy that “male inmates shall be classified as such if they have male genitals,” and “female inmates shall be classified as such if they have female genitals.” That’s surprisingly sound for Fairfax County—certainly better than their schools—but it was too commonsensical for the court.
Although the majority opinion spans 35 pages, the verdict seems inevitable after the first sentence, which called the complainant “a transgender woman with gender dysphoria.” When the whole dispute is over whether a person should be housed in the male prison or female prison, such a biased presentation of the facts tips the court’s hand. As might be expected from this mistaken beginning, the entire opinion emphasizes the wrong points at every turn—including consistently feminine pronouns for the biological male.
3.New conservative group gets $1.6 billion donation to spend in midterms and beyond
From Fox News:
A conservative nonprofit poised to assist Republicans in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections and beyond received a record donation of $1.6 billion last year, Fox News has confirmed.
The beneficiary is a new conservative nonprofit, The Marble Freedom Trust, captained by Leonard Leo, a conservative strategist known for his leadership of the Federalist Society and work in causes related to abortion law and Supreme Court nominations.
The donation came from Barre Seid, an electronics manufacturing mogul.
The donation is one of the largest single contributions ever made to a politically focused nonprofit.
The story was first reported by the New York Times.
In a statement provided to the Times, Leo says, “It’s high time for the conservative movement to be among the ranks of George Soros, Hansjörg Wyss, Arabella Advisors, and other left-wing philanthropists, going toe-to-toe in the fight to defend our constitution and its ideals.
4. Can the church help her members get married?
From World Magazine:
Parents, in particular, should encourage their children to think about and commit to certain values, goals, and principles concerning childbearing, childrearing, finances, devotional life within the home, goals, dreams, and other values that will build the warp and weft of a household. These topics are hard to discuss because they are either sensitive or controversial, yet young people benefit from practical examples showing how to conduct such conversations frequently, clear-headedly, graciously, and well. Otherwise, a serious courtship and eventual marriage will be plagued by dysfunction.
Just as importantly, the Church can provide spaces and opportunities for young people to get to know one another in a relatively safe environment conducive to genuine courtship. Our current culture is deeply isolated and profligate, and fellow traditional Christians can be harder to find. Online resources can be a mixed bag. Personal, face-to-face introductions and interactions are ideal. Churches and various Christian institutions should serve as target-rich environments, as terms of finding potential mates.
In fact, churches should probably become more self-aware of this. As church schools and classical Christian academies proliferate, more and more opportunities will arise in the form of shared activities, parties, and social events. After all, these outings—these opportunities for human festivity and fellowship—have long served as the seedbed for many a marriage. It’s just that our increasingly digital, artificial, superficial, car-dominated, raunchy culture has done its best to eliminate such cultural habits. They were wrongly deemed unimportant or outdated. The Church needs to maintain and bring them back for the sake of its own future.
Happily, God has designed men for women and women for men. They complement each other and are naturally drawn to each other, and God’s good creation of marriage will continue to exist—and show God’s glory—in human society. So the Church should go forth with confidence and shamelessly promote romance and marriage among its young members. The fact that such an approach is profoundly counter-cultural just underlines its importance.
- Companies are Cutting Back on Maternity and Paternity Leave
From the Wall Street Journal:
Many employers are shrinking the number of paid weeks of maternity and paternity leave they will offer.
New data show that the share of employers offering paid maternity leave beyond what is required by law dropped to 35% this year, down from 53% in 2020, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, a trade association for HR professionals that surveyed 3,000 employers. Companies including Hulu and some small to midsize firms are trimming weeks off their benefits for new parents as some employers confront inflation, anticipate a recession and try to re-establish prepandemic norms.
Companies also downsized paternity-leave programs. The share of employers giving paid paternity time off fell to 27% in 2022, from 44% in 2020, the SHRM survey found.
The declines might stem from companies changing their leave policies back to what they were in 2019 after extending more parental benefits to workers during the pandemic, according to SHRM. Over the past 15 years, maternity and paternity leaves have mostly increased, with a drop during the 2008-09 recession, along the way. This year, nearly double the number of surveyed U.S. companies offered paid maternity leave when compared with 2007. During the pandemic, when many companies extended perks to working parents, that level was almost triple.
- 10 Ways Your Church Can Walk with Moms Post-Roe
From the Gospel Coalition:
Here are 10 ways your church can foster relationships with women in need and build a culture of life.
1. Call your local pro-life pregnancy center.
Ask what their present needs are and how you can help. Be open to things you could do outside of Sunday morning.
2. Make church baby-friendly.
Especially if children are welcome during the main service in your church, mothers might be keenly aware of every peep their little ones make during the service. Put new parents at ease by making it clear that their babies and toddlers are a part of Christ’s body.
3. Open a maternity library or host a clothing swap event.
Any woman who has been pregnant knows that ill-fitting clothes can have a real effect on her sense of dignity.
4. Create accessible ways for single moms to serve.
Women who have overcome heartbreaking challenges and chosen life have so much to give! Welcome them into volunteer opportunities by providing childcare during VBS or one-day service events. Most importantly, let them know that your church family values and needs them by getting to know each individual’s unique gifts and then asking for help in those areas.
5. Offer childcare or a co-op.
The issue isn’t whether caring communities will go about this important work, but rather how they’ll do it.
6. Start an Embrace Grace support group.
Women who are overwhelmed by a recent positive pregnancy test don’t just need diapers; they need a family.
7. Support alternatives to foster care.
Your church can walk with families at risk of entering the foster care system
8. Host a finances or jobs class.
By providing a meal, free childcare, and a soft skills class, you can make a huge difference in the lives of struggling parents.
9. Facilitate mentorship.
Welcome young mothers into your community by creating the space for deep relationships.
10. Fill in the fatherhood gaps.
Children growing up without a father are more likely to fall into poverty and substance abuse and to continue the cycle of broken families.
- Most Americans Oppose COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Schoolchildren, Poll Finds
From the Daily Citizen:
Most Americans oppose requiring young children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to school, a new poll has found.
“Slightly less than half of Americans, 48%, believe elementary students should be vaccinated in order to attend classes, while slim majorities favor vaccinations for middle school, high school and college students,” the polling organization Gallup found.
Gallup conducted the poll between July 26 and August 2, 2022.
Intriguingly, the poll found that parents of school-age children are “significantly less likely” to support vaccination requirements than nonparents are.
Fifty one percent of nonparents support vaccine requirements for elementary school students, while just 38% of parents with school-age children do.
- Additional exercise potentially linked to longer lifespans and lower death rates: study
From Fox News:
Getting more exercise could be linked to a longer life.
A new 12-page research article published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal found that people who got extra exercise had a lower mortality rate compared to those who did not.
The study, which was conducted by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, was published on Monday, July 25.
Over a 30-year period from 1988 to 2018, a total of 116,221 adults were monitored and submitted exercise reports that detailed their “leisure-time physical activity.”
- Did Archaeologists Find Saint Peter’s Birthplace?
From Smithsonian Magazine:
Archaeologists and religious scholars have long searched for the birthplace of Saint Peter, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles.
Now, archaeologists in Israel say they have uncovered a new artifact that proves the location of the ancient village of Bethsaida, where the important religious leader was born, along with his brother, Saint Andrew, and another apostle, Saint Philip.
While excavating what they believe to be the lost “Church of the Apostles” basilica at the El-Araj dig site on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, researchers discovered a large inscription, written in Greek, that references the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” a phrase often used to refer to Saint Peter.
The find suggests that Peter had a “special association” with the Byzantine-period basilica, which archaeologists believe was built over Peter and Andrew’s house, says Steven Notley, an archaeologist and biblical scholar at Nyack College who is leading the dig, in a statement.
10. Stop Rushing Summer
From the Daily Citizen:
Once upon a time, some urban schools were practically open year-round. In 1842, New York City Public Schools were open 242 days – but attendance wasn’t mandatory. But then came a push to standardize the school calendar across the country, thus the arrival of the 180-day year most districts follow today.
One can debate the merits and pitfalls of more school or less. Given the wokeness of so many public schools, many of us have opted to home school our children, rendering the traditional school calendar somewhat irrelevant. In so many ways, homeschooling is year-round anyway. “All of life is an education” is a good philosophy, and one that many families embrace.
But the annual rush to pack away summer saddens me at a deeper level.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,” wrote the Psalmist (90:12). “What is your life?” asked James. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (4:14).
Life is finite – and so are summer days. The slower pace of this season – the days reading or playing at the pool or park, the extended meals on the deck, catching fireflies and taking casual walks at sunset – these days will pass all too quickly.
This passage is acutely evident in childhood. A child’s life may seem long – until you realize you might only get 18 summers with them, and less for many given school and work schedules.
Let’s stop rushing away summer. Let’s embrace it as the gift that it is. The falling leaves and coming cold winter will be here soon enough.