Good Morning! 

It’s the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a devastating and defining moment that produced one of the most selfless and sacrificial responses the world has ever seen. 

Conversely, in the 3rd act of George Bernard Shaw’s play, Major Barbara, a character remarks:

“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” 

In our first story this morning, Focus’ Jim Daly calls out the haughtiness and ignorance of those who champion abortion: 

  1. The Radical Left Wants to Decide Who Lives and Who Dies

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes: 

If it feels like those who champion abortion rights and unfettered access to ending the lives of innocent children in the womb are growing more extreme, consider as evidence an opinion piece published in last week’s New York Times

Elizabeth Spiers is a Democrat strategist – and a radical abortion activist. In the article, Ms. Spiers actually suggested that adoption is more “dangerous” than abortion. 

Let that sink in. 

Killing trumps living. 

To bolster her wildly reckless assertion, the writer goes on to explain that she was adopted and that her biological mother “remains heartbroken about the years we missed together.” 

In a curious and downright perplexing twist, Ms. Spiers goes on to relay: 

“I had a wonderful childhood and I believe she had made the right decision.” 

Ms. Spiers acknowledges that both her birthmother and adoptive mother remind her of the obvious – that had her birthmother chosen abortion, she would never have had that childhood or a life at all. Nevertheless, the writer contends and resents that she’s somehow being used as a political football, though it’s not clear how. 

It seems Elizabeth Spiers is somehow projecting her own feelings regarding the pain of parental relinquishment onto her birthmother, even though her biological mom seems at peace with her decision, however difficult it was. 

It’s true that infant adoption is an emotional and difficult thing. Don’t let Hollywood or fiction writers fool you. Serious pro-lifers aren’t deaf to the reality either. It is painful for birthmothers and birthfathers to entrust their biological child to the care of another person. But that certainly doesn’t mean it would be better to abort. 

Life can be messy and uneven. A blessing for one family in the form of an adoption is a loss for the birthmother making the adoption placement. 

But it’s somehow less traumatic to abort and kill the child? It’s illogical and evil thinking.

Some time ago, I was a guest at an editorial board meeting for a major metropolitan newspaper. It was clear the editors and writers in attendance were hostile to our beliefs. In the midst of my discussion with them, which included the subject of abortion, I appealed to their humanity and compassion. 

I asked if they would be willing to compromise a bit for the sake of the safety and security of children?  The editor’s cold and heartless answer fell like a hammer blow. 

“I’m sorry,” he said with a straight face. “But there will inevitably be casualties in the culture war.” 

The radical left reduces our children to political pawns. 

The meeting was off the record, so I’m not at liberty to “name names” – but this individual only confirmed what most of us suspect to be the case: 

The radical left wants to decide who lives and who dies. 

What arrogance! 

To the radical left, innocent pre-born children are nothing more than expendable “casualties” – victims to be cast aside and somehow forgotten. 

Preborn children are deserving of protection under law. They’re worthy of our tireless efforts on their behalf. We must speak for those who have no voice. We must stand up for those whose oppressors want to hold down. We must support and empower women by helping them during their pregnancy and beyond. 

For women not in a position to parent, the way forward is adoption, not abortion – especially in a post-Roe world. 

Please join me in continuing to pray that the Supreme Court will uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. 

  1. Christian Ministry Asks Supreme Court to Hear Case Over ‘Hate Group’ Designation 

From The Daily Citizen: 

When a Christian ministry is designated as a “hate group” by a left-leaning organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and other organizations rely on that designation to deny the ministry fund-raising opportunities, isn’t that “defamation” that is redressable in a lawsuit? 

That’s the question Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc. (Coral Ridge), a Christian ministry founded by the late D. James Kennedy, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to address in an appeal it recently filed with the justices after losing in the lower federal courts. 

The case stems from the SPLC’s infamous “hate map” which has historically listed the Ku Klux Klan and racist groups for decades. SPLC was founded as a civil rights organization in 1971, but of late it has taken criticism for its adoption of LGBT issues as a fundraising priority. It is this latter focus that has resulted in many orthodox Christian organizations being labeled as “hate” groups, including Coral Ridge, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, and the Pacific Justice Institute, among others. 

Because of the SPLC’s founding and primary mission as a civil rights organization, it has gained a lot of influence. At one point, even the U.S. Department of Defense used the SPLC’s training materials on hate groups, before objections were raised to its anti-Christian nature. 

  1. Salvation Army responds to claim that it’s promoting CRT, going ‘woke’ 

From Christianity Today: 

The Salvation Army has responded to allegations that it’s promoting critical race theory and removed a document that raised concerns among some donors.  

Known for being among the most prominent faith-based charity organizations in the United States, the Salvation Army is facing criticism for publishing a document titled “Let’s Talk About Racism.” Intended to serve as “a resource developed to guide The Salvation Army family in gracious discussions about overcoming the damage racism has inflicted upon our world,” the document pushes back on the belief of some that the U.S. is a “post-racial society” and promotes works written by proponents of the controversial Marxist ideology known as critical race theory or CRT. 

The Salvation Army pulled the document from its website in response to criticism. It subsequently issued a statement expressing regret that “elements of the recently issued ‘Let’s Talk About Racism’ guide led some to believe we think they should apologize for the color of their skin, or that The Salvation Army may have abandoned its Biblical beliefs for another philosophy or ideology.”

“That was never our intention, so the guide has been removed for appropriate review,” the charity organization added. 

  1. Red states dominate index of fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedoms, while blue states are the least free 

From TheBlaze: 

The Cato Institute released its sixth-annual “Freedom in the 50 States” report this week. The index provides an “updated ranking of the American states on the basis of how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.” The index of freedoms in all 50 states shows that red states dominate the list in the states with the most freedoms, while the blue states with Democratic governors were often at the bottom of the list. 

The authors of the study define “freedom” as: 

We ground our conception of freedom on an individual rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and property as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. This understanding of freedom follows from the natural-rights liberal thought of John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Robert Nozick, but it is also consistent with the rights-generating rule-utilitarianism of Herbert Spencer and others. 

To formulate the “Freedom in the 50 States” index, the Cato Institute looked at three main categories: personal freedoms, fiscal policies, and regulatory policies. There are 230 policy variables, and 25 subcategories such as incarceration, guns, education, marijuana, state taxation, land use freedom, and labor-market freedom. 

  1. Majority of Young Americans Believe Democracy is ‘In Trouble’ 

From The Daily Citizen: 

The framers of the U.S. Constitution wrote in its preamble that one of the purposes of the document was to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” 

But according to a recent poll from Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP), a majority of younger Americans don’t feel that security – instead believing that our democracy is under threat. 

The poll from IOP found that 52% of young Americans see the United States’ democracy as either “in trouble” or “failed.” 

Regarding how young Americans see U.S. democracy: 

  • 7% see it as a “healthy democracy.” 
  • 27% see the U.S. as a “somewhat functioning democracy.” 
  • 39% view the United States as a “democracy in trouble.” 
  • 13% view it as a “failed democracy.” 

“After turning out in record numbers in 2020, young Americans are sounding the alarm,” John Volpe, director of polling at IOP, said of the results. 

  1. DeSantis Hails Major Florida Hospital System’s Decision To End Vaccine Mandate For 83,000 Employees 

From the Daily Wire: 

A large Florida hospital has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

On Thursday, AdventHealth — headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and treating patients in eight other states — will no longer force its 83,000 employees to be immunized, although it still encouraged vaccination. 

“Based on scientific evidence and what we see in our hospitals every day, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at reducing both the risk of becoming infected and the level of harm in the case of a breakthrough infection,” AdventHealth said in a statement. “As part of our commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our team members, patients and communities, we strongly encourage all of our team members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.” 

The move comes after multiple federal courts issued preliminary injunctions against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ enforcement of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. It also follows legislation from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that bars private businesses from thrusting vaccine mandates upon their employees. 

  1. White House announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics 

From The Hill: 

The White House has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, saying the U.S. will not send any government officials to the Chinese capital for the Winter Games. 

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday. 

“The athletes on team USA have our full support, we will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fan fare of the games. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang and we simply can’t do that.”

8.   The 10 Best Family Christmas Movies Ever 

Paul Asay writes for Plugged In: 

Just take a look at 10 of the best family Christmas movies ever—films that even an unreformed Scrooge might enjoy. 

The Bishop’s Wife (1947): Bishop Henry Brougham needs to find the money to buy a new cathedral.  

A Christmas Carol (1951): Ever-so-many a movie has been made based on Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story. But this version—despite being practically as old as Marley itself—is still considered the definitive take.  

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018, PG): No, we’re not talking about the original TV special, though that’s pretty delightful. And we’re certainly not digging into the Jim Carrey 2000 abomination, where the toilet humor was three sizes too much. Rather, we’re talking about this oft-overlooked delight that sticks closer to the spirit (if not the word) of Dr. Seuss’ original story.  

Elf (2003, PG): Speaking of classics, this Will Ferrell flick has become one. Ferrell plays a human raised by elves. And not just any elves, but those who work with Santa up at the North Pole.  

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): Want to know what movie watch, without fail, this time of year? This is it.  

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020, PG): We go from an all-time classic to a more modern movie you might’ve never heard of—but should.  

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017, PG): Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one of the season’s most familiar stories. But the story of Charles Dickens himself? Not so much.  

A Miracle on 34th Street (1947):  The story focuses on a department-store Santa Claus who insists he’s the real McCoy—and who’s taken to court to prove his case. Part comedy, part legal thriller and all heart, Miracle is one of the season’s all-time classics. 

A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, G): Don’t laugh. Well, do laugh, actually—because this take on Dickens’ story just might be one of the funniest.  

The Nativity Story (2006, PG): I’m not sure if we’ve yet seen a definitive cinematic treatment of Christ’s birth. But 2006’s The Nativity Story is about as close as we can get right now.  

9.   Tim Keller Has taught Us How to Live. Now He’s Teaching Us How to Die. 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Dr. Tim Keller’s latest challenge is navigating Stage IV pancreatic cancer – a disease with a five-year survival rate of just 1%. He’s also teaching us along the way. That’s because although not everyone is sick now, all of us are eventually going to die. Life is risky business – so risky, in fact, that none of us are going to get out of here alive. 

Following his cancer diagnosis, Dr. Keller wrote, “I felt like a surgeon who was suddenly on the operating table. Would I be able to take my own advice?” 

By his own “advice” he was referring to all of the times he counseled dying congregants and sat with families suffering and grieving.  

Dr. Tim Keller is dying – but so are we all. The irony is that some reading these words may very well meet the Lord before the beloved pastor does – or not. That’s because life’s mysteries and our frustrations include God’s timing rarely coinciding with ours. But the very best advice is old, but worthy of repetition: 

Live every day like it’s your last – because one day, you will be right. 

If you have yet to commit your life to Jesus Christ, there is no better day than today.  

10. The Perfect Gift for Your Unbelieving Neighbor 

From the Gospel Coalition: 

In my ten years as an evangelist, I have seen the immense usefulness of Christmas books that are short, accessible, and gospel-focused. I have written a couple myself: Four Kinds of Christmas and The Gift. Beyond those, there are a growing number of options, including Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christmas, Andrew Sach and Jonathan Gemmel’s The Weirdest Nativity, and Rebecca McLaughlin’s Is Christmas Unbelievable? 

What unites these kinds of books is their intended audience (those with no prior knowledge of Christian faith) and their length (they can be read in under an hour). 

The size of a gift book is more important than you might think. If literature is too small, people think it’s disposable. If it’s too large, they think it’s unreadable. But with attractive design, a nice pocket size, and the ability to buy in bulk, short Christmas books become a very attractive way to spell out the reason for the season. 

The low cost of these books means that any Christian can buy 20 to fill stockings, and any church can buy 200 to use in its outreach. Why not wrap them as gifts and put them on every chair for a carols by candlelight or Christmas Eve service? Or give one to every visitor to your weekly ministries? Or buy 1,000 and give one to each family in your neighborhood?