It was the actor John Wayne who wryly observed, “A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.”
We begin with a similar word from Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson about why Christians should be engaging differently than the world – and that especially includes giving people second and even third chances:
- Christians are Called to Opt Out of Cancel Culture
Phil Robertson writes for Fox News:
Instead of political correctness, I’m all about biblical correctness.
While I detest the practices of cancel culture, as a follower of Christ, I have to be careful that I am not guilty of doing what they do. I don’t want to treat them the same way they treat me. I want to do things the way God has instructed me to do them:
“The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:24–28).
Rather than forcing people to submit to us by exercising raw power, let’s persuade people to embrace freedom from bondage.
Other people may wage war with the intention of destroying others, but not us. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4–5).
Let’s fight using the weapons God has given, and fight with passion. Rather than killing people in the war that God has called us to fight, let’s be about freeing them from the lies that distort minds and destroy lives.
- N.J. Governor to End School Mask Mandate in Move to ‘Normalcy’
From The New York Times:
Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat who has imposed some of the nation’s most stringent pandemic-related mandates, will no longer require students and school employees to wear masks, signaling a deliberate shift toward treating the coronavirus as a part of daily life.
“This is not a declaration of victory as much as an acknowledgment that we can responsibly live with this thing,” Mr. Murphy, the vice chairman of the National Governors Association, said Monday in announcing the elimination of the mandate.
Virginia Supreme Court throws out challenge to Youngkin mask order
From the Washington Examiner:
The Virginia Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order allowing parents to opt out of school mask mandates Monday, handing the governor a major legal victory.
The court’s ruling dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of parents in Chesapeake, Virginia, who had sued the governor over his Day One executive order allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates, saying the governor was obligated by state law to mandate them. The court ruled Youngkin had no obligation to mandate masks in schools and therefore could not be sued.
- Canadian Courts Deny Visitation Rights to Unvaccinated Parents
From The Daily Citizen:
Two recent cases arising from divorce and custody arrangements in Canada highlight the extreme consequences of vaccination mandates for our neighbors to the north. In separate rulings from the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, unvaccinated fathers lost custody and/or visitation rights with their own children until they agree to be vaccinated.
In Quebec, in a decision issued in December by Judge Sebastien Vaillancourt, a father not only saw his request for an extension of his visitation rights with his child for the holidays denied, but the judge suspended all his visitation rights until February, unless the father gets vaccinated.
In New Brunswick, an unvaccinated father lost shared custody of his three children in late January, including an immunocompromised 10-year-old, after Justice Nathalie Godbout ruled the health risk the father created to the 10-year-old child made her decision necessary.
Godbout’s order allowed the father “generous” visiting rights via Zoom but denied him any in-person contact. If the father decides to get vaccinated, he can ask the judge to modify her order.
- Teachers Are Quitting, and Companies Are Hot to Hire Them
From the Wall Street Journal:
Burned out teachers are leaving the classroom for jobs in the private sector, where talent-hungry companies are hiring them—and often boosting their pay—to work in sales, software, healthcare and training, among other fields.
The rate of people quitting jobs in private educational services rose more than in any other industry in 2021, according to federal data. Many of those are teachers exhausted from toggling between online and classroom instruction, shifting Covid-19 protocols and dealing with challenging students, parents and administrators.
Teachers started leaving classrooms in 2020 when the pandemic upended education and child care, and the number of resignations from the private-education sector hit nearly 550,000 between January and November, federal data show. More than 800,000 resignations were handed in during the same period by people in state and local education.
Quits in the educational services sector rose 148% in that time frame, while quits in states and local education rose 40%, according to federal data. By comparison, quits in retail trade rose 27% in the same time frame. According to LinkedIn, the share of teachers on the site who left for a new career increased by 62% last year.
- Americans Are Still Stocking Up On Groceries
From the Daily Wire:
American shoppers are sticking with the bulk-buying habits they picked up during the early days of the pandemic as supply chain issues and fears of low levels remain in the marketplace.
The Wall Street Journal reported that sales at bulk chains Costco Wholesale Corp., Walmart Inc.’s Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. went up 26.6% in dollars and 18% in volume during 2021’s fourth quarter when contrasted with the same time period in 2019, according to IRI, which keeps track of home product utilization.
IRI found that the “average annual growth in sales by volume of food and beverages was 3% in 2020 and 2021, compared with just 0.5% average annual growth for the prior 10 years,” per the Journal.
Customers are also purchasing bigger product sizes. The “average volume per unit was up 2.1% last year compared with average sizes in 2019, IRI figures show.” IRI projected that consumption will probably go down this year from the previous year, but it reportedly noted that the amounts of household product and food consumption will nevertheless be double the numbers from before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Families Shouldn’t Count on a Large Tax Refund This Year
From The Daily Citizen:
The federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic left millions of Americans with a list of federal agencies they no longer trust or like, including the CDC, FDA, NIH, and OSHA among others.
But probably no federal agency is disliked as much as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS has begun accepting and processing tax filings as of January 24, 2022, with a deadline of April 18.
Many families pay more to the IRS than they need to throughout the year, so that come tax time they receive a large refund from the federal government.
But in 2021, the IRS experienced unprecedented delays in processing tax returns, and millions are still waiting to get their 2020 return.
In December 2021, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins released her 2021 Annual Report to Congress, revealing that “tens of millions of taxpayers experienced delays in the processing of their returns.”
- Tale of Two Colleges: University of Cincinnati Celebrates Life While Ohio State Promotes Death
From The Daily Citizen:
Just over 100 miles separates Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati along Interstate 70 in the Buckeye State – but two groups at the those schools couldn’t be farther apart when it comes to a respect for the sanctity of human life.
“Sex Week” is underway at Ohio State University, an annual event sponsored by several university departments along with a group called “Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness.”
As part of “festivities,” students are encouraged to “thank abortion providers … for the valuable work they do for reproductive rights!”
Contrast this reckless disregard for pre-born life at Ohio State with the words and actions of University of Cincinnati football coach, Luke Fickell.
“Let us first acknowledge we are all created in the likeness and image of God,” Coach Fickell shared at a 2021 fundraiser for Pregnancy Center East (PCE), a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for women and their children.
“The secret to the work that I do is finding the right people and making sure they are prepared for the challenges ahead.”
For the last few years, Coach Fickell and his staff have prepared diaper bags for the women PCE serves. In addition to the diapers, the stylish bags include wet wipes and other essential items every mother of a newborn baby needs.
“Coach Fickell and his staff are part of the solution, shared Robyn Chambers, Focus on the Family’s executive director for life. “They’re putting feet to their faith and their convictions. They’re not just preaching. They’re doing – and they’re making a difference in the lives of these young women and their children. They’re a tremendous example to the young men they lead and coach every single day.”
- Vermont Plans to Enshrine Legal Abortions Right Up To Birth
From The Federalist:
A three-year battle in Vermont is coming to a head over Proposal 5, an amendment to the state constitution that would enshrine existing Vermont abortion “liberties” to terminate pregnancies up until birth.
Roe v. Wade established “viability” as the determinant of when state governments hold a “compelling” interest to protect children. The current challenge to Roe in the Supreme Court concerns a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks. Vermont’s Proposal 5 essentially defines fetal viability at 40 weeks (birth), ignoring both Roe and the science of human development.
The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade sought to balance not just competing moral and political views, but the two lives at issue:
The pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy. She carries an embryo and, later, a fetus, if one accepts the medical definitions of the developing young in the human uterus… Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes ‘compelling.’ With respect to the state’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the ‘compelling’ point is at viability.
- Restoring the Diminished American Male
From The Daily Citizen:
Sadly, the number of boys and men who are doing very, very poorly continues to rise, while the number of those who are doing very, very well seemingly is not. As a society, we are seeing increasing numbers of boys and young men “fail to launch” into adulthood, seem directionless and unwilling to accept personal responsibility, engage in violent acts, and fall into increasing despair, resulting in major societal problems such as the current opioid crisis.
All of these are symptoms of a great problem whose root cause is the loss of male identity – an identity based on an understanding of the concept of a gentleman. This loss has occurred because of the lack of male role models for young men to learn from on how to be a gentleman who puts the needs of others above their own.
For instance, thanks in part to the breakdown of the family over the past 50-plus years, we now have at least two generations of men who did not have fathers, or other significant male figures, in their lives to mentor them and guide them on the right path to be a loving husband, father, and contributor to the common good of society.
But it is not just broken homes that have resulted in broken men. Even boys in intact homes may not have a father or another man in their lives who can guide them through the critical development steps that transform them into gentlemen. In many cases. these boy’s fathers – either for emotional or physical reasons – did not have fathers or significant male figures to guide them – resulting in their inability to guide their sons.
- Bigoted Pairs Figure Skating Event Suggests There Are Only 2 Genders
From the Babylon Bee:
Pairs Figure Skating, a staple of the Winter Olympics ever since its inception, is angering dozens of people around the world with its bigoted implication that there are only two genders.
“I can’t believe they’re forcing this sort of backward garbage on China, the most progressive country on earth!” said NBC Sports Reporter Fajik Perkins. “Pairs Figure Skating perpetuates the outdated myth that gender is binary. I’m literally shaking right now.”
Gender experts say there are over 358 genders and counting, and people of non-traditional genders are demanding answers.