Tuesday July 5, 2022

Good Morning!

Writing in her diary, Anne Frank reflected:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

We begin this morning with The New York Times acknowledging that not every young person (or woman) is drinking the leftist’s Kool-Aid, especially when it comes to improving the world for pre-born children:

1.   ‘The Pro-Life Generation’: Young Women Fight Against Abortion Rights 

From The New York Times:

For some women, the decision meant … a triumph of human rights, not an impediment to women’s rights.

“I just reject the idea that as a woman I need abortion to be successful or to be as thriving as a man in my career,” said Phoebe Purvey, a 26-year-old Texan. “I don’t think I need to sacrifice a life in order to do that.”

The Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was a political victory, accomplished by lobbyists, strategists and campaign professionals over the course of decades. But it was also a cultural battle, fought by activists across the country including those in the exact demographic that abortion-rights advocates warn have the most to lose in the new American landscape: young women.

Often pointed to by anti-abortion leaders as the face of the movement, a new generation of activists say they are poised to continue the fight in a post-Roe nation.

Many, but not all of them, are Christian conservatives, the demographic that has long formed the core of the anti-abortion movement. Others are secular and view their efforts against abortion as part of a progressive quest for human rights. All have grown up with once unthinkable access to images from inside the womb, which has helped convince them that a fetus is a full human being long before it is viable.

Many believe the procedure should be banned at conception — that even the earliest abortion is effectively murder. But they embrace the mainstream anti-abortion view that women are victims of the abortion “industry” and should not be prosecuted, putting them at odds with the rising “abolitionist” wing of the movement calling for women to be held legally responsible for their abortions.

And overwhelmingly, these young women reject the notion that access to abortion is necessary to their own — or any woman’s — success.

RELATED: A Free Book for Teens to Better Understand the Abortion Issue 

From the Daily Citizen:

As an author of 50 books, I want to do my part by giving away free eBook copies of BLACK FRIDAY for you to use with them. This novel explores the dark underbelly of the abortion industry which preys upon unsuspecting, troubled, pregnant girls—many of whom are minors.

Here, readers get to see the incredible profit motive of the “abortion providers”, their unethical marketing practices, their subpar health standards and training, and their techniques for stimulating repeat customers via low dosage and highly ineffective birth control pills—all of which have been documented by former abortionists whom I interviewed for the novel.

The message? Abortions have consequences—aside from the obvious taking of a life. There are life-threatening outcomes for the women who get one . . . plus the emotional toll on both the girl AND the guy who’s involved. It also breaks the heart of the Father who fashioned us and Who knew us in the womb.

Teens and young adults who read BLACK FRIDAY will gain a fresh perspective on the value of life while being sobered by the consequences of sexual choices outside of marriage. They will learn the truth about those who peddle abortion as a solution. They’ll also experience a tale of forgiveness and healing between a pastor and his daughter who almost died from an abortion.

If this vision to equip the next generation with a heart that celebrates and protects the life of pre-born babies resonates with you, get your FREE eBookcopy of BLACK FRIDAY before 8-30-2022.

2.   Congress Can’t ‘Codify Roe v. Wade’ 

From the Wall Street Journal:

President Biden last week urged the U.S. Senate to abolish the filibuster so that Congress can “codify Roe v. Wade.” But the filibuster’s 60-vote requirement isn’t the most serious impediment to the Women’s Health Protection Act, a Democratic bill that passed the House, or for that matter to Republican Sen. Susan Collins’s more modest Reproductive Choice Act. The most serious impediment is the Constitution.

The Constitution is silent on abortion, as the Supreme Court held last month in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But it speaks clearly about the limits on congressional power. The most recent version of the Women’s Health Protection Act doesn’t cite any source of congressional authority, but earlier versions pointed to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and Article I’s Commerce Clause.

Both are dead ends. Section 5 gives Congress the power to enforce the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. But in City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), the court emphasized that Section 5 wouldn’t permit Congress to alter the 14th Amendment’s substance. The court found that Section 5 wouldn’t permit Congress to impose on states the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s rigorous test for regulations infringing on religious exercise.

The same rationale precludes Congress from using Section 5 to breathe life back into Roe. In overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the justices held that the Due Process Clause doesn’t guarantee women the right to choose abortion. Dobbs effectively foreclosed Equal Protection challenges to abortion restrictions as well. Thus, with regard to abortion, the Constitution leaves the states with the same broad discretion they have to regulate other aspects of medical practice. Congress can’t use Section 5 to change that.

3. Killing the Filibuster Is on the Ballot 

From the Wall Street Journal:

As if the stakes for November’s elections weren’t high enough, President Biden now says he wants to bust the Senate’s filibuster to guarantee access to abortion. “We have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law,” Mr. Biden said this week. “If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this.”

It won’t happen before November, since the cooler heads of Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are defending the filibuster’s moderating purpose. Democrats will no doubt forget to thank them when Republicans next take power. But how long can they hold off progressive demands? The Senate is 50-50, so if Democrats pick up two seats in the midterms, that could be the end.

Don’t be deluded by Mr. Biden’s sales pitch about a single-issue “exception” to the 60-vote filibuster rule. This is like an engineer saying he wants to relieve pressure on the Hoover Dam by blasting a small section of concrete. The result wouldn’t be a trickle. Mr. Biden previously called for “making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster.” Is a carve-out for climate bills next?

Once the legislative filibuster is killed for one priority, it will go for everything. That’s what happened to the filibuster on judicial nominees. In 2013 Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid used the “nuclear option” to confirm some appellate judges. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s prescient reply: “You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.” In 2017 Mr. McConnell returned the favor by nuking the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Three conservative Justices later, Roe v. Wade went on the ash heap.

4.   Eighty-Nine House Representatives Introduce ‘Transgender Bill of Rights’ 

From the Daily Citizen:

A group of Democrats in the House of Representatives have unveiled a new “Transgender Bill of Rights” that poses a great threat to religious liberty, women’s sports and the integrity of the medical profession.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, along with four other members, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives earlier this week. The bill has an additional 84 co-sponsors.

Rep. Jayapal, who is the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Co-Chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force, has a son who believes that he is a girl.

“With this resolution, we salute the resilience and courage of trans people across our country, and outline a clear vision of what we must do in Congress in order to allow trans people to lead full, happy lives,” Rep. Jayapal said in a statement.

According to a press release from Rep. Jayapal’s office, if enacted into law, the bill would do the following things. Note the propaganda buzzwords championed by gender ideologues:

  • Ensure that transgender and nonbinary people have equal access to services and public accommodations.
  • Ensure transgender and nonbinary people have the ability to provide for themselves and their families.
  • Recognize the right to bodily autonomy and ethical healthcare.
  • Promote the safety of trans and nonbinary people.
  • Enforce the civil rights of transgender people.

5. The First Amendment supersedes the authority and whims of the Department of Education

From Public Discourse:

The proposed new Title IX regulations by President Biden’s Department of Education have opened the door for universities to restrict and compel student speech even more than they already do. If universities follow these guidelines, students’ First Amendment rights will be jettisoned, rigorous debate will perish, and students’ tuition dollars will be diverted to litigate the free speech issues that will surely arise.

Title IX is a 1972 federal law which bars discrimination based on sex in education. It says that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The law empowers the Department of Education to create federal regulations implementing that directive. These regulations define discrimination “on the basis of sex,” outline how institutions should conduct investigations, and detail how they must treat all parties involved. As with many laws, presidential administrations have historically struggled to balance their federal Title IX regulations with the U.S. Constitution and the principles that govern the American way of life.

Universities have made it increasingly clear that they have an affinity for regulating student speech. Through various policies such as “free speech zones,” bias reporting systems, speech codes, and other restrictions, they have managed to chill student speech to a level we have never seen before. A tactic that often goes overlooked by the public, however, is when colleges and universities use harassment policies to target speech. So, before we discuss how bad it can get with these new Title IX regulations, we should understand how bad it already is.

Two things are currently happening on campuses. First, universities are disregarding the current regulations implemented in 2020. For example, New York University, has thrown out the “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” standard entirely and replaced it with “from the viewpoint of a reasonable person under all the relevant circumstances.” What’s reasonable? What are all the relevant circumstances? Who is to decide? A Diversity Equity and Inclusion administrator who’s paid to find violations?

6.   Jordan Peterson ‘Would Rather Die’ Than Delete Elliot Page Tweet 

From Newsweek:

Jordan Peterson looks set to stay off Twitter for good as he said he “would rather die” than delete the tweet about Elliot Page that got his account suspended.

Last week those close to Peterson revealed that Twitter had suspended his account, and he could get it back within 12 hours if he deleted a tweet which mentioned back when Pride was a “sin” and referenced the “criminal physician” who removed “Ellen” Page’s breasts.

Peterson has now spoken out against Twitter and addressed the remarks he made that got him banned from the platform. The Canadian social media personality posted a near-15 minute video to his Instagram and YouTube pages addressing the situation and doubling down on his original statement.

7.   Evolutionary Scholars Are Having to Seriously Rethink Their Theory 

From The Daily Citizen:

Evolution, as a theory for explaining how all life forms came to their present form, is regularly presented as “settled science” – an “irrefutable fact” for which there is no sound room for disagreement or dissent. On par with gravity. But is it really?

Not if you read real academics doing work in the field of evolutionary theory.

There are a wealth of working scientists who demonstrate healthy amounts of intellectual humility regarding the present strengths and weaknesses of the theory.

This is outlined in a major article published just this week in The Guardian, a famously liberal British newspaper. Entitled “Do We Need a New Theory of Evolution?”, the author, a leading science writer and researcher, explains there has been a ferocious backlash taking place over decades among leading evolutionary scientists and increasingly competing theories. He asks,

What accounts for the ferocity of this backlash? For one thing, this is a battle of ideas over the fate of one of the grand theories that shaped the modern age. But it is also a struggle for professional recognition and status, about who gets to decide what is core and what is peripheral to the discipline. 

Yes, academic politics loom large in the supposed “purity” of science.

8. Unhappiness Plaques the Unmarried and Irreligious 

From the Washington Examiner:

It turns out that forcing people to hide in their homes and limiting their interactions with the rest of the world for two years had a negative effect on the way we view ourselves and each other. Americans are unhappier than they’ve ever been, according to a recent study, with more than 30% of young adults describing themselves as “not too happy” and 22% of adults 35 years and older saying the same.

Unhappiness has been steadily increasing since the 1970s, but the pandemic exacerbated the crisis in a way that has never been seen before. Suddenly, people across the board — old and young, college-educated and working-class, employed and unemployed — were reporting similar levels of dissatisfaction. Even now that the world has reopened and normal life has returned, many people still cannot shake themselves of the feeling that their lives have been irreversibly uprooted.

The only ones who seem able to pull themselves out of the pandemic slump are the married and religious. Indeed, unhappiness rose just 8 percentage points for married young adults, versus 18 percentage points for the unmarried. And among those who attend religious services at least two times per month, unhappiness rose only 4 percentage points, whereas those who attended less often experienced a 15 percentage-point increase.

These results should not come as a surprise. Marriage and religion are two of the most reliable buffers to life’s many adversities. They provide security, hope, and support in a world that often lacks all three.

It should go without saying, then, that the more detached our society becomes from these vital institutions, the unhappier it will be. That’s especially bad news for young adults, 60% of whom are unmarried and irreligious, according to the Institute for Family Studies.

9.   Child psychologist: The No. 1 skill that sets mentally strong kids apart from ‘those who give up’—and how parents can teach it 

From CNBC:

Research shows that hopefulness can dramatically reduce childhood anxiety and depression. Hopeful kids have an inner sense of control. They view challenges and obstacles as temporary and able to be overcome, so they are more likely to thrive and help others.

Yet despite its immense power, hope is largely excluded from our parenting agendas. The good news? Hope is teachable. One of the best ways to increase this strength is by equipping children with skills to handle life’s inevitable bumps.

Here are nine science-backed ways to help kids maintain hope — especially during tough times.

10. 7 Secular Movies with Christian Values 

From Plugged In:

Life is full of questions—some big, some small. Why are we here? Can you cry underwater? Why does Goofy wear clothes and Pluto does not when they’re both, obviously, dogs?

Also, what is a Christian movie?

You’d think that someone like me—a Christian movie reviewer—would know the answer to that question. But the more movies I watch, the more I wonder. Some movies made by Christians for Christians contain less explicit Christian content than movies made by secular moviemakers for secular movie audiences. Some secular films can be strikingly thoughtful, and filled with unexpected Christian values. The 1964 film The Gospel According to St. Matthew was helmed by an atheist/Marxist/homosexual (Pier Paolo Pasolini), and yet many consider it to be the most moving, devout film about Jesus ever made.

We think we know a Christian movie when we see it. And that is true, to a point. When we annually select films for our Best Christian Movie category during the Plugged In Movie Awards, we tend to restrict our choices to films made specifically by and for Christians—movies that might inspire or edify, movies that are marketed directly to believers. They’re often backed by Christian production houses or faith-based branches of secular studios.

But I’ve found that movies made outside the Christian moviemaking realm can be just as spiritually powerful or resonant. Some secular films can tell explicitly Christian stories or stories with an underlying spiritual subtext. Others might not have wanted to make a spiritual statement at all. Yet, because of our own experiences and God-given wiring, we might see one anyway. I found enough spirituality in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies to write a whole book about them—which I bet Nolan would be surprised by.

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to compile a list of movies with Christian values that have inspired, moved or challenged me over the years, and ones that I think might move some of you, too. Some are big blockbusters. Others are films you might’ve never heard of. And I’m pulling from a wide variety of genres, hoping that at least one film in this list might strike your fancy.

Click here to see the list of movies.

Photo from Shutterstock.