The late Jim Rohn often said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
And for children, if one of those individuals isn’t their father, they’re operating at an immediate (though not insurmountable) deficit:
- On Fatherlessness and Mass Shootings
From The Daily Citizen:
As the unspeakable evil of mass shootings continue to increase, each of us are trying to understand what could be driving these tragedies. There are no shortage of explanations being bandied about with absolute certainty, from ineffectual gun control laws, mental illness, peer bullying, first-person shooter video games, violence in movies and television shows, growing personal anger and alienation. Fatherlessness has even been mentioned as a driver. Others strongly deny the linkage and blame guns.
Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, considered the role of family breakdown and fatherlessness in a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Lee said, “Every time one of these tragedies occurs, for too long we have failed to look back at the root causes of rampage violence. Why is our culture all of sudden producing so many young men who want to murder innocent people?” Lee continued, “It raises the question, could fatherlessness, the break-down of the family, isolation from civil society or the glorification of violence be contributing factors?”
The Senator is asking important questions.
Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia and founder and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, contends, “Sen. Mike Lee is right to wonder if fatherlessness and family breakdown are factors in the tidal wave of violence that has engulfed America since 2020.”
Professor Wilcox adds, “We know that young men who are raised without the benefit of good fathers are more likely to engage in violent behavior. Of course, other factors are also likely in play…”
2. Laying Siege to the Institutions
From Hillsdale College’s Imprimis:
Why do I say that we need to lay siege to our institutions? Because of what has happened to our institutions since the 1960s.
The 1960s saw the rise of new and radical ideologies in America that now seem commonplace—ideologies based on ideas like identity politics and cultural revolution. There is a direct line between those ideas born in the ’60s and the public policies being adopted today in leftist-run cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago.
This march through our institutions, begun a half-century ago, has now proved largely successful. Over the past two years, I’ve looked at the federal bureaucracy, the universities, K-12 schools, and big corporations. And what I’ve found is that the revolutionary ideas of the ’60s have been repackaged, repurposed, and injected into American life at the institutional level.
The lesson I’ve drawn from reporting on institutions that promote ideologies such as critical race theory and radical gender theory is that they have been captured at the structural level and can’t be reformed from within. So the solution is not a long counter-march through the institutions. You can’t replace bad directors of diversity, equity, and inclusion with good ones. The ideology is baked in. That’s why I call for a siege strategy.
This means, first, that you have to be aggressive. You have to fight on terms that you define. In responding to opponents of the Florida bill, for instance, don’t argue against “teaching diversity and inclusion,” but against sexualizing young children. And don’t pull your punches. We will never win if we play by the rules set by the elites who are undermining our country. We can be polite and lose every battle or we can be impolite and actually deliver results for the great majority of Americans who are fighting for their small businesses, fighting for their jobs, fighting for their families.
Second, you have to mobilize popular support. This requires ripping the veil off of what our institutions are doing through real investigation and reporting so that Americans can make informed choices. We live in an information society, and if we don’t get the truth out, we will never gain traction against the narratives being constantly refashioned and pushed by the Left.
- 70 United Methodist Churches in Georgia Leaving Denomination Over Biblical Doctrine on Sexuality
From The Daily Citizen:
The doctrinal schism within the United Methodist Church (UMC) over LGBT issues continues apace, with 70 UMC churches in Georgia alone leaving the denomination after a vote of the North Georgia Conference recently allowed their disaffiliation.
The reason, of course, is the ongoing tension within the denomination over such things as the ordination of gay bishops and ministers. Despite the increasing liberalization of the UMC in the United States, the denomination voted in 2019 to affirm the historic tenets of the Methodist Book of Church Discipline which considers the practice of homosexuality as “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
In practice, however, very little has changed within the denomination since then.
The denomination also planned to use its General Conference meeting in 2020 to hammer out a proposal to allow churches with a biblical view of sexuality and marriage to leave and form a new denomination. Conservative UMC churches waited, but due to COVID-19, the 2020 conference never happened. The General Conference meets every four years.
4. Christians on Tampa Bay Rays Refuse to Wear Pride Insignia on Uniform
From The Daily Citizen:
Several major league ballplayers on the Tampa Bay Rays took a bold stance for their faith on Saturday, June 4, at a home game against the Chicago White Sox. It was “Pride Night” at the game, and the Rays’ players were supposed to wear both a “rainbow burst” logo on their sleeve as well as a special “Pride” cap rather than their standard ball cap.
At least five players, with the permission of the ball club, chose not to wear the Pride emblems, and a spokesman for the group attributed their actions to their Christian faith.
According to TMZ Sports, Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson – all pitchers – were the five players who opted for standard uniforms rather than donning the special “Pride Night” gear.
“So it’s a hard decision,” Adam said. “Because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here.
“But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior, just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different,” Adam added.
Taking a stand for Christ can come with a cost, but as these Tampa Bay players have learned, it’s the right thing to do and provides a unique opportunity to share the Gospel. We applaud their actions.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 ESV)
- ‘What Is a Woman’ Sends the Movie Critics Running for the Hills
“What Is a Woman” has dropped like a bomb into the center of the political sphere, drawing a wide variety of reactions. In it, Matt Walsh interviews a range of subjects on transgender ideology, from supposed “experts” on gender to a trans-man who emotionally exposes the dangers of targeting children with so-called “gender theory” (click here and here for more coverage).
But while there’s been no shortage of public praise and outrage, those you’d expect the most to give their opinions are running for the hills. According to emails published by Walsh, movie critics are refusing to even review the movie.
Out of curiosity, I went to Rotten Tomatoes just prior to penning this piece to check and see if the dynamic illustrated has changed. Have critics begun to review the movie in the days after its release? The simple answer is no. Currently, there is still only one review, done by a right-leaning Hollywood site. And as the emails released by Walsh show, the anger from critics is palpable, lashing out for even being asked to watch the movie.
What you are seeing in those responses is intellectual cowardice perpetrated by a group of people who are too scared to have their irrational beliefs challenged. Moreover, the fear of being called a bigot outweighs everything for those who make their living in Hollywood. Because of that, they won’t even entertain the idea that a man can’t, in fact, become a woman.
- Climbing child care costs put strain on parents
From The Hill:
Since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, the cost of child care has been on the rise.
Parents are seeing an average annual cost increase of 41% for center-based child care providers, spending an average of just over $14,000 per year, according to data from a recent LendingTree report released earlier this year.
Cindy Lehnhoff, director of the National Child Care Association, discussed the skyrocketing cost of child care during an appearance on NewsNation “Prime.”
“During the pandemic and following the pandemic, we’ve seen everything rise in cost, which has to be put back to the consumer, unfortunately,” Lehnhoff said. “And as a result of the high cost of child care, many families are forced into unlicensed care.”
7.NYC Cancer Trial Delivers ‘Unheard-of’ Result: Complete Remission for Everyone
From NBC News:
A small NYC-led cancer trial has achieved a result reportedly never before seen – the total remission of cancer in all of its patients.
To be sure, the trial — led by doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering and backed by drug maker GlaxoSmithKline — has only completed treatment of 12 patients, with a specific cancer in its early stages and with a rare mutation as well.
But the results, reported Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine and the New York Times, were still striking enough to prompt multiple physicians to tell the paper they were believed to be unprecedented.
One cancer specialist told the Times it was an “unheard-of” result.
- Six Modern Theologians Every Thoughtful Person Should Read
From First Things:
Modern theology is discourse about God in the context of modernity and the cultural ethos brought about by the Enlightenment. After Enlightenment thinkers denigrated special revelation in favor of natural theology, post-Enlightenment intellectual giants tried in various ways to move beyond their assertions. Kant focused on morality as the focal point of Christianity. Hegel homed in on the intellectual realm as Christianity’s center. Schleiermacher elevated the experience and intuition of the community.
Judging those responses to be aberrations from historic Christian teaching, the theologians on the following list attempted to carve out a more faithful path for post-Enlightenment Christianity. Thoughtful non-theologians will benefit from patient exposure to these scholars. Inclusion does not imply endorsement. The list encourages readers not to be denominational or chronological snobs, but instead to read the most important theologians slowly, patiently, and receptively.
Karl Barth (1886–1968) Reformed theologian Karl Barth’s work signaled the end of liberalism’s theological reign.
Carl F. H. Henry (1913–2003) Without a doubt, the most prominent evangelical theologian of the second half of the twentieth century was Baptist thinker Carl Henry.
Alexander Schmemann (1921–1983) Alexander Schmemann’s writings are an impeccably good entrée into contemporary Orthodox thought.
Richard McBrien (1936–2015) Richard McBrien’s constructive theology is decidedly unremarkable, given that he was a liberal-revisionist theologian excited by the many radicalisms of past decades.
- T. Wright (1945–) Anglican New Testament theologian N. T. Wright has challenged post-Enlightenment liberal-revisionist trends.
Craig Bartholomew (1961–) Anglican Old Testament theologian and polymath Craig Bartholomew is perhaps unsurpassed among contemporary theologians in his multi-disciplinary subversion of the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment agendas.
9. Let’s Raise Better Churchmen
From the Gospel Coalition:
There is much to learn from where we are both in Southern Baptist life and in broader evangelicalism, but here are three truths my husband and I are teaching our sons.
Women Are Valuable
This might seem obvious. But think about the things you value for a moment. I value my children, so I take care of them. I value my relationships, so I work hard to maintain and cultivate them. I value my home, so I don’t let it fall apart. I value my job, so I show up on time and work with integrity.
Men and Women Need One Another
As complementarians, we value the differences between men and women. But in teaching our children about these differences, we also must hold up the beauty of our togetherness.
Being Male Comes with a Cost
There’s privilege that comes with being male, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. My sons are smaller than I am. Right now, I’m in the position of defending them. But there will come a day when they are bigger and the roles will reverse. They will outgrow their vulnerability to some degree. I will not.
Since sin entered the world, men have used their strength and position for their own advantage. Abraham lied about Sarah and placed her in a dangerous position with more than one man (Gen. 12:10–20; 20:1–18). David stole another man’s wife (2 Sam. 11). Countless stories throughout history tell of men using their strength and privilege to keep power or to keep others underneath it. But God gave men their strength so others could flourish.
10. Utah Mother and Biological Son Reunite After 20 Years, Unknowingly Work in Same Hospital
A Utah man, who was [placed] for adoption 20 years ago, had been searching for his birth mother for quite some time.
When Benjamin Hulleberg reunited with his mother in November, he was shocked to find out the two had been working at the same hospital for two years.
Holly Shearer was just 15-years-old when she placed her newborn son for adoption.
“He deserved a mother and a father, a home with a playset in the backyard that he can play on, a dog, all of those things I couldn’t give him,” Shearer told KSL-TV.
“I kind of grew up wanting to meet my birth mom,” Benjamin told the television station. “To talk to her and, more than anything. Thank her because I knew that I had been given a really good life, full of opportunity.”