Are we finally reaching a tipping point?
“At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary, and hateful,” says Elon Musk. “It basically gives mean people a shield to be mean and cruel, armored in false virtue.”
Former Clinton strategist James Carville would seem to agree. “What went wrong is stupid wokeness. I mean this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools, people see that … Some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something.”
Musk and Carville’s disgust hasn’t yet reached the university:
1. Christian Professor Suspended and Barred from Campus for Criticism of Concordia University’s ‘Wokeness’
From The Daily Citizen:
Dr. Gregory P. Schulz is a tenured professor at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), a Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod institution. He teaches philosophy and is a Lutheran pastor with over 40 years of experience in ministry either in a local parish or in higher education.
When Dr. Schulz published an article on February 14 critical of CUW’s “woke-ness” in its search for a new university president for the 8,000-student institution, he was immediately suspended from his teaching duties until he publicly recants.
And for good measure, Dr. Schulz was immediately barred from campus. The callous swiftness of the administration’s retaliation was stunning. He had hit a nerve.
“Woke Dysphoria at Concordia,” the title of Schulz’ February 14 article in The Christian News, complained that CUW was “coming under the influence of Woke-ism,” which he described as “a potent cocktail of Progressivism, Neo-Pragmatism, and Marxism.”
2. Wisconsin Teachers Instructed to Hide Students’ Gender Identities from Parents
From National Review:
Teachers at a school district in Wisconsin are being instructed to hide their students’ changing gender identities from parents on the grounds that “parents are not entitled to know,” and that it is “knowledge that must be earned,” according to leaked training documents.
The instruction was part of several recent staff development sessions for teachers in the Eau Claire Area School District in central Wisconsin that focused on safe spaces, gender identity, microaggressions, and oppression. According to one of the trainers, parents who disagree with their kids about gender identity issues are guilty of a form of “abuse.” The trainers also encouraged the teachers to be activists: “to vote, to demonstrate, to protest.”
Critics of the training sessions called the instruction “blatant disregard for the parents and guardians of our community’s children,” and they said it sends the message that schools are in control of children, not parents and families.
The fight over teacher training in Eau Claire is the latest skirmish in the national debate over the role of schools in promoting activism, and teaching “woke” concepts about race, gender, and sex.
3. ‘Whose Children Are They?’ Film Coming to Theaters and Churches
From The Daily Citizen:
The film Whose Children Are They? Exposing the Hidden Agenda in America’s Schools is showing at theaters across the country on Monday, March 14.
The documentary, which exposes the indoctrination taking place in our nation’s schools, is also available for churches and schools to host a screening from March 15 to April 14.
The film is described as a “groundbreaking and powerfully persuasive documentary featuring brave teachers, empowered parents, and front-line experts who pull back the curtain about what is truly happening in our public schools today.”
4. Sponsor of Maryland Bill That Legalizes Infanticide Up to 28 Days Cancels Hearing
From Life News:
The Maryland Democrat who sponsored a radical bill that would legalize infanticide, letting babies die up to 28 days after birth, is reportedly altering his legislation. Senate Bill Sponsor William Smith, the author of SB 669, is supposedly removing the “perinatal” section of the bill and has cancelled a hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
The Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022 includes a section state that investigations of infanticides would be curtailed: “This section may not be construed to authorize any form of investigation or penalty for a person: … experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to a failure to act, or stillbirth.”
“Perinatal death related to a failure to act,” is the most menacing line in this terrible bill. Perinatal is an imprecise word with many interpretations. The World Health Organization defines it as the period between 23 weeks’ gestation and seven days after birth. Other bodies say the perinatal period ends 28 days after birth.
After massive outcry about the bill online for a week, Smith has reportedly decided to drop that language and has canceled the hearing.
“In a victory for LIFE, Senate Bill Sponsor William Smith has been persuaded to cancel the Senate Bill hearing of the Infanticide Bill. The bill was opposed by MDRTL in committee hearing in the House,” Maryland Right to Life informed LifeNews this afternoon.
5. Supreme Court nominee Jackson’s record on abortion troubles pro-life advocates
From the Washington Times:
The potential confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court could slow down the pro-life movement, conservative advocates warn.
Though her record on abortion is slim, Judge Jackson did rule against the Trump administration’s move to defund some women’s reproductive groups in 2018 when she was on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
She also represented pro-choice organizations in a 2001 challenge to pro-life protests outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts.
“Joe Biden is fulfilling his promise to only appoint justices who support the Roe v. Wade regime of abortion on demand up to birth — a policy so extreme only a handful of countries in the world hold it, including North Korea and China,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “We have no doubt she will work with the most pro-abortion administration in history to enshrine abortion on demand nationwide in the law.”
Gayle Trotter, president of the American Women’s Alliance, said some legal scholars might say Judge Jackson’s position on abortion won’t matter because Democratic appointees are in the minority on the high court. She said such reasoning is shortsighted when weighed against the impact of a justice’s lifetime appointment.
6. Idaho becomes first state to pass Texas-style abortion ban, sends bill to Gov. Brad Little
From USA Today:
Idaho became the first state to pass abortion legislation modeled after Texas’ six-week ban on Monday.
The Idaho House voted 51-14 with no Democratic support to pass a bill that would allow potential family members to sue any doctor who performs an abortion during a pregnancy longer than six weeks. The state Senate had already approved the bill, which now goes to Gov. Brad Little, who is likely to sign it.
Little, a Republican, signed a similar so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill into law last year. That measure includes a trigger provision that requires a federal court to rule in favor of it – which hasn’t happened yet.
The new proposed legislation is similar a Texas law that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy but before many people realize they are pregnant.
7. The Call and Challenge of Women’s Work
From the Gospel Coalition:
This past fall, the Census Bureau released a study with sobering statistics. “As the pandemic erupted in the spring of 2020, roughly 3.5 million mothers with school-age children either lost jobs, took leaves of absence or left the labor market altogether,” the Associated Press reported.
While many women have continued to work out of necessity, those who haven’t returned are reassessing what “work” should look like for them as the pandemic drags on. Some lament being trapped with their online-schooling children all day; others are finding the required shift in responsibilities to offer unexpected fulfillment.
Women have certainly left a vacancy in the workforce, but any stay-at-home mom will tell you she hasn’t left work behind. Her labor at home is just as demanding as it was in the office. As a reluctant breadwinner, I’ve learned this myself.
Seventeen years ago, I walked across the stage to receive my graduate degree while seven months pregnant, convinced a doctoral degree was just a stone’s throw away. But I fell in love, hard, with my baby girl’s big green eyes and discovered I had competing passions. I wanted to be a mom and I wanted to make something of myself, whatever that meant. I put further studies on hold, took contract jobs to “keep up my skills,” and embraced motherhood as best I could, albeit always with an eye toward what other women my age were achieving.
As it turned out, I grew to love my labors at home with four children. I discovered the dignity of raising little minds and the honor of shaping little hearts. I homeschooled my children for eight years, giving them the very best I had to offer, nurturing their instincts toward discovery and creative inquiry. I volunteered for their 4-H clubs and baseball teams, and I learned that my skills honed in the workforce could be used in myriad ways I’d never imagined. God had so much good work for me to do. And then, just as I was at my most content, my husband died suddenly.
8. Surge in screen time during pandemic may lead to more eye problems for kids
From Study Finds:
Researchers are concerned that this uptick in digital device usage on a global scale among kids may soon start affecting children’s eyesight and health in general. Previous studies show a number of conditions and ailments have a connection to increased screen time.
Putting entertainment aside for a moment, COVID-19 forced schools all over the world to transition to remote learning. Students have been using computers and tablets to learn their lessons for two years now, which means much more time online every day.
The research team analyzed various smaller studies conducted all over the world documenting these increases in adolescent screen time. One Canadian study reports 89 percent of parents admit their kids spend much more time staring at screens than the two-hour daily guideline set by the Canadian health authorities.
Another study, this one conducted in Chile, found screen time among toddlers and pre-school children had nearly doubled to over three hours daily. Meanwhile, Tunisian scientists report an astounding 111 percent increase in total screen time among local children between the ages of five and 12.
9. Reading to your kids is time well spent
From World Magazine:
Meghan Cox Gurdon is a children’s book critic for The Wall Street Journal and a former foreign reporter. She is a wife, mother of five, and recently, a grandmother. Gurdon’s 2019 book The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction presents compelling evidence for the emotional, cognitive, and social benefits of oral storytelling.
On a recent Friday afternoon, we met virtually and discussed how the book’s message is perhaps more relevant now coming out of pandemic lockdowns and amid heated debate over the content in contemporary children’s books. Here is our conversation, edited and shortened.
You were raised an only child in a broken home. Your parents stopped reading aloud to you once you could read independently. What prompted you to read aloud to your kids?
I was at a dinner party one night with my husband, who was then my fiancé. We had our drinks, and the hostess, my friend Lisa, excused herself. I thought she was going to stir something in the kitchen. She never came back. We asked her husband where she went. He replied, “Oh, she’s just reading to the boys.” This was my Pauline moment. I thought, If I ever have children, that is what I’m going to do. When we did get married and had a baby, I was drawing on this complete reservoir of ignorance. The one thing I knew I could do was read to this baby. It taught me how to be a mother.
You stuck with it for the next 25 years, reading to your children nightly?
To borrow from C.S. Lewis’ phrase, I was surprised by the joy of having a family. I liked reading aloud in the evening because it was a kind of anchor to the day. It held it together. It was a destination we were all moving toward before bed. The joy of it is … whenever you can get to it, your children love it. I also read to them in the bath. You can do it anywhere, in the car while you’re stuck in traffic, on the subway, over breakfast. Fathers can read, or aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
In The Enchanted Hour, you explore the science behind reading aloud. What surprised you? I had to fend off feelings of regret and sorrow over the things I hadn’t known. I never thought about how quickly their brains were growing. I do think that reading aloud was the best thing I have done as a mother. It made me grateful that this was our technique. When I go back in my mind, I wish I had read them more poetry and nonfiction. I wanted them to have a kind of cultural acquaintance. It was an opportunity to introduce them to types of literature and to more sophisticated texts that they wouldn’t read on their own. I was conscious in that sense.
10.WWII vet, 99, becomes children’s book author after buying his first computer
From The New York Post:
This senior citizen is booked.
A 99-year-old World War II veteran proved that it’s never to late to do what you love after embarking on a career as a children’s book author. Now, with two titles under his belt, the nonagenarian is earning the admiration of a new generation of young readers.
“Reading is a foundation for all other learning,” Sam Baker, 99, told Fox News of the inspiration behind starting a new vocation at nearly a hundred years old.
His was a story of fatigues to fountain pens: The Scottsdale, Arizona, native enlisted in the Marine Corps at 19 in 1942 — several months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After leaving the service in 1947, Baker joined the US Coast and Geodetic Survey — now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA, where he worked for three decades until he retired.
Then, at 95 years old, Baker decided to become a writer — an idea that was sparked after he purchased his first computer, Military.com reported.
“My son called and said, ‘Dad, now that you have a computer, why don’t you write down the stories you told us when we were kids, for your granddaughter?’ ” the elderly bookworm told the military paper of his new vocation’s genesis.
Deciding to honor his kin’s request, Baker typed his first ever children’s book, “The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm,” which was published in 2018. The opus was, per his son’s suggestion, based on the stories he used to tell his kids about a worm named Herman.
“Beware the Ides of March!”