Shortly before his death in 1972, the liberal activist Saul Alinsky published his now famous book, Rules for Radicals – a practical blueprint for community organizers.
His thirteenth and final rule has become a standard tactic of many modern-day antagonists:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ”
We begin with news of Florida’s governor successfully pushing back against a false narrative designed to demonize people who support common sense legislation crafted to protect children’s minds:
- Florida ‘Parental Rights in Education’ Bill Signed Into Law
From The Daily Citizen:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law, reinforcing the fundamental right of parents to direct the care, education and upbringing of their children. That’s good news for parents in The Sunshine State.
The new law, falsely dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by LGBT activists and their allies, keeps teachers from inappropriately sexualizing children and mandates that schools tell parents if their children are struggling with physical, mental or emotional issues, such as internal conflicts about sexual identity.
The governor signed HB 1557 at a press conference at Classical Preparatory School, in Spring Hill, Florida, saying:
“As many of you know, the last couple of years have really revealed to parents that they are being increasingly ignored across our country when it comes to education.
We have seen curriculum imbedded, for very, very young children, classroom materials about sexuality and woke gender ideology. We’ve seen libraries that have clearly inappropriate pornographic materials, for very young kids, and we’ve seen services, that were given to students without the consent or even knowledge of their parents, across the country. And unfortunately, that’s happened here in the state in Florida.”
Disney has been outspoken on DeSantis’ parental rights bill but silent on Uyghur genocide
From Fox Business:
The Walt Disney Company is an American industrial titan with a loud voice the company has used to campaign against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ parental rights bill.
As loud as they are against a state policy they disagree with, Disney has been silent about the ongoing Uyghur Muslim genocide in China — even as they film movies there.
Fox Business reached out to Disney asking why it appears they are more vocal in speaking out on the DeSantis-backed bill than the literal genocide going on in China, and if the company would condemn the ethnic cleansing.
DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw eviscerated Disney in a Friday email to Fox Business, blasting the Mouse House as having “failed to condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights violations” but that the company’s disposition towards the genocide is “much worse than ‘silence.’”
- Utah Legislature Overrides Veto and Saves Women’s Sports
From The Daily Citizen:
It took the Utah state legislature just 30 minutes on March 25 to override a gubernatorial veto of House Bill 11 (HB11) designed to protect girls and women’s sports in the state’s schools from unfair competition from biological males who believe they are women.
The veto override, passed on the last day of the legislative session by a two-thirds vote in the state House and Senate, was followed by a special session to pass another bill to appropriate $500,000 to defend state schools from any litigation resulting from the new law. The lack of such a defense fund was one of the reasons listed in the governor’s veto letter.
The new law provides that should its total ban on males competing in female sports be blocked in the courts, a new state commission will decide the eligibility of such athletes on a case-by-case basis. Utah currently has four transgender athletes, but only one of them is affected by the law – a biological male playing in a girls sport. The law does not prohibit biological women from competing on men’s teams.
Utah’s governor had also expressed concerns over the law interrupting lengthy negotiations over a bill that would have allowed males who think they are females to compete in girls and women’s sports unless such participation “could pose a safety threat or dominate a sport in a way that would eliminate competitive opportunities for biological females.” The negotiations bogged down, and the legislature passed HB11 in early March.
- Massachusetts High School Biology Class Pushes Radical Gender Ideology As Fact
From the Daily Wire:
New Boston Post, a conservative aggregate news source for all things New England, recently reported Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, is teaching students in its biology class that humans who “change” their gender are no different than animals or plants who naturally alter their bodily composition for the survival of their species. According to the report, the Massachusetts high school biology class also requests students limit gendered language during the section on genetics in order to create an inclusive classroom. But some critics are saying the lesson plan is “indoctrination.”
New Boston Post reported last week that Needham High is teaching in biology class that “humans are socially conditioned to view sex and gender as binary.” That class also requires students to refrain from “language that removes gendered terms to talk about bodies” to make sure “people with diverse (a)sexualities, (a)genders, bodies, and (a)romantic orientations are included and respected.”
According to the report’s author, Tom Joyce, Needham High educators broke down the difference between “anatomical sex” and “gender identity” even further:
Here is how it defines anatomical sex:
“Sex (sometimes called biological sex, anatomical sex, or physical sex) is comprised of things like genitals, chromosomes, hormones, body hair, and more. But one thing it’s not: gender.”
And here is how it defines gender identity:
“Your psychological sense of self. Who you, in your head, know yourself to be based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender.”
4. Nebraska Advances Bill to Ban Abortions and Make Killing Babies a Felony
From Life News:
Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a pro-life bill that would ban abortions and make killing an unborn baby a felony.
Sen. Joni Albrecht, R-Thurston, sponsored the Nebraska Human Life Protection Act (LB 933), which would ensure that every human life is protected in Nebraska. last month her bill received a committee hearing but it has been stuck in the committee ever since.
On Friday, since the bill was stuck in committee, legislators used a special procedural motion to vote the bill out of committee and onto the floor of the state’s unicameral legislature so it can receive a full legislative vote. Senators voted 28-13 to bring the bill to the floor.
- Supreme Court Rules Against Navy SEALs Seeking Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandate
From The Daily Citizen:
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against 35 members of the Naval Special Warfare community (NSWC), including 26 Navy SEALs, who had requested religious accommodations from the Department of Defense’s (DOD) COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Last November, these 35 members of the NSWC sued the DOD over its mandate that all servicemembers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
These individuals were being threatened with “punishment, involuntary separation or even court-martial” because of their refusal, on religious grounds, to receive the vaccines.
The Navy ostensibly offers a religious accommodations process for servicemembers who cannot receive the vaccine on religious grounds.
You Likely Don’t Need a Fourth Covid Shot
From the Wall Street Journal:
How many Covid shots are enough? Pfizer and Moderna have asked the Food and Drug administration to authorize a second booster (a fourth shot) for patients over 65 and all adults, respectively. The FDA reportedly will authorize (but not recommend) the fourth shot for patients over 50. But if your immune system is healthy, three or even two doses of these mRNA vaccines should be sufficient.
Vaccine-induced protection against infection is short-lived and doesn’t get much of a boost from extra shots. Yet the initial two-dose regimen is enough to provide most patients excellent protection against severe disease—mediated by durable cellular responses, not the neutralizing antibodies that rise and wane quickly after vaccination.
If you’ve had two doses of vaccine, you have a lot of protection against severe Covid. Likewise if you’ve been infected with the virus, including with Omicron. If you’re over 65 or otherwise at high risk of severe disease, it’s reasonable to get a third dose. A fourth dose is already authorized for the immunocompromised. For everyone else, the data haven’t shown meaningful benefit of three doses, never mind four.
- Why Haven’t There Been Any Evangelicals on the Supreme Court?
From Christianity Today:
With the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson last month, the US Supreme Court could get its first Black female and first nondenominational Protestant justice.
Six of the current Supreme Court justices are Catholic (Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas), and with Stephen Breyer’s retirement, Elena Kagan will be the only Jewish justice. In response to a question during her confirmation hearings on Tuesday, Jackson described her faith as “Protestant” and then added “nondenominational.”
When Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the US Supreme Court in 2017, he ended a seven-year stretch when no Protestants sat on the nation’s highest court for the first time in history. Of the 115 justices appointed to the Supreme Court since 1789, the overwhelming majority have been Protestants, but none have identified as nondenominational or evangelical.
The lack of evangelicals on the Supreme Court is partly a supply issue. While evangelicals make up a quarter of the American population, Crane found that they’re just 7 percent of the student body at the country’s top law schools. Harvard and Yale are seen as the Supreme Court “pipeline,” with eight of the nine justices—and nominee Brown—having attended law school there.
There are also differing attitudes among evangelicals around legal scholarship. Crane remembers that when he attended Wheaton in the late ’80s, the faculty discouraged students from applying to law schools. He thinks there’s still some baggage around legal practice—which can be seen as a worldly, greedy profession—and fewer evangelical students want to work to distinguish themselves in elite legal circles the same way they embrace the ambition needed to succeed in other areas like elite sports or business.
Catholic and evangelical legal thought overlap considerably, particularly in their understanding of natural law, which dates all the way back to Thomas Aquinas. But where Catholics have a body of legal thought that is systematized and steeped in logic and scholarship, evangelicals are more likely to appeal solely to Scripture for their natural law arguments, said Robert Cochran, Louis D. Brandeis professor of law emeritus at Pepperdine University School of Law.
- Stimulus checks for inflation: Here are the states planning to send money to residents
From CBS News:
Roughly a dozen states are proposing sending tax rebate checks to their residents to offset the highest inflation in four decades, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pointing to high gas and food prices as prompting their actions.
Among them is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, who on Wednesday signed a law to send checks of up to $500 to state residents. The reason, he said in a statement, is to soften the impact of inflation on household budgets — and also return some of money amid a record state budget surplus.
These checks represent one-time tax rebates that will put money back into consumers’ wallets. But some other states are considering or already planning to cut income taxes, providing an ongoing tax break for their residents.
The tax cuts and rebates cut across party lines, with both Democrats and Republicans joining in the proposals.
- More churches are returning to a pre-pandemic normal, but people aren’t coming back
With COVID-19 cases decreasing and pandemic restrictions lifting all over the U.S., many churches and other houses of worship have returned to their pre-pandemic services. But that return to normal has not corresponded with worshipers returning for in-person services, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
The survey asked U.S. adults who say they attend religious services whether their house of worship is currently open and holding services the same way it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. A new high of 43% of respondents say their congregation has returned to normal services, which is an increase of 14 percentage points in the last six months and 31 points since last March.
A larger plurality of 47% say their church or house of worship is open, but with some modifications like mask requirements or social distancing still in place because of the pandemic. Only 5% of respondents said their place of worship is still closed. According to Pew Research, the number of U.S. worshipers who say their congregation is open for in-person worship has not increased over the last six months, but fewer people say their services include COVID-19 precautions.
9. 73% of US counties had more deaths than births in 2021: Census report
From the Christian Post:
Driven by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, some 73% of U.S. counties registered more deaths than births in 2021 and states in the Northeast experienced the most widespread natural decrease in population, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The data show that between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, half of all states, including seven of the nine states in the Northeast, had more deaths than births, while only three of the 13 states in the West had more deaths than births.
Only 33% of states in the Midwest calculated more deaths than births for that period, while in the South, some 65% of states registered more deaths than births.
While many states experienced more deaths than births in 2021, some states like Arizona and New York experienced an increase in population due to the number of births in certain areas. Births in the five boroughs of New York City, for example, were enough to offset the decrease in population in other parts of the state. Arizona’s increase was also driven by Maricopa County which saw an increase of 8,042 people.
- Dad Receives Kidney Donation from Stranger Who Saw Online Appeal
From Fox News:
Two complete strangers are now great friends — because of a kidney and enormous human kindness.
In the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, two dads have developed an irreplaceable bond after one donated a kidney to the other. Steve Sanders, 46, is a single father of two children. Sanders has been living with a very rare genetic condition called uromodulin kidney disease (UKD); his kidneys were slowly failing over time, eventually resulting in his need for dialysis for life — or a kidney transplant.
Sanders decided to search for a kidney donor through a website he created. He shared the info on social media.
And that’s when Chris Perez, 40, a complete stranger, answered the call and ended up being a perfect match.
Even though Sanders was a stranger, Perez said he wanted to help him out as a fellow dad.
“I couldn’t help but really think deeply about if it was me in that situation,” Perez said. “I’d really want someone to do it for me.”