Good Morning!  

Writing in his book, The Meaning of Marriage, Dr. Tim Keller asks and answers his own question: 

“What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us … I can think of no more powerful common horizon than that, and that is why putting a Christian friendship at the heart of a marriage relationship can lift it to a level that no other vision for marriage approaches.” 

Unfortunately, fewer people hold a similarly high view of the value of marriage: 

  1. Percent of People Who Believe Marriage is Needed to Create Stronger Families at Record Low, Survey Reports 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Is marriage needed to create stronger families? Does being married make families better off financially? Is society better off when more people are married? According to a recently released survey, an increasing number of Americans answer these questions in the negative. 

The American Family Survey, which took results from 3,000 respondents, was conducted by YouGov for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, and was published by Deseret News on October 12. 

When polling on the overall importance of marriage within society, the group found an increasingly negative view of the institution. According to the survey, a record low of 52% of respondents agreed that marriage was needed to create strong families – down from a high of 63% in 2017. The percentage of people who agreed that marriage makes families and children better off financially also dropped from a high of 66% in 2017 to a record low of 58% in 2021 – even though research shows this to be a fact. 

Only 45% of respondents agreed that society is better off when more people are married – a third record low since the group began polling in 2015. Nearly 1/5th of those polled claimed that marriage is “old-fashioned and out-of-date.” 

  1. Campaigning in Churches: Virginia Governor’s Race Raises IRS Issues 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Virginia is in the middle of a close election race for governor, pitting Democrat Terry McAuliffe against Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. Election Day is November 2 in the Old Dominion, but early voting in the state has already begun. Recent election-related events there raise the question: Just what can churches do at election time, since IRS rules prohibit charitable organizations from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office. 

Various news sources are reporting that a video of Vice President Kamala Harris endorsing McAuliffe began playing in over 300 churches on October 17. Stacey Abrams, a former Democrat candidate for Georgia governor in 2018 showed up in person at a Norfolk church last Sunday to urge those in attendance to vote for McAuliffe. 

Campaign signs for Youngkin flanked the entrance to a church near Big Stone Gap, Virginia during a church rally in July focused on voter registration and participation, while his image appeared on a projection screen inside the church. 

The events in Virginia are nothing new, nor are they related to one political party. But given the IRS rules about mixing politics with church activities, what are the limits and when do churches cross the line into prohibited activities that pose a risk to their 501(c)(3) status? 

  1. Parents sue over policies that segregate students and chill speech 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

Critical race theory dominates college campuses these days, but parents are fighting its spread to K-12 education. Three Massachusetts families are suing Wellesley Public Schools over woke policies they say violate their children’s rights. 

“Nearly seven decades of Supreme Court precedent have made two things clear: Public schools cannot segregate students by race, and students do not abandon their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate,” says the suit filed in federal court Tuesday afternoon by the nonprofit Parents Defending Education. The suit says Wellesley Public Schools “is flouting both of these principles.” 

Wellesley has promoted “affinity groups” that hold events for specific races. Parents Defending Education alleges these groups are racially exclusionary “by definition and design,” given that “certain Wellesley students” including the plaintiffs’ children “are prohibited from participating in certain school activities because of their race and ethnicity.” The parents say this violates the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Parents shouldn’t have to go to court to have a say in how their children are taught, but they have no alternative when school administrators won’t listen. The Wellesley suit is one to watch and could echo beyond New England. 

4.     Justice Clarence Thomas: A Legacy of Citizenship and Duty 

Focus on the Family’s Tim Goeglein writes in The Epoch Times: 

For those young people who have been fortunate enough to serve as clerks to Justice Thomas, they could not find a better mentor. Justice Thomas invests in the relationships with his clerks, providing the same sort of mentorship that he received from Anderson, and many have gone on to be leaders in government, law, and the private sector. 

But it’s just not his law clerks with whom Justice Thomas shows interest—those who have had the honor of meeting him in his chambers at the Supreme Court have found a man of exceeding kindness and a wonderful sense of humor. He greets and treats all as if they are close personal friends. 

Justice Thomas understands that being a good citizen requires standing firm in one’s beliefs while treating everyone with dignity, even those with whom he disagrees or who hurl personal attacks against him. In doing so, he serves as a role model for us all and shows us through personal responsibility, self-sacrifice, gratitude, and dignity what citizenship and duty is all about. 

So, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this humble servant’s service as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, let us all strive to follow the words he gave those graduating students at Hillsdale College and that he has lived out throughout his life—to see citizenship as a duty that requires sacrifice and not a privilege that demands special treatment. 

That’s the legacy of that young boy from Pin Point, Georgia. His life is a testament to how being a good citizen will result in both personal and national restoration. 

5.   Solving the Supreme Court’s Abortion Dilemma in Dobbs 

From Public Discourse: 

The logic of Roe v. Wade was faulty but straightforward: there is an unwritten constitutional right to abortion, founded in the unwritten right to privacy. Because it is fundamental, the right to abortion can be limited only by a compelling state interest. If the unborn child were a constitutional person, or even just a living human being, a state’s interest in protecting it would indeed be compelling.  

However, in Roe, the Supreme Court claimed not to be convinced either of the child’s constitutional status or of its existence before birth as an actual human life. Instead, it treated the child as a merely “potential” life, all the way up to birth. 

Given this logic, Roe obviously could be reversed either in a neutral way or in a pro-life way in Dobbs. The Court could simply say that there is no unwritten right to abortion after all, and therefore the states are as free to regulate abortion as they are to regulate any other medical procedure, without speaking at all about the primary victim of abortion. Or the Court could reverse the second step in Roe’s logic and say that the child is a fellow human being prior to birth, or perhaps even a person under our federal Constitution, so that states have a compelling interest in protecting the child against abortion. 

  1. Don’t Call People ‘Americans’: Leading Parks Group Debuts Woke Guide 

From the Daily Wire: 

The nation’s leading parks nonprofit on Tuesday released a lengthy guide on how to speak in woke terms, including tips like avoiding using the term “Americans” and making sure the term “white” is lowercase while “Black” may be capitalized. 

The National Recreation And Park Association’s (NRPA) exhaustive 17-page “Equity Language Guide” for parks and recreation professionals includes meticulous instructions on what words are acceptable or unacceptable in speaking about race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. 

“Use caution with this word,” NRPA’s guide says about calling people “Americans.” 

“When we talk about parks and recreation serving communities, we are usually talking about how they serve all people whether or not they are a U.S. citizen,” the guide says, advising that people “avoid using the term ‘Americans’ generically for a group” and use “residents” or “members” of a community as a more “inclusive approach.” 

  1. The Ethics of Sharing Your Child on Social Media

From the Deseret News: 

Many parents create a digital footprint for their children from the first post of their baby’s ultrasound. Some details, like where the child goes to school, their birthday or other identifying information, can be used to exploit, experts advise. 

Parents often use social media to “perform their identities” – a phenomenon that everyone engages in by the clothing we wear or the car we drive; we’re always, consciously or not, presenting an image to the world.  

  1. How Satan Undoes a Mom 

    From Desiring God:

Our enemies in motherhood are not flesh and blood; our enemies are “the rulers, . . . the authorities, . . . the cosmic powers over this present darkness, . . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our enemy is not in Europe; he is “going to and fro on the earth” (Job 1:7). He “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). 

Satan’s warfare on woman and her seed is not a side project. It is a major part of his strategy. To Satan, mothers represent the unrelenting multiplication of hated human images of the hated God-man who is coming soon to end his evil reign. Mothers are stewards of the home, superintendents of the precious time called childhood, where Satan hopes to do his worst work — and often sees worse defeat. 

Innocence, flourishing, joy, productivity, gratitude, meek service, earliest wonder, and maddening physicality all have a special place in a home with children. And Satan violently opposes all of them. 

Our lives are not primarily a battle against phantom menaces out in the world who threaten to influence our children. Our children, like us, are conceived in iniquity and born in sin (Psalm 51:5). The enemy of our children’s hearts is already here; it’s already inside the camp. 

Our children will get the most benefit, not from our public statements about what morally outrages us, but from our souls being watered by God’s word and our hearts being filled with yearning for Christ himself. Make no mistake — our children, no matter what they hear us say, will know what our hearts truly love. Satan would have it so that we never find out what our hearts love. He would have us preach a gospel to our children that never reaches our affections, our sin, our desires. 

  1. USA Olympian encourages routine mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

From Fox News: 

USA volleyball Olympian April Ross is teaming up with GE Healthcare Systems in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month to highlight the importance of routine mammograms in early detection of the disease. Ross joined “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday, urging patients to make their appointments.  

“The biggest thing you can do for yourself and as part of your overall wellness routine, self-care is go get your mammogram,” Ross told co-host Dana Perino. “And there were up to 60 percent of people, especially last year with the pandemic, that didn’t go in and didn’t get their mammograms.” 

“So this is a little bit of a PSA. Get back in there.” 

Ross commended the alliance with GE, highlighting the organization for producing new technology designed to make the experience more comfortable for patients everywhere. 

10. What Colin Powell Learned From His Own Story 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

It was September 1995, and the world was beating a path to Colin Powell’s door. Rumors swirled about a possible run for the White House. 

I interviewed him at his Alexandria, Va., office, hoping to be the one to break the news of his candidacy. His first book, “My American Journey,” had been published that year. I led with questions about that. He said he was surprised at how much he remembered and how much of a story he had to tell, connecting the dots in his life—young black kid, immigrant parents, coming up through the Bronx. 

He recalled giving the manuscript to his oldest daughter. She was an actress with “a sense of drama and stories.” The next morning he said to her, “Well, I hope you get to it soon.” She responded: “I stayed up all night reading it! I know more about you than I’ve ever known before!” At that point, Powell said, “I was a success as an author.” 

What people could learn from his book was that “we live in a remarkable country where ordinary people of whatever background or origin can do extraordinary things. We sometimes forget it.”