Tuesday September 28, 2021 

Good Morning! 

In the ongoing cultural upheaval, innocent children are often the ones caught in the crossfire.  

“A refusal to make moral judgements is not humility,” writes Dr. Al Mohler. It is insanity.” 

Thankfully, sanity (at least temporarily) reigns in Philadelphia: 

  1. Philadelphia Catholic agency can once again help make foster care placements, after settlement with city 

From CNA: 

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is once again helping make foster care placements, following a legal settlement with the city to cap a years-long court battle. 

The Supreme Court in June ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services in its lawsuit against the city, in the major religious freedom case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The agency and two foster moms working with it had alleged that the city violated religious freedom when, in 2018, it stopped contracting with the agency due to its religious stance on marriage. The city handles all foster care placements and contracts with various agencies to make referrals; Catholic Social Services does not refer foster children for same-sex or unmarried couples. 

Following the ruling, Catholic Social Services reached a settlement with the city, and could once again help make placements of foster children on Friday, Sept. 24. 

“Up until 2018, this had been a really positive relationship. Our goal is for that to be a positive relationship again,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in an interview with CNA. Windham which represented Catholic Social Services and the two foster moms in the Fulton case. 

  1. Facebook says it’s pausing effort to build Instagram for kids 

From CNBC: 

Facebook, which faced sharp criticism from lawmakers and users for its plan to develop an Instagram for kids, announced Monday it’s pausing work on the project. 

“While we believe building ‘Instagram Kids’ is the right thing to do, Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, will re-evaluate the project at a later date. In the interim Instagram will continue to focus on teen safety and expanding parental supervision features for teens,” the company said in a statement. 

Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the app was meant for children ages 10 to 12. 

The pause comes after an explosive Wall Street Journal report showed Facebook repeatedly found its Instagram app is harmful to many teenagers. The Journal cited Facebook studies over the past three years that examined how Instagram affects its young user base, with teenage girls being most notably harmed. 

  1. School District Pulls Books with Graphic Sexual Content from High School Library After Parents Protest 

From The Daily Citizen: 

What is the purpose of education? 

If asked that question today, many may say something about acquiring a good job, advancing a career or learning about the world. 

But in the nascent days of our nation, education was tied to the teaching of morality and virtue and was viewed as an indispensable support for good government. 

The Northwest Ordinance was adopted by the Confederation Congress in 1787 and established a government for the Northwest Territories. It affirmed that, “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” 

Additionally, Harvard University was founded in 1636 as the first institution of higher education in the United States and was established to instruct clergymen. It’s original mission statement was overtly religious: 

“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” 

  1. Once Dominant Liberal Denomination Sells Headquarters in Dramatic Downsizing 

From The Daily Citizen: 

We often hear sad stories about how the Christian Church is shrinking in America. But what many news outlets fail to mention is the types of churches that are declining. It is not the faithful bible-teaching, gospel-proclaiming congregations that are hemorrhaging members. It is the more liberal denominations that have long jettisoned historic orthodoxy – denying the deity of Christ, the reality of sin, doubting the truth of Jesus’ literal death and resurrection in addition to embracing abortion, same-sex marriage and gender politics – that are shriveling up. 

The latest such denomination is the extremely liberal United Church of Christ (UCC) which is in the process of selling the building that houses its headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio for seven million dollars. The heavily down-sized denominational staff will move from the massive nine story building which once housed 330 employees to a single-floor office space less than a mile away. 

The United Church of Christ has been experiencing an uninterrupted purging of members for decades now as a direct result of their increasingly liberal theology and practice. Their membership, which one totaled more than 2.1 million people, is currently just over 800,00 and expected to be a mere 200,000 in 2045. The Institute on Religion & Democracy explains, “While the denomination traces its origins to the puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, its spiritual antecedents would likely not recognize it today.” 

It is often said in popular culture, and even within some sectors of the Church itself, that if Christianity is to survive, it must “get with the times” and modernize its beliefs. One of the major voices here, the ultra-liberal Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, who died earlier this month at 90, infamously wrote a book some twenty years ago entitled Why Christianity Must Change of Die. He simply got the nature of that change wrong. 

  1. Tucker Carlson: Christianity is Dying, Being Replaced By Cult of Coronavirus

From Fox News: 

Is God dead? That’s the question that Time Magazine famously asked way back in 1966 when Time Magazine mattered. The answer then and now is no, God is not dead, but a lot of the people who believed in him are dead. Turns out not so long ago this was an enthusiastically Christian country. As recently as 2009, 77 percent of Americans told pollsters they consider themselves to be believing Christians. Then in just 10 years, over the course of the Obama administration, that number dropped by 12 points. Over the same period, the number of atheists and self-identified non-religious people in America jumped dramatically. And that was before COVID. Politicians used the pandemic across the country to close thousands of churches and throw Christians in prison for practicing their faith. There was the scene, for example, last fall in Idaho. Police arresting a congregation for singing hymns outdoors be paid. 

Socially distanced hymn singing outside. So what exactly was these people’s crimes? The tape of that will be studied by future generations of historians to try and figure out what was going on. What did these people do wrong? Well, they publicly affirmed their belief in a power higher than government. That’s not allowed fewer and fewer Americans do that—or even think to. But that does not mean, and this is the critical point, that does not mean this has become a secular country. There are no secular countries, just as there are no secular people. Everybody believes in something. All of us are born with the need to worship. The question is what?  

So, no, America has not lost its religion. It’s just replaced its religion. What’s dying is the faith that created Western civilization—Christianity. In its place is a new creed, and like all religions, it has its own sacraments, its own sacred texts. It’s the cult of coronavirus.  

6. Pandemic Will Be Over Soon, Vaccine Mandates May Not Happen Says Trump FDA Commissioner

From CBN: 

The end of the pandemic could be in sight according to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., but it won’t be due to vaccine mandates from President Biden. Gottlieb says those mandates are likely counterproductive, undermining efforts to build confidence in the vaccines. 

When it comes to adults, Dr. Gottlieb said the heads of private business should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to require their workers to get the jab, adding that President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees may not survive the many legal challenges that are already being mounted against it, despite it not having been written yet. 

In fact, he said the threat of the sweeping mandate may have led to fewer businesses ultimately requiring their workers to get vaccinated. 

When it comes to how long the pandemic will last, Dr. Gottlieb said the end may be in sight. He believes the current delta surge may be the last one. After it runs its course, Dr. Gottlieb says in the U.S. the pandemic will transition from a pandemic to an endemic, where the virus becomes a persistent risk like the flu, where it comes back, but settles into a more seasonal pattern. 

“I think this might be the last major wave of infection,” he said, “The idea that this is going to continue to mutate very quickly and all these mutations are going to evade our tools and this is going to be an endless crisis, I just don’t see that.” 

  1. Jewish couple donates $18M to fund Christian medical missions in Africa 

From the Christian Post: 

A Jewish entrepreneur and his rabbi wife are donating $18 million to help mainly Christian doctors who have traveled to Africa to provide much-needed medical care to Africans through medical missions work.  

Mark and Erica Gerson have donated what is said to be the “largest private gift ever” to Christian medical missions. 

The New York City couple had already been named one of the largest private supporters of Christian medical missionaries in Africa because they had donated millions over the years to help traveling doctors provide healthcare to impoverished African communities.  

Mark Gerson said he and his wife, who identify as traditional practicing Jews and attend the congregation of Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, have chosen to donate more money to the cause because the lack of access to medical care for most people in Africa is “one of the most significant humanitarian problems in the world.” 

  1. Mothers are Postponing Return to Work 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

Working hasn’t worked well lately for many U.S. mothers. 

About 3.5 million mothers living with school-age youngsters lost their jobs, took leave or left the labor market when Covid-19 hit last year, Census Bureau data shows. Now, increased Covid-19 cases are causing some schools in hundreds of districts to bring back virtual learning—and burden mothers again. 

“Many women will delay their plans to re-enter the workforce even further,’’ says Amanda Augustine, a career coach and spokeswoman for TopResume, a resume-writing service. In a spring 2021 survey, TopResume found that 69% of 362 women employed pre-pandemic but currently caring full time for children under 18 plan to stay home for now. 

Facing a brain drain and labor shortages, some companies are responding not just by hiring more women with children. They’re going to unusual lengths to assist mothers’ re-entry into the workforce, address their desire for flexibility and offer them more child-care support. 

  1. Media Hides Secret in $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

From the Daily Signal: 

There’s one piece of the $3.5 trillion spending bill that the media is unlikely to tell you about—their bailout. 

The massive, bloated $3.5 billion spending bill has so much pork that fiscal hawks could eat it for weeks. One piece that hasn’t received much attention yet is a special journalism “tax credit” equal to 50% of the salary of each journalist—up to $50,000 per journalist annually. 

Yes, that’s correct, your tax dollars would be paying 50% of the salary of many journalists, whether you like their reporting or not.  

Think of it as a way to turn every news outlet in America into a version of NPR. 

Let’s be clear: “Saving” the media would destroy the media. How could we ever trust journalists to accurately cover the elected officials who voted against their funding? How can you “speak truth to power” when you’re also pleading with that power for cash? Which news outlets would get the funding, and which would be snubbed?

10. ‘Car Talk’ Ends Its Radio Run. Here’s What Ray Magliozzi Hopes You’ll Remember 

From WBUR: 

All road trips eventually come to an end. On Saturday, The Best of Car Talk will air on WBUR for the final time. 

Car Talk launched as a local show on WBUR in 1977, with brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Cambridge behind the microphones. A decade later, the show went national and became an enormous and enduring hit for NPR. 

What worked great is when we didn’t have a ready answer for the car problem, we could always go into this area of your personal life and discuss that. ‘Well, why don’t you get along with your brother-in-law, and what’s his problem?’ And then people would often open up because they’d start laughing, and we would laugh. It was a way of getting people to talk about what else is going on in their lives.   

In Italian, they would call me a “ficcanaso,” which means you’re sticking your nose in! So, yeah, I am sticking my nose into other people’s business. That’s what we did on Car Talk for, you know, 100 years, and it seemed to work! 

Don’t take anything too seriously. Laugh when you can, have a good time and enjoy the people around you because you know, it’s a short trip. And here’s the message: thanks for listening!