The late and beloved pastor and writer Warren Wiersbe, who died in 2019 at the age of 89, once said:
“Some of your greatest blessings come with patience.”
Even as the pro-life movement waits patiently for a ruling in the Dobbs case, life continues to win in the Lone Star State:
- Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Texas Heartbeat Abortion Law Again!
From The Daily Citizen:
The Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as SB 8, won another legal round on April 26 when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the federal trial court where it originated, with instructions to dismiss all challenges to its private enforcement provisions.
And that all but ends the abortion industry’s attempt to stop the law in the federal courts. The act which went into effect September 1, 2021, has state cases that remain pending.
Fox News reports the contents of the 5th Circuit’s brief ruling:
“Having received the ruling of the Texas Supreme Court that named officials defendants may not enforce the provisions of the Texas Heartbeat Act… this court REMANDS the case with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the private enforcement provisions of the statute and to consider whether plaintiffs have standing to challenge.”
Pro-life groups are celebrating.
Texas Right to Life’s Kim Schwartz told LifeNews:
“The Fifth Circuit’s instruction to dismiss the challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act’s enforcement mechanism confirms what Tex Right to Life has known since the beginning: the abortion industry’s legal attacks are meritless.”
Abortion and the Supreme Court
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Supreme Court will soon decide an abortion case in which Mississippi has asked the Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. The oral argument suggested that five Justices lean toward doing so, but a ferocious lobbying campaign is trying to change their minds.
The campaign may be the most apocalyptic in its warnings since the ObamaCare case in 2012. Democrats are demanding that Justice Clarence Thomas resign because of the political activism of his wife. The New Yorker published a long piece portraying Justice Amy Coney Barrett as almost a religious cultist.
The Guttmacher Institute, which favors abortion rights, estimates that 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortion without Roe.” But that means 24 states would allow it, including some of the most populous. Based on a Guttmacher analysis from 2017 on abortions performed in various states, the majority of those abortions would remain legal.
2.Arizona Affirms Religious Freedom and Parental Rights
From The Daily Citizen:
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation ensuring that churches, clergy, religious organizations and people of faith cannot be discriminated against during a public emergency.
In addition, the legislature passed a measure protecting parental rights in education and health care. That bill awaits the governor’s signature.
The Religion is Essential Act, HB 2507, declares that houses of worship and religious organizations must receive equal treatment during a public crisis, along with other businesses and services deemed essential.
- Coalition of 27 Parent Groups Urge Education Secretary against Gender Identity Rewrite of Title IX
From National Review:
A coalition of 27 predominantly parent-led organizations sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Tuesday urging against the department’s forthcoming rewrite of Title IX sex discrimination rules to include gender identity.
Representing 393,823 members, the groups allege that “the sweeping changes to Title IX that you are reportedly set to announce would erode the very rights that protect all students – regardless of sex – and ensure a safe and equitable learning environment.”
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex in education, stipulating that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Oklahoma governor signs ban on nonbinary birth certificates
From the Associated Press:
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Tuesday explicitly prohibiting the use of nonbinary gender markers on state birth certificates, a ban experts say is the first of its kind in the nation.
The bill followed a flap last year over the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s agreement in a civil case allowing a nonbinary option. The birth certificate in that case was issued to an Oklahoma-born Oregon resident who sued after the agency initially refused the request. People who are nonbinary do not identify with traditional male or female gender assignments.
News of the settlement prompted outrage among Republicans, including Stitt, who along with fellow conservatives in a number of GOP-led states have been engaged in a culture war over issues like restricting LGBTQ and abortion rights that drive the party’s base in an election year. Stitt’s appointee to lead the agency abruptly resigned the next day, and the governor then promptly issued an executive order prohibiting any changes to a person’s gender on birth certificates, despite the settlement agreement. A civil rights group has challenged the executive order in federal court, but the state has not yet responded.
- Florida Governor Signs Election Integrity Bill into Law
From The Daly Citizen:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an election integrity bill into law to strengthen and increase confidence in the state’s elections.
- Creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate allegations of voter fraud.
- Increases the penalty for ballot harvesting from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and up to five years probation.
- Requires the Department of State to strengthen ID requirements for mail-in ballots.
- Requires supervisors of elections to check voter rolls every year for ineligible voters.
- Broadens the prohibition of election supervisors from receiving “Zuckerbucks.”
The term “ballot harvesting” refers to the practice of an individual or third-party gathering and submitting already completed absentee or mail-in ballots. The practice opens up elections to voter fraud, and is legal in some states.
5. Pray for Elon Musk and for Blinded Liberal Eyes to be Opened
From The Daily Citizen:
It can be both perplexing and downright frustrating to deal with someone who can’t see what is so obvious and in plain sight to us.
We see a pre-born baby – but they see a blob of tissue.
We see a biological man or woman – but they see whatever gender the person claims to be.
We see mothers – but they see “birthing people.”
We see sin – but they see nothing wrong.
We see heresy – but they see conventionality.
We see radical public educators serving up dangerous propaganda that distorts truth – but all they see are children being exposed to diverse perspective.
Given the increasingly secular culture, spiritual blindness is at an all-time high in the Western world.
6.Ex-senator and top GOP operatives launch ‘conservative’ credit card alternative
From The Washington Examiner:
Top Republican operatives and a former GOP senator are behind a new Visa credit card catering to conservative consumers with plans to funnel a portion of its profits to right-of-center causes.
Coign, pronounced “coin,” is launching Tuesday under the stewardship of Rob Collins, a Republican lobbyist and former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Collins is joined by an advisory team that includes former Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado; GOP strategist Chris Hansen, also a former NRSC executive director who is advising Pennsylvania Senate contender Mehmet Oz this cycle; plus unnamed financial backers — among them at least one billionaire family steeped in conservative politics.
To lure customers, Coign is being made available for zero membership fees and offering 1% cash back on all purchases. But this new Visa credit card intends to stand out in a competitive marketplace by contributing a percentage of its profits from merchant fees to conservative causes and organizations. Donation recipients will be selected by a vote of Coign cardholders from a list of options curated by company executives.
“Coign will let conservatives voice their priorities through charitable donations they get to pick, all while offering world-class customer service, consumer protections, and cash back on every transaction,” Collins said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner. Collins is a former adviser to Republican Eric Cantor, a former House majority leader who is now vice president and managing director at boutique investment firm Moelis & Company.
- I’m a Full-Time Working Mom. Here’s Why I Love Homeschooling My Daughter.
From The Daily Signal:
Any working mom can attest that work never quite turns off.
We don’t necessarily get to sleep in on the weekends or kick back and sip wine when we get home from our jobs.
Most likely, we’re cooking dinner, giving baths, refereeing fights, negotiating on bedtime or television, reading stories, and trying to accomplish the million things on our to-do lists once we get home.
So, why add one more responsibility to the list—especially one as important as educating our kids?
That wasn’t the plan for me, but when my husband and I viewed the education landscape in 2021—when schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, were in remote-only mode and the state pushes a radical gender curriculum that starts in pre-K—we saw homeschooling as the best option.
That meant a team effort where we both would be teaching kindergarten to our daughter, Rosemary. Luckily, my husband does shift work as a firefighter and could be the primary teacher. But he needed help, so I filled in by working remotely to give him a breather and help teach our daughter.
- Director James Gunn jumps to Chris Pratt’s defense over star’s Christian faith
James Gunn, famed “Guardians of the Galaxy” director, spoke up in vehement defense of actor Chris Pratt, who has unabashedly spoken up about his Christian faith despite being an A-list Hollywood actor.
Gunn defended Pratt on Monday after social media critics called for Marvel to recast Pratt over his Christian and conservative-leaning convictions.
One user in particular shared a split photo of Pratt and “Aquaman” actor Patrick Wilson and captioned it, “Marvel. Hear me out. Just … replace him.”
Gunn in response tweeted, “For what? Because of your made-up, utterly-false beliefs about him? For something that someone else told you about him that’s not true? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord but, if he ever was, we would all be going with him.”
- 5 Ways to Help Kids Engage Politically
From the Gospel Coalition:
Here are five key principles parents and ministry workers can focus on when teaching kids about political engagement. The simple acronym can help you and your kids remember to press PAUSE when political conversations begin around the dinner table or when you’re listening to the news.
P: Pray for our world, our country, and its leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1–2 gives us a clear command to pray for “kings and all who are in high positions.” Even when they’re young, actively pray with your kids about what’s happening in your city, your country, and the world.
A: Ask what Scripture says.
When a political issue or event comes up in family conversation, take a moment to ask, “What does Scripture say about this?” Run a quick internet search or use your Bible’s concordance to help you identify some key stories or passages in Scripture.
U: Unify those around you.
Kids love to make friends, and they’re often willing and able to make friends who are different than them! (Much more so than adults, most of the time.) Building a friend group for your family that thinks differently about political engagement can be a gift to everyone involved.
S: Serve your neighbor.
You might ask the question, “Why should we engage in the political sphere or help our kids learn to?” We find the answer in the two great commandments: love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37–40).
E: Engage the process.
Another biblical passage that helps kids have a strong foundation for political engagement is Jeremiah 29:7, where God encouraged his people to seek the good of the place where he’d caused them to dwell. Prompt kids to think about what “the good” looks like in their neighborhood or their school.
10. The Speech of the Century: Remembering Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”
From Public Discourse:
April 23 marked the anniversary of one of the finest speeches ever given, President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic,” usually remembered as “The Man in the Arena.” During my years teaching high school history, I received an annual reminder of the speech’s stunning prescience and relevance in countless roundtable discussions with students. To be sure, Roosevelt can be a polarizing figure and he is not without his faults. But his insights into education, family, and politics are needed now more than ever.
Roosevelt articulated a powerful vision of an education based not just on the acquisition of knowledge, but also on the cultivation of virtue and the importance of action. Speaking at such a prestigious university, he accurately diagnosed the tendencies of the elites and intellectuals in the crowd, and a message of action and absolute truth was the prescription.
Roosevelt minced no words regarding the dangers of comfort bred by the Progress narrative of the Industrial Age that equated economic progress with moral progress. In his view, modern society “accentuates vices and virtues, energy and ruthlessness, all the good qualities and all the defects of an intense individualism, self-reliant, self-centered, far more conscious of its rights than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings.”
While work and education are important, Roosevelt argued that the creation and formation of the next generation is paramount, since our children will receive the benefits of our educational and professional efforts. He called us “to remember that the chief of blessings for any nation is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times; and it is the crown of blessings now.”
Roosevelt’s understanding of the family informed his view of political community. It is from within the context of the family that men and women are best prepared for citizenship in a republic, which entails a set of duties first, then rights. Roosevelt saw no public life/private life dichotomy that so many politicians use to excuse their private failings. The human being is a unity that cannot be so easily partitioned into spheres. Therefore, the traits forged in the crucible of the family prepare the way for meaningful service in community based on the same values and choices made first in the context of the home. To function properly, both family and community require ultimate commitments to truth, integrity, and others.
As Roosevelt concluded, his French audience was overwhelmed by the challenge the most famous man on the planet had presented them. It was not a lofty, idealistic agenda of “change the world” or “dream big” as some celebrity might offer today. Rather, it was a message of everyday action, productive work, and earthy grit, grounded in the great virtues formed in the family and molded by a traditional education.
Within a few short days, copies of the speech had been sent to every schoolteacher in France, and translations appeared in cities across the European continent. The speech quickly became known as simply “The Man in the Arena”—and how fitting, for Roosevelt was the very man he described. What made the speech so powerful was that the ideas put forward were embodied in the speaker: a man powerful in words and deeds thanks to his education in knowledge and virtue, a man married and fruitful despite great personal family tragedies, and a man who devoted his life to sustaining meaningful political community.