We believe that parents, not government bureaucrats, are best positioned to make educational choices for their children.
Bobby Jindal, former governor of Louisiana and member of the United States House of Representatives, agrees. He once said:
“It’s time to update traditional public schools, charter schools, home schools, online schools and parochial schools. Let the dollars follow the child instead of forcing the child to follow the dollars, so that every child has the opportunity to attain an education.”
We begin back at the Supreme Court, where the nine justices will hear a major case this morning concerning school choice:
- Religious Schools and the Constitution
From the Wall Street Journal:
Maine has one of the country’s oldest educational choice systems, a tuition program for students who live in areas that don’t run schools of their own. Instead these families get to pick a school, and public funds go toward enrollment. Religious schools are excluded, however, and on Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear from parents who have closely read the First Amendment.
If Carson v. Makin sounds familiar, that’s because last year the Justices ruled on a similar dispute in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. The parents won that one, as the Court put up another strong ruling on religious freedom. “A State need not subsidize private education,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for a 5-4 majority. “But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”
One set of parents named in the case would like to choose a Christian school called Temple Academy, yet they can’t afford to turn down the public tuition money. The brief says Temple Academy is “fully accredited” and satisfies the state’s “compulsory education law.” What’s at issue isn’t the rigor of the math curriculum. The state’s brief says the academy “refuses to admit homosexual or transgender children, as well as children with homosexual parents.”
Many Americans object to that, but many also take exception to what their public schools teach about sex and gender. Why isn’t pluralism the answer? As the Cato Institute argues in an amicus brief, Maine “could be thought of as promoting a type of ‘religious’ establishment of its own: secularism.” A state can’t subsidize tuition only for private schools with government-approved values, and trying to define the product as “secular education” gives away the game.
As for the difference between religious “status” and “use,” the parents say Maine is offering the empty freedom of Oliver Cromwell. “I meddle not with any man’s conscience,” Cromwell wrote regarding Catholicism. “But if by liberty of conscience, you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and to let you know, Where the Parliament of England have power, that will not be allowed.”
America’s Founders knew what they were doing when they wrote the First Amendment to protect religious “free exercise.”
2. I Couldn’t Vote for Trump, but I’m Grateful for His Supreme Court Picks
From The New York Times:
As a pro-life voter living in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, casting a vote for president feels like a deeply inconsequential act. After all, the pro-choice candidate carries the commonwealth handily every four years. That said, over the past two presidential election cycles, I felt a strong sense of relief that I was free from the hard trade-offs of voters in battleground states and could just cast my vote for a write-in candidate.
Yet listening to oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last week, I realized more clearly than before how grateful I am to those pro-lifers who did what I did not, would not, could not: cast a vote for Donald Trump.
Politics is an art of prudence, and what I regarded as a deal with the devil they took to be a prudential act to achieve an essential end. For ending the abortion regime must be the keystone of standing against the individualistic libertarianism that characterizes our politics, left and right — and privileges the powerful over the weak and dependent. Ironically, and perhaps accidentally and certainly boorishly, Mr. Trump may have brought about what others could not.
Mr. Trump kept his promises to pro-lifers, nominating justices who now appear poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. While oral arguments are no perfect indicator of how the court will vote, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all appointed by Mr. Trump, seem ready to join Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito (and perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts) in sending the issue of abortion back to the people to resolve. While Justice Kavanaugh homed in on the Mississippi solicitor general’s argument that the Constitution is neutral on abortion, Justices Gorsuch and Barrett (as well as Chief Justice Roberts) worked to discern if there was any way to uphold the moderate Mississippi ban without striking down both Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
3. Allowing Transgender Women to Compete Against Biological Women in Sports is Anti-Woman
From The Daily Citizen:
Biological female athletes are being robbed of athletic titles, scholarships, and future sporting opportunities because they are being forced to compete against biological males who believe they are females in the name of transgender inclusion.
The madness has got to stop. Enough is enough.
Biological men should not be allowed to compete against biological females. It’s anti-reality, anti-science, and anti-woman.
The stories of injustices being committed against biological women in sports abound. Every month there seems to be another account of a transgender woman, a biological male who believes he is a woman, beating out a biological woman in an athletic competition.
- In ‘Stunning Turnaround,’ Proposal to Draft Women Removed from Defense Bill
From The Daily Citizen:
A proposal to require women to register for the draft has been removed from the defense bill currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
The removal of the provision has been described as a “stunning turnaround,” since the proposal had received substantial bipartisan support.
Following a recommendation in 2020 by a Congressionally-enacted commission to extend the draft to women, the Senate Armed Services Committee included the following provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA): “[amend] the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service.”
The provision received bipartisan support, with all of the committee’s Democrat members and a majority of the Republican members voting in favor of the amendment; of the 26 committee members, only 5 Republicans voted against the proposal.
- Chile legalizes same-sex marriage in historic vote
From NBC News:
Chile’s Congress passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, in a milestone for the conservative South American nation after a decade-long legal battle and with the country delicately poised ahead of a crossroads election this month.
“Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love,” Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said after the vote.
Chile’s Senate and lower house of parliament both voted heavily in favor of the bill on Tuesday, which had previously been partially approved in November before the Senate sent it back to a committee to clarify ambiguities.
Current President Sebastian Pinera, who will leave office in March, has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law.
- The escalating costs of being single in America
Think about your household’s monthly expenses. There are the big-ticket items — your rent or mortgage, your health care, maybe a student loan. Then there’s the smaller stuff: the utility bills; the internet and phone bills; Netflix, Hulu, and all your other streaming subscriptions. If you drive a car, there’s gas and insurance. If you take the subway, there’s a public transit pass. You pay for food, and household items like toilet paper and garbage bags and lightbulbs. You buy furniture and sheets and dishes.
Now imagine paying for all those things completely on your own.
If you live by yourself — or as a single parent or caregiver — you don’t have to imagine. This is your life. All the expenses of existing in society, on one set of shoulders. For the more than 40 million people who live in this kind of single-income household, it’s also become increasingly untenable. When we talk about all the ways it’s become harder and harder for people to find solid financial footing in the middle class, we have to talk about how our society is still set up in a way that makes it much easier for single people to fall through the cracks.
- Hundreds of Mathematicians, Scientists, Sign Open Letter Against Social Justice-Based Curriculum
From The Epoch Times:
More than 700 mathematicians and scientists have signed an open letter denouncing recent “trends” in K-12 mathematics education aimed at closing achievement gaps that they say will damage America’s global competitiveness.
“We write to express our alarm over recent trends in K-12 mathematics education in the United States,” the “ Open Letter on K-12 Mathematics,” which has 746 signatories as of Dec. 6, says.
Signatories include several public school math teachers from California, numerous professors at University of California schools, including UC-Davis and UC-Berkeley, and staff at leading U.S. universities for hard science, including Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech, and MIT.
It comes after the California Department of Education this year postponed implementation of a new math framework that aims to keep students learning at the same level, citing equity, following widespread opposition to the curriculum. Opponents have said the reforms would discourage students who speak English as a second language.
- Companies Plan Big Raises for Workers in 2022
Companies are planning for steeper wage increases next year than at any point since the 2007-2009 recession, according to a new report, amid a tight labor market and the highest inflation in three decades.
A survey by the Conference Board set for release Wednesday finds that companies are setting aside an average 3.9% of total payroll for wage increases next year, the most since 2008.
The survey also shows that companies are planning on raising salary ranges, which would result in higher minimum, median and maximum salaries. That suggests pay raises could be broad-based and affect workers across a company’s pay scale.
The results are a sign the recent acceleration in private-sector wages is likely to carry over into 2022.
- Pope Blasts EU Leaders For Replacing ‘Christmas’ With ‘Holiday:’ ‘Dictatorships Have Tried To Do These Things’
From the Daily Wire:
In a recently leaked guidance titled “Union of Equality,” European Union leaders advised members to “avoid assuming that everyone is Christian” during the Christmas season. To that end, the 30-page document, released by the EU equality commissioner, Helena Dalli, in late October, advised staff, “Not everyone celebrates the Christian holidays, and not all Christians celebrate them on the same dates.” Instead of saying, “Christmas time,” it instead recommended saying, “Holiday times.”
The guidelines also said members should try to avoid using names like “Maria and John” that originate in Christianity, and instead incorporate multicultural options like “Malika and Julio.”
Still, Pope Francis blasted the recommendations during a Dec. 6 papal press conference on a flight back to Rome, calling them an “anachronism” of “watered-down secularism.”
“In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do so,” he said of governments stripping religious language, adding, “Think of Napoleon: from there… Think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one.”
- Bible Now Includes Warning That It May Contain Spoilers For ‘The Chosen’
From The Babylon Bee (Satire):
Publishers of Bibles around the world are scrambling to put warning stickers on all printed copies of Scripture. This comes after several people complained that the text includes major spoilers for a hit TV show based on the life of Christ called The Chosen.
Dozens of different Bible translations will now include a warning label reading, “SPOILER ALERT: this book may contain spoilers for the next season of the hit show The Chosen.”
“Imagine my shock when I was reading the Gospel of John only to find out the main character dies at the end!” said Sally McGillicuddy, a fan of the show. “I hadn’t even gotten to that episode of the series yet! And then I keep reading and find out he rises from the dead? Didn’t see that coming! Double spoiler!”
Several publishers are taking it a step further by sealing certain pages of the Bible shut for people who prefer to read them only after they’ve seen the show. “We want to respect our readers’ desires to consume this content in their own way, on their own schedule,” said a rep for Zondervan.
Readers are also being warned that the book of Revelation may contain some spoilers for the fate of every soul who has ever lived.