The Canadian author Manly Hall accurately stated:
“Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad.”
Monday’s New York Times contained an article detailing a new, tortured pastime of abortion activists: redefining the definition of the word “heartbeat” – suggesting it’s not a “heartbeat” unless the baby’s heart is fully developed. That’s because when the facts become inconvenient, some try to change the definition of the fact. We begin with a look at the road ahead:
- On Overruling Roe
From First Things:
It is very much in the air now, with a deep hope on one side and a grim resignation on the other, that the holding in Roe v. Wade will not survive this year.
Conservatives seem sure that something decisive is about to happen because they have helped to put on the Court the judges who can make it happen. They worry that some of their six judges may lose their nerve or settle for a decision that keeps Roe v. Wade on the books, as a fragile façade, while its substance is removed step by step. Liberals are terrified that the abortion license put in place by Roe will be swept away.
But one way or another, whether Roe is overturned, scaled back dramatically, or set on a path toward reversal, people will be invited to deliberate again about just how much protection they are willing to accord a child in the womb. Put another way, they will be invited to judge just who will be protected by their laws against homicide. For this reason, it matters profoundly how the issue of abortion is framed by the Court and sent back for the people in the various states to ponder anew.
2. Campus First Amendment Update: Victory in Texas; an Appeal in Alabama
From The Daily Citizen:
Public college and university campuses continue to provide grist for First Amendment lawsuits involving free speech and the freedom of religion. Two important cases currently being handled by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) serve as reminders that Christian clubs on many campuses are discriminated against because of their beliefs, and free speech can’t be relegated to tiny free speech zones.
In Texas, ADF represents Ratio Christi, a national Christian organization with student chapters on many college campuses. The organization believes in using apologetics and rational discourse to introduce Christ to nonbelievers. Unsurprisingly, it also requires its campus student leaders to be Christians and adhere to a statement of faith and conduct.
However, Ratio Christi has run into opposition to that requirement at a couple of campuses, first in Colorado and of late, in Texas. The group’s experience mirrors other Christian clubs on public campuses. Scriptural mandates regarding marriage and sexuality are flagged on secular campuses as objectionable requirements for leadership because they allegedly violate campus nondiscrimination policies that apply to a number of protected classes, including homosexuality and gender identity.
But in these types of cases, including the Texas case at the University of Houston – Clear Lake (UHCL), the colleges violate their own policy by allowing any number of campus clubs to require their leadership to adhere to the mission statements and values of the organization, whether they are Greek sororities and fraternities, men’s and women’s glee clubs, veterans’ groups, or ethnic clubs. By singling out Christian clubs to enforce a campus nondiscrimination policy, they engage in “viewpoint discrimination,” which is forbidden by the First Amendment.
3. New York Times found not liable in Palin defamation case
From The Hill:
A jury found The New York Times not liable after the news organization was sued by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) over an editorial it published linking her to a mass shooting in 2011.
The jury’s decision Tuesday, which was unanimous, came a day after the judge in the case indicated he would dismiss the lawsuit against the newspaper, saying Palin’s attorneys produced a lack of evidence to suggest the news organization acted recklessly or knowingly published false material about her.
“I think this [was] an example of very unfortunate editorializing on the part of The Times,” U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff said in court on Monday. “The law here sets a very high standard [for actual malice]. The court finds that that standard has not been met.”
4. Media ignores the cultural genocide of the American black family
From the Christian Post:
As many fatherless black families have grown increasingly dependent on the government for support, black political leaders — even members of the Congressional Black Caucus — have encouraged the same leftwing groups that call for the eternal victimhood of black people to ramp up their outrage. Many of them have grown wealthy while their communities have lingered in perpetual generational poverty when barriers of systemic racism have been removed. Living in the Jim Crow South, my parents and grandparents would have loved to have grown up in the America I grew up in.
I have been urging black Americans to return to their roots in faith, family, and the pursuit of a good education — which is where we were after the Civil Rights movement eliminated systemic racism and provided real opportunities for us.
Sadly, the federal government — LBJ’s social programs, in particular — started the black community down the path of government dependence and a huge cultural change.
Unwed women became financially incentivized to have children as long as they remained unmarried. As a result, in five decades we’ve seen the collapse of the black family, and the two-parent black family has become an endangered species.
- Losing My Dad was Tough. This Advice Helped.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The best way to deal with emotional pain is to let yourself feel it. If you try to stifle it, you’ll just feel worse later because you never addressed it. And the brainpower it takes to suppress your feelings keeps you focused on them.
Lisa Folden, 40, a licensed physical therapist in Charlotte, N.C., learned this the hard way. After losing her grandmother and mother in the span of nine months, she pushed her emotions away, telling herself she had to stay strong for her kids, friends and clients. Then one day at work she mentioned her mom, started sobbing, and couldn’t stop.
Dr. Folden went to therapy to help process her emotions. Now when her grief bubbles up, she looks at photos or videos of her mom or grandmother and lets herself cry, even when her kids are around.
“It’s a relief,” she says. “If you’re holding it in, it’s uncomfortable and it hurts. If you let it go, you feel much better.”
What strategies have brought me solace since my dad died? Reading memoirs about grief. Talking to friends who have also lost a parent. Cuddling with my dog, Scout, and my friend’s dog, Rosie. (Grief support is a two-dog job!) Reminding myself to be the person my dad raised me to be: adventurous, curious and kind.
But what’s helped the most is the realization that grief is unexpressed love. Lying in bed one night, unable to sleep, I asked myself: If there was a magic pill that could erase every trace of my grief, would I take it?
The answer came to me like a revelation. Hell no. Because to erase the grief would be to erase my ongoing love for my dad.
6. 6 Things Christians Should Know About Gen Z
From the Gospel Coalition:
what do pastors and church members need to know to welcome and enfold this new generation of believers? TGC asked campus ministry workers across the country about the trends all church leaders should prepare to address in the next generation.
Gen Z Is (Kind of) Atheist
Nobody’s debating that Gen Z is less religious than any other generation.
Gen Z Is Looking for (Better) Community
Even before COVID, Gen Z was the loneliest generation on record.
Gen Z Is (Anxiously) Digital
Connected to Gen Z’s loss of in-person community is the rise of the smartphone and—simultaneously—of mental health challenges. Gen Z is sometimes called iGen—a generation always on their mobile phones.
Gen Z Is (Fervently) Principled
Gen Z Isn’t Great with Communication or Commitment
Ironically, the most connected generation in history is also hard to get ahold of.
Gen Z Is Missional
Eighty-two percent of Christian teenagers told Barna it was important to them to share their faith.
7. Dr. King’s “Blueprint Speech” Provides 3 Principles for a Better Life
From The Daily Citizen:
Do you have goals and a plan in place to pursue them?
That was pretty much what the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., asked an auditorium full of Philadelphia junior high students back in October of 1967 – just six months before he was assassinated on a Memphis motel balcony in April of 1968.
“What you do now and what you decide now at this age may well determine which way your life shall go,” he told those assembled inside Barrett Junior High School.
Likening our early years to the blueprint of a building, Dr. King suggested there were three foundational elements in every successful life plan:
- Cultivate a Sense of Personal Significance: “Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody,” he said. “Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth.”
- Pursue Excellence: According to Dr. King, it’s not enough to do the bare minimum and just get by. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
- Make a Commitment to Enduring Principles: In his quest for social justice and racial equality, Dr. King endured endless criticism from all sides. There were some who resented his call for nonviolent resistance. Others hated him for upsetting the status quo.
- Church’s 2-Year Campaign Eliminates More Than $100M in Medical Debt for Families Across US
The United Church of Christ (UCC) has now given peace of mind to people across the country by paying off more than $100 million in medical debt.
The Cleveland, Ohio-based denomination announced Monday it had canceled $33 million of patient medical debt in the Buckeye State, bringing the total of debt canceled by the church in a two-year period to $104 million.
As a Valentine’s Day expression of love, 10,757 households in 70 Ohio counties received letters telling them their medical debt had been eliminated.
9. Inflation in the United States
From Hillsdale College’s Imprimis:
Money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange for every other commodity, we have a special term for a fall in the price of money: we call it inflation. As the price of money falls, the price of every other commodity must go up.
And what causes the price of money to fall? The answer is very simple: an increase in the supply of money relative to other goods and services. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman explained, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”
Inflation has been around almost as long as money itself. In the disastrous third century, inflation wracked the Roman Empire as emperors, unable to pay the bills, increasingly debased the coinage. The once proud silver denarius became a copper coin only thinly plated in silver. Roman merchants demanded more and more denarii in exchange for goods as the coin’s intrinsic value declined.
Create too much money and you get inflation. We are witnessing the proof of that right now.
10. USA Olympic Mom Wins Silver Medal in Bobsled Event and Dedicates Win to Her Special Needs Infant Son
From The Daily Citizen:
Four-time Team USA Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor just won her fourth Olympic medal in bobsledding – her first since becoming a mother and dedicated her win to her infant son, Nico, who has Down syndrome.
As a four-time Olympic medalist, Meyers Taylor has the most medals in US bobsled history and is tied for the sixth most medals in US Winter Olympic history!
In these Olympic games, Meyers Taylor has made it her mission to encourage other female athletes that they can have children while still pursuing their dreams.
Prior to the Olympics, the 37-year-old mother shared on Instagram that even though she didn’t know how the Olympics would turn out that she wanted to show, “It’s possible to have a baby and come back from pregnancy and continue competing. It’s possible to do extended breastfeeding and physically perform better than most in the works. It’s possible to travel the world with your family, including a baby, and win races. It’s possible to parent a child with special needs and continue to chase your dreams. It’s not easy- there’s definitely moments of doubt and extreme highs and lows- but it’s possible.”
Elana and her husband, Nic Taylor, also an Olympic bobsledder, welcomed their son Nico to the world in February 2020. Nico was diagnosed with Down syndrome and significant hearing loss shortly after his birth.