At the root of so many of our problems today is the normalization of wickedness.
Anna Arendt, the philosopher and Holocaust survivor, coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe its insidious nature.
Case in point, we begin with a look at the escalation and normalization of abortion pills:
- Big Pharma is Now Challenging Planned Parenthood as Leading Abortion Provider
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes:
For over a century, no single organization has been more clearly associated with abortion than Planned Parenthood. Since its founding in 1916, Margaret Sanger’s racist-inspired group has been responsible for tens of millions of deaths.
Lately, though, another entity has emerged as a leading promoter and source of abortion:
Due to their easy accessibility, abortion pills are rising rapidly in popularity. Now available by mail, it’s also providing women with a nearly anonymous and stigma-free method to do what previously was only available with a trip to Planned Parenthood or another local abortion clinic.
Numerous websites have been popping up, promoting access and providing information on “medication abortions,” touting them as “safe” and “easy.” They brag that while some places require a prescription, others do not.
Mail order abortifacients go by the term “Plan C” and are either a combination of the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol or just Misoprostol taken alone. It’s called “self-managed abortion” – a term that tragically belies the reality that abortion always involves more than one person.
It would seem this attempt to normalize the death of pre-born children is very clearly the next major hurdle in our quest to protect and save life. In fact, as Americans grow increasingly uncomfortable with abortion on-demand, and the Supreme Court appears poised to allow states the right to restrict the tragic act, we will surely see activists championing the increased use of pharmaceuticals to terminate pregnancies.
In fact, one website has even popped up called “Favor,” a company that proclaims:
We are on a mission to make healthcare more accessible by building digital primary care that closes gender, socioeconomic, and racial gaps in our current health system. We are the easiest way for women to address their sexual health and overall wellness, regardless of where they live or if they’re covered by health insurance – making us an affordable, accessible telehealth provider.
Abortion is not healthcare – it’s the taking of innocent life. It’s not “safe.” Studies have shown that “chemical abortions” are four times riskier for a woman than surgical ones, often causing severe side effects. If these individuals were truly committed to assisting a woman’s “overall wellness,” they would be earnest in finding ways to support them in carrying their babies to term and either help them parent or make an adoption plan.
Children are not a burden, nor a disease to eradicate with the taking of toxic medicine.
Fortunately, unlike women who undergo surgical abortions, it can be possible to reverse a chemical abortion. The My Choice Network and the Abortion Pill Reversal website are excellent resources we would strongly recommend.
Please join me in praying for women who find themselves in vulnerable positions. Regardless how difficult or challenging their circumstances may appear to be, life is always the best choice.
- From Mailing Children to Killing Them by Mail
From The Daily Citizen:
It’s likely few people paid much attention to Dr. Robert Califf’s narrow confirmation last week in the United States Senate for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Political appointees to federal agencies, even ones large and consequential, are usually reserved for bureaucrats who fly beneath the mainstream public radar.
But Califf’s hearings were unusually contentious – and for reasons that should concern American families.
Previously head of the FDA in 2016 and 2017, Dr. Califf came under fire for his handling of the country’s escalating opioid crisis and his enthusiastic support of mail-order abortion.
One wonders how postal workers might feel delivering drugs that kill along with LL Bean catalogs and utility bills.
In just over a hundred years, the Post Office has gone from delivering children to delivering drugs that kill them.
You read that right.
Between 1913 and 1915, the United States Post Office was known to hand deliver children. It was a simpler time, when many customers personally knew their mail carrier. If a parent needed a child transported across town, the mailman was willing (for a fee) to make the delivery.
The oddity and even gentle humor of this chapter in American history notwithstanding, it’s telling of both our culture and an arm of its government to go from delivering a child to delivering pills to kill them.
- No, Jesus is Not ‘Transgender’
From The Daily Citizen:
There is perhaps no greater example of eisegesis than when the Reverend Simon Woodman, a pastor at London’s Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, recently asserted that Jesus Christ “transgenders himself.”
Reverend (I use that term because it’s his official title, not because he is) Woodman made the remarks at London’s St. James’s Church, an Anglican church in Piccadilly during a panel discussion on “Queer Theology.”
During the discussion, Reverend Woodman asserted the following:
“I think Jesus transgenders himself on a number of occasions. I think you know, just a little phrase, that Jesus is lamenting over Jerusalem, longing to gather Jerusalem as a mother hen gathers her chicks.
“And I think if you look at the foot washing from John’s gospel, foot washing elsewhere, in both Old and New Testament, it’s consistently done by women. And yet Jesus takes that on. People often cast that as being the servant’s role. It was the woman’s role. And Jesus does it and becomes the woman at that point.
“And I think, you know, we’ve observed that he’s unmarried, he’s childless, he defies gender and sexual norms of his day. He’s known for associating with those whose own sexual history or gender identity may be ambiguous.
“So I think in Jesus we’ve got a revelation of God as encompassing far more than what historically and, recently at least, Christians have tended to construct God as being. And I think there’s a bit of an antidote to heteronormative idolatry in in the story of Jesus.”
- Supreme Court Will Hear Major Religious Free Speech Case from Colorado
From The Daily Citizen:
When Denver-area baker Jack Phillips won his religious discrimination case against the state of Colorado at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 after declining to create a wedding cake for a same-sex “marriage,” the justices decided in his favor on the basis of the religious hostility exhibited by particular state officials toward his religious beliefs about marriage. The court avoided the even weightier questions of free speech that lay at the heart of the case.
Now, four years later, another creative artist is challenging the same Colorado nondiscrimination statute that ensnared Jack Phillips – as well as other wedding professionals in other states dealing with similar statutes – for compelling Christian businesspeople to express messages contrary to their faith.
Lorie Smith is the owner of 303 Creative LLC, a Denver-area graphic design and wedding website where Lorie hopes to celebrate marriages and bring her Christian faith to bear on the creative work she does in blogging about and building memories for the couples that hire her.
While she doesn’t discriminate against any customer because of who they are, she does desire to limit her wedding business to opposite-sex couples because of her Christian beliefs about marriage, and that’s something that Colorado law does not permit.
5. Christian docs’ group: Calif. law an attempt to make morally opposed physicians assist in suicides
From the Washington Times:
A group of Christian physicians sued California Tuesday claiming last year’s revisions to the state’s 2015 assisted suicide law will force medical personnel to violate their conscience and participate in procedures they oppose on religious grounds.
The new regulations, codified in California Senate Bill 380, now require physicians who have objections to assisted suicide to “document” a patient’s request before referring that patient to another physician.
The objecting physician would have to educate the patient about aid-in-dying medication and procedures and transfer the patient’s files to another doctor who would provide the treatment.
In addition, S.B. 380 shortens the period between the legally required two separate notifications by a patient that they wish to undergo the procedure from 15 days to 48 hours. Documentation of the request — even if made to a physician who has religious or ethical objections to the practice — would constitute one of those required notifications, making the objecting physician effectively a participant in the end-of-life procedure, the lawsuit claims.
- Virginia parents frustrated some schools are still forcing masks on kids
From Fox News:
Virginia schools have until March 1 to comply with a new “mask optional” law, but parents frustrated by two full years of COVID-19 restrictions are demanding swifter action.
“You don’t make the choice of when my freedom starts. My God, given freedom starts now. So he will not be at school with a mask on. And if he gets kicked out any day, they could kick him out every day for all I care,” Naisha T. Chinnery told Fox News. Her 5th-grade son was kicked off his Arlington basketball team for not masking. Chinnery notes her son’s school gymnasium is poorly ventilated, and wearing a mask is potentially risking his health.
“It’s like a reward system. And then you all are sending these educators to be dictators instead of being educated. It’s like they’re the mask police. My son called me a couple of weeks ago crying because he was in a room by himself and he couldn’t breathe in the classroom,” Chinnery said.
Neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools was one of seven districts suing Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, after his January executive order made masks in school optional.
7. Harvard Students Are Covid Sheep
A Harvard senior writes in the Wall Street Journal:
For many of us, the Covid decrees over the past two years have been a relief. They have given us an excuse to retreat to our phones and computers, write papers and study for our GMATs. They allow us to avoid asking hard questions: Am I living the life I want to live? Have I put myself out there enough, taken enough risks, had enough fun?
Our life’s mission has been to please those who can grant or withhold approval: parents, teachers, coaches, admissions officers and job interviewers. As a result, many of us don’t know what we believe or what matters to us.
There is a smaller group at Harvard that apparently find pleasure in these restrictions. These students will chastise you for not wearing a mask correctly and called one of my brave peers who publicly denounced Harvard’s Covid restrictions a “eugenicist” because he supposedly showed insufficient sensitivity to immunocompromised people. They love Covid for the moral high ground it gives them to condescend to and control others.
My peers and I are often told that we are the future leaders of America. We may be the future decision makers, but most of us aren’t leaders. Our principal concern is becoming members of the American elite, with whatever compromises, concessions and conformity that requires. The inability of Harvard students to question or oppose these irrational bureaucratic excesses bodes ill for our ability to meet future challenges.
8. A Word from Solomon About Social Media
From the Gospel Coalition:
Read the proverbs and you can’t help but be struck by how many focus on the power of the tongue. Hardly a chapter flies by without some comparison of the lips of the righteous and the words of the wicked.
In this era of constant connectivity, where it’s never been easier to spout off our opinions and to take part in all manner of debate, this proverb stands out to me: “A discerning mind seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness” (Prov. 15:14, CSB).
At first glance, this proverb isn’t about what we say. It’s about input—what we take in—at least as much as it is about output, what we express. What do we feed on? What is our intake?
“The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart,” Jesus tells us (Matt. 12:34, CSB). Which leads to the question, not what are we saying, but what are we seeking? If you want to get control of your tongue, look at what’s filling your heart. What we take in matters if we want to follow biblical instruction and grow in wisdom.
9. ‘He Loved God and Jesus’: Sean Hannity Announces Passing of Fox News Commentator Bob Beckel
Left-leaning political commentator Bob Beckel has died.
Fox News host Sean Hannity announced Beckel’s passing at the close of his Monday evening show, describing his frequent political sparring partner as a man who “loved God and Jesus.”
“What people might not know is he and I got along great,” Hannity said. “He had a key to my house. He was always full of joy, happiness, light, sunshine. He loved God and Jesus. And we miss him already. God bless you [and] Godspeed, Bob Beckel.”
Beckel, 73, very publicly converted to Christianity as an adult facing a series of unfortunate circumstances.
An alcoholic, Beckel had for years been an agnostic. But when he was rocked by a divorce and a slew of poor choices that upended his career, Beckel entered Alcoholics Anonymous — where he learned of his need for a higher power. That’s when his friend, conservative Christian commentator Cal Thomas, gave him a copy of apologist Josh McDowell’s 1992 book, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.”
Reading that book, Beckel explained years later in his memoir, inspired Beckel to turn to God.
“I read the Bible and it’s very difficult for me to see that God wants us to be pro-choice,” he explained. “I’ve been affiliated with pro-choice groups. [Now] I’m on pro-life boards.”
10. The Seven Habits That Lead to Happiness in Old Age
Arthur Brooks writes in the The Atlantic:
Imagine yourself 10 years from now. Will you be happier or less happy than you are today? I ask my graduate students—average age, late 20s—this question every year. The majority think they will be happier. But when I ask about their prediction for 50 years from now, it seems a lot less rosy. Being in their late 70s doesn’t sound so great to most of them.
They are shocked when I show them the data on what happens to most people: Happiness tends to decline throughout young adulthood and middle age, bottoming out at about age 50. After that, it heads back up again into one’s mid-60s. Then something strange happens. Older people split into two groups as they get old: those getting much happier, and those getting much unhappier.
Here’s what you can do about each of them today to make sure your accounts are as full as possible when you reach your later years:
- Don’t smoke—or if you already smoke, quit now.
- Watch your drinking. Alcohol abuse is strongly correlated with smoking in the Harvard study, but plenty of other research shows that even by itself, it is one of the most powerful predictors of winding up sad-sick.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Eat a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and moderate serving sizes, but avoid yo-yo diets or intense restrictions that you can’t maintain over the long run.
- Prioritize movement in your life by scheduling time for it every day and sticking to it. Arguably the single best, time-tested way to do this is by walking daily.
- Practice your coping mechanisms now. The earlier you can find healthy ways to deal with life’s inevitable distresses, the more prepared you’ll be if ill luck strikes in your 80s.
- Keep learning. More education leads to a more active mind in old age, and that means a longer, happier life.
- Do the work to cultivate stable, long-term relationships now. For most people, this includes a steady marriage, but other relationships with family, friends, and partners can fit in this category as well.
Each of us has something like a “Happiness 401(k)” that we invest in when we are young, and that we get to enjoy when we are old. And just as financial planners advise their clients to engage in specific behaviors—make your saving automatic; think twice before buying that boat—we can all teach ourselves to do some very specific things at any age to make our last decades much, much happier.