An economist says families need to be prepared for difficult times ahead; Americans are waiting longer to have children and a popular frozen treat may soon be just a fond summer memory.
Below are the most important stories you should know about as you start your day, beginning with one that strikes at the very core of family foundation – a husband and wife.
- From Focus President Jim Daly: The Respect for Marriage Act Actually Disrespects Marriage and its True Meaning
Last week’s vote in the House of Representatives to codify same-sex marriage under federal law in the event the Supreme Court reverses its Obergefell ruling of 2015 and someday sends the definition of marriage back to the states, is an election-year ploy and a political play that ignores what social science says about the multi-millennia institution.
It’s called H.R. 8404, or the “Respect for Marriage Act,” but like many other erroneously and incorrectly worded pieces of legislation (i.e., the “Women’s Health Protection Act”), it actually diminishes, undermines and disrespects the very thing it claims to protect. Its fate in the Senate remains an open question.
Please call the Senate switchboard today and urge your senators to vote NO on H.R. 8404. The phone number is 202-224-3121.
Those who voted for this act in the House didn’t vote to protect marriage – rather they voted to protect the recent invention of same-sex marriage.
Across all of history, marriage between one man and one woman has been seen as a social good. Some have even called it the escalator to the American dream. It settles men down, empowers women and serves as the single most effective means we know by which to ward off poverty.
That’s not to say marriage is a panacea. My friend Dr. Tim Keller has said marriage is “like a riddle, a puzzle, a maze. It’s not a Hallmark card.” He’s right. Marriage is something of a mystery. It reforms us – and then transforms us.
Years ago, I had an LGBT activist who chided me, saying, “You guys (meaning Christians) haven’t done so well with marriage – why not let us have a shot at it?”
He was right to suggest Christians haven’t always revered and upheld the sanctity of Biblical marriage. Too many Christians divorce, and for many of the same reasons as non-believers. But just because we haven’t lived it perfectly is no reason to abandon marriage as an institution. Traditional marriage isn’t the problem – we are.
When Justice Anthony Kennedy voted to legalize same-sex marriage in all fifty states back in 2015, he said the right to marry was “central to individual dignity and autonomy” and insisted that same-sex attracted persons were merely seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”
Unfortunately, Justice Kennedy seemed to hold to a novel understanding of the word “dignity.” Where Christians and natural law theorists have always seen dignity as an inherent attribute of humanity, Kennedy treated it as synonymous with individual autonomy and the right to define oneself.
Justice Kennedy was wrong. Marriage has always been recognized as the institution that binds a man and a woman as husband and wife, to be father and mother to any children their union produces, not as a dignity-conferring domestic arrangement.
Sadly, this largely symbolic piece of legislation is an act of raw politics that completely ignores why government even cares about marriage at all.
Nearly all the social science show that the happiest people are married – and are usually married people of faith. Marriage also serves to protect children. We know children do best when raised in a home with a mother and a father. Unfortunately, same-sex marriage deliberately and unapologetically prevents a child from having either a mother or a father.
Those who warned about the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage have been vindicated. In fact, in the years since the passage of Obergefell in 2015, a virtual whirlwind of anything-goes sexual confusion has swept across America, and those who hold to the traditional definition of marriage are increasingly marginalized and punished.
We’ve gone from the widespread, commonsense acceptance of two genders to dozens, if not hundreds.
Just last week, a UC Berkley law professor accused Senator Josh Hawley of being “transphobic” because he suggested only women can get pregnant. Can anyone imagine such an exchange only just a few years ago?
As written, this bill would lead to costly lawsuits and harassment of millions of Christians, pro-family Americans and organizations like Focus on the Family who believe in one-man, one-woman marriage.
Culture will continue to swerve and many will embrace the chaos by continuing to redefine longstanding traditions. But the very best way to respect marriage is to affirm its original, time-honored definition – a loving, lifelong union between a man and a woman. Of course we demonstrate love and kindness in our opposition to those who believe differently than we do, but the most loving thing you can do – and the most effective way you can demonstrate respect for someone else – is to speak truth in love.
- The Heritage Foundation Answers Important Questions About the Deceptively Titled ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ in Congress
From the Daily Citizen:
As word is getting out about the dangerous and deceptive “Respect for Marriage Act” recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and currently up for consideration in the Senate, it is imperative that Christians become informed about this latest attack on religion and free speech.
Our friends at The Heritage Foundation have created an easy-to-read “frequently asked questions” document on H.R. 8404 that we re-print below:
Q: Did the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson threaten same-sex marriage or the Obergefell decision?
A: No. The Supreme Court went out of its way to dispel this idea, which the court called an “unfounded fear.” The court said, “to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt
on precedents that do not concern abortion.” Moreover, it explicitly addressed rights created by the court in cases “regarding contraception and same-sex relationships” and said they “are inherently different from the right to abortion” because abortion “uniquely” involves prenatal human life. The court added “it is hard to see how we could be clearer, on these points.
Q: Did Justice Thomas say elimination of same-sex marriage in law will follow after Dobbs?
- Families Are Being Hit Hard by Tough Economic Headwinds, Economist Says
From the Daily Citizen:
In the 1992 presidential campaign between former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, one of the Clinton campaign’s main messages was, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
The phrase, coined by Clinton’s campaign strategist James Carville, quickly caught on and has become a cliché often repeated in American political discourse. Every election cycle, the economy is always polled as one of the issues Americans care about most at the polls.
Unsurprisingly, concerns about the economy are currently top of mind for many American families.
The Daily Citizen spoke with EJ Antoni, a research fellow for Regional Economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. Antoni is also a senior fellow at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a former economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in economics.
- Most child-free Americans decide in their teens and 20s not to have kids: study
From The Hill:
Most American adults who do not want children made the decision to be childfree early in life, according to a new study.
Michigan State University researchers, for a study published in Scientific Reports, identified childfree adults by using data from a representative sample of 1,500 adults who completed MSU’s State of the State Survey.
Researchers used three questions to differentiate between people who did not want children and adults without children. They added that distinguishing the group of people who did not want children is typically difficult to study with conventional data.
They found that 21.6 percent of those surveyed — or about 1.7 million people — did not want children, making them childfree. Approximately 3.6 percent said they knew before the age of 10 that they did not want kids.
- After ‘Dobbs,’ Pregnancy Resource Centers See Uptick in Women Seeking Help
From the Daily Citizen:
For decades, pro-abortion activists have attempted to influence public opinion by hiding under the guise of one word: “choice.”
“Planned Parenthood delivers programs, resources, and tools … that help people make informed choices about their sexuality and relationships,” the abortion giant’s website states (emphasis added).
But after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade at the end of June, the Left has become increasingly forward that for pregnant women, they favor only one choice: abortion.
Thousands of pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) around the nation offer completely free resources to pregnant women in need, including ultrasounds, counseling, formula, baby food, clothes, diapers and more.
- Sorrow in Choco Taco town after summer treat is discontinued
From the Associated Press:
A tech millionaire offered to buy it. A U.S. senator suggested that the government should force manufacturers to make it.
But so far, Klondike isn’t budging from its plan to discontinue the Choco Taco.
Klondike confirmed Tuesday that the summer treat is being pulled from ice cream trucks, convenience stores and grocery shelves.
“Over the past two years, we have experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio and have had to make very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide,” a Klondike representative said in an email. “A necessary but unfortunate part of this process is that we sometimes must discontinue products, even a beloved item like Choco Taco.”
The news came just days after ice cream maker Good Humor confirmed the demise of another nostalgia-steeped favorite: Toasted Almond Bars. Good Humor also cited production problems, saying it sometimes has to discontinue slower sellers in order to ensure distribution of more popular treats.
- Maryland school district bars staff from telling parents about gender transitions
From the Washington Examiner:
School staff in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland are prohibited from disclosing students’ transgender identity to their parents if the school deems the students’ parents to be unsupportive of the transition.
According to the Maryland school district’s ” Guidelines for Student Gender Identity, ” a gender transition plan for a student at school should be designed without the knowledge of the student’s family, if the family does not support the student in the chosen gender identity.
The guidelines instruct school principals and staff to speak to the student and “ascertain the level of support the student either receives or anticipates receiving from home.”
“Matters of gender identity can be complex and may involve familial conflict,” the document says. “In such cases, staff will support the development of a student-led plan that works toward inclusion of the family, if possible, taking safety concerns into consideration, as well as student privacy, and recognizing that providing support for a student is critical, even when the family is nonsupportive.”
- Kentucky Judge Blocks State Abortion Trigger Ban, Says Law Favors Christian and Catholic Beliefs
From the Daily Citizen:
In a bizarre legal ruling that charged the Kentucky legislature with favoring Christian and Catholic theology, a state judge has blocked the state’s abortion trigger law as well as its heartbeat abortion ban, also known as the Six Week Ban. The July 22 ruling, in the form of a preliminary injunction, replaces a temporary order the same judge issued on June 30.
The lawsuit, brought by two abortion sellers shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision, seeks to bring abortion under the protection of the Kentucky state constitution’s provisions on privacy, self-determination, and equal protection. The abortionists also argue the two abortion laws are unconstitutionally vague.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry’s July 22 ruling agreed with all of the abortionists’ arguments that abortion is protected by the state constitution, which is bad enough.
But Judge Perry then went even further by ruling that the state legislature, in prohibiting abortion, favored the theology of Christians and Catholics, and therefore violated the state constitution’s prohibition against the “establishment of religion.”
- It’s Always an Adventure When You’re in Odyssey
From National Review:
Many of us have unrealistic bucket-list items, and these could range from a desire to meet Aslan to flying in a P-51 Mustang piloted by Tom Cruise. One of mine? To eat raspberry-ripple ice cream at the counter of Whit’s End and have a long chat with the owner, John Avery Whitaker.
Whit is a central character in Adventures in Odyssey, a family-oriented audio drama produced by Focus on the Family that’s now well into its third decade on the air. Commanding the vocal talents of Katie Leigh, Hal Smith, Will Ryan, and many others, as well as the writing abilities of Paul McCusker, Phil Lollar, Marshal Younger, and more, the show captures hearts and imaginations in delightful ways.
At its core, the show is episodic, and each episode lasts about 25 minutes. Most plot lines revolve around Whit and his ice-cream shop and include his employees, his family, and local townspeople. Whit is a man of deep faith and numerous talents, talents he often surprises people with throughout the series. Father, grandfather, World War II veteran, inventor, possible secret agent, teacher, businessman — these are just a few of the hats Whit wears. But most important, he is a friend and mentor to the children and adults who come through his door.