Ralph Reed, best known for his work with the Christian Coalition, once suggested:
“The establishment clause was transformed from a shield for religion into a cover for the official sanctioning of religious tolerance.”
We begin with good news of the Supreme Court’s most recent decision righting a constitutional wrong:
- State Can’t Discriminate Against Religion in Tuition Assistance Program, Supreme Court Rules
From the Daily Citizen:
By a 6-3 margin, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a case from Maine that the government cannot create a tuition assistance program for families to send their children to private schools, but prohibit such funds from being used at religious schools.
The decision, according to the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, is in line with two recent cases decided by the court, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.
“The ‘unremarkable’ principles applied in Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza suffice to resolve this case,” Roberts wrote.
Maine is a rural state, with a small and widely dispersed population, and some of its public school districts do not have secondary schools, which include middle schools and high schools. To fill that gap for parents, the state has conducted a tuition-assistance program for decades that provides funds for parents to send their children to private secondary schools where no public ones exist. The state law, however, excludes such funds being used to pay for “sectarian” schools.
Religion, Schools and the Supreme Court
From the Wall Street Journal:
As for the Establishment Clause, why not let many flowers bloom? If evangelical parents take Maine’s tuition dollars to evangelical schools, Jewish parents to Jewish schools, Buddhist parents to Buddhist schools, and so forth, it would be hard to see that outcome as a government establishment of religion. Pluralism is the answer, and it might be the future, as many parents are now discovering objections to what their local public schools are teaching.
2. Katie Britt is projected to beat Mo Brooks in Alabama GOP Senate race
From the Washington Post:
First-time candidate Katie Britt on Tuesday won the Republican nomination to represent Alabama in the Senate, the Associated Press projected, defeating Rep. Mo Brooks after a roller-coaster primary in which former president Donald Trump abandoned a staunch ally.
Brooks, 68, once seemed well-positioned in the race, with more than a decade in Congress and an endorsement from Trump. But the former president deserted Brooks as he slipped in the polls this year and ultimately backed Britt as strategists predicted she would win. Britt, 40, seeks to replace her old boss, retiring Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R), and has pitched herself as a newcomer with conservative and Christian values.
“I promise you nobody will work harder in the United States Senate,” Britt said in front of a giant American flag after her victory, her husband standing behind her. “I will work tirelessly every day to make Alabama proud.” With 62 percent of ballots tallied, Britt led the way with about 65 percent of the vote.
- Here’s How the Navy Is Training Sailors on Proper Gender Pronouns
From the Washington Free Beacon:
The Navy is training its members to create a “safe space” by using proper gender pronouns in a new instructional video modeled after a children’s show.
“Hi! My name is Jony, and I use he/him pronouns,” Naval Undersea Warfare Center engineer Jony Rozon, who sports a rainbow-colored t-shirt, states in the video’s opening.
The official training video is meant to emphasize “the importance of using correct pronouns as well as polite etiquette when you may not be sure of someone’s pronouns,” according to the Navy, which late last month published the video online. The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service touts the video as an “official U.S. Navy video” posted by Air Force staff sergeant John Vannucci.
The video is the latest bid by the military to foster a more sensitive environment for its members and staff. The Army mandates similar gender identity training and trains officers on when to offer subordinates gender-transition surgery, the Washington Free Beacon reported in March. These programs are part of a larger push by the Biden administration to make the military more welcoming to transgender individuals.
As Disney Champions LGBTQ+ Agenda, Parents Push Back
“I grew up with the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights and you curl up with a blanket with your family and watch a great Disney movie,” said Adam Holz, Direct of Plugged In.
In an effort to stay culturally relevant, Disney is losing touch with a large portion of its audience.
“There are parents saying, ‘Wait a minute, why do we have to import a sexual message into kids programming?’ And so even if we talk beyond this specific LGBT agenda, I think there’s concern that why does everything have to be sexualized? Is it possible to just have entertainment that’s innocent, that leaves that for later and doesn’t bring that into everything we’re doing,” Holz questioned.
According to a Trafalgar Group national survey, nearly 70 percent of American voters say they are less likely to do business with Disney due to their push to expose young children to sexual ideas.
“Disney was absolutely synonymous with trust. There’s all this other stuff out there, but Disney was okay. And now, this is just another entertainment provider and we don’t trust them. And we don’t want that agenda necessarily preached to our children,” explained Holz.
4. Pope Francis calls sexual abstinence before marriage a true sign of love
From the Deseret News:
The just-published 97-page document, “The Catechumenal Itineraries for Married Life,” was created for priests and dioceses that will work with engaged couples prior to marriage. In it, the pope writes that “chastity teaches the timing and the method of true love.”
The Daily Mail quoted the pope as saying the guideline is both “a gift” and “a task.”
Because divorce rates are high and fewer people are marrying, Pope Francis wrote about a need for “renewed pastoral commitment” to help marriages and family life flourish. And he said that many of the challenges that couples face within their marriage begin with “the hedonistic mentality that distorts the beauty and depth of human sexuality.”
According to the guide, “It is worth helping young spouses to be able to find the time to deepen their friendship and to accept God’s grace. Premarital chastity certainly favors this course.”
Also, per the document: “The church should never lack courage to propose the precious virtue of chastity, even though it is by now in direct contrast with common mentality.”
- Inside Dems’ plan if Roe falls: A voter turnout blitz
In every poll running in every targeted House district around the country, House Democrats’ campaign arm is testing how voters feel about the Supreme Court likely overturning Roe v. Wade.
The group’s strategists have drafted fundraising emails that will blast out to millions of supporters in the hours after the decision comes out. They’ve cut video clips of what GOP candidates say about abortion. They’re developing analytics models to find and target voters who back abortion rights.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s preparations, previewed by a committee official, are a window into the Democratic Party’s broader efforts to capitalize — in the middle of a brutal-looking midterm election climate — on the Supreme Court’s likely reversal of Roe v. Wade, which would change a half-century of precedent and let states decide the legality of abortion.
Support for Roe is at an all-time high with voters, and the Democrats’ strategy is aimed at firing up a flagging Democratic base, while also trying to compete for some of the college-educated, female, suburban swing voters who backed them during the Trump era. The question, though, is how to make abortion a top issue for voters in November while facing a range of challenges, especially gas prices averaging $5 a gallon and inflation ticking up.
6. We Need to Raise Children Who Know How to Discriminate
From The Daily Citizen:
How discerning are today’s children? Probably not enough, and often due to no fault of their own.
We need to teach our children that abortion kills children, that homosexuality and the “trans” movement is a distortion and hijacking of God’s design for human sexuality, that marriage should come before sex and that each child is a gift from God.
We need to teach our children that all ideas are not equal and that many are tragically destructive. They need to understand it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable and oppose without being offensive.
We need to teach our children that no Christian should ever feel compelled to go along with sin to get along with the world. That’s not true Christian love. That’s foolishness and actually the least loving thing we can do.
Most importantly and foundationally, we need to teach our children that we’re all sinners only saved by grace – “There but for the grace of God go I.”
- College enrollment drops 1.4M students, threatening long-term stability of higher education
From the Washington Examiner:
New concerns are being raised about the long-term outlook of higher education as enrollment numbers continue to decline and coronavirus relief funds run out.
College enrollment declined by 4.1% in the spring 2022 term compared to spring 2021, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center semesterly report . The center places the total decline of undergraduate students since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 at 9.4%, a drop of 1.4 million students in the two-year span.
“This is a trend that the pandemic has accelerated,” Robert Eitel, the Defense of Freedom Institute president and a former U.S. Department of Education official, told the Washington Examiner. “The downward trend in enrollment was an issue prior to the pandemic, [and] the pandemic has highlighted the issue as higher education looks over the horizon and sees the declining birth rate. The mathematics are such that the students, at least graduating high school seniors, aren’t going to be there.”
The enrollment decline has been widespread, with private and public colleges all affected to varying degrees and community colleges seeing the greatest decline. The lone outlier to the overall national trend is conservative religious colleges, many of which have seen record growth.
8. Biden calls on Congress to pass three-month gas and diesel tax holiday
From the Washington Examiner:
President Joe Biden will implore Congress to suspend federal gas and diesel taxes for the three months ending September amid record-high prices at the pump and record-low approval ratings before November’s midterm elections.
Biden will make the pitch to lawmakers in remarks Wednesday, although senior administration officials concede it “alone won’t fix the problem we face, but it will provide families a little breathing room.”
“These actions by the federal government, states, industry, and retailers could drop prices at the pump by up to $1 a gallon or more,” one staffer said.
With the federal taxes levied at 18 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24 cents per gallon of diesel, the White House estimates the temporary program will cost the Highway Trust Fund roughly $10 billion.
- Russian journalist’s Nobel Peace Prize fetches record $103.5 million at auction to aid Ukraine children
Dmitry Muratov, the co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and the editor of one of Russia’s last major independent newspapers, auctioned off his Nobel medal for a record $103.5 million to aid children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
All proceeds from the auction, which coincided with the World Refugee Day on Monday, will benefit UNICEF’s humanitarian response for Ukraine’s displaced children, Heritage Auctions, which conducted the sale in New York, said in a statement.
10.Teen Starts Lawnmowing Business to Raise Money so Stepfather Can Adopt Him
From the Daily Citizen:
When most teenagers start a summer business, it’s to earn money for their first car, a new iPhone, college, or fun trips with friends.
But one teenager recently started his lawnmowing business for a far more personal reason: to raise enough money for his stepfather to be able to adopt him and his big brother.
As Today reports, Tyce Pender is 14 years old and lives in Cayce, South Carolina. Twelve years ago, Tyce’s stepdad, Eric Jenkins, started dating Tyce’s mother, Marcy.
“He’s been a father figure to me since I was 2. He’s always been there for us and helps me with anything I need like homework,” Tyce said.