Barber Conable, a former congressman and one-time president of the World Bank, once said:
“Exhaustion and exasperation are frequently the handmaidens of legislative decision.”
From school boards to the liberal city of San Francisco, citizens have become voters who are fed up:
- Americans Want Government to Stop Pushing Gender Ideology in Schools, New Poll Reveals
From The Daily Citizen:
A new poll released this week shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) oppose changes by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to the definition of “sex” under Title IX, the 1972 federal law that opened up equal educational opportunities for women, to now also cover transgenderism and homosexuality.
The YouGov poll, undertaken on behalf of SAVE, an organization whose mission is “to assure that every college student and faculty member across America is afforded their constitutional protections of fairness and due process” and to “assure that the federal Title IX law is applied consistently and fairly to all students, both male and female,” reveals strongly negative feelings toward the administration’s effort to redefine “sex.”
In addition to the American public wanting to keep the biological definition of “sex” intact by a 63% to 37% margin, other findings in the poll indicate the public’s rejection of a number of the left’s more insidious agenda items for the nation’s schools, including:
- 71% oppose biological males competing in women’s sports.
- 61% favor requiring parental consent prior to school counseling about gender dysphoria.
- 69% favor allowing parental opt-out for children’s participation in sex education classes.
The survey of 2,566 adults was conducted between May 31 and June 2, 2022.
The Parental School-Board Revolt Continues
From the Wall Street Journal:
The political fallout from school closings and curriculum battles continues, as school board incumbents are losing at an unusual rate. That’s the news from Ballotpedia, which analyzed recent school board elections in three states.
“Incumbents lost at nearly twice the historical average,” the website that tracks election results reported last week. Parents are revolting over how districts handled Covid and how schools teach race and gender. School board candidates campaigned on at least one of these issues in 141 school district elections in Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
A third of incumbents lost re-election, compared to an average of 18% in the races Ballotpedia tracked from 2018 to 2021. Candidates who opposed woke instruction or Covid policies such as the shutdowns or mask mandates won 36% of the 334 seats in these districts. Those with unclear positions won 19%, Ballotpedia says. Candidates taking a more progressive stance won 45%.
Voter recall efforts have also soared. Not all are successful, but Ballotpedia tracked attempts to boot 126 board members in 2021, up from 28 in 2019. Recalls have already been mounted against 77 current board members.
It isn’t clear how long this parental interest will persist once memories of the lockdowns fade, and the unions and incumbents will try to ride out the revolt. School choice is the best long-run antidote to the progressive union monopoly. But parents who are taking on the burden and risk of challenging entrenched boards are acting in the best tradition of American self-government.
- Louisiana Is Now the 18th State to Save Girls and Women’s Sports
From The Daily Citizen:
Louisiana is the 18th state to pass legislation preserving girls and women’s sports for actual females.
Senate Bill 44, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, requires that girls and women’s sports teams, at elementary schools, high schools and colleges that receive state funding, are only open to biological females.
The measure to save girls sports passed the Louisiana House with an overwhelming vote of 72 to 21 and the Senate with a vote of 32 to 6.
Louisiana Family Forum, a Focus on the Family ally, released a press statement applauding the Fairness Act and explaining why it was necessary:
This law protects female athletes from having to compete against biological men. Women had to fight for a competitive playing field and should not be sidelined in their own arena. Allowing males to exploit women’s sports reverses 50 years of progress, ignores biological reality, and discriminates against all women.
3. San Francisco voters oust far-left District Attorney Chesa Boudin after two years
From the Washington Examiner:
Several networks called the race in favor of the recall less than an hour after polls closed.
The recall effort against the Democratic district attorney became a bipartisan rallying call by Republicans eager to pounce against a public official whose progressive criminal justice reform policy created the image of lawlessness and danger in San Francisco. Meanwhile, local Democrats sought to contrast sharply their support for police reform with Boudin’s policies, widely seen as sympathetic to criminal suspects.
A member of the California Democratic Party Executive Board, Nima Rahimi, penned an op-ed last week voicing his support for the recall effort. He decried “Boudin’s disingenuous campaign” while upholding his consistent support for criminal justice reform measures, a position reflected by many San Francisco Democrats who are otherwise liberal but feel Boudin’s policies have gone too far.
- Florida Gov. DeSantis targets university tenure and ‘politicized’ classes
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Republican allies are seeking more influence in university classrooms, targeting tenure, waging a battle against “politicized” courses and contemplating a significant change in how professors are hired across the state.
DeSantis says he is bringing accountability to higher education and ensuring universities aren’t indoctrinating students with what he and other GOP leaders see as a liberal bias.
But the governor’s agenda is also prompting a backlash from the United Faculty of Florida, a union that represents more than 25,000 faculty members across the state.
A toxic political climate is hurting the reputation of Florida’s universities and making it harder to recruit the best teachers, said Andrew Gothard, president of the United Faculty of Florida.
“What we clearly see is a shift toward authoritarianism and we are seeing it manifesting in higher education — an assault on tenure and free speech,” he said.
5. The Christian Martyrs of Nigeria
From the Wall Street Journal:
As Christians in Owo, Nigeria, gathered to celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, gunmen burst into St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and began shooting. Eyewitness reports suggest at least 50 parishioners, including young children, were killed.
My organization, Open Doors USA, ranks the countries that are most hostile to Christians. Nigeria is seventh on the list. Though the country places few restrictions on worship, it ranks first for the total number of Christians killed for their faith. Our most recent annual report documented the killing of 4,650 Christians in Nigeria in 2021, more than one every two hours. The violence shows no signs of abating this year.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, to which I was recently appointed, has recommended since 2009 that Nigeria be added to the U.S. government’s “Country of Particular Concern” list. The list is an important tool for identifying the worst violators of religious freedom across the globe. In December 2020, the Trump administration heeded that advice. The following year, however, the Biden administration reversed the decision without explanation. In fact, it removed Nigeria from the list hours before Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in the country for official meetings.
Last week the State Department released its annual report on international religious freedom, highlighting a range of violent incidents perpetrated against religious communities in Nigeria. Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the president has 90 days from the issuance of the report to designate countries of particular concern. Given the carnage at St. Francis Xavier Church, the president should redesignate Nigeria immediately.
6. I Married the Wrong Person, and I’m So Glad I Did
From The New York Times:
Of course we all want relationships that are meaningful and satisfying. I don’t want to return to the days when we expect marriage to be nothing but a slog — the days when the famous 18th-century pastor John Wesley (somewhat hilariously) said of his marriage, “I did not seek happiness thereby, and I did not find it.” But perhaps part of forming the meaningful relationships we long for involves enduring prolonged periods of dissatisfaction and disappointment.
The last thing that I am is some kind of relationship guru. And I know my husband’s and my situation isn’t translatable to other marriages. I know we’re lucky. We have two people in a relationship willing to work at it, which isn’t the case for everyone, and we’ve been spared substance abuse or severe untreated mental illness, things that often wreck relationships. I don’t give a lot of marriage advice. But I want to simply offer that choosing to stay in a marriage for all kinds of unromantic reasons is a good and even a brave choice. And, even if it would never make a great book or movie, that choice offers its own kind of quiet path of discovery, growth, love and flourishing.
Statistics bear this out. A 2002 longitudinal study by a University of Chicago sociologist, Linda J. Waite, found that “two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation ended up happily married five years later.” It also showed that for those who were unhappy, divorce didn’t increase happiness over time: “Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married.” Nor did divorce decrease rates of depression or lead to improvement in self-esteem.
- Is Pope Francis nearing the end of his pontificate?
From the Washington Post:
The pain became obvious five months ago, when Pope Francis first started avoiding standing up. “An inflamed ligament in the knee,” the pope said, noting the condition is common among the elderly. He described it as a problem that would soon pass. But by late April, he said his right knee was “still not healing.” Soon after, he was using a wheelchair.
“I would like to apologize,” he said, telling pilgrims one morning that he couldn’t greet them on foot as usual.
Francis is still hoping that rest can restore his mobility. But in the meantime, his day-to-day life has changed along with the very image of his pontificate: At 85, his frailty is impossible to miss.
That has brought to the foreground questions about Francis’s future — whether his pontificate is nearing its endpoint, and whether he might consider stepping down.
And while the pope’s dependence on a wheelchair is a fundamental factor in the speculation, it has been amplified by his decision to call a consistory for Aug. 27 and install 21 new cardinals, including 16 younger than 80 who would be eligible to vote in a conclave. That huge influx means that Francis will have selected more than 60 percent of the figures who will pick his replacement, increasing the odds of — though hardly guaranteeing — a like-minded successor.
8. Can Evangelicals Believe in the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin?
From The Daily Citizen:
The piece in question is popularly called the “Shroud of Turin” – an artifact purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus. It’s over fourteen feet long and just over three-and-a-half feet wide. Not only does it contain blood (AB type+) stains containing high bilirubin content, indicating bodily trauma, but the cloth also contains a faint image of a man who strongly resembles the description of Jesus Himself.
Since earlier this year, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., has been featuring an exhibit centered on the famed cloth. Quoting National Geographic’s description of the shroud as “One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern-time,” the museum’s goal is to elicit curiosity in the broader story of the Christian faith.
The shroud’s authenticity has been questioned, tested, and discussed with great fervor ever since it was first revealed in 1357.
Evangelical skepticism and indifference to the shroud is likely attributable to the Catholic Church’s involvement and its championing of the artifact and even others like it. Placing a high or even sacred value on a material piece impossible to verify makes some protestant Christians uncomfortable or even wary.
But should it?
It’s true that Jesus reminds us that “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed” (John 20:29). Yet, physical artifacts that elicit curiosity or conviction concerning Jesus Christ can be used to draw people into a broader discussion of salvation and His sacrificial death on the cross.
Christians would be wise to remain open-minded regarding the mysterious, the mystical and the miraculous. We may never know for sure whether the shroud is real or a fake, and perhaps that’s how God intends. But what we do know is that all that we can see is clearly not all that is, nor is it all that will be in the life to come.
9. How much does college really cost? It may be much less than you think
For most families looking at colleges, the price tag seems overwhelming. But things aren’t always what they seem.
That’s because about 66% of all full-time students receive aid, which can lower the cost significantly.
For example, tuition and fees plus room and board at highly selective four-year colleges averages more than $74,000 per year. However, the price families actually pay is closer to $27,000, on average, according to new research by Vanguard.
At public, in-state schools, the net price that an average student pays is actually $14,360 a year — well below the average sticker price of $26,364, Vanguard found.
“When parents are anchored to these published tuition costs, it can really be discouraging,” said Jonathan Kahler, a certified financial planner and author of the report. “These high prices seem impossible.”
In fact, most families pay a great deal less.
10. Disabled Teen Who Fled Ukraine Meets John Cena, the Wrestling Star Who Motivated His Journey
From the Wall Street Journal:
Misha Rohozhyn, a Ukrainian teenager with Down syndrome, escaped besieged Mariupol as his mother wove a motivational fantasy that his pro-wrestler hero John Cena lay at the end of their dangerous journey out of Ukraine.
On Saturday, the fantasy ended with a happy reality, when the U.S. star visited Misha here.
Over a long journey that took Misha out of the familiarity he craves to traverse minefields, hostile Russian soldiers, artillery bombardments and national borders, his mother, Liana Rohozhyna, explained that their constant movement was to find Mr. Cena.
That journey, and the escape of others from the same day center in Mariupol, was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article that was read by Mr. Cena, who arranged a meeting in Huizen, the Dutch town where the family has been staying.
After arriving in the Netherlands last month, Misha, a 19-year-old who is unable to speak, stayed in his bedroom, disoriented by his new surroundings and getting angry with his mother that they hadn’t found Mr. Cena.
As Mr. Cena stepped out of a car on Saturday, wearing his World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. outfit, Ms. Rohozhyna began to cry.
Saturday was among the first times Misha had smiled since the war began, his mother said. Misha had prepared for Mr. Cena all morning, tidying his room and preparing his own version of the wrestling outfit, a red T-shirt, matching socks, dark shorts and baseball cap. When Mr. Cena arrived, Misha was shocked still, Ms. Rohozhyna said.