Former NBA basketball coach Pat Riley once opined:
“There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out.”
Our first article today affirms that Focus on the Family is clearly all “in” when it comes to helping women and their children:
- Christian Pro-Life Ministries Have Been Caring For Women And Babies For Generations
From Religion Unplugged:
The idea that pro-lifers don’t care for babies after they are born has been a convenient slander hurled against pro-life Christians. To cite just one example, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank once said pro-lifers believe “life begins at conception and ends at birth.”
The biggest problem with that clever line is that it is simply not true.
More than 2,500 pro-life pregnancy resource centers make up a compassionate army of staff, donors and volunteers that number in the hundreds of thousands. They are committed to helping women make life-giving choices, and they often support these women for years after their babies are born. The total amount of money these organizations spend in support of women and babies is not known, but it likely exceeds $1 billion annually.
Focus on the Family has, for example, spent millions in grants so that pregnancy resource centers can have ultrasound machines that help expectant mothers make informed choices about their babies. It began its Option Ultrasound Program in 2004 and has placed more than 500 ultrasound machines in PRCs around the country. Advocates of abortion often talk about “choice,” but pro-life ministries — equipped with ultrasound machines and the training to use them — have quietly been giving millions of women the opportunity to make truly informed choices for decades.
When the true history of the Roe era is written, I’m confident that the heroic and compassionate work of Christian ministries in the pro-life movement will have its own chapter. And that history gives me confidence that Christian ministries will rise to the challenges and opportunities of the post-Roe era.
Tim Scott: Abortion is not the way to help single Black mothers
From the Washington Post:
If abortion is our first and “best” answer to ensure that women and low-income families can thrive economically, the United States has reached one of its darkest times in our history. The claim is simply false and echoes the egregious arguments made in the early 20th century by Margaret Sanger in support of the eugenics movement.
But there is a better way. The American Dream is one of hope and opportunity. I know this, because I’ve lived it. In America, the son of a Black single mother can go from poverty to the U.S. Senate in one lifetime. If we want to talk about the economic stability of our country, let’s talk about what we can do to ensure single moms and their kids have access to that same American Dream.
When it comes to our economic challenges, we need to have a hard conversation about policies that actually work. In 2017, I was one of the architects of reforming the personal side of the tax code. Within those reforms, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for single parents from $9,300 to $18,000. Those changes cut single moms’ federal taxes by 70 percent. They led to the average American household keeping up to $4,000 more of their hard-earned money.
If we want to have hard conversations about what will improve outcomes for our nation’s poorest communities, I welcome those conversations because I believe that America is the solution — not the problem. When it comes to our economic challenges, abortion is not the answer. And I will debate anyone, anywhere, at any time about solutions that actually work.
- Judge Jackson Won’t Say Dobbs Leak Is Wrong and Won’t Object to Protests at Her Soon-to-Be Colleagues’ Homes
From National Review:
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court after the current term ends in a few weeks, sat for an interview by the Washington Post. She was asked about the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs abortion case, and the consequent demonstrations at the homes of several justices — Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as conservative justices identified in media reporting as having voted with Alito to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Here’s the relevant excerpt from the interview:
Q: What was your response when you when you saw the draft leak [of a Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade]?
A: Everybody who is familiar with the court and the way in which it works was shocked by that. Such a departure from normal order.
Q: Do you think it was a good thing or a bad thing?
A: I can’t answer that.
Q: What do you think about peaceful protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes?
A: I don’t have any comment.
This ranges from somewhere between cowardly and sinister, much like the failure of the justices to issue a joint statement that echoes the chief justice’s condemnation of the leak and statement of determination to identify the leaker, and that condemns the protests, which violate federal law.
3. Primary Roundup Scandal-prone Cawthorn concedes loss in North Carolina GOP primary
From the Washington Examiner:
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) conceded losing the 11th Congressional District primary Tuesday after a series of scandals since his election in 2020, bringing his congressional career to an end after a single term. In an upset victory, state Sen. Chuck Edwards defeated Cawthorn to win the Republican nomination in the district.
David McCormick and Mehmet Oz locked in tight race for GOP Senate nomination
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Mehmet Oz and David McCormick were virtually tied with around 95% of votes counted, and the race was so close that it appeared likely to head to an automatic recount no matter who’s ahead when the initial tally is done.
Both Oz and McCormick wrapped up their campaign parties by saying they didn’t expect a clear outcome Tuesday night, though each predicted they’d win in the end.
They each won around 31% of the GOP vote, with Oz, the celebrity surgeon known as “Dr. Oz,” leading by about around 2,500 votes as of 6a a.m. Oz’s lead amounted to a .02 percentage point advantage over McCormick, an Army veteran and former hedge fund CEO.
- What is Healthy Masculinity?
From the Institute for Family Studies:
Healthy masculinity is when men flourish first for themselves, then for their families, posterity, and communities. A man embodying healthy masculinity knows who he is. He is physically healthy and strong. He is pursuing and developing his skills and capabilities to make him more competent and able to take action. He has a sense of agency, drive, and desire to make his mark on the world, not just have the world make its mark on him. He is someone who exists in a world where it is realistically possible for him to develop his potential, fulfill his own ambitions, and leave a posterity and a legacy for the future.
There is no one-size-fits-all description of healthy masculinity (and thus a healthy man), but identity, actual health, development of potentialities, genuine accomplishment in the real world, and a legacy are the core.
Men embody this through many roles and archetypes. We can think of the explorer, the settler, the warrior, the scientist, the philosopher, the artist, the builder, the king, the priest, the monk, the trader, the craftsman, the father, etc.
Some men embody healthy masculinity through extremes—the hero, the world class athlete, the saint, someone on a quest for greatness or pursuing the audacious idea, a man facing the extreme trial or difficulty or even death, etc. But others embody it through the ordinary rhythms of life: establishing a trade, obtaining a household of one’s own, building a family, raising children to exceed his own accomplishments, or leaving an inheritance. Most men embody it as part of a group of other men, such as in a military unit or sporting team, but some do so in solitary pursuits, such as the hermit or lone genius. Most will have a family, but some will focus on an all-consuming pursuit.
Healthy masculinity understands the identity and legacy a man has inherited, and seeks to extend that, in turn, to engage in “praiseworthy competition with one’s ancestors,” as has been attributed to Tacitus. A man’s legacy is most often his family, his descendants, his community or tribe. He seeks to create this legacy, to build it up, and even to sacrifice himself for it at times. But while sacrifice for the sake of legacy is a part of healthy masculinity, it is not reducible to that. The man who simply blots out his own well-being, ambitions, and fulfillment for the sake others is not exhibiting a healthy masculinity.
- Christian Employers Can’t Be Forced to Fund ‘Gender Transition,’ Federal Court Rules
From The Daily Citizen:
A North Dakota federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of a Christian employers association that prevents the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from forcing those employers to fund “gender transition” medical procedures in violation of their religious beliefs.
Judge Daniel M. Traynor ruled that at this stage of the litigation, begun in October 2021, there is a “likelihood of success” that the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA), both for itself and on behalf of its members, will ultimately prevail on its claim that the U.S. government’s mandates regarding gender identity violate both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s (RFRA) guarantees of religious freedom.
Federal judge rules Indiana school must allow transgender student to use boys restroom
From Fox News:
A federal judge is standing by a previous ruling that an Indiana transgender student must be allowed to use the boys restroom.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, an Obama appointee, has denied a motion from the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville to put on hold a previous injunction forcing John R. Wooden Middle School to allow the transgender student to use the boys bathroom, WTHR-TV reported.
Pratt ruled the district failed to show evidence that proved it would suffer “irreparable harm” if the student was allowed to use the boys restroom.
- Four Air Force Cadets May Not Graduate After Being Denied Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccination Order
From The Daily Citizen:
Four seniors at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, have been warned that their continued refusal to submit to COVID-19 vaccinations following denial of their religious exemption requests could result in not being allowed to graduate or be commissioned as officers. They may also have to repay between $200,000 and $400,000 in scholarships they have been granted to attend the academy.
The academy’s graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 25.
The four cadets, who entered the Academy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, have all voiced religious objections to receiving the vaccines due to their connection with the use of aborted fetal cells in the testing or creation of those vaccines, according to Fox News.
One former Air Force graduate, Gordon Klingenschmitt, has taken up the cadets’ cause, calling the Air Force’s stance a violation of their religious freedom.
“There is a religious purge against Christians in the military,” Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain and Colorado state representative, charged. “It starts at the top. The Biden administration is allowing this DOD policy…”
- Study finds 37% of pastors have biblical worldview: Spiritual awakening ‘needed in our pulpits’
From The Christian Post:
A new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University has found that just 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a biblical worldview, demonstrating that spiritual awakening is “needed just as desperately in our pulpits as in the pews,” according to the pollster.
The nationwide study of about 1,000 Christian pastors found that just slightly more than a third (37%) of the U.S. pastors hold a biblical worldview. The majority (62%) possess a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.
The study, released Thursday, showed that 41% of senior pastors — as compared to 28% of associate pastors — have a biblical worldview. Further, only 13% of teaching pastors and 12% of children’s and youth pastors have a biblical worldview.
The lowest level of biblical worldview was among executive pastors, with only 4% of them holding consistently biblical beliefs and behaviors.
- Here’s why gasoline prices are spiking again
From The Hill:
Prices at the gas pump are rising yet again as refiners turn to producing jet fuel and diesel instead of gasoline, and as demand jumps ahead of the summer driving season.
Prices across the country were already high before the most recent jumps. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit oil markets and global gas prices hard, driving up the price at the pump as governments turned away energy supplies from Moscow.
But prices are now going higher, and averaged $4.48 per gallon on Monday.
That’s up about 40 cents from a month ago, when prices stood at $4.08. Much of the most recent jump has come just in the past few days as prices rose 16 cents per gallon between May 9 and May 16.
Experts say the latest jump is linked to a variety of factors including fewer oil refiners making crude oil into gasoline.
- Yes, Christians Can Believe in UFOs
From The Daily Citizen:
The first congressional hearing on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in fifty years kicked off Tuesday morning before the House Intelligence subcommittee in Washington, D.C. Not surprisingly, the cable news networks cut into regular programming to cover some of the testimony.
What can we make of all of this, especially with the government recently releasing footage of sensational, though grainy images of objects flying at unexplained high rates of speed, some even seeming to defy known laws of physics?
First, belief in UFOs isn’t all equal. I can believe that unexplained phenomena exist and have been spotted – but that doesn’t mean their origins are out of this world. In fact, top-secret military aircraft are always in production and being tested. For example, Lockheed’s F-117 Nighthawk, known as the “stealth fighter,” was used in combat for seven years before the public was even made aware of its existence.
It seems that the rise in UFO interest and even cultural obsession can be correlated to the rise in secularism. That’s because if people no longer believe that God is the center of all things, they intuitively know something else has to fill that void.
Enter claims of extraterrestrial life or other science fiction themes that attempt to make sense of life or explain the purpose of our existence.
The Academy-award winning movie producer George Lucas, best known for the Star Wars franchise, calls himself a “Buddhist Methodist,” and once reflected:
“I see ‘Star Wars’ as taking all the issues that religion represents and trying to distill them down into a more modern and accessible construct. I wanted to make it so that young people would begin to ask questions about the mystery.”
Lucas isn’t just entertaining. He’s attempting to teach – and parents should be aware. But however confused and conflated the director’s personal religious beliefs may be, he’s also demonstrating that it’s impossible to believe in nothing. Even nothing eventually becomes something.
It was Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher who famously wrote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
The popularized phrase, “Take me to your leader,” is said to date back to a New Yorker cartoon from 1953. Nearly three-quarters of a century later, we still laugh when the trope is used or uttered in culture. In the end, for Christians, of course, our only true leader is Jesus Christ – and no one need take us to Him, because He is always available to us wherever we may be.
- Twenty-Four Children Were Adopted Just in Time for Mother’s Day
From The Daily Citizen:
Twenty-four children were adopted into forever homes on May 6 – just in time for Mother’s Day.
According to News4Jax, and adoption event in Duval County, Florida was hosted by Family Support Services and Judge Michael Kalil.
The two dozen children were adopted into 11 different families.
Judge Kalil said, “I’m thrilled to see so many children start their new lives at this ceremony.”