Good Morning! 

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, there is much for which to be grateful. Here at Focus on the Family, we’re thankful for those whose sacrificial giving allows those of us within the organization to minister to millions of people across the globe.  

As the world grows darker, the Gospel of Jesus Christ shines brighter – and we consider it a privilege to serve as ambassadors for Him at this unique time in history.  

God’s sovereignty puts a smile on our face and a spring in our step. At the same time, as “we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings” we recognize the realities of a fallen world. It was President Ronald Reagan who once stated: 

“As government expands, liberty contracts.” He also added on Thanksgiving Day in 1986: 

“Let us pause from our many activities to give thanks to almighty God for our bountiful harvests and abundant freedoms . . . And let us ever be mindful of the faith and spiritual values that have made our Nation great and that alone can keep us great.”

In that same spirit, we begin with this reminder and a request:  

  1. Government is our Servant – Not Our God

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes: 

Friday’s passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 5376, a.k.a. the “human infrastructure bill,” represents an unprecedented grasp of government overreach that threatens to undermine the institution of the family on a number of levels. 

Deceptively titled “Build Back Better,” this $2 trillion piece of legislation will actually break the backs of future generations. The only thing it builds is a deepening dependence on Uncle Sam.  

The “better” way is for the United States Senate to outright reject this bill. 

In its current form, the bill will allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, mandates abortion coverage in healthcare plans and provides nearly $1.3 billion to help further indoctrinate and brainwash public school students with leftist propaganda, including critical race theory and dangerous gender equity policies. It includes a massive amnesty bill for illegal immigrants. It also wrests more and more authority and influence from parents by massively expanding universal preschool as well as meals for children in school. 

To put it simply and starkly, it’s almost impossible to plumb the depths of the dangers of this massive, reckless spending bill. 

Republicans and Democrats have been sparring over spending for years, but this latest assault on the family is unprecedented in just how bad it is. 

At the core of the debate over H.R. 5376 is government’s role in our lives. The authors of this legislation believe government is in the best position to solve our problems and improve our quality of life. In reality, government almost always makes things worse – borrowing and spending money it doesn’t have to try and fix issues it helped create in the first place. 

Despite decades of evidence – from President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program – history confirms that throwing public dollars at problems doesn’t help – but ultimately harms. It’s a fool’s errand. Yet rich liberals and leftists never seem to tire of spending other people’s money. 

It was Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, who once observed, “The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments.” 

I suppose we shouldn’t be shocked that such radical legislation would come from people whose government is their god. When you believe that Uncle Sam is savior and not Jesus, priorities are inevitably upended and confused. 

The Senate is expected to take up the bill sometime after Thanksgiving. While it’s likely some of the more “moderates” in the upper chamber will cut things from the bill, experts suggest its eventual passage is likely. 

It seems that current leadership believes they have to move quickly to pass this extreme agenda and enshrine crippling, socialist entitlements into law due to the increasing likelihood of a leadership change in November of 2022. 

As believers, we trust the Lord for our ultimate security and outcome, but we have a responsibility to participate in the electoral process and do what we can to encourage leadership and polices that complement, not contradict, God’s laws.  

Please call your senators and urge them to oppose this immoral and dangerous bill. 

  1. Philadelphia Faith-Based Foster Care Case Settles for $2 Million

From The Daily Citizen

Last June the U.S. Supreme Court decided Fulton v. Philadelphia, which concerned the religious freedom claims of a faith-based foster care agency. The justices, in a 9-0 opinionruled in favor of Catholic Social Services’ (CSS) right to operate according to its faith principles in the placement of children with foster families. The justices then sent the case back down to the lower courts for final resolution. 

The parties have now reached a settlement, which has been approved by a lower federal court. The terms of the settlement include a renewal of CSS’ contract with the City of Philadelphia to provide foster care services, a $2 million payment to cover the costs of CSS’ attorney’s fees, and a payment of $56,000 directly to CSS. 

  1. Fairfax parents object to sexually explicit surveys of students

From The Washington Times

A group of parents in Fairfax County, Virginia, want the school district to scrap an annual survey that asks about the sexual habits of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. 

Fairfax students have been taking the survey for years, but the intense scrutiny on Northern Virginia public schools in recent months has refocused attention on the sex study. 

“If you asked these of adults in the workplace you could get sued,” said Elizabeth Schultz, a former Fairfax County School Board member who said she battled for years to at least have the survey made opt-in for students rather than the current opt-out. 

“Why the prurient nature of these?” she said. “It’s utterly anti-family and creepy, and most parents don’t have a clue what is going on.” 

The 16-page, 173-question survey — along with a less sexually explicit version given to sixth-graders — was scheduled to be administered this month, according to a county spokesman who insisted his statement be cited anonymously. 

RELATED: Fairfax Public Schools reinstates pornographic books to high school library 

From The Washington Examiner

Fairfax County Public Schools announced Tuesday it would reinstate two books containing pornographic images and language to the district’s high school libraries. 

The two books, Genderqueer by Maia Kobabe and Lawnboy by Jonathan Evison, had been removed from circulation pending an internal review, which ultimately determined that the books would stay in public high schools. 

  1. Abortion Businesses Admit Texas Abortion Ban Has Saved 70-80% of Babies From Abortions

From Life News

Aborting unborn babies is not big business anymore in Texas. 

Since the state heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, abortion facilities across Texas have reported a massive drop in abortions. 

Whole Woman’s Health, which runs four abortion facilities in the state, saw a 70 percent to 80 percent decline in abortions over the past two months, according to the Texas Tribune. 

5.   ‘The Chosen’ Christmas special shatters ticket records in 12 hours before hitting theaters nationwide 

From the Christian Post: 

The Christmas special for “The Chosen,” the first-ever multi-season television show about Jesus, has already broken Fathom Events’ record with $1.5 million in sales in the first 12 hours. 

Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers,” which features actors from “The Chosen” series, airs in theaters on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. Just hours after tickets went on sale during a livestream with show creator Dallas Jenkins Tuesday night, pre-sale records were shattered for the distributor. 

“The Chosen” Executive Producer Derral Eves told The Christian Post that viewers can expect an “amazing” experience that showcases the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph and highlights the hardships they endured.  

“We’re giving symbolism to the importance of certain things around the nativity that most people just kind of push aside, or they might sing about it, but not really have the context of what that means,” Eves said.  

6.   NFL Coach Delivers Mini-Sermon, Recites ‘In Christ Alone’ During Post-Game Presser: ‘My Source of Hope’ 

From CBN: 

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich delivered a powerful, post-game mini-sermon Sunday, quoting lyrics from popular Christian song, “In Christ Alone,” reciting Scripture and encouraging those “climbing their own mountain.” 

It was an effectual moment that transcended the typically rudimental confines of an NFL press conference. 

“I want to give a personal account to where I found my strength for the journey,” Reich said in front of reporters. “The reason I’m doing that here and now is because, almost 30 years ago, after a really big game, right down the hall in a press conference, I shared the lyrics to a song that meant a lot to me — that really spoke to where I get my strength from.” 

The coach, who spoke after the Colts beat the Buffalo Bills 41-15 during Sunday’s game, said he wanted to share in an effort to “encourage someone who’s climbing their own mountain right now.” 

Reich then went on to recite lyrics from “In Christ Alone”: “In Christ alone I place my trust, and find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory, let it be said of me, that source of strength, that source of hope, is Christ alone.” 

He concluded the recitation with his favorite line, which proclaims: “I seek no greater honor than just to know Him more.” 

  1. What the Pilgrims did for Religious Liberty

From The Daily Citizen

Last year was the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ crossing the Atlantic on an overcrowded ship rife with disease, seeking to come to a new world where they could freely exercise their faith and live their lives in accordance with their conscience. 

While many on that ship never made it across the ocean to see their new home, those who survived the journey were greeted by a large rock on the shores of what the Pilgrims would name Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

While visitors today only see a small rock that has eroded over time, it serves as a historical reminder of the sacrifice made by the Pilgrims. In numerous ways, it also serves as a warning that we should not allow our memory of their legacy to erode as that rock has over the past four millenia. 

  1. Don’t Let Ideologues Steal Thanksgiving 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

Thanksgiving is under unprecedented assault from progressives who want to expunge it from American life. In our woke era, it has become fashionable in some quarters to attack Thanksgiving as cultural or environmental exploitation. Left unmentioned are gratitude and God. 

There are many myths surrounding the First Thanksgiving, but the essential facts are these: In the late summer or autumn of 1621, 52 English men, women and children gathered together with 90 Wampanoag warriors for a three-day feast at what is now Plymouth, Mass. The English were the survivors of the 102 Pilgrims who had sailed on the Mayflower the previous year. The Wampanoag were the indigenous residents of the land on which the English settled and the generous people whose practical assistance made it possible for the newcomers to thrive. The two peoples signed a peace treaty, which lasted for half a century. 

The central similarity between the First Thanksgiving and every subsequent one is something less tangible: a spirit of gratitude. This year, as we mark four centuries of Thanksgivings, Americans will do what we have always done since that original feast: We will express our gratitude with acts of hospitality and charity. Many of us will offer prayers of thanks to the Almighty, however we define him. In so doing, we will be following in the footsteps of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, while rejecting the campaign to rewrite Thanksgiving’s history. 

  1. Ten Politically Incorrect Things to Be Grateful for This Thanksgiving

From The Daily Citizen

Americans will gather around tables this Thursday, expressing appreciation and gratitude for a number of things. Here are some of mine that many in today’s increasingly upside-down culture might find controversial: 

  1. Jesus Christ 
  2. The Holy Spirit 
  3. Bible-Believing Churches 
  4. Marriage 
  5. Children 
  6. Religious Freedom 
  7. Homeschooling 
  8. Our Military and Law Enforcement 
  9. Pregnancy Resource Center Personnel 
  10. Children & Talk Radio & the New Media  
  1. America Endures 

From the Wall Street Journal’s annual Thanksgiving Eve Editorial: 

It is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles. 

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness. 

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth. 

Give thanks to the Lord. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!