Friday October 15, 2021
The author and former Focus on the Family staffer John Eldredge has famously written:
“Men want a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. That is what is written in their hearts. That is what little boys play at. That is what men’s movies are about. You just see it. It is undeniable.”
We begin this morning with an essay from a current Focus leader touching on the important role men play in the stability of the family:
1. Telling Women They Don’t Need Men is Hurting Children
Focus on the Family’s Tim Goeglein writes in The Federalist:
While the judiciary battles over Texas’s heartbeat law and the U.S. Supreme Court near an opportunity to defend the unborn, one pro-abortion argument insists men should be required to take care of their children and the women they impregnate. To which conservatives reply: congratulations on discovering the family.
As the late Michael Novak, recipient of the Templeton Prize and renowned philosopher, once remarked, “Marriage, the family unit, was the ‘original Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.’” Unfortunately, these days, the fundamental foundation for societal well-being – strong marriages and intact families – is crumbling at an alarming rate, and not just among the poor. This disintegration has alarming consequences for all aspects of our society.
“It is not money, but the family that is the foundation of public life,” observed James Q. Wilson, a renowned professor of government at Harvard University. “As it has become weaker, every structure built upon that foundation has become weaker.”
If we are going to bring about American restoration, we need to start with this foundation first – providing opportunities for both women and men to reach their fullest potential while equipping and encouraging them to be the wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers who are necessary to raise healthy future generations.
2. Marriage Matters
From the Washington Examiner’s Restoring America:
Decades of research has found that, after controlling for race and income, children born to married parents end up better educated, more likely to be employed, wealthier, and healthier than children born to unmarried parents.
Marriage is also beneficial to the married spouses themselves. Even after controlling for income, married people are healthier, wealthier, and happier than their single counterparts. Married couples have more (and better) sex, too.
More important, perhaps, is that marriage appears to be a public good that benefits entire communities. According to Harvard economist Raj Chetty, children raised in neighborhoods with a high percentage of single parents are far less likely to move up the economic ladder than those who live in neighborhoods with a high percentage of married fathers.
Marriage provides better relationship stability for two reasons: First, most cohabiting couples have mismatched expectations about both the current and future status of their relationship. Marriage unites these expectations.
Second, marriage is a promise made in public, usually in front of family and friends. This larger community shares an understanding of behavioral expectations for the married couple, including fidelity, sharing, and lifetime commitment. These friends and family then help each partner live up to the promises they have made to each other.
If we are going to restore America, we must restore the American family. And that must start with the acknowledgment that marriage matters.
3. Connecticut Pro-Life Group Challenges Compelled Speech Law Favoring Abortion
From The Daily Citizen:
A new law in Connecticut requires organizations serving women facing an unplanned pregnancy, such as pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), to describe themselves in their advertisements as offering only “limited services” if they do not also offer abortions. The law allows the state attorney general to decide which organizations are guilty of “deceptive advertising,” and either force them to “correct” their advertising or punish them under this law.
One faith-based, pro-life group is pushing back with a federal lawsuit. Pregnancy Support Center, Inc., doing business as Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Southeastern Connecticut (Care Net), is represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). In a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, Care Net asserts, “This challenge seeks to protect the right of a pro-life, faith-based pregnancy care center to exercise its religious beliefs and to speak about those beliefs so it can help women with concerns about pregnancy and motherhood.”
The law is clearly designed to target pro-life entities, which by their very nature do not offer abortions as part of their services. However, abortion sellers who do not provide services like prenatal ultrasounds or obstetric services are not similarly required under this law to advertise themselves as providing “limited services.”
4.Mississippi makes a powerful case against Roe v. Wade
From The Washington Examiner:
Mississippi has filed a reply brief to the Supreme Court in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It is an excellent argument in defense of abortion restrictions, but also against Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the two cases Dobbs seeks to overturn.
When the Supreme Court hears the case in December, it will deal specifically with one question raised by Mississippi: whether all restrictions on pre-viability abortions are unconstitutional. This will make it extremely difficult for the court to avoid revisiting its previous rulings in Roe and Casey, which provide the legal justification for pre-viability abortions.
In other words, the court will have to decide definitively: Can states restrict abortions, pre-viable or not, or should they be banned from restricting abortions altogether?
This is what Mississippi argues in its reply brief. “Return the matter to the people,” the state says. “That approach — with abortion restrictions assessed under rational-basis review — is used on almost every important issue this country faces.”
Roe and Casey are the only reason the states aren’t already able to weigh in on this issue, the state notes, adding that there is no constitutional, historical, or legal defense for either court case.
5. Abortion is at the Heart of American Division
From Religion Unplugged:
Was there a time in living memory when America was more divided? I’m 66, and I certainly can’t remember any time like today. Can you?
It seems as if the right and the left are becoming more and more polarized, with less and less people in the center. From woke ideology to race issues to political divides to LGBTQ activism to religious conflicts to cancel culture to immigration, the divisions are deep and broad.
But the ultimate dividing line is abortion. On no other issue are the passions so intense. And no other issue has such massive court cases attached to it.
The clearest illustration of the intense divide took place in Washington this past Saturday, when a pro-abortion women’s march came face to face with a pro-life prayer service on the steps of the Supreme Court. Talk about seeing this conflict in real time and in living color!
Which way will America go? A lot of that has to do with you and with me.
6. Heritage Foundation Announces ‘DC Outsider’ Kevin Roberts as Next President
From The Daily Signal:
Kevin Roberts, a conservative leader with extensive experience in education and public policy, will serve as the next president of The Heritage Foundation, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank announced Thursday.
Roberts joins Heritage after serving as president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, Texas for five years.
“While there were many outstanding candidates we interviewed during the search process, Kevin was the best choice to lead The Heritage Foundation at this pivotal time in our nation’s history,” Barb Van Andel-Gaby, chairman of Heritage’s board of trustees, said in a statement.
“Kevin has an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep enthusiasm for conservative solutions, and he will bring with him a different perspective as a D.C. outsider,” she added.
Roberts is the seventh president to lead Heritage since its founding in 1973. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.) He will officially take the reins from Kay C. James, who led the organization for over three ears, later this year.
7. 4.3 Million Workers Are Missing. Where Did They Go?
From The Wall Street Journal:
Scarce labor is becoming a fixture of the U.S. economy, reshaping the workforce and prodding firms to adapt by raising wages, reinventing services and investing in automation.
More than a year and a half into the pandemic, the U.S. is still missing around 4.3 million workers. That’s how much bigger the labor force would be if the participation rate—the share of the population 16 or older either working or looking for work—returned to its February 2020 level of 63.3%. In September, it stood at 61.6%.
The absence comes as U.S. employers are struggling to fill more than 10 million job openings and meet soaring consumer demand. In another sign of just how tight the labor market is, jobless claims—a proxy for layoffs across the U.S.—fell to 293,000 last week, the first time since the pandemic began that they fell below 300,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Workers are quitting at or near the highest rates on record in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, and trade, transportation and utilities, as well as professional and business services.
8. The Verse That Helped Me Become a More Patient Parent
From the Gospel Coalition:
Paul’s letters are filled with things he had already said. But, unlike me, he doesn’t repeat himself through gritted teeth.
So, what can we learn from Paul’s example that can help us become patient parents?
First, in Philippians 3:1, Paul writes that repeating himself is “no trouble.” This is surprising because our impatience often stems from the fact that repeating ourselves seems like a great deal of trouble. To regularly remind my kids to make their lunches, brush their teeth, and do their homework usually feels like a burden—and not a trifling one.
But Paul shows us that out of love for others, being patient should not be an imposition. Jacob labored seven years for Rachel, and “they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (Gen. 29:20). Paul yearned for the Philippians “with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8), so it didn’t bother him to repeat himself a few times. We ought to value our kids so much that saying the same things again and again is no big deal.
Second, Paul says that his repeated exhortation is “safe for you” (Phil. 3:1). Paul recognized that he could do great good to the Philippians simply by being patient with them. Similarly, our patient words to our kids can encourage their hearts, equip them with truth, spur them to obedience, and point them to Christ.
To daily and gently remind my kids to be kind, to work hard, and to look to Christ is not incidental. I have to remind them because they—like me—are prone to forget. When I say it again, it shepherds their souls to a place of safety.
9. Ramsey Solutions Gives Teachers Free Access to Student Loan Documentary ‘Borrowed Future’
From The Joplin Globe:
To educate and empower the next generation about alternatives to student loans, Ramsey Solutions is offering every teacher in the U.S. free access to the documentary “Borrowed Future: How Student Loans Are Killing the American Dream,” produced by Dave Ramsey. Teachers can go to borrowedfuture.com for more information.
“Borrowed Future” premieres today, Oct. 14, 2021, on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play. The film uncovers the dark side of the student loan industry and exposes how it’s built to work against borrowers.
10. Are the Woke Winding Down?
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The past few years I’ve held two different and opposing thoughts in my head. One is that the woke regime cannot continue forever, it is unsustainable, it will fall of attrition and exhaustion. The suppression of thought and speech, the insistence on ideology when minds and souls aren’t ideological—all this is against human nature. So it will end. The other is that I cannot think out how it ends: I can’t explain to myself what that looks like, can’t translate what I believe to be inevitable into a story I can believe.
But the past week left me wondering if we aren’t inching toward Thermidor.
Thermidor was the moment France began to turn away from the violence and mayhem of the Terror that followed the French Revolution. (In this space the woke regime is the Terror; the French Revolution is something that’s been rolling over us and attempting to gain electoral traction since 2008. We have mixed feelings on the Revolution, but we hate the Terror.)
If I am right, if we are inching toward Thermidor, it will be a partial Thermidor, as Thermidor itself was not a wholesale renunciation of all that preceded it but a corrective. It signaled a new popular resistance to the excesses of the Revolution, but the general principles of the Revolution maintained. They entered France’s bloodstream in ways constructive and not. In the same way the revolution we’re living through will not fully disappear; it has entered the bloodstream. But it can be knocked from its most brutal phase, the Terror. And that would be good.
This is a good time to be brave, to be hungry for life and its uncertainties, like Captain Kirk.