Thursday October 14, 2021  

Good Morning! 

John MacArthur once observed, “Righteous wrath is no less noble than love, since both coexist in God.” 

John Stott agrees: “I go further and say that there is a great need in the contemporary world for more Christian anger. In the face of blatant evil we should be indignant not tolerant, angry not apathetic. If God hates sin, His people should hate sin too. If evil arouses His anger, it should arouse ours too.” 

Focus’ president picks up on this theme calling out the latest manifestation of the war on children:  

1. From Public Schools to Planned Parenthood, Liberals are Hurting Our Kids 

Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly writes:   

How would you react if your teenage daughter was sexually assaulted in a women’s high school restroom by a student who gained access by “identifying” as a female? 

Loudoun County, V., father Scott Smith was faced with this very predicament this past year and attempted to confront school officials about it – only to be forcibly removed from a board meeting. 

Reports now suggest that Loudoun County school officials not only silenced Mr. Smith – but also attempted to cover-up the alleged crime by transferring the suspect to another school – where he reportedly assaulted yet another young woman. 

How can this happen?  

Tragically, a disturbing trend has emerged in America and around the world – there’s an assault on children at every age and stage of development. As a father, it makes my blood boil with righteous anger and indignation.  

Despite an increasingly divisive and ideologically fractured culture, one would think we could find consensus on the need to protect and defend innocent children. 

Sadly, it does not appear to be the case.   

But when it comes to the protection and defense of innocent children, I will not stay silent. We stand arm in arm with Scott Smith and every other father who would risk his life to protect his son or daughter. What is happening is unconscionable – and we must call it out.   

Planned Parenthood received over $600 million in taxpayer funds last year. How can we just accept that immoral travesty? With over 62 million children lost to abortion since 1973, we have an obligation to speak up and out in defense of those who have no voice or vote.   

This war on children is one of many decades and liberals are currently championing policies that hurt the most vulnerable. The war won’t be won overnight. We won’t win every battle – but at Focus on the Family, we will never grow tired defending and protecting innocent children. Please join me in praying for courage for moms and dads on the front lines – and for protection for children now caught in the crosshairs. 

2. Cancel Culture’s Mental-Health Toll 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

As a therapist, I see many young people who are deeply perfectionistic and worried about their image, both online and in person. Because social media is everywhere, adolescents are constantly in a state of high alert about any criticism or rejection, and online communities amplify this beyond what some are biologically capable of handling. 

Cancel culture makes the problem much worse. One of my patients told me a story about her daughter, a college student, who made a tasteless racial joke at a friend’s expense. She instantly regretted it, and the friend soon forgave her. But another student overheard the joke and reported my patient’s daughter to the dean, who removed her from a student-leadership position and told her she’d be expelled if she told another bad joke.  

It got worse. The eavesdropping student posted about the joke on social media, and other students bullied my patient’s daughter online so severely that she ended up in the emergency room with a panic attack. None of this brutish treatment was necessary for her to learn the lesson of her mistake.

School-sanctioned shaming and a social media free-for-all of bullying leave teens and young adults constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to express heterodox opinions in class, among peers or in schoolwork. Making mistakes and learning from them is an important part of young people’s development. It’s how they grow to accept themselves as well as others—if peers and people in authority show them empathy, tolerance, patience and kindness. Terrorizing young people is no way to teach them sensitivity and respect. 

3. $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation Bill Penalizes Marriage, Harms Families 

From The Daily Citizen: 

For months, congressional leaders, members and staffers have been haggling over a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill. 

The “Build Back Better Act” (HR 5376) has been described as the “largest piece of legislation in the history of the world” and would provide “free” community college, child care, universal preschool, and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. The bill also raises taxes. 

And now, there’s growing concern that the bill’s changes to the tax code could worsen already existing financial penalties for couples who get married. 

4. Baltimore Can’t Ban Religious Group from Holding Rally Because of its Message, Judge Rules 

From The Daily Citizen: 

A request from a Catholic group to rent an outdoor event space owned by the city of Baltimore, Maryland, for a rally in November was denied by the city because its speakers are known for being provocative and might provoke a hostile reaction from the public. A federal judge recently ruled that the city’s action violated the Catholic group’s First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly, and ordered the city to negotiate a contract in good faith for the rally. 

St. Michael’s Media, Inc., aka Church Militant, has been critical of positions taken by the Catholic Church leadership from time to time, and wants to hold the Baltimore rally on November 16 at a city-owned site known as “Pier VI,” at the same time the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be meeting at a nearby hotel. 

In August, St. Michael’s filled out an application for a permit and paid a deposit to the private group that manages the Pier VI site for the city. However, St. Michael’s was then notified that the city would not grant the application, citing safety concerns linked to some of the people who were identified as speakers at the event. The lawsuit followed shortly thereafter, and on October 12 U.S. District Judge Ellen Lipton Hollander issued a preliminary injunction ordering the city not to prohibit or impede its private events manager from entering into a contract with St. Michael’s for the rally. 

In her accompanying memorandum opinion, the judge reasoned that St. Michael’s was “likely to prevail” in its legal claims that the city was violating the group’s First Amendment rights and engaging in “viewpoint discrimination.” 

5. Virginia Mother Who Survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution Sees Parallels in America

From The Epoch Times: 

The communist political movement that devastated China decades ago is unfolding in America, warned Xi Van Fleet, a parent-turned-activist who made national headlines after speaking out against critical race theory (CRT) at a school board meeting. 

“When the Cultural Revolution started, I was a first grader,” the Virginia mother told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.” She said that all classes ceased at schools and colleges as older students proclaimed themselves Mao Zedong’s Red Guards. 

Emboldened by Mao’s slogan “To Rebel is Justified,” the Red Guards did not hesitate to instigate violence and destruction on everyone and everything they considered “counter-revolutionary.” 

“With Mao’s approval, no one could stop them,” said Van Fleet, recalling a story she heard from someone who witnessed the Red Guards beating to death a man, who was deemed an “oppressor” and “exploiter” for simply being able to withdraw a large sum of money from his bank. The perpetrators faced no consequences for the killing, since the criminal justice system was already paralyzed.

6.   RBG Criticized National-Anthem Protests, and Katie Couric Covered It Up 

From National Review: 

In her newly released memoir, Going There, Katie Couric writes that she edited out comments from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in which the Supreme Court justice accused those who kneel during the national anthem of showing “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.” Couric, the Daily Mail reports, claims that she believed the 83-year-old justice was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question.” Couric, who fashions herself an intrepid journalist, says she was “protecting” the “Notorious RGB” — a woman who until her last days was offering decisions on the most important legal questions in the nation and celebrated widely by the Left — from political backlash. 

Interviews are often edited for length and clarity, of course, but in this case, there’s no excuse for leaving out the interaction. If RBG was genuinely unable to answer a simple question regarding flag protests, as her friend New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested to Couric, any genuine journalist would have immediately sensed the interaction as newsworthy. If RBG understood the question — which it seems to me is the case as she offers a completely coherent and normal answer about spoiled athletes disrespecting the American flag — it would also have been newsworthy. This was the year Colin Kaepernick began his protests. Couric included RGB’s describing the protests as “dumb and disrespectful” because, in our warped discourse, it is far less incendiary than pointing out protesters are bequeathed “decent lives” by their nation. 

7. Federal judge rules New York must allow religious exemptions to vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

From the Post Millennial:  

A federal judge’s ruling on Tuesday says employers in New York’s healthcare sector must allow religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

Presiding Judge Hurd said the state government of New York doesn’t have the authority to ban religious exemptions. 

He issued an injunction that bars the Department of Health from reprimanding employers for granting religious exemptions to staff. 

In addition: “The Department of Health is barred from taking any action, disciplinary or otherwise, against the licensure, certification, residency, admitting privileges or other professional status or qualification of any of the plaintiffs on account of their seeking or having obtained a religious exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

8. Drug overdose deaths hit record high during pandemic 12-month period 

From the Washington Examiner: 

Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States reached an all-time high over the course of a 12-month period at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Wednesday, with provisional data showing that over the course of a 12-month period ending in March 2021, the number of deaths from drug overdoses reached a high of 96,779. 

9. Virtue vs. Virtue Signaling

From First Things: 

The classical educators who gathered in Annapolis last weekend could be described as elite in the humanist sense. They take seriously the call to cultivate “true nobility,” that is, moral and intellectual excellence. But the type of education they are devoted to is no longer that of the social elite. It’s countercultural, even a touch populist.

It’s an education fired by a sense of urgency to preserve precious things in danger of being destroyed. By contrast, the values embraced by (so-called) elite American prep schools and Ivy League universities are now utterly different from and incompatible with classical education. As those of us in education are all too aware, the “elite” schools are now determined to transform their students into political activists. Students are to learn what to think, not how to think. Being elite now means holding a particular set of ideas, not a set of virtues. Virtue is signaled, not acquired. 

The classical authors—Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, and the like—on this view are all tainted with sexism, racism, and white supremacy. To read them uncatechized or uncensored might undermine the pure doctrine of Wokery. Censorship is hard work, and explaining why an author is morally defective only leads students to ask, “So why do we have to read this awful book?” Hence the growing trend among the wokerati to exclude such dangerous authors from the curriculum entirely.

10. California inmates earn college degrees at 1st graduation ceremony held inside state prison

From Today: 

California State Prison in Los Angeles County made history Tuesday when 25 inmates received their Bachelor of Arts degrees in communication studies, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said

The students earned their diplomas thanks to a partnership with California State University, Los Angeles and the graduation marked the first graduation inside a state prison from the California State University system. 

According to figures from 2018-2019, CDCR says inmates who notch an academic benchmark while in prison are 40% less likely to resume criminal activity than those who don’t finish a form of education.