Daily Headlines | Tuesday August 9, 2022

Good Morning!

Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich triggered a wave of global fear in the late 1960s and early ’70s with the release of his book, Population Bomb. The entomologist predicted “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death” and “nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

The secular “Doomsday Prophet” is now 90, and despite over a half-century of evidence to the contrary, he continues to suggest the world is overpopulated – by nearly five billion people.

Søren Kierkegaard was right: “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Here is truth:

 

Baby Blues: How to Face the Church’s Growing Fertility Crisis 

From Christianity Today:

Birth rates in the United States are near record lows, but not for everyone.

Under the surface of the fertility decline is a little-noticed fact: Births have declined much more among nonreligious Americans than among the devout.

Data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 1982 to 2019, along with data from four waves of the Demographic Intelligence Family Survey (DIFS) from 2020 to 2022, point to a widening gap in fertility rates between more religious and less religious Americans.

In recent years, the fertility gap by religion has widened to unprecedented levels. But while this difference may comfort some of the faithful who hope higher fertility rates will ultimately yield stable membership in churches and synagogues, these hopes may be in vain. Rates of conversion into unfaith are too high, and fertility rates too low, to yield stable religious populations.

From 2010 to 2013, nonreligious women had about the same birth rates as women who attended religious services less than weekly, before their fertility slumped through 2019.

Here’s the most notable takeaway: Virtually 100 percent of the decline in fertility in the United States from 2012 to 2019 can be explained through a combination of two factors: growing numbers of religious women leaving the faith, along with declining birth rates among the nonreligious.

 

RELATED: 

Your neighborhood may be lowering your chances of having children 

From Study Finds:

Your zip code can affect who you hang out with, your personality, and even who you end up meeting and marrying. Now, a new study suggests that where you live also affects whether or not you’ll have children. Researchers from Oregon State University found that people in socioeconomically challenged neighborhoods are 20 percent less likely to conceive than people living in middle-class or affluent areas.

The team adds that understanding the relationship between residency and pregnancy could help people currently having trouble getting pregnant or who are infertile.

“The world of fertility research is beginning to examine factors associated with the built environment. There are dozens of studies looking at how your neighborhood environment is associated with adverse birth outcomes, but the pre-conception period is heavily under-studied from a structural standpoint,” says lead author Mary Willis, a postdoctoral scholar in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, in a university release. “Turns out, before you’re even conceived, there may be things affecting your health.”

 

2.   North Carolina Schools to Stock AR-15s to Prevent Uvalde Repeat 

From National Review: 

Prompted by the Uvalde massacre that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May, a North Carolina county is preparing for future active-shooter situations by supplying its schools’ law enforcement officers with AR-15 rifles.

At the start of the fall semester in a couple weeks, each of the district’s six schools will keep one of the firearms inside a safe, Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood, who helped lead the initiative, told NBC News.

The North Carolina school district and sheriff’s office are working to bolster school security and prevent a repeat of the mistakes of the Uvalde tragedy, in which a gunman stormed a Texas elementary school and unleashed a murderous rampage without meeting armed police deterrence.

 

3.   More parents removing their children from public education 

From the Washington Times: 

Not only children are abandoning public schools. Many teachers have also checked out. The Washington Post reports: “The teacher shortage in America has hit crisis levels — and school officials everywhere are scrambling to ensure that, as students return to classrooms, someone will be there to educate them.”

Speaking about the shortage of teachers, Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendent Association, told the Post: “I have never seen it this bad.”

The question is: What kind of classroom will public school kids return to? Will it be like classrooms in Portland, Oregon, where children as young as five will be taught transgender ideology, sexual orientation and, reports The Washington Times, “the role of ‘white colonizers’ in marginalizing LGBTQ people”?

With the proliferation of private schools, more readily available resources for homeschooling and school choice in growing numbers of states, more parents are withdrawing their children from public schools.

The public school system, increasingly dominated by left-wing political and social ideology, has long been in need of reform, or burial. The trend seems to be headed in the burial direction, like previous aging monopolies.

 

Inflation Reduction Act Misnamed, According to Experts. What it Means for Families. 

From the Daily Citizen:

The slimmed down version of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act known as the Inflation Reduction Act, passed the Senate over the weekend along strict party lines.

Not surprisingly, reaction to the bill’s passage was partisan in nature.

“Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share,” Mr. Biden said in a White House press statement.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told Fox News Digital, “The only way the Inflation Reduction Act will decrease inflation is by raising taxes on middle-income and lower-income families so that they don’t have money to spend,” he said. “In health care, we call that killing the patient to heal the disease. It is not how to treat American taxpayers

Frustration with government and its representatives is nothing new, of course. You’ll recall the passage in the Gospel of Matthew when the Pharisees tried to trip up Jesus by asking Him whether it was lawful to pay taxes to the Roman emperor Caesar.

“Show me the coin used for paying the tax?” requested Jesus. After they did, Jesus asked, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Jesus then replied. “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

At the heart of Jesus’ response was a reminder that even though the religious people didn’t like the secular government, the mere fact they had the coins and used them was an indication they were part of the system itself. As the old saying goes, “In for a dime, in for a dollar.”

Furthermore, we know from reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (13:1).

In other words – God will often allow what He might not even like. But it’s up to us to do our part by putting feet to our faith and working for policies more in line with biblical beliefs. Jesus’ command to give to God what is God’s should also challenge us. We may not like to pay taxes, and for any number of reasons. So much of our tax dollars are wasted on foolish and even immoral things. Yet are we also giving to God what we should? Are we obeying God’s commands to turn all of ourselves over to Him?

 

‘Inside Higher Ed’ Calls Christian View of Marriage ‘Homophobic’ – CCCU Pushes Back 

From the Daily Citizen:

Inside Higher Ed recently published an article titled, “Seattle Pacific sues Washington to keep homophobic policies.”

In response, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) sent a letter to the editor defending Seattle Pacific University’s (SPU) policies.

The letter, written by CCCU Chief Communications Officer Amanda Staggenborg, said, “Embracing Biblical views of marriage as between a man and a woman does not mean religious institutions are hostile to LGBTQ people.

The fracas arose because Washington state Attorney General Robert Ferguson sent a letter to SPU in June, announcing an investigation into the school’s hiring policies.

 

80-year-old Washington state woman banned from YMCA after demanding trans employee leave locker 

From Fox News:

An 80-year-old Washington state woman was permanently banned from her local YMCA pool after demanding that a transgender employee leave the women’s locker room, she told local media.

“I saw a man in a woman’s bathing suit watching maybe four or five little girls pulling down their suits in order to use the toilet,” Port Townsend resident Julie Jaman recalled of the July incident to Seattle radio show host Dori Monson on Friday. “I asked if he had a penis and he said it was none of my business. I told that man to ‘get out right now.’”

The incident occurred on July 26 at the Mountain View pool, which is a City of Port Townsend facility operated by the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, according to local news outlet Port Townsend Free Press.

Jaman said that she was alerted to the trans employee being in the women’s locker room while she was showering and “heard a man’s voice.”

 

RELATED: 

Gender transitions on children: A tale of two governors 

From the Christian Post: 

As major figureheads for their respective political parties, Newsom and DeSantis offer the American electorate a snapshot of two very different paths the country can take. With California and Florida as the examples, Americans will have to choose, come November, if the United States is going to be a nation that protects children or one that experiments on them.

 

7. Over 80 Years Ago, Mount Rushmore’s Sculptor Warned About Woke and Cancel Culture Mob 

From the Daily Citizen:

Known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” the 60-foot-tall carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills were completed in 1941 – long before the rise of cancel culture.

Yet, would it surprise you that the man responsible for creating the majestic monument foresaw the push to erase our nation’s history – even going so far as to warn against the onslaught by making it difficult, if not impossible, to ignore his beloved country’s heritage?

His name was John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum – better known as Gutzon Borglum. Like many people in history, he was complicated – and controversial. A revolutionary sculptor who presided over the colossal South Dakota construction project beginning in 1927 until his death in 1941 at the age of 74, Borglum’s life and career were unconventional, and on many levels.

Just seven months before his death, Borglum met at the near completed monument with newspaper reporter David Perlman. The two men went up together in a cable car and stepped out onto the wooden scaffolding erected on the mountain.

“Every nation, when it becomes truly great, builds its monuments in its own likeness,” Borglum reflected. “Yet every nation, in time, falls prey to conquerors and those conquerors strip away their monuments because they would be a reminder that an earlier age was great.”

He continued:

“It was this thought that made me conceive originally of placing our great national records high on cliffs, on rocks of communally useless materials.”

At the core of Borglum’s prediction/observation is an understanding of human nature. Without our vigilance and maintenance, history can be revised and even obliterated. We cannot and should not let this happen. After all, with the push of a button, the big tech titans are attempting to erase and seemingly change history.

Not so with Mount Rushmore, whose four chiseled and celebrated faces continue to stand watch no matter the weather – a good reminder that imperfect and ordinary people of any era who are willing to serve others can make a difference for generations to come.

 

Want to increase economic mobility for yourself and others? Make friends at church 

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Chetty and his colleagues examined the social networks of 72.2 million Facebook users ages 25 to 44 and made some interesting observations about how personal connections foster mobility.

They found that children raised in environments with a higher rate of friendships between people of low and high socioeconomic status have much higher rates of upward mobility. That means, as Chetty explained in The New York Times, they have a much better shot of rising out of poverty. Forging those friendships, however, isn’t always easy — and not always because people are reticent to make friends across socioeconomic lines. The researchers found, for example, that people of lower socioeconomic status tend to develop most of the relationships within their neighborhoods, where there is less socioeconomic diversity.

Wealthier people tend to make lasting friendships in college, where the same is often true. That’s what the researchers call an “exposure” issue. What’s interesting, however, is that when poorer people attend college and therefore increase their exposure to people of higher socioeconomic status, they are still less likely to form friendships with their wealthier peers, a phenomenon the researchers call “friending bias.”

 

The Right Way to Vent at Work 

From the Wall Street Journal:

There’s a right way to blow off steam, says Liane Davey, a Toronto-based industrial-organizational psychologist. There’s no need to pretend everything is sunny all the time, but if you must air your annoyances, do so carefully and consciously, says Dr. Davey, who coaches executive teams through conflict.

Don’t vent to your boss, or to colleagues below you in the org. chart, she advises—that will just spark fighting between teams. Pick someone you trust, who isn’t already entangled in the situation that triggered you.

Focus the most revealing parts of your rant around yourself and how you’re feeling. Keep your comments about co-workers and bosses objective. For example, instead of saying, “Bob was rude,” note that Bob interrupted you, and that made you feel like he doesn’t have confidence in your work. Expressing yourself that way ensures you come off as mature, Dr. Davey says, and not flinging blame.

Wrap up with an action or plan. Do you need to talk with the co-worker who lobbed the comment that set you off, or slip out for a walk to further dial down the pressure?

In addition to blessing us with extra fodder for complaints, the past few years have multiplied the ways in which we can broadcast them. Type an angry missive in Slack, shoot off an agitated voice text to your partner, grab your co-worker in the hallway the one day a week you’re in the office together, eyes radiating: “That meeting just sent me over the edge.”

Keep it off-screen if you can, since anything written will always be risky, Dr. Davey notes. Play it safe and try venting to yourself first in a voice memo.

RELATED: 

Watch what you EMOJI! Expert warns how using smiley emoticons at work could land you in hot water 

From the Daily Mail:

Emojis have become a key part of corporate communications thanks to the pandemic – which saw a huge surge in the number of people forced to chat with their colleagues over online applications like Slack and Zoom.

However, while emojis are seen by some as an ideal way to quickly and effectively express their thoughts and feelings, their increased usage has also led to some very awkward miscommunication between colleagues thanks to differing views on what each emoticon actually means.

A picture may well be worth a thousand words – but it turns out an emoji could be worth a few very awkward interactions.

While they’ve become commonplace in a text message or on social media, it’s important to consider if they should be used and which emojis should be used, if any in the office.

 

10.  RIP David McCullough, Whose Warm Voice and Poignant Storytelling Helped Us to Love History Even More 

From the Daily Citizen:

David McCullough, the bestselling author known as the “Historian of America” who died Sunday at the age of 89, often described his childhood growing up in Pittsburgh as idyllic.

Why?

He was raised in a family with a mother and father who read to him, and who taught their four sons to love and appreciate history.

“To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure,” McCullough reflected “It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is.”

McCullough, who once described writing as “talking on paper,” would say his mother and father taught him “the gift of gab.”

Beyond his love of family and his excellent books, articles and speeches was his own appreciation for the gifts he was given.

“Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love,” he once said.

He added:

“The reward of the work has always been the work itself, and more so the longer I’ve been at it. The days are never long enough, and I’ve kept the most interesting company imaginable with people long gone.”

David McCullough is now gone, too, but thankfully, his life’s work endures in print and other media.

Requiescat in pace.

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