Daily Headlines | Tuesday October 12, 2021

Good Morning! 

William Shakespeare famously wrote, “Love all, trust few.” 

Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to do both: 

1.   Scientists corrode public trust when they pretend to have authority on social and political matters. 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

If scientists expect their statements to be trusted, they must themselves be trustworthy in making them. One had better be scrupulously honest before asking people to surrender their own judgment and simply believe what they are told. Scientists should be especially careful not to misrepresent political or policy judgments as being scientific. And they must protest vigorously and loudly when other influential people claim to speak in the name of science while misrepresenting it. 

When reasonable people cease to trust science in one case, how will one persuade them in another? By the end of the Soviet Union, almost no one trusted government statements about natural disasters or man-made catastrophes like Chernobyl. How will we handle the next crisis about which scientific understanding has something to contribute when scientists are known to base statements on policy preferences? That is part of the cost of the Lancet scientists’ accusation and of Dr. Fauci’s lack of candor. 

The greater danger to the public’s trust in science comes not from the uneducated but from politicians and journalists who claim to speak in the name of science. Still more, it comes from scientists themselves, either because of what they say publicly in the name of science or their failure to correct others’ misrepresentations of it. 

2.   Masks Are Changing How Kids Interact 

From The Atlantic: 

“Even for adults, it is difficult to recognize faces in masks,” says Changhong Liu, a psychologist at Bournemouth University, in the U.K., who studies face recognition. People process faces holistically, he told me, taking in all the features in combination—which is impossible when some of those features are obstructed by a mask, or even sunglasses. And until about age 14, children are still developing their facial-recognition skills. 

Some psychologists and educators worry that such impairment in facial processing can lead to a spate of challenges with socialization and communication. Kids may find reading people’s emotions through masks particularly difficult. And for children who are meeting new classmates for the first time while masked, recognition difficulties can slow down the getting-to-know-you process and, in the long run, hinder the development of trust. England opted not to require children to wear masks in elementary school, at least for the time being; according to The New York Times, both the Conservative and Labour Parties are concerned that masks make communication harder for kids. The World Health Organization also recommended that schools weigh potential “psychosocial development” concerns when deciding mask requirements for children ages 6 through 12.   

Over 60 GOP Members of Congress Demand Answers From DOJ For Targeting Parents 

From Townhall: 

This week, over 60 Republican Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding answers as to why the Department is targeting parents who oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT) and mask mandates in schools. 

In Garland’s memo to the FBI, he wrote that there’s been a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”  

In the letter from Congress, they ask Garland for specific examples of “criminal conduct” perpetrated by parents toward school board members and for insight regarding how these investigations will be carried out. Furthermore, they emphasize how silencing parents who oppose ideology weaved into their child’s curriculum violates their Constitutional rights. 

4.   Why Are Moms Like Me Being Called Domestic Terrorists? 

From an avowed liberal, writing for Common Sense with Bari Weiss

Over the last four years, I have actively participated in many raucous school board meetings where board members, and even the New York City school chancellor, have been shouted down by parents who refused to be ignored. I have never raised my voice to make a point, but I have sat next to those who have. They are sincere parents exercising their civil liberties. 

You may disagree with parents like me who do not want our children indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory, masked during recess, or told that their biological sex is is not real. But in a free society, we don’t call the feds to police our fellow Americans because we don’t share their politics.  

In the summer of 2020, many elected officials joined the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Mask and social-distancing mandates were waived, while looting and rioting went mostly unprosecuted. We were told that this was what justice looked like, that this was the price of our long overdue racial reckoning. By contrast, in 2021, few elected officials have publicly aligned themselves with parents — rich and poor and of every color — who are outraged that their children are being denied a decent education by ideological zealots. There will be no waivers for these moms and dads. These people — who dare to question the conventional wisdom, who are not so quick to submit to the powers that be — have no friends in high places. Instead, they are being treated as possible criminals. 

They’re not. We’re not. We are parents, and we have every right to speak passionately and publicly about our children’s education. To post on social media. To write open letters to school board members. To submit op-eds to newspapers. To form advocacy organizations with other parents. To organize protests. To show up to school board meetings. 

That’s not domestic terrorism. It’s good parenting. It’s patriotism. And it’s a basic American right — one we all need to defend. 

States Pass 106 New Pro-Life Laws So Far in 2021, A New Record 

From The Daily Citizen: 

States have passed a record-breaking 106 new pro-life laws so far in 2021. This easily surpasses the cumulative number of pro-life laws that have been enacted in any other single year since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade 48 years ago. 

Though reading the news can often be depressing and infuriating, pro-life supporters should take a moment to celebrate this monumental achievement. The pro-life movement is gaining ground across America. 

The Case for Overturning Roe

From National Affairs: 

Roe and Casey grafted onto the Constitution a vision of what it means to be and to flourish as a human being that isolates mother and child, pitting them against one another in a zero-sum conflict between strangers, one of whom is recognized as a human person while the other is deemed a sub-personal being whose moral and legal status is contingent upon the private judgment of others. In response to the bodily, psychic, and financial burdens of unwanted pregnancy and parenthood, it offers no support for the persons involved. Indeed, it offers nothing more than the license to terminate a developing human life — and not just any life, but the life of the mother’s own child. Such a license is suited to atomized individual wills inhabiting a world of strife; it is not well-designed to address the complex needs of a community of embodied, vulnerable, and interdependent human beings. 

Nothing in the Constitution or the Court’s role requires such a deleterious framing of the complex human relationships at stake. The Court has no business in this space. It should remove itself from it and restore to the people’s elected representatives the authority to pursue laws and policies designed to meet the genuine needs of the vulnerable families involved in these often-tragic situations. 

California Just Made It Easier for the Terminally Ill to Commit Suicide 

From The Daily Citizen: 

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 380 (SB380) into law recently, which streamlines the process for terminally ill patients to kill themselves using drugs prescribed by medical doctors. Suicide is morally troubling to begin with, but the drive to make it not only legal, but easy to commit, is disturbing on many levels. 

In the handful of states where it is legal, assisted suicide is permitted for mentally competent, but terminally ill people, with six months or less to live. In California, a law passed in 2015 has required two diagnoses by different doctors of the terminal illness, 15 days apart. The 15-day waiting period is a built-in safeguard to prevent patients from making ill-considered decisions based either on the pain they might be experiencing, or other factors driving their decision. 

Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less 

From Slate: 

If someone built a tool that made Facebook less addictive—a tool that allowed users to benefit from Facebook’s positive features while limiting their exposure to its negative ones—how would Facebook respond? 

I know the answer, because I built the tool, and Facebook squashed it. This summer, Facebook sent me a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action. It permanently disabled my Facebook and Instagram accounts. And it demanded that I agree to never again create tools that interact with Facebook or its other services. 

The tool I created, a browser extension called Unfollow Everything, allowed users to delete their News Feed by unfollowing their friends, groups, and pages. The News Feed, as users of Facebook know, is that never-ending page that greets you when you log in. It’s the central hub of Facebook. It’s also a major source of revenue. As a Facebook whistleblower observed on 60 Minutes on Sunday, time spent on the platform translates to ads viewed and clicked on, which in turn translates to billions of dollars for Facebook. The News Feed is the thing that keeps people glued to the platform for hours on end, often on a daily basis; without it, time spent on the network would drop considerably. 

Superman is Now Bisexual

Adam Holz writes for Plugged In: 

It’s not surprising, really, even if it might feel shocking to put it that bluntly. DC Comics has been trending this direction for a long time.  

The comic book world’s “it is what it is” embrace of a pro-LGBTQ worldview is itself a part of a much larger trend in every part of the entertainment world. Virtually every television show and most movies have a gay character these days, and so do many kids’ shows (including Arthur; My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic; Rugrats; Doc McStuffins; Andi Mack; Gravity Falls and 14 others detailed here.) Both rap and country music—traditionally more culturally conservative on this issue—now have high-profile advocates in artists such as Lil Nas X and Kacey Musgraves, among others.  

Many in mainstream culture have celebrated this culture shift. Those of us who maintain a traditional, orthodox biblical conviction with regard to sexuality increasingly find ourselves on the defensive, especially when it comes to raising children in this confusing age. So how should we respond? 

First, and this is hard for some of us, realize that the proverbial genie isn’t going back in the bottle. We may wish it was 2005 or 1985 or 1955 or earlier, as if that would solve the problem. But it’s not, and it won’t. This is the cultural moment in which we find ourselves, a moment that is desperately looking for transcendent purpose and meaning in sexuality—not unlike the cultural environment that the Apostle Paul faced in cities like Corinth and Ephesus.  

Second, it’s important to understand how we got here. This cultural shift hasn’t happened overnight.  

Third, we must recognize what’s at stake and commit to engaging in this philosophical and theological war for our children’s hearts, minds and souls.  

Fourth, our conversation with our kids, as uncomfortable as it may seem, must be built on a theological foundation that understands the purpose and place of sexuality as God has designed it.  

Finally, those philosophical cornerstones lead to practical and concrete considerations. Some stories are simply toxic, in both their imagery and their worldview. We will avoid those, even as we look for opportunities to teach and critique the culture’s worldview in other areas, embracing what is true, noble, beautiful and good (see Philippians 4:8) and teaching our children to recognize distortions of those virtues.   

So … Superman has come out. Surprised? Don’t be. But at the same time, realize that you, too, have a chance to be a superhero in your family as you help your children to learn what God had in mind when He created male and female, gave them to one another in marriage, and declared it very good.  

10. Hospice workers help couple in their 90s take the wedding photos they never had 

From Today: 

There was no time to get a photographer or even a wedding gown when Royce King and his wife, Frankie, got married on his whirlwind, two-day leave in 1944 before he went overseas to fight in World War II. 

Seventy-seven years later, the couple from Iowa finally have some beautiful wedding photos to cherish. 

Royce, 98, and Frankie, 97, had a special 77th anniversary on Sept. 16 thanks to the staff at St. Croix Hospice who help care for the couple at the Kings’ home in Oelwein, Iowa. 

They found a vintage 1940s wedding gown for Frankie, and Royce wore his Air Force uniform as they held an anniversary celebration in their backyard on a beautiful sunny day. Flowers from the patio were turned into a bouquet for Frankie, and a music therapist from St. Croix played some 1940s standards as Frankie walked down the “aisle.” 

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