Daily Headlines | Thursday March 24, 2022

It was Sir Winston Churchill who once wrote:

“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

Focus president Jim Daly would add Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to such a list:

Jim Daly writes:

Americans have been watching and listening with interest to the ongoing confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. A federal appeals court judge and the first black woman to be nominated to the High Court, President Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Bryer possesses a highly decorated resume.

But an academically and professionally accomplished biography doesn’t necessarily equate to suitability for the Supreme Court of the United States.

During the past three days of spirited questioning from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Jackson has confirmed suspicions that she subscribes to an expansive and progressive view of the Constitution.

In other words, she believes it’s acceptable to make the law say whatever you want the law to say.

She has made clear she supports unfettered access to abortion, referring to Roe as “settled law.” She refused to say when she believes life begins. Previously, Judge Jackson co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of an abortion-rights group and ruled against a teen pregnancy prevention group. Finally, she even told Senator Blackburn she was unable to define what a “woman” was – because she wasn’t a biologist.

The tragedy of Judge Jackson’s historic nomination is that as the first black woman justice, she would be in a position to help stop the ongoing and devastating attack on black pre-born babies (who are killed at a disproportionate rate) but has made clear she has no intent nor conviction to do so.

A lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court is one of our nation’s most prestigious assignments. But no person who denies the basic legal rights of innocent individuals deserves to hold such an important position. I urge the Senate to vote “no” on Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination.

RELATED:

‘The View’ Host Says Justice Barrett Deserved A Religious Test — Even Though They’re Illegal

From the Daily Wire:

“The View” host Sara Haines said Wednesday that a religious test — which is unconstitutional — was warranted in the case of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Haines joined her co-hosts on the ABC midday talk show to discuss the ongoing confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson — and she said that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had intentionally trolled Jackson with questions about her religion.

Guest co-host Lindsey Granger began the discussion with a comment about Judge Jackson’s record — and the fact that she had defended detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“You might think it’s theatrical, there’s real substance there,” Granger said, noting that there were dozens of cases in which detainees who were released had returned to terrorist activities. “We don’t want a Supreme Court justice that’s soft on terrorists. Even if a terrorist kills one American and then kills one more, that’s one too many, and we so we have to be tough at some point and understand where she stands because we should all agree that’s a simple concept.”

From ABC TV (Colorado Springs) and the Denver Post:

All that’s left for Colorado to guarantee abortion access in the state is Gov. Jared Polis’ signature after the legislation received its final stamp of approval from the General Assembly on Wednesday.

State senators approved HB22-1279, dubbed the “Reproductive Health Equity Act,” on a party-line vote of 20-15. Democrats brought forward the measure, aimed at proactively protecting abortion rights amid the impending threat of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that made abortion access without excessive government interference a constitutional right.

Focus on the Family’s Nicole Hunt provided strong testimony opposing the deadly legislation:

“Preborn babies deserve to be protected under the law – and not sentenced to death by it. And that’s what this law would do.”

RELATED:

Idaho Governor Signs Law Modeled on Texas Abortion Bill

From National Review:

Idaho governor Brad Little, a Republican, signed a law on Wednesday modeled on Texas’s ban on abortions at detection of a fetal heartbeat.

The Idaho law allows family members of a “preborn child,” including the father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 if they perform an abortion when the fetal heartbeat is discernible. A heartbeat is typically detectable at around six weeks of pregnancy.

“I stand in solidarity with all Idahoans who seek to protect the lives of preborn babies,” Little wrote in a letter to Idaho Senate president and lieutenant governor Janice McGeachin after signing the legislation.

From The Daily Citizen:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released the “ACOG Guide to Language and Abortion” this month. The guide tells OB-GYNs not to use the words “baby” or “unborn child” when talking to a woman about her pregnancy.

ACOG argues, “Centering the language on a future state of a pregnancy is medically inaccurate. As long as the pregnancy continues, the language should reflect the current state.” OB-GYNs are told, “Use instead: Through 8 weeks after last menstrual period, ‘embryo.’ After that point until delivery, ‘fetus.’”

To be most clear and accurate, ACOG might want to have health care practitioners say, “human embryo” or “human fetus.” But that might be too much of a reminder of the humanity of the unborn child developing inside the womb.

And certainly don’t say “womb,” as I just did, because it’s a “a non-medical term that can be used to apply an emotional value to a human organ.”

4. ‘Joni and Friends’ Rescues 250 People with Disabilities from War-Torn Ukraine

From CBN:

As nearly 10 million Ukrainians flee their war-torn cities, there is one population that is being left behind to suffer the trauma with very little help – people with disabilities.

There are approximately 2.7 million disabled persons living in Ukraine. While many have no way out, Joni and Friends, a faith-based ministry, is planning to rescue nearly 50 of them and their caregivers in Eastern Ukraine on Friday, March 25.

“We are still alive. God continues our lives, and that means we can do something for people who need help,” said Galyna, a Joni and Friends In-Country Coordinator in Ukraine.

Galyna has chosen not to leave the country but works tirelessly to secure the safety of those with disabilities, especially orphans.

“Am I afraid? Yes,” she said. “But the right decisions are always the most difficult ones.”

Daily Headlines | Thursday March 24, 2022

5. Divorce Is Down in China, but So Are Marriages

From The New York Times:

Faced with a soaring divorce rate, the ruling Communist Party in China introduced a rule last year to keep unhappy marriages together by forcing couples to undergo a 30-day “cooling off” period before finalizing a divorce.

The rule appears to have worked, according to government statistics released this week, which show a steep drop in divorce filings in 2021.

Local officials have hailed the new rule as a success in the country’s effort to grow families and curb a demographic crisis threatening China’s economy. But the party has a much bigger challenge to reckon with: Fewer and fewer Chinese citizens are getting married in the first place.

Along with the decline in the divorce rate, the number of marriage registrations plunged to a 36-year low in 2021. The fall in marriages has contributed to a plummet in birthrates, a worrying sign in China’s rapidly graying society and a phenomenon more familiar in countries like Japan and South Korea.

Many young Chinese people say they would prefer not to get married, as a job becomes harder to find, competition more fierce and the cost of living less manageable.

“I do not want to get married at all,” said Yao Xing, a 32-year-old bachelor who lives in the city of Dandong, near China’s border with North Korea. His parents are pressuring him to get married and have children, but Mr. Yao said his job buying and selling kitchenware had made it hard to keep a steady income, which he sees as a prerequisite to marriage. Besides, he added, many women don’t want to get married anyway.

“I think more and more people around me don’t want to get married, and the divorce rate and marriage rate in China have dropped significantly, which I think is an irreversible trend,” Mr. Yao said.

From Fox News Radio (28:20 Mark) (Paul Batura)

She was born Marie Jana Korbelova – the daughter of a government press agent in Czechoslovakia – and a member of a family forced to flee Hitler’s wrath at the start of World War II.

As a little girl, she spent nights in bomb shelters and under a kitchen table as the Luftwaffe indiscriminately strafed civilian neighborhoods in England. She saw war and death, and too much of both.

Little Marie survived the war and returned with her family to Prague. But Communism and Marxism was on the march. Her concerned parents sent her to a school in Switzerland, then to London – and finally, to America.

Marie soon discovered that anything is possible here in the United States – even growing up to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the early 1990s and then the first female Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton during his second term.

That woman – Madeleine Albright, who died Wednesday at the age of 84, found her way from bomb shelters of World War II to the bright lights of Washington D.C. and the highest stakes diplomatic circles of the world.

Historians will forever debate the advice she gave the president. Time and circumstance will ultimately render a final verdict.

Progressives of today like to run down the United States, but where else in the world can a little girl run from the evils of Nazism and into the Oval Office in our nation’s Capital to advise the president.

Regardless of where your political loyalties may lie, the remarkable trajectory of Madeleine Albright’s life is another reminder of just how exceptional America is – and just how exceptional America has always been.

From the Christian Post:

Pop star Justin Bieber shared with fans how God helped his wife, Hailey Bieber, after she suffered a blood clot in her brain.

One week after his supermodel wife was rushed to the hospital after exhibiting stroke-like symptoms due to a blood clot in her brain, the artist shared at his March 16 concert in Denver, Colorado, how the health scare impacted his family.

“You know, it’s kind of crazy how life throws you curveballs,” he said during an unplanned break in his concert routine due to a brief power outage that blew out his video monitors and lights.

The Biebers, who have been married for three years, identify as Christians. And the singer gave God the glory for his bride’s recovery.

“I know for a fact that God has her in the palms of His hands, and that’s a good thing,” Bieber testified.

From the Gospel Coalition:

Parenting still offers daily challenges. But I find the weight of those challenges so much lighter when I have a right view of God—and of my responsibility in light of his ability. My responsibility is chaff on the scale; just a sliver of his ability knocks the scale to the ground. Same with my love for my daughter compared to God’s love for her.

Daily Bible reading with our children is not a magic bullet. While there’s no guaranteed formula for faithfulness, we are still called to follow God’s command to “Train up a child in the way he should go,” praying that “even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

Imagine you want to match up a friend with a great guy you know. What do you do? You set up ways for them to meet. You talk about him in conversation. And you pray for the Lord’s hand in that relationship. Your job is making the introduction and creating opportunities for their lives to intersect. The “great guy” is responsible for building the relationship.

Reading the Bible together is one of the ways I set up my daughter to meet Jesus. My words and my actions are how I talk about him in my daily life. And I pray for her. But God is ultimately responsible for building that relationship. And in that truth, there is rest amid all of parenting’s labor.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Covid-19 pandemic has driven up death rates for heart disease and strokes in the U.S., a new study demonstrated, widening already significant racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.

Mortality rates from heart disease and stroke rose 4.3% and 6.4% respectively in 2020, part of a larger wave of excess deaths in the first year of the pandemic, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open. Overall, the U.S. mortality rate jumped 15.9% that year, according to the analysis, which was based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart disease has long been the nation’s leading killer, and stroke is the fifth leading cause of death.

Progress in reducing deaths from both had slowed substantially in the years before the pandemic, after decades of success.

10. Small in Stature But a Giant in Life

From The Daily Citizen:

The world lost one of its guiding lights last week with the passing of Alice von Hildebrand at the age of 98. While small in stature, she was as Michael Warshaw, the head of ETWN and publisher of the National Catholic Register, rightly observed “a giant among Catholic women in the 20th century.”

In 1940, Alice and her sister fled their native Belgium by ship after the Nazis had invaded their country. One night they were awakened by a shipboard alarm. Running out of their cabin, they found that their ship was staring face-to-face with a Nazi submarine which threatened to torpedo their ship – giving the occupants only one hour to secure safety on one of the ship’s lifeboats. Alice and her sister looked around and saw that all the lifeboats were full, and their hearts sank – fearing that they would soon be dead.

Then miraculously, their lives were spared. The submarine that had threatened to torpedo the ship suddenly sailed off, leaving Alice, her sister, and the others to continue their voyage to America. Alice would later write, “The experience was overwhelming and convinced me of God’s goodness.”

As she told the National Catholic Register in 2014: “The great tragedy of today is that truth has been replaced by preferences, goodness by whim, and beauty by ‘fun.’ In my 37 years of teaching, the overwhelming majority of students I encountered were of the belief that truth, goodness, and beauty were relative: They were whatever you want to make of them … The reality is far different. We are in a severe moral crisis in which the eternal truths have been exchanged for temporary fads.”

She said, “I think man should thank God for being a man because he’s given a very clear mission to protect. A woman should thank God for being a woman because her special mission in life is to give life, to corroborate with God.”

She would later add, “If you want to know what is the pulse of the country, go to the university and find out if they teach the students truth. Believe me, relativism is a poison that leads a country to its destruction.”

Alice von Hildebrand left us with a legacy of how to speak and live the truth with effortless grace and brio, without fear. For that, we should all be thankful and strive to model her example in our words and actions – drawing people closer to God while challenging spiritual drift in the public square. Hers was a model of how to live and how to die – and how to live again.

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