Is the GOP really bent on political suicide?

If they keep following the path they’re on, then apparently the answer is yes.  Here’s just another example of why the Republican Party deserves to die.

“How to Lose the Majority in One Easy Step.” That’s the book Republicans could write if they listen to their pro-abortion fringe over the millions of voters who put them in charge. As usual, the GOP is trying to balance the wishes of 52 senators with very different priorities on health care. But there’s one piece of the Obamacare repeal that has never been up for debate — and that’s the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Americans handed the keys to the Republican Party in November with the understanding that they’d finish the job they started in 2015: ending the forced partnership between taxpayers and America’s biggest abortion business. Now, with more than a dozen undercover videos of the group’s activities (most of which aren’t only callous, but lawless), there’s never been more urgency to cancel the half-billion dollar check to the organization.

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But, despite the hours of tape and reams of evidence from the House’s Select Investigative Panel, there are still two “Republican” senators willing to torpedo the entire health care overhaul in support of a group caught laughing about the decapitation of unborn babies. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) flew to Planned Parenthood’s defense, telling reporters that defunding Richards’s business (which is rolling in $77.5 million in profits) shouldn’t “even be part of the discussion about health care.” She’s right. This should have never been part of the discussion. After all, abortion isn’t health care, and that’s the only thing Planned Parenthood seems to provide to women consistently. Three hundred twenty-eight thousand a year to be exact.

But in a disturbing new development, both Fox News and Politico are reporting that more Republicans may be willing to “give” on the pro-life provisions to pass the health care bill. I agree with my friend Todd Starnes: “That would be the end of the Republican Party. Period. Exclamation Point.” The only reason the American Health Care Act squeaked out of the House was because a number of conservatives thought gutting Planned Parenthood’s funding and ending taxpayer funding of abortion was important enough to override their other concerns. If that firewall is removed, the repeal will go down in flames. The strong support from pro-lifers in the House (and groups on the Hill) would vanish. Then what? The GOP would have failed once again to make good on their decade-old pledge to end Obamacare. And the American people wouldn’t nearly be as forgiving this time, because they’ll have had every tool at their disposal: control of Congress, the White House, and the backing of voters.

Study attacks calling breastfeeding “natural” as unethical

This woman (and of course the people responsible for this “study” – if you can use the term so loosely) may be some of the stupidest, un-educated, and un-scientific people I have encountered.  Right… breastfeeding isn’t natural; it’s natural for dads to feed babies formula; and people didn’t used to rely on breastfeeding they way they do today – it’s some new, phenomenon.  The lack of ability to think is astounding.  The lack of historical or biological knowledge is dumbfounding.  This woman has clearly never been around or even met a real breastfeeding mom.  She thinks “breastfeeding is not beautiful; it’s horrible.”  Tell that to all the happily breastfeeding moms and babies out there, lady.

A Few Spots of Hope

The GOP might be mostly worthless (and possibly traitorous), but we have had a few hopeful developments this week.

Trump Reins in Federal Role in Education, Common Core

President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order doing something unprecedented: establishing as the official policy of the federal government to “protect and preserve State and local control over” our nation’s education system.

You can watch the press conference and official signing of the document online.

President Trump’s executive order also directs U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review every single regulation, guidance document, or other publication from the U.S. Department of Education to see whether any of them violate laws limiting the federal role in education. The order specifically directs the secretary of education to “rescind or revise” any such regulations or guidance documents “no later than 300 days’ from yesterday…

In recognizing the primacy of these laws [No Child Left Behind & Every Student Succeeds Act], President Trump’s executive order is unique. Past presidents—from both political parties—have often used such directives to increase federal control over various aspects of society, including education. Whenever the federal government increases its role in education, children suffer, as bureaucrats far removed from parents, teachers, and locally elected school boards exert their will over how our students are educated.

The order also singles out the “Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative” as one specific area where state and local control over education has been attacked.

Executive Order Recognizes Religious Freedom

After an eight-year war on faith, President Trump finally called a ceasefire on the conflict started by Barack Obama with an executive order on religious freedom. The measure, which was celebrated in a signing ceremony at the White House, was the fulfillment of one of the most significant promises made by the longshot candidate: “to preserve and protect our religious liberty.” …

Among other things, the directive checks another big box on the White House’s to-do list — lifting the gag order on churches and other nonprofits under the Johnson Amendment. Since the first days of his candidacy, Donald Trump has railed against the 60-year-old piece of tax code that liberals have turned into a club to punish pastors with. For too long, the Left has used the IRS to threaten the charitable status of churches who dared to speak out on the moral issues of the day…

Medical professionals, charities, businesses, and even nuns who’ve suffered under the outrageous mandate of Obamacare will finally have the relief they need to say no to insurance coverage that violates their conscience. After years of court battles, they’ll be free from regulatory harassment of including contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans. But that’s not all the order does. It sets in place a multi-step process that will provide some long-overdue protections by directing the Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop guidelines for every federal agency to ensure they protect and promote religious freedom. This includes members of our military, who, under the Obama administration, have been systematically silenced and even purged. Men and women like Chaplain Wes Modder (U.S. Navy-Ret.) and Monifa Sterling, who stared down the ends of their careers for their deeply-held beliefs, can finally come out of hiding and live out their faith openly.

Finally, for our friends like Barronelle Stutzman and Don Vander Boon, who’ve suffered for their biblical views on marriage, there’s hope. As President Trump said, “No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” President Trump told those of us gathered in the Rose Garden for today’s ceremony. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore,” the president said. “We will never ever stand for religious discrimination.”

And finally one that might not pan out, but here’s hoping…

Republicans Back Pact to Gut Obamacare

By a 217-213 vote, the House advanced the mission the Americans elected them for — defunding the nation’s biggest abortion group and gutting an unsustainable and unconscionable law. Despite almost three months of drama, the GOP managed to pull together a coalition that put the American Health Care Act (AHCA) over the top, fulfilling a major pledge the president’s party has campaigned on since 2010… House leaders have struck a compromise that lowers premiums, boosts freedom, and protects taxpayers and the unborn.

Today’s win was a long time coming for pro-lifers, who watched with revulsion every David Daleiden video detailing the horrors of Cecile Richards’s group. For once, the moral injustice done to taxpayers has a voice: Congress’s. There was the usual phony panic from Planned Parenthood, which insisted that if Congress didn’t send them their usual half-billion taxpayer dollars, women’s health care would cease to exist. (What they didn’t mention is that the money would be redirected to thousands of local health clinics — which, incidentally, haven’t been referred for criminal prosecution.) Not surprisingly, they’ve called the effort to defund their organization a “national scandal.” But honestly, the only real scandal is that America has been funding the group as long as it has!

Let’s hope the Senate follows quickly in the House’s footsteps and sends the AHCA to the desk of the pro-life president we’ve been waiting for. It’s time for Donald Trump to make history and bring our nation closer to the day when all human life is protected under law.

 

Is Yoga Evil?

I’ve run across the idea that yoga having come from eastern spiritual tradition was somehow bad, but it always seemed sort of fringe, a little like the fundamentalist freak out over fantasy stories – a bit silly.  But then I ran across this: Yoga: a cautionary tale

This blogger has seemed very reasonable about things in the past, and she’s certainly not being hysterical about it.  I don’t doubt her personal experience, but…?  The one thing that doesn’t seem well-defined is this: is there a way to separate the physical movements just for exercise and lose the Hindu spiritual meaning?  This seems to be implying no, but how is it that the Church is able to transform other pagan practices but apparently not this one?

AAP on Transgender Kids: Consenting to Sex Change Easier Than Crossing Street

The AAP’s (American Academy of Pediatrics) supportive stance on “trans” kids and all the “gender affirming” treatments for even very young children isn’t based in science and certainly doesn’t follow the medical motto of “first do no harm.”  The AAP is willing to promote the “correct” position (embracing trans “rights” even for 5 year olds) even if the science doesn’t support it (which it most definitely does not).  But who knew?  There’s another professional organization for pediatricians which isn’t completely converged. The American College of Pediatricians takes a decidedly different position.  They recently released this press release:

Consenting to Sex Change Easier than Crossing Street
Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an excerpt, in their AAP Daily Briefing, from a study in the April Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study reported that children under the age of 14 are not cognitively capable of crossing a busy street “because children lack the perceptual judgment and physical skills needed to consistently get across safely.” This same AAP, however, also frequently promotes the claim that children this age or younger are cognitively capable of deciding that they are the wrong sex. Moreover, the AAP also deems children cognitively competent to consent to puberty blockers, toxic sex hormones and mutilating sex reassignment surgery.

Cognitive immaturity and impaired risk assessment during adolescence has always been recognized. That’s why society has long had age restrictions not only for consenting to medical procedures, but also for driving, voting, joining the military, and purchasing alcohol and cigarettes. Dr. Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatricians states,
“Children are not miniature adults. Everyone knows this. Our position statement, The Teenage Brain: Under Construction, documents the cognitive limitations of adolescents that compromise their ability to provide informed consent.”

While the AAP does not dispute any of this research, it appears to heed it only selectively. Apparently, cognitive immaturity is an obstacle to crossing the street but not for giving consent to a sex change. Looks like “correctness” outranks science when science gets in the way of agenda.

What Gender Used to Mean

It isn’t something you “choose” or can “change,”  Yes, the human species has two biological sexes that have innate differences — and that isn’t a bad thing.  What used to be common and unquestioned knowledge not so long ago, is today forgotten by so many. Mama Needs Coffee reminds us about The Beauty of Gender: Our Differences Aren’t Scary, They’re Beautiful (and Essential):

Male and female created he them; and blessed them… – Genesis 5:2

This morning I was strolling a leisurely stroll on the treadmill and enjoying 45 minutes of toddler downtime (thanks, Brandy in kids club) when my eyes drifted to the newsfeed on the bottom of my tv screen where a “breaking news” alert was scrolling.

What constitutes breaking news in 2017? That’s a loaded question. But for this local ABC affiliate station, the answer was “Australia considering banning fairy tales from schools.” I rolled my eyes into my frontal lobe because probably it was offensive to real witches and living fairy godmothers, all that questionable detail Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, etc. go into about their lives and various motivations and ways of being.

But, no.

Apparently, it’s because fairy tales “encourage outdated gender norms” and that children “as young as four” are reportedly manifesting “gender biasing behaviors” in their play and make believe…

 

First of all, kids as young as four display “gender biasing behaviors” because children as young as age four do, in fact, have genders.

Fetuses, it turns out, also have genders… And gender – in parlance common up until just a few short years ago – was basically interchangeable with “sex” – and nobody was going to bat an eye or shred an admission form over it.

Children, like the rest of us, are male or female, and as such, they typically exhibit a few characteristic (but not exclusive) behaviors common to their gender. Boys, for example, as anyone who has ever birthed, raised, or even tangentially known one, are loud and they are intensely physical. Not all boys and not all the time, but overall, there is a certain exuberance that belongs to the male sex that is right and beautiful.

These boys will become men who lend their strong voices to the pursuit of truth and goodness. They will speak up for what is right, and they will take action to defy evil when they see it. Because that is what men are designed to do. Men are action-takers and pursuers of truth by nature. They image God in their strength, both physical and moral. And that is beautiful. (And does not, incidentally, exclude women from being action takers and pursuers of truth.)

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We are foolish when we typecast certain “behaviors” into rigid gender norms and then insist that our children refrain at all cost from manifesting them, should they match up in a way we are currently collectively frowning upon.

What good is there to be gained by discouraging a boy from expressing strength and courage on the playground, whether he is shouting down a bully or rallying his friends to the winning kickball run? And what good is served in correcting a girl who longs to be told that she is beautiful – who in fact has a profound and fundamentally good desire to be affirmed in her beauty on a soul-deep level – that she ought not be concerned with something so trivial or vain?

Conversely, if a boy enjoys cooking and art and a girl is an absolute terror on the lacrosse field, these, too, are good and beautiful manifestations of their particular individual giftedness. This does not indicate a confused or wrongly-assigned gender, but normal and healthy diversity in this thing that we call being human.

Being a mother is intractably a female role; being a hairdresser is not.

While the world frets on about the sexism of fairy tales, about girls dreaming of true love and affirmed beauty, and boys about vanquishing dragons and journeying into uncharted territories, I’ll be sitting here reading Cinderella and the Chronicles of Narnia to all of them, male and female alike. And they will perhaps get different things from the same story. They will perhaps encounter it with their male or female minds and focus on particular aspects which attract or repel them, and that will be fine. That will be good.

Our differences are our strengths, and denying the intricate design of the complementarity between the sexes is to deface the image of the Creator Himself.

The Primal Wound

White girl with a Korean mom thought she was adopted. The truth was more unsettling.

Jessica Kern found out she was born of a surrogate mother. You really need to read her story. One of the things that struck me was the connection between the feelings of the adoptive children, how they long to know their real parents, and the theology of the body. The bond between mother and child cannot be erased or transferred easily.  The church is right to oppose surrogacy.

Kern also talked about the “primal wound,” an idea promulgated by Nancy Verrier in her book of the same name.  In the Breeders documentary, the author explains, “The primal wound is what happens when you separate a baby and its mother.  Babies know their own mother through all their senses, and when for some reason … the baby is separated from that mother, the prenatal bonding is interrupted, there is a trauma that happens to both the baby and the mother, and they both feel as if something is missing within them.”