How to prepare for the coming crackdown, challenges facing the pro-life movement (and other stories)

A roundup of important news from around the interwebs.

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On Friday, January 29, Portugal’s parliament legalized euthanasia. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is asking people to urge the president to veto the bill.

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Rod Dreher published an interesting list of tips on how to prepare for the coming crackdown at The American Conservative. A short excerpt:

From a technology perspective, from a practical perspective, we need to realize we lived without social media platforms in the past, and we can live happily without them in the future. Anything we post on social media must be something we are willing to account for publicly, as if it was getting printed for public record, because that’s exactly what our online and social media comments, posts, blogs are: Public Record. As we witnessed with Parler, no platform or app should be considered private — not Signal, not ProtonMail, despite them being advertised as encrypted. Again, if there’s something you need to say that you don’t want a public record of, you should not be using any means of technology to communicate it.

Also, if we haven’t learned it by now, our smartphones, their cameras and microphones, are windows into our most private spaces, into our very personal lives. While I personally believe my posts, my pictures and videos should be my data, even when posted in a public facing forum, that’s obviously not the case. If I take a picture and hold it up in the middle of a city, that picture in my hand is still my personal property. I believe the same should hold true in our online forums, but that’s not the case.

Read the whole thing—it is interesting and timely.

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At National Review Online, my friend Dr. Michael New summarizes the challenges the pro-life movement faces under a Biden Administration.

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A 49-year-old father, writing anonymously to the New York Post for fear of retribution, writes of his growing concern about what his 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son are being taught in Manhattan public schools. An excerpt:

In 2017, our 5-year-old son came home from kindergarten and said he was studying a famous teenage transgender girl in school. I’d never heard of her, but he said her name was Jazz Jennings (formerly a boy who transitioned a few years ago and has so far had three gender reassignment surgeries.) 

I knew his school was liberal, so in the beginning I didn’t worry too much. But I did tell the principal I thought it was inappropriate. He disagreed. He told me, “We would never teach something inappropriate.” 

Not long after that, our son came home and told me the teacher said it was wrong to give little girls pink toys and little boys blue toys. That same year, teachers urged my son and his classmates to march around the school chanting, “Pink and blue is for everyone!” in a gay-rights walk. 

Read the whole thing. And if your kids are in public school, pull them out.

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In the Wall Street Journal, Ryan T. Anderson lays out why he believes conservatives have been doing it all wrong in defending our beliefs—and why, as the title of his article indicates, he believes “Religious Liberty Isn’t Enough”:

The left would love to frame these issues as if they pitted reason and science against superstition. But on all of these issues social conservatives are on the side of the biological facts. The Democratic Party and the left are the science deniers. To be sure, Christians believe the historic religious teachings on these issues are anything but superstitious: The scientific point of view confirms the biblical teaching that humans are created male and female. It requires no faith to know that a boy who “identifies” as a girl isn’t one and shouldn’t be allowed into private female spaces.

Likewise, although Christians believe all people are made in God’s image, it requires no faith to see that an unborn child is a child. Even atheists post ultrasound images of their kids. When they shoot off pink confetti for the gender reveal, they reveal that they know biological sex isn’t “assigned at birth.” It’s time to make the left follow the science. Conservatives shouldn’t frame these as sectarian religious issues, litigating them purely in terms of religious liberty.

Even when it makes sense to argue these issues as matters of religious liberty, conservatives shouldn’t pretend to be agnostic about the truth of our perspective. We’ll have the best shot at winning fights over abortion restrictions or child sex-change procedures when conservatives are willing to assert that their beliefs are true, not merely protected in law.

Lawyers will have to make specifically legal arguments, rooted in the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the separation of powers or the Administrative Procedure Act, none of which turn on the truth of the belief seeking protection. But the rest of us needn’t speak like lawyers. If we fail to fight back in the court of public opinion against the claim that our beliefs are “bigoted,” we will ultimately lose even in courts of law, where the soundness of our beliefs is supposedly irrelevant. If basic truths of human nature are redefined as religious bigotry, they will be excised from society, in court and out.

The reality is that there is a culture war in the U.S., and conservatives aren’t the aggressors. While the moniker “culture warrior” seems to be applied only to those on the right, we aren’t the ones who imposed abortion on demand up to and even during birth, forced Catholic nuns to pay for abortifacients, redefined marriage, harassed evangelical bakers, or declared it “unlawful discrimination” to refuse to put a confused child on puberty-blocking drugs. These salvos came from the left. Conservatives have been playing defense.

But a strategy based only on religious liberty won’t work in the long run. Americans need to figure out how to coexist peacefully on these issues. But the answer isn’t for our side to forfeit the fight about the truth by pleading only to be left alone.

Read the whole thing. I think Anderson may be right.

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More soon.

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