In recent weeks, we’ve learned of abuse committed on a staggering scale, but it didn’t come from nowhere. It came from a long-term trajectory of compromises made possible by a perfect storm of failures – of accountability, of honesty, of tolerating, hiding, and abetting temptation. It is a gift of God that so few of us are in such a position to commit evil on this scale.
Today, 16 states ban the discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities, with similar measures pending in eight other states and in Congress. Still, these laws face an uphill battle, even if passed. As the head of the National Council on Disabilities admitted, the real goal of these laws is to inspire “a change of heart so people understand that they are discriminating.”
In nearly every sector of society—media, education, medicine, public policy, even sports—children are now subjects of social experimentation. As fundamental realities of life such as sex, marriage, and parenting are reimagined, we say to ourselves, “Oh, the kids will be fine.” Overwhelming evidence suggests they aren’t.
After Pope Francis recently visited Iraq, it became clear by some of the media coverage just how little the press “gets religion." Still, this visit was full of meetings that mattered, such as the Pope’s meeting with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leader of the Shiites in Iraq. This meeting took place in Najaf in what is called the “Plain of Ur”. In a statement issued after the meeting, the Ayatollah affirmed “his concern that Christian citizens [of Iraq] should live like all Iraqis in peace and security, and with their full constitutional rights.”
For months, the Communist leadership tried everything from coercion to concessions, to squash the pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong, but the protests only intensified. By late summer 2019, the movement, which had started over a law that allowed Hong Kong citizens to be prosecuted under the mainland’s jurisdiction, had become about much more than that. It was now about preserving a free Hong Kong. But when the headlines from changed from protesters to a virus and the world economy ground to a halt, other nations and their governments turned inward.
At the start of the pandemic, many expected the lockdowns and quarantines to lead to a “baby boom.” Well, the data is in. Instead of a “boom” it’s been a “bust.” As CBS recently reported, records from more than two dozen states show a “7% drop in births in December — nine months after the first lockdowns began.” If COVID isn’t the cause, how did we get here? Ideas … bad ones with consequences and victims.
The fatal flaw in our current cultural discussions on oppression and justice is a misunderstanding of our common humanity: our common dignity as created in God’s image, our common frailty as fallen from His grace, our common foolishness after the fall, and our common reliance on His grace for wisdom and help.
The fundamental assumptions of a Christian worldview are straightforward. Applying the fundamental truth of a Christian worldview, particularly in this cultural moment, is not so straightforward. For example, this past week we heard from a single woman wrestling with whether or not to go through with an international adoption.