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Good News Friday: 05/19/23
May 19, 2023
As we close another crazy week we leave you with some good news.
1- This is a big win for religious freedom.
QUOTE: California officials are preparing to pay out $1.4 million to four churches after attempting to force them to provide abortion health care coverage for their employees, according to a press release.
Skyline Wesleyan Church, located in the San Diego area, Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church filed two separate lawsuits with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in 2015 and 2016 after the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) sent emails to insurance providers in the state, mandating that their coverage include abortion services. Federal courts ruled in both cases that the state's mandate violated the First Amendment and ADF announced Friday that the DMHC had agreed to pay $1.4 million in attorney's fees, according to an ADF press release.
"Resolving lawsuits brought by four churches, two federal courts in California have ruled that the First Amendment protects the churches' right to decline elective abortion coverage in their health insurance plans," the press release read. "Given the courts' rulings in these multi-year lawsuits, state officials have agreed to pay $1,400,000 toward the churches' attorneys' fees.
The ADF added: "In both cases, the courts ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the churches' freedom to operate according to their religious beliefs, which include their belief in the sanctity of unborn lives."
2- Thank God we still have states with elected ones who will fight back on insanity. These states do not get the attention of the insane Blue States, but they are vitally important.
QUOTE: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill that will allow teachers, school officials, and government entities to ignore a student's preferred pronoun and ban hiding a student's transgender status from their parents.
House Bill 1522 was approved by North Dakota lawmakers with a veto-proof majority of 40–6 in the Senate and 68–22 in the House. The law came into effect immediately.
The legislation consists of three sections that modify the North Dakota Century Code in relation to preferred pronouns, restroom provisions for transgender students, establishing a penalty for violations, and declaring an emergency.
3- This type of research must be paused. We pray other states, (looking at you North Carolina), will follow suit.
QUOTE: Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law that will ban "Gain-of-Function" research in the State of Florida.
"I'm really glad that our lawmakers have just banned it and put the kibosh on Gain of Function type research in Florida," said Florida Surgeon General Joe Ladapo. "It's not so much that the research in itself is inherently risky, but also because it highlights a fundamental issue that was reflected in the pandemic: scientists are very smart individuals, but they sometimes, and frankly often, have very poor judgement."
Mainstream media like MSNBC routinely mocked people who claimed Covid-19 came from a lab. Social Media sites like Facebook censored stories making this claim. Dr. Anthony Fauci decried the theory.
However, Government sources have now admitted that Covid-19 did most likely come from a lab in Wuhan.
"We are the first state in the United States to formally ban Gain-of-Function research," said DeSantis at the bill signing at Oceans Church in Destin, Florida.
Ladapo says poor judgment is reason to put a stop to Gain of Function research.
"Scientists, although very smart individuals, sometimes have very poor judgment. That type of poor judgement has not been rectified. In the meantime the right thing to do is to be wise and putting a real pause on it is a wise decision given the circumstances."
4- The good news is that we know the path forward to save our children from depression.
QUOTE: A Columbia University study revealed a striking difference between conservative and liberal teenagers. Conservatives are generally happier than their leftist counterparts — not by a little, but by a significant measure.
The researchers, whose revelatory work was released to little fanfare, indicated that while this disparity was striking, the cause was not as easy to pinpoint.
While some have since proffered various explanations for the delta, such as the impact of social media or respondents' religiosity, there is a growing sense that the progressive mentality is a key depressive factor.
The study, entitled, "The politics of depression: Diverging trends in internalizing symptoms among US adolescents by political beliefs," was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine – Mental Health in December.
As the title suggests, epidemiologist Catherine Gimbrone and her coauthors analyzed depressive attitudes between conservative and liberal 12th-graders from 2005 to 2018.
Conservatism was defined in the study as "support of individual liberty, right-wing social and religious values, and unregulated free markets." Liberalism was defined as "support of equal opportunity, free but semi-regulated markets, civil liberties, and social justice."
The researchers found that "conservatives reported lower average depressive affect, self-derogation, and loneliness scores and higher self-esteem scores than all other groups."
5- School Choice has become a growing movement which is good news for all families and children.
QUOTE: In "Opening Doors for School Choice," Frederick Hess offers valuable prudential, diagnostic, and prescriptive insights for education reformers and parental-choice advocates at what many, including myself, have lauded as a revolutionary moment in the history of US K-12 education policy.
To begin, he cautions against employing the rhetoric of revolution, warning that "many apolitical parents who just want good options for their kids may be alienated by reformers who seem like revolutionaries." As he reminds reformers, most American parents—at least those with the means to vote with their feet and move to good school districts—are generally happy with their kids' public schools. Perhaps he's right. Personally, I've often wondered what my family in suburban Kansas City would think of my Twitter feed.
But rhetoric aside, we are living in a revolutionary moment. The momentum for parental choice appears to have, as Michael McShane recently argued, reached "escape velocity." In the last year alone, six states (Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, Utah, and West Virginia) have adopted expansive education savings account ("ESA") programs, which provide families with resources that can be used on a wide array of qualified educational expenses, including private school tuition as well as instructional materials for homeschool, micro-schools and learning pods, online classes, tutoring, and educational therapies. And several more states seem poised to embrace expansive parental-choice policies in the weeks and months ahead.
These programs depart from earlier, more-incremental, parental-choice reforms in two significant ways. First, they are more than private-school-choice programs (like vouchers). They are true parental-choice programs, enabling parents to spend the public resources allocated for their children's education for purposes other than tuition at a private school. And second, they extend eligibility to all (or almost all) students, in contrast to almost all programs before last year, which were either means-tested or restricted to students with disabilities. The radical nature of these reforms would have made them beyond the wildest dreams of the choice proponents a few years—or even months—ago.
6- More good work being done on education at the state level.
QUOTE: While much of the cultural debate about education centers on school libraries removing sexually explicit books, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem's team has been hard at work crafting new K-12 history and social studies standards that her chief of staff calls a "model for the rest of the country."
Noem rejected an earlier effort in 2021, which her team faults for a leftist slant and for including critical race theory. The governor gathered a new commission to compile standards in 2022, including a former politics professor who had taught at Hillsdale College, a Christian school with decades of outreach in the K-12 classical school movement that is known for its rigorous approach to Western and American history. That former professor, Will Morrisey, served as a facilitator for a diverse commission—25% of which was Native American—that tailored the standards for South Dakota.
"When it comes to social studies standards, the governor wanted us to create a model for the rest of the country, and I think the rest of the country will see a model that they can follow," Mark Miller, Noem's chief of staff and a member of the 2022 commission, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview last week. "We think this is an incredible positive change and step forward in terms of providing a true and honest American history for the children of South Dakota from K to 12."
The state's Board of Education Standards voted to approve the standards in April. Miller mentioned the standards' three pillars: world history that provides the foundation for U.S. history, Native American history that formed South Dakota, and U.S. history.
7- North Carolina had become a place for out of state women to come for abortions. No longer.
We always love when this can be said: " Republican lawmakers in North Carolina dealt a crushing blow..".
Quote: Republican lawmakers in North Carolina dealt a crushing blow Tuesday evening to pro-abortion radicals, overriding Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of a pro-life bill.
The Democratic governor was counting on "just one Republican in either the House or the Senate" to fold to intimidation by pro-abortion radicals and other leftists' demands, reported CNN.
To Cooper's dissatisfaction, Republican lawmakers held fast, including former Democratic state Rep. Tricia Cotham, who switched parties in April, thereby giving the GOP the supermajority it needed in the state House to quash the veto.
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