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Democrats’ Massive Entitlement Plans Include Banning Christians From Government Childcare


Reported By Joy Pullmann | DECEMBER 13, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/12/13/democrats-massive-entitlement-plans-include-banning-christians-from-government-childcare/

Democrats’ current proposed $3.5 trillion welfare expansion would effectively ban faithful Christians from profiting from federal subsidies for separating infants and toddlers from their families. The current text of Democrats’ massive “Build Back Better” entitlement bill contains provisions that would require religious child-care providers to disavow longstanding theology about sex in order to receive federal child-care funds under a massive new early childhood program.

“The Democrats went out of their way to make sure and prohibit religious care providers from receiving any of these funds, and unanimously rejected an amendment to allow all child-care providers to be eligible for grants, including religious providers,” said Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, the ranking member on the House’s subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.

Democrats’ legislation would create a new federally controlled child-care entitlement available to the majority of families in the nation. The legislation authorizes up to $20 billion in the program’s first year, $30 billion in its second, $40 billion in its third, and an unlimited amount after that. The estimated cost of this program over the next ten years is $400 billion.

“Making faith-based providers of child-care and pre-kindergarten into recipients of federal financial assistance triggers federal compliance obligations and non-discrimination provisions,” note the leaders of several religious organizations in an opposition letter to Senate Democrats last week.

This means potentially forcing religious organizations to deny all theology that acknowledges basic truths about human biology and reproduction. Given the state of federal “nondiscrimination” law, this could include forcing religious organizations to allow males into female bathrooms, hire transgender babysitters, and teach small children that men can turn themselves into women and that theologically condemned sex acts are in fact morally good.

Just one-third of American children younger than five are placed in center-based care, according to federal statistics. Sixty-three percent of American kids ages five and younger are cared for by family, and 11 percent by a babysitter or nanny. Most American kids ages 0 to 5 who do have regular childcare are away from their parents only part-time. Among the minority of American families who enroll young children in full-time care, 53 percent currently choose a religious facility, according to a January 2021 survey of parents from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Family care was parents’ top preference for their children, with religious-based care the second-most preferred option in the BPC poll.

Democrats’ bill would also likely dramatically increase the costs of childcare by increasing the licensing requirements for people the government pays to babysit tiny children. Most child care workers have low education levels, but states usually don’t raise their licensing requirements because that would reduce the availability of government-controlled child care.

Numerous studies have found that the quality of language and interaction available to a child in infancy and early childhood is extremely important to that child’s intellectual and social development. Studies have also found that frequent one-on-one interaction between a small child and his parents benefits early language development even if the child’s parents are poorly educated. This effect disappears, however, if that poorly educated mother is employed to care for many tiny children at once instead of one of her own to whom she can fully dedicate her attention and conversation time.

Research also resoundingly finds that living with married parents provides far bigger positive benefits to children for their entire lives than does attending an early childhood program.

Large early childhood programs are of notoriously poor quality. The major existing such program, Head Start, has failed to improve attendees’ education and life prospects in all the quality research done on the program that has spent some $250 billion from taxpayers since it began in 1965. In fact, federal research has found that children who participated in Head Start later learned less in math and behaved worse than peers who didn’t participate.

The research that shows any long-term benefit to children of attending early childhood programs derives such results from small-scale, boutique programs that employed teachers and support staff such as doctors who were much better educated than the typical daycare or preschool employee.

Research also shows mass programs that separate small children from their parents decrease children’s intellectual abilities and increase their aggression, risky behavior, and later likelihood of committing crimes. They also tend to erode parenting skills. The more time a small child spends away from his mother, the worse such negative effects tend to get.

“The amount of hours spent in day care each week during the first four years of life was the key child care predictor of behavioral problems,” writes social scientist Dr. Jenet Erickson in a review of several such studies. “In fact, the statistical effect size of the relationship between day care hours and caregiver reports of behavioral problems at age four and a half was so strong that it was comparable to the effect of poverty. Importantly, these statistical effects did not diminish as children aged.”

High-quality studies found that children who attended Tennessee’s state-run pre-K program had worse behavior and academic outcomes than children who did not. Children who attended Quebec’s universal early childcare program were 22 percent more likely to be convicted of a crime in young adulthood compared to children who did not participate in the program. Children separated from their parents in their youngest years through Quebec’s program also demonstrated greater emotional fragility that lasted into adulthood.

“The left is at war with religion and family-centered things. They think cradle to grave, government knows best,” Walorski said.

Walorski has sponsored legislation that would expand tax-free savings accounts families can use to pay for their own child care, tutoring, enrichment activities such as music lessons and summer camp, and more.


Christian group sues Nebraska university for denying funding of philosopher’s lecture on God

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Wednesday, November 03, 2021FacebookTwitterEmailPrintMenuComment0

college, university, classroom
Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao

A Christian student group has filed a lawsuit against the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, accusing the school of wrongfully denying funding for a guest speaker.

The UNL chapter of the international apologetics ministry Ratio Christi filed a lawsuit against UNL last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, alleging that university officials engaged in “viewpoint discrimination.”

At issue is a funding request to host Christian philosopher and Notre Dame Professor Robert Audi for a lecture on whether it is rational to believe in God. The student group requested $1,500 in student activity funding for the event with Audi, who previously taught at UNL for nearly 30 years before his time at Notre Dame. 

University officials denied the request, the complaint stated. The school allegedly told the students that they would need to invite a speaker to represent the opposite views of Audi to get the funding. The school reasoned that the funding could not be used to promote “speakers of a political and ideological nature,” the lawsuit added. 

“Defendants spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in student fees each year to pay for speakers and other events promoting political and ideological viewpoints on topics like sexual orientation, ‘gender identity,’ ‘reproductive justice,’ social justice, police reform, and political activism,” the lawsuit reads. 

“And Defendants do not present opposing viewpoints. … Commonly, the student speech that Defendants fund on those and other topics conflict with the viewpoints held by Ratio Christi, the Student Plaintiffs, and other University Students.”

Michael Ross of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal nonprofit representing Ratio Christi, said in a statement that public universities should foster “an inclusive environment that showcases a variety of viewpoints, not dismiss those with whom the administration disagrees.”

“The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has failed to ensure its student organizations are treated fairly and objectively; it turned down Ratio Christi’s reasonable request because of a blatant bias against its particular religious and ideological viewpoint,” Ross claimed.

UNL spokeswoman Deb Fiddelke said in a statement reported by The Omaha World-Herald last Friday that the university welcomes all viewpoints. She rejected claims of discrimination.

“We have a variety of speakers on our campus, from across the ideological, religious and political spectrum,” stated Fiddelke, adding that there are “many different sources” for event funding and that “Ratio Christi has been previously funded for speakers and events from other funding sources.”

The lawsuit drew the attention of Gov. Pete Ricketts, who called for the university to support “speakers from a wide variety of viewpoints on campus, including Christian speakers.”

“UNL has previously brought in much more controversial speakers, and Dr. Robert Audi and Ratio Christi should be given the same respect,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “I urge University of Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green to step in and define policies to end this kind of discrimination and to send a message that all viewpoints, including Christian values, are welcome.”

ADF has represented Ratio Christi groups in other cases, including a recent lawsuit against The University of Houston-Clear Lake that claims the school denied official recognition of the student group.

Days after the ADF filed the complaint against the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the university officially registered the Christian group as a student organization.

However, the university maintains that it never denied official status to Ratio Christi and was still processing the application when the lawsuit was filed.  

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

David French Joins NYT, New Yorker In Bashing Christians On Christmas


Reported by Nathanael Blake DECEMBER 28, 2020

So much for peace on earth and goodwill to men. America’s legacy media elites used the Sunday before Christmas for extra Christian-bashing, with white evangelicals the preferred targets.

Writing in The New Yorker, Michael Luo complained that “white evangelical Protestants, once again, overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the election,” and that “churches, particularly conservative ones, fought lockdown orders and rebuffed public-health warnings.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed leftist pastor Jim Wallis, with the conversation quickly turning to accusations that “White evangelicalism has destroyed the ‘evangel.’” At The Dispatch, Time columnist David French concluded that much of the scorn white evangelical Christians receive is deserved. He says the world often “rejects Christians because Christians are cruel.”

Yeah, well, merry Christmas to you too.

To be sure, Christians should humbly accept correction if it is deserved, even when the word of reproof is delivered by pagans. But the above writers’ broad indictments against American evangelicals do not withstand scrutiny. Although each criticism has particular errors, they are united by two shared mistakes. The first is a failure to account for differences of denomination and devotion. Lumping Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and prosperity-gospel preachers together is sloppy, as is neglecting to distinguish between those who are committed churchgoers and those who are only nominally evangelical.

It might be said that these varieties of white evangelicals have in common an overwhelming political support for Donald Trump, but this retort only highlights the second error shared by these writers: the assumption that voting for Trump was necessarily immoral.

It is easy to pick out Trumpian words and deeds that are not compatible with the gospel. It is also easy to do the same with his Democratic opponents and their policies. Asserting that voting for Trump is a moral stain on evangelicals, without weighing the alternatives, presumes what is in question. This error is shared by each writer (and Kristof’s interview subject), but each finds some unique ways to express it.

Luo, for instance, unfavorably compares the response of today’s Christians to the pandemic with Christians’ response to past plagues. But although he is correct that reckless churches should be rebuked, he makes no effort to distinguish between the reckless and those cautiously meeting in person, or to value preserving the gathering of believers. Nor does he quantify how many churches are foregoing precautions, or show how many of these congregations fall under the “white evangelical” category.

He suggests that, to eliminate risk, Christians should forgo all in-person meeting, and he dismisses the religious liberty claims that have been raised against capricious government restrictions on churches. But if the casinos, strip clubs, and abortion clinics are getting better treatment than churches, then anti-Christian discrimination has replaced public health policy.

Furthermore, even from a secular public health perspective, eliminating church services would do more harm than good, as churchgoing seems to have been essential to helping many Americans make it through the difficulties of this year. We are physical beings, not disembodied minds who can live in the cloud indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Kristof and his interview subject Wallis presume that technocratic welfare-statism is the obvious way to care for the poor and oppressed, so they dismiss anyone who disagrees with them as bad Christians. This complacent assumption of moral and political rectitude precludes them from understanding those they condemn.

Thus, although Kristof recently wrote a column of questions about Christians and abortion, he seems to have ignored the many responses explaining its paramount importance as a political issue for conservative Christians. His indifference is particularly notable at Christmas, because Luke’s advent narrative emphasizes the humanity of both the unborn John the Baptist and of Jesus. And if the unborn are human, then Christians cannot support the party of abortion on demand.

Kristof and Wallis’s reflexive acceptance of the left’s shibboleths of the moment also leads to ridiculous anachronisms such as declaring Jesus a “person of color.” This conceptual colonization of first-century Israel by modern American racial concepts is odious and misleading—“person of color” makes no sense in that context.

It is, indeed, worse than the depictions of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus (are there many of those?) that Wallis complains about. Portrayals of Jesus and other biblical figures in local style and appearance have been a common, if inaccurate, artistic practice across centuries and cultures.

Race is also central to French’s condemnation of his fellow white evangelicals. In his telling, they are guilty of “some outright racism” but perhaps even more of being seduced by a “Christian nationalism” that “will always minimize America’s historic sins and the present legacy (and reality) of American racism.” French is, for instance, upset that more white evangelicals do not believe that racism is an “extremely” or “very serious” threat to “America and America’s future.”

But even if white evangelicals are wrong in their assessment of the depth and danger of America’s racial problems, this is not enough to condemn them as cruel. It is, in fact, precisely the sort of issue on which Christians may reasonably disagree.

Furthermore, the data French cites does not account for crucial factors such as whether respondents are regular churchgoers or merely culturally evangelical. In addition, French ignores education and class in his analysis, even though the study he relies on emphasizes the importance of these factors in understanding the politics of white evangelical subgroups.

French’s article, like the others, is mostly an impressionistic interpretation of white evangelicalism in America. By their reckoning, white evangelicals have become reckless plague-bearers with no regard for the poor and oppressed, and their cruelty rightly earns them the world’s opprobrium.

There may be some individuals who match this grim depiction, but as a general description of tens of millions of evangelicals, it is obviously untrue. Look around the country and evangelical churches are holding services with masks, distancing, and lots of hand sanitizer. Evangelicals, both individually and corporately, are caring for those in need in their communities and around the world, and treating people of all races with dignity and respect.

In this Christmas season, French, Kristof, and Luo should stop building evangelical strawmen to burn in effigy. Instead, they, like all of us, should contemplate and rejoice in the miracle of God become man to save His people from their sins.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nathanael Blake is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist. He has a PhD in political theory. He lives in Missouri.

Feds go to bat for Muslim truckers fired for refusing to do their jobs


star transport

Last month, it was a Muslim flight attendant who sued her airline after it suspended her for refusing to serve booze. This month it’s two Muslim truck drivers, except in this case, handling booze — which is forbidden under Islamic law — was pretty much their entire job description.

The pair, Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale, had the backing of the federal government in their religious discrimination lawsuit against their former employer, who rightfully terminated them for refusing to make beer deliveries.Picture1

The Washington Examiner notes that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won $240,000 in damages to the former drivers, both of Somali heritage, who were fired in 2009.

The EEOC said that Star Transport Inc., a trucking company based in Morton, Ill., violated their religious rights by refusing to accommodate their objections to delivering alcoholic beverages.

“EEOC is proud to support the rights of workers to equal treatment in the workplace without having to sacrifice their religious beliefs or practices,” EEOC General Counsel David Lopez announced Thursday. “This is fundamental to the American principles of religious freedom and tolerance.”

The EEOC argued that Star Transport could have easily reassigned the men to other jobs, but the reverse argument — that Mohamed and Bulshale could have just as easily sought employment in an area that doesn’t compromise their religious principles — is no less valid.

The jury awarded Mohamed and Bulshale $20,000 each in compensatory damages and $100,000 each in punitive damages. The judge awarded each about $1,500 in back pay.

Bulshale said following the judgment, “This case makes me proud to be American.” Really? What would he know about that?

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