The Corner

Culture

Twenty-Five Things That Caught My Eye Today: Lebanon, Schools, Silence & More (August 12, 2020)

Lebanese Army soldiers are deployed during a protest in the aftermath of the blast in Beirut, Lebanon, August 12, 2020. (Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters)

1. Lebanon Needs Help

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3. Daily Mail: Newborn girl is abandoned next to a rubbish bin by her Chinese parents because ‘they wanted a boy’

4. Lila Rose & Michael New: The abortion pill is wreaking havoc on women and children

Despite this significant increase in the number of chemical abortions, there has been a profound lack of oversight for this lethal drug. The abortion pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 and became publicly available shortly thereafter. There was neither testimony nor legislative hearings about the health risks involved in chemical abortions. In addition to the more than 3.7 million children legally killed by the abortion pill, there is a significant body of research showing that chemical abortions pose serious health risks to women.

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6. Ed Mechmann: Condolences to Pro-Life Democrats

This leaves pro-life Democrats in a difficult quandary. Many see no way to remain in a party that doesn’t seem to want them – as Ronald Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me”. Others feel politically homeless because they also consider some positions of the Republic Party to be morally repugnant. Minor parties that might be more amenable to their views, like the American Solidarity Party, have not yet gained enough political traction.

7. Christina Lamb: The Moral Pandemic of MAiD

A solution to the Canadian euthanasia problem exists. Instead of affirming that those who are suffering have lost their human dignity, it’s time for Canadians to be united in hope. For hope can bring forth good and concrete, moral action. It reminds us that regardless of world events, despite how bleak things may look, and in the midst of the unethical problems in our Canadian and global contexts, one thing rings true: no-one’s life means less than anyone else’s.

8. Janice Dean: COVID has devastated my family — Why can’t I testify about it? 

10. Nicholas Loud: Decline of a NYC Institution: 26 Catholic Schools Closed During Pandemic

“The Catholic school system in this country was built to provide quality education and faith formation to the children of poor Catholic immigrants,” said Koeth. “Ironically, the recent closure of numerous parochial schools in the area [greater New York City] is rooted in the fact that many of the city’s parochial schools still serve immigrant and minority families, or all faith backgrounds, whose children are underserved by the public schools.”

11. Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke: The Art of the Grandstand

Many activists embrace protests as a stage on which to preen—and they’re not alone. As our current political discourse shows, many people employ moral talk for self-promotion and status-seeking. Hoping to be viewed as morally impressive, they use self-righteous attacks to shame political opponents and earn praise from their own political tribe. This moral grandstanding clogs up the public square with words aimed not at helping others but at promoting one’s own moral reputation. Grandstanders turn discourse into a vanity project.

12. Lee Burdette Williams & David R. Reetz: How to Prepare for the Coming Flood of Student Mental-Health Needs

13. James Lindsay: How Your Organization Can Resist Woke Social Pressure

For the foreseeable future, online outrage mobs are going to happen, and they will probably eventually target your organization. Your only chance of resisting them is to maintain a positive, anti-fragile, team-oriented internal culture that acts as a counterbalance that gets you through the storm (think about it like boarding up your windows against a rhetorical hurricane). That requires making use of organizational leadership to cultivate the right internal values—broadly liberal and anti-victimhood—and to treat them like a condition of employment or participation in your organization.

14. ADF: Pro-life Pregnancy Center Won’t Be Forced to Speak Against Its Mission

15. Lindsey Burke & Romina Boccia: A Bright IDEA: Modernizing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to Meet Student Needs and Support Integrated Employment

Shifting from a system of funding schools to funding special needs students directly could diminish legal battles by enabling families to personally select the services that best meet the needs of their child. By enabling parents to receive their child’s portion of federal IDEA funding in the form of an ESA—instead of having those funds earmarked for public schools where their child may or may not be able to access the services he or she needs—parents would have the option of directing funds to schools, special education specialists, private tutors, and behavioral therapies of their choice. 

16. Chelsea Patterson Sobolik: Congress should remove roadblocks to generosity for nonprofits

17. Lyman Stone: Why a Child Allowance is Preferable to Subsidized Child Care

The challenges facing families are largely financial in nature, so society’s support will need to come in the form of meaningful financial support. But subsidized or free child care isn’t a very useful way to deliver that support. It provides numerous opportunities for middlemen of various kinds to take their cut, limits the choices available to families, has perverse effects in many areas, gives the most aid to the least needy families, and doesn’t help families with most of their financial challenges. 

18. Eli Reiter: What Hasidic Communities Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus

When it came to public health, the neighborhood did not rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, local doctors and health care providers with knowledge of the community’s culture and specialized medical needs were able to treat and educate local residents.

19. Jared Zimmerer: Evangelization in an Age of Rage

We often are so focused on the macro-narratives of declining faith memberships or the state of politics that we forget the person who lives next door might simply want some company. Too often, we fixate on the world’s problems and forget our own communities and families. If you are frustrated about something in the Church or in politics, write your bishop, write your representatives, and make sure to vote in your local elections. But understand that ultimately, unless you are in a position of influence, you will do much more by focusing on your prayer life, your families, and your neighbors. 

20. Catherine Petrany: Benedictine Silence in the Pandemic Classroom 

In a time when cultural forces offer college students the narrative that they can control their future if they take certain classes, obtain certain scores, do the right internships, meet the right people, learn only certain things, take all the right steps educationally and personally, this moment of silence points toward that which lies beyond our control, toward what is unmanageable. It signals a realization that rampant viruses also expose, namely that our grip on life’s passage is not nearly as secure as we assume. 

21. Heather King: Restoring the glory of womanhood

Motherhood isn’t our only identity as women, but it’s our deepest. Whether or not we’re biological mothers, in our capacities as sisters, daughters, companions, mentors, workers, and friends, we’re gloriously marked by the ability to receive, patiently endure, nurture, heal, build bridges, quietly contemplate, and console. Whatever our age, demographic or station in life, we’re hard-wired to act with an orientation of heart and a grounding of the body, psyche, and spirit that is rooted in the capacity to give birth.

22. Daily Mail: More than HALF of young people are praying online during pandemic: ‘Staggering’ new figures show 18-24-year-olds are most likely to turn to God in lockdown

23. Vatican News: Pope asks for Mary’s intercession to overcome pandemic 

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