Our 2019 Children’s Books of the Year stand out from an increasingly troubling crowd
The year of our Lord 2019 began with a declaration of war by 2012 Republicans against 2016 Republicans.
On Jan. 1 new U.S. Sen. (and 2012 presidential candidate) Mitt Romney declared in The Washington Post, “A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse. … With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”
That same day, the Post published an interview with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. The Post asked him, “Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?” Falwell said, “No,” and added, “I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.”
As the United States shuffled toward the 46th miserable anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 2019 also began with New York Times lies about past and present: The newspaper played to its pro-abortion readers by attacking a supposedly “deep shift in American society, away from a centuries-long tradition in Western law and toward the embrace of a relatively new concept: that a fetus in the womb has the same rights as a fully formed person.”
A new concept? Not in law, medicine, or journalism. In Maryland in 1656, Francis Brooke “was brought before this court on suspicion of murder” when he caused an abortion. Doctors in 1871 declared that “the fetus is alive from conception, and all intentional killing of it is murder.” The Springfield Republican in 1880 attacked “child-murdering [by] respectable physicians.”
A truly new concept is “intersectionality,” the popular leftist theory that emphasizes the cumulative effect of three-way discrimination: class, sex, and race. On Jan. 3, Nancy Pelosi’s first day back as speaker of the House, Democrats unwittingly became intersectional villains by voting to have American taxpayers fund abortion: Most of its tiny victims are poor, female, or black—or all three.
Failing public schools that victimize many inner-city schoolkids, often poor and black, should also be on the intersectionality watch. Instead, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) now says local public school officials should inspect religious and private schools to “ensure that the education received by non-public school students is substantially equivalent to that received in district public schools.”
In January the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), whose members teach 80 percent of students in religious and private schools, sent out an alarm. CAPE quoted the new stipulation: If a public school board finds a nonpublic school is marching to the beat of a different drummer, “the board will provide a reasonable timeframe (e.g., 30-45 days) for parents or persons in a parental relationship to identify and enroll their children in a different appropriate educational setting.” After that, “the students will be considered truant if they continue to attend that school.”
One CAPE board member, Rabbi David Zwiebel, noted with sad humor that parents often send their children to religious schools “precisely because they seek an education that is substantially inequivalent to that which is offered in the public schools.”
The biggest truant of January’s first half was either intersectionalist Pelosi or President Donald Trump, depending on whether Americans watched Fox or the other major networks. On Jan. 11 many federal workers missed a paycheck. On Jan. 12 the shutdown set a record for the longest in history, beating the 1995-1996 record of 21 days. On Jan. 15 Coast Guard employees went without paychecks, but the Coast Guard had sent out a “Managing your finances during a furlough” pamphlet that suggested they baby-sit or hold garage sales.
But given housing costs—see Sophia Lee’s cover story in this issue—will some not have garages? And how many babies will live to need baby sitters, given Planned Parenthood’s killing spree? The organization had been saying that abortion was only a small part of its activity, but Planned Parenthood’s new president, Leana Wen, affirmed on Jan. 8 that abortion remains its “core mission.”
So let’s put in perspective the federal shutdown that reached 25 days on Jan. 16. During that period Planned Parenthood probably killed at least 20,000 babies: When will it shut down? It’s 16,801 days from Jan. 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court made up a constitutional right to abortion, to Jan. 22, 2019. During those 46 years American abortionists have killed probably 60 million human beings, made in God’s image, with a right to life—yet the band plays on.
Happily, pro-life Americans march on, as tens of thousands planned to do in D.C. on Jan. 18. We counsel on, at several thousand crisis pregnancy and pregnancy resource centers across the United States. We legislate on, when possible. We lament and pray on: How long, O Lord, how long?