The following is just a little briefing that focuses our attention on some important recent issues (or at least what I think is interesting):
- Full disclosure: I am not a prolific user of social media, and I sometimes look down (secretly) on those who are—maybe I am really just jealous and I certainly am technologically challenged. But I do on occasion use Facebook—but I do not tweet, as that seems like I should be chirping. Still, I read with some horror about the apparent censorship of Facebook against conservative users and their content. From the examples I have been reading about, it appears that Facebook is pretty aggressive, and from the comments made recently by former editors, that is, content censors, it also seems that the claims of censorship against conservatives is real. Now of course, I use the term “censorship” broadly. Technically, only government action is censorship. But in every other way, Facebook’s actions are censorship. And now, even individuals, not just organizations, have reported such activities by Facebook. We will see whether Mark Zuckerberg can satisfy conservatives on this one, and whether what is being reported is actually deliberate censorship.
- Donald Trump has named a few possible Supreme Court nominees. I did a little research on each of them. None are terrible, though some are “no Scalia.” And a couple look quite good in their adherence to constitutional principles. We will see. In the end, what should a believer do in voting, which may have an effect on the makeup of the Court? Tough question.
- On May 13, the Office of Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter which has threatened public school with a cutoff of Federal funds if they don’t follow the OCR mandate to allow transgender people to use bathrooms, locker facilities, etc. on demand, and regardless of actual biological sex. Read the letter here: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf. It’s actually worse than I have described. Some states have said they will refuse to obey it, some school districts have embraced it, but no court yet has heard any case based on the letter itself. I guarantee this one will make it to federal court, perhaps to the Supreme Court, if it is not abandoned first. Here Christians will become implicated in decisions by public schools and other public venues. Do we have a solid argument for opposing the OCR regulations?
- Will right-to-work laws be threatened now that Justice Scalia is no longer on the Supreme Court? Some writers believe they are: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/scalias-death-could-doom-right-to-work-laws/article/2591175. I can’t predict yet, since we don’t know who the president will be—who will appoint the next justice. But I am worried.
- What has become of the religious conscience issue? It is still there, just hibernating until the next eruption. But it did raise up a bit when the Supreme Court sent the so-called Little Sisters of the Poor case back down to the lower courts for more discussion. Christians need to give this issue very serious thought.
- Finally, you know an Egyptian airbus from Paris to Cairo crashed in the Mediterranean Sea today, killing all 69 on board. Was it a terrorist act? I can’t say for sure, but some signs are suspicious. First this plane had been all over North Africa the past few days, places not known for tight security. Second the plane lost stability as cruising altitude, very rare unless something caused it to suddenly loose stability. Third, Paris to Egypt—perfect connection. And causing a crash in Egyptian waters gets back at Egypt’s attempt to go after terrorism. Fourth, the airbus almost never suffers catastrophic mechanical or electrical problems. Strange indeed. I will not be surprised if it turns out to be terrorism.
Well, those are a few news items I have been following. I would like to elaborate on the topics and likely will, but at least you (the reader) can be ready when I do.