A Quick Briefer For Hill Staffers On Church Meetings, First Amendment Worries And Coronavirus

Thousands of churches and synagogues across the country have moved their regular services from meeting together in one facility to gathering “together” via Internet teleconferencing. It’s a suitable approach for coping with a temporary problem.

But what if the problem becomes more long-lasting, with official directives banning gatherings of 10 or more people continuing past the end of April and well into … well, who knows how long? That’s when things could get very complicated and when that happens, Congress almost always gets involved.

PJMedia Managing Editor Paula Bolyard has a thoughtful, accessible look at why the situation is a challenge for Bible-based congregations now and a warning of what could be coming down the road.

Bolyard’s title sets the context: “Should Church Violate Shutdown Orders? The Answer Is More Complicated Than You Might Imagine.” That’s why Hill staffers need to know this stuff, regardless of whether they are followers of any particular denomination or faith, or none at all. Continue reading “A Quick Briefer For Hill Staffers On Church Meetings, First Amendment Worries And Coronavirus”

Navy Experts Ran A Coronavirus-Like Pandemic War-Game In 2019; The Results Were Eerily Like Real-World 2020

U.S. military strategists and planners continually run war-games to prepare for potential scenarios of future conflict, but did you know they also do these exercises for situations like world-wide disease pandemics?

Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

“Called Urban Outbreak 2019, the war game involved 50 experts who spent two days coordinating response, containment and messaging efforts around the notional pandemic,” according to military.com.

“Some of the conclusions, such as the way forced mass quarantine can backfire and trigger additional disease spread, and how the mortality rate is better than the overall number of disease cases in assessing the scale of an outbreak — have been proved out through the response to the novel coronavirus,” military.com reports. Go here for more. And believe me, there is much more you will want to know if you work on Capitol Hill.

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Broad Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Urge Staff Pay Raises

A coalition of good government groups, think tanks and concerned individuals urged four key leaders in Congress in a March 4 letter to support increased pay for the 20,000 mostly young men and women who work for senators, representatives and committees.

The letter was addressed to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Minority Member Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), chairman of the legislative appropriations subcommittee, and Rep. Jamie Herrera Buetler (R-WA), the ranking minority member of the subcommittee.

Dear legislators:

On behalf of the undersigned bipartisan group of civil society organizations and individuals, we encourage you to raise the funding levels appropriated toward the compensation of your U.S. House of Representative staffers. Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Broad Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Urge Staff Pay Raises”

EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Great News For Kids! The Nuclear Family Is NOT Disappearing

It’s almost a truism among academics, the mainstream media commentariat and many Washington policymakers that the nuclear family  — one  married man and woman plus their kids — is a dying institution in America.

Photo by Limor Zellermayer on Unsplash

Not so, according to Institute for Family Studies (IFS) Senior Fellow W. Bradford Wilcox, writing recently in The Atlantic in response to David Brook’s claim that the nuclear family was a “mistake.” Here’s the top of Wilcox’s article and a link to the rest of an important and timely piece that should be of interest to everybody working on Capitol Hill: Continue reading “EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Great News For Kids! The Nuclear Family Is NOT Disappearing”

Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again

Richard Dawkins is among the world’s best-known atheists, having debated just about every major contemporary Christian apologist, including John Lennox, his Oxford faculty colleague, as well as philosopher William Lane Craig, and Ravi Zacharias.

Screen shot from Facebook.

Whatever you may think about Dawkins’ arguments against the existence of God, or how he performed versus Lennox, Craig or Zacharias, my interest here is in a strange but significantly revealing aspect of the evolutionary biologist’s recent statements about … cannibalism.

Tweeting the link Monday to a Forbes article about the growth of cell-grown meat products, Dawkins observed that “human steak could, of course, be cultured. Would you eat it? I wouldn’t, but it’s hard to say why. It would be cultured from a single nameable person. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall served human placenta, also clone of 1 person, in this case the baby. I wouldn’t eat that either.” Continue reading “Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff

Congress is the “first branch” because the Founders intended the Republic’s national legislature to be “the fountain of all lawmaking authority and governmental action,” according to Kevin Kosar, vice-president for research partnerships of the R Street Institute.

Kosar’s comment came in his mid-January testimony before a hearing of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress concerning the growing inability of the First Branch to fulfill its constitutional roles.

The cause of that growing inability is clear: Congress is starving itself of the most critical resources, especially experienced staff, to do its many jobs, according to Kosar. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Data Shows Dramatic Declines Since 1981; Kosar Tells Committee The Congress Needs Bigger Staff”

To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today

China is not ranked on top of the 50 worst nations for persecuting Christians compiled by Open Doors USA, as that dubious distinction belongs to North Korea, followed close behind by Afghanistan.

Great Wall of China. Photo by Bruce Röttgers on Unsplash.

But China is building a pervasive system of digital surveillance-based oppression that is presently aimed at the estimated 125 million Christians there, but which could easily be duplicated in other nations and used to silence anybody who disagrees with the regime in power.

That’s according to Open Doors CEO David Curry, who told a recent news conference unveiling the 2020 list of top 50 anti-Christian nations that China is constructing a “blue print” for a “system of persecution for the future” to be sold on the world market. Continue reading “To See Tomorrow’s Digital System For National Oppression, Just Take A Look At China Today”