Huge Crowd in DC Friday at ‘March for Life’ (Not that You’ll Hear Much About It)

Most media outlets were consumed with the prospect of a looming government shutdown Friday, but something else happened in DC that — as has become the norm over the years — drew less attention despite it arguably having more significance.

The 45th annual March for Life, the yearly pro-life rally that pulls thousands of attendees from all across the country onto the National Mall in a show of solidarity for the rights of the unborn, went off without a hitch, punctuated by a speech from President Trump from the White House Rose Garden.

In his address, the first from a sitting President, Trump paid homage to the theme of this year’s event: Love Saves Lives.

The March for Life is a movement born out of love.  You love your families, you love your neighbors, you love our nation, and you love every child, born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.

We know that life is the greatest miracle of all.  We see it in the eyes of every new mother who cradles that wonderful, innocent, and glorious newborn child in her loving arms.

I want to thank every person here today and all across our country who works with such big hearts and tireless devotion to make sure that parents have the care and support they need to choose life.  Because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full, God-given potential — because of you.

Standing at the podium with Trump was Marianne Donadio of Greensboro, North Carolina (originally from England), who was 17 when she learned of her own unplanned pregnancy. Her parents supported her emotionally and financially and she gave birth to her son, Dominic, who accompanied her and her daughter Maria to the Rose Garden as special guests of the president. She said after the event that it was “exciting” and “surreal” and was “such an honor” to be mentioned in the President’s speech.

Donadio’s group, Room at the Inn, counsels homeless women to keep the children of their own unplanned pregnancies by giving them support and, more importantly, says Marianne, “believing in them” that they have the ability to care for their child and offer them a good life. She added that she sees the ground shifting a bit regarding the debate over abortion

“I do have a sense that things are changing in the last couple of years, for the better,” she said, adding that whatever one may think of President Trump, he is pro-life in his actions and that’s what matters to her.

Donadio was joined in her optimism by two young pastors, Chris White and Alex Bridger, both of Richmond, Virgina, who also see reason to hope that there’s a cultural awakening happening concerning their personal belief that life begins at conception.

Chris White and Alex Bridger, both Pastors from Richmond, Va., at the March for Life 2018 on the National Mall, Washington, DC

“We just want to see every life reach its God-given potential,” said Bridger.

“You can tell by the sheer volume of people here that there is a [cultural] shift…not just from all over the nation, but from all over the world…for this one little march,” added White. “Well, I guess it’s a big march now.”

Both men believe Planned Parenthood will be defunded during Trump’s initial term of office.

And there’s some indication that White, Bridger and Donadio are on to something, with a GOP Congress already making bold moves to turn the clock back on Roe v. Wade.

Fellow marcher Father Joseph Medio, a Franciscan friar, says he sees the growth in numbers at the march — particularly of young people — as a “great sign for our country.”

“Because it shows that nature and reason are going to prevail,” he said.  “It’s written in the human heart that something is just not right about this trajectory that we’ve been going.”

The thousands of people that gathered in chilly temperatures on the National Mall Friday to celebrate the sanctity of life would surely agree.

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Prime Minister Theresa May Appoints ‘Minister of Loneliness’

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her administration has created a new position designed to combat the plague of “loneliness” sweeping across Great Britain. The new “Minister of Loneliness” will specifically deal with “the sad reality of modern life”, according to Prime Minister May.

That reality was illuminated by a British study last year that found nearly 9 million people identifying themselves as often or always lonely. With some health experts suggesting chronic loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, May’s government identifies it a public health crisis.

“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with,” May said on Wednesday before appointing the minister Tracey Crouch, according to the New York Times.

May’s concern is rightly placed. Certainly we can’t deny that western society has left behind vulnerable groups like the elderly in our never-ending, botox-fueled, social media driven quest for youth and relevance. Western individualism, the internet and advancements in transportation have made the world a much smaller place than it used to be. Families are no longer confined to their region of origin and extended families living under one roof are less and less common.

However, the dire need for such a position underscores the root of a problem that cannot be addressed by yet another government program. No one stopped to ask what would happen when we jettisoned traditional values for progressivism. It was a nice thought to believe the government could relieve the “burden” of caring for the those in need from individuals and families; but when we are no longer required to bear that burden, what does it do to our relationships?

Suddenly western society went from an environment where families and communities bore the brunt of caring for the needy to one where the government stepped in for them. It’s all well and good that Janie gets to go to college and live in a posh one bedroom in the city and drive the car her parents always wished they had, but what is Janie being robbed of by not having the responsibility to care for her aging and sick grandmother? What is her grandmother being robbed of by not having to rely on her family for her day to day needs?

Churches and other faith communities used to be the main organizations to fill in the gaps left by failing family. They still do, but the atmosphere has changed and many faith organizations are no longer welcome in the sphere of public charity, particular in the UK. We’ve forced faith and religious values further and further to the fringes while we expand government aid exponentially each year. But a government entity is just a faceless bureaucracy and doesn’t have the same connections in a community that a church or synagogue might have. That bureaucracy doesn’t have a day-to-day interaction with the realities of life in any given community. The names of their rolls are just stand-ins for dollar signs.

With the expansion of Big Government has come the expansion of Big Brother. We’re told “if you see something, say something” but if that “something” involves a minority group or person then we risk being ostracized, fined or worse. A busybody neighbor who doesn’t think your 10-year-old should be walking home from school alone could make one call and have you tied up in with CPS for years. For many it is easier to live life isolated from neighbors rather than risk being misunderstood.

As we’ve changed the definition of “family” we’ve also changed the defined role of family.

As we’ve celebrated the rise of the internet, we’ve also changed how we interact with each other. The anonymity provided by our computer screens gives us the incentive to say harsh things to others we would never say to them in person. It has also given us a false sense of relationship with others, requiring no sacrifice on our part to nourish genuine friendship in service to another.

Since the 1960s (at least) we’ve been told that the traditions of our parents and grandparents -and even the traditions of newer immigrants from more socially conservative societies- are out of step with the pace of progress and modernity. We’ve been told we’d all just be happier if the government paid for our healthcare, our schooling, our meals; if the government could just force society to accept our personal choices as right; if the government could provide for our retirement and relieve people from the burden of preparing for their own futures.

Well, in the UK they have all those things and yet their people are lonelier than ever. Perhaps instead of yet another government intervention, they might consider looking at past decades when life was significantly less regulated…and act accordingly.

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CNN Polling on the Shutdown Is Really Bad News for Democrats

The Democrats have been trying to use the DREAMer issue to demagogue the GOP and the White House into accepting a wide-ranging amnesty bill.

The House has countered by offering a clean Continuing Resolution with an authorization and appropriation for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which has expired and is funded through the end of February. CNN polled the issue just a short while ago and those results gave a hint on how this shutdown is going to play out:

— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) January 19, 2018

or, as Team McConnell has framed it:

What makes the numbers worse than they appear for Democrats is that CNN historically weights their polls in favor of Democrats. (h/t to my colleague Brad Slager.)

Given the issue and the polling numbers and Mick Mulvaney’s epic performance today, I don’t see how the Senate Democrats hold the line. I can’t imagine these numbers will get better with age.

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