Christian Court Victory, Biden Abandons Americans, and More: 5 Stories You Missed

The news this week focused on a glut of truly momentous stories: President Donald Trump’s norms-breaking conviction, Joe Biden’s loophole-ridden executive actions at the border, and Biden’s attempt to draft D-Day veterans into his war to maintain the White House. But a week of consequential news often drowns out genuinely significant developments, as well.

This week, that included a transgender theorist’s admission that her work does target children, the unreported facts behind this week’s “strong” jobs report, the U.S. government’s war against a Christian business, a touching act of charity as a wounded politician publicly forgives his would-be assassin, and Joe Biden’s abandonment of Americans in yet another theater of combat.

1. A Christian business wins a small tag-of-war with the Biden administration.

As President Joe Biden used the venerable surviving veterans of D-Day as a backdrop for a domestic-themed speech, Christian businesses fought his administration’s attempts to deny the unalienable constitutional rights those veterans fought to preserve.

Shields of Strength began producing replicas of Army, Air Force, and Marines dog tags, inscribed with a Bible verse, in 2012. Their work brought comfort and solace to those killed in America’s decades-long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins described in 2020:

“Her son, Sgt. Cole Wixom, was killed on duty — almost one year ago today. His body was flown home to Michigan a week later, but along the way, his mom says, someone gave the soldier accompanying his remains a dog tag with a Bible verse on it. In a letter, [Wixom’s mother, Robyn] tells Kenny Vaughan, the founder of Shields of Strength, that she’s ‘worn it ever since, along with the dog tag that was attached to his coffin. I can barely see the writing anymore. It’s tarnished, but I know what it says. It says, “I will be strong and courageous. I will not be afraid. I will not be discouraged.” You have no idea,’ the grieving mom said, ‘what this little piece of metal has meant to me…’”

Comforting the grieving proved too great an offense for the atheist activists at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which claimed the dog tags “poison[ed] the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State.” In 2019, the Army withdrew its permission for the Christian company to recreate the faith-themed dog tags. They were followed by the Marines. Soon, the Department of Defense accused the company of trademark infringement.

This week, the Christian business cut a small hole through the enemy’s lines. With the help of First Liberty Institute, the business argued the Pentagon’s actions violated the freedom of speech rights recognized by the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, allowed the company’s First Amendment case to proceed.

It’s a small victory, but true warriors know: Small victories lead to great triumphs. Yet the company should not have to prevail in court: The federal government can reverse its fear-filled attempt to placate secular maximalists and rescind its objections. The Biden administration should end its war against Christian retailers as precipitously as it did its war against Afghan terrorists.

2. Transgender theorist: Actually, we do groom children.

This Tuesday, during a little-viewed presentation, two largely obscure academics blurted out one of the most noteworthy if inadvertent confessions in the history of the transgender movement.

The moment came during an exchange between queer theorists Judith Butler of Berkeley and Judith “Jack” Halberstam of Columbia. Halberstam opened their conversation, hosted by Pioneer Works and Dia Art Foundation, by condemning a “strange set of accusations that people who believe in [extreme] gender [ideology] are trying to destroy the family [or] they are pedophiles themselves.”

Halberstam and Butler then proceeded to admit, in essence, many of their foes’ accusations are true.

“I was identified as representing gender ideology and a threat to children. My work would indoctrinate them. Or my work would license pedophilia. Or my work and the work of gender more broadly would teach them how to become homosexual or teach them they must become homosexual,” groused Butler.

“Which is kinda true,” replied Halberstam, who giggled as Butler cracked a smile. “Kinda worked, yeah!”

Butler confessed, “Of course, we know Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick said, ‘Yes, we do teach that!’ And that is one answer. If that is your desire, and you’re looking for ways to live according to that desire, come along, and we’ll make that easier for you.”

She proceeded to deny that, “as a group, people who advocate policy or teaching Gender Studies are in favor of indoctrination or unwanted seduction. In fact, we spend most of our time criticizing both.”

Charges that LGBTQ theory will erode basic societal guards against pedophilia are “a projection of ‘the Church’” trying to find evidence of its own crimes in those they [sic] wish to persecute.”

“This is how priests confess,” Butler averred.

In reality, Butler has personally written that it may “be necessary to rethink the prohibition on incest,” since “incest [is] necessarily traumatic.” Moreover, laws banning incest make it more difficult to realize “lesbian and gay forms of parenting.” As such, laws against incest may become the “instrument of a violation.” In her 2004 book “Undoing Gender,” Butler wrote:

“I do think that there are probably forms of incest that are not necessarily traumatic or which gain their traumatic character by virtue of the consciousness of social shame that they produce. … One of the symbolic consequences of the law [against incest] so formulated is precisely the derealization of lesbian and gay forms of parenting, single-mother households, blended family arrangements in which there may be more than one mother or father … It is important to note that not all forms of incest are necessarily traumatic … It might, then, be necessary to rethink the prohibition on incest as that which sometimes protects against a violation, and sometimes becomes the very instrument of a violation” (pp. 157-160).

Examples of LGBTQ literature glorifying adult-child sexual relations became so numerous that scholar Mary Eberstadt categorized them in a 1996 article titled “Pedophilia Chic.” Among them is Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” possibly the play that has enjoyed the single greatest amount of adulation from Gender Studies departments. In its original form, Ensler’s play featured a positive portrayal of a 24-year-old woman raping a 13-year-old girl. (The child’s age was subsequently raised to the still-illegal age of 16.) Similarly positive portrayals of pedophilia occur in Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy,” a book in many school libraries, which contains a boy fondly reminiscing about performing fellatio on a grown man.

Butler’s hero, Gayle Rubin, defended child pornography and “boylovers” in her 1984 essay, “Thinking Sex,” in which Rubin wrote, “The laws produced by the child porn panic are ill-conceived and misdirected.” For example, “some child pornography laws prohibit even the private possession of any sexual material involving minors.”

Rubin’s inverted moral compass depicted police as viciously devouring adult men who happen to have sex with underage boys:

“Like communists and homosexuals in the 1950s, boylovers are so stigmatized that it is difficult to find defenders for their civil liberties, let alone for their erotic orientation. Consequently, the police have feasted on them.”

Critiquing laws that prevent adults from sexually exploiting minors’ vulnerable mental state, Rubin believed children could be sexualized “in a caring and responsible manner”:

“The law is especially ferocious in maintaining the boundary between childhood ‘innocence’ and ‘adult’ sexuality. Rather than recognizing the sexuality of the young, and attempting to provide for it in a caring and responsible manner, our culture denies and punishes erotic interest and activity by anyone under the local age of consent. The amount of law devoted to protecting young people from premature exposure to sexuality is breath-taking.”

Rubin’s ideology would infect queer theory root-and-branch. Ten years after these words were written, Judith Butler interviewed Gayle Rubin, telling Rubin, “[Y]ou set the methodology for feminist theory, then the methodology for lesbian and gay studies.”

3. About that ‘strong’ jobs report ….

President Joe Biden continues to build a strong economy for illegal aliens and their employers.

The legacy media described the May 2024 jobs report as “strong,” a “blowout,” and “much-better-than-expected.” And Biden dubbed it evidence of “the great American comeback.” Those evaluations seem difficult to sustain, since the report actually shows:

  • 299,000 fewer native-born Americans held a job this year compared to last May.
  • 637,000 more foreign-born immigrants (legal or illegal) held a job during the same time period.
  • Bidenomics destroyed 625,000 full-time jobs since April — or 1.16 million year-over-year.
  • The Biden economy produced 286,000 more part-time jobs in one month — or 1.51 million since last May.
  • Consequently, 16,000 more people worked two or more jobs in May than in April — 629,000 more than last May.

Particularly, the benefits reaped by non-citizens does not represent a new trend: U.S. citizens hold fewer jobs today than before the pandemic, while foreign-born workers hold significantly more. “[A]ll post-pandemic job growth, coinciding with the millions of illegal aliens allowed into the country by the Biden administration, has gone to foreign-born workers,” notes the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

A “great American comeback” is precisely what unemployed and under-employed Americans need most.

4. A president forgives his would-be assassin.

One of the unreported stories this week involves a world leader who exercised the Christian virtue of forgiveness on an incalculable scale. On May 15, a gunman shot Robert Fico, president of Slovakia, four times in a failed assassination attempt. On Wednesday, Fico responded.

“It’s time for me to make the first move. And that is forgiveness,” said the wounded president during a 14-minute-long video posted on Facebook. “I feel no hatred towards the stranger who shot me. I will not take any legal action against him, nor will I seek damages compensation.”

“I forgive him,” said Fico. “Let him sort out what he did and why he did it in his own head.”

Such effusive displays of forgiveness have become exceedingly rare in our secularizing world. Fico joins a distinguished list of public officials who let their love of neighbor overcome an attempt on their lives, including:

  • Pope John Paul II, who met his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, in prison, holding his hand.
  • President Ronald Reagan, whom son Michael revealed wanted to meet John Hinckley Jr. in prison in 1981. The former president would publicly express his forgiveness in 1990, saying, “I added him to my prayers that, well, if I wanted healing for myself and maybe he should have some healing for himself.”
  • Former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who wrote a touching letter to Arthur Bremer 23 years after Bremer’s attack left the 1972 presidential hopeful paralyzed. Wallace wrote, “I am a born-again Christian. I love you. I have asked our Heavenly Father to touch your heart, and I hope that you will ask Him for forgiveness of your sin so you can go to heaven like I am going to heaven.”

Fico said the man was “only a messenger of evil and political hatred,” which he accused his political opponents of stoking “to unmanageable proportions.” An official pre-trial detention order records that his attacker, 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, “decided to act,” because he views the Euroskeptic Fico “as a Judas toward the European Union” wants Fico to approve “military assistance to be given to Ukraine.”

Speaking of Ukraine ….

5. Biden abandons U.S. citizens in Ukraine, too.

Although Congress has approved $174.8 billion in aid to Ukraine in two years, the Biden administration is standing idly by while the President Volodymyr Zelensky attempts to draft U.S. citizens into his army.

As the Russian military takes its toll and Ukrainian opposition to prolonging the conflict grows, Zelensky has widened the population he’s drafted into the war effort. Zelensky signed legislation making every man between the ages of 18 and 60 eligible for military conscription. He’s also required every Ukrainian male between the ages of 18 and 60 to register with the government and carry registration documents with them at all times.

How does this affect U.S. citizens? Some Americans hold both U.S. and Ukrainian citizenship. Unfortunately for them, Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship. Zelensky treats them as potential conscripts.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy essentially told U.S. citizens entangled in Zelensky’s laws that they’re on their own:

“U.S.-Ukrainian dual citizens are therefore treated solely as Ukrainian citizens while in Ukraine and are subject to the rights and obligations of Ukrainian citizens. Under Ukraine’s martial law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not permitted to leave the country. Previously, dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizens in this group could enter and then depart Ukraine if they had deregistered their Ukrainian residency and registered their U.S. residency. According to our information, this exception was revoked as of June 1.”

As a result, “There is an extremely high risk you will not be allowed to depart, even with a U.S. passport.”

“The U.S. Embassy is limited in our ability to influence Ukrainian law,” said the memo.

A casual observer might believe the United States has $175 billion worth of influence over Ukrainian law, which it might exert on behalf of its own people. Instead, Biden personally apologized to Zelensky that the U.S. democratic process helped up aid delivery to his country. The apology came as his government announced it would send $225 million more U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Zelensky government. Zelensky, in turn, criticized the U.S. and other nations for not training Ukrainian pilots to fly the U.S.-provided F-16s faster.

Biden’s ill-executed withdrawal from Afghanistan left thousands of Americans trapped by the Taliban. As of this writing, Hamas still holds eight U.S. citizens hostage in Gaza. The first American hostage freed from Gaza, four-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, is the niece of a Biden donor who purchased one of Hunter Biden’s “artwork.”

This week’s underreported stories show, in war as in the economy, the Biden administration always abandons America first.

Bonus stories:

  • Psst, on Wednesday House Republicans issued criminal referrals for Hunter Biden and the president’s brother, James Biden, for allegedly lying to Congress. Curiously few legacy media outlets chose to juxtapose President Trump’s conviction with the legal troubles of his opponent’s family.
  • After years of denialism, The New York Times ran an op-ed on Monday titled, “Why the Pandemic Probably Started in a Lab, in 5 Key Points.”
  • On Tuesday, 500 non-U.S. citizens voted in the District of Columbia’s elections.
  • Democratic Rep. Gabe Vasquez (N.M.) used an anti-black slur in a phone call to his former employer in 2004.
  • New Jersey Democrats voted for a dead man in Tuesday’s primary. Although former Rep. Ronald Payne Jr. died of a heart attack in April, he won his party’s nomination this week.
  • Joe Biden has threatened to veto funding for America’s veterans, because House Republicans stripped out funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out abortions, promote transgender procedures, and promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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