Love in the Ruins. I was first introduced to Karim Wafsi by Mindy Belz’s book “They Say We Are Infidels.” Wafsi is the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. As an act of reconciliation, he takes his cello to sites of terrorist destructions and plays beautiful music amid the rubble. You can see him play in the ruins here.
Same As The Old China Boss? Some China watchers believe the country has come a long way in the past decade. They cite the growing evangelical church in the country, a growing economy, and other indications of progress. Then, however, you run across a story like the one in The American Conservative, which highlights President Xi Jinping’s oppressive regime, a regime that includes reeducation camps for children. Here’s an excerpt: “Mass political indoctrination is the central purpose of the reeducation camps established in Xinjiang. Elsewhere in the country, however, the Chinese government has instituted a wide variety of indoctrination programs, with the explicit goal of expanding the Party’s control over people’s minds. This includes overhauling all of China’s major educational institutions, increasing the ideological content of all media, and controlling the spread of foreign ideas and influences within the country.”
Transgender Development. In November, Massachusetts will become the first state to vote on transgender rights. According to WORLD, “The ballot measure asks voters whether to keep a controversial law granting public accommodation to transgender individuals.” The 2016 law added “gender identity” to Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statutes. It required businesses to open any public accommodation — including restrooms, locker rooms, showers, and changing rooms—to anyone, based on gender identity. Christian and other groups in Massachusetts launched a repeal effort with the secretary of state’s office and gathered more than 30,000 certified signatures to put the question on the 2018 ballot.
Dads Matter, Too. When dads play with their children, it develops their brains. According to researcher Natasha Cabrera, “Research shows that play with dad can deliver elements of child development that mom might not offer as much or as often. For example, the rough and tumble with dad is associated with learning how to regulate emotions and manage social relationships. This learning is then transferred to peer relationships and is vital for a successful adult life.” She also write, “Fathers can also act as challenging communication partners for children from an early age, aiding cognitive development. They tend to speak to their children differently from the way mothers do. Dads pose more questions that require conversation. They particularly use wh-questions, such as ‘what, why, who, when’. These types of questions encourage complex responses from children, boosting their vocabulary and language. Such skills can then provide pathways for enhanced development of verbal reasoning.”
Milestones on this date. In 1187, the legendary Muslim leader Saladin captured Jerusalem after nearly a century of Christian rule…. On this date in 1528, William Tyndale publishes The Obedience of a Christian Man, which advocates the divine right of kings…. The 1789, The United States Bill of Rights is sent to the various states for ratification.