Sri Lanka Bombings. The death toll continues to rise in the aftermath of Easter Sunday attacks that struck an evangelical church and two Catholic churches in Sri Lanka. So far, the casualty toll is about 290 dead and more than 500 people wounded. St. Sebastian Church posted photos on Facebook that show the extent of the devastation. According to Mindy Belz of WORLD, “At Zion Church, a charismatic evangelical congregation on the island of Batticaloa, the pastor greeted the man who would turn out to be the suicide bomber, a visitor who said he was a Muslim.” Belz also reports that “there is a growing history of Easter attacks” because terrorists know on those dates Christian churches will be filled to capacity.
Gender Reassignment in the UK. Britain’s National Health Service is facing criticism for fast-tracking children into sex change procedures. More than 2500 children with “gender identity” issues were referred to the Tavistock Centre last year, up from just 94 children in in 2010. The Tavistock Centre is Britain’s leading mental health facility. Five employees recently resigned because they believed the center was “mutilating” children. An anonymous employee told The Times of London, “I would talk about it as an ‘atrocity.’ I know that sounds quite strong, but it felt as if we were a part of something that people would look back on in the future, and ask, ‘What were we thinking?’”
Fertility Fraud. Dutch officials say a fertility doctor in the Netherlands used his own sperm to father at least 49 children. The doctor, Jan Karbaat, who died in 2017 at age 89, was long on the radar screen of authorities, but he was allowed to practice medicine until he was nearly 80, when – in 2009 – his fertility clinic was shut down because of poor record-keeping. The Dutch Donor Child Foundation did the research on this case, and officials there said the number of people conceived by Karbaat will likely be revised upward as more people who have suspicions about the doctor come forward after reading news reports. The problem is not just a European one. The Indiana Senate recently passed a bill that would make it a felony to intentionally deceive someone else regarding sperm, eggs, or embryos. An Indiana fertility doctor, Donald Cline, fathered at least 50 children with unknowing women who came to his clinic in the 1970s and ’80s.
LGBT and SCOTUS. A case that has the potential to re-make legal landscape on matters of sexuality is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday the Supreme Court said it would hear the case of a funeral home employee who sued his Christian employers. They would not let him dress as a woman at work. The High Court also said it will consider three cases filed by individuals who claimed they were fired because of their sexual orientation. These are the first cases the Supreme Court has heard related to LGBT discrimination since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage.
Remembering Robert Penn Warren. It’s worth noting that one of the great writers of the 20th century, Robert Penn Warren, was born this week (April 24) in 1905. It’s hard to overstate his contribution to American letters. He is the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for both fiction and poetry. His novel All The King’s Men is often called the greatest political novel ever written, and one of the great novels of any kind. He was one of the Fugitive-Agrarian writers active in and around Vanderbilt University in the 1930s. Many historians call their 1930 book I’ll Take My Stand a milestone in the conservative movement. Warren and Cleanth Brooks founded the Southern Review, one of the nation’s top literary journals and one that has been friendly to Christian fiction writers over the years, publishing, among others, Flannery O’Connor and Bret Lott (who also edited the journal). Warren was also an inspiration to those who want to be productive into their later years. He published one of his greatest poems, the book-length Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, when he was in his late 70s.
Warren Cole Smith is the Vice-President of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
Image: Sri Lankan Mourners, YouTube