Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 05.23

Newsworthy

Another one bites the dust. A Birmingham, Ala., abortion business surrendered its license to the state's Department of Public Health and ceased operations last Friday. New Woman All Women Heath Care came under scrutiny in January after pro-life activists shot video of two women being carried out of the back of the building to waiting ambulances. A review of 911 calls revealed that both women had overdosed on a drug administered by the clinic. A month-long investigation and inspection by the Department of Public Health found many violations-including a third overdose victim. "The regulators were able to go in there and to discern really for the first time how horrific this abortion clinic was," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. "The number of health code violations, drug violations, etc., were so numerous that they simply could not be rehabilitated and had to be shut down."

Teacher gone wild. A recording of a high school teacher in North Carolina berating her students during a class discussion has become an internet sensation. Tonya Dickson-Neely, a social studies teacher in the Rowan-Salisbury school system, just northeast of Charlotte, engaged her students in a discussion about the upcoming presidential election. That's fine for a social studies class, but the teacher-in an obvious attempt to silence criticism of President Obama-tells one of the students that he can be arrested for his negative comments about the president. Conservatives say the video is evidence of the liberal indoctrination and intimidation tactics used against conservatives in the public school system. The school district suspended the teacher with pay pending an investigation. Translated: If the teacher is re-instated, this punishment amounts to a paid vacation for verbally abusing a student.

Reversal. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has reversed an earlier decision and will allow Christian groups to limit their membership to those who share their beliefs. In April 2011, the Make Up Your Own Mind Club sought exemption from the school's nondiscrimination policy, saying it was a religious group. University officials denied that request. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit on the group's behalf against the school in U.S. District Court. As a result of this reversal, the ADF has withdrawn its suit. "To their credit, they clarified policy," said Jeremy Tedesco, legal counsel with ADF. "The policy is now clear-all belief-based clubs are able to select members and leaders based on their beliefs."

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Demographic Winter? The sixth World Congress of Families (WCF) opens this week in Madrid. The periodic event, attended by pro-family and pro-life activists from around the world, will focus this time on what it calls "Europe's perilously low fertility and population decline which contributes to the continent's intractable economic crisis." According to WCF managing director Larry Jacobs, "In developed nations, a fertility rate of 2.1 is needed just to replace current population. … In the European Union as a whole, it's 1.5-well below replacement. In Spain, it's slightly lower-1.47. Greece has a TFR of 1.3." Some of us are old enough to remember that back in the 1960s, Paul Ehrlich wrote a book called The Population Bomb, which predicted widespread starvation and war as a result of overpopulation. Liberals used the book to promote abortion, contraception, and homosexuality as an "evolutionary adaptation" to procreative unions. But Jacobs notes that "the demographic challenge of the 21st century won't be overpopulation but declining and aging populations." The real reason for population growth in the 20th century was the worldwide increase in living standards and lifespan. As Steven Mosher recently told me, "The reason the population grew was not because we were breeding like rabbits, but because we were no longer dying like flies." But we've likely reached the end of longevity increases, so if birthrates stay the same, look for population declines in most countries in the world in the decades ahead.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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