John Stonestreet and Kasey Leander

How A Polish Town is Supporting Ukraine and Redeeming Its Past

In the midst of brutality, the war in Ukraine is revealing stories of courage, beauty, and human decency in the face of evil.  
The Polish city of Przemyśl is situated on Ukraine’s western border. According to the BBC, over 4 million Ukrainians, about 10% of the population, have fled their country since the war’s beginning. Poland has received more than half of them.  
What makes their kindness ever more incredible and significant is that during World War II, Ukrainian nationalist groups killed over 100,000 Poles in the region of East Galicia. This led to Polish reprisals and an ongoing cycle of violence, ethnic tensions which remained until quite recently.  
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Most Men Don’t Have Real Friends (But Need Them)

Male friendship has always been a precious thing. It’s worth fighting for. The first and best way to do this is to teach young boys what it means to be a friend. Sharing emotions and normal physical affection are not inherently sexual acts. But on a societal level, restoring friendship to its proper palace means keeping sexuality in its proper place. 

In his article “A Photo History of Male Affection,” Brett McKay catalogs the dramatic ways male friendship has changed over time. One hundred years ago, men were far more comfortable showing each other everyday physical affection: draping arms over shoulders, sitting close to each other, even holding hands.
To modern eyes, McKay’s examples look, well, odd. It seems impossible for us not to see some kind of homosexual subtext to these photos. But challenging that assumption is precisely why McKay wrote this article in the first place. “[You] cannot view these photographs through the prism of our modern culture and current conception of homosexuality,” he writes. “What you see in the photographs was common, not rare; the photos are not about sexuality, but intimacy.”
In other words, as crazy as it sounds, we’re the weird ones. The typical ways men have shown each other affection for all of human history are so foreign to us that, when we see them, we don’t recognize them.
That’s the exact phenomenon C.S. Lewis wrote about in The Four Loves, when he said that “those who cannot conceive friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a friend.” [emphasis added]
Lewis was right in more ways than he knew.
Americans are lonely. According to research from Harvard Graduate School of Education, 36% of Americans report feeling “serious loneliness,” as do an incredible 61% of young adults. According to a Cigna health survey, nearly 54% of American adults agree with the statement, “nobody knows me well.” Isolated and glued to our screens, it’s a crisis that’s only getting worse.
The most significant decline in friendship is among men. According to a May 2021 poll, the percentage of men who say they have “no close friends” has quintupled since 1990, affecting nearly one out of every six American males.
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“Social Infertility” and the Denial of Reality

One of the features of the sexual revolution, especially in these latter days, is the steady stream of new words invented in the wake of increasingly incoherent ideas. For example, the word “cisgender,” coined by sociologists in the 90s, refers to “those who continue to identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.” It’s a definition loaded with ideas, such as sex being assigned at birth, but it basically means boys who identify as boys and girls who identify as girls. Only a culture committed to normalizing dysphoria and de-normalizing biology needs a word like that.
More recently, but in the same spirit of social engineering through nomenclature, some activists have suggested a new take on infertility, not based on biology or reproductive health but on lifestyle choices. The term is “social infertility,” and it refers to the state of those who intentionally choose sterile sexual arrangements, such as same-sex relationships, but still want children.
Proponents Lisa Campo-Engelstein and Weei Lo argue for the term this way: “Expanding the current definition of infertility to include social infertility will elevate it to a treatable medical condition, justifying the use of ART [assisted reproductive technologies] for such individuals.” Further, they continue, “States with infertility insurance mandates should provide the same infertility coverage to socially infertile individuals as physiologically infertile heterosexual couples.” [emphasis added]
Assumed here is that everyone has a right to babies. So, if you want one but are in a relationship unable to procreate, technology and the government should adjust accordingly, and force employers, hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies to help you have a baby. To be clear, this is not yet law, but this same “universal parentage” line of thinking was used to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state of Washington a few years ago, and the Department of Health and Human Services has indicated this kind of language may find its way into new mandates.
The irony is that the very concept of “social infertility” undermines the “love is love” slogan that has so effectively advanced the social innovations of the sexual revolution, such as same-sex marriage. Clearly, same-sex love – even when committed, sincere and monogamous – isn’t the same as heterosexual love in terms of what intercourse means and its procreative potential. Therefore, new words need to be invented, and others redefined.
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The Disillusion of Millennial Evangelicals

Though Gen Z-ers have all but replaced Millennials as the dazzling object of scrutiny and cultural analysis, it’s not because Millennials are no longer struggling. Rates of addiction, depression, burnout, and loneliness are all disproportionately high among the demographic born between 1981 and 1996. Since 2013, in fact, Millennials have seen a 47 percent increase in major depression diagnoses.
For their part, evangelical Millennials are in a season of deconstruction and deconversion, or reeling from the many influential and high profile leaders that have recently either left the faith or fallen from grace. Disillusionment is now a dominant feature of this group that was once convinced it could change the world.
In his influential book The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt uses a rider and an elephant to illustrate moral psychology. The rider represents intellectual reasoning. The elephant represents immediate perceptions, intuitions and instincts. Most modern people, Haidt argues, think that their own moral frameworks are derived from objective, rational reasoning. In other words, it’s the rider who tells the elephant where to go and what to eat. In reality, however, moral decisions primarily come from our gut instincts, and we use intellectual reasoning to justify those decisions. Or, back to our metaphor, the elephant wants bananas, and the rider explains why bananas are good after the decision to get bananas has already been made.
If Haidt is right, we can better understand the beauty and power of Christianity. To borrow his metaphor, Christ speaks to both the rider and the elephant. “Like newborn babies,” the Apostle Peter tells us, “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Christianity is not only ultimately true, it is also ultimately satisfying. It is satisfying, in fact, because it is true.
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