USA Soccer Kicks Politics Into Overdrive
This isn’t 1980. There’s no gas rationing or inflation, no Watergate or the Cold War. But Americans are in uncertain times just the same. Our country could use a team of heroes — another miracle to shake us out of this bitter fog. There may never be another Lake Placid, but there will always be a chance for one uniform to unite a nation. Maybe that’s what makes this week’s celebration over USA soccer feel so empty. It was a moment with so much potential — but in the end, all it delivered was more of the same.
It was supposed to be a euphoric win — another chapter in American sports dominance. But the message from the captain of soccer’s reigning champs was clear: our country may be wearing the same colors, but that doesn’t mean we’re on the same team. Megan Rapinoe, the fiercely liberal co-captain, won everything at the tournament only to lose her self-respect. “I’m not going to the f—g White House,” she ranted before the team had even clinched. “I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest… in being co-opted or corrupted by this administration.”
But it wasn’t her expletive-laden rants that upset Americans most. After all, Marc Theissen points out, plenty of people have legitimate issues with the president. “But, Rapinoe isn’t playing for the Trump administration; she is playing for the United States. It’s one thing for a professional athlete to protest the national anthem, but quite another for a member of Team USA to do it. Rapinoe is protesting the Stars and Stripes while wearing the Stars and Stripes.” Yet even Wednesday, with her hands smugly behind her back, the 34-year-old millionaire refused to cover her heart — or her hostility — for America.
So it was more than a little ironic that Rapinoe, of all people, tried to channel her inner Gandhi at Thursday’s victory parade. “This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less.” It’s advice most people wish the entitled athlete would practice herself — since, based on interviews, she has absolutely no interest in starting an authentic dialogue. Asked who she would meet with on Capitol Hill, Rapinoe said she would talk to anyone who “believes in the same things we believe in.” In other words, “Yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi… Yes to Chuck Schumer.”
This from a woman who thinks conservatives are exclusionary. When CNN asked what Rapinoe would tell President Trump, she replied, “I think that I would say that your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color. You’re excluding, you know, Americans that maybe support you.” But interestingly enough, it isn’t the White House that’s marginalizing people. It’s extremists like Rapinoe, who don’t mind sidelining teammates and prospective teammates in pursuit of their ultimate goal: social activism.
If it weren’t for the intolerance of women’s soccer, Jaelene Hinkle would have been on the winner’s podium in New York City with a medal around her neck. But Jaelene is a Christian and a patriot — two things that her sport’s authorities apparently frown on. Where was Rapinoe’s call for “listening more” when the Courage star politely refused to wear an LGBT pride jersey? The same place Hinkle was when it came time to name the final roster: nowhere. The contrast in treatment is astounding. One player is elevated for her convictions (Rapinoe), the other (Hinkle) is punished for them. Welcome to the post-Obergefell world.
While Rapinoe is busy trashing her country with an irreverence that makes Colin Kaepernick look like a Boy Scout, she’s missing an important point. The people she’s alienating are on her side in the battle she ought to care about most: the survival of women’s sports. If she weren’t so preoccupied with this call for equal pay, Rapinoe might realize that, without conservatives, there may not be a sport left to pay them. That’s because those politicians she’s so anxious to meet with — the AOCs, Nancy Pelosis, and Chuck Schumers — are behind a piece of radical legislation that would put Rapinoe and every other female athlete on the path to irrelevance. If she wants to fight injustice, take both sides’ word for it: the Equality Act is a much better place to start.
Of course, to win that argument — or any other — she’ll have to take her own advice: Hate less, listen more. Two things that, as evidenced by Megan Rapinoe, don’t exactly come naturally to the intolerant Left.
Originally published here.
On Life, the Science Is Deafening
It’s a question at the heart of the abortion debate. But asking it almost cost one Ph.D. student his degree.
When Stephen Jacobs decided to pursue his doctorate, he knew a question about the beginning of life might be controversial — but he didn’t know how controversial until he took the idea to his advisors. The result, the College Fix’s Daniel Payne explains, was a grueling five-year journey that may culminate with Jacobs never working in the field again.
Back in 2014, when Jacobs first started mulling the research over in his mind, he settled on a national survey of biologists. The goal was to ask thousands of scientists at American institutions: “When does a human’s life begin?‘” After talking with his advisors, mentors, and other students in the program, he said he kept hearing the same thing, “that I should not research the abortion debate… because of who I was: a white, Christian man.”
Several people would have been deterred. Stephen wasn’t. After plenty of fits and starts, the survey got underway. Almost immediately, Payne writes, the trouble began. When the answers started pouring in, Jacobs was disappointed to see that he was being “ridiculed, mocked and defamed; accused of committing academic dishonesty, politicizing science and conducting his work with personal bias; compared to the Ku Klux Klan; and in general painted as an unprofessional radical who was, in one academic’s words, 'not deserving of a PhD degree.’”
Even his advisor told Jacobs he would “step down.” Eventually, he did.
“If I continued the research and, if he stayed on my committee, he would be unlikely to approve my dissertation. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was on my way to borrowing a quarter-of-a-million dollars to finance my education; I had turned my back on opportunities to make a ton of money as a corporate attorney; I had refused to sit for the bar so I would not be tempted by a legal career when things got tough; I had endured insults about my religion, accusations about my motivations, and attacks on my personal and professional integrity — all so I could do this work.”
He was even reported to the school’s ethics committee, where the University of Chicago agreed to let him continue with his data gathering.
Despite all of the difficulties, the results proved to be worth it. He discovered that “whatever their politics, large majorities of biology professors support the pro-life contention that human lives begin at the moment of fertilization.” Three quarters of the scientists he questioned replied that conception – not heartbeats or viability or birth – is when a human life starts. Even more amazingly, the pro-abortion biologists agreed. “While nearly 90 percent of ‘very pro-life’ respondents answered that it begins at fertilization, still nearly three-quarters of ‘pro-choice’ respondents answered the same. Around three-fifths of ‘very pro-choice’ respondents felt the same.”
So much for Planned Parenthood’s “That’s a blob of tissue,” Christine Quinn’s “When a woman is pregnant, that’s not a human inside of her,” or Senator Barbara Boxer’s “It’s a life when you bring your baby home.” Jacobs’s research makes it clear where science stands. And it’s his goal to use those answers to move the abortion debate away from “When does life begin?” to “Is it okay to kill unborn humans.” “Let’s stop debating whether a fetus is a human and start debating whether all humans have rights and, if so, how to balance one human’s right to abort and another human’s right to life,” he told Payne.
Although Jacobs knows he might never find work in his field — “I’ve been regularly told I can’t get a job in academia. I’ve been told don’t try — he thinks the personal agony has been worth it. "I knew what was going to happen before it happened. I told myself I was going to do this for the sake of research, not for the sake of my career.” But research isn’t the only thing that benefited — so have untold numbers of unborn children, who one day might have Jacobs’s science to thank for building a case to save them.
Originally published here.
A Sneak Peek of Hollywood’s Hypocrisy
A Strange Thing is happening with big entertainment companies like Netflix, Disney, and Amazon… To find out what, don’t miss FRC’s new ad on the dark side of Hollywood.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.