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Human Rights, Abortion, Hugh Downs & More: Twenty Things that Caught My Eye Today — July 2, 2020

1. The Washington Post: ‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic

Nationwide, federal and local officials are reporting alarming spikes in drug overdoses — a hidden epidemic within the coronavirus pandemic. Emerging evidence suggests that the continued isolation, economic devastation and disruptions to the drug trade in recent months are fueling the surge.

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3. Msgr. Ratzinger, retired pope’s brother, dies at 96

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5. The Washington Post: Virginia maternity housing charity sees spike in need, challenges in fundraising

The demand for help exceeded the nonprofit’s housing capacity, so Mary’s Shelter came up with a new way to meet needs. It placed women in hotels, paid their rent, or covered transportation to friends or family willing to take them in, [Kathleen Wilson, executive director of Mary’s Shelter] said.

“We’re just meeting the needs wherever they are,” Wilson explained. “If we have to buy a bus ticket so they can get some place else or if we have to keep them in hotels for three weeks and incur that cost, we’ll do that.”

6. Supreme Court turns away two challenges to buffer zones outside abortion clinics

7. Black Disabled Man in Texas Dies After Being Denied COVID Treatment and Starved for Six Days, Wife Alleges

8. Cardinal Timothy Dolan: For God’s sake, stop demonizing the NYPD

A few years ago, I did the funeral of a police officer shot on duty. He had his gun pulled and aimed at the perpetrator who had already shot others and could easily have fired his weapon. But he didn’t pull the trigger. Why? The culprit was holding a baby he had grabbed. The cop lost his life lest he endanger that of another.

9. Somerville votes to officially recognize polyamorous relationships

10. Jonah Goldberg: Unlearning the Worst Parts of Ourselves

11. Andrew Ferguson: Leave Lincoln Out of It

The Lincoln Project’s ads—personally abusive, overwrought, pointlessly salacious, and trip-wired with non sequiturs—are familiar: They are undertaken with all the relish the president shows when he jokes about the mental hiccups of “Sleepy” Joe Biden, just as four years ago, he happily implied that Hillary Clinton suffered from some nameless disease. One reason Trump does this is to annoy his opponents; now his opponents’ supporters are returning the favor.

12. Ray Domanico: Support All Schools

Families for whom religious faith is at the core of their lives are given access to schools that respect their deepest values. In return, they accept that other families make other choices, and they, too, have rights. Most children will attend common district schools, as 90 percent do today. But the values, needs, and choices of other families should not be restricted by the will of the super-majority. Espinoza does not undo the growth of common school districts; it simply allows each state to consider the needs of its citizenry and respond accordingly in the schools that it offers. If change occurs, it will be slow, and it will represent the will of each state.

13. The Washington Post: Low-income families are the true winners of the Supreme Court’s religious schools ruling

The 5-to-4 decision written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. found that Montana’s no-aid provision, similar to that of more than 30 other states, barred religious schools from public benefits solely because of their religious character, running afoul of the First Amendment’s protection for free exercise of religion. Under this ruling, no state is obliged to fund religious education; but if it chooses to help support private schools, it can’t discriminate. “A state need not subsidize private education,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

14. Howard L. Muncy: Lessons from Gettysburg: A Conversation with Professor Allen Guelzo

Partisanship, and the conversion of history into partisanship, rarely accomplishes anything more than giving in to the immediate moment, which in turn creates an opportunity for bad temper. The long-term difficulty is that it convinces people to stay away from the history.

For Americans, our history is bound up with our identity. We do not identify ourselves by race, by religion, by ethnicity, by language, by culture. What identifies Americans is a historical moment in 1776 when we reached out and affirmed, as an issue of natural right and natural law, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

15. Tom Hoopes: Celebrate July 4 Like Civil Rights Leaders Did

It is important to note two things: First, that to think of America as fundamentally dedicated to slavery is not strange at all. Second, that it is nonetheless untrue. Our founding principles inexorably ended slavery.

16. Holocaust Survivors Continue Gathering— Online

17. Julie Gunlock: How To Talk To Kids About Patriotism

18. Nick Ripatrazone: How “Unsolved Mysteries Made Us All Conspiracy Theorists

Unsolved Mysteries set the interactive template for other shows, like America’s Most Wanted, which debuted in 1988, but focused on more conventional cases. Unsolved Mysteries embraced all things strange, and the weekly ritual of viewers sitting down to see and hear unusual stories had a curious result.

Unsolved Mysteries cultivated mainstream interest in conspiracy storytelling, creating the right mix for shows like The X-Files to thrive. It is difficult to imagine a character like Fox Mulder being so successful unless viewers were prepared to accept even the possibility that strangeness could be taken seriously.

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20. Do you know about Breaking Ground?