The Daily Briefing highlights the news of the day and research that reveals the spirit of the day.
The Daily Briefing is a newsletter sent straight to your inbox every morning that provides biblical insight on today's news. This five-minute read gives an overview of the news driving the day and provides Nick Notes. These Notes offer biblical insight of the highlighted article.
Dr. Nick Pitts writes the Daily Briefing each morning. Nick earned his PhD from Dallas Baptist University, where he also serves as the Executive Director of the Institute of Global Engagement. Nick also co-hosts the Point of View radio talk show each Wednesday and frequently appears on Glenn Beck's Think Tank. His op-eds have been published by Huffington Post, Religion News Service, Townhall.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“Federal agents raided Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's home, part of city hall and another location Thursday. Pugh is under investigation for alleged "self-dealing" in connection with hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for a self-published children's book from private companies that were subject to her influence.
“An IRS spokeswoman tells NPR that the FBI and IRS carried out the early morning raid at Pugh's house, offices at city hall and the Maryland Center for Adult Training — a nonprofit employee center whose board Pugh once chaired. The official would not confirm whether the raids are specifically related to Pugh's ongoing crisis over her book deals.”
Nick Note: Jennifer Garner was crowned The Most Beautiful Person by People Magazine and Mayor Pugh was raided by the FBI and IRS. I’m bummed I wasn’t crowned this year but relieved I wasn’t raided. Nevertheless, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called on Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign yesterday after learning of the raids. “Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust," Hogan said in a statement. "She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.” Holding office is a high privilege, not an inalienable right. We the people entrust certain individuals to lead us into a more perfect union. When trust falters, progress screeches to a halt. You are no longer leading us but defending yourself. In the Scriptures, we read how the Gospel frees you from defending yourself and can cleanse you from all wrongdoing. God is a fierce advocate for you and forgiving Father to you. However God's forgiveness does not exempt you from the consequences of your decisions (Gal. 6:7).
“A measles quarantine was ordered Thursday at two public universities in Los Angeles in an effort to try to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease… The order was issued at UCLA and Cal State LA for students and staff exposed to a confirmed case of measles and who cannot prove they have been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.
“Those students and university employees, numbering more than 100, were being ordered to stay home, avoid contact with others and notify public health officials if they develop symptoms.”
Nick Note: Many rushed to the theaters to watch Avengers: Endgame last night, others of us listened to the new Taylor Swift single on repeat, and some college students were quarantined. Earlier this week, the CDC reported that there have been 695 measles cases in 22 states this year. This is the largest number of cases reported in the US since 2000. Over the past 8 years, 2.5 million children in the US have missed out on their first dose of the measles vaccination. Both sides of the vaccination debate desire to protect one of the great treasures in life – one’s children. The anti-vaccination side wants to protect their child (Matt. 18:10, Pro. 22:6). The pro-vaccination side implores the opposing side to love their neighbor by vaccinating their child (Mark 12:30-31). Opinions vary but when your individual choice threatens the larger community, liberties are limited.
4. We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records. (USA Today)
“Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse. They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.
“The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets.
“Less than 10% of officers in most police forces get investigated for misconduct. Yet some officers are consistently under investigation. Nearly 2,500 have been investigated on 10 or more charges. Twenty faced 100 or more allegations yet kept their badge for years.”
Nick Note: Bad apples exist but a bad apple doesn't spoil the entire bushel. Both of these thoughts can be true at once. A recent Gallup poll found that 85 percent of respondents said they personally have a great deal, quite a lot, or some trust in the police. This trust is crucial, according to the research. It increases levels of cooperation with officers and also further solidifies the legitimacy of these officers and the law. However, humans lack perfection and will at times fail to meet expectations. But trust doesn’t require perfection yet it does expect honesty. Today we live in tenuous times and have been given a false choice by the larger culture. We don’t have to choose between supporting the police and demanding justice. We can do both. Rather, we must do both. There may be a few bad apples but there is also an orchard of good fruit.(Amos 5:24, John 7:24, Rom. 2:11)
“Pew found that there are 10% of Twitter users who are super active, and they are responsible for 80% of tweets. Meanwhile, those among the 90% of users have a median of 19 followers and follow 74 accounts. That means that the overwhelming majority of what you see on Twitter is around 2% of the hyper-engaged population arguing with each other... According to Pew: 42 percent of sampled users had a college degree, versus 31 percent for U.S. adults broadly. Forty-one percent reported an income of more than $75,000, too, another large difference from the country as a whole."
Nick Note: Twitter doesn’t reflect reality but it does pander to our preferences. It is less a mirror and more a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. Contra to popular perception, Republicans aren’t trying recreate The Handmaid’s Tale,Democrats aren’t trying to take our guns during Drag Queen Story Time, and not all Christians go to Westboro Baptist. All too often, the internet highlights outliers and algorithmically positions the outlandish for your viewing pleasure.Instead of information, you are given ammunition for your proclivities. Fortunately, there are far fewer extremists than meets the screen-lit eye. As Christians, we don’t bear false witness or project insincere positions upon the other side. Love looks for the best and tries to redeem the worst in a gentle fashion – even on Twitter. (Ex. 20:16, Eph. 4:15, Lk. 17:3, Gal. 6:1)
News You Can Use
2. Louis Tomlinson helps Richard, 83, tick a load of stuff off his bucket list and it's just the purest thing (Mashable)
Nick Note: Watch it here. “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16)”
1. Big sister got approval to wear a "Frozen"-themed costume to bed. Little sister wanted to wear a costume, too... (ABC News)
Nick Note: Watch it here. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)”