Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “pinnacle” as the point of greatest success or achievement. Pinnacle is the word used to describe the aspirations of Oklahoma’s child welfare system as published in the “Pinnacle Plan” by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). The Pinnacle Plan is the response to a federal lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma alleging chronic maltreatment of the more than 10,000 children in state custody in the child welfare system. The settlement agreement to end the lawsuit required the state to undertake extensive reforms to improve the child welfare system.
A few years ago, my wife and I began to feel called to foster after being challenged by our pastor, Craig Groeschel, and his wife, Amy. Life.Church consistently reminds its members that we’re called not to be spiritual consumers, but spiritual contributors. Stings a little, doesn’t it? Good.
We saw a need, the tug was there, and it was time to act. The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. So (after a lot of talking) that’s what we did.
Conservatives, as the readers of this magazine well know, emphasize the principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility over those of collective well-being and communal responsibility. Where there is a problem or a societal ill, we do not reflexively look first to government agencies for a solution.
When it comes to measuring the true progress of our society, this particular metric leaves a lot to be desired.
There is a holy number in America today. People worship this number on a daily basis. It has the power to cause the stock market to roar or to come tumbling down. This number even has the power to determine the fate of presidents. And yet, it is also profoundly anti-family.
Personal income is an important economic measure of a state’s well-being. Higher levels of personal income mean that a state’s residents are able to purchase more goods and services such as homes, cars, education, and health care. Fundamentally, personal income comes from two sources: the private sector and the public sector. The distinction between these two sectors is important because only the private sector creates new income. The public sector can only redistribute income through taxes and spending.
Recently released undercover videos show casual conversations about crushing the life from a tiny, unborn person. When the talk turns to calculating potential compensation for her harvested organs, even abortion advocates admit it’s disturbing. Many Americans are appalled to discover that their own tax dollars provide more than a half-billion dollars every year to the organization exposed in these videos.
The miracle of new life has come to the Carnuccio home this week. On Monday, my wife and our two sons were blessed with the newest addition to our family, a daughter. My daughter’s birth has inspired me to double-down on that which matters most and defines the family values and beliefs we hold dear.