Stream Splashes: March 3-9 in Review

By The Stream Published on March 10, 2019

Every week, The Stream rounds up some highlights from the recent news. We call these our “splashes”: everything from insightful commentary on the week’s big events to small inspiring stories you may have missed.


Being out in the cold and rain pays off, says Shawn Carney, head of 40 Days for Life. “We always see more babies saved per campaign in the spring campaign than in the fall, even though we have more campaigns in the fall,” he said Monday. 70 Christians had gathered at a Lutheran church for a kick off rally for the 40 Days for Life vigil in Lewisville, Texas.

Why is that? “There is an instant respect for somebody being outside in miserable weather,” Carney explained.

40 Days for Life started across the country on Wednesday, March 6, coinciding with Lent.

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Why have most Christians throughout history observed Lent? Simple: They sought to identify with Christ’s suffering during his long road to Jerusalem that culminates with His death on the cross. It’s a time of preparation before Easter, just as Jesus prepared for his earthly ministry with a forty day fast in the desert. The Lenten fast is not done privately, though, but together as the Body of Christ.

Trust me: if you do this in a serious way, you’ll experience Easter in a whole new way.

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On December 2, 2016, Tony Means died from cancer. Tony left behind his pregnant wife, Erica, and six children.

Halfway across the country, on November 13, 2017, a semi truck T-boned Spencer Shemwell’s family van. Aimee Shemwell, Spencer’s wife, died instantly. Thankfully, their four children did not suffer serious injuries.

Erica and Spencer, devastated by the loss of their spouses, both joined an online support group. The same group. What are the chances?

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My title takes off from a famous passage in Orwell’s 1984, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.” Winston Smith doesn’t say it out loud, of course. He scribbles it in his journal.

But of course, the Inner Party finds out his secret. In fact, O’Brien tortures Winston until he’s willing to say that two plus two makes five. But that isn’t enough. The totalitarian wants more. In fact, he needs it. He needs those whom he dominates to really believe the lies he has fostered.

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