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Last Build Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:27:07 -0600

Copyright: Zinnia
 



D.C.'s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be Repealed

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:27:07 -0600

With barely a murmur from the major news media, Washington, D.C. became just the sixth jurisdiction in America to legalize assisted suicide this past Saturday. As discussed previously, assisted suicide is an abhorrent illustration of how far we have fallen as a culture, where death can now be chosen as if it were a legitimate choice among a variety of medical options. It is therefore extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Congress did not use its constitutional authority to block the D.C. assisted suicide legislation from becoming law through a joint resolution of disapproval. Congress can and must exert its constitutional authority to nullify this harmful and deeply flawed D.C. legislation, which undermines the dignity of human life, lacks commonsense safeguards against abuse, and endangers poor, sick, disabled, and elderly people. Although the D.C. law has already taken effect, doctors will not be able to prescribe lethal drugs for several months, possibly not until October, while D.C. creates the administrative forms, oversight, and studies for assisted suicide under their law. Congress’ latest spending bill funds the government until April 28 of this year. This gives Congress another chance to act to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide law by attaching a repeal provision to must-pass spending legislation, before patients begin to end their lives in our nation’s capital. We support Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD)’s efforts to that end. Assisted suicide is an inhuman act, pure and simple. It short-circuits the universal experience of death that every human being deserves at the natural end of their life. Further, anyone who has sat at the bedside of a dying person will tell you that death gives new meaning and insight into our humanity. One of the most beautiful recent illustrations of this was written for The New Yorker, of all places (a publication whose editorial board is almost certainly in favor of assisted suicide). Kathryn Schulz’s piece is a stunningly poetic and perceptive account of her experience of witnessing her father’s death. Here is an excerpt: Even so, for a while longer, he endured—I mean his him-ness, his Isaac-ness, that inexplicable, assertive bit of self in each of us. A few days before his death, having ignored every request made of him by a constant stream of medical professionals (“Mr. Schulz, can you wiggle your toes?” “Mr. Schulz, can you squeeze my hand?”), my father chose to respond to one final command: Mr. Schulz, we learned, could still stick out his tongue. His last voluntary movement, which he retained almost until the end, was the ability to kiss my mother. Whenever she leaned in close to brush his lips, he puckered up and returned the same brief, adoring gesture that I had seen all my days. In front of my sister and me, at least, it was my parents’ hello and goodbye, their “Sweet dreams” and “I’m only teasing,” their “I’m sorry” and “You’re beautiful” and “I love you”—the basic punctuation mark of their common language, the sign and seal of fifty years of happiness. One night, while that essence still persisted, we gathered around, my father’s loved ones, and filled his silence with talk. I had always regarded my family as close, so it was startling to realize how much closer we could get, how near we drew around his dying flame. The room we were in was a cube of white, lit up like the aisle of a grocery store, yet in my memory that night is as dark and vibrant as a Rembrandt painting. We talked only of love; there was nothing else to say. My father, mute but alert, looked from one face to the next as we spoke, eyes shining with tears. I had always dreaded seeing him cry, and rarely did, but for once I was grateful. It told me what I needed to know: for what may have been the last time in his life, and perhaps the most important, he understood. It is easy for those who have never experienced the death of a loved one to say that pe[...]


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How did the Washington State Supreme Court Get Barronelle Stutzman's Case So Wrong?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 19:54:23 -0600

Today the Washington Supreme Court ruled against Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who for years happily served her customer and friend Rob Ingersoll (who she clearly knew identified as gay), but could not in good conscience assist him in celebrating his same-sex marriage because it involved her creative talents and energies in furthering an activity she believed to be wrong.  In response to this desire to honor her conscience, the Washington State government organs of “justice” teamed up with the ACLU to sue her for purported violations of nondiscrimination laws, putting her personal assets and home at risk as a result. Barronelle never asked for this controversy, but it was brought to her doorstep by activists who simply couldn’t live and let live, and she has stood strong through it.  In its ruling today, the Washington Supreme Court first exposed its bias by spending a page and a half detailing the emotional toll on the same-sex couple, while spending a total of one sentence acknowledging similar harm to Barronelle (Hint: that toll is much more than one line’s worth). In addition to this discrepancy, there are major problems with the ruling. I want to focus on three of them.  1. The court got it wrong by concluding Barronelle engaged in discrimination  The state high court clearly erred by rejecting Barronelle’s claim that she did not engage in sexual orientation discrimination but rather objected to a certain activity (participation in the same-sex wedding). In rejecting her argument, the court heavily relied on cases minimizing any status/conduct distinction (the idea being that limiting the behavior of a certain class is discriminating against that class—a “tax on wearing yarmulkes is a tax on Jews”). Minimizing that distinction is a big error in this case, however. What makes the tax on yarmulkes reprehensible is the fact that it really is a back-door way of targeting Jews. Barronelle is not trying to “sneak in” discrimination against LGBT people by declining to participate in their marriages. She’s happily served these same people for years! The court recognized she had no problem with “selling bulk flowers and “raw materials,’” for use in a same-sex wedding, and acknowledged “she would be happy to do” that in this case. The court seemed to miss how this shows her actions do not turn on whether the customer identifies as LGBT or not, but rather upon the specific activity she is asked to participate in, noting at one point it believes “[t]his case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases in the 1960s were about access to sandwiches.” But the court already acknowledged Barronelle was not turning away customers because they identified as gay, as a sandwich counter would turn away any African-American who walked in. Barronelle only wanted to not be involved in their weddings. Is the court not willing to accept this?  There actually is a status/conduct distinction that’s important to this case, and the Washington Supreme Court errs in minimizing it and relying on dissimilar situations and precedents. While the court acknowledges that cases highlighting the status/conduct distinction exist (see footnote 6 at the bottom of page 16 of the opinion), it does not discuss or address them. Barronelle honestly and simply has a conscience objection to facilitating certain marriages, and nothing else. Courts, activists, and everyone else involved in this discussion need to recognize this.  2. The court hugely erred in rejecting Barronelle’s Free Speech claim  Additionally, the Washington Supreme Court simply got it wrong in rejecting Barronelle’s Free Speech claim. Though beginning with soaring language probably meant to show its high regard for free speech, the court quickly puts a damper on the party, concluding her artistic creations are not “inherently expressive” protected speech. The court’s analy[...]


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Don't Be Misled By National Geographic and Katie Couric: Three Things to Know About "Gender Identity"

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:33:57 -0600

National Geographic—both the magazine and the cable TV channel—have taken the plunge into the warm, politically correct waters of “gender identity.” First, the January 2017 issue of the magazine featured a set of cover stories on “The Shifting Landscape of Gender,” also dubbed the “Gender Revolution.” News of this “Special Issue” broke with the announcement that the cover model would be a child who identifies as “transgender”—a nine-year-old boy who claims to be a girl. It turns out, though, that the cover with the boy in pink was only for the “subscriber’s edition” of the magazine. Perhaps they realized that this image would not sell well at the newsstand. For that market, the cover featured a posed assortment of young people in trendy clothing styles, identified (in small print) as everything from “male” to “androgynous” to “bi-gender.” Then this month, a new special premiered on the National Geographic Channel: “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.” Full disclosure—I have watched most, but not all, of it. However, I have watched all of the video clips on the website for the show, and read most of the articles in the print edition of the magazine. Here are three key facts to help the viewer or reader avoid being confused by National Geographic’s take on this “revolution.” 1)      “Transgender” has nothing to do with “intersex.” This is actually made clear in a glossary found in the magazine. Adapted from a publication called The Teaching Transgender Toolkit by Eli R. Green of Widener University and Luca Maurer of Ithaca College, the glossary features this definition of “Intersex”: A category that describes a person with a disorder of sexual development (DSD), a reproductive, genetic, genital, or hormonal configuration that results in a body that often can’t be easily categorized as male or female. Intersex is frequently confused with transgender, but the two are completely distinct [emphasis added]. A more familiar term, hermaphrodite, is considered outdated and offensive. This fact could not be any clearer. Yet often, people speaking in defense of the transgender movement will say something like, “Well, some people are born with ambiguous genitalia,” in an effort to persuade the listener that some people are “born” transgender—but “the two are completely distinct.” Couric falls prey to this in the NatGeo special, devoting nearly the entire first half hour (of a two-hour special) to the subject of “intersex” individuals—and then moving seamlessly into a discussion of transgender persons without clearly explaining that “the two are completely distinct.” Writer Robin Marantz Henig makes a similar error in the magazine’s article on “Rethinking Gender.” The fact is, the vast majority of “transgender” people—people who psychologically do not wish to identify with their biological sex at birth—are not “intersex.” Their biological sex characteristics are 100% normal and of only one sex—their “gender dysphoria” is entirely a psychological condition, not a biological one. 2)      Left to themselves, most children with gender non-conforming feelings and behavior will not grow up to be “transgender” adults. The cultural trendiness of the transgender movement is leading increasing numbers of people to assume that if a boy declares at age 3, 4, or 5 that he wants to be a girl, he must “really” have a female gender identity and should immediately be given a new name, a new wardrobe, and new mandate that all teachers and peers must address him by feminine pronouns. To suggest that gender non-conforming children are “going through a phase&[...]


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Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2017

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:04:24 -0600

Dear Friends, Before his beautiful treatise of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” In the current political and cultural climate, these words pose a particular challenge for believers. Marco Rubio recently characterized our times this way: “We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.” While there are many reasons why we have gotten to this place in our culture, I think an underlying cause can be traced back to what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians: when people with good intentions fail to act with love, whether it be in speech or in action, their efforts backfire. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of news stories and commentary these days seem to be primarily concerned with scoring points against perceived enemies rather than to charitably inform, engage, and persuade. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of this. This is a failure to love. For believers, the temptation here can be to beat the opposition over the head with the Truth, and when that fails, to fight fire with more fire. After all, many argue, what else can be done when the other side refuses to even engage in a debate and instead resorts to name calling and straw man tantrums? This may be true, but believers must not succumb to tactics that society has deemed acceptable. Rather, we must present the Truth in charity and love. Hearts and minds are changed through patient forbearance, genuine empathy, and truthful proposals, as difficult and frustrating as this is to do. With the knowledge that Christ, who is Truth Incarnate, will ultimately triumph, let us always argue and debate in charity and love. This will often mean that we will “lose” in the court of public opinion, and our pride will be humbled. But Christ experienced no less. Let us pray that everyone, believers and non-believers alike, whether they be in public office, public policy, or the media, will come to know this truth. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family. Sincerely, Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council   FRC Articles Free pastors from the Johnson Amendment – Tony Perkins Shulkin Poised to Address Concerns at the VA – Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin Everything The Women’s March Movement Wants You To Believe About It Is A Lie – Sarah Perry Judge Gorsuch Is A Mainstream Constitutionalist – Ken Blackwell Marriage: The Abundant Life – Dan Hart UN: Religious Persecution of Rohingyas Reaches Horrific Levels – Travis Weber What You May Not Know President Trump Said at the National Prayer Breakfast – Travis Weber   Religious Liberty Religious Liberty in the Public Square How to Think About Discrimination: Race, Sex, and SOGI – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse Homeschool Family Sues NYC After Being Subjected to 60-Day Investigation – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post Tony Perkins Hails 'Victory' in $225K Settlement for Fired Pastor; Georgia Says He Wasn't Fired for Faith – Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post International Religious Freedom New UN LGBT Expert Doubles Down Against Religious Freedom – Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam U.K.: Preacher jailed for sharing Bible teaching with homosexual teen – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews Asia Bibi: Putting Seven Years Imprisonment Into Perspective – David Curry, The Christian Post Rubi[...]



Marriage: The Abundant Life

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:29:53 -0600

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It’s National Marriage Week, so it’s a good time to put in a good word for marriage: I got married last April, and my previously miserable life has been perfect ever since.

I’m kidding, of course, but what is true is that the nature of day to day life does change as a married man. When I was single, day to day decisions about life were usually about me: “What do I feel like eating?” “What do I want to do this weekend?” “What do I want to watch tonight?”

What’s different about marriage is that my day to day decisions are now primarily based on the question “What does my wife need?” rather than “What do I need?” In a sense, being married is a shift away from one’s self and toward another person. What I have found, paradoxically, is that this can be very freeing. Instead of constantly agonizing about what my true purpose in life is and what I should really be doing with my life (which I did incessantly when I was single), it is now very clear to me what I need to do every day: I need to love my wife. Everything that I now do (going to work, doing chores, going on errands, or even playing the guitar) is a means by which I can accomplish that goal.

In this sense, the married life is a full life. I don’t mean to say that those who are single are somehow living inferior, less fulfilled lives. I just mean that marriage, in essence, is a total and complete gift of self.  Within the vow of “forever”/ “unto death do us part” lies the freedom of giving one’s whole self, whole life, and whole future to another person. Indeed, my life feels more full than it did when I was single. I don’t think this is an accident. As Christ said in Mark 10: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” In a sense, then, marriage is a way of becoming more fully human because we are supernaturally joined to another person.

When I was single, I would often try to imagine what it would be like to be married. I would often try to imagine myself as a husband and think “How could I ever do that? I know nothing about how to be a good husband or father.” I would often think that in order to be married, I would need to change my personality and natural temperament in order to fit in to what an acceptable “husband” should be, otherwise I would completely fail at it. What I have found is that we can never really change who we are. Once you become a husband, you naturally make this new role your own. In other words, marriage isn’t about attaining a status, it’s about growing into a more loving human being. God has given us marriage as a means by which we can become more holy.

I say this in order to encourage anyone out there (men especially) to not be afraid of marriage. You don’t have to worry about being a perfect husband, there will never be a perfect time in your life to get married, and you will never find a woman who is perfect. If you think you have found the right woman (which should be prayerfully discerned), don’t be afraid to propose!

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Everything The Women's March Movement Wants You To Believe About It Is A Lie

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:06:59 -0600

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In January, it was a march. In February, it’s become a movement: a developing, inelegant phenomenon quivering with the latent energy of a post-march high. The covers of Time and the New Yorker recently featured a certain cat-eared pink hat. Organizers have developed 10 action steps for the first 100 days.

At USA Today, author Heidi M. Przybyla argued that “The march’s biggest asset — that it was completely organic and grass-roots — is now its challenge going forward.” Nascent march group organizers in New Jersey are hoping their collective acts as a clearinghouse on reproductive rights, climate change, and a free press.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

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UN: Religious Persecution of Rohingyas Reaches Horrific Levels

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:45:03 -0600

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Many in the West may not know about it, but the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has been occurring for some time at the hands of their own government, which wants them forced out of the country. A new report by the United Nations reviews recent developments and documents the cruelty to the group, which includes horrific killings of children and gang-rapes of women—often perpetrated by security forces.

While the facts on the ground are almost always more complex that what we can capture in reports and news stories, it is certainly true that religious persecution is a major element of what is occurring here. Religious freedom is a human right held by all, wherever they live and whatever they believe. All are entitled to be free to choose their faith and manifest it in their lives free from government interference, as articulated in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This goes for Muslims in Myanmar as much as it does for Christians in the Middle East.

Just because we don’t hear much about this situation in the Western press doesn’t make it any less horrible, or mean religious freedom violations are not occurring.

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What You May Not Know President Trump Said at the National Prayer Breakfast

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 12:25:13 -0600

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The coverage of President Trump’s remarks yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast was dominated by reference to his comments about Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you didn’t watch his speech or read the transcript, you may not realize what else was said.

Commenting on the denial of religious freedom in the Middle East, President Trump stated:

“We have seen unimaginable violence carried out in the name of religion.  Acts of wanton slaughter against religious minorities.”

And:

“We have seen peace-loving Muslims brutalized, victimized, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people.”

Yes, President Trump recognized the fact that Muslims are being killed in the Middle East. This, however, is an inconvenient truth for biased mass media bent on portraying him as “anti-Muslim,” so it’s perfectly logical that the mass media don’t report it.

President Trump’s other reference—to minorities suffering violence—would include Yezidis, Christians, Baha’is, Shabak, Kaka’is, certain Muslims, and others. I enjoyed meeting many people from these groups when I conducted religious freedom training for civil society participants in Kurdistan, Iraq several years ago. They are fascinating people, and unknown to many outside that region. President Trump recognized their plight in his comments at the Prayer Breakfast, yet this has gone unreported, with the “mainstream” press choosing to focus on Arnold Schwarzenegger instead.

True religious freedom advocates support religious freedom for all people, both here in the United States and overseas. Indeed, U.S. and international law protect religious freedom for all people, in all contexts, within the bounds of an orderly, free society. In this sense, not only “justice is blind,” but “religious freedom law is blind.” Thus we can determine the true religious freedom advocates based on who values and supports these religious freedom laws, as opposed to those who try to limit them to certain contexts.

We have yet to see what the Trump administration will do to protect religious freedom overseas. Recognizing the problem, however, is a start.

At the Prayer Breakfast, it was also heartening to see President Trump recognize the source of religious freedom rights:

“Our Republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.”

Indeed. Government does not create and grant human rights; it only recognizes them. Such human rights include the right of all people to choose their faith, and the freedom to live it out. This is a hopeful note on which we can proceed.

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Social Conservative Review - February 1, 2017

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:12:56 -0600

Dear Friends, For over thirty years, FRC has worked tirelessly to end legal abortion in American public policy. Our commitment to this cause is rooted in the belief that no nation that legally allows the God-given gift of future generations to be killed in the womb can last. But the pro-life movement to end abortion can and should be fought on all fronts, not just the legal and political side. Efforts to stem the demand for abortion in the first place are equally important. A recent article in Family Studies astutely explores this issue by pointing out that “three-fourths of all abortions are performed on women living at or below the poverty line,” and most of these women are single. What researchers have found is that “rarely do[es] a young woman and her community find abortion justifiable … It is often the pressure of the father that introduces abortion.” This clearly points to the fact that a cultural change must occur in America in order to help reduce the number of abortions. That is why FRC has funded the compilation of empirical evidence to point out the value of marriage and why it is so important for the flourishing of families, which are the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. As the evidence shows, when men do not marry, they earn less money. One reason for this is obvious: single men have less incentive to work toward getting higher-paying jobs because they don’t have a wife and child to support. In today’s self-centered culture, many single men still want the sexual benefits of marriage in a relationship without the perceived “restrictions” on their bachelor lifestyle that marriage would cause. So when a single man’s girlfriend becomes pregnant, it’s cheaper for him to pay for an abortion than it is to support the mother of his child and the child for the rest of their lives. As the Family Studies article illustrates, this scenario plays out mostly in low-income unmarried relationships. A goal for believers should now become crystal clear: In order to help reduce abortion, we must do all we can to help low-income men and women in particular see the value of God’s design for marriage and sexuality. Our modern culture scoffs at such “antiquated morality,” but God’s design for sexuality is beautifully simple because He knows it will bring about our happiness. When one saves sex for marriage and then marries, a vow is taken to love and stay true to the spouse until death. This means that adequate means of financial support must be worked hard for to accomplish this goal. This will most likely lead not only to a stable financial setting for any future children to be born into, but also a loving relationship that fosters virtue in the child, who then pass this tradition on to their children, and so on. When we follow God’s plan for marriage and sexuality, abortion not only becomes morally unthinkable, it becomes culturally and economically irrelevant. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family. Sincerely, Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC Articles Donald Trump Won the Respect Vote – Ken Blackwell What Americans Want In Their Next Supreme Court Justice – FRC Action The Condescension of the Establishment Media Regarding Life – Chris Gacek The Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and Unborn – Dan Hart Pro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017 Was Manning’s Sentence Too Long - Or Too Short? – Peter Sprigg Women’s March is Out of Touch with Today’s Feminists – Brynne Krispin Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape Reality – Dan Hart Obama’s Farewell Praised “Democra[...]



The Condescension of the Establishment Media Regarding Life

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:47:16 -0600

Last Friday, the annual March for Life took place here in Washington, D.C. It was a successful, peaceful, non-vulgar event as it has been for over forty years. This year, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the event, making him the highest ranked government official to ever address the March. Hundreds of thousands of people participated—this time-lapse video of the attendees processing toward the Supreme Court gives some idea of the crowd’s significant size. Crowds of this size have been typical at the March for Life for many years, but the establishment news media has pretty much ignored the March because they support abortion on demand as a policy and have little regard for the pro-life movement. Typical of this disregard and disdain was a short announcement in the New York Times by Jeremy Peters the day before the March indicating that Mr. Pence would speak there the next day. Peters begins his description of the news in the first paragraph by saying “Vice President Mike Pence will speak on Friday to a gathering of anti-abortion activists on the National Mall…” The description reeks of an attempt to diminish the March. The largest annual event for those who hold to a range of values about defending life is described merely as a “gathering.” This is technically true—but in the same way that the Rose Bowl game is a “gathering” of football fans near a playing field in Pasadena. Next we see the annual March described as a meet-up for “anti-abortion activists on the National Mall,” a description that is inadequate, to say the least. There may be a large number “activists” at the March, but, unless you are going to employ the tautology that any attendee who wants abortion ended is an activist, there were tens of thousands of participants who come merely to express concern and sorrow about the loss of lives abortion has caused. They are not political or social activists—they may be priests, pastors, and everyday Americans who “act” by praying tirelessly for abortion’s demise. Were all those who marched with Dr. King in 1963 “activists”? I think that would be an inaccurate characterization of that group as well. Does standing in public against injustice make you an “activist”? I don’t think so. Christians are exhorted “to stand” and reject the perception that something is accepted by the church when it is not in actuality (see Ephesians 6:13 and Daniel 3). Many of those who attend the March for Life do so merely to leave their normal walks of life for a day “to stand” with the unborn. Many men and women also come to stand as acts of contrition for abortions in which they have participated. Finally, the usage of the terms “anti-abortion” and “anti-abortion activist” by the media is a characterization that allows for the easiest stereotyping and dismissal of those marchers. This phrasing might be acceptable if those who support abortion, like many who attended the Women’s March held here on January 21st, were always referred to as “pro-abortion,” but they are not. Euphemisms like “pro-choice” have been used for decades to misdirect from the reality of abortion. At the very least, the people at last Friday’s event were concerned with many bioethical issues beyond abortion like euthanasia, fetal tissue harvesting, cloning, and the creation of human-animal hybrids. “Anti-abortion” is an easy but incomplete way to characterize the depth and breadth of the pro-life movement. The March for Life is a beautiful thing that deserves better treatment. I don’t mean to batter Mr. Peters—he seems like an able journalist who was probably working on a deadlin[...]


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The Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and Unborn

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 16:19:55 -0600

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With the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past Sunday and the youthful energy of the March for Life that will happen today, we as a nation are rightly confronted once again with what many would prefer not to think about: In America, one’s unborn offspring can legally be killed.

With abortion front and center this week, it seems like the perfect time to once and for all quash a lie that has been continually regurgitated year after year by those who are in favor of abortion. The falsehood goes something like this: “Pro-lifers only care about the baby when it’s in the womb. Once it’s born, you no longer care about it, even when that child is born into poverty” yada, yada, yada.

Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International recently gave a succinct rebuttal of this falsehood at an FRC Policy Lecture:

 “My wife runs one of the 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers [there are actually over 4,000] all around the country. She and her volunteer counselors do everything, including driv[ing] them [women with unplanned pregnancies] to ultrasound appointments, finding them clothes, finding them jobs, finding them housing, and all the rest. No pro-abortion group does that. So I like to ask people, go ahead and pretend that you’re pregnant outside of marriage and can’t deal with this child; call up a pro-abortion group, any pro-abortion group, and say ‘I need help with baby food, with formula, I need help finding a job,’ and they’ll either laugh at you or refer you to a social service agency. Then try any pro-life CPC (crisis pregnancy center) and look at the contrast there. Who really cares about the women?”

To illustrate this point, Live Action recently released a video detailing how abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are the ones that don’t provide care for women if they choose to give birth to their babies—not only do they not provide services for women after birth, the vast majority don’t even provide basic prenatal care.

So next time you run into the baseless “pro-lifers only care about unborn babies” line, be sure to set the record straight: the pro-life movement cares about women and their babies, period—whether born or unborn. The facts speak for themselves.

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Pro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 14:04:00 -0600

As we approach the March for Life tomorrow, we have an unprecedented opportunity before us to advance the culture of life with a unified pro-life House, Senate, and president. Here are some bills you should know about for 2017 that will defend the innocent and protect the consciences of the American people. This year, like never before, let your representatives know of your support for these crucial measures that will save lives. 1. S.184/H.R.7 - No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment and apply it across all federal government programs, preventing federal funds from paying for elective abortion and health care plans that include elective abortion coverage. This bill (H.R.7) passed the House on January 24, 2017, and its Senate companion bill (S.184) is currently pending a vote in the Senate. 2. H.R.37/S.220 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act This bill requires health care practitioners to treat babies born alive after failed abortion attempts with the same care they would provide to a baby born at the same gestational age. Additionally, it includes penalties for the intentional killing of infants born alive. The bill also gives the mother of a child born alive a private right of action to seek relief in case an abortionist were to kill her born-alive infant. 3. H.R.36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act This bill will ban abortions after 20 weeks’ post-fertilization, the point at which science tells us a child can feel excruciating pain. 4. Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (pending introduction) With this budget reconciliation bill, a special legislative vehicle that can pass the Senate with just 51 votes, pro-lifers can see Obamacare gutted, stopping subsidies for health care plans that cover abortion and see over $400 million rescinded in annual mandatory spending that currently funds Planned Parenthood. These taxpayer dollars would then be reallocated to other federally-qualified health centers that do not provide abortion. This bill passed the House and Senate in 2016, but unfortunately former President Obama vetoed it. President Trump has indicated that he would sign this legislation. 5. Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act (pending introduction) This bill would ban dismemberment abortions in which unborn children are brutally torn apart limb from limb (also known as dilation and evacuation abortion). 6. Conscience Protection Act (pending introduction) This bill would stop discrimination against pro-lifer Americans, by the government and entities it funds, who object to being forced to participate in abortion (such as doctors). This bill would codify abortion conscience laws like the Weldon Amendment that have to be re-added to annual spending bills, and the bill would give pro-life victims of discrimination the right to sue in court.[...]


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Was Manning's Sentence Too Long - Or Too Short?

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:20:21 -0600

One of the last acts of President Barack Obama’s presidency, on January 17, was to commute the sentence of “Chelsea” (formerly Bradley) Manning—the former Army intelligence analyst who was convicted of releasing over 700,000 confidential files to Wikileaks. Manning came out as transgender, requesting to be called “Chelsea” and treated as a female, the day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013. Mr. Obama reduced the sentence to seven years, meaning that Manning will be released in May. President Obama’s action was widely panned—even his own Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, said publicly that he opposed it. But Mr. Obama defended the commutation in his final press conference the next day by insisting that “the sentence that she received was very disproportional—disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received.” This is the argument that defenders of Manning—many of them LGBT activists—had made, depicting Manning merely as a “leaker” or (even more sympathetically) a “whistleblower,”  based on his reported motive of wanting to expose wrong-doing by the U.S. military in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Conservatives have tended to use a harsher word for Manning—“traitor.” In a general sense, there can hardly be any doubt that Manning’s actions were a betrayal of his military responsibilities and his country. From a legal perspective, however, the crime of “treason” was not one with which Manning was formally charged. Manning was charged with 22 different offenses. He pled guilty to ten, but went to trial on the remaining 12. He chose a bench trial in which the verdict would be issued by the judge, not a jury. Manning was acquitted on the single most serious charge of “aiding the enemy,” which could have carried a sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole. He was convicted on virtually all the other charges. The convictions could have subjected him to up to 90-136 years in prison. Even the ten counts to which he pled guilty could have led to up to 20 years in prison. At trial, the prosecution asked for a sentence of 60 years. In the end, the judge sentenced Manning to 35 years. While Manning’s defenders on the left call him a “whistle-blower” and critics on the right prefer “traitor,” perhaps a more neutral term based on Manning’s proven crimes would be “spy.” After all, several counts of espionage were among the crimes of which he was convicted. So instead of comparing Manning’s sentence to that of other “leakers,” perhaps a more reasonable comparison would be to others convicted in prominent cases of espionage. Aldrich Ames, for example, was a former CIA analyst convicted in 1994 of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. He is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Robert Hanssen was a former FBI agent, also convicted (in 2001) of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. He is serving fifteen consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. Manning’s defenders point out that he did not provide the information he stole to an enemy government. They seem to believe that releasing confidential documents to the public through Wikileaks—so that our enemies and everyone else in the world can see them—is somehow less serious than releasing them surreptitiously to an enemy government alone. I’m not sure I see the logic in that argument. Jonathan Pollard was an intelligence specialist for the Navy who, according to Wikipedia, “is the only American who has received a life sentence for passing classifi[...]


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Women's March is Out of Touch with Today's Feminists

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:59:52 -0600

With less than two days to go and over 200,000 people registered, the organizers of the Women’s March have decided now would be a good time to clear up the some of the ambiguity that has been surrounding the event since its creation back in November. Not only has there been confusion about logistics of the event (where they will march, bus parking, permits, etc.), but the purpose of the event has remained vague, stating a simple but admirable mission to stand together for the protection of women’s rights. On board with the mission statement of the march, New Wave Feminists, a pro-life feminist group, applied and was successfully admitted to be an organized partner at the Women’s March, which takes place at the U.S. Capitol on January 21. Seeing their name on the partner list along with groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America gave pro-life feminists hope for the women’s rights movement – proof that the organizers are truly seeking diversity and unity by welcoming women from all different ideologies and walks of life. Are we finally getting past the narrow-minded approach that says only women who are pro-abortion can fight for women’s rights? But the glimmer of hope we felt with New Wave Feminists’ breakthrough soon diminished when pro-abortion feminists immediately took to social media to bash the organizers of the Women’s March for their decision to allow pro-life women to march alongside them. Very kind and tolerant things were said, such as:       It didn’t take long for the organizers to cave to their demands and remove New Wave Feminists as an organized partner for the march. In a statement issued Monday evening, they apologized for this “error,” saying that “our platform is pro-choice, and that has been our stance since day one.” For the record, nowhere on their website or social media accounts had they ever mentioned having a pro-choice agenda. Choosing a pro-choice platform for a movement that is supposed to be for all women is disheartening for a variety of reasons, primarily because it alienates roughly half of the women in this country. It also shows there is much work to be done in bridging the generational gap in the modern-day feminist movement. The feminist movement that grew out of the sexual revolution and fought for abortion rights is changing. Studies have shown that millennials increasingly oppose abortion, and Generations Y and Z are the most pro-life generations since Roe v. Wade, thanks to technology advances such as ultrasounds that show just how human unborn babies actually are (not clumps of tissue). Remember when NARAL slammed Doritos for their Super Bowl commercial and everyone just rolled their eyes? As a pro-life millennial, this is what encourages me even when I see pro-lifers constantly shoved aside and told their voices aren’t welcome at the human rights table. We recognize that the women’s movement has grown tremendously around the world in the last decade, and many of these women hold different views on abortion than Gloria Steinem – seeing motherhood as an empowering choice that strengthens their communities, not as a weakness that limits them. Feminism has expanded to mean education rights, fighting against domestic violence, ending human trafficking, and so much more, and yet the world will watch on January 21 as the U.S. reduces it to abortion rights. When pro-life feminists are excluded from solving issues that women face today, some of the greatest female minds are left out. Why are we jeopardizing the advancement of women’s rights for the sake of agreement on one issue, especially if views on tha[...]


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Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can't Escape Reality

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:34:58 -0600

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A video celebrating the legacy of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion purveyor, and its founder Margaret Sanger was released yesterday featuring a slew of voice-overs by Hollywood stars, with none other than Star Wars Director J.J. Abrams serving as Executive Producer. It’s unfortunate that so many cultural elites don’t seem to care that the organization they care about so passionately just happens to sell the body parts of discarded unborn babies for profit, as well as aid and abet child sex traffickers.

The dark legacy of Margaret Sanger’s group has been well-catalogued by FRC and many other organizations, including her eugenicist and racist views. Surprisingly, the new Planned Parenthood video actually acknowledges that she “aligned herself with eugenicists.” It then conveniently justifies this unfortunate fact by concluding: “While there’s no question that Margaret left behind a conflicting legacy, it’s also true that she was a champion of progress.” So according to Planned Parenthood, the ends of committing abortions and distributing abortifacient drugs justifies the means of promoting eugenics and racism (back when it was popular) in order to gain legitimacy. In other words, you have to crack a few eggs in order to make an omelet. 

The video also laments the passage of the Hyde Amendment, highlighting the tragedy of Rosie Jimenez’s death at the hands of an illegal abortionist as “the first woman to die because of the Hyde Amendment.” To claim that a woman’s tragic decision to let an illegal abortionist kill her unborn child, and in the process kill her, was a direct result of a piece of legislation is a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly. What isn’t a stretch is that the Hyde Amendment has helped save the lives of an estimated 2 million babies who resulted from unplanned pregnancies.

While Planned Parenthood tries desperately to gain positive PR with the help of the Hollywood left, it can’t change reality. The abortion giant is staring directly at an ongoing congressional investigation and a federal defund. No amount of celebrity appeal can cover up decades of abortion profiteering at the expense of poor minority women and girls, its eugenicist founder, its baby body parts trade, and its sex trafficker sympathies.

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