Month Archives: May 2013

Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Gospel and Justice

by Krystle Gabele

May 31, 2013

FRC has released a new booklet that examines the unintended consequences of redistribution and looks at the meaning behind justice.  Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, brings to light how we should be carefully examining what the Bible says about meanings behind justice and how redistribution can be harmful to society.

Click here to download our new publication and learn about the Biblical meaning of justice.

Paying Off Egypt’s Persecutors

by Robert Morrison

May 30, 2013

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Secretary of State John Kerry had signed off on $250 million of a projected $1 billion aid package for the new Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen said, “a billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” So perhaps it’s time to take a look at what American taxpayers are getting for their money.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Coptic Christian, originally from Egypt. He reports on a world too often overlooked by our increasingly secular media—the world of Christian persecution. In Egypt, it is a world of hurt. Ibrahim documents this and much more in his new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. Here are some of his findings:

In November 2012, an Egyptian court decreed that eight Christians living in America—seven native Egyptians, and one American, Pastor Terry Jones—be sent to Egypt and executed in connection with the 16-minute YouTube Muhammad video. The prosecution offered no real evidence against the Christians, most of whom deny any involvement, and instead relied on inciting Muslims against the accused by replaying the video in the courtroom.

In September 2012, 27-year-old Copt Albert Saber was accused of posting clips of the Muhammad movie—which he had actually downloaded from a Muslim site, not YouTube. Muslims attacked and evicted him and his mother from their home; he was arrested and is currently awaiting a multi-year sentence.

In March 2012, Makram Diab, a 49-year-old Christian, was sentenced in a 10-minute show trial to six years in prison for “insulting Muhammad.” He had gotten into a religious argument with a Muslim colleague, who went on to protest that Diab had offended the prophet. The judge doubled the sentence to appease an angry mob, 2,500 strong, which had surrounded the courtroom demanding Diab’s death.

In August 2012, Bishoy Kamil, a Copt in his 20s who worked as a teacher, was arrested and given six years in prison for posting cartoons deemed insulting to Islam and its prophet on Facebook. Like Diab, he was given more than double the maximum penalty to appease mob calls for his death.

In April 2012, Gamal Abdu Massud, a teenage Christian student, was sentenced to three years on accusations that he had posted a Muhammad cartoon on his Facebook account, which had only some 135 friends.  Apparently the wrong “friend” saw it, for it was not long before local Muslims rioted, burning the Coptic teenager’s house as well as the homes of five other Christians.

In June 2011, another Christian woman, Naima Wahib Habil, newly hired as director of a junior high school for girls, was sentenced to two years imprisonment on the accusation that she had torn a copy of the Koran in front of her students. The rumor inspired mob riots and calls for her death.

Note the dates of the legal persecutions and prosecutions of Christians in Egypt. Every one of them has occurred since the much-hailed “Arab Spring.”

President Obama’s own role in this pattern of persecution is by no means that of an innocent bystander. He went to Egypt’s Cairo University in June 2009, to deliver his “New Beginning” speech to what he then called “the Muslim world.” Right from the start, we knew there could be no place for Christians in that world he so designated.

President Obama referred to the Muslim scriptures as “the Holy Koran,” something no previous U.S. President had done there.  He also said that the Mideast was “the region where Islam was first revealed.” That was a theological term freighted with meaning. It must mean, at minimum, that Islam has superseded Christianity and Judaism.

In that seat of Muslim learning, in that hotbed of Muslim Brotherhood underground activity, the forces of upheaval took Mr. Obama’s words at face value: They would find a new friend in the White House.

They soon did. Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had at least maintained a thirty-year “cold peace” with Israel and who had not given official sanction to the persecution of Egypt’s ten percent Christian minority, was soon swept away.

The “Arab Spring” would bring democracy and human rights to Egypt. The Obama administration welcomed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. And paid them generously out of money we must borrow from China.   John Brennan, the current Director of the CIA, referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as “largely secular.” That is true only if you discount its origins, its teachings, its history, and its practices.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt began almost at the same time as Germany’s National Socialists and shared with that “Nazi” movement a strong commitment to dominate all of society. They also shared with the Nazis a fanatical judenhass—hatred of the Jews. Like the Nazis, they use electoral politics to achieve their ends because they couple open appeals for votes with the threat of violence if they don’t get what they want.

Not all the reactions to Islamist persecution have been those of outraged Western critics, however. Even in the midst of violence and hatred by the jihadists, some Christians are speaking truth to power.

Abraham Kuruvilla is an American of Indian descent. He brings his gentle manner to bear in this thoughtful essay. Abraham is a graduate of University of Virginia and recently returned from a two-year course of study in Defence and National Security at the University of Madras. Abraham’s column—“Amidst Jihadist Hatred, Something New”— is well worth reading.

Still, we as American citizens and taxpayers can use our rights just as Paul did with the Roman rulers. We can speak out and protest our tax monies being used to fund such murderous mistreatment of our fellow Christians in Egypt. 

FRC in the News: May 30, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

May 30, 2013

With the IRS it’s now your money and your life

FRC President Tony Perkins recently wrote an op-ed that appeared on Fox News discussing the recent IRS scandal.  Perkins noted that it is not just the IRS investigating conservative groups, but the overreach into our personal lives as well. 

The vast powers of this agency are not limited to taxing us. They can demand and get a vast amount of information about our personal lives. Applicants seeking to register with IRS were required to divulge what they read, whom they hired, what they talk about, even what they pray about. One pro-life group was instructed to abstain from protesting the abortions performed by Planned Parenthood. In short, they had to agree to give up their constitutional right to petition for redress of grievances as a condition for exemption from taxes. As the editors of the Associated Press are learning, under this administration, First Amendment freedoms of religion, press, assembly, and petition are all at risk.

Preventing the suffering that abortion inflicts

Anna Higgins, Director of the Center for Human Dignity at FRC, wrote an op-ed that was featured in The Washington Times today regarding the pain that is inflicted on unborn children through late-term abortion.  Higgins mentioned, in the light of the Gosnell trial, we should be actively trying to stand for the sanctity of human life by eliminating the practice of late-term abortion.

For too long, we have accepted the violent and inhumane practice of late-term abortion as a “reproductive right” instead of condemning the practice for what it is — a violent assault on the most vulnerable among us. Late-term abortion places women at high risk and violently ends the life of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain. Studies have shown that unborn infants can experience pain by at least 20 weeks gestation. This is why fetal anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children who undergo pre-natal surgery. Killing a child in the second or third trimester, and thereby inflicting excruciating pain on him, is unconscionable and disturbing. More compassion is bestowed on animals and convicted criminals.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by Anna Higgins

May 28, 2013

The horrific practice of late-term abortion was brought to the forefront of the abortion debate due in part to the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. The reality is that late-term abortion perpetrates the violent death on an unborn child who is fully capable of feeling pain.

The sad truth is the difference between the murders committed by Gosnell and legal abortion is not a matter of clinic conditions or even surgical form. It’s a matter of a few inches and a few minutes.

Gosnell’s murderous actions would have been perfectly legal in many states had they been done before the child was actually born. As we work to correct Roe and establish a society in which all people, no matter their stage of development, are protected, we can take steps to eliminate inhumane procedures like late-term abortion.

Several states have passed legislation making abortion illegal past the point that an unborn child is capable of feeling pain. Studies show that unborn children feel pain by at least 20 weeks gestation. These 20-week bans serve to protect the innocent child, capable of feeling pain and to protect the mother, who often suffers physical and mental harm from abortion. Additionally, Americans overwhelmingly oppose late-term abortion. A recent Gallup poll shows that 64% of Americans oppose second trimester abortion and 80% oppose third trimester abortion.

In response to the obvious need to protect children and women from late-term abortion, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill on the federal level that would effectively ban abortion past 20 weeks gestation. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 1797, was presented last week along with several poignant testimonies in support of the legislation.

One testimony from a former abortionist who supports the bill described the grisly procedure of late-term abortion. Another testimony from a neurobiologist emphasized scientific facts that support the conclusion that unborn children experience pain and noted that in light of the evidence, the government has a compelling interest in and an ethical responsibility to protect the unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain. The importance of this bill cannot be overstated, and Rep. Franks should be commended for taking a very bold, public step to protect the unborn.

In his press release before introducing the bill, Rep. Franks highlighted the inhumanity of late-term abortion and the importance of banning it. He said, “Knowingly subjecting our innocent unborn children to dismemberment in the womb, particularly when they have developed to the point that they can feel excruciating pain every terrible moment leading up to their undeserved deaths, belies everything America was called to be. This is not who we are.”

As Americans, dedicated to the cause of life and liberty for all, we can and must do better. Also, as believers dedicated to the cause of Christ, we know that protecting the most innocent among us - those made in the image of God - is of the utmost importance. Passing legislation banning late-term abortion is a start along the road to protecting life at all stages. We urge you to contact your representatives and voice your support for H.R. 1797.

France’s Pro-Marriage “Manif pour Tous”: A growing force

by Robert Morrison

May 28, 2013

With two more American states legalizing unmarriage, with the Boy Scouts organization adopting a wholly unworkable compromise, with media and political figures in America throwing up their hands and throwing in the towel, it would be easy to get discouraged over marriage.

But look to France. There, the amazing “Manif pour Tous” (Demonstration for All) is growing, not diminishing, in intensity. It is a movement largely composed of young people.

For the fourth time in a year, pro-marriage demonstrators hit the streets of Paris in the hundreds of thousands. They brought together Catholics and Evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, and some atheists for marriage. They even recruited gay Frenchmen who understand that “everyone needs a mother and father.”

One of the strongest arguments made by this Manif is that for the rights of children. Not only do they have a right to a mother and father, but they have a natural right not to be treated as commodities. Because of our “Anglo-Saxon” single-minded focus on rights, we in English-speaking countries have too often focused on contending rights of adults and only of adults.

The French are boldly speaking for children. They are audacious, even. They call the practice of paying poor women to bear the babies of rich men what it truly is—womb prostitution. They regard what we call “surrogacy” as a form of human trafficking. The French have outlawed it.

The year-old government of President Francois Hollande is in deep political trouble. He and his Socialists came in a wave of hope and change. They would address the limping French economy. They would fix France’s persistent unemployment problems.

Well, the French economy is still stricken. And President Hollande’s pushing through the National Assembly a radical new law to eliminate mothers and fathers, and to permit persons of the same sex to marry is seen by millions as a cruel betrayal of his campaign promises to get the country’s economy moving again.

The President of the Republic has seen his approval ratings sliding dangerously. But he has re-doubled his efforts to abolish marriage. He understands that it is by undermining the French family that the French people will become more dependent on the State. This is the goal of all Socialists.

In America, the Obama administration seeks to replace Mother and Father with Parent 1 and Parent 2. And Mr. Obama’s appointees in the Justice Department are providing a catechism for federal workers in how to think and how to speak about marriage. These workers cannot even remain silent. They must chorus their approval of same-sex couplings. Like crickets, they must chirp.

The great Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, defied the tyranny of the old Soviet Union. He did not call on the Russian people to overthrow their Communist dictators with force, but he did say they cannot survive unless you “chirp.” They must think that the people actually approve of their despotism and thus, you must chirp like a cricket. Well, don’t CHIRP! That was the Nobel Prize-winning author’s advice to his Russian countrymen.

And when Solzhenitsyn wanted to tell the world the truth about Soviet tyranny, he wrote the Gulag Archipelago. In three massive volumes, he exposed Communism as “atheism with a knife at your child’s throat.” Solzhenitsyn recognized Paris as the intellectual center of the world. That’s why he launched the Gulag Archipelago in Paris.

Those books landed in the City of Light like missiles of truth. They had a massive impact in helping to demoralize the claims of the left.

And so, we, too, should look to Paris for inspiration in our fight. Our opponents here don’t use dogs and barbed wire. They don’t send us to prison, yet. (Although we at Family Research Council have been the targets of a terrorist bent on mass murder.) But they do use the Department of Justice to go after journalists and they do use the IRS to oppress conservatives.

We can speak up. We don’t have to CHIRP. And we can take inspiration from those young Frenchmen and women who are standing for the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. They are demonstrating for the future of all—truly a Manif pour Tous.

The Manif pour Tous is happy to use revolutionary imagery. Our own TEA Party raises up “Dont Tread on Me” flags. The French raise up the tricolor and march wearing Liberty caps. They’re not talking violence, don’t worry. But they are speaking of removing weak-kneed politicians from office. They are planning to challenge those on the right who fail to stand for the deepest values of their own constituents. God bless them!

Throughout the French provinces—what is called La France Profonde—we see a movement arising. It is a gathering storm, not a spent force. The rulers in Paris may have to take note.

When the news first came to King Louis XVI of the storming of the Bastille, he asked: “It is a revolt?” His attendant answered: “No, Sire, it is a revolution.”

For too long in America, in Britain, in France, the elites have ignored the people. Now, we are seeing in this Manif pour Tous a peaceful revolution—a youthful and faithful revolution. It cannot come too soon. In all our countries, the movement to end marriage is an elite movement. But the people are being heard.

In France, the young people have taken to the streets. They are well-educated and articulate. They remind us that Alexis de Tocqueville, the French genius who wrote Democracy in America, was only twenty-five when he wrote his classic work.

Like Tocqueville, most of these young French are Christian. Their uprising can inspire the world to resist the Culture of Death. They are the future of hope.

Some More College Debt News: Domestic and International

by Chris Gacek

May 27, 2013

The Washington Post published an revealing story by Nick Anderson that discusses how colleges are pumping out master’s degrees:

The nation’s colleges and universities are churning out master’s degrees in sharply rising numbers, responding to a surge in demand for advanced credentials from young professionals who want to stand out in the workforce and earn more money.

From 2000 to 2012, the annual production of master’s degrees jumped 63 percent, federal data show, growing 18 percentage points more than the output of bachelor’s degrees. It is a sign of a quiet but profound transformation underway at many prominent universities, which are pouring more energy into job training than ever before.

Needless to say: this is the opposite direction in which a society saturated with education debt should be heading.  We need undergraduate degrees that are substantial enough that they provide the basis for a solid career.  But the schools are doing what makes sense economically.  Pump out graduate degrees, degrade the values of such degrees, and rake in more money.

* * * * *

It turns out that college debt is becoming or has become a major international problem.  One organization of college debt analysts, CollegeStats, has a webpage tracking college debt in these countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, and Australia.  It looks like American grads have it the worst, but the U.K. and Canada are not far behind.  It is a growing problem in a number of countries.  CollegeStats has done excellent work in aggregating this international data.

The Nidal Hasan Case: Justice Delayed

by Robert Morrison

May 23, 2013

It could hardly be more of what we used to call an “open and shut” case. Nidal Hasan, an active duty Army major and psychiatrist, walked into a room at Fort Hood, Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and shot thirty people, killing fourteen. One of his victims, Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time.

She cried out “My baby! My baby!” but Hasan killed her and her unborn child anyway. The Obama administration has elected not to charge Hasan with violation of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, even though the law was passed explicitly to cover such instances.

The Fort Hood shootings occurred in November 2009. Hasan is only now slated to be brought before a court martial. The proceedings are scheduled to begin by July 1st, three and a half years after the killings. The old maxim is: “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The foot-dragging on the part of the Obama administration in this case is unconscionable.

Because of these interminable delays, Hasan has been allowed to accumulate some $278,000 in pay and benefits as he awaits his court martial. Army spokesmen say Hasan has “earned” that much because he has not yet been convicted of anything and we must presume his innocence.

Must we presume it for three and a half years? It’s useful to compare the Obama administration’s treatment of Nidal Hasan with the Roosevelt administration’s actions toward captured Nazi saboteurs in World War II.

Eight German and German-American fighters in two squads were landed in June 1942, by U-boats on the beaches of Florida and Long Island. The Long Island group was spotted by a young U.S. Coast Guardsman. Seaman John C. Cullen refused a bribe from the Nazis and alerted his superiors back at his station. Because they had changed into civilian clothes, the saboteurs would be regarded as spies if apprehended.

Apprehended they soon were, as one of their number, George Dash, ratted out his cohorts. They had orders from their Nazi superiors to blow up war industries and military installations. By order of President Roosevelt, they were tried before a secret military tribunal on July 2, 1942.

The National Archives tells the story:

Matters moved quickly for [Army Judge Advocate General Myron C.] Cramer since he and [U.S. Attorney General Francis] Biddle began presenting evidence to the tribunal on July 8. Preliminary arguments and the taking of testimony took 16 days—an average of two days for each accused. The military commission completed its work on August 1, when it found all eight defendants guilty of “attempting to commit sabotage, espionage, and other hostile acts” and “conspiracy” to commit these same offenses. Cramer and Biddle argued that the Germans must be sentenced to death, and the commission agreed. Roosevelt approved the death sentence for six of the eight men, and those six were electrocuted on August 8, 1942. The other two were imprisoned and later deported to Germany after the war. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the jurisdiction of the military commission, and the lawfulness of its proceedings, in the case of Ex parte Quirin, which continues to be cited with approval by today’s Supreme Court.

Cramer’s work as co-prosecutor was praised by his superior as “historic evidence of his legal ability and sound judgment.” He and Biddle had successfully completed the first military commission convened by a President and had achieved the best possible results for the government.

I am not necessarily endorsing capital punishment in this column. FRC has not taken a position on that question. But clearly this was no drumhead court martial. Instead, it was a serious and expeditious judicial proceeding. Our government was then able to act with speed and justice in prosecuting our enemies in wartime “to the full extent of the law.”

Nidal Hasan was known to federal investigators. He had been under surveillance for some time. As a medical graduate student, he had openly advocated jihad and justified killing “infidels.” And still he was allowed to continue in uniform as a major in the Army.

Even after his murderous spree in 2009, political correctness was not furloughed. The Army’s Chief of Staff, General George Casey, rushed to the Sunday TV talk shows and said: “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” What the general seems not to have understood is that it is only by enforcing the Oath of Office that all service members voluntarily take that we can have the level of trust for all our troops that a vigorous national defense requires.

While Nidal Hasan continues to accrue pay and benefits, this administration has classified his killings as “workplace violence.” Thus, his injured victims have been denied Purple Hearts and the status of combat-wounded veterans. A bi-partisan group of congressmen, including Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) have written to Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel urging him to re-classify theFortHood killings as “combat-related.”

This would seem to be the bare minimum this administration could do to show it is serious about the defense of theUnited States. And it could also benefit from reading how their great liberal Democratic model, Franklin D. Roosevelt, acted in time of war.

The Social Conservative Review: May 23, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

May 23, 2013

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to determine whether or not prayers can be offered at government meetings (local, state, and federal). The act of prayer being offered at the beginning of official government meetings is as old as the Republic, and as important as ever.

On January 8, 2013, FRC submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 49 Members of Congress supporting the Alliance Defending Freedom’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case, Town of Greece v. Galloway. In Galloway, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that public prayer before town meetings in Greece, N.Y. was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. The Second Circuit court ruled this despite the town’s highly inclusive policy that allowed even practicing Wiccans and atheists to offer civic prayers.

According to FRC’s Ken Klukowski, “It is likely that the town of Greece will prevail before the U.S. Supreme Court in this case, and a victory for them will be a victory for all Americans of faith and for the Constitution itself.”

Let’s pray that Ken’s prediction holds true: That God would work in the hearts and minds of our Justices such that one more ridiculous attack on our religious liberty will enter the dustbin of bad ideas, and that the right to pray to our Creator will not be diminished in an era so desperately needing His help.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch FRC’s latest webcast, “Inhuman: Undercover in America’s Late-term Abortion Industry.”


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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TONIGHT: FRC Webcast — “Inhuman: Undercover in America’s Late Term Abortion Industry”

by Anna Higgins

May 21, 2013

The gruesome practice of late-term abortion in the United States was brought to the forefront recently in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. While Gosnell’s facility has become well-known, it is important to point out that there are many other late-term abortion facilities operating throughout the United States. The horrific practices of these facilities were recently highlighted in a series of undercover videos by Lila Rose of Live Action.

Late-term abortion facilities are aborting children well into the second and third trimesters – subjecting unborn children to violent and painful death. Studies show that unborn children can feel pain as early as 20 weeks gestation. Currently, many states allow late-term abortion procedures despite the evidence of the pain capability of unborn children. The violent nature by which Gosnell killed his infant victims outside the womb would have been legal in many states if it had been carried out before birth.

In order to put an end to these inhumane practices, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is introducing The Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797), which, if passed, will implement a nationwide ban on abortion past 20 weeks gestation.

The Family Research Council is hosting a very important webcast tonight at5:00 p.m.(EDT) to expose these late-term abortion practices. Guests will include Lila Rose of Live Action, Rep. Trent Franks, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Please join us for the webcast. Together we can raise awareness about the dangers the abortion industry poses to women and children and end the grisly practice of late-term abortion.

Update on Murder Prosecution in Tampa, Florida

by Chris Gacek

May 19, 2013

Earlier today, I posted a comment on the use of the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA) in a Tampa, Florida, case.  Since then I have been alerted by Doug Johnson (National Right to Life) to an article he posted that contains a great deal of additional information about the application of the UVVA and the facts of the Welden case.  It is worth reading.

It turns out that charges have been brought under the UVVA on two occasions.  The first involved a 2010 New Mexico case in which the UVVA-based charge was dropped after Frederick Beach pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge for killing a pregnant woman on an Indian reservation.  The second case took place in the military justice system when an Air Force enlisted man, Scott D. Boie, surreptitiously gave his pregnant wife misoprostol.  He was convicted of the UVVA-based crime.  Boie’s appeal has been rejected, and he is serving is 9 ½-year sentence for the UVVA offense and other crimes.

Apparently, Florida’s fetal homicide law is even worse than I thought (see this NRLC website): its quickening provision defines the term “unborn quick child” to mean a “viable fetus.”  Triggering a provision such as that would require a gestational age in the early 20-weeks. Remee Lee’s baby was only six or seven weeks along.

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