FRC Blog

Pro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017

by Family Research Council

January 26, 2017

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can see Obamacare gutted, stopping subsidies for health care plans that cover abortion and see over $400 million rescinded in annual mandatory spending that currently funds Planned Parenthood.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?

by Peter Sprigg

January 20, 2017

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 classified information to an ally of the U.S.”—namely, Israel. He was convicted in 1987, and served 28 years in prison before being paroled in 2015.

Even under his 35-year sentence, it is reported that Manning could have been “eligible for parole after serving one-third of the sentence.” If granted parole, that would have meant Manning’s release after less than 12 years of confinement. It hardly seems like another five years of confinement after seven have already passed would have been the grave hardship Manning’s defenders claim.

Whether because of sympathy with his anti-war stance or sympathy with his transgender status, it seems like President Obama has left Manning with a punishment that is far too lenient—not too harsh.

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

by Brynne Krispin

January 19, 2017

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 that one issue are equally divided among women in this country? It’s difficult enough for women to fight for their voices to be heard in a male-dominant society. Disqualifying women from the feminist movement only hurts our cause. 

To the women who are fed up with being silenced and told that their opinion doesn’t matter, we must come together and see beyond what the liberal feminist agenda demands of us. We may not see eye-to-eye on every issue, but that should not prohibit us from fighting to protect the rights of women and children in the U.S. and around the globe.

A quote taken directly from the Women’s March website ironically explains why:

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -Audre Lorde

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Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape Reality

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2017

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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Obama’s Farewell Praised “Democracy” — But His Support for Judicial Tyranny On Marriage Shows He Doesn’t Mean It

by Peter Sprigg

January 18, 2017

President Obama’s farewell address in Chicago on January 10—although overshadowed in the news cycle by President-elect Trump’s press conference in New York less than a day later—deserves some attention.

There were some interesting tidbits in the speech for those of us who seek to bring our faith to bear in the world of public policy. My former boss, Rob Schwarzwalder, quickly took the president to task for declaring that “the essential spirit of this country … that guided our Founders” was “born of the Enlightenment … a faith in reason …” In reality, the Founders were guided by faith in divine Providence, as well as a biblical worldview that included a realistic understanding of the depravity of human beings.

Perhaps we should at least be grateful that President Obama did not censor out the Creator when he quoted the Declaration of Independence, citing “the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.” And after eight years of promoting a cramped vision of “freedom of worship,” Mr. Obama actually cited the broader “freedom of religion” as one of the principles of the post-World War II democratic order.

The Obama address had one over-arching theme: “the state of our democracy.” He used the word “democracy” a grand total of twenty-two times. The outline of the speech identified four “threat[s] to our democracy”—lack of economic opportunity, racial division, increasing polarization, and apathy.

I welcome Mr. Obama’s primary emphasis (appropriate under the circumstances) on over-arching principles rather than specific policy goals.

And I give him credit for laying down challenges that can apply to those on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. For example, there was this passage:

For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or on college campuses, or places of worship, or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. The rise of naked partisanship, and increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste — all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable. And increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.

Unfortunately, when President Obama did recite a list of policy accomplishments, it belied his professed love of democracy—at least with respect to one issue. In a long paragraph (actually, one long sentence) beginning, “If I had told you eight years ago …,” he included this:

[I]f I had told you that we would win marriage equality … you might have said our sights were set a little too high. But that’s what we did. That’s what you did.”

Although the line drew cheers, it was historically inaccurate. “Marriage equality”—the left’s euphemism for changing the definition of civil marriage to include same-sex couples—was not something either “we” (President Obama and his administration) or “you” (the voters who supported him) achieved. Until the second to last year of his presidency, efforts by LGBT activists to achieve a redefinition of marriage in all fifty states were a notable failure in the vast majority of them.

No, nationwide marriage redefinition was not achieved by President Obama, his administration, or his supporters. It was certainly not achieved by the processes of democracy that the president extolled in his farewell address.

Instead, it was imposed upon the country by the smallest, most elite, and least democratic group imaginable—five justices on the Supreme Court, a bare one-vote majority.

Let’s look at some of the things President Obama said about democracy—and how the outcome of the marriage debate contradicts them.

For example, he declared that “the beating heart of our American idea” includes the conviction “that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.” It seems, though, that Mr. Obama and the Court decided that “a more perfect union” required a different definition of our most basic social institution, and since “the instrument of our democracy” was not producing it, other means would have to be used.

President Obama also declared:

The work of democracy has always been hard. It’s always been contentious … Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued. They quarreled. Eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. 

Note that this is precisely what had been happening for two decades on the marriage issue. Both politicians and ordinary citizens “argued” and “quarreled.” A few states actually redefined marriage using the democratic process. Many more formally defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In some cases, people “compromised” by giving some or all of the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples through civil unions or domestic partnerships. States were fulfilling their role as the laboratory of democracy. This is what the founders “expected us to do”—but it wasn’t enough for President Obama, or for the Supreme Court. Instead, they decided to “require uniformity” by imposing marriage redefinition on all fifty states.

Continuing to extol the give-and-take of democratic debate, President Obama said:

[P]olitics is a battle of ideas. That’s how our democracy was designed.  In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. 

He then went on to caution:

But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter — then we’re going to keep talking past each other, and we’ll make common ground and compromise impossible. 

In referring to a “baseline of facts,” and to “science and reason,” Mr. Obama probably had in mind the liberal consensus on an issue like “climate change.” But a “common baseline of facts” on the marriage issue would have included an acknowledgment that same-sex relationships are not identical to natural marriages, and that children do best when raised by their own, married biological mother and father; and “science and reason” would have dictated that society has a greater interest in unions that can result in natural procreation than in those that never can.

President Obama spoke about the international order when he warned against

the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently; a contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable; an intolerance of dissent and free thought; a belief that … the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.

However, “the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently”—intended by Obama to refer to foreigners and immigrants—could just as easily be a warning to the left, who fear people who look like “rednecks,” speak with southern accents, or pray in faith to the God of the Bible. Advocates of marriage redefinition were outraged when Iowa voters used “the rule of law” to hold state Supreme Court justices who redefined marriage “accountable”—by removing them from office. And few social movements are as intolerant of “dissent and free thought,” or have built as effective a “propaganda machine,” as the LGBT movement, which seeks to discredit every dissenter from their agenda as being motivated by “hate.”

Finally, President Obama exhorted Americans to higher levels of citizen participation in our democracy. At the beginning of his speech, he said that Chicago was where “I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it.” At the end, he warned:

Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. All of us, regardless of party, should be throwing ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. When voting rates in America are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should be making it easier, not harder, to vote . . .

It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours . . .

So, you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. 

It’s good advice. I worry, though, that historians will fail to note that one of the most effective examples of such citizen activism in recent decades was the movement to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman through state constitutional amendments. “Get a clipboard, get some signatures”? In virtually every state where a constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot through citizen initiative (that is, a petition process without the involvement of those disappointing “elected officials”), marriage amendments were placed on the ballot and adopted.

Yet President Obama and his allies did everything they could to make it harder for citizens to vote on marriage, not easier. And they celebrated when the Supreme Court overturned the constitutions of thirty states, which had been amended through that admirable citizen activism.

President Obama declared that “our nation’s call to citizenship” was “what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny.” Yet when it came to marriage, Mr. Obama was happy to choose judicial tyranny over the product of our democratic republic.

And when it came to the activism of those who sought to defend marriage, his motto was not, “Yes, we can.”

It was, “No, you can’t.”

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Social Conservative Review - January 17, 2017

by Daniel Hart

January 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

When we accept Jesus as Lord, our lives must change. As Bishop Robert Barron points out, this is truly good news for some, but for others, it is a threat to their way of life. Why? “If Jesus is Lord, my ego can’t be Lord. My religion can’t be Lord. My country, my convictions, and my culture cannot be Lord.”

Bishop Barron elaborates: “The resurrection is the clearest indication of the Lordship of Jesus. This is why the message of the resurrection is attacked, belittled, or explained away … This reveals a great mystery: we are called to announce the good news to everyone, but not everyone will listen. Once we’ve done our work, we should move on and not obsess about those who won’t listen. Why do some respond and some don’t? We don’t know, but that’s ultimately up to God.”

It is clear that when we fight for the values of Jesus, especially in the public square, we will most likely meet strong resistance, if not outright derision. It can be discouraging, but the important thing is that we do the work and not worry about the results, as Bishop Barron says. So let’s make a resolution in this new year to do all we can to make Jesus the Lord of all that we say and do, and in so doing, to open the door to Christ for others.

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

What President-elect Trump can do about religious freedomTony Perkins

Religious Freedom Under President-Elect TrumpTravis Weber

Trump Will Have His Hands Full Fixing Social Extremism in the State DepartmentTony Perkins

Christian Persecution, Religious Freedom Explored in ‘Silence’ (Movie Review)Peter Sprigg

A media noose for Jeff SessionsKen Blackwell

Why True Feminism Means Skipping the Women’s March on WashingtonBrynne Krispin

Why We Can’t Wait: A Call for MLK-like Leadership  Patrina Mosley

Navy Begins Transgender IndoctrinationPeter Sprigg

Loudoun Schools Say No to Sex ExperimentCathy Ruse

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Chip Gaines: “Fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree”Jake Roberson, Focus on the Family

International Religious Freedom

Top 50 Most Dangerous Countries for Christians Ranked in New ReportStoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

UN’s New Top Bureaucrat Raises HopesLisa Correnti and Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam

Killing Africa: Stop Taxpayer Funding of Illegal Abortions in AfricaStephen Herreid, The Stream

Prominent pastor sentenced to two-and-a-half years after a year in detentionChina Aid

 

Life

Abortion

Abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy put on fast track in Kentucky SenateJack Brammer, Lexington Herald Leader

6 Alarming Findings in House Panel’s Planned Parenthood ProbeKelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Finley’s Parents are Grateful Abortion Pill Reversal Saved Their Little GirlNancy Flanders, LifeNews

Adoption

Nicole Kidman on Lion and adoption: ‘It’s about the simplicity of love’Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian

Letter from a 21-year-old orphan may make you consider being a foster parentAshley Jonkman, Aleteia

Parents Keep Twins With Down Syndrome After Adoptive Parents Back OutNancy Flanders, LifeNews

Bioethics

Finland Set to Debate Legislation That Would Legalize EuthanasiaPaul Russell, LifeNews

81-year-old grandmother gets “Don’t euthanize me” tattooPatty Knap, Aleteia

Bioethics in 2017Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Obamacare

Senate takes first step toward repealing ObamaCareJordain Carney, The Hill

New Numbers Show Strong Support for Repealing ObamacareElizabeth Fender, The Daily Signal

For Me, Obamacare Means Paying All Your Own Bills And Never Getting The Doctor You NeedM.G. Oprea, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

Privilege’ Is Just Another Word For Family, And We Need More Of It – Josh Sabey, The Federalist

Men’s Breadwinning Still Matters for Marriage – Christos Makridis, Family Studies

Report: Schools Are Teaching Kids To Hate America Under The Guise Of ‘Civics’ – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Marriage

The Heart of ParadiseDiane Woerner, Touchstone

The Treachery of DivorceLuma Simms, Family Studies

Three Reasons Not to Make This January Your Divorce MonthBradford Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon, National Review

Millennials and cohabitation: Understanding motivations and ministering wellBrian Owen, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Does The World Exist?Matthew Becklo, Word On Fire

The Problem of Evil Is a Problem for EveryoneGavin Ortlund, The Gospel Coalition

Faith on the HillAleksandra Sandstrom, Pew Research Center

An MLK Day Pledge: No More Hyphenated AmericansE.W. Jackson, The Stream

MLK reminds us of the power of — and the need for — great oratoryElizabeth Scalia, Aleteia

Human Sexuality

National Geographic‘s “Gender Revolution”: Bad Argument and Biased IdeologyAndrew T. Walker and Denny Burk, Public Discourse

Court strikes down harmful transgender mandateBecket Fund

How The Trump Administration Can Truly Help Gender-Struggling AmericansWalt Heyer, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

Backpage.Com Officially Shuts Down Adult Ad Section Filled With Prostitution/Child TraffickingFight the New Drug

Pornography

Porn ruins lives, so families should be able to sue for damages: Utah legislator – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

Netflix Is 40x More Popular Than Porn In Hotel Room Entertainment – Fight the New Drug

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Action #20 - Increase American Influence on Religious Freedom Abuses Abroad

by Family Research Council

January 17, 2017

Here is the final action in our series of top 20 actions that the Trump administration must take to address values issues in the first 100 days in order to repair some of the damage that the Obama administration has inflicted on the dignity of life, natural marriage, and religious liberty.

Action #20 - Increase American Influence on Religious Freedom Abuses Abroad

The new administration and Congress should seriously consider maintaining a list of prisoners persecuted abroad on account of their faith, and also identify foreign officials responsible for religious freedom abuses (and where appropriate, publish their names in the Federal Register). In addition, the government should compile a list of opportunities to condition visa grants and other actions based on their support of religious freedom.

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Why We Can’t Wait: A Call for MLK-like Leadership

by Patrina Mosley

January 16, 2017

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist…if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies—a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.”

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963), Why We Can’t Wait

These are powerful and prophetic words from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., words that should be heeded today; for we can no longer wait to wake up from this racial nightmare that we are now in where black liberation ideologies are being foisted on the minds of young Americans. A teacher’s organization is encouraging teachers to provide Black Lives Matter (BLM) curriculum in the classroom one day every week, along with wearing BLM apparel. One teacher who has gotten on board with this agenda says “Black Lives Matter functions with 13 principles that I think are good and healthy for kids to learn about.” Considering what the Black Lives Matter movement has publically stated, this is a frightening prospect. Instead, children should be learning about the inspiring leadership of Dr. King, whose philosophy and principles we have all benefited from today. BLM is the very “black nationalist” ideology he warned would try to fill the void for truth if left vacant.

The Black Lives Matter movement states that they are “a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life and “to (re)build the Black liberation movement” (emphasis added). What does that mean? To answer that we need to look at who the Black Liberation movement was. The Black Liberation movement, more commonly known as the Black Liberation Army (BLA), was a splinter group developed after the Black Panther Party dissolved. Their four badges of honor were anti-capitalism, anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-imperialism. Secondly, they proclaimed “That we must of necessity strive for the abolishment of these systems and for the institution of Socialistic relationships in which Black people have total and absolute control over their own destiny as a people (emphasis added). This is essentially a description of black anarchy. Third, “in order to abolish our systems of oppression, we must utilize the science of class struggle, develop this science as it relates to our unique national condition” (emphasis added). In other words, perfect the science of profiting at being a victim of society. The Black Liberation Army was reported to be involved in numerous police shootings and murders throughout the 1970’s.

Black Lives Matter also emphasizes the same social and economic struggles as the Black Liberation movement once did, calling its members to “live Black and buy Black” to create wealth only in the black community. Black Lives Matter has also extended the Black Liberation Army’s interest in being “anti-sexism” by affirming “the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement” (emphasis added).

One of their core principles of being Queer Affirming states, “We are committed to fostering a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they disclose otherwise” (emphasis added). Sadly, the movement seems to be against the family model that is the foundation of society.

BLM also seems to be wholeheartedly committed to what they call “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another…” A kind of America where innumerable government community programs are substituted for moral values taught by a mom and dad, perhaps?

The guiding principles of this movement take the African-American community in a downward spiral of black anarchy that erases the family and casts no vision for a sustainable future. These principles are neither good nor healthy and are vastly different from the successful principles of Dr. King.

The most successful model for social change we can draw from is itself the civil rights movement of the sixties, led by the late Dr. King. He was able to articulate what the real problems were and to cast a unifying vision for all Americans to move forward. Dr. King also called the collection of his brave volunteers an army, but “an army whose allegiance was to God … it was an army that would sing but not slay … no arsenal except its faith, no currency but its conscience.”

Dr. King took universal Christian principles that inherently speak to every human conscience and used them to make a crisis of conscience to promote action. He made sure the world televised his non-violent marches for the enforcement of equal rights, while dogs and water hoses were unleashed on their bodies, knocking them to ground only to be beaten down more with clubs and fists. The world saw the participants of these non-violent marches singing praises to God and stopping together to sink to their knees on the pavement to pray.

Dr. King led the fight for civil rights by calling for action through policy, not burning down buildings. After the 1956 Supreme Court ruling that overturned Alabama’s bus segregation laws, King co-founded the Christian Leadership Conference throughout the South which became the leading organizer for action in the civil rights movement. after many arrests, non-violent marches, sit-in’s and appeals, his leadership paved the way for the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

What an astonishing difference King’s efforts have made. His movement has largely accomplished its goals, and we are alive to see it in beautiful ways today, from the first black president, to multi-ethnic families and churches, to endearing friendships that would have never taken place had segregation existed today. Why are we enjoying the success of the MLK movement today and not the BLA? I believe the answer is that any social movement not based on Christian principles cannot be sustained and will fail. Christianity operates in truth and is a benefit to all people, no matter one’s color, gender, or culture.

Dr. King cast this vision, stating:

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

We must be the voice of truth and fill the void. We cannot afford to wait, hoping things will just get better. Our destination should be what it was always meant to be, “to sit at the table of brotherhood.”

For this was God’s eternal and mysterious plan since the beginning of mankind according to Ephesians 3, where the apostle Paul explains God’s advanced plan to make one unified body out of diversity, which displays His wisdom. Any plan that inherently goes against this will not succeed and cannot be blessed by God. We should seek out policies of righteousness and justice just as Dr. King so diligently fought for. Today we honor him and his contributions to all Americans, and pray that leaders like him will take up the mantle to be the alternative and distinct Christian voice for truth and justice. 

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Action #19 - Adhere to the International Religious Freedom Act

by Family Research Council

January 16, 2017

We are highlighting the top 20 ways that the Trump administration can address values issues in the first 100 days through administrative and agency actions in order to repair some of the damage that the Obama administration has inflicted on the dignity of life, natural marriage, and religious liberty.

Action #19 - Adhere to the International Religious Freedom Act

The Obama administration was woefully resistant to protecting religious freedom in its foreign policy stance, and was late to describe the persecution of certain religious minorities as genocide. The new administration and Congress should promote religious freedoms throughout the federal government engaged in overseas activities by calling attention to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292, as amended by Public Law 106-55, Public Law 106-113, Public Law 107-228, Public Law 108-332, Public Law 108-458, Public Law 112-75, Public Law 113-271, and Public Law 114-71), and ensuring these laws are followed.

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Loudoun Schools Say No to Sex Experiment

by Cathy Ruse

January 13, 2017

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A correction was made on 1/19/17 to the original post on 1/13/17)

Tuesday night in a 5-4 midnight vote, the Loudoun County School Board rejected a proposal to create a new identity category for transgenderism in its school system.

This is a big win in the “School Board Wars.” Loudoun is the second largest school district in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its proximity to Washington is also important.

The proposal was to add “gender identity” to the policy against harassment and discrimination. This is the genius of the latest wave of LGBT activism: when you wrap your agenda in the cloak of “nondiscrimination,” you win easy votes from those not paying attention, and gain a powerful rhetorical rejoinder. Anyone against you is, by definition, a bigot.

But these so-called “nondiscrimination” measures, cropping up everywhere, go well beyond preventing harassment. And that is by design.

In the case of Loudoun, they would have opened girls’ locker rooms, showers, and sports teams to biological males. Because denying the use of the girls’ shower to a boy who identifies as a girl can be said to be “discriminatory.”

In Fairfax County, which has adopted this new identity category, concerned parents dominate the citizen speaker slots at every bi-monthly board meeting. Sports moms speak of the physical danger their petite daughters now face, with the prospect of facing off against larger, heavier, stronger biological males on the sports field. Religious minorities tell tearful stories of pulling their children out of school. Women who have been victims of sexual assault speak of the trauma their younger counterparts will face as they are forced to share intimate spaces with biological males.

Adopting the new identity category of “gender identity” provides the legal club to beat all students and teachers into compliance with the broader transgender movement agenda—even to the point of silencing dissent and forcing unwanted speech.

What if kids want to start a “Male and Female He Created Them” club? What are the penalties for a Muslim child who addresses his biologically male teacher, “Sir”? Can a student’s Facebook post on the anti-science stance of the transgender movement get him in trouble? In Fairfax it can, according to one school board member.

In Fairfax, the school board is dominated by hardcore leftists. Loudoun County is different. Loudoun has several conservatives, a blue dog Democrat, apparently even a “reasonable” liberal.  

On Tuesday night, 500 people filled the Loudoun County School Board meeting room. A dozen police officers kept another 300 outside.

There were television cameras. And lots of young people with angry faces holding rainbows.

Most of the people were there for the Principal Brewer issue, involving the Dominion High School principal’s handling of a former band leader accused of sexually assaulting male teen students. 

Over 200 people spoke; each was allotted one minute.

When the matter was first sprung on the public in December, speakers in favor of the policy change outnumbered those against it by a margin of 10-1. But on Tuesday night things were different.

While about a dozen people argued for the nullification of male and female in Loudoun schools, a dozen others rose in opposition: A pastor, a priest, and a bunch of moms and dads. 

The Loudoun School Board forbids audible reactions from the audience. Only “silent applause” is allowed, which looks like a bunch of people wiggling “Jazz Hands” in the air. The new Chairman, Jeff Morse, reminding the audience of the rules, actually called it “Jazz Hands.”

There is no silent disapproval symbol. At least not one announced from the dais. (The obvious one is likely not permitted.)

The pastor speaking against the transgender measure got hissed. Which, technically, is not silent.

Since the December surprise, nearly 600 people had signed a petition against the policy change, generating 600 individual email letters to each board member urging a no vote. 

In addition, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington had alerted its Loudoun County parishes through flyers and emails.

All of this made a difference, and in the end, the measure failed by the smallest of margins.

But it failed.

Male” and “Female” live on in Loudoun County. For now.

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