In a significant article, the New York Times has broached the subject of the rampant sexual abuse of young children and teens by Afghan men. The story is tied to its reporting on the effects this has had on American forces in Afghanistan who have been told to ignore such acts – even if they occur in their presence or on military bases. As the story notes, in one example, “Dan Quinn was relieved of his Special Forces command after a fight with a U.S.-backed militia leader who had a boy as a sex slave chained to his bed.” His story and those of two other Americans is recounted. Apparently, there has been much personal and career damage caused by this amoral policy of non-intervention.
As it turns out, in Afghanistan there is a ritualized form of sexual abuse called “bacha bazi” – or boy play. (The practice was supposedly banned under the Taliban, and it is nominally illegal under current Afghan law.) The boys are often trained to dance and dress as young girls before being used for sex. Some boys are just sodomized if they can’t learn these perverse geisha-like talents.
An Afghan journalist, Najibullah Quraishi, produced a documentary, “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan,” that was shown in London in late March 2010 (run time: 52 min; this version is available on vimeo.com). In the United States, a slightly longer and more polished production was aired on PBS’s Frontline in April 2010 under the same title. It can be found here.
The nation needs to support the efforts of Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) who are trying to investigate this horrific practice and salvage the career of Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a member of the Special Forces who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the Afghan who is reportedly a child-molesting commander.
Arina Grossu, Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, joins Sen. Lindsay Graham and other pro-life leaders in support of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, when unborn babies become susceptible to intense pain in the womb.
Commenting on the Obama administration’s inclusion of “transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia” in the welcoming ceremony planned for the Pope’s upcoming visit, the Post comments:
What struck us as we read about this small controversy is the contrast between the administration’s apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise. When Secretary of State John F. Kerry traveled to Havana to reopen the U.S. Embassy recently, he painstakingly excluded from the guest list any democrat, dissident or member of civil society who might offend the Castro brothers.
And when Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to the White House next week, shortly after the pope leaves town, it’s a safe bet that he won’t have to risk being photographed with anyone of whom he disapproves. Chen Guangcheng, the courageous blind lawyer, for example, lives nearby in exile, but he probably won’t be at the state dinner. Neither will Falun Gong activists, democracy advocates or anyone else who might, well, give offense.
The Obama administration argues that it will include many people of every background. Yet according to the Wall Street Journal, “The presence of these (controversial) figures is especially irritating, (a) Vatican official said, because it isn’t yet clear if the White House has invited any representatives of the U.S. anti-abortion movement, traditionally a high-priority cause for the U.S. bishops.”
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One could not watch the Republican presidential candidate debate Wednesday evening, nor can one scan the headlines of today’s papers, without realizing that protecting the unborn has become one of the most decisive issues of our time.
The horrific videos of Planned Parenthood personnel coldly discussing income from selling the body parts of the unborn have struck the conscience of the nation, and moved pro-life lawmakers to demand a complete end to federal funding of the abortion giant. FRC stands with them in this effort. As FRC President Tony Perkins has said, “FRC is demanding that Congress zero-out Planned Parenthood’s funding on a must-pass piece of legislation.” This is what legislation by U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee would do. As she wrote recently in National Review, her bill would “ultimately increase available funding to community health centers by $235 million during this one-year period. The legislation further prioritizes women’s health care over abortion by reallocating federal funding to the more than 13,000 facilities nationwide that provide preventive care to those who need it most and do not perform abortions.”
Pro-life champions like U.S. Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona have offered legislation to curtail the destruction of unborn life. Rep. Franks, who spoke about his efforts yesterday at FRC, has authored the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), which is scheduled to be considered in the House over the next several days. And next week, the Senate will consider U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham’s “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the House version of which was also authored by Rep. Franks. The bill, which has already passed the House, would protect unborn children from abortion in almost all cases for two reasons: one, as documented by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, these little ones feel pain — intensely. And two, they have inherent value as little lives created by a loving God.
FRC will never compromise our commitment to those whose precious, God-given lives are treated by the abortion industry merely as revenue sources and saleable commodities. The image of God they bear, from conception onward, calls us to defend them. Protecting unborn babies and their mothers from the predatory abortion industry is one of the highest callings of our time. Affirming the value of life is a privilege. And we can rejoice that in our time, we have the honor of standing for it.
Sincerely, Rob Schwarzwalder Senior Vice-President Family Research Council
Today he reports that California’s Fuller Seminary has “decided not to offer tenure to a New Testament professor, J. R. Daniel Kirk, whose view of marriage does not comport with Jesus’s view.” He notes that while this must not have been an easy decision, it was an important and necessary one: “Had Fuller set a precedent of embracing faculty whose position toward sexual ethics was so at odds with Jesus’s own, it would soon have ceased to be an evangelical institution.”
He is right. And despite calls by some on the Left that schools like Fuller should lose accreditation, federal student loan eligibility, or even tax exempt status, Dr. Gagnon reminds us that the cost of following Jesus is such that any temporal loss is worth accepting if it comes as a result of following Him faithfully. As he writes:
“American Evangelical, Orthodox, and Catholic colleges and seminaries will face greater challenges in the not-too-distant future if they do not bend the proverbial knee to the unconstitutional, new state definition of marriage. They will be threatened with lawsuits and loss of accreditation. Their students will be denied access to federal student loans. This will happen for ‘discriminating’ not only against faculty supporters of ‘gay marriage’ but also against homosexually active job applicants. Eventually sanctions may be imposed even for permitting faculty to teach or write against homosexual practice. Yet no matter what comes, we must heed Jesus’s exhortation to ‘estimate the cost’ of being his faithful disciple and of ‘carrying one’s own cross’ (Luke 14:27-28).”
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee’s eloquent speech on Planned Parenthood in the Senate last week deserves wide distribution. Here is a short excerpt; speaking of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, the Senator said:
The evidence points to only one conclusion: Planned Parenthood really does these horrifying things—and makes money at it, and laughs about it over lunch. But aside from the primary evidence, Mr. President, do you know how else we know it’s true?
Because if it were false, we would know for sure. The mainstream media—Big Abortion’s loudest shoe-banger of them all—would be thundering Planned Parenthood’s vindication from every headline, every home page, every network satellite. If the videos were false, Mr. President—if a pro-life group somehow fabricated this narrative of Planned Parenthood’s greed, barbarism, and cruelty—it would be a story.
Who are we kidding? It would be the story: a career-making scoop, with fame and Pulitzer Prizes and lucrative book deals and speaking tours awaiting the journalist who broke it. And yet, if you open a newspaper, click on the legacy media sites, and turn on the news… nothing. The major networks have gone dark on the videos over the last month. And major newspapers have scrubbed the scandal from their front pages.
Why the silence? Simple. They know it’s true, too.
Today marks the 14th anniversary since the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001.
The attacks of that painful day marked the greatest single loss of life of rescue personnel in American history. It also was the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil.
This past summer I had the chance to visit for the first time the original site of the Twin Towers. According to its website, the Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood.
Bronze panels inscribed with the names of every single person lost in the attacks are a somber testament surrounding the reflecting pools.
I also had the privilege of visiting the 9/11 Museum. It is both awe-inspiring and graphic. On that day, strangers became friends, helping those who were suffering. On that day rescue workers climbed to their deaths helping occupants of the buildings descend to the hope of life below.
Many displays are very emotional, but one that really struck me was the display of the cross erected at Ground Zero. As the world watched how America would react in this time of unspeakable grief, we bonded together with each other. Literally at the foot of the Cross, which was formed miraculously out of the steel beams of the collapsed buildings. It remains as it was then, a symbol of hope and a reminder of Him who sacrificed for all for us. And it reminds us of those brave men and women who gave their lives on 9/11 so others might live.
The rubbish took a total of eight months to clear, after which the rebuilding process began.
In 2014, the One World Trade Center was completed, becoming the tallest building in the United States with more than 100 stories.
Today, we remember those whose lives were taken on that fateful day 14 years ago. We will never forget.
My colleagues at FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) have spent years documenting, copiously and irrefutably, that religious practice benefits families and children. As MARRI argues, “the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human and social positive outcomes and thus it is the core strength of the United States and of all other countries where the data are available.”
Strong, two-parent families mean higher educational attainment and emotional health for children, greater income, less crime, and a host of other benefits. Those families that do best are the ones that attend a religious service together at least once a week. But essential to such worship and, thus, to the benefits that correlate with it, is another factor.
That would be religious liberty. Not just the right to attend a religious service at a given building unimpeded by the law. Not just private devotions in the four walls of one’s home. Not just “freedom of religion” in the sense that people can believe, in their minds, what they choose as long as they are silent about it.
In Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has just been released from jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the nature of Mrs. Davis’s case. Various Christian writers have argued that she is embarrassing Evangelical faith, that she simply should resign, that Christian leaders’ rhetoric defending Mrs. Davis is overheated, etc.
What they are failing to consider are two essential concepts that underlie the Davis case. They are these:
Accommodation. Does not Mrs. Davis deserve some kind of accommodation? We accommodate so many other religious beliefs in both government and private-sector workplaces. Can we not find one for Mrs. Davis and others like her who, out of the integrity of their consciences, cannot do something that abrades the very core of their religious convictions?