August 3, 2009
Its not that unusual for me to have fellow worshipers come up to me after church, over coffee. Normally, however, we swap family stories, talk about children, grandchildren, hobbies, and common interests in our town. Yesterday, however, two friends sought me out with some urgency.
My first friend of the coffee hour was in anguish over his daughters decision to live the gay lifestyle. He and his wife had raised two daughters in their loving Christian home. Their younger daughter married and has blessed them with grandchildren. Their elder daughter pursued an academic career. He described this daughter as a brilliant scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at a major university. But he and his wife are heartbroken over their daughters decision not only to live in a lesbian relationship with another woman, but also her plan to change her sex. Their daughter is beginning hormone treatments soon. Distraught over their daughters choices, he appealed to me for help.
July 31, 2009
Here’s a compilation of articles for your reading pleasure.
- “Maine gay marriage opponents submit challenges,” Associated Press (July 31, 2009)
“Leaders of the Stand for Marriage campaign said Friday they collected more than 100,000 signatures of registered Maine voters. Cartons containing the petitions have been turned into the secretary of state’s office to be certified.”
- “The Case for Early Marriage,” Mark Regnerus, Christianity Today (July 31, 2009)
“If you think it’s difficult to be pro-life in a pro-choice world, or to be a disciple of Jesus in a sea of skeptics, try advocating for young marriage. Almost no one empathizes, even among the faithful. The nearly universal hostile reaction to my April 23, 2009, op-ed on early marriage in The Washington Post suggests that to esteem marriage in the public sphere today is to speak a foreign language: you invoke annoyance, confusion, or both.”
- “Stimulus Bill Funds Go to Art Houses Showing ‘Pervert’ Revues, Underground Pornography,” Joseph Abrams, Fox News (July 30, 2009)
“The National Endowment for the Arts may be spending some of the money it received from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund nude simulated-sex dances, Saturday night “pervert” revues and the airing of pornographic horror films at art houses in San Francisco.”
- “Liberal and Conservative Senators Unite on Bill to Reinstate D.C. School Vouchers,” Adam Brickley, CNSNews.com (July 31, 2009)
“A bipartisan group of senators announced Thursday that they plan to introduce legislation to revive the District of Columbias recently terminated D.C. Opportunity Scholarship school-voucher program.”
- “Portugal’s high court keeps gay marriage ban,” Barry Hatton, Associated Press (July 31, 2009)
- “Researchers May Have Found Equivalent of Embryonic Stem Cells,” Rob Stein, The Washington Post (July 24, 2009)
- “UF scientists program blood stem cells to become vision cells,” University of Florida News (July 30, 2009)
“University of Florida researchers were able to program bone marrow stem cells to repair damaged retinas in mice, suggesting a potential treatment for one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people.”
July 29, 2009
Here’s what we are reading today.
- “Pro-gay marriage group spent big in Vermont,” John Curran, Chicago Tribune (July 27, 2009)
“The leading proponent of Vermont’s gay marriage bill spent about $294,000 on lobbying and advertising in advance of the Legislature’s vote — more than seven times as much as opponents did, according to disclosure forms filed Monday.
Through its task force and an action committee, Vermont Freedom to Marry spent $65,866 of that in the week before the April 7 vote by the Democrat-controlled Vermont house, which passed the bill in a 100-49 vote to override the veto of Republican Gov. Jim Douglas.”
- “Will proposal promote euthanasia?,” Carrie Budoff Brown, The Politico (July 28, 2009)
- “Backers of Gay Marriage Rethink California Push,” Jesse McKinley, The New York Times (July 27, 2009)
“Discouraged by stubborn poll numbers and pessimistic political consultants, major financial backers of same-sex marriage are cautioning gay rights groups to delay a campaign to overturn Californias ban on such unions until at least 2012.”
- “Clash of worldviews - coming to a wedding near you,” Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow (July 29, 2009)
“That’s why this, I believe, is going to be the biggest threat to our religious liberty in our near future,” the Christian attorney remarks. “We are facing a clash of worldviews; a collision between the same-sex agenda and a moral and religious worldview. Those two are incompatible in these kinds of conflicts. If we go down this road of same-sex unions, [it] will continue to escalate.”
- “Obama’s Science Czar: Babies Aren’t Human Until They’ve Been Socialized,” Van Helsing, Right Wing News (July 29, 2009)
“A large part of the horror of abortion lies in the monstrous presumption of liberals declaring that human life begins not at conception, but whenever they say it does. Maybe that’s six weeks, maybe six months. Maybe it’s years. Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren (the guy who wanted to put a sterilizing agent in our drinking water) gives us an idea of how slippery this slope can get. From his book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, via Patterico’s Pontifications:
The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”
- “States with more Catholics more favor gay rights,” Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today (July 29, 2009)
“The bishops have campaigned long, loudly and clearly against same-sex marriage but the Catholic Church also offers a pervasive message of social justice, an umbrella many liberal Catholics stand under when they argue for marriage equality or life issues such as abortion, contraception and end-of-life decisions.”
July 29, 2009
In the latest Mapping America, adults who grew up living with both biological parents are less likely ever to be divorced or separated than those who did not.
July 28, 2009
In Ronald Reagans 1989 farewell speech he inspired the youth in America to dream of change and pursue active leadership for the good of America. All great change in America begins at the dinner table, Reagan told America. And he was right.
Yet as a college student, I am aware of how many of my contemporaries across this nation see little reason to devout themselves in the world of politics. Millions of college students around the country would rather stay in their comfortable safe havens of youthful apathy then dare to engage the complex political world surrounding them.
July 24, 2009
The Episcopal Church in the United States took another major step toward ensuring its own demise last week, by adopting a resolution endorsing the ordination of homosexuals as clergy and bishops.
The resolution, adopted at the denominations General Convention, said that gay and lesbian persons … have responded to Gods call and have exercised various ministries, and declared that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.
The resolution was widely interpreted as abandoning a moratorium on the ordination of homosexual bishops that was adopted after the furor surrounding the appointment of Gene Robinson, a homosexual man, as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Several branches of the worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly the more conservative churches in Africa, rejected the decision to elevate Robinson. In the U.S., a number of Episcopal parishes and dioceses have already left the Episcopal Church altogether, and they recently organized as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
The Episcopal General Convention three years ago adopted a resolution urging restraint regarding the elevation of any bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the highest ranking official in the worldwide Anglican Communion, had told the convention, I hope and pray that there wont be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart.
Sponsors of this years resolution denied that it constituted a repeal of the earlier statement, but Pamela Reamer Williams of Integrity USA, a pro-homosexual advocacy group, declared that this years action supersedes the effective moratorium.
Most observers believe that this years resolution may be the last straw that results in a complete rupture of relationships between the Episcopal Church and most other worldwide Anglicans. Jeff Walton of the Institute for Religion and Democracy noted, In the Anglican Communion, 22 out of 37 other provinces are already in a state of either impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church. [Source]
The liberal Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, warned against recognition of the new ACNA by declaring that schism is not a Christian act. But British theologian (and Bishop of Durham) Tom Wright pointed out in the Times of London that it is the Episcopal Church which is formalizing the schism they initiated six years ago by consecrating Robinson as bishop. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion, said Wright.
One aspect of the resolution that has not attracted much media attention is that it appears to use money as a weapon to discourage any action against the Episcopal Church by the Anglican Communion. The resolution reaffirm[s] its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion, and the accompanying explanation notes that in 2007 the Episcopal Church contributed $661,000 to the Inter-Anglican budgetmore than a third of the total of $1,864,000. Presumably the resolution was hinting that this funding would be in jeopardy if the Anglican Communion were to break with the Episcopal Church.
In addition to a break with worldwide Anglicans, the Episcopal Church action is likely to lead to further erosion here in the United States as well. News about the release of the American Religious Identification Survey earlier this year focused on the 10% drop since 1990 in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians (from 86% to 76%), without noting that almost all of the decline occurred in the 1990s. But they also failed to highlight that the biggest drop in Christian self-identification has come among the more liberal mainline Protestant bodiessuch as the Episcopal Church, which dropped from 3.5 million adherents in 2001 to only 2.4 million in 2008.
July 24, 2009
A Love for Life:
Christianitys Consistent Protection of the Unborn
By Dennis DeMauro
(Wipf and Stock Publishers, 163 pp.)
What were you, Bob, before you were a Lutheran? Thats the question Fr. Ed Bryce asked me many years ago. Father Bryce was the head of the Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Office. Father, I replied, I was a Democrat. We both laughed. But that answer was completely true.
I had not only been a registered Democratic voter, but I was also a candidate for my state legislature and a state party staffer. In those long-ago days before Roe v. Wade, the terms pro-life and pro-choice had not yet been coined. When I ran for the New York State Assembly, I had a real dilemma. I wanted to talk about taxes, education, and political corruption. But various groups wanted to talk to me about abortion. Thats because New York State had been one of the first states to liberalize abortion. The year was 1970.
By 1971, however, millions of New Yorkers were shocked by what they saw. Encouraged by widely respected Terence Cardinal Cooke, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, the state legislature had repealed its narrow approval of abortion up to six just months. New Yorks pro-abortion governor, Republican Nelson Rockefeller, vetoed the repeal, and so the Empire State continued as an abortion magnet for distressed young women from all over the Eastern Seaboard.
July 23, 2009
Here’s what we are reading today.
- “Councilmen waver on new state gay marriage bill,” Jenna Chandler, The Porterville Recorder (July 22, 2009)
- “Abortion Opponents Criticize Health Reform Bills,” Dan Eggen and Rob Stein, The Washington Post (July 22, 2009)
“President Obama, who has vowed to find common ground on culture-war issues, finds himself in the middle of a classic Washington dispute over abortion that is further undermining support among conservative Democrats for his ambitious health-care reform efforts.”
- “Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Is Not Health-Care Reform,” John Boehner, National Review (July 23, 2009)
“The Obama administration contends the urgent deadline is necessitated by the suffering of American families who have waited too long for Congress to act to address the high cost of health care. But according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill the president supports won’t lower health-care costs; it will increase them. And as the veteran political operatives in the Obama White House well know, the frantic timetable conveniently leaves precious little time for the American people to know what’s actually in the bill.”
- “Obama Staffer Speaks at Planned Parenthood Event, Urges Pro-Abortion Lobbying,” Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com (July 23, 2009)
“A top official with the administration of pro-abortion President Barack Obama spoke to gathering of Planned Parenthood activists last week. There, she promised leaders of the abortion business that Obama is a pro-abortion president and urged them to continue their pro-abortion lobbying efforts.”
- “Taliban cracking down on Christians,” Allie Martin, OneNewsNow (July 23, 2009)
“According to Open Doors USA, raids against Christians, carried out by the Taliban, have increased throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says the Taliban does not tolerate anyone who thinks or believes differently than they do. Christians are being evicted from their homes, he says, and some are being forced to convert to Islam or pay special taxes in exchange for protection.”
- “Non-embryonic stem cells pass major hurdle in mice,” Seth Borenstein, Associated Press (July 23, 2009)
“Two teams of Chinese scientists have made a major advance in mice in the development of a new kind of stem cell that doesn’t involve destroying embryos.
Those cells are derived from ordinary skin cells, and when they were created two years ago from human skin and genetically reprogrammed, it was hailed as a breakthrough. But questions remained whether they could act as chameleon-like as embryonic stem cells and morph into any cell type in the body.”
July 23, 2009
Science Czar or just plain bizarre? Among President Obamas growing list of czars there are as many as 34, by one Congressmans count - is the White House science czar, Dr. John Holdren.
Holdren wrote a text book with well-known scientist Paul Ehrlich. Your remember Paul Ehrlich, right? He wrote a popular but now discredited book entitled The Population Bomb more than three decades ago in which he claimed that the world was overpopulating and would be out of food by the end of the 1970s. Well, were still here, with greater food supplies than ever in history.
Holdren and Ehrlichs book, which they wrote in 1977, is entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. In it, they advocate for radical government action to limit population growth. Their proposals included coercive abortions for women and involuntary sterilization through infertility drugs placed in food or the water supply.
So-called undesirables those that contribute to supposed social deterioration, would be forcibly sterilized at puberty. Holdren also advocated a planetary regime that could control the global economy. Holdren and the White House have dismissed the concerns saying he made those statements 30 years ago.
My question: Does he now disavow them? And as he works in the White House shaping national policy, what recommendations is he making?
To learn more about how FRC is defending the culture of life, visit us as www.frc.org.
July 22, 2009
FRC has recently noted the contradictions of the position of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who calls himself pro-life but was actually drummed out of the Democrats for Life of America because his plan for reducing abortion is to give more money (for contraception) to Americas largest abortion provider (Planned Parenthood).
But this quote from Rep. Ryan in a LifeNews.com article about the split with Democrats for Life really jumped out at me: I cant figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception.
Really? He cant figure it out? Not for the life of him?
Perhaps Rep. Ryan is under the impression that engaging in sexual relations is mandatory. Its not. Perhaps he thinks people will die if they dont have sex. They wontbut thousands die each year (of sexually transmitted diseases) because they do.
If Rep. Ryan cant figure out … how to stop pregnancies without contraception, let me spell it out for him.