October 28, 2008
The pro-abortion group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and its partners requested and were granted a hearing today at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States according to their recent newsletter (see p. 2).
The Commission will hold a hearing today titled the “Risks and vulnerabilities affecting defenders of women’s rights in the Americas,” raising the specter of human rights activists and defenders of women’s rights being “affected”. You can review the Commission program here.
But what is CRR’s goal? Legal rights for women? Is it the legalization of abortion? CRR is more ambitious. Their newsletter references a previous letter they sent to the United Nations which makes it clear that they are not so much trying to protect human rights defenders or defenders of women’s rights as they are trying to get international legal bodies to include abortion providers under the legal designation of “human rights defender.” If they are successful, abortion providers would be protected under the 1999 UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.
It would be a travesty for international bodies to equate those who perform abortions, including those who perform partial birth abortions, with those who advocate fundamental human rights of others.
CRR in their letter raises violence against abortion providers as one of their key arguments. Violence against abortionists is wrong and should be condemned. But CRR goes much further. They are in fact making the case that any restrictions that would affect abortion providers’ practices would constitute an abuse of human rights defenders.
Indeed, CRR spends considerable time defending Dr. George Tiller of Kansas, an abortionist known for his late-term abortions (and advertising internationally for his services). It is odd that they would single out Dr. Tiller as a human rights paragon, until you realize that they oppose even peaceful protests at abortion clinics such as his, even when they acknowledge the fact that such protests are constitutionally protected.
CRR also opposes state laws that would require abortion clinics to have the same health standards as ambulatory clinics—regulations that would actually protect the health of women obtaining abortions. Indeed, CRR goes so far as asking the UN to “investigate” the United States for state and federal laws that conflict with their views. Again, violence against abortionists is wrong, period. But peaceful protests? Parental notification laws? Laws ensuring medical the competency of abortion providers? They want a UN investigation. Perhaps even more brazen, CRR wants international bodies to investigate cases of “smear campaigns” against abortion providers, in which any public campaign against such abortionists occur. They oppose the mere existence of legal restrictions because it would be burdensome to the abortionist, something most people think might be legitimate for physicians performing surgery on their patients. What about legal liability? Nope, CRR wants none of that either. The kicker may be that CRR wants these international bodies to impose fines on states that who disagree with them. Why? So they force local law enforcement agencies to implement “human rights teaching” on abortion in their training programs.
And these are people that many pro-choicers in Congress have tried to get you to fund with your taxes. I suppose if you can cast this asprotecting human rights defenders, it might just work.
October 21, 2008
In the latest Mapping America, federal surveys show that adolescents who attend religious services frequently are less likely to run away from home than those who do not.
October 21, 2008
Fourteen middle schools around D.C. have recently implemented a new program called Capital Gains along with New York and Chicago city schools. The program was designed by Harvard economist and researcher Roland Fryer to increase incentive for low income students to do their work and attend school. Hence, the reason why Harvard is covering half the cost of the $2.7 million dollar project, and the District has to pay the rest.
The D.C. students that are participating in the program have the potential to earn up to $100 a month for doing things like their homework, having a good attendance record and getting good grades.
But it begs the question, why pay people to do something they are required to do? Is paying them actually going to help students learn things like responsibility, hard work and duty? And what about the other middle schoolers in the District that go to school, turn their homework in on time and study without getting a paycheck? It seems that monetary incentive is telling these kids that they aren’t capable of learning on their own, that they have to be tricked into submission and into learning. It sends kids the message that doing the right thing has a price tag and isn’t something that should just be expected.
But of course the students like getting money, who wouldn’t want to get paid to go to school? When Christopher Johnson from Kelly-Miller Middle School was asked about getting paid he said, “People ain’t had money. It’s better now for people to have money than not having money.”
And while there have been no reports of the results of this program yet, it would seem that the money they are paying kids to go to school might be better spent on improving their grammar.
For more info check out: http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=76165&catid=158
October 21, 2008
Here is what we’re talking about at FRC today:
DC Students Get Cash for Good Grades, Behavior—Middle school students in D.C. are getting paid to follow the rules and do their homework.
DEMS GET SET TO MUZZLE THE RIGHT—New York Post article on the possibility of a resurrection The Fairness Doctrine.
Conn. ruling may boost Vt. gay marriage movement—Last week, Connecticut’s top court ruled that civil unions aren’t a substitute for marriage’s full benefits.
BLACKWELL: Voter fraud, an assault on fairness—This op-ed calls for Voter Fraud to be a bi-partisan issue. Both Democrats and Republicans should fight against the rampant fraud that is taking place this election season.
October 20, 2008
It’s been five years since the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, but the shockwaves are still rippling through the national church. Across America, congregations have exploded in protest. Despite pleas from many in the 2.2 million-member church, Episcopal leaders stubbornly refuse to back down from their liberal, pro-homosexual theology.
After months of negotiations failed to bring the denomination back to its conservative teachings, a band of 11 Virginia churches took the unprecedented step to sever all ties and realign under the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Together, these congregations made the courageous-and costly-decision to separate from a denomination whose American roots are more than 300 years deep.
But the stand for Biblical truth has come at great price to the faithful in Virginia. They face financial hardship, eviction from their property, and a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Episcopal headquarters.
Since early 2007, the Diocese of Virginia has attacked the churches in a vicious suit that threatens to confiscate their church homes. With almost no resources, the 11 churches banded together in defense of their land, resulting in the largest property dispute in the history of the Episcopal Church.
At every stage of the Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia court battle (now four rounds old), Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows has ruled in favor of the breakaway churches. Last week, Judge Bellows rounded out this series of victories by ruling that Truro Church-the second largest parish-“could retain ownership of land sought by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.” In a story of true David versus Goliath proportions, the news continues to stun the mainstream church.
But despite how far the Virginia parishes have come, the Episcopal Church shows no sign of giving up. Its national leaders have vowed to fight these decisions all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. In a press release, the Diocese says it “will continue to explore every legal option available” to seize these church homes. Despite the mass exodus this month from parishes in Pittsburgh and San Joaquin (see George Will’s Sunday column “A Faith’s Dwindling Following”) and the impending rift in Fort Worth, the Episcopal Church leaves no doubt that the legal battle has just begun. In fact, it could continue for years.
If you’re interested helping the churches at “Ground Zero” in the Anglican crisis, please log on to Truro’s website and consider standing with them for biblical truth.
October 18, 2008
Researchers have now shown that they can efficiently and quickly produce human iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells), increasing the efficiency 100-fold. Moreover, they have done it using cells from a single human hair. The iPS cell type is equivalent to embryonic stem cells, but is produced without using embryos, eggs, or cloning. The results with iPS cells continue to mount up rapidly, making it more and more difficult to justify use of embryos, eggs, or cloning to produce human embryonic stem cells.
The results were published online in Nature Biotechnology on 17 October 2008.
October 15, 2008
WORLD Magazine’s website published a short article on the abortion panel that took place last Thursday at FRC:
Also, here is the video link from the panel if you want to watch some of the speakers, including FRC’s own Tom McClusky:
Family Research Council
October 14, 2008
There is a lot of things in the Connecticut Supreme Court same-sex “marriage” case to either laugh or cry about. There is one section in the majority decision where the four judges who invented the same-sex “marriage” right in the state of Connecticut make the argument that because homosexuals are underrepresented in the political, business and academic world that they are being discriminated against.
“Insofar as gay persons play a role in the political process, it is apparent that their numbers reflect their status as a small and insular minority. It recently has been noted that, of the more than one-half million people who hold a political office at the local, state and national level, only about 300 are openly gay persons. Andersen v. King County, supra, 158 Wash. 2d 105 (Bridge, J., concurring in dissent); see also R. La Corte, ”State Legislature Has Second-Largest Gay Caucus in U.S.” (January 24, 2008) (putting figure at about 400 openly gay persons), available at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2004140976_webgaycaucus23.html?syn. No openly gay person ever has been appointed to a United States Cabinet position or to any federal appeals court, or served in the United States Senate, and only two currently serve in the United States House of Representatives. See ”Current Members of the United States Congress,” available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_Senators. Gay persons also lack representation in the highest levels of business, industry and academia. For example, no openly gay person heads a Fortune 500 company; G. Shister, ”Gay Chief Executives Come Out Winners” (January 28, 2008), available at http://web.archive.org/web/20080129030005/http:/www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20080128_Gay_chief_executives_come_out_winners.html; and it has been estimated that there are only fourteen openly gay college and university presidents or chancellors; see ”An Openly Gay Chancellor Heads to Madison, Wis.,” Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog (May 29, 2008), available at http://chronicle.com/news/article/?id=4574; a number that represents only one half of 1 percent of such positions nationwide.”
I am troubled that a court document uses Wikipedia as a credible source (talk about some lazy law clerks!). According to this article a search of all federal and all state court decisions ever made revealed that 247 have cited Wikipedia, despite Wikipedia telling users not to cite them as a reliable source.
What is of deeper concern is the logic in the judges’ paragraph. Do the judges actually believe that homosexuals are a put upon class in society? A Comm Group/G Society study released in October 2001 shows that the median household income of homosexual households is $65,000 - compared to the national average of $40,800. Also, 47 percent of homosexual men and 40 percent of lesbians hold professional or managerial jobs - more than twice the figure for the general population.
As for fortune 500 companies, The Human Rights Campaign themselves cite that of the top ten companies in the Fortune 500 nine (90 percent) prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, five (50 percent) prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and eight (80 percent) provide partner health benefits. The numbers they cite for the rest of the 500 are similar.
Also does the judge honestly believe that college campuses are hostile to the homosexual agenda? What colleges are they visiting? And why cite the number of homosexuals in these fields anyway. Why not also in the entertainment/news industry? According to Peter Sprigg in his InFocus paper, “Homosexual Groups Back Off From ‘10 Percent’ Myth,” about 1.4 million Americans identify themselves as homosexual. In comparison at least 125 million Americans identify themselves as “born-again” or “evangelical.” Between homosexuals and Evangelicals which selected group is more prevalent in Hollywood? Homosexuals would be a good guess. Which group is better portrayed unfairly? Evangelicals by far.
There is much wrong with the majority opinion from the Connecticut Supreme Court, its inexplicable use of random statistics about supposed unfilled quotas to justify its unjustifiable decision is just one of them.