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Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 31, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 31, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Ten states in the US now ban some of the most inhumane forms of animal confinement, several including rules on the treatment of egg-laying hens,” writes Humane Society Vice-President Paul Shapiro in Quartz.  “The more Americans learned about how eggs are produced, the greater their concerns over animal cruelty became. The changing tides pushed both lawmakers and corporations to act.”

No decent person should rejoice over cruelty to any animal.  But how about unborn children?

On Monday of this week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure “requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation … The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will ‘eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child’.”

A growing body of science reveals (that) unborn babies can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization,” writes the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, in her study of fetal pain.  Yet for taking this thoughtful, commonsense, and simply humane step, Gov. Herbert has been castigated by abortion advocates and their allies in the media. 

The legislation is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” writes the New York Times.  The online magazine Slate accuses the governor of “defying medical ethics.”  And the Leftist Think Progress site shouts that the Utah bill “Could Literally Kill Women.”

Why are these proponents of abortion-on-demand so upset?  Because the Utah bill operates from the premise that the unborn child should not be dismembered without at least some numbing of its excruciating pain, which itself implies that the unborn child must have some value. 

This they cannot admit: If the unborn child has any value independent of her mother, she must be – what, a person?  And that would mean that maybe we should revisit the whole elective-abortion-at-any-time regime imposed by Roe v. Wade, the sacred text of radical sexual autonomy and a culture that dehumanizes life within the womb.

Yes, let’s treat chickens with consideration. But those who see legalized and unrestricted access to abortion as among the highest priorities in our national life should consider the words of Jesus to His disciples: “You” — people made in the image and likeness of God, from fertilization onward (Psalm 139:13-16) — “are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).  And many chickens, too.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. At noon on April 6, be sure to watch FRC’s panel discussion, “Religious Liberty Around the World: Where We Stand as of Spring 2016,” hosted by the Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, international human rights attorney Travis Weber, and featuring national leaders in the effort to protect the persecuted in all countries.


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

Obamacare

Life

Abortion

Abstinence Education

Adoption

Fetal Pain

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

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MEMO TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT: CHRISTIANS WERE MURDERED IN LAHORE. THAT’S C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N-S

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 28, 2016

Yesterday, “Jamaat-e-Ahrar, a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility” for a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan that killed at least 69 people and wounded about 300. Why? Jamaat-e-Ahrar makes its reason very clear: “Its spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in a statement that Christians were the target.”

The Taliban murders Christians on Easter Sunday: This is the essential headline of myriad news reports, at home and abroad. But you’d never know that Christians were in the killers’ bulls-eye from the U.S. State Department’s news release. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. This cowardly act, which targeted innocent civilians in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, has killed dozens and left scores injured,” says the statement. No mention of the Taliban. No mention of Islamism and it’s brutal aggression. And no mention of Christians.

What happened yesterday in Lahore was the mass murder of Christians by Muslim radicals. This is not a statement of bigotry or an overreaction to violence. It is not inflammatory or hostile or anti-Muslim. It is a statement of fact, based on the remarks of the killers’ official spokesman (a sickening thought — barbarians have a “spokesman”) and the indisputable carnage at a park where Christian children were playing after Sunday services.

Yet this administration cannot summon the moral courage to say what actually and obviously occurred. This is repulsive and a shame to our country, which proclaims itself “the home of the brave.”

Former federal prosecutor and expert on radical Islam Andy McCarthy, in a recent lecture at Hillsdale College, said, “In the real world, we must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism, because its jihadist legions have every intention of dealing with us. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.”

The Obama Administration lacks such resolve. Its fear of giving offense exceeds its willingness to defeat our enemies. Brussels, Lahore, San Bernardino, 9-11: the list goes on and on, as does the Islamists’ intention of destroying us.

It is hard to know how to destroy an ideology grounded in a fanatical faith. But at least we can destroy those of its adherents intent on spreading their faith through vicious brutality. We must do this, even if it necessitates a recognition that such destruction could be a multi-generational endeavor. The security of 320 million Americans and the dignity of human life worldwide demand it.

Listen to FRC’s Executive Vice-President, Lt. Gen. (ret) Jerry Boykin, talk with FRC President Tony Perkins about the threat of radical Islam in a March 21 broadcast of Tony’s “Washington Watch” radio program.

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Supreme Court Oral Argument Leaves a Question Mark Hanging Over Little Sisters

by Travis Weber

March 23, 2016

My client would love to be a conscientious objector. The government insists they be a conscientious collaborator.”

That line, offered by attorney and former Solicitor General Paul Clement as he closed his argument for the Little Sisters today, perhaps best captures this saga of cases in one sentence.

Zubik v. Burwell, the case for which oral argument was held today, is consolidated with six other cases (including Little Sisters of the Poor) composed of dozens of plaintiffs. The ruling in this case stands to impact scores more of religiously-affiliated universities, organizations, and individuals who object to being forced by the HHS mandate to violate their consciences by providing contraceptive services that cause abortions. These challengers have brought claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which, if they can show they have a sincere religious belief that has been substantially burdened, requires the government to show it has a compelling interest advanced by the HHS mandate and is pursuing that interest in the least restrictive way possible.

The argument heated up quickly, as Paul Clement, arguing for some of the religious challengers, was vigorously questioned by Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan about how government could continue to function if religious actors were permitted to consistently object to regulatory schemes like the HHS mandate. Clement skillfully parried away their questions: “My clients do not object to objecting,” he observed, but they do have a problem with being forced to violate their religion by a process the government calls an accommodation. Just because the government “call[s] it an accommodation doesn’t mean its immune from RFRA analysis,” Clement noted.

Noel Francisco, arguing for some other challengers, honed in on the fact that churches were already exempted under the HHS mandate. The existence of other such exemptions and whether they showed that the government did not actually have a compelling interest in imposing the HHS mandate’s requirement on the Little Sisters was a recurring theme throughout the argument. If the government has such a compelling interest, why not exempt the Little Sisters and others as it has exempted churches and large corporations?

When Solicitor General Donald Verrilli arose to argue for the government, Justice Kennedy showed surprising quickness in probing him about whether the government concedes that the exercise of religion was substantially burdened in this case. Verrilli conceded the exercise was sincere, but not substantially burdened. Why not? In the government’s view, the religious organizations are provided with a way to extricate themselves since the government authorizes the insurer to provide coverage. The religious groups can send the government an “exempting” document, and the government then authorizes the coverage. But the government needs the exempting document to authorize the coverage! The exempting document triggers acts against which the religious organizations have the most profound of objections. Sounds like an “authorizing document” to me.

The existence of other exemptions under the HHS mandate (showing that the government does not clearly have a compelling interest) and availability of other coverage (showing that the government is not working through the least restrictive means) were recurring themes throughout the argument. The government did not make a strong showing on these issues. At one point, Verrilli was stuck arguing that other alternatives to coverage, like the exchanges, do not provide the same coverage that is provided through the religious challengers’ insurers. Thus, in the government’s view, there were no less restrictive alternatives. It was almost as if the government had to concede the ineffectiveness of Obamacare as part of its argument before the Court today.

Also of note today were several references by the justices and advocates to the views of Professor Doug Laycock on whether RFRA supports the claims in this case. Nevertheless, as Paul Clement noted in closing, when Professor Laycock’s view is accurately restated, it supports the religious claims here.

One of the heartening things about today was seeing Justice Kennedy show support for the idea that if a religious belief is sincere (in this case, if the challengers believe the law makes them complicit in evil) and if there is a significant financial penalty attached to not following that law, there clearly is a substantial burden on religion. Justice Alito most vigorously disputed Verrilli’s arguments from the bench this morning, while Chief Justice Roberts also consistently hammered the government’s arguments. The Chief aptly characterized the government as “hijacking” the religious organizations’ insurance agreements to do its bidding. Justice Kennedy also observed the government was trying to “hijack the plans.”

Justice Thomas, along with these three, are likely votes for the religious challengers. Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Ginsburg will likely rule for the government, but a glimmer of hope remains: Justice Sotomayor appeared sympathetic to religious freedom in the context of a military conscientious objector. Justice Breyer appeared to struggle with which way to rule; if he can find sympathy for the position of the Little Sisters, the Court will offer relief to them later this spring. If the result is 4-4, however, the lower court decisions (many of which are negative) will stand until the issue is taken up again by the Supreme Court. While an outright win at this point is ideal, either of those results would be preferable to five justices ruling against the challengers here.

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Backpage’s (Rightful) Front Page Humiliation

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 17, 2016

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted “to hold the classified advertising website Backpage.com in civil contempt for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena into how it screens ads for possible sex trafficking. The vote was 96-0.” The vote will force Backpage to cooperate with a previously-issued Senate panel subpoena and account for its facilitation of sex trafficking.

The issue at stake is nothing less than basic decency and the commodification of human lives – in many cases, teenagers and even small children. As Senate Majority Leader McConnell said today on the floor of the Upper Chamber: “The Homeland Security Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations … probe has revealed how trafficking has flourished in the age of the Internet. It’s also revealed how many cases of sex-trafficking — including cases involving children — have been linked to one website in particular: Backpage.com. One national group that tracks the issue has told the subcommittee this: nearly three-quarters of all suspected child-sex trafficking reports it receives from the public through its tip line have a connection to Backpage.”

As Portman and McCaskill said in a joint statement, “Backpage.com’s ongoing obstruction of this investigation will not be tolerated. Our goal is to uncover how sex traffickers get away with selling countless victims through online black markets, so that Congress can devise legislation to more effectively combat this heart-breaking crime … With estimated annual revenues of more than $150 million, Backpage is a market leader in commercial-sex advertising and has been linked to hundreds of reported cases of sex trafficking, including trafficking of children. In a bipartisan staff report issued two months ago, the Subcommittee revealed evidence that Backpage has had a practice of editing advertisements before they are posted by deleting certain words and phrases, which likely served to conceal illegality. The subpoena seeks more information about that practice, but Backpage has refused to turn over documents.”

Now a day of reckoning will come. All decent people can look forward to it, not just so that Backpage will be held up to the public disdain it deserves but so that, through appropriate legislative action, it’s conduit for the selling and buying of human beings will end.

To learn more about human trafficking, watch a presentation by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, on “The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion,” and read “Modern Slavery: How to Fight Human Trafficking in Your Community,” by attorney J. Robert Flores, who has represented several anti-human trafficking organizations and served as Administrator of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the administration of President George W. Bush.

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Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 17, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 17, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


At last: The Obama State Department has finally and formally acknowledged that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.  This follows a unanimous vote (383-0) in the House of Representatives on March 14 to “(declare) the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.”

FRC has spoken about this issue for months, even years.  FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC Senior Fellow and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Right Ken Blackwell, the Director of our Center for Religious Liberty, international human rights law expert Travis Weber, J.D., and this author have all called for official U.S. recognition of the fact that ISIS, or “Daesh” as it calls itself, is committing genocide against Christians and other religious groups in the areas where it inflicts itself upon their historic residents.

Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control,” said Secretary of State John Kerry today, “including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology, and by actions – in what it says, what it believes, and what it does. Daesh is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some cases also against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities.”

Genocide is defined as “a crime of intentional destruction of a national, ethnic, racial and religious group, in whole or in part” in the 1948 U.N. Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  That genocide is occurring is undeniable, especially in light of a new, authoritative, 300-page report issued by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians  that documents “over a thousand instances of ISIS’s deliberately massacring, killing, torturing, enslaving, kidnapping, or raping Christians.”

In addition to the atrocities ISIS commits as a matter of routine, earlier this week “Chaldean Catholic bishop Antoine Audo said there were about 1.5 million Christians in the country before the start of the conflict in March 2011. ‘I think now there are maybe 500,000. Two-thirds have left mainly due to the insecurity,’ he told reporters in Geneva. In the embattled northern city of Aleppo, the exodus was even greater, he said, with only around 40,000 of its once 160,000-strong Christian community remaining.”

As Tony Perkins said upon the Administration’s long-overdue recognition of ISIS’s genocidal cruelty, “Now words need to be backed up with actions so that the international community not only speaks with one voice but works to isolate ISIS and those facilitating their reign of terror. Additionally, we call upon Christians to support those non-governmental organizations that are working to provide sanctuary and relief to our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as other religious minorities.”

Tragically, ISIS is a metastasizing entity.  In addition to controlling large swaths of Syria and Iraq, ISIS also occupies areas in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Libya.  ISIS’s plans are audacious, nothing less than world conquest.

What steps the Obama Administration now takes will be critical to the defeat of ISIS and the protection of those it has targeted for annihilation.  Christians should pray that our President and his national security team act wisely, decisively, and boldly to eradicate ISIS, not just “degrade” it.  For the suffering Christians and other religious minorities, time is running out.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to join us at noon on April 6th for our forum, “Religious Liberty Around the World: Where Do We Stand as of Spring 2016?”  The event will feature remarks by some of the country’s leading advocates for international religious freedom, including former Congressman Frank Wolf (21st Century Wilberforce Initiative), Dr. Thomas Farr (Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University), Tina Ramirez (the Founder and Executive Director of Hardwired Global), and Pervez Rafique (President of Bleeding for Belief, an organization working to stop religious persecution in Pakistan).  Join us in person or register, at no charge, to watch online.


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

 

Life

Abortion

Fetal Pain

Adoption

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

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Governor Intends to Ignore Same-Sex Marriage Ruling—Will He Be Chastised?

by Travis Weber

March 11, 2016

A federal district judge in Puerto Rico recently ruled that Obergefell v. Hodges does not overturn Puerto Rico’s marriage laws because the constitutional protections at issue in that case do not apply to an unincorporated territory like Puerto Rico the same way they do to the states.

Puerto Rico’s governor responded by indicating he will not abide by the ruling: “I will respect what has been determined by higher hierarchy courts that, fortunately, order a very different procedure… The fundamental right to equal marriage has been validated and ordered by the federal Supreme Court and by the appeals court in Boston.”

Predictably, the ruling is being dismissed, and the governor’s defiance celebrated, by same-sex marriage advocates.

But according to these same advocates, federal court orders are supposed to be sacrosanct ground, as we were told last year when the Alabama Supreme Court differed from federal courts in articulating the requirements of the Constitution on this issue.

Merits of this ruling (which is likely to be appealed) aside, the more pressing question is: Would those celebrating such independent judgment by the executive branch in this case also celebrate it if the shoe was on the other foot?

Idaho’s governor certainly was not celebrated in such an instance, and he didn’t even flatly disregard the ruling in that case, but merely disagreed with and appealed it.

Indeed, when federal district courts consistently ruled in favor of same-sex marriage over the last several years, their rulings were celebrated and regarded as law by same-sex marriage supporters. If so, why is the recent federal court decision out of Puerto Rico not law?

Our entire legal system depends upon neutrality and objectivity. When society decides to compromise those qualities for the sake of a controversial issue whose advocates aggressively insist on their agenda, we collectively imperil ourselves.

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A Win for Religious Freedom in the Military

by Travis Weber

March 9, 2016

A federal judge notched a win for religious freedom last week by ruling in favor of a Sikh Army captain requesting an exemption to grow his hair and beard for religious reasons. This ruling is a positive reaffirmation of RFRA’s application in the military context, and is proof that the statute can be used to protect service-members’ rights while not impinging on the unique needs of the military.

In response to Captain Singh’s exemption request, the Army directed him to go through several batteries of tests with his gas mask and helmet on to determine how they would perform while fitted over his head and facial hair. This order was unique, however, for the Army regularly grants beard exemptions for all sorts of reasons without requiring the testing it directed Captain Singh to go through. Moreover, around the same time the Army was imposing these onerous burdens on Captain Singh, he successfully completed a previously scheduled standard gas mask test with other soldiers from his unit.

It was obvious to anyone that the Army was making Captain Singh jump through hoops, and the Court granted his request to stop the Army from making these burdensome demands on him after concluding his RFRA claim would likely succeed. He had shown a sincere belief that was substantially burdened by the testing, and while the Court recognized the Army “unquestionably has a compelling interest in ensuring the health and safety of military personnel,” the specific tests required of Captain Singh are not the least restrictive means of accomplishing this interest. As the Court noted, “[i]ndeed, conducting or commissioning a study of the efficacy of helmets and gas masks for soldiers donning a variety of unshorn hair, beards, and/or head coverings, which does not target one particular Sikh soldier merely because of his request for a religious accommodation, would be more effective in furthering the government’s compelling interest in ensuring the health and safety of its soldiers.” The Court also observed that “medical exceptions and ‘relaxed grooming standards’ are granted without such specialized information” as the Army claimed it needed from Captain Singh.

On balance, this ruling reaffirms the principle that robust religious exercise for those of all faiths can occur in the military consistent with the unique demands it must impose on its members in order to maintain readiness and accomplish its mission.

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Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 3, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 3, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Texas’s abortion clinic regulations. This was the Court’s most important hearing on abortion in many years, perhaps decades.

The Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Arina Grossu, and our Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Cathy Ruse, J.D.(formerly chief counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution), were in the Court during the hearing to gain first-hand insight into the justices’ thinking. Their presence was especially important as, with our friends at the American Center for Law and Justice, FRC has filed an amicus brief in the case (Women’s Whole Health v. Hellerstadt) documenting that abortion is anything but a safe procedure for women; Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller cited from our brief in his arguments supporting his state’s commonsense abortion clinic rules.

As Arina explained recently, “The Texas law proposes that fundamental health and safety standards be applied to abortion facilities, standards that are currently applied to ambulatory surgical centers. These regulations are designed to safeguard against unsanitary conditions, inferior equipment, and the employment of unsuitable and untrained personnel in abortion facilities. Second, it requires that abortionists have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility when something goes wrong with the abortion and the woman needs to be hospitalized (as is often the case).”

We don’t know whether or not the Court will rule in favor of women’s health. Much will hinge on the unpredictable Justice Anthony Kennedy. As Cathy said after listening to Justice Kennedy’s exchanges with the attorneys arguing the case, “No one hearing arguments today could come away with a clear idea of how Justice Kennedy is likely to vote. Even when he is very vocal, Kennedy’s comments and questions serve as poor predictors of his votes.”

We can be encouraged that we have allies in people like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), who made a surprise and very welcome appearance at a pro-life rally in front of the Court during Wednesday’s hearing. “We are the pro-life generation and we are here to stand for life,” he said. FRC is grateful for his leadership.

Political leaders, especially those running for President, should take note of the new survey conducted for FRC by the respected WPA Opinion Research firm, which found, “For possibly the first time, large majorities of Democrats and Republicans say that the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court will be a ‘very important’ determining factor in how they vote for president in the fall, according to a new poll (which) found that 71 percent of Republican voters believe the future of the court will be somewhat or very important to their vote. And 63 percent of Democrats agree.”

Commenting on the poll, FRC President Tony Perkins noted that “Justice Scalia’s replacement may very well be the deciding vote on major cases involving religious liberty, state abortion laws, gun control, and immigration. With so much at stake, the American people should be allowed to decide in November who picks the next Supreme Court justice.”

Finally, yesterday the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives held its first hearing on the horrific organ harvesting of the corpses of aborted unborn children conducted by Planned Parenthood and its contractors. As U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), chairwoman of the Panel, said in her opening remarks, “Last summer’s videos revealed that something very troubling that is going on related to fetal tissue and research. The weak, the vulnerable, those with no voice — harvested and sold — there is something going on, something that deserves investigating and that demands our best moral and ethical thinking.”

The unborn child is a person, a baby, a being made in the image and likeness of God. She and her mother deserve better than the predation of the abortion industry. That’s why FRC works so hard to protect the unborn in law and supports policies that affirm and support their mothers. Thank you, as ever, for standing with us.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. To learn more about the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle, read the new paper by FRC’s Senior Fellow Chris Gacek, J.D., Ph.D., “A Supreme Decision: Filling Scalia’s Seat.”


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

 

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

 

Life

Abortion

Abstinence Education

Adoption

Bioethics

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

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The Dirty Dozen” 2016: The 12 Leading Facilitators of Sexual Exploitation

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 25, 2016

FRC is proud to be allied with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and a member of NCOSE’s Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation. The Coalition’s mission is “focused on bringing a variety of people together to solve and end the complex social issue of sexual exploitation and its associated companion – pornography.” We’re grateful to be part of this essential effort.

Today NCOSE announced its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the companies that foster the intersection of “sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and other forms of exploitation.”

Thankfully, one of the companies listed, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, has now been removed from the Dirty Dozen list because “on February 10, 2016 (Starwood announced) that they officially changed their policies regarding their distribution of pornography on January 1, 2016 and that it will be removed from all 1,270 properties worldwide.”

Sadly, perhaps the most noteworthy member of the Dirty Dozen list is none other than the U.S. Department of Justice, which is on the list for the fourth year in a row. According to NCOSE, “Federal law prohibits distribution of obscene adult pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier. The U.S. Supreme Court has also repeatedly upheld obscenity laws against First Amendment challenges, explaining that obscenity is not protected speech. Even so, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refuses to enforce existing federal obscenity laws. From the time Obama took office in 2008, no enforcement actions against illegal obscenity have been initiated by DOJ, and in 2011 former Attorney General Eric Holder dismantled the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force.”

Two former FRC interns, Dani Bianculli, J.D. and Haley Halverson, now serve at NCOSE as Executive Director of the Law Center and Director of Communications, respectively. We’re proud of the contributions Dani and Haley and NCOSE’s courageous CEO and President, Pat Trueman, have made and continue to make in defending women, children, and young men from the deviant exploitation that is at the center of the pornography and trafficking industries. We join with them in seeking to advance a culture where human dignity is protected by law and honored by our society and the businesses operating therein.

Be sure to watch the recent lecture by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, on “The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion” and read our Issue Analysis, “Daddy’s Girl: How Fatherlessness Impacts Early Sexual Activity, Teen Pregnancy, and Sexual Abuse.”

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Dancing for Joy at 106 and “Loving Jesus Christ”

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 23, 2016

A 106 year-old black woman has made international news for her unguarded joy at meeting the President.

Virginia McLaurin, who was born during the administration of William Howard Taft, fulfilled a dream in meeting the nation’s first African-American chief executive.

A black president,” she exclaimed, “and his black wife!” Mrs. McLaurin ran/danced as she saw the President and Mrs. Obama. The First Couple, moved and delighted, were most gracious to this dear woman.

As reported by a local NBC affiliate, “In her 104 years, Mrs. McLaurin worked as a housekeeper, nanny and seamstress. She first married at 14 and was widowed at 17.”

For the past 20 years, she has “been volunteering as a foster grandparent” to special needs children at Sharpe Health School in Washington, D.C.“‘I love the kids,’ she says. ‘You ought to hear them in the morning when I come in and they say, “Grandma! Grandma!” and I say, “I’m here, I’m here”.’”

In 2014, she wrote Mr. Obama, “I’ve never met a President. I didn’t think I would live to see a Colored President because I was born in the South and didn’t think it would happen. I am so happy and I would love to meet you and your family if I could. I remember the times before President Hoover. I remember when we didn’t have any electricity. I had a kerosene lamp. I remember the first car model Ford. My husband was in the Army. I lost my husband in 1941. I’ve been in DC ever since. I was living here when Martin Luther King was killed. I know you are a busy man, but I wish I could meet you. I could come to your house to make things easier. I pray to the Lord that I would be able to meet you one day.”

The Lord answered that prayer. And that points to something about this lovely woman that deserves particular mention: her deep Christian faith: “One of my secrets for longevity is reading the Bible and praying daily, loving Jesus Christ, and my fellow man. There’s no one that I don’t like; I love everybody.”

We can hope that Mrs. McLaurin continues to bring light and joy to many more people for years to come. And when the Lord calls her home, it’s delightful to think of her dancing into His presence, even as she did with the President and First Lady of the United States.

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