FRC Blog

On Religious Freedom, Justice Is Served

by Tony Perkins

February 22, 2007

Stating that “nothing defines us more as Americans [than] our religious liberties,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled the Justice Department’s “First Freedom Project” to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee in Nashville on Tuesday. His new Religious Freedom Task Force will step up enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion and will educate churches on how to file complaints about violations of their rights. We applaud Attorney General Gonzales for recognizing the ongoing threat to religious freedom and for taking firm steps to defend our “first freedom.”

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Jesus Costume Too Scary

by Family Research Council

February 22, 2007

A suit was filed on Tuesday in Pennsylvania by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of a 10 year old boy whose freedoms of religion and free speech were violated. During a Halloween celebration, officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside, Pennsylvania informed the boy that he could not wear a crown of thorns or tell others that he was Jesus.

Alternatively, school officials said that, because his garb included a robe, he could identify himself as a Roman emperor or some other religiously neutral figure. Since both the boy and his mother found the pagan elements of Halloween offensive, they did not want to celebrate Halloween in the typical manner; however, the mother of the boy also did not want her son to feel isolated from his schoolmates simply because he was not wearing a costume.

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Baby Amillia Goes Home!

by Family Research Council

February 22, 2007

People everywhere are talking about the baby born after spending less than 22 weeks in her mothers womb. Baby Amillia has been called everything from the pro-life icon, the new poster child for the pro-life movement, miracle baby to small wonder. Her parents are pleased just to hear her name. Yesterday, the Taylors were informed that they could take their daughter home. And even though her development is continually being monitored by medical staff people everywhere are rejoicing at the news.

The media attention Amillia is getting should WAKE UP AMERICA to the fact that life can not be determined merely by length of time in the womb. At 21 weeks, Amillia Taylor was more than just a blob of tissue as the media and pro-choice advocates would want you to believe. Although not fully developed yet, Amillia has attributes of a full term baby only smaller. She had tiny visible toes, wiggly fingers, and a beating heart! Instinctively Amillia knew she had to fight, and fight she did. Doctors are now saying her prognosis is excellent. Amillas continued success embodies the cliche big things come in small packages.

Despite her small package her life has and will continue to have big impact to the pro-life movement. Pro-choice advocates are no longer left to battle a faceless opponent. With every breath taken, Amillia serves as a living testament of what pro-lifers have been saying all along. For those who have closed their eyes and minds to the debate of when true life begins, Amillia is a loud voice resonating in a small body that calls out for us to WAKE UP.

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Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program (Update)

by Family Research Council

February 21, 2007

Last week I wrote about Congress’ de-funding of the Baby AIDS program Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) believed the move was retribution by appropriators for his militant stance on spending, as well as for his criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while others claimed the initiative was simply an unfortunate casualty of earmark reform.

The new House appropriations chief David Obey (D-WI) even attempted to use this line of reasoning, claiming “Many worthwhile earmarks are not funded in this measure, but we had to take this step to clear the decks, clean up the process and start over.”

But notes Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, The key language here is not funded in this measure,…

Congressional members, led by appropriators and an army of staff, have already figured out a new way to keep their favors in the money, and it might as well be called 1-800-EARMARKS (which unfortunately is already taken). All across Washington, members are at this moment phoning budget officers at federal agencies—Interior, Defense, HUD, you name it—privately demanding that earmarks in previous legislation be fully renewed again this year.

To ensure this back door option wouldnt be available to Coburn, language was included in the bill that explicitly stated that None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used for the infant AIDS program. Someone at the CDC was apparently still upset over another one of the Senators amendment to move $60 million from the CDC construction program to another AIDS reduction program.

Although the language will try to be overridden, Coburns staff is unsure that the money would actually be used for HIV/AIDS testing and prevention. In a memo to the CDC they wrote:

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FRC Blogger’s conference call write-ups

by Jared Bridges

February 21, 2007

Matt Anderson at Mere Orthodoxy has written some summaries (with commentary) of two of our recent FRC Blogger’s Briefing conference calls:

If you’re a socially conservative blogger and would like to join us for some of our conference calls,

with your name and blog information.

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Iowa Puts Cloning Bill under the Microscope

by Tony Perkins

February 21, 2007

The state of Iowa is synonymous with farming, but if a dangerous bill passes the House, it could be cloned human embryo farms, not traditional agriculture, that the Hawkeyes will become known for. Yesterday, legislation that would repeal Iowa’s current ban on all human cloning passed through one of the state’s House committees.

The issue is reaching critical importance in the state, as the Senate narrowly voted to lift Iowa’s human cloning ban last week. A vote by the full House is next. Supporters of the bill are using deceptive tactics, similar to the campaign in Missouri, to convince citizens that the bill would not allow human cloning but only permit SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer) to generate embryonic stem cells.

Unfortunately, what some voters and legislators may not understand through the fog of scientific jargon is that SCNT is human cloning. This fact shouldn’t be lost on the University of Iowa, yet school officials are urging alumni to support the bill, writing, “Opponents of the bill are saying it will lead to human cloning. It [cloning] is unethical, immoral, and we will never support it.” As the University well knows, the bill under consideration will not lead to human cloning, but instead will legally protect human cloning.

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Elderly Homosexual Atheists Need Not Apply

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

If you’re a 72 year-old homosexual who doesn’t believe in God your chances of being elected POTUS are rather slim.That’s one of the conclusions that could be gleaned from a recent Gallup poll on presidential candidates. The poll asked Americans whether they would vote for “a generally well-qualified” presidential candidate nominated by their party with each of the following characteristics: Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, an atheist, a woman, black, Hispanic, homosexual, 72 years of age, and someone married for the third time. The results:

gallup_20070219_diversity.png

According to Gallup, only about one in five Americans said they would vote for an atheist when the item was first asked in the late 1950s, compared with 45% today. Just 26% said they would support a homosexual presidential candidate in 1978, compared with the current 55%.

(HT: Outside the Beltway)

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Coming to a Library Near You…

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

Hey kids, want to see a R-rated movie? Whats that? Your parents wont take you to see and the video clerk wont rent it to you because youre under age? No problem. Just get the movie from your local librarian.

Libraries in Johnson County will let anyone, regardless of age, check out an R-rated movie. This news surprised Sally O’Rear. She found out the hard way. She saw her 13-year-old daughter with the movie.

ORear said, I want people to know you can go out there to the library and check these out. I want to be that voice to say, ‘Hey parents wake up. Look this is what’s going on.’”

For O’Rear, it is not so much that the movies are available. She wants the staff to help monitor what kids are doing inside the library. She said, I feel the parents should keep an eye also, but I feel the library needs to put up notification.”

North Liberty librarys assistant director Jennie Garner said, We can’t be baby sitters. We can’t monitor everyone’s age.” Library staff will tell you blocking kids from any material at the library is unconstitutional.

Garner said, Anyone, including minors, has the right to access any materials under the First amendment.”

The American Library Association’s website offers a “sample answer” that librarians can give when parents ask about such policies:

Kids can’t rent R-rated movies at the video store, or buy Playboy at the newsstand. Why won’t you use the same common sense restrictions at my public library?

* Those types of rating systems are voluntary, and libraries make them available to assist parents and others in making decisions for their families and themselves. As librarians, we strongly encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring what their children see and view, but as public employees, it’s not appropriate for librarians to make those decisions for them.

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