FRC Blog

Hit Out of Bounds

by Tony Perkins

March 13, 2007

If you stand for marriage and family, you’re likely to face a blind-side blitz. That’s the message being sent by homosexual rights groups to Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Coach Dungy is scheduled to appear at a March 20 banquet where he will receive the Indiana Family Institute’s “Friend of the Family” award.

The homosexual groups are attacking the Super Bowl-winning coach because the Institute supports an amendment to the state’s constitution that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. One aghast gay activist told The Indianapolis Star, “Dungy appears to be an upstanding guy, but the coach’s willingness to appear at this banquet strikes him as tantamount to endorsing its opposition to gay marriage.”

Such pressure even prompted the Colts to issue a statement that Coach Dungy speaks on his own and that his “feelings on the importance of marriage and family are well known.” Coach Dungy should be applauded, not condemned, for his championship role for the family.

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Send Out the Clowns

by Tony Perkins

March 13, 2007

If liberal judicial activism were ever put on trial, the foolish decisions of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (sometimes referred to as the Ninth Circus) would be Exhibit A. An editorial in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal notes that the Supreme Court has reviewed eight decisions by the Ninth Circuit in its current term—and has overturned all eight. The cumulative vote of the justices against the Ninth Circuit’s positions is an astronomical 67-5.

This gives hope that the Supremes will overturn another absurd Ninth Circuit ruling handed down Friday. The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library makes meeting rooms available to the public for “educational, cultural and community related” activities—but forbids their use for “religious services.” A district court judge overturned this blatantly unconstitutional policy, but a Ninth Circuit panel overruled that decision, and now the full court has refused to hear an appeal. The judges argue that “mere religious worship” is entitled to less protection under the First Amendment than is secular speech or religious speech other than worship. The dissenting judges declared that “the majority has disregarded equal-access cases stretching back nearly three decades.”

It’s no wonder that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Dr. James Dobson last week in a radio interview that he favors abolishing the Ninth Circuit altogether.

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Family Facts #6

by Family Research Council

March 12, 2007

Pregnant women who were not married or living with a partner were more likely to have a first-trimester miscarriage than those who were married or living with a partner.

Source: “Risk Factors for First Trimester Miscarriage—Results from a UK-Population-Based Case-Control Study” Maconochie, N. Doyle, P., Prior, S., and Simmons, R.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Vol. OnlineEarly, Number . December, 2006. Page(s) 1-17.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

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Homeschooling and Socialization

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

Stuart Buck found an interesting quote in psychology professor Richard G. Medlin’s article, “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 75 (2000): 107-23:

Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.

The most intriguing part of the study, however, involved observing the children as they played and worked together. Small groups of children who all had the same school background were videotaped while playing in a large room equipped with toys such as puzzles, puppets, and dolls. The children were then videotaped again in a structured activity: working in teams putting puzzles together for prizes.

Each child’s behavior was rated by two observers who did not know whether the children they were rating were home-schooled or traditionally schooled. The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist … , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timid, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group. Shyers (1992a) described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted in friendly, positive ways.

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Marriage and Caste

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

In a review of Kay Hymowitz’s new book, Marriage and Caste in America, Lisa Schiffren notes how we have become jaded about out-of-wedlock births:

The U.S. government recently announced that 36.8 percent of the children born in America in 2005 were born out of wedlock. In other words, almost 4 of every 10 American newborns were placed into the arms of unmarried mothers with no real claims on the men who impregnated them. Very few of these parents will end up marrying each other, and very few of the fathers will be permanent presences in the lives of their children. The children themselves will have meaner and more marginal lives than their peers in two-parent families.

The number is staggering, and at least as much of a threat to our way of life as anything Osama bin Laden has cooked up. Yet it is met with a collective shrug. Indeed, we are now so inured to such statistics that we regard them as a fact of nature, about which little can be done. Because child-bearing outside of marriage is a subject wrapped up with the highly fraught issues of sex, race, and personal mores, politicians tend to avoid it. Academics often try to quantify it, but in ways that miss the human element of the problem.

Read the rest at Commentary magazine. (HT: Dustin Steeve of The Right House blog who also has some intriguing thoughts on the subject.)

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Family Facts #5

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

According to a national survey on volunteering, among respondents who belonged to a house of worship, 61 percent of those whose parents volunteered likewise served as volunteers, and 44 percent of those whose parents did not volunteer served as volunteers. Among those with no religious affiliation whose parents did not volunteer, only 30 percent volunteered.

Source: Brooks, Arthur C., Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide, (New York: Basic Books 2006), pp. 97-114.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

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Pro-Homosexual Sex Ed: New But Not Improved

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Montgomery County, Maryland, which had its last sex education curriculum thrown out by a federal judge in 2005, has started implementing a new version. In the new curriculum, condoms are demonstrated on a piece of wood (not a cucumber as before) and lessons on homosexuality no longer bad-mouth the long list of historic world religions that disapprove of it. But the lessons still fail to explain the high health risks of certain sexual acts favored by homosexuals and still stigmatize those who disapprove of homosexual behavior by using the loaded term “homophobia.”

Two citizens’ groups that oppose the curriculum, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), appealed the curriculum to the State Board of Education—but the county rushed the pilot program into use without even waiting for a ruling on whether it complies with state laws and regulations. FRC’s Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident who served on a committee that reviewed the curriculum, will speak on its flaws at a town hall meeting tonight in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Order his pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School,” to learn how you can fight the homosexual agenda that is affecting schools across the country.

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