Category archives: Social Conservative Review

The Social Conservative Review: November 17, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

November 17, 2011

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, which is why FRC was proud to host Ryan Bomberger last week for his lecture, “Adoption: Be the Hope.” Ryan was himself adopted and, with his wife, has adopted two children. You can watch his moving presentation here. To learn about the pro-life, pro-adoption ministry of Ryan’s Radiance Foundation, go to www.theradiancefoundation.org.

One of the most daunting obstacles to adoption is its up-front cost, which can be as much as $40,000 per child. Although the federal adoption tax credit is very helpful, it does not cover what can be, for families of ordinary means, a great financial challenge.

It’s for that reason that the adoption ministry Lifesong (a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) has set-up a program to help churches develop adoption funds. An adoption fund is a designated line-item in a church’s budget that helps church members pay for their adoption costs, either through a direct financial gift or low-or no-interest loan. As the beneficiaries of one such fund, my wife and I are eternally grateful for the generosity and selflessness of God’s people in helping us adopt our three children.

To learn more about adoption and related ministries, go to FRC’s www.RealCompassion.org, through which you can link to many organizations helping children at home and abroad.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Dr. Pat Fagan, Director of FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), has just released the second annual “Index of Belonging and Rejection.” The Index rank-orders the states and the 25 largest cities by the strength of belonging in their family, showing that less than 50 percent of American children reach adulthood having grown up in an intact married family. Click here to download the report.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Entertainment

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: November 3, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

November 3, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Harry Truman once said that a “statesman is a politician who’s been dead for 15 years.” In other words, our view of the nobility and wisdom of our political leaders grows the further we get from their public service. Remember that the next time you see a bumper sticker with a photo of George W. Bush, bearing the legend, “Miss him yet?”

If we want a virtuous and just society, we cannot afford to concede that statesmanship is a lost art. As King’s College professor David C. Innes notes, politics “politics is more than just good intentions. It requires knowledge, judgment and an ability to move people so that they want to follow you. Essentially it requires statesmanship. Statesmanship is the just, prudent and persuasive exercise of authority.”

As statesmanship declines, public life becomes more tawdry. The personal corruption of political leaders deepens our cynicism, and the unwillingness of many officials to make tough but necessary policy choices seems more animated by their chances for re-election than the best interests of the country.

Speaking of the American Revolution, Queen Elizabeth II said, “We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.” Statesmanship, or the lack thereof, can have profound consequences for the moral health of the nation and for the very existence of the political and social order.

Our Founders understood this. Writing in 1789, James Madison observed, “If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice.”

Distributive justice,” to Madison and his colleagues, meant a government that ensured fairness and dignity for all its citizens - justice that would be distributed equally, without favoritism.

Christian statesmanship involves the prudent application of justice. It also means that Christians must pray for elected and appointed public servants, that they would make such an application with courage and consistency.

Prayed for our government’s leaders lately?

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S Be sure to watch FRC’s Webcast of our forum on international religious liberty, featuring five experts whose comments drew media coverage in The Washington Post.

Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: October 20, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

October 20, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Conservatism, it has been said, is not an ideology but a way of viewing the world. This is partially true: conservatives seek to impose no utopian vision upon an imperfectible humanity.

At the same time, conservatism presupposes both human dignity and fallenness, and argues that personal virtue must be the foundation of political self-governance. Conservatism is suspicious of schemes to change humanity through external constraints, or reshape human nature through insistent indoctrination.

At Independence Hall in 1861, Abraham Lincoln said, “The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.”

An equal chance because, as the Declaration says, all men are of equal merit in the sight of their Creator. This was not only Lincoln’s claim; it has been the principle claim of our Republic since its founding.

Despite its protestations to the contrary, the Left argues that most men are not, in fact, created equal: The “masses” are too reactionary to know what’s good for them, too benighted to recognize the obvious truths of political liberalism, too fearful of the bracing, brave new world that Godless men can create.

Most people understand, intuitively, that grand plans for social engineering and cultural transformation will collapse under the weight of human arrogance, incompetence, and elitism. They grasp that there are limits to human commitments and even love, which is why one man and one woman marry each other, and do not have multiple partners. It’s why each of us cares for his own children more than those of our neighbors. It’s why one can have only so many close friends: People are finite, and there’s only so much of each of us to go around.

This is not a cynical perspective, but it is not naive either. It is conservative, taking and enjoying reality as it is. “Conservatism advocates that the wisdom of the past be used to create a promising future,” writes constitutional scholar Patrick Garry. “It does not seek to simply confer a basket of benefits in the present, without regard to whether those benefits will build a foundation for a more lasting and promising future” (Conservatism Redefined, pp. 153-154).

A more lasting and promising future.” That’s the vision of Family Research Council for all Americans. Thank you for sharing in it with us.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC has just released five new publications, which can be downloaded at no charge by clicking on the links below:


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: October 6, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

October 6, 2011

If you like the Social Conservative Review, you can subscribe by clicking here.


Dear Friends,

We are made in the image and likeness of God. Since God is a moral actor, those bearing His image are responsible to act morally, as well. Christians are to be “conformed to the image” of Christ (Romans 8:29), but if government constrains religious liberty, the public expression of who we were made to be is repressed. This is a denial of our essential humanity.

Christians are called to worship their Lord in fellowship with one another. If a government disallows this, we cannot worship in the manner to which He calls us. Consequently, it is only prudent and, more importantly, honoring to God that we avail ourselves of the religious freedom our Constitution guarantees to live as He requires and also to use the liberties assured us to safeguard our ability to continue to enjoy them. Only through participation as conscientious citizens can we protect the liberties we need to fulfill the duties imposed on us by our Maker and Redeemer.

This applies also to non-Christians. As long as religious believers impose no threat on public order or security, they should be able to practice their faiths without government interference. Buddhists should be able to speak freely about their beliefs. Muslims should be able to worship in mosques undisturbed. New Agers should be able to contemplate the chrysanthemums in the local park without hindrance.

Why? Because God embedded the conscience and mandates the obligation of worship, not government. However inappropriately or unwisely one’s religious fidelity might be expressed, religious liberty is truly the “first freedom” and is grounded in the very nature of man and his relationship with his Creator. As Americans, let’s use our liberty to sustain and advance it, now and always.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. The Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, writes frequently about issues affecting faith and freedom. Learn more about FRC’s efforts to defend and strengthen religious liberty by clicking here.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

To read more about health care reform, keep up with reports from FRC ‘s Ken Klukowski, click here.

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: September 22, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

September 22, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Terrorism works because some politicians will eventually accommodate terrorist behavior in the hopes that in so doing a “greater good” will emerge from their moral compromise. Police Officer Lance Eldridge

Compromise is a loaded term. Often, it connotes sleaziness, payoffs, moral cowardice, the breeding ground of cynicism and political corruption. Compromise with terrorists, for example, will lead only to greater acts of terrorism, as Officer Eldridge and many others have noted.

However, appropriate compromise is part of all facets of life. For vacation, you want to go to Civil War battle sites, your wife wants to go to Hawaii . You end up in Orlando . Without such compromise, marriages would fail even more than they already do.

In politics, wedding allegiance to principle with prudent good judgment is a daily struggle. Critical legislation is seldom drafted to anyone’s full satisfaction. That is why principled compromise is so important.

Wisdom, prudence and good judgment, combined with accurate information and a willingness to decide, are all necessary for the making of sound decisions. Political philosopher Bruce Frohnen observes, “Prudence is the necessary tool for the attainment of virtue … (it) is the practical wisdom necessary if one is to judge rightly how to respond to particular circumstances.”

Such principled compromise is a matter of both honor and judgment - of the wisdom and prudence articulated in Scripture, affirmed in the conscience, and demonstrated in daily life. As Jesus said, “Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19).

Genuine wisdom is grounded in truth - truth that teaches the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage, the importance of religious liberty. Thanks for standing with Family Research Council as we apply that truth, with wisdom, in the public square.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC’s Values Voter Summit is coming up soon — it’s a “don’t want to miss” forum of presidential candidates and conservative leaders from across the country. Click here to register.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews

In a moving account of his experience in the White House, Tim Goeglein - vice-president for government affairs with Focus on the Family and former Special Assistant to George W. Bush- describes how the President’s faith informed his decisions and provided a moral context for historic decision-making. Learn more at The Man in the Middle.

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News—September 8, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

September 8, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

America’s Founders believed that unless public leaders are persons of high character, they will be motivated by self-interest. This fosters cynicism among citizens, who then become disengaged from the political sphere and all the more vulnerable to political abuse by those in power.

Theologian David Wells describes virtue as having both private and public dimensions: First, virtue is “the domain of character, the practice of private virtue, such as honesty, decency, the telling of truth, and all the other kinds of moral obligation.”

Second, says Wells, there is “the domain of public virtue, such as civic duty, social responsibility, philanthropy, the articulation of great ideals and good policies.”

The Founders of our country believed that “the domain of public virtue” was essential to the success of political self-government through representative democracy. Only if citizens are persons of virtue will they govern their own behavior with sufficient wisdom to live in a just and free society. And only if they possess personal virtue will they elect persons whose own moral caliber is sufficient to ensure that integrity and wisdom are applied to public policy decisions.

Without virtue, there can be no political liberty,” wrote an aged John Adams to his friend Thomas Jefferson in 1819. That was true at the founding of our Republic, and is no less true today.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Urge retailers to resist pressure to discriminate against customers with a traditional and biblical view of marriage.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: August 25, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

August 25, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review


Dear Friends,

The central irony of Christian citizenship is that no country will find better citizens than those willing to defy its laws if those laws demand a loyalty to the state greater than that owed to the God of the Bible. As Declaration of Independence signer and Princeton president John Witherspoon put it,

Another reason why the servants of God are represented as troublesome is, because they will not, and dare not comply with the sinful commandments of men. In matters merely civil, good men are the most regular citizens and the most obedient subjects. But, as they have a Master in heaven, no earthly power can constrain them to deny his name or desert his cause.

In other words, to be good citizens in time, Christians must be ever mindful that they belong to an eternal kingdom.

Political engagement by Christians is, at a foundational level, unavoidable. If you pay taxes, if you serve in the military, if you get a driver’s license, if you sign a property deed, if you have medical or life insurance, if you turn on the shower or pay a heating bill, what you are doing is in some way touched by government regulation and law.

This engagement does not need to be consuming, of course. Not everyone is called to be equally active in the public square. However, the other extremes — of passivity and pretending politics neither matter nor really exist, or of withdrawal and despair after one’s (false) expectations are dashed — are a matter of either an impoverished grasp of Scripture or, worse, mere religious pretense, not fidelity to the Bible. Never to vote, never to speak, never to defend those without a voice, the weak and powerless and helpless, is to accede to evil.

Do good unto all men,” writes Paul the Apostle (Galatians 6:10). This is a charge with an active voice. Christians cannot fulfill this command unless, in the public arena, we stand for truth with a gracious but undauntable spirit. Our fellow citizens, and our country as a whole, deserve no less.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. What is the status of conservatism in America? Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, Ken Blackwell, appeared on CNS News August 12, 2011 to discuss the conservative movement in our country today.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews


Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review

The Social Conservative Review—August 11, 2011 Edition

by Krystle Gabele

August 11, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

This week’s riots in Britain have reminded us that human nature is a volatile thing. As former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once put it, “The veneer of civilization is very thin.”

Man is a fallen being, yet capable of great nobility of character. The Bible’s teachings about man had an especially profound affect on the Founders as they considered how imperfect men could govern themselves.

Although they affirmed human fallenness, they also affirmed human dignity. If persons are made in God’s image and likeness, then they have value before Him which should be honored by those political powers He ordains to govern them.

Through the Judeo-Christian tradition, human rights are rooted in the moral worth with which a loving Creator has endowed each human life,” writes scholar A. James Reichley, “and social authority is legitimized by making it answerable to transcendent moral law.”

This cannot be understated. Without a grounding in biblical revelation and natural law, which is itself reliant on a belief in communicated transcendent truth, we have no basis for proclaiming human uniqueness and dignity.

Religious liberty is a divine right, immediately derived from the Supreme Being, without the intervention of any created authority,” New Hampshire preacher Israel Evans proclaimed in 1791. The same can be said for the rights to life and property, and the “pursuit of happiness,” as articulated in our Declaration of Independence.

At the Family Research Council, we work to strengthen the veneer of which Mrs. Thatcher spoke through advancing measures that encourage faith, family, and freedom. For the sake of civilization, we believe there can few more important works.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: July 28, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

July 28, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

As the White House and Congress continue to debate how to restrain spending and curtail the size and reach of the federal government, American families are concerned with the economy we will be leaving our children.

Family policy is tied directly to economic policy. A society in which the unborn are expendable means we will not have the quantity of workers we need to help our economy grow or the tax base necessary to sustain programs on which many have come to depend, let alone vital needs like national defense. FRC President Tony Perkins recently made this point at a conference here in Washington, DC — social, security, and economic policy are intertwined, and cannot be divorced from one another.

There’s a reason why the Psalmist reminds us that “children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). It’s for the sake of that heritage that FRC continues to work in partnership with you for faith, family, and freedom.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News—July 14, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

July 14, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Our country is grounded on the proposition that God has made each of us and given every person the “right to life,” as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Yet human dignity is being diminished increasingly in our culture. Whether discussing the unborn, the disabled, or the elderly, utility and power too often trump respect and compassion.

Our bodies are precious to God. “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” writes David in the 139th Psalm. If the God of the universe took such tender care with each of us, should we not also care for the most vulnerable among us, and put that care into practical action?

In his new book, Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith, Matthew Lee Anderson reminds us, “We cannot speak of the body without speaking of its mortality, for the God who became flesh did so in order that he might die. For Jesus, death was the precursor to the resurrection. For us, it is the power of Christ’s resurrection that allows us to stare death in the face” (p.165).

Staring death in the face, unflinching: That’s the power of the Gospel. Defending personhood, at all its stages: That’s fidelity to our Creator.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Next Thursday, join FRC and Liberty University at our DC headquarters or via Webcast as we host the Washington, DC book launch of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America, by FRC Senior Fellows Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

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Religion in America

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