Month Archives: September 2009

For President Obama, The Devil is in the Details

by Tony Perkins

September 12, 2009

[Script follows after the jump]

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation by way of a speech to a special Joint Session of Congress. The purpose: to resuscitate his health care takeover plan that suffered a major setback during the bruising Congressional recess. Opposition to the Presidents efforts has steadily increased as the details of the plan have been publicly examined.

In the message that sounded more like a campaign stump speech than a concrete policy explanation, the President accused critics of the government takeover of using scare tactics and spreading misinformation. But he also said this:

[President Obama clip: “…there remain some significant details to be ironed out…”]

Never has the old adage; the devil is in the details had more meaning.

The President said he wanted to clear up the misunderstanding that under his plan no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions.

Allow me to address one of the details

The healthcare bills will fund abortion unless it is explicitly excluded, and the Capps amendment explicitly included government funding of abortion. To resolve this detail the President could simply tell his Partys leaders in Congress to accept one of the nearly dozen amendments, like the Stupak-Pitts amendment that will exclude abortion funding?

The President also said that the federal conscience laws will remain in place.

Here is an important detail. The regulations that would enforce the current conscience laws were suspended by President Obama just days after he took office. To take care of this detail the President should again tell his partys leaders to accept one of the amendments, like Sen. Coburns or Rep. Stupaks which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers.

The president said his plan would not increase deficits and that reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid would pay for most of this almost $1 trillion dollar plan.

Mr. President, this really isnt a detail, it is more of a question. If there is this much waste and inefficiency in the governments present health care system, why do you need to create another government health care program to clean up the current one? Show us first, that the government can manage its money or rather our money then we can talk about creating another program that could potential takeover nearly 16% of the nations economy.

FRC Action Webcast: A National Townhall on Health Care Reform

by Krystle Gabele

September 11, 2009

Here’s the full program of last night’s FRC Action webcast:

If you are reading this in an RSS Reader, you may need to click through to the post to view.

Participants:

  • Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action
  • Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
  • House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)
  • Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
  • Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State
  • Doug Johnson, National Right to Life Committee
  • Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church
  • Wesley J. Smith, Senior Fellow in Human Rights & Bioethics, Discovery Institute
  • Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel
  • Mark Kellen, M.D., President, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • Kathryn Serkes, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • Dr. David Prentice, FRC Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, FRC
  • David Christensen, Senior Director for Congressional Affairs, FRC
  • Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action

Resources mentioned:

Tonight: FRC Action to Host National Townhall Webcast on Health Care Reform

by Jared Bridges

September 10, 2009

Here’s the press release fro FRC Action with information on tonight’s live webcast on health care reform:

WASHINGTON, D.C.- On Thursday, September 10 at 8:30 pm ET, FRC Action, the legislative lobbying arm of Family Research Council, will host a special one hour “National Townhall on Health Care Reform” Webcast. FRC Action President Tony Perkins will be joined by Congressional leaders and policy experts to discuss the moral, ethical, and financial dangers of President Obama’s health care plan.

Webcast viewers will be able to:

* get their questions answered.

* dissect the dangers inherent in the President’s proposed plan.

* and examine the life and death implications this will have for themselves and their loved ones

Who: Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State

Doug Johnson, National Right to Life Committee

Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Family Research Council

Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church

Wesley J. Smith, renowned ethicist

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel

Dr. David Prentice, Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, Family Research Council

Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action

Where: www.frcaction.org/webcast

What: “National Townhall on Health Care Reform”

When: Thursday, September 10 at 8:30pm ET

Register for the webcast here.

Change Watch: Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States

by David Prentice

September 9, 2009

POSITION: SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

NOMINEE: Regina Benjamin

BIRTHDATE: October 26, 1956 in Mobile, Alabama

EDUCATION:

B.S. Xavier University of Louisiana

M.D. 1984, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Atlantas Morehouse School of Medicine

M.B.A. Tulane University, Freeman School of Business

FAMILY: never married; no children

EXPERIENCE:

Completed residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia

1987 Founded the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama;

rebuilt after Hurricane George, Hurricane Katrina, and extensive fire damage

1995 Elected to the American Medical Associations board of trustees

1996-2002 Board Member, Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights Advisory Council

1998 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights

2000 National Caring Award (which was inspired by Mother Teresa)

2006 Papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope Benedict XVI

Served as President of the American Medical Association’s Education and Research Foundation

Named by Time Magazine as one of the “Nation’s 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under.

President of the Medical Association of Alabama

Appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act Committee and to the Council of Graduate Medical Education, and also a member of the “Step 3 Committee

ON ABORTION

But the Alabama country doctor also backs Obama’s position on reproductive health issues, a position that potentially could put her at odds with the Catholic Church.

Like him, she believes that this is an issue where it is important to try and seek common ground and come together to try and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said. As a physician, she is deeply committed to the philosophy of putting her patients’ needs first when it comes to providing care.

The White House declined to say whether Benjamin supports a woman’s right to an abortion, but sources close to her selection say she does.

Source

White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said, however, that Benjamin “supports the president’s position on reproductive health issues.

Obama supports abortion rights and public funding of contraception and sex education.

Cherlin continued: “Like him she believes that this is an issue where it is important to try and seek common ground and come together to try and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. As a physician, she is deeply committed to the philosophy of putting her patients’ needs first when it comes to providing care.

Benjamin also was a board member for Physicians for Human Rights, an international group that has advocated access to safe abortions in its investigation of human rights conditions in some countries.

[Source]

Benjamin served as member of Board of Directors of Physicians for Human Rights, which specifically advocates for abortion rights in its Global Health Action Campaign program:

The freedoms include the right to participate in decisions about ones health, including sexual and reproductive freedom…

[Source]

Safe Pregnancy and Safe Abortion as Human Rights

Initiative of Center for Reproductive Rights

…is a collaborative effort with groups including CARE, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

[Source]

Dr. Benjamin served as a member of the AMA Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees oversees and approves policies of the AMA.

ON ABORTION

The Principles of Medical Ethics of the AMA do not prohibit a physician from performing an abortion in accordance with good medical practice and under circumstances that do not violate the law.

Physicians should not feel or be compelled to require minors to involve their parents before deciding whether to undergo an abortion. The patient, even an adolescent, generally must decide whether, on balance, parental involvement is advisable. Accordingly, minors should ultimately be allowed to decide whether parental involvement is appropriate.

from: Code of Medical Ethics 2004-2005: Current Opinions with Annotations, AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association; p. 4-5

Genetic selection refers to the abortion or discard of a fetus or pre-embryo with a genetic abnormality. In general, it is ethically permissible for physicians to participate in genetic selection to prevent, cure, or treat genetic disease.

from: Code of Medical Ethics 2004-2005: Current Opinions with Annotations, AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association; p. 41

viewer: [Source]

ON TREATMENT DECISIONS FOR SERIOUSLY ILL NEWBORNS:

Care must be taken to evaluate the newborns expected quality of life from the childs perspective. Life-sustaining treatment may be withheld or withdrawn from a newborn when the pain and suffering expected to be endured by the child will overwhelm any potential for joy during his or her life.

from: Code of Medical Ethics 2004-2005: Current Opinions with Annotations, AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association; p. 97

ON CLONING

While the pluralism of moral visions that underlie this debate must be respected, physicians collectively must continue to be guided by their paramount obligation to the welfare of their patients. In this light, cloning-for-biomedical-research is consistent with medical ethics. Every physician remains free to decide whether to participate in stem cell research or to use its products.

from: Code of Medical Ethics 2004-2005: Current Opinions with Annotations, AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association; p. 53

Two potentially realistic and possibly appropriate medical uses of cloning-to-produce-children are for assisting individuals or couples to reproduce and for generating tissues when the donor is not harmed or sacrificed.

from: Code of Medical Ethics 2004-2005: Current Opinions with Annotations, AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, American Medical Association; p. 55

ON HEALTH CARE

These are trying times in the health care field. And as a nation, we have reached a sobering realization: Our health care system simply cannot continue on the path that we’re on. Millions of Americans can’t afford health insurance, or they don’t have the basic health services available where they live.

It should not be this hard for doctors and other health care providers to care for their patients. It shouldn’t be this expensive for Americans to get health care in this country. And, Mr. President, thank you for putting health care reform at the top of your domestic agenda.

[Source]

Amsterdam Becomes Green-Light District for Pro-Family Activists

by Peter Sprigg

September 9, 2009

When the World Congress of Families gathered in Amsterdam in the Netherlands last month, it was not considered friendly territory for the conservative, pro-family principles espoused by most of the international delegates. The city has museums devoted to sex and drugs, and its red-light district is treated as a major tourist attraction. Radical feminist groups decried the event, and the offices of one Dutch organization involved in planning for the WCF were even vandalized, with obscenities and anti-Christian slogans being painted on the walls. The Dutch media sought to stir up controversy over the participation in the Congress by several members of the Dutch parliament and one cabinet minister (who sent a video message the opening day). Five scheduled Dutch participants withdrew from the Congress shortly before it began over concerns that anti-gay messages would be promoted.

In the end, protests against the Congress mostly fizzled, and the delegates focused on issues such as the problem of depopulation in the countries of Europe. The Congress featured the European premiere of The Demographic Bomb (a sequel to the film Demographic Winter), which had its world premiere at Family Research Council on June 17.

Peter Sprigg and Pat Fagan represented Family Research Council at the event, with Dr. Fagan making two presentationsone at a breakout session on day care, and one major address on Family Diversity and Political Freedom. He spoke of how the culture of the traditional family, based on lifelong monogamy, is now being challenged by a competing culture rooted in a sexual ideal that is in some sense polyamorous, in that it is built on the expectation of multiple sexual partners through the life course. Dr. Fagan explained some of the political implications of these competing cultures, and offered a suggestion as to how they might be able to co-exist in a free society by insuring that all parents, of any viewpoint, have greater control over the education and upbringing of their own children.

Although liberals claim to place a high value on dialogue, one of the few who actually came to the Congress to engage in it was a Dutch judge and U.N. official, Jaap Doek, who defended the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) and expressed dismay that the U.S. has failed to ratify it. Pro-family activists are concerned that the rights of children established by the treaty would undermine parental authority in the home, but Doek contended that it only imposes limits and obligations on the state, not upon parents.

Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, or C-FAM (and the husband of FRCs Cathy Cleaver Ruse) offered a darker vision of the impact of the U.N. and international agreements. He delivered an address describing how radical elites have attempted to establish a right to abortion in international law. The soft law strategy involves inserting code words for abortion (such as reproductive health) in international documents and then asserting (falsely) that it is a matter of customary international law. The hard law strategy involves United Nations committees charged with monitoring compliance with actual international treaties and conventions. Although no right to abortion has ever been established in the text of such treaties, these committees will often tell member countries that they must protect such a right to be in compliance (for example, with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW). Ruse declared bluntly that such new norms are being forced upon nations undemocratically through treachery, lies, deceit and raw power.

At times it was striking how much people from different countries had in common. For example, at one session, an American state senator from Georgia, Nancy Schaefer, and a lawyer from Sweden, Ruby Harrold-Claesson, both decried the abuses sometimes engaged in by child protective services.

However, there was one notable difference evident in the way American conservatives and Europeans see pro-family policy. Most Americans take a more libertarian approach, believing that the best thing government can do for families is to stay out of their way. Yet it was evident that pro-family politicians from Europe and other countries see government intervention on behalf of the family as the best pro-family policy. For instance, Andre Rouveot, the Dutch cabinet minister who addressed the Congress by video, touted the creation of his Ministry for Youth and Families as a great step forward. Yet most American conservatives do not see the creation of a federal Department of Education as something that improved American education. Australian Member of Parliament Kevin Andrews discussed efforts by some countries to provide child care and family leave as pro-family because they make it easier for working women to become mothers; whereas many Americans would argue what is needed is to make it easier for mothers to stay home.

The Congress ended with the adoption of the Amsterdam Declaration, which cited as its touchstone the statement in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Several countries are already in contention for the honor of hosting the next World Congress of Families, which has clearly established itself as the premier international gathering of pro-family scholars and activists.

Back to School with President Obama

by Tony Perkins

September 6, 2009

In his inaugural speech in 1961 President John F. Kennedy delivered this memorable line

[“Ask not…” clip]

Fast forward nearly 50 years and President Barack Obama was poised to ask the nations elementary school students not what they could do for their country but what they could do for their President.

The White House announced that the President would be speaking live to the nations K-6th graders. The Department of Education had prepared a work sheet to accompany the speech in which the children were instructed to engage in several exercises including writing a letter about how they could help the president.

After a fire storm of opposition erupted the White House changed lesson plans and now the youngsters will be asked to consider how they can help themselves achieve their educational goals. Certainly a more appropriate question, but one that is probably more suited for middle and high school students.

However, parents remain concerned. Some are keeping their kids home from school on the day of the speech. Over 95% of parents who responded to an FRC survey said the President should not be speaking to children during classroom hours.

Some in the media have decried the parental opposition as partisan. But it is really?

Consider that this speech is being made during one of the most controversial public policy debates in years in which the president has been steadily losing public support for his health care plan.

But even if the speech does not interject policy into the class room of 6 & 7 year old children, when parents consider the agenda of this administration as represented by the presidents appointments to the education department parents have a right to be concerned.

The Secretary of the department, Arne Duncan, has promoted some pretty controversial ideas, like special schools for homosexual students when he was head of the Chicago school system. Even more concerning is Kevin Jennings who is supposedly in charge of the Safe and Drug Free School Program for the Department of Education.

Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network, an organization that promotes homosexuality in the public schools, he also wrote the forward to a book entitled Queering Elementary Education.

This Administration has given parents plenty of reason to be concern over what is piped into the classroom. For more visit FRC.org

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 4, 2009

Here’s some news articles of interest to help kick off Labor Day weekend.

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