Month Archives: January 2012

ProLifeCon Features Michael Clancy and Samuel Armas

by Krystle Gabele

January 20, 2012

ProLifeCon is only three days away. Throughout this week, I have featured Ryan Bomberger, Lila Rose, Reps. Chris Smith and Vicky Hartzler. You can still register for ProLifeCon, and join other pro-life online activists throughout the country to hear our amazing lineup of speakers.

We are fortunate to have Michael Clancy, photographer of the famous Hand of Hope picture, and the baby featured in that photo, Samuel Armas, who is now twelve years old, and his mother, Julie Armas. The Hand of Hope picture was captured in 1999, during a spina bifida corrective surgical procedure. Samuel Armas was only 21 weeks in utero during that picture. While Clancy was documenting this surgery for a USA Today feature, he had the opportunity to capture Samuel Armas reach his hand out into the world from the womb. It is a powerful picture that has stirred emotion all over the world.

Clancy is the author of Hand of Hope: The Story Behind the Picture, which will be available for purchase and signing at ProLifeCon.

College Debt and 2012

by Chris Gacek

January 19, 2012

Bartholomew Sullivan (Scripps Howard News Service) has written an important article raising the possibility that the student college debt/loan issue may become a significant issue in the presidential race:

Outstanding student loan debt — which exceeds $1 trillion, more than what Americans owe on credit cards — is likely to be a major political issue this election year as students and their parents question the rising cost and value of a college education.

Sullivan presents some alarming statistics about loan defaults:

The rate of defaults rose from 7 percent in 2008 to 8.8 percent in 2009, the latest official figures available. Thats 320,194 of the 3.6 million people who began repayment that year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The rate in 2009 is about one in twelve a high rate. Concern runs from the political Right to the Left. As a Univ. of Pittsburgh English professor, William Scott, associated with the Occupy movement observed, Schools keep raising their tuitions because they know their students have easy access to these student loans. It’s almost become a type of predatory lending. At the same time, Rep. Ron Paul believes the loan programs should be abolished because they are “an absolute failure.”

John 3:16: Tim Tebow’s Verse?

by Robert Morrison

January 19, 2012

Ah, the New York Daily News. How I remember that tabloid journal from my boyhood. That was the newspaper that splashed across its front page photos of the bloody barbershop where Mafia don Albert Anastasia met his end. It was then—is it still?—the largest circulation newspaper in America. In Britain, the tabloids (“tabs”) were called penny dreadfuls. That’s because they cost a penny and they lacked the magisterial tone of the Times of London. Every morning they sold out and every evening they were used to wrap fish and chips.

Now, our Daily News is still plugging away. They conceive it as their duty to inform New York’s “working stiffs”—the subway straphangers—what they should think about the world. Don’t bother going inside to find the editorials. They’re all right there—on the front page. And so is the bias of the Daily News. I wouldn’t say the paper leans to the left, ideologically. The Leaning Tower of Pisa leans. This newspaper’s bias is flat-out, prone, supine.

Sometimes, the bias is so pronounced as to be hilarious. Did you know that John 3:16 is “Tim Tebow’s Verse?” The Daily News thinks it is. It’s almost as if the young quarterback spent his early years in the Philippines as a Wycliffe Bible Translator. If you consider this story, you are warned that—whoa! watch out here—Tim Tebow did a Super Bowl ad for the “anti-abortion” group, Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is probably anti-Mafia, too. And anti-rubbing out dons in barbershops.

But the fact that they are anti-abortion is information you gotta know. It needs to be front-and-center for discerning readers of the Daily News. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

John 3:16 has been translated into hundreds of languages. You can even find it in New York City. Now, it seems, Focus on the Family is capitalizing on the name recognition they got with that Super Bowl ad several years back. They’ve put out an ad based on the single most famous verse in the Bible.

The reaction of the journos to John 3:16 is too funny. Focus on the Family becomes “controversial” for saying that the dear children in this ad had a right to life. Focus on the Family doubtless would affirm the sentiment we at Family Research Council have often expressed: “Doesn’t Everyone Deserve a Birth Day?”

Several years ago, a candidate, a businessman, was seeking the support of Christians in Iowa. He wanted to run for Governor. He was getting along fine with his new-found friends. He even called the group leader from the road. “Say, I want you to know, I just passed a billboard with John 3:16 on it. I called my secretary and had her look that one up for me.”

There are, it seems, more conversions on the road toDes Moines even than on the Road to Damascus.

Michael Cromartie with the Ethics and Public Policy Center holds yearly conferences in Florida with mainstream journalists. God bless him. He tells the story of the shocked reaction of a reporter for one of the “prestige press” journals. The young woman had heard some candidate respond to a question on marriage by talking about “headship” in the family. Mr. Cromartie politely responded that, yes, there really are people in America who have read Paul’s thoughts on this in Ephesians.

Who is this Paul? And what book is this Ephesians?” came the reporter’s stunned response.

My favorite story of media cluelessness goes back to 1985. NBC News Anchorman John Chancellor was so dignified, so august that you might say: There but for the Grace of God, goes God. Chancellor was reporting President Reagan’s Second Inaugural. “The president is moving to the podium. His hand is now on the open Bible. It rests on the president’s favorite verse: Eleven Chronicles, 7:14.

New York’s Daily News might want, just once, to reflect on the current state of the Empire State. From 1810 to 1970, the Empire State, my home state, was the biggest, strongest state in the nation. We had 45 Electoral Votes. Every candidate for president wanted to carry New York State. We were not only the media capital of the nation, we were the business, advertising, industrial, and even agricultural super power of America. If you can make it there, sang Frank Sinatra, you can make it anywhere.

But then New York embraced lifestyle liberalism. And abortion. In the biggest way. Now, New York’s prestige, power, and influence have declined. In Harlem, 60 percent of all pregnancies, mostly of black and Hispanic moms, end in abortion. Not content with destroying the child in the womb, New York now advances to overturn marriage itself. And brags about it.

On my last visit to my mother, she told me about living in Brooklyn during the Second World War. I told her I’d been reading Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was amazed to learn that in 1944, there had been only eight homicides recorded in New York City. “I know all about that,” my mother responded to my lecturing tone. “You forget, I came to Brooklyn in 1944 to marry your father. My sisters-in-law and I used to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge—at midnight.” Then, to underscore New York in its heyday, she said: “And I was carrying you then.”

I was safe in my mother’s womb crossing the Brooklyn Bridge then. How many children never have that chance today? So, yes, I thank God for Focus on the Family’s new ad.

John 3:16 is Tim Tebow’s verse. It’s also the verse for all the world. No one needs it more than New York.

The Social Conservative Review: January 19, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

January 19, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

A Massachusetts judge’s decision to order the abortion of “a mentally ill woman’s unborn baby and sterilize her - if it meant she had to be ‘coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse’ into the procedure” has drawn appropriate fire from officials in the Bay State.

Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last week, not only wanted to compel the woman known only as “Mary Moe” to have an abortion - a procedure serious Catholic Ms. Moe said, explicitly, she did not want - but also to sterilize her. Thankfully, State Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger has reversed Judge Harms’ ruling, stating that ‘No party requested this measure … and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air.” Justice Grainger has now given the case to another judge.

The forced sterilization of roughly 30,000 Americans occurred in our own country in the years leading up to World War II (U.S. Holocaust Museum). The inherent injustice and cruelty of the practice was not only odious to most of our fellow citizens, but its barbarity was cast into horrible relief with the rise of Nazism in Germany. Hitler’s “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases” (July 14, 1933) compelled “the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), retardation (‘congenital feeble-mindedness’), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.” In addition to the estimated 400,000 persons sterilized, by 1945 up to 250,000 people had been murdered for their real or perceived physical or mental problems.

All of this poses a troubling question: Our society’s outrage over Judge Harms’ decision, while admirable, is much too muted when it comes to the ongoing death of more than 3,000 unborn children daily in the U.S., as is our culture’s compassion for their mothers, who often are “left uninformed” of the other, non-abortion related options they have.

At FRC, we work with dedicated people across the country to provide those better options. That’s why, on Monday, January 23 - the day of the annual “March for Life” here in the nation’s capital - FRC will launch the second edition of our “A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families, and Strengthen Communities.” Make sure to visit our website, A Passion to Serve, where you will be able to download your own free copy on January 23.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch the Webcast of FRC’s annual “ProLifeCon,” the premier gathering of online pro-life activists, on January 23.


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.

Human Trafficking

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

  • I, iPhone,” Jordan J. Ballor, The Acton Institute

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel/p>

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book reviews

ProLifeCon Features Reps. Chris Smith and Vicky Hartzler

by Krystle Gabele

January 19, 2012

ProLifeCon is only five days away. We have an exciting lineup of speakers, and one of the goals is to empower online activists to bring awareness to the policies impacting the pro-life community in Washington.

We are excited to have Rep. Chris Smith from New Jersey as one of our speakers. As co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, Rep. Smith has been instrumental in advocating for pro-life legislation in the House of Representatives. Rep. Smith has also been a strong voice against human trafficking, and as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking, he has successfully written and passed into law The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler from Missouri will also be joining ProLifeCon as a featured speaker. Rep. Hartzler was elected to serve the Fourth District of Missouri in 2010, and she has been a tireless advocate for pro-life issues. She supported H.R. 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith. Rep. Hartzler is also a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking.

 

 

ProLifeCon has more exciting speakers who will be featured throughout this week. Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

Adult Stem Cells as Potential Fountain of Youth

by David Prentice

January 18, 2012

A couple of weeks ago a paper was published in Nature Communications, describing how scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that adult stem cells from the muscle of young mice can improve the health and extend the life of aged mice. While the story didn’t make big news at the time, the news is surfacing again, e.g., in a video report by Dr. Marc Siegel on Fox News. The video includes interviews with two of the scientists who did the study, Dr. Laura Niedernhofer and Dr. Johnny Huard. Dr. Siegel does a good job of discussing the key points of the study, including the point that these were not embryonic stem cells, but rather adult stem cells.

Sterilization and the Right to Life

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 18, 2012

A judge’s decision to order the abortion of “a mentally ill womans unborn baby and sterilize her if it meant she had to be ‘coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse’ into the procedure” has drawn appropriate fire from officials in the Bay State.

Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last week, not only wanted to compel the woman known only as “Mary Moe” to have an abortion - a procedure the serious Catholic Ms. Moe said, explicitly, she did not want - but also to sterilize her. Thankfully, State Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger has reversed Judge Harms’ ruling, stating that ‘No party requested this measure … and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air. Justice Grainger has now given the case to another judge.

The forced sterilization of roughly 30,000 Americans occurred in our own country in the years leading up to World War II. According to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, “Between 1907 and 1939, more than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilized, many of them unknowingly or against their will, while they were incarcerated in prisons or institutions for the mentally ill. Nearly half the operations were carried out in California. Advocates of sterilization policies in both Germany and the United States were influenced by eugenics. This sociobiological theory took Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection and applied it to society. Eugenicists believed the human race could be improved by controlled breeding.”

The inherent injustice and cruelty of the practice was not only odious to most of our fellow citizens, but its barbarity was cast into horrible relief with the rise of Nazism in German. Hitler’s “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases” (July 14, 1933) compelled “the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), retardation (‘congenital feeble-mindedness’), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.” In addition to the estimated 400,000 persons sterilized, by 1945 up to 250,000 people had been murdered for their real or perceived physical or mental problems.

Sadly, although mass murder in the name of “racial purity” did not occur in out country, as late as 1970, “The Nixon administration dramatically increase(d) Medicaid-funded sterilization of low-income Americans, primarily Americans of color. While these sterilizations (were) voluntary as a matter of policy, anecdotal evidence later suggest(ed) that they (were) often involuntary as a matter of practice as patients (were) often misinformed, or left uninformed, regarding the nature of the procedures that they … agreed to undergo.” (Source)

All of this poses a troubling question: Our society’s outrage over Judge Harms’ decision, while admirable, is much too muted when it comes to the ongoing death of more than 3,000 unborn children daily in the U.S., as is our culture’s compassion for their mothers, who often are “left uninformed” of the other, non-abortion related options they have.

At FRC, we work with dedicated people across the country to provide those better options. That’s why, on Monday, January 23, FRC will launch the second edition of our “A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families, and Strengthen Communities.” Make sure to visit our website, A Passion to Serve, where you will be able to download your own free copy on January 23.

ProLifeCon Features Ryan Bomberger

by Krystle Gabele

January 17, 2012

This years ProLifeCon promises to be another exciting time to unite pro-life activists from across the country to become active online and bring awareness to the sanctity of life. We have an exciting line-up of speakers, who will not only educate you on emerging technologies to help spread the message, but make you aware of the issues impacting the pro-life community in 2012.

We are grateful to have Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation as a speaker at this years ProLifeCon. Ryan will no doubt inspire you with his story, as well as with his vast knowledge on utilizing the internet to educate the community on adoption.

Ryans story is also inspiring. His biological mother was raped, but chose to continue her pregnancy and gave him life. He was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving Christian family. Ryan has won an Emmy Award for his work. He founded The Radiance Foundation, along with his wife, Bethany, and has been active with the pro-life community with the TooManyAborted.com billboard/web campaigns, which advocates for adoption within the black community.

You dont want to miss ProLifeCon, as there are many more exciting speakers who will be featured throughout the week. Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

Former Model Leads Campaign against Cosmopolitan

by Krystle Gabele

January 16, 2012

While I was in the line at the grocery store recently, I happened to glance over at the magazine rack when I noticed the recent copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine. The model on the cover looked young, and in fact, she did not look old enough to be on the cover. It was Dakota Fanning, who is only 17 years of age, and the headings around the cover provided the usual standard of sex advice.

I was disgusted by this display. I turned around only to see a little girl pick up a copy of the magazine only to run back to her mother and say how pretty the model was. The mother of the girl also looked disgusted by the magazine and told the little girl to put back the magazine.

Fox News has focused on this recently, and they were shocked by this recent image as well. In fact, Rachelle Friberg, a media expert who was interviewed by Fox, said:

Cosmopolitan is going overboard by putting an underage girl on its cover surrounded by such article titles. It is one thing to educate young women about sex and their bodies, but putting a young, underage girl on the cover of a magazine that had long been known to push the limits is sending the wrong message.

Cosmopolitan, of course, defended its decision to have Fanning as the magazines cover model. Of course, their decision generated controversy, and there is no doubt that teenagers, who are fans of Fanning are lining up to buy the issue and being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda of promoting immodest behaviors and promiscuity.

Today, I was glad to read that a former model is calling out Cosmopolitan for its practices and is calling for the magazine to be marketed as an adult-only publication, which would require the magazine to be sold in packaging that would not show the cover. Nicole Weider is leading this effort and has a petition urging the FTC to help protect our youth from vulgarity. The petition has almost 21,000 signatures, and there is no doubt that will garner more signatures from those who agree the magazine has gone too far.

Does Cosmopolitan realize the impact that these behaviors have on young women? In 2010, the American Psychological Association released, Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. This report highlighted how publications, like Cosmopolitan, have a negative impact on young womens mental health.

One of the dominant themes about sexuality reported across these studies and across magazines is that presenting oneself as sexually desirable and thereby gaining the attention of men is and should be the focal goal for women.

The evidence from this research is not shocking. Its sad that publications, such as Cosmopolitan feel the need to consistently market women as sex symbols. The editors of Cosmopolitan dont even offer the perspectives of those who want to abstain from sex until marriage, which is even more depressing.

Family Research Council has released a report, Why Wait: The Benefits of Abstinence Until Marriage, that provided evidence that those who abstain from premarital sex tend to have happier and healthier marriages. The report also highlighted the emotional impact that premarital sex has on young women.

A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later.eens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs.In addition, they are more likely to commit suicide.

With research like this, Ms. Weiders petition is needed to protect young women from being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda. Yes, it has been said that sex sells, but the real selling point is what a woman offers in terms of grace and intelligence.

China Evaluates University Curricula as Job Producers

by Chris Gacek

January 13, 2012

It seems that the United States is not alone in having colleges and universities that chronically graduate students who are unable to find work. Some countries find this situation unacceptable, however, and plan to make some corrections.

Jay Schalin, of the excellent John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (Raliegh, NC), has written an op-ed in the Washington Times discussing some educational reviews that may be coming in China:

Chinas state-run universities have been churning out graduates so quickly that many cant find good jobs, even in a booming economy.

In response, China will soon start evaluating college majors by their employment rates, downsizing or cutting degree programs in which the employment rate for graduates falls below 60 percent for two consecutive years, the Wall Street Journal reported recently.

Much is imperfect with this authoritarian approach, but it seems more sensible than having no feedback in a system like ours that continues to sink students in unproductive majors and degree programs with loads of debt. (See the Wall Street Journal article by Laurie Burkitt who writes from Beijing.)

As Schalin observes after noting that employment rates are not the only evaluative measure that should be used:

But using data on the employment of graduates is still a valuable evaluation tool, and it serves as a useful guide for reforming higher education.

The Chinese exhibit hard-nosed common sense by looking at the actual results of their higher-education system; forward-looking U.S. public universities should do the same. If they wont end their excesses voluntarily, perhaps its time for state legislatures to consider Chinese-style standards.

Results matter; its time to judge universities on how well graduates perform once theyve left the security of the ivory tower.

 

 

 

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