Month Archives: January 2012

The Social Conservative Review: January 5, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

January 6, 2012

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another. Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821

Dear Friends:

The size and scope of the federal government continues to expand. The larger government has become, the more constraints it has placed on the way we live our lives.

Most particularly, to pay for its many programs, Washington has placed a substantial tax burden on citizens and the companies where they work. As a result, families are able to retain less of their incomes and not only become more reliant on government for benefits, but also have fewer resources to provide for their own daily needs.

Economic growth and family stability are interwoven. The extensive data available on FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute website prove it. As the 2012 campaign season - for everything from President to county resource commission - begins in earnest, policymakers (including would-be ones) should come to understand this.

As FRC’s distinguished Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, Ken Blackwell, wrote recently, “We who are pro-life and pro-marriage know that families need jobs. They need a growing economy. But economic conservatives need to recognize that stable married families having children are what drive economic growth.”

Family, growth, life, and hope - they’re all part of the same package. And since it was designed by God, a wonderful package it is.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC began the new year with a bracing lecture by scholar Michael Brown on the homosexual social and political agenda and the need for Christians to stand for the truth about human sexuality in our culture. Click here to watch.


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

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

I’m Pro-Life Because…

by Family Research Council

January 5, 2012

As part of FRC’s Sanctity of Life month activities, we are collecting images for the “I’m Pro-Life Campaign”. Having only announced the initiative on December 23rd, we have been delighted by the overwhelming response during what is normally a slow time of year. We’ve already been flooded with unique images and stories. One very moving image and story is that of the Olivia Grace Somerville. Her Grandfather John Sommerville writes “Olivia was born nine weeks early weighing 3 lbs 2 oz with severe club feet. Her left foot was turned 180 degrees from normal. After one surgery and a short time in corrective shoes, Olivia is an active five year old with no signs of her original condition.” The image submitted was taken on Olivia’s 5th birthday, holding her baby-picture from when was a new born in the Neo-Natal unit.

We are pro-life because we believe all human life has worth. I remember how my wife and I and our son and daughter in law reacted when we heard the results of the ultra sound. We felt sympathy and then love and compassion for our unborn granddaughter knowing that God had a reason for her deformity. It never even crossed our minds to terminate the pregnancy, abortion isn’t in our vocabulary. We know now, without a doubt, we made the right decision. Olivia stayed in Intensive care for almost two months and today, there is no sign of any of the problems she faced when she was born. God is indeed wonderful and He does have a plan for each of us!”

Listen to John tell his family’s story of love and life

Please join us in FRC’s “I’m Pro-life Because…” campaign. Here’s how:

1. Pose in a picture with your ultrasound (or first newborn photo) or have your children pose with their first photo.

2. Let us know in 140 characters or less why you are Pro-Life!

3. Chose two words to describe each individual pictured (examples: Musician, Son or Painter, Mother). And include your age of your infant picture, or the week of the pregnancy in your ultrasound.

4. Submit your words and photos (one photo per person, please) via email to: photos@frc.org

Over the next few weeks, we will showcase these powerful images to show the uniqueness and value of every human life.

Be creative in telling your story in a single image! Gather your children to take a group picture with their own ultrasounds or newborn photos, or take fun pictures of them playing happily with their ultrasound photos nearby. Take your own photo with your ultrasound or infant picture while at work or doing a favorite activity or hobby. Take the pictures in settings that portray what you love, and what your life means. Some of the more poignant photos will be featured in FRC publications and advertisements.

Entries, selected by FRC’s staff, will be featured on the FRC website and our other publications, including Facebook. By submitting photos and/or your story to FRC you are granting FRC a free license and permission to publish, republish, and distribute all or portions of your photos and story, including your words and image, in any format it may choose, including in print, on the Internet, or in any other digital form. Thanks for standing for life!

A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow

by Family Research Council

January 4, 2012

As we officially begin the 2012 Sanctity of Life Month this January, the Associated Press is reporting an amazing adoption story, “Mom reunites with daughter 77 years later.”

In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency.

I loved that baby so much. I wanted what was best,” Disbrow said. “She never met [the adoptive parents] or knew their names. But over the years, Disbrow wrote dozens of letters to the adoption agency to find out how her daughter was faring. The agency replied faithfully with updates until there was a change in management, and they eventually lost touch. Disbrow’s life went on … Every year, she thought about Betty Jane on her May 22 birthday.”

Years later she would find herself frequently wondering about her daughter. “For most of her 100 years, Minka Disbrow tried to find out what became of the precious baby girl she gave up for adoption after being raped as a teen. She hoped, but never imagined, she’d see her Betty Jane again.” In 2006, Minka Disbrow and her daughter, Ruth Lee had a very joyful reunion seventy-seven years after their separation. Minka learned that she had six grandchildren, including a veteran astronaut, Mark Lee.

In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.

All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.

Understanding the GLBT Political Agenda And What You Can Do About It

by Peter Sprigg

January 4, 2012

Book review: A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been, by Michael L. Brown

Note: Dr. Brown will be giving a policy lecture about his book at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 5, 2012. For more information and to register, click here.

Reviewed by Caleb H. Price

In the span of a few short years, American culture has undergone a breath-taking shift in attitudes about homosexuality and transgenderism. Behaviors that were recently viewed by most to be unseemly, if not immoral, are now embraced. What was good is now evil. What was evil is now good.

And while homosexual and transgender activists insist that there is no agenda in play, a closer look shows that this 180-degree turn was no accident.

In his latest book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, Dr. Michael L. Brown documents this cultural sea-change. Here, he takes the reader on an eye-popping account of the strange and bewildering trajectory that gay activists have charted for America.

And he persuasively argues that the trip were on will result in the catastrophic deconstruction of the most basic building blocks of human society biological sex, marriage and family.

The topics covered in this comprehensive work are timely and helpful for understanding the GLBT political agenda. Brown fearlessly engages political correctness on these issues and winsomely encourages concerned citizens to step up the plate and take action before its too late.

Specifically, Brown details how our schools and universities have been strategically targeted by GLBT activists to bring about their revolution in the span of two short generations. Terms like tolerance and diversity now almost exclusively refer to sexual orientation and gender identity. And intellectually honest debate on these issues has been completely stifled in the academic and mental health professions.

In this context, Brown offers a strong rebuttal to the born gay myth and the largely unquestioned view among cultural elites that sexual orientation and gender identity are equivalent to race. And he points out the undeniable and disturbing parallels of this equation to issues like polyamory and pedophilia.

Significantly, A Queer Thing offers an indictment of the one-sided embrace of the GLBT political agenda by media and corporate elites and the mean-spirited attack on those who hold to traditional values on these issues. Here, Brown treats the semantic issues well and shows how GLBT activists have masterfully reframed terms to advance their agenda.

Similarly, Brown provides a helpful understanding of and rebuttal to of the GLBT revisionist theology that has taken root in both the church and secular arenas. Given that Christians are called to offer a winsome answer for their convictions, this section is very helpful in equipping those who feel inept discussing these difficult issues.

At its core, A Queer Thing details the totalitarian nature of the GLBT rights movement. The inevitable conflict between religious liberty and sexual freedom is chillingly presented. Here, those who disagree with Brown will be particularly challenged.

Winsome and witty, well reasoned and meticulously researched, Michael Brown raises the bar with A Queer Thing and calls citizens to take action to turn the tide of the GLBT agenda at the local level. Theres even an accompanying website offering detailed action steps for citizen involvement (www.aqueerthing.com).

Adult Stem Cells from Young Mice Help Old Mice Live Longer and Healthier

by David Prentice

January 3, 2012

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that adult stem cells from muscle of young mice can improve the health and extend the life of aged mice. The research team tested aged mice that are a model of an aging disease called progeria; the condition leads to advanced early aging. The idea was that in aged mice, the adult stem cells may have lost their vitality, with problems in proliferation (growth) as well as differentiation into other tissue types. However, when cultured in the same lab dish as muscle adult stem cells from young mice, the stem cells from aged mice recovered their ability to grow and differentiate. When young adult stem cells were injected into the abdomens of aging mice with progeria, the mice lived two to three times longer than expected and were healthier than aging control mice. Instead of losing muscle mass and moving slowly, the animals grew as large as normal mice. The Pitt researchers found evidence that the young adult stem cells secret a growth factor that delays the aging process.

Senior investigator Dr. Johnny Huard suggested that human muscle-derived stem cells could be stored at an early age and used when people age, allowing some rejuvenation of tissues and slowing the aging process.

The study was published online in Nature Communications.

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