Month Archives: February 2013

Diapers and Demographics: Jonathan Last on the Global Fertility Decline

by Cathy Ruse

February 7, 2013

To those still agitating about “overpopulation,” consider this: Last year, for the first time, the Japanese bought more adult diapers than baby diapers.

This is just one staggering statistic Jonathan Last has gathered for his recent book, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster, from Encounter Books.

Plummeting fertility rates have happened before, because of war or famine or disease, and when they do, profound societal problems ensue. The falling fertility rates of today cannot be explained by natural or catastrophic causes, but by an increasing child-phobic culture. (I would call that an unnatural catastrophic cause.)

Last discusses how fertility rates tend to correspond to religious belief and practice. Compared to other industrialized nations, the United States is a considerably religious country and our fertility rates are higher than the rest.

Alas, that might not last, says Last.

Please join us on April 3, 2013 for a Family Research Council lecture featuring Jonathan Last on his important book.

Selected reviews:

Interview on Fox Business Channel Tonight with Lou Dobbs, February 5, 2013

Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online, February 5, 2013

Interview on CBS This Morning, February 5, 2013

After Words, C-SPAN2, February 2, 2013

Austin Ruse, “No Babies, No Future,” Crisis magazine, February 1, 2013

Jeff Jacoby, “The Baby Bust Generation,” Boston Globe, December 16, 2012

Reaganing At Grove City College

by Robert Morrison

February 6, 2013

Whenever I hold high the standard of that great champion of freedom, I like to call it reaganing. This week, I took part in the Ronald Reagan Memorial Lecture Series at Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania. What a pleasure it was! Grove City College is a 137-year old Christian institution of higher education. Dr. Richard Jewel leads this brave and independent voice and takes an active role in the programs of GCC’s highly regarded Center for Vision & Values. This small think tank has a deservedly high reputation within the conservative movement in the U.S.

Dr. Paul Kengor, a history professor at Grove City College, is also the executive director of the Center. My friend Paul is a prolific author, giving us such fine works as God and Ronald Reagan, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, and, most recently, The Communist. This last book may be the most serious scholarly work ever undertaken to document the powerful influence of Frank Marshall Davis, lifelong Communist, on the impressionable young Barack Obama.

President Reagan’s pastor, Rev. John Boyles, led off with extensive documents showing how the Washington Post had gone out of its way to delete the entire opening segment of an important Christmas Address to the nation by President Reagan. It was his first national address at Christmas in a year that had seen an assassination attempts against Reagan and against Pope John Paul II, the firing of the air traffic controllers who violated federal law by striking, and the passage of the largest tax cut in U.S. history. Perhaps most ominous that Christmas was the effort by the Soviet Union to crush Poland’s Solidarity union, the first free trade union in the Soviet bloc.

The president began with tender words about the first Christmas. He related the story of the infant Jesus born in a stable in Bethlehem and called that perhaps His first miracle. “The world will never lack for wonders,” he said, quoting G.K. Chesterton, “but for wonder.”

Every word of this was cut by the editors of The Post. Even as Mr. Reagan spoke, behind the Iron Curtain, Solidarity leaders, including the heroic Lech Walesa, were languishing in prison.

Dr. Kengor then turned to me, asking what I was doing just before Reagan took office. I told his audience how I was almost boarding Soviet fishing trawlers in the Bering Sea as a Russian language interpreter in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Before Reagan, American leaders met regularly with Soviet dictators. President Jimmy Carter and Sec. of State Cyrus Vance met with Communist Party boss Leonid Brezhnev in Vienna. At that summit meeting, Vance said Brezhnev “shared our deepest values.”

Which values would those be, Mr. Vance? Freedom of religion? Freedom of the press? Freedom of assembly? The right to keep and bear arms? The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures? Cyrus Vance and his president clearly had no real knowledge of life in the Soviet Union. I did. And it was deeply troubling to know that my civilian leadership was so woefully blind to reality.

All that changed when Ronald Reagan swept Jimmy Carter out of the White House in 1980. I no sooner left active duty than I was volunteering for the Reagan for President campaign in Washington State. At his first press conference after being inaugurated, White House reporters challenged President Reagan. Did he really mean it when he said the Soviet leaders believe in no morality except that which advances international Communism? Reagan replied mildly, with a pleasant smile: Yes. And then he proceeded to quote Vladimir Lenin, the father of Soviet Communism. “My God,” one seasoned reporter was quoted, “he’s going to govern as Ronald Reagan!”

President Reagan soon sent Rev. John Boyles on a pastoral mission to Moscow. He wanted to send a message of support to the Siberian Seven, a family of humble Pentecostal Christians who had come all the way to the Russian capital and rushed past

Soviet guards into the U.S. Embassy. They had taken refuge there—for years. Ronald Reagan wanted them to know they were not forgotten. I noted that those dear simple Christians may have read the sign on the American Embassy in Moscow. It says Spaso House. In Russian, that means “salvation house.”

Rev. Boyles bravely got past Soviet border guards wearing a special belt buckle. It was a wooden device which when disassembled could be fashioned into a cross.

This was Ronald Reagan’s message of hope to these people suffering under a brutal tyranny. He would later speak to the world at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. He told the story of the Communists in East Berlin and their radio tower. Built to overshadow all the church steeples in free Berlin and captive Berlin, the globe atop the tower had a defect, President Reagan said. The Communist authorities tried to efface that defect with acid, by sandblasting it, even by painting it over. “But when the sun strikes that globe, it reflects the Sign of the Cross,” Reagan said.

That part of his famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech, June 12, 1987, was also censored by our liberal press. I did not discover this phrase in the speech until I was researching my own small book, Reagan’s Victory: How He Built His Winning Coalition, in 2009.

It thrilled me to see that man in whose administration I had proudly served invoke the Sign of the Cross. As a history researcher, I was sure that no other president had ever publicly invoked the Sign of the Cross.

Meeting with some of Grove City College’s best and brightest students is always exciting. What did Reagan think about marriage, they wanted to know? I told them how President Reagan had tasked my then boss, Gary Bauer, to write the first comprehensive federal report on this topic. Gary wrote: The Family: America’s Future. And that report led President Reagan to issue an Executive Order requiring every federal agency to do a family impact study before issuing regulations that might harm the family.

Jimmy Carter’s “White House Conferences on Families” had nearly broken up over wrangles about the definition and nature of the family. His attempts to paper over these differences and to push an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution helped defeat him in 1980. Constitutional lawyer and grassroots activist Phyllis Schlafly knew the E.R.A. would lead to drafting women for combat, federal funding for abortion-on-demand, and giving same-sex couples rights to marriage and adoption. Do these issues have a familiar ring today?

Ronald Reagan was elected as a pro-life, pro-family candidate. He carried forty-four states in 1980 and forty-nine in 1984, never wavering on his strong stands.

Cut government, fight Communism, the Pieties (traditional family values)” was the way one writer for the conservative flagship publication, National Review, summed up the Reagan program. “Invertebrate,” was my one-word summary of Jimmy Carter’s administration.

At Grove City College—which famously takes no federal funds—you can still honor God, honor America, and give thanks for the faith, the life, and the great achievements of President Ronald Reagan. Now I fully understand what the great Daniel Webster meant when he defended his own Dartmouth College before the Supreme Court of the United States:

It is as I have said a little college, sir. But there are those who love it.” For little Grove City College, there is a great mission. Count me among those who love it.

FRC in the News: February 6, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 6, 2013

Hot Off the Press: Tony Perkins on CNN News

FRC’s President Tony Perkins, was on CNN this morning discussing the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) vote that would allow open homosexuals to become members and leaders. Perkins points out that the BSA has stood for moral principles for decades and that the boys should not have to worry about being with men or boys who are attracted to them. The BSA is designed to help raise boys into manhood. The Associated Press and the Washington Post has just reported that the BSA will not vote on the decision until May. Please be in prayer for the BSA that they would stand firm in their timeless values. You can share the ad from FRC via email, Facebook, Twitter and any other favorite media sites!

When it Comes to Religious Rights, “Accounting Gimmicks” Won’t do!

After the outcry of “foul play” from religious organizations, the Obama administration is offering a proposal which will allow faith-based organizations to be exempt from paying for contraceptives. Churches and synagogues can choose not to provide contraceptives. However, “non-profits with religious affiliations” are not exempt. Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director for the Center of Human Dignity, was quoted in a recent CBS News article and stated that:

“The accounting gimmicks HHS is now proposing under the latest regulation fail to satisfy the religious freedom protections that exist in other current laws and in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution”

How to Really Help the Economy: Save the Family

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at FRC, wrote an insightful article in The Public Discourse. Fagan’s research shows that even if the best of conservative economic plans were put into action, it still would not be enough to fix the economy. We must promote solid marriage, which produces solid children and productivity. As Fagan states:

“The intact married family with children is the household that generates the productive work, income, and savings that purchase houses, food, cars, and clothing, use energy, send children to school, and save for college and weddings.”

Pandering on Sexual Morality = Church Decline

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 6, 2013

John Lomperis at the Institute of Religion and Democracy has written a convincing, tightly-argued piece that old-line Protestant churches that compromise their allegiance to biblical moral truth are failing. It’s well worth reading. Here are two particularly potent quotes from it:

** “The spiritual and existential end of a Christian denomination (United Church of Christ) with such a rich heritage should drive any disciple of Jesus to mourn.”

** “Recently, some voices have argued that if non-mainline evangelical churches are to survive among younger generations of Americans, they too must move their approach to sexual morality closer to that of the UCC. In light of the above, the best response this young adult can offer is: Seriously???”

FRC in the News: February 5, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 5, 2013

Looking at the Boy Scout Ban from an Eagle Eye’s-View

FRC’s Government Affairs Intern, Lance Clevinger, wrote an article featured in The Washington Times from his unique perspective—that of an Eagle Scout. Clevinger describes his journey to earning the highly esteemed award that is based on character. He challenges the Boy Scouts of America to stand on their timeless values and show the boys what true character is: bravely standing strong for what is right.

Schwarzwalder to Boy Scouts: Stand on Principle and Don’t Bow to Pressure

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President at FRC, discusses how the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) should stand for morality in his article featured in The Christian Post. Schwarzwalder quotes the BSA’s handbook which states:

‘“While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”’

Schwarzwalder also talks about how the BSA was founded on “a Judeo-Christian moral structure” and therefore should continue to promote these important values to their youth.

Boy Scouts: Will They Stand Strong for Timeless Values?

Watch our new video that questions whether the Boy Scouts will stand strong for timeless values, especially in light of their leadership considering changing the policy to allow homosexuals to become troop leaders. Also, visit our webpage and learn how you can take action today.

Obamacare and the Long Road Ahead

FRC’s Senior Fellow for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, writes about the Obamacare HHS Mandate losing in the courts in his article featured on Breitbart’s website. As Klukowski states, “there are now at least 12 HHS Mandate cases in the federal court of appeals.” All of these court cases challenge the regulation requiring that employers who have a total of 50 employees or more “must offer healthcare plans that include birth control, sterilization, and abortion-related services.”

FRC in the News: February 4, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 4, 2013

Tony Perkins on Fox News

FRC President Tony Perkins, was interviewed on Fox News to address the policy reconsideration of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). During the inteview, Perkins shared the long-standing morals of the BSA and the need for them to stand firm in their values. He also discussed the BSA’s 2-year study that lead to their decision last July to keep the policy that members and leaders are to be “morally straight,” as well as the importance of parental input. Perkins stated that the policy reconsideration is “a choice between the boys and the corporate dollars.”

FRC’s Ad to Boy Scouts: Show Courage

FRC’s new ad takes a stand for morality and urges the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to do the same. The ad states reasons as to why the BSA should stand firm in their moral values and has been signed by 41 other organizations. It has been featured on the websites of Fox News and CNS News. Please read and share the ad, contact the BSA, and stand for moral values! The decision is expected to be reached this week and your participation is vital!

On the Nomination of Chuck Hagel

FRC’s Senior Fellows, Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, discuss the recent nomination from the Obama administration of Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense in this Huffington Post article. Blackwell and Morrison state that Senator Hagel “made alarming statements” during his senate career and “opposed economic sanctions against Iran,” a current threat to the United States and its allies. Senator Hagel also “opposed naming the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.” You can read more of Blackwell and Morrison’s key insight concerning the important issue of the nation’s defense and why Senator Hagel is not the best pick for the position here.

National School Choice Week: Time for More Freedom, Less Red Tape

by Krystle Gabele

February 1, 2013

This week is National School Choice Week. It is a time to bring awareness and advocate for more educational options to be available for children. Too often, we hear countless stories about public schools failing students and the decline of educational standards in the classroom. It is this type of news that makes a parent cringe at the fact that their child might not be receiving quality education. Parents should have the opportunity to decide the right learning environment for their child, and they have many options available to them.

However, school choice does have its critics, and it is those who want to place bureaucracy before the well being of the student. For example, the Virginia State Senate was considering a measure recently that would allow the State Board of Education to authorize more charter schools. When the measure came to a vote, the Senate Democrats all voted to strike down the measure.

Why? Could it be that allowing school choice would punish public schools that are failing? In the Virginia bill that was killed by the State Senate, there was only opposition from key organization: the Virginia School Boards Association. This association was against the bill, because they want to keep things under local control. If you want to keep education under local control, then you should punish the schools that are failing and hold educators responsible.

School choice gives students an opportunity to achieve a quality education and helps them not to fall through the cracks. We should all be in favor of helping children reach their fullest potential.

Why Bar Homosexual Scouts, as Well as Scoutmasters?

by Peter Sprigg

February 1, 2013

In the debates over the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy against homosexuality—debates recently rekindled by reports that the BSA may lift that policy nationally—most of the focus has been on the impact (or asserted lack of impact) from having openly homosexual adults serve as Scoutmasters or other leaders or volunteers.

The current policy barring adult homosexual leaders and volunteers reflects three levels of concern:

1) Many parents, regardless of their specific opinions, wish to reserve to themselves the right to choose the timing and circumstances under which they will introduce and discuss with their children sensitive and controversial issues of sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual ethics. Having leaders who are open about their homosexuality may run the risk of preempting that parental prerogative.

2) Many parents hold a traditional view of sexual ethics, including a conviction that sexual conduct between persons of the same sex is morally wrong. This view is still held by a majority of all Americans, so it is likely that it is held by an even larger majority of parents with sons in the Boy Scouts. Having openly homosexual leaders as role models in the Boy Scouts would send a message that homosexual conduct is morally acceptable, thus contradicting their own convictions and their right as parents to transmit those beliefs to their children.

3) Finally, the policy against homosexual leaders is consistent with efforts to reduce the risk of Boy Scouts becoming victims of child sexual abuse. (Yes, child sexual abuse has been a problem in the Boy Scouts even with the policy on homosexuality in place. And yes, homosexual activists vehemently reject the evidence which suggests that homosexual men—most of whom are not child molesters, and who do not commit most acts of child sexual abuse—are nevertheless, relative to their numbers, more likely to engage in such actions than are heterosexual men. Even without resolving that dispute, however, the logic of this concern is simple: Most parents would not want their daughters to go on overnight camping trips with adult men who are sexually attracted to females. By the same token, they would not want their sons to go on overnight camping trips with adult men who are sexually attracted to males.)

The Boy Scout policy against homosexuality does not just apply to adult leaders, however. It also bars boys who engage in homosexual conduct or publicly self-identify as homosexual from being Scouts. (Note that it would be impossible to bar a Scout merely because they experience same-sex attractions, unless they either proclaimed and/or acted on those attractions.) Some may wonder—why should this policy be imposed on the boys, as well as their adult leaders?

I recently came across a clear illustration of the answer. I was a guest on a radio program called AirTalk which was broadcast on KPCC, a Southern California Public Radio station. Another guest opposed the Boy Scout policy, I defended it, and listeners could call or email their own comments.

One emailed comment was read on the air, and after the program I found it posted on the station’s website as well. Here is what that listener, identified only as “Cruz,” had to say:

I am a gay man and while in the Boy Scouts, I heard my first dirty joke, heard my first sexually explicit language, learned how to cheat to win merit badges and had my first gay experience with another boy. Our Scout leader was a straight married man who had no idea that any of this was going on in his troop! Boys need GOOD leaders to give them GOOD guidance and it should not matter if they are straight or gay.

[W]hile in the Boy Scouts, I … had my first gay experience with another boy”?

This is what most parents do not want their sons to have happen when they sign them up for the Boy Scouts.

Cruz had his experience even with the policy against homosexuality in place. But can anyone deny (with a straight face), that such incidents will become more likely if the Scouts welcome into their ranks boys who openly proclaim their homosexuality?

That is exactly why the Boy Scout policy against homosexuality must apply to the boys as well as to their leaders.

Sen. Marco Rubio on Washington Watch Radio

by FRC Media Office

February 1, 2013

Yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appeared on Washington Watch Daily with Tony Perkins to provide an update on fiscal negotiations and the Hagel nomination. You can listen to his interview here. Below is the transcript of his remarks:

Transcript for Interview with Senator Marco Rubio

Tony: Senator Senator Rubio, thanks for joining us

Senator Rubio: Thanks for having me on

Tony: First, a couple of things, we’re talking about the fiscal measure that made its way through the Senate today. I might ask your comment on that then I want to go quickly to the nomination of Chuck Hagel.

Senator Rubio: Well first of all, you know, obviously I appreciate what the House trying to do to move this issue forward and prevent a meltdown of the economy or all the things that people predict will happen with default ect. No one is in favor of default. I just don’t support these short-term deals anymore. This has been my position now for about a year and a half since I got here. We just have such a serious problem that we’re facing in terms of the need to get our long term debt under control, finally pass a budget, ect. I hope we can start the work of doing that this year because we’re really running out of time to get our fiscal house in order before we start to experience some of the chaos that you’ve seen in other economies around the world.

Tony: I agree with you 100%. I think we continue to “kick the can” down the road and eventually we’re going to “kick the bucket” financially if we don’t get a grip here.

Senator Rubio: That’s right.

Tony: As the House leadership has explained as we’ve talked with them, though we’re not necessarily on board, but listening to what their strategy is, is that there will be a show down coming up in March over the sequestration over the budget. The House is supposed to produce a budget. The Senate is supposed to produce a budget. It hasn’t done so under Harry Reid. Do you think the Republicans will stand firm when we come down to that next deadline?

Senator Rubio: I do. I think that if you look at the sequester, it’s already there. In essence, that will happen unless something happens. I don’t want to see, and I think the position most have taken, is that the sequester was designed intentionally to be very painful and very unsustainable. It’s supposed to force action. But in the absence of action, it’s going to happen. I’m just saying to the people: I believe the House will hold the line on it. I believe there’ll be enough votes in the Senate to hold the line on it. It’s not good for our national defense, there’s no doubt about it. But at the end of the day, neither is our runaway national debt and I think we have to deal with that issue. Perhaps the sequester is the only way we’re going to get people to move on it.

Tony: I think you could be right. Let me shift gears. You came out yesterday or today saying that you would not support Chuck Hagel as the President’s selection for Secretary of Defense. Just before you joined us earlier in the program we had Pastor John Hagee who brought hundreds of pastors here this week from across the country expressing concern. The hearing today did not go well for the President’s nominee. Tell us why you have problems with Chuck Hagel.

Senator Rubio: Well I’ve been concerned about a number of statements he’s made in the past. Let me begin by saying that Secretary of Defense is probably one of the top two or three cabinet posts that the President will name. It’s the face of America’s national defense. In over the last few years I would say it’s risen in prominence to almost equal as Secretary of State if not, on some occasions, more so. So it’s not just a quality of the person, it’s the comments that they’re going to make. All of that is analyzed and viewed by foreign governments in terms of how they make their decisions with regards to us. And so I have tremendous respect for Senator Hagel’s service to our country in Vietnam and his military service, ect. But, he’s made a number of comments in the past that are very concerning and, in particular, when it comes to Israel. And today when he was asked about those questions, and that’s what I wanted to hear, I thought he did a very poor job of answering. In fact, I think he made things worse. He couldn’t cite a single example of what he had called the “Jewish Lobby” or the “Israeli lobby intimidating people into voting a certain way.” He was asked questions. In fact, Senator Ted Cruz played an audio tape of an interview he did with Al Jezeera where someone accused Israel of war crimes and he did not dispute it. The problem with that is not just the policy disagreement. The problem with that is that Israel’s enemies look for daylight of any kind in order to move forward on actions.

Tony: Yes

Senator Rubio: Just today we are reminded of that. There was a joint statement by Iran and Syria threatening to attack Israel. Probably the only thing that keeps them from doing that, other than the Israeli’s abilities to defend themselves, is their relationship with us. I think in a very dangerous world if we have a Secretary of Defense who says things that are counter-productive to that relationship, it might actually lead to some terrible miscalculations, which may actually end up pulling us into an armed conflict in that region and we would like to avoid that if at all possible. So I just don’t think he’s the right person for this job.

Tony: I couldn’t agree more. I go with President Reagan- it’s a “peace through strength” and I do not think that he puts our strongest foot forward as Secretary of Defense. I know you’re busy, Senator. Thanks so much for taking time to be with us and give us your insights on today’s happenings on the Hill.

Senator Rubio: I appreciate you having me on.

Tony: That’s Senator Marco Senator Rubio from Florida, one of the conservatives in the Senate doing a great job over there. You’ll hear more from him I’m sure in the days ahead.

For more, visit TonyPerkins.com.

FRC in the News: February 1, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 1, 2013

FRC Urges People to Continue Calling the Boy Scouts

FRC, along with many other groups, have committed to promoting values and religious freedom for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The BSA is being financially and politically threatened to change their policy that requires members and leaders to be “morally straight.” Despite the phone lines possibly being tied up, FRC urges people to contact BSA’s headquarters to tell the BSA to keep their timeless values. Last July the Boy Scouts came to a sound decision that after a two-year study, including parental input, the BSA would stand with its founding principles. However, they are reconsidering again and should release a statement next week. Tony Perkins stated:

“The BSA national leadership were not prepared for the thousands of Americans who were shocked to hear that an organization that could always be counted on for standing for what’s right was about to cave in to homosexual activists and corporations…It is so important that you keep the pressure on, to show them how devastating this moral collapse will be for the Scouts and the country.”

Peter Sprigg Addresses Religious Discrimination

FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Peter Sprigg, was recently seen on Fox News regarding a story where Muslim students cited the pledge of allegiance in Arabic, but referred to “one nation under God” as “one nation under Allah.” Other instances across the country were mentioned including students being taken to mosques on a school field trip and another school allows students to leave class for Muslim prayer. Yet, a first grader was told by her district to remove the word “God” in a poem she wrote about her grandfather and a substitute teacher was fired because he gave a Bible to a student who asked for one.

FRC’s Scout Dad and Peter Sprigg Report on Possible Boy Scout Policy Change

Rob Schwarzwalder, FRC’s Senior Vice-President, was quoted on NPR this morning regarding the Boy Scout’s possible policy change. As a father of two sons in the Boy Scouts, he stated that even letting individual troops decide the policy would cause much division and because a strong majority of troops are sponsored by churches, “Many will simply lose their charters.” Peter Sprigg was also interviewed by Southern California Public Radio (starting at the 7:30 minute mark) regarding the issue in which he states that the policy change would be a “grave mistake” and would bring “disaster for membership” because of so many parents who support the current policy.

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