Month Archives: April 2013

Blessed is the Land: Plow Day 2013

by Robert Morrison

April 18, 2013

Our family made its way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore recently. Mount Hermon’s Plow Day 2013 was the attraction. We had gone to two previous Plow Days, but this time we would take our grandson and our twin granddaughters. It was an all-hands evolution.

Cool and clear weather made the day perfect for plowing. Farmer Gaylon Adkins and his wife, Tammy, have hosted Plow Day for seven years. This farm festival celebrates rural life and agriculture. Hundreds come from all over Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and many of the plowing teams-of—oxen, mules, and horses—come from as far away as North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The basic idea is for young men of the county to compete by plowing up the land for spring planting. The competition is popular and the contestants help raise money for local charities. There’s no government to direct it, but this festival springs up from the nature of rural living.

We’re often told that Americans are individualists, even rugged individualists. That may be so in our relation to government, but it has never been so in farm country. Farm communities learn cooperation from the start. The owners of those teams that come to Mt. Hermon Plow Day will show off their skill and celebrate their pride in achievement with these magnificent animals. And Mr. Adkins will get his farm land plowed. Every one benefits from this event. Barn-raising and quilting bees were just two examples of cooperation and community.

Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord (Ps. 33:12) reads the sign we all see as we enter. Farm values just seem closer to our origins. Everyone on the farm is needed. It’s naturally a family-friendly, child-welcoming environment. The lady in the old fashioned skirt and bonnet who welcomes us boasts of her eight children.

Children watch the exhibits wide-eyed. They learn how the wool comes from the sheep, how it is carded and woven into cloth. They see the cow with her twin bull calves in their pen. She is getting restive and we move on, thinking it best not to bother Bossie.

The petting pen houses sheep and goats. Scripture tells us there will be a winnowing of sheep and goats on the great day. That’s a good thing, since I am not always sure what I am looking at myself. Still, grandchildren love to pet willing sheep and goats.

An eight-mule team comes by, harnesses shining and jingling. They are truly beautiful animals. And powerful, too. I learn that oxen are not driven with reins. Instead, a single man walks alongside the yolked creatures with a long stick. His rod he uses as a guide and prod, but gently.

Percherons are large, beautiful, and very powerful horses. I engage one of the owners—a lady from Westminster, Maryland, in a conversation about her horses. I tell her the only thing I know about these horses comes from reading Shelby Foote’s classic history of the Gettysburg campaign of 1863, Stars in their Courses. The great Southern author wrote of these farm animals:

…the magnificent-looking horses, the great Percherons and Clydesdales, turned out to be a disappointment in the end. Consuming twice the feed, they could stand only about half the hardship of what one [rebel] artilleryman called “our compact, hard-muscled little horses.”

Mrs. Westminster’s smile was gracious, but dismissive. Not everyone who writes books (or quotes them), her smile seemed to say, knows anything about horses.

Which is another reason I love Plow Day. I make no pretense of knowing about farming. And the good people here are only too eager to teach me. And my family. I think it’s important for them to know where their daily bread comes from. And where it’s grown.

Early in our history, 95% of all Americans lived on farms. Most Americans were fully familiar with farming—even if they did not hail from the farms themselves. Great Americans like Ben Franklin and Sam Adams were city men—but they understood farming far better than most of us urban and suburban Americans do today.

I recall a story told about Calvin Coolidge, Jr. The 15-year old lad was working on a farm in Western Massachusetts through the summer of 1924. He awoke one August morning to startling news. His employer told him that the senior Calvin Coolidge had been sworn in as President of the United States the previous evening on the unexpected news of President Harding’s death in San Francisco.

Young Calvin calmly took in the information and then said: “Sir, what field would you like me to work this morning?” The farmer, surprised at the boy’s reaction, said:

If my father had just become president, I wouldn’t worry about going to work the next day.”

Smiling, Calvin, Jr., replied: “I your father were my father, you’d go to work.”

That story rings true because faith, family, and honest labor have always been a part of America’s rural heritage.

The event closed with organizer Owen Perdue mounting a haystack. Two young men pitchforked twelve feet of hay from the stack into a wagon. It was hard and sweaty work, despite the cool air. Both of these men had served multiple tours in Iraq, we were told.

Mr. Perdue informed us the hay had been stacked last fall, a week before Tropical Storm Sandy had ripped through the area. Now, we would see if the bushels of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and apples had made it through the winter. This was how so much of farmers’ produce wintered over, before refrigeration. They are not frostbitten or rotten. And Mr. Perdue bites down on his apple to show how crispy it still is.

Last year, I heard Owen Perdue’s son-in-law tell me about farm families: “We may not be the richest, we may not be the ones the media focuses on. But we know where we we get our daily bread.” Acknowledging his lead, I replied: “Yes, seek ye first…” He nodded agreement. We understood one another. It’s why we keep coming back to Plow Day.

FRC In the News: April 17, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

April 17, 2013

President Obama’s View through a Gosnell Lens

FRC’s Ken Blackwell discusses in his recent article in WORLD Magazine how President Obama has been blinded by the “Gosnell lens” and neglected to recognize the horrific acts of Gosnell and the murders of millions of innocent children. Blackwell states:

“President Obama has always applied a Gosnell lens. He is justly horrified by the murder of 20 children and six adults at a school in Connecticut. He wants to take action now, Constitution or not. But Obama views the killing of 33 unborn children every day in Connecticut for 40 years through his Gosnell lens. Their deaths are constitutionally protected choices. Their deaths do not count in the larger scheme of things.”

More Regulations for Abortion Clinics

Anna Higgins, Director, Center for Human Dignity at FRC, explains in her recent article featured in The Deming Headlight how abortion clinics do not uphold health standards and have cost the lives of so many. Higgins also cites the recent deaths of women who have gone to these clinics as well as the upcoming case of Kermit Gosnell. Higgins states:

“Despite the evidence, reasonable clinic regulations have been opposed at every turn by abortion proponents. Just as an ambulatory surgical center is tightly regulated by the state to ensure that all patients are protected, so should abortion clinics be subjected to similar regulation.The “right” to abortion as expressed by the Roe and Casey court decisions is applicable only to the woman who chooses to have an abortion. There is no right for abortion facilities, owners, or operators to be exempt from legitimate state health objectives; nor is there any right to make a profit from the operation of an abortion facility.”

Eden Foods Statement to Customers on HHS Mandate Suit

by Cathy Ruse

April 17, 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, this afternoon I emailed a letter of support to Michael Potter of Eden Foods encouraging him in his lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate.

Moments later I received this email in reply. It appears to be the statement sent to any inquiries regarding the suit. 

Again I say:  Rock on, Michael Potter!

Greetings,

Please be discerning consumers. Grotesque mischaracterizations about Eden Foods’ action related to the Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate, Affordable Care Act, are most regrettable.

OnMarch 21st, 2013a press release announced our lawsuit against the unconstitutional government overreach in theHHSmandate. This announcement was made to the media and general public. We apologize for the unintended consternation given rise to by this action.

Eden Foods’ health care provider is required by theHHSto comply with all details of the Affordable Care Act. Parts of the mandate violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. This overreach of the federal government infringes on religious freedoms.

It is discriminatory that not all employers have to comply with theHHSmandate. Millions of people and thousands of companies are exempt. The exemptions under the Act are illogical, inconsistent, and contributing factors to our lawsuit. For instance, McDonald’s Inc. and 166 unions are exempt. Small employers are exempt. Individuals who practice certain faiths are exempt, while individuals who practice other faiths are not. Federal employees are exempt, and this is hypocritical. There is no exemption for the religious freedoms of employers.

Edenemployee benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and a fifty percent 401k match. The benefits have not funded “lifestyle drugs,” an insurance industry drug classification that includes contraceptives, Viagra, smoking cessation, weight-loss, infertility, impotency, etc. This entire plan is managed with a goal of long-term sustainability.

We believe in a woman’s right to decide, and have access to, all aspects of their health care and reproductive management. This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone’s access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. We object to theHHSmandate and its government overreach.

This is an important matter that deserves attention from us all.

Our actions have been, and will remain, principled and transparent.Eden’s focus is pure food, ethical business practice, and the nurturing of all people and the planet.

Respectfully,

Michael Potter, President

I’m Not in Your Bedroom. Obama is in Your Bedroom”

by Cathy Ruse

April 17, 2013

I have a new hero: Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter.

Eden Foods is an organic company popular among the “crunchy, liberal crowd” which has filed suit against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate. 

Potter is getting slammed over it, thanks in part to a hit piece last week in Salon magazine which publicized the suit and framed Potter as a man with an anti-birth control agenda. 

Don’t waste your time on the original article. Instead, enjoy the refreshing quotes from the no nonsense, plain-speaking Mr. Potter in Salon’s follow-up piece from Monday relating a telephone conversation between Potter and Salon writer Irin Carmen.

I’ve got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills,” Potter told Carmen. Then he elaborated:

I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That’s my issue, that’s what I object to, and that’s the beginning and end of the story….I’m not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don’t tell me I gotta pay for it.

Rock on, M.P.!

When Carmen pressed Potter using the fallacy that “the mandate doesn’t cover abortion” but “only contraception,” Potter responded this way:

It’s a morass…I’m not an expert in anything. I’m not the pope. I’m in the food business. I’m qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women’s issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for.

When Carmen said contraceptive coverage is cheaper to pay for than maternity coverage, Potter replied: “One’s got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud.”

Potter is not backing down:  “I worked my ass off at figuring out what to do on it. I worked hard on it and I made a decision,” he said. “The federal government has no right to do what they’ve done. No constitutional right, no standing.”

Carmen writes that Potter sounded annoyed that he’s receiving emails telling him to stay out of people’s bedrooms. “I’m not in your bedroom,” he said. “Obama’s in your bedroom.”

Michael Potter is doing the right thing, for the right reasons, and he’s getting slammed by left-wing activists who have lots of time on their hands. He needs to hear from the rest of us.

Here’s where to write: websales@edenfoods.com and info@edenfoods.com

I just did, and here’s what I said: 

Dear Mr. Potter:

I know you’re getting heat for your lawsuit from people who like the idea of free birth control and abortion drugs, courtesy of a heavy-handed federal government mandate on employers.

But you should know there are many people who agree with you that it is not the federal government’s place to dictate to employers that they must buy these things for their employees in their health plans. And yes, the mandate does include drugs that can cause an early abortion, not just contraception.

As a woman and a lawyer, my message is this: contraceptives and abortion pills are widely available, they’re legally unrestricted, and they’re cheap. Anyone who wants them can get them. There is no reason for the federal government to force every employer in America to provide them “for free.”

Thanks for standing firm. I can’t wait to buy lots of Eden Foods!

Kermit Gosnell, Abortionist

by Robert Morrison

April 17, 2013

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the narrow Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007. She thought partial-birth abortions should continue and be regarded as a constitutionally-protected species of freedom of choice. Her fiery dissent describes intact dilation and extraction (D&E), her preferred name for partial-birth abortion, and contrasts that with routine D&E, in which the child in the womb is dismembered and brought out in parts—parts that look not unlike the victims of an improvised explosive device set off on a quiet street.

I remember especially the distinguished jurist’s complaint in her dissent about the federal law that refers to those who do these partial-birth abortions as “abortion doctors.” Madam Justice Ginsburg bristles at that phrase.

Throughout, the opinion [in Gonzales v. Carhart, 2007] refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label “abortion doctor.” Ante, at 14, 24, 25, 31, 33. A fetus is described as an “unborn child,” and as a “baby,” ante, at 3, 8;

I bristle at it, too. And this may be the only thing in this world where I agree with Justice Ginsburg. I also believe they should not be called abortion doctors. But that’s because I refer to those who do these acts as abortionists.

I have spent almost my entire life around hospitals. My mother was a most efficient telephone operator whose job required her to transmit verbal messages to doctors and nurses with speed and accuracy. As a young boy, I marveled at the way she could say “Dr. Talbot, our otolaryngologist…” What is that, I asked her? An ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Later, I married a medical administrator in the Navy. Medical specialties were her specialty, too: Internist, psychiatrist, neurologist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, and cardiologist. We knew all the “ists” there were, or thought so.

So why, Justice Ginsburg, would you object if we call Kermit Gosnell an abortionist? What we are hearing in a Philadelphia courtroom about his so-called practice? Did he do anything else except abortions?

You believe there is nothing morally wrong with abortions. You have never expressed the slightest qualm about a single one of the 55,000,000 abortions done in Americasince Roe v. Wade in 1973. How can calling the person who does these acts and only these acts an abortionist possibly be “pejorative” in your eyes?

It seems you cannot bear even to hear other Americans express their revulsion at tearing unborn children limb-from-limb.

Justice Ginsburg’s angry dissent is a prime example of what the pro-abortion editors of California Medicine meant when they wrote their famous editorial prior to Roe.

Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices.

Killing continues to be socially abhorrent, unless those socially impeccable folks want to call it “choice.” We have an entire political party, once my party that wins Olympic gold medals for semantic gymnastics by separating the idea of killing from the idea of abortion. They will wax indignant and accuse you of waging a “war on women” if you try to pass protective legislation. They rage against the Virginia regulations that say you ought to be able to get a gurney through their dark and narrow passageways of your abortion facility in case of an emergency. In case a woman has been so unfortunate as to submit herself to a practitioner like Kermit Gosnell.

Think of Gosnell’s slaughterhouse when you hear those semantic gymnasts howling about laws and regulations that protect mothers and their unborn children.

Abortion is nothing but the taking of a human life, an innocent human life. It is unjust. It is the very essence of injustice. Lincoln mildly said to the sophisticates of his day that if slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. We all agree with that, now. But we say to the socially impeccables of our time that if abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.

The tragedy of America today is that we have four and maybe five justices sitting on our Supreme Court who have no idea what justice is.

Supreme Court arguments suggest the end is not near in marriage debate

by Peter Sprigg

April 16, 2013

The mainstream media would have you believe that the decision to redefine marriage for the benefit of homosexual couples has already been made.

Time magazine ran a cover story under the title, “How Gay Marriage Won”—featuring cover photos of a male couple kissing or a female couple kissing—your choice. Pollsters claim that a majority of Americans now support legalizing same-sex “marriage,” and that among young people, that majority is overwhelming. Democratic senators (and a couple of Republicans) who previously opposed redefining marriage have begun falling like dominoes. Same-sex “marriage” is “inevitable,” we are told—it is only a matter of time.

Do not believe it.

In a country where 41 out of 50 states still define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and voters in a majority, 30 have placed that definition in their state constitutions; it can only be wishful thinking for the advocates of marriage redefinition to claim that it is imminent or inevitable. I suspect that some in the mainstream media are hoping that their prophecy will be a self-fulfilling one.

It’s particularly ironic that the theme of the “inevitability” of same-sex “marriage” seemed to gain ground in the mainstream media the week of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the case challenging Proposition 8, the California state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Unlike the case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, which presents somewhat narrower issues, the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, and their lead attorney Ted Olson, assert that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of same-sex couples to “marry.” If accepted, this argument would mean that marriage would be redefined to include same-sex couples not just in California, but in all fifty states. Such an outcome would be comparable to Roe v. Wade—the 1973 decision that forced legalized abortion on all fifty states.

However, the tone of the argument in the case (known as Hollingsworth v. Perry) actually did not seem to point in the direction of such a sweeping decision. The justices’ gave very little indication that they are prepared to redefine marriage for all fifty states.

Following are some quotes from the justices. We in the pro-family movement have sometimes made a slippery slope argument—if we redefine marriage to eliminate gender restrictions on one’s choice of marriage partner, it would be hard to maintain other restrictions—ones which prevent anyone from marrying a child, a close blood relative, or a person who is already married.

When conservatives raise this logical question, we are routinely vilified for “comparing” homosexuality to polygamy, incest, or pedophilia. Yet one of the justices raised the exact same point, putting it this way (this is slightly edited for clarity):

If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what State restrictions could ever exist? Meaning, what State restrictions with respect to the number of people … that could get married, [with respect to] the incest laws, the mother and child [getting married], assuming that they are [both] the age [to marry]? I can accept that the State has probably an overbearing interest [in] protecting a child until they’re of age to marry, but what’s left?”

What’s interesting is that the justice who raised this was—Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama appointee.

We have also raised concern about the impact of marriage redefinition on the institution of marriage and on children.

One of the justices warned:

[T]here’s substance to the point that [the] sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.”

That same justice later elaborated,

The problem with the case is that you’re really asking, particularly because of the sociological evidence you cite, for us to go into uncharted waters; and you can play with that metaphor—‘there’s a wonderful destination,’ [or] ‘it is a cliff.’

When Ted Olson, the attorney for the homosexual couples in the case, claimed that there was an analogy between banning same-sex “marriages” and banning interracial marriages, the same justice cut him off and said,

[T]hat’s not accurate.”

The justice who made all those remarks was—Anthony Kennedy, universally viewed as the swing vote between the conservative and liberal factions on the court.

In fact, in the 9th Circuit ruling on Prop 8 (which found the measure unconstitutional, but on narrow grounds that would apply only to California) it was almost comically obvious that the opinion was written to appeal to Justice Kennedy, based on the supposed precedent of his opinion in a 1996 case called Romer v. Evans.

Yet one justice referred to that 9th Circuit opinion and said,

That’s a very odd rationale.”

The justice who said that was—Anthony Kennedy!

It is dangerous to make assumptions about the outcome of a case based on oral arguments—we learned that in the Obamacare case. But few observers now expect a Roe v. Wade of marriage.

That means this debate is probably not near an end. It is likely to continue for years to come.

An Afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery

by Robert Morrison

April 16, 2013

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind,” the Admiral said. He was offering a short eulogy to our friend, retired Navy Captain Nori Endo. Yesterday was Nori’s committal ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. I had never attended a burial on this hallowed ground of our nation, and Nori was a friend. As Rev. Dr. Terry Martin-Minnich said in her brief devotional, “Nori befriended you before anyone friended you.”

We met, some eighty of us, in the Fort Meyer Chapel. It’s a modern structure, with a vaulting wooden ceiling. Open to the sky through clear windows, we can see the blossoming of the trees, each one bearing the promise of new life. “Our Lord had written the promise of the Resurrection, not in books alone,” wrote Martin Luther, but in every leaf in springtime.” Following an earlier impressive memorial service at the Naval Academy Chapel, we are here to witness Nori’s firm belief in that Resurrection.

The Chapel, though modern in design, proudly shows the flags of America. There are “Don’t Tread on Me” flags—in yellow and in red-and-white stripe versions. There is the Grand Union flag with its English Union Jack and thirteen red-and-white stripes. There is a Pine Tree flag, with the motto: “Appeal to Heaven.” It reminds us of our country’s Christian heritage. From the beginning, Americans appealed to the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. And for most of us, that appeal rang forth most powerfully from the pulpit.

On the altar is an old wooden cross draped in Easter white. It, too, is a symbol of age for this mostly aged congregation. No, actually, it is a symbol of timelessness. That cross reminds us of Him who is the Alpha and the Omega.

Nori’s beloved widow Ruth is escorted to her place of honor in the front pew by a young, crew cut Navy enlisted man. He does his duty with all ceremony and solemnity. Let no one despise your youth, sailor.

Six enlisted men of the Navy Honor Guard heft Nori’s flag-draped casket onto a carriage, where it is wheeled silently to the altar. Nori is saluted by the sailors, and by everyone there, merely by our presence. He was, as they said, “a beloved husband, father, captain, believer.” Nori had endured internship as a boy, along with thousands of his fellow Japanese-Americans, during World War II. But he never expressed bitterness and raced on to his life of achievement and honor. He lived a Christian life, as the speakers said, and seemed at times to be almost an “anachronism in a secular world.”

We are all anachronisms, or should be. The world is telling us to be now people. But God wants us to be forever people.

After the Navy band played “Onward Christian Soldiers,” we return to our cars and follow the horse-drawn Army caisson slowly, deliberately to the gravesite. Down Bradley Drive, then Porter, then Eisenhower, the street names at Arlington this misty spring day are a roll call of America’s military past. We pass the row upon row of tombstones standing in silent serried ranks as if on parade. This is what they have called “the bivouac of the dead.” And amid these warrior stones we see others. “His wife.” “His wife.” There is a lesson here, too, united they are in death as in life.

Under a canopy, the casket rests as the Honor Guard folds the flag Nori served so well. The bright blue triangle displaying only its brilliant stars is passed down the line of sailors and handed with deepest respect to a Navy Captain. He is in full dress uniform. The soft jingling of his medals and sword the only sound heard as he presents this flag to Ruth with the thanks of a grateful nation. Then, the rifle squad fires three rounds—crack-crack-crack. And we hear the strains of Taps on the bugle.

Finally, Rev. Martin-Minnich quotes from John 15:15

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

And so we bid farewell to Nori Endo, our friend and His friend.

Parental Rights Trampled by NY Judge

by Anna Higgins

April 15, 2013

In a stunning overreach of authority last week, a District Court Judge overruled the decision of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding Plan B, an “emergency” contraceptive. In 2011, Sebelius refused to extend over-the-counter (OTC) status for Plan B to teens under 17 years of age. Judge Edward Korman of the Eastern District of New York ruled that within 30 days, the FDA must make Plan B available OTC for all ages – putting the health of girls at risk and trampling the right of parents to be involved in decisions regarding their daughters’ well-being.

There have been no studies on the effects of this powerful hormonal drug on adolescents. Additionally, the label comprehension study done on Plan B did not include young girls. As a result, even if it were safe for young girls to use this drug, there is no way of knowing whether they have the capacity to administer the medication properly. In fact, in the defense of her decision, Sebelius noted that there are “significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age.” These potential dangers highlight the necessity for parental guidance and professional medical input into the administration of contraceptives to young girls.

No parent wants a teenage daughter to acquire potentially dangerous medication without his or her consent. Allowing OTC access for a drug that has a close correlation to premature sexual behavior presents dangers of increased sexual activity among minors and with it, the increased likelihood of the contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The total number of STI’s in the United States has reached 110 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This represents the total number of STIs, not the total number of persons infected. Because a person may have several STIs simultaneously, sexual promiscuity plays a key role in their spread and quantity. Most of the new cases crop up in young people, ages 15-25. In the UK, where emergency contraception is already available OTC for teens, there has been a spike in the incidences of STI’s. To compound the problem, since teens will not need a prescription for these emergency contraceptives, they will avoid routine medical screenings during which STI’s would have been identified and treated.

Additionally, there is a very real danger that making Plan B available OTC will result in administration of the drug to young girls under coercion or without their consent. Doctors and parents are the first line of defense for girls who have experienced some kind of sexual abuse. By allowing this drug to be available without medical supervision, we run the serious risk of not identifying instances of sexual abuse among teens, especially as human trafficking becomes more widespread in our country.

In a day and age when the family unit is under attack from all angles, it is extremely irresponsible to create a new situation that will serve to drive a further wedge between parents and teens. Instead of distributing contraception like candy to teens, we should encourage honest communication within families. Parental guidance is areas of sexual behavior and health is essential to the development of responsible, healthy adults.

FRC In the News: April 12, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

April 12, 2013

In Defense of Religious Liberty

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at FRC, wrote an article in The Huffington Post in which he addresses an article by Jay Michaelson entitled “The ‘Religious Liberty’ Bullies and Their Fight Against LGBT Equality.” Blackwell states:

“One, there can be no comparison between the fight for racial equality and the movement for same-sex marriage. Two, supporting the traditional definition of marriage is not the same (or even akin) to supporting institutionalized racism. Three, concerns about religious liberty are both sincere and valid, especially regarding the social trends Michaelson discusses in both his article and a related report he recently released.”

Flower Shop Sued for Not Providing Services to Homosexual ‘Wedding’

FRC’s Peter Sprigg was quoted in a recent Fox News article concerning the owner of a flower shop in Washington who declined to provide service for a homosexual wedding. The shop is now being sued by the state of Washington.

“People need to be aware this is the underlying motive for the push for same sex marriage,” he said. “It’s not just about legal rights and benefits. It’s about forcing everyone in society to recognize their relationships as being one hundred percent equal to opposite sex marriages. It also reflects a narrow view of religious liberty where people may have freedom to exercise religious liberty in their church but they don’t have that right when they go outside those four walls.”

Speaking Across the Chasm

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President at FRC, explains the balance of reaching those immersed in culture while still holding fast to the faith in his recent article on Religion Today. Schwarzwalder states:

“My suggestion: Rather than always going for the moral jugular – “How can you support that, you evil idiot?” – go back to the “assumptions of the assumptions,” per Kevin DeYoung. So when in conversation someone says, “What’s the big deal with same-sex ‘marriage,’” it’s likely not going to be convincing to rattle off what are, to you, obvious statements of fact and reason. Such things might be wholly new thoughts to someone raised in the culture of sentiment, mass media, and fluid morality. Instead, maybe say, “What do you think of same sex ‘marriage’? Sounds like you’ve got some strong opinions.” And then affirm what you can about your opponent’s argument: That all persons deserve to be protected by the law and treated with civil and social respect, that cruelty to someone based on sexual orientation is wrong, etc. Inviting into dialog those with whom we disagree affirms their value before God and us, and provides us with a credible platform from which to make our case.”

How Do We Measure ‘Progressives’

Rob Schwarzwalder discusses what “progressives” really are in his recent article in The Christian Post. Schwarzwalder states that “liberal” has lost appeal and that progress itself is not bad. He asks important questions about progress and states:

“Is it progress to make the definition of family so amorphous as to be practically and legally meaningless? Is it progress to dehumanize the unborn child and assert that its value is based on nothing more than the judgment call of her mother? Is it progress to diminish religious liberty and the exercise of the conscience, to use the courts to invalidate legitimate legislation and public policies, or to employ science as a pretext for endangering women and girls through ready access to dangerous contraceptives? Our descent into moral anarchy, once almost imperceptible, is picking up speed. But speed, while temporarily exhilarating, is fatal when the steering wheel and brakes don’t answer and a high cliff appears. Such “progress” we can live without.”

The Social Conservative Review: April 11, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

April 11, 2013

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Dear Friends:

In recent days, major media outlets have been highlighting politicians who, while once supportive of marriage as it always has been known, now support same-sex “marriage.” They are doing so in much the same enthusiastic way as the sports pages keep a tally of basketball teams during “March Madness.”

Well, Christian teaching has never been a popularity contest. Rather, it has been about affirming, applying, and standing upon what the Bible teaches. That includes marriage, designed by God as the union of one man and one woman, for life, a teaching confirmed by Jesus Himself (Mark 10:7-8).

My distinguished colleague Ken Blackwell, who has served in many leading public roles including U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, a few days ago wrote a counterintuitive and very persuasive op-ed titled, “The illiberalism of assailing traditional marriage.” Take a few minutes to read Ken’s piece and learn why redefining marriage will hurt families and children in profound ways.

Basketball is one thing, but let’s not bring “madness” to marriage. Instead, let’s do all we can to make sure that the intact, stable family - headed by a husband and a wife - becomes once again the treasured norm for all Americans.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to join FRC on April 24 to hear Bob Fu, one of the world’s leading opponents of religious persecution, speak about “Freedom and Christianity in China.” If you can’t be with us in D.C., be sure to register, at no cost, and watch online.


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