Month Archives: November 2013

Pillard Pilloried

by Sherry Crater

November 15, 2013

Cornelia Pillard, President Obama’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was rejected  this week by the Senate in a 56-41 cloture vote.  Pillard’s radical views were not considered an appropriate fit for one of the nation’s most powerful courts that rules on administration orders and regulations and from which some judges ultimately become Supreme Court justices.

A professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Cornelia “Nina” Pillard is spreading her radical viewpoints to the young people under her tutelage.  As a student in her class, one might hear her expounding on abstinence-only sex education as being unconstitutional. Or, she might be complaining that ultrasound images are deceptive images of a fetus as an autonomous entity. Of course, it is well understood that ultrasound images do show an autonomous being, albeit a dependent one. The images depict a fetus that is just too dependent and too human for Cornelia Pillard’s liking.

Pillard has also written that abortion is necessary to “free” women “from historically routine conscription into maternity,” a view that certainly does not resonate with the vast majority of moms who consider motherhood a sacred honor and privilege. We can breathe a sigh of relief that sanity prevailed and the Senate rejected this nominee who compares motherhood to the draft.

It is time to move on from Pillard’s negative legal views of pregnancy and the need to destroy the unborn to a more positive conversation about protecting babies in utero who have been shown to feel pain after 20 weeks from fertilization.  Twelve states have now passed fetal pain bills banning abortion after 20 weeks. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that also bans late abortion has passed in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Lindsay Graham has introduced the companion bill in the Senate with 41 co-sponsors.  When it comes to babies, protection trumps destruction!

The Social Conservative Review: November 14, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

November 14, 2013

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Adult stem cells are living evidence that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). FRC’s prestigious Dr. David Prentice, who leads our adult stem initiative, has just released a moving new video, “Adult Stem Cell Success Story - Terry Killman.”

Terry was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia almost three years ago. Even though Terry’s cancer was diagnosed early, it escalated dramatically.  At one point, his oncologist told him he had to start treatment immediately or be dead within days.

An adult stem cell transplant from Terry’s brother, Vic, saved his life. Terry’s wife, Michelle, says “And to know now what they’re doing with adult stem cells is absolutely amazing.” Now the former Navy engine man is back to college studying to be a teacher, and fishing with his grandson. As Terry says, “If it wasn’t for the love of my family, I wouldn’t be here. We’re very tight. You trust in God to carry you through, because between family and faith, you’ve got to have both to survive.”

We can save lives through ethical adult stem cell research and treatment. Join FRC in this vital effort by going to StemCellResearchFacts.org.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Watch Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe describe a conservative alternative to Obamacare, which he shared at FRC this week.


Educational Freedom and Reform
Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

Government Reform
Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care
Abstinence

Health care reform: ACA/Obamacare

 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

Marriage and Family
Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media
Pornography

Religion and Public Policy
Religious Liberty

Religion in America
Check out Dr. Kenyn Cureton’s feature on Watchmen Pastors called “The Lost Episodes,” featuring how religion has had an impact on our Founding Fathers.

 Secularism

International
Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

The Courts
Constitutional Issues

Other Issues

Book reviews

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins: ‘This President is Losing Credibility Day by Day’

by Bethany Brock

November 14, 2013

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to give an update on Obamacare:

We didn’t believe that this law was going to be helpful or that promises would be kept.  We knew healthcare was going to get more expensive and people were going to have fewer benefits.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released the number of people who have registered for an Obamacare exchange health insurance plan. The current number of those enlisted is far lower than the administration’s projected numbers.

We could easily have a market-based competitive model [of healthcare] that brings in the private sector so that these health insurance  plans could be something that people want to buy and might be able to afford.”

Shimkus said the problem with Obamacare is that people cannot tell what services are provided by the various health care policies, even though policies are required by law to list the services provided. One service people are particularly concerned about is whether plans they buy cover abortion.

If you go to the plans and they don’t say that, then you’ve got some adamant pro-life constituents of mine trying to go on an exchange plan, but they don’t know if their money is going to cover abortion or abortion services, which they do not want their money to go to,” Shimkus said.

He added, “According to polling, this president is losing credibility day by day. When you lose credibility or trust of the American people, you are in real trouble. It’s embarrassing for the chief executive of this country to be equivocating and misdirecting and redefining issues.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Congressman Phil Roe: An Obamacare Alternative

by FRC

November 13, 2013

Family Research Council (FRC) hosted U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) today for a webcast lecture to present an overview of the Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) comprehensive alternative to Obamacare.

Rep. Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee. He earned a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Austin Peay State University and went on to earn a Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, he served two years in the United States Army Medical Corps. Rep. Roe practiced medicine as an OB/GYN for 31 years and is a member of the Physicians’ Caucus and the Health Caucus. Rep. Roe serves on two congressional committees, Education and the Workforce and Veterans’ Affairs.

Watch the video from the lecture.

Bill Clinton, Honor, and Obamacare

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 13, 2013

Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got.” - Bill Clinton

Honor” is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Bill Clinton. It is thus not wholly without irony that the proclaimer of, “I did not have sex with that woman” talks about public moral obligation.

Substantively, Clinton has a point. The President made, repetitively, two promises: That those who want to keep their current health insurance could do so, and that they could also retain their current physicians.

One of three things happened: (1) The President lied. (2) His advisors misled him and sent him out with incorrect information. (3) The President didn’t take the time to read and grasp what was in his own mammoth proposal.

If the third option is correct, this makes Mr. Obama far from unique. Many Washington politicians don’t know the details of the bills about which they vote. They rely on aides to give them succinct summaries or quickly read “vote justification” sheets handed to them by leadership staff as they enter the House or Senate chambers.

This is troubling, but also understandable: The size and scope of the federal government and its laws and regulations is almost incomprehensible, and massive legislative tomes, many of which are written in technical legal language, frequently are too long and too dense for careful review prior to the time set to vote on them.

Yet this is a different case. The President of the United States put forward two essential un-truths about his signature domestic policy achievement, one that he touted as “a new season for America.” If anyone should have understood his law, he should have.

I take no pleasure in accusing Mr. Obama of either deliberate lying or disturbing inattention. It’s worth noting that such traits cut across party lines, political convictions, and status of office. Mr. Obama would not be unique among politicians or presidents in persistently telling a falsehood or trusting unwisely in the reassurances of unelected advisors. But this makes him no less responsible for his misrepresentations.

Christians should not gloat over Mr. Obama’s failures. We should, instead, pray for our President and for the other national leaders who now must sort through the devastation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is wreaking.

The new season Mr. Obama promised is indeed upon us. The chill is penetrating to the national core.

NYC Mayor-Elect Reveals Radical Abortion Agenda

by Anna Higgins

November 8, 2013

New York City, one of the world’s abortion capitals, this week elected a new mayor with a dangerously radical abortion agenda. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has openly declared war on non-profit Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) while promising unwavering support for abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

According to LifeSite News, de Blasio, “has promised to partner with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to help them expand their business in the city. He says he plans to help abortionists find neighborhoods that lack convenient clinic access and provide them with ‘city sponsored’ space to set up shop.” In conjunction with his commitment to increase the number of abortion facilities in New York, he proposes requiring doctors trained in city hospitals to train to perform abortion, all while closing the doors of PRCs.

De Blasio calls crisis pregnancy centers ‘sham’ clinics. In his view, their refusal to perform abortions means they do not offer ‘legitimate health care.’ He has pledged to continue the city’s appeal of a court order striking down a law aimed at closing down such centers.”

In the event the court appeal fails, de Blasio says, he stands ready to ‘craft new regulations to prevent [crisis pregnancy] centers from masquerading as legitimate health care providers’.”

Pregnancy care centers, far from being a “sham,” are typically the only place women in crisis pregnancies can go to get accurate information about their pregnancy and available options. According to Family Research Council’s own publication, A Passion to Serve, in

2010, Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) served over 2.3 million people with pregnancy tests, counseling, referrals, ultrasounds, education, and material needs. These services saved communities a conservative estimate of $100million.

The new mayor’s plans not only put his ignorance on display, they reveal the fact that he is not interested in a woman’s “right to choose,” but rather, that he supports only the abortion “choice.”

Like ObamaCare? You’ll Love ObamaCore!

by Robert Morrison

November 8, 2013

After a nuclear war, President Kennedy warned, “the living will envy the dead.” Well, at least the dead don’t have to talk about ObamaCare. That topic has dominated America’s politics for five years. It may succeed in getting everyone covered — with sod. By boring us all to death.

Let’s shift gears. Let’s talk about ObamaCore, aka Common Core Education Standards.

Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with a National Board Certified Math teacher from the Midwest. This highly motivated and gifted teacher wanted to persuade FRC to embrace Common Core Education Standards. She made a strong case, claiming that the Common Core Math Standards were far better than what she had been working with before.

I had to defer to her judgment about that, since it’s been decades since I’ve darkened the door of a math class. But I pressed her gently on the idea that if these new math standards really were superior, what prevented her state from adopting them on their own?

Why did her state need to be prodded, pressured, and bribed into adopting better math standards? Indeed, if there really are better methods for teaching math, and better goals for math student achievement, how could such information be suppressed in this happy day of Al Gore’s Internet?

I noted to this dedicated professional the fact that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had found it necessary to sweeten the pot with a donation of $373 million in inducements to the National Governors Association and others to adopt Common Core?

Question: If a single governor is being investigated for accepting lavish gifts from a businessman, why isn’t the National Governors Association being investigated for accepting millions from the Gates family foundation? Is it the new rule that you should never try to bribe a single governor; you must bribe all the governors!

I will be criticized for calling it bribery, I am sure. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation simply wants to let the grassroots speak to their elected officials about education reform. These are beneficial changes for everyone, they assure us.

If that is so, then why does the Obama administration require states to sign on to Common Core Standards in its “Race to the Top” program? It is one of the only ways your state can get a waiver from the disastrously intrusive federal initiative, “No Child Left Behind.”

This is rich: You don’t like No Child Left Behind? You can escape the tortures of the rack by voluntarily climbing into the Iron Maiden of Common Core.

It’s unfair to call this grassroots initiative ObamaCore, they will say. This is a state-initiated project, with plenty of Republican support. Like Jeb Bush. Like Mike Huckabee. They will repent, I’m sure.

The reality is: Common Core Education Standards, financially pushed by major Obama donor Bill Gates, is another project for centralizing and bureaucratizing education in America.

And that project has been a colossal failure. We can challenge the centralizers to show us one school in America that has been improved on orders from Washington, D.C.

Ronald Reagan was the last president to staunchly oppose the federal education department. He zeroed out its budget for all eight years of his presidency. Liberals in Congress — Republicans as well as Democrats — always jammed the money back in the appropriations bills.

ObamaCore is an attempt at even greater control of education by a distant bureaucracy that does not know local conditions and is not responsible to local voters.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his classic work, Democracy in America, praised our public schools and offered them as an example of de-centralization of administration. Tocqueville spoke of the American “genius” for voluntary association. He said he knew of no nation on earth that had schools better suited to its people than those of the Americans.

Tocqueville saw, as did Jefferson before him, that locally administered schools were a key element in America’s amazing democracy. The experience in and the responsibility for running our counties’ schools was what equipped us to maintain our own republican form of government.

ObamaCore is not only a clear and present danger to what little discretion remains for local education authorities (LEA) and state education authorities (SEA), it is a grave threat to private, parochial, and home schools, as well.

The demand for “alignment” of all curricula in the nation, the coordination of these curricula with the requirements of the College Entrance Examination Board, menace intellectual freedom.

When Oregon in the 1920s adopted a Ku Klux Klan-initiated ballot proposition forcing all children to attend public schools, private and Catholic school groups went into federal court. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents who chose to send their children to schools other than those operated by the government.

In its justly famous ruling in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), Mr. Justice McReynolds wrote:

The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.

The Court then found the Oregon ban on private schooling:

an unreasonable interference with the liberty of the parents and guardians to direct the upbringing of the children, and in that respect violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court here spoke of parents’ rights and high duties. Nowhere in the agitation for ObamaCore will you read any such language.

ObamaCore agitators are far more likely to sign on to educationists’ importunate demands that “we must take charge.” The we who must take charge of the nation’s education, and hence direct the destiny of the children, are the governors and Big Business. Not the children’s parents. Not locally elected school boards. Not state legislators immediately answerable to their constituents.

Under ObamaCore, the elites in Washington shall direct the destinies of our children.

This is unwarranted. It will ultimately fail, just as the fifty-year record of federal usurpation of state and local authority in education has failed.

It necessarily involves indoctrination of all our children in federally-mandated curricula. We know what this means.

We have faced this issue before. In 1943, in the midst of World War II, the State of West Virginia tried to force school children to salute the American flag. Some religious parents sued.

At FRC, we endorse and encourage the Pledge of Allegiance, but we would never coerce the flag salute. And we stand firm for religious freedom of conscience. As a result, we support strongly what the Supreme Court ruled in that famous case.

Mr. Justice Robert Jackson eloquently stated it:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

ObamaCore threatens to extinguish the light of that “fixed star in our constitutional constellation.” Justice Jackson’s warning should compel us to recognize ObamaCore for what it is: a powerful attempt to prescribe what shall be orthodox in every academic subject.

Dr. Ben Carson provoked liberals when he said ObamaCare was all about control and not about good medicine or quality health care. Dr. Carson is right. When they rammed ObamaCare through a rubber-stamp Congress, liberals added — at the last moment — the federal takeover of college student loans. What did these college loans have to do with a federal takeover of health care?

If we thought it was all about health care, then we missed Dr. Carson’s brilliant insight: The operative word is takeover. No wonder President Obama said his goal was “to fundamentally transform this country.”

ObamaCore is an unconstitutional and unnecessary takeover of education. For the sake of liberty we must resist it. In opposing Common Core Education Standards, we can safely stand with Founding Father Thomas Jefferson:

I have sworn upon the altar of Almighty God

Eternal hostility to every form of

tyranny over the mind of man.

The Love of a Family and Adult Stem Cells Help Beat Leukemia

by David Prentice

November 8, 2013

Terry Killman and his grandson Eli are like two peas in a pod, almost inseparable. When Terry was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia almost three years ago, it was devastating to both of them. While Terry’s cancer was diagnosed early, it escalated dramatically. Terry declined drastically, and in months he was wasting away. His oncologist at one point told him he had to start treatment immediately or be dead within days.

An adult stem cell transplant from Terry’s brother, Vic, saved his life. Terry’s wife, Michelle, says “And to know now what they’re doing with adult stem cells is absolutely amazing.” Now the former Navy engine man is back to college studying to be a teacher, and fishing with his grandson. As Terry says, “If it wasn’t for the love of my family, I wouldn’t be here. We’re very tight. You trust in God to carry you through, because between family and faith, you’ve got to have both to survive.”

Watch Terry’s story at Stemcellresearchfacts.org!

 

Hats Off to Coats

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 7, 2013

For several years in the early 1990s, I had the privilege of serving on the staff of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN). In 1999, Sen. Coats left the Senate, pursued other interests, served as our Ambassador to Germany, and then in 2010, was re-elected to the Senate.

Many of us who have served on the Senator’s staff look back on the experience not just with fondness but pride. His integrity, moral courage, personal warmth, and commitment to principle make him an exception among national political leaders. My colleague Pat Fagan, who was on Coats’ staff prior to me, and I both agreed today that we are always proud to say that we worked for Dan Coats.

Today, Sen. Coats gave an eloquent speech warning that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) “raises very serious concerns regarding religious freedom. The so-called protections from religious liberty in this bill are vaguely defined and do not extend to all organizations that wish to adhere to their moral or religious beliefs in their hiring practices. This bill also would allow employers to be held liable to workplace environment complaints opening the door to the silencing of employees who express their deeply held beliefs. This possibility runs counter to everything America stands for in the realm of free speech.”

You can watch Sen. Coats’ speech here or read it here. Also, FRC’s ENDA resources provide a careful analysis of the dangers inherent in this “anti-discrimination” legislation:

1. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA): A Threat to Free Markets And Freedom Of Conscience And Religion

2. The ENDA Litigation Nightmare

Occasionally, statesmen come along. I know - I worked for one.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md): Obamacare Causing Real Pain for American Families

by Bethany Brock

November 5, 2013

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” and provided information about the latest developments of Obamacare:

A lot of American middle class families are being hurt by this plan. Even if the [Healthcare.gov] website works perfectly, you still wouldn’t be able to keep your plan. It would still be 41 percent more than the plan you have now, and you probably wouldn’t get to keep your doctor.  Even if the website worked perfectly, this is not about a website. This is about a basic change of the way you get your health care- putting a government bureaucrat in between you and your physician and that is not the way you want your health care delivered.”

The Manhattan Institute has released a current survey of the cost of all new healthcare exchange plans offered around the country. Harris points out that healthcare rates have increased an average of 41 percent. “Families are hard pressed to pay their health insurance bills now, much less 41 percent more,” Harris said.

Harris said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) filed a bill in the Senate that will allow Americans to keep their current insurance if they want to. The House will be voting on this bill next week.

I hope the President has a change of heart because he’s causing some real pain in American families right now,” Harris concluded. Click here to listen to the entire interview

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