FRC Blog

Making a World of Difference

by Tony Perkins

March 21, 2007

Monday at the National Press Club, pro-family leaders from the U.S. and Canada gathered for a press conference. The topic was the upcoming meeting of the World Congress of Families (WCF), which is being held in Warsaw, Poland on May 11-13. In an exciting development, the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, has agreed to serve as honorary patron and to give the opening address. Speakers at the press conference, including FRC’s Senior Fellow Bill Saunders, noted the importance of the family to the health of societies, as well as the pressures families face from bad governmental policies.

The meeting in Warsaw will feature speakers from around the world who will diagnose family ills and offer practical solutions. FRC will be there, and we urge pro-family activists in the U.S. to come as well. What happens in Europe affects the U.S., as European nations exhibit the characteristics of nations that follow policies of radical secularism and social pessimism. This Warsaw meeting promises to be a true springtime for a united, worldwide effort to promote the family.

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House Bids ‘Aloha’ to Constitution

by Tony Perkins

March 21, 2007

The House leadership, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and company, is moving forward with bills that undermine the U.S. Constitution. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ruling that would have given native Hawaiians “sovereignty.” New legislation that would have a similar effect has been quietly introduced under the name “Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act.” The bill could lead to exempting Hawaiians from the Constitution and allowing them to create their own race-based government.

A second proposal, which would give the District of Columbia its own representative in the House, has come under fire from the White House for being “unconstitutional.” The measure has already passed through two House committees and Pelosi vows to secure the bill’s approval on the floor.

Finally, as if there weren’t enough hot air in Congress this week, Al Gore is paying a visit to Capitol Hill to offer his flawed research as grounds for U.S. climate change legislation. He was invited to testify before a joint subcommittee despite the fact that scientists are increasingly critical of his methods and conclusions.

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What’s Up, Doc?

by Tony Perkins

March 21, 2007

As the Senate weighs a bill forcing taxpayers to pay for research that requires the killing of human embryos, one of the president’s top scientists suddenly jumped ship on the administration’s policy in order to support the legislation. With a vote just weeks away, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), raised eyebrows with the timing of his endorsement, particularly since he has defended the administration’s stance in the past. To the Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee, Zerhouni said, “It is clear today that American science will be better-served, and the nation will be better-served, if we let our scientists have access to more stem cell lines… I think it is important for us not to fight with one hand tied behind out back, and NIH is key to that.”

However, in his bold pitch for taxpayer money, Zerhouni neglected to justify the need for more embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. Have there been so many advances with the 22 current lines that scientists can legitimize new ones? If Zerhouni is requesting taxpayer money from the Senate—in addition to the $40 million NIH spent last year on the project—then the least he could do is provide a record of ESC research advances and a detailed list of what cannot be done without new lines.

The reality is, 85% of the world’s embryonic studies use President Bush’s approved lines, and the NIH is waiting to distribute 3,000 shipments of cells derived from them. In the past, Zerhouni has said these lines are sufficient. What’s changed? Dr. Zerhouni also downplayed the promise of adult stem cells, saying that their potential is “overstated.” As the nation’s top scientist, Zerhouni should know that patients are using adult stem cell alternatives to treat over 70 diseases. We have personally met patients who are reaping the benefits of adult stem cells in therapies for sickle cell anemia, heart disease, leukemia and other diseases. That is progress, not speculation.

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Family Facts #8

by Family Research Council

March 20, 2007

Even when controlling for maternal characteristics and background characteristics, adolescents living with both biological parents who were continuously married exhibited lower levels of problem behavior than peers from any other family type.

Source: “Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes”

Carlson, Marcia J. Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 68, Number 1. February, 2006. Page(s) 137-154.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org

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Can Video Games Be Helpful?

by Family Research Council

March 20, 2007

If your parents cautioned that playing video games would be harmful to your eyesight, their concerns may not have been entirely true. Findings from a recent study by researchers from the University of Rochester in New York show that playing action video games for an hour or so on a daily basis actually heightens ones visual acuity.

According to Daphne Bavelier, lead author in the study and a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, “Action-video-game play changes the way our brains process visual information…These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.”

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Evangelical Bioethics and the Web

by Jared Bridges

March 19, 2007

In case you missed it, Joe Carter, FRC’s Director of Web Communications (and managing editor of this blog), was profiled over the weekend in the Washington Post in an article entitled “Evangelical Bioethics and the Web” by WP religion reporter Michelle Boorstein. It’s a good look not only at Joe, but also on how the internet can be a forum for the some of the most important bioethical issues facing us today.

Go read it now.

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A TIME to Weep

by Family Research Council

March 16, 2007

For the first issue of their new redesign, Time magazine has a cover photo of Ronald Reagan with a tear streaming down his face. Here’s how the table of contents describes the image: “Photograph by David Hume Kennerly. Tear by Tim O’Brien.”

How many people will believe that the tear is real, rather than a fabricated image? Is this a dishonest use of the image by Time?

More importantly, shouldn’t the magazine acknowledge that it ripped off the idea from Iron Eyes Cody, the “crying Indian” from those 70’s era PSAs on pollution?

(HT: Serial Bus)

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