The Washington Blade (Jan. 19) has a unique spin on President Bush’s new proposal for Iraq: “Troop Surge Unlikely to Help Gay Iraqis”:
The U.S. and its allies are both legally and morally responsible for the ongoing anti-LGBT violence in Iraq, and therefore curtailing it, said [Ali Hili, an exiled gay Iraqi living in London]. Under international law, the occupiers have a responsibility to protect the civilian population, and therefore it is their duty to ensure the wellbeing of Iraqi homosexuals.
A couple of weeks ago, I noted here that China’s one-child policy, along with sex-selective abortions, contributed to what is becoming a dangerous gender imbalance. According to a recent AP story, China has just renewed their one-child policy, despite the evidence that females are vanishing:
[Zhang Weiqing, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission] said China’s basic policy — in effect since the late 1970s — was reviewed and renewed without change last month. The policy limits urban couples to one child and rural families to two to control the population and conserve natural resources. Beijing says it has helped prevent 400 million births and has aided the nation’s rapid economic development.
Lest the “prevention of births” in favor of rapid economic development seem too life-affirming, the Chinese government is taking new steps:
China has about 1.3 billion people — 20 percent of the global total. The government has pledged to keep the population under 1.36 billion by 2010 and under 1.45 billion by 2020, Zhang said.
It’s frightful to think what might happen if the number of births began to exceed the government’s pledged limit. We can only hope that PRC leaders would eat their words and move on. Besides, according to Zhang, growing up without brothers or sisters is a good thing:
“They are much better off than I was, being one of four kids,” said Zhang, 62. “I envy them.”
The Old Gray Lady has a tool that allows you to interactively compare words used in the 2007 State of the Union address to the addresses of previous years. Do a search for, say, “marriage,” and you’ll see that while completely absent in last night’s speech, the word was used nine times in the 2004 address.
In the past State of the Union speeches President Bush has been consistent in recognizing issues important to families. After the speech last night I would assume his focus is now away from families and includes Nancy Pelosi. Global warming? Amnesty? Redistribution of income (raising taxes on the rich)?
Past speeches mention of culture:
2003:By caring for children who need mentors and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society, a culture that values every life. And in this work, we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion. And because no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity and pass a law against all human cloning.
2004:To encourage right choices, we must be willing to confront the dangers young people face, even when they’re difficult to talk about. Each year, about 3 million teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases that can harm them or kill them or prevent them from ever becoming parents. In my budget, I propose a grassroots campaign to help inform families about these medical risks. We will double Federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
Decisions children now make can affect their health and character for the rest of their lives. All of us, parents and schools and government, must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture and to send the right messages to our children.
A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under Federal law as a union of a man and a woman and declares that one State may not redefine marriage for other States.
Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our Nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.
The outcome of this debate is important, and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight.
2005:Because a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable, we must strive to build a culture of life. Medical research can help us reach that goal, by developing treatments and cures that save lives and help people overcome disabilities - and I thank Congress for doubling the funding of the National Institutes of Health. To build a culture of life, we must also ensure that scientific advances always serve human dignity, not take advantage of some lives for the benefit of others. We should all be able to agree on some clear standards. I will work with Congress to ensure that human embryos are not created for experimentation or grown for body parts, and that human life is never bought and sold as a commodity. America will continue to lead the world in medical research that is ambitious, aggressive, and always ethical.
2006:A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: Human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator, and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale.
Everyone there believes, as I do, that every life is valuable; that our society has a responsibility to defend the vulnerable and weak, the imperfect and even the unwanted; and that our nation should set a great goal that unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law.
A merciful society seeks to expand legal protection to every life, including early life. And a compassionate society will defend a simple, moral proposition, life should never be used as a tool, or a means to an end.
These are bedrock principles. and that is why my administration opposes partial-birth abortion and public funding for abortion; — (applause) — why we support teen abstinence and crisis pregnancy programs; adoption and parental notification laws; and why we are against all forms of human cloning.
The need to solve cultural problems for today's family is great, urgent, and possible.
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