Anthony Esolen of Touchstone magazine reminds us of the unnoticed gift of trickle-down decadence:
The rich can afford their vices, for a time anyway; the poor have no such margin for comfort. They are, in fact, endangered by the vices of the rich. I dont simply mean that the rich man can extort his will from the poor, or wield the law as a club to keep the poor man in his place. He can do worse: He can infect the poor man with his vice, and that may be the quicker way to destroy him.
Two years after FRC helped to defeat the idea, the push for a “Triple X” domain for pornographic web sites is on again. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues to debate whether or not to establish an online .xxx domain specifically for the adult industry. While supporters argue that it would help regulate pornography, FRC strongly disagrees. Instead of relegating it to a specific domain, the government would actually be facilitating the adult industry’s growth. Without the necessary enforcement, pornographers would simply retain their .com sites and add to them. If successful, ICANN could be responsible for potentially doubling the number of porn sites on the Internet. Proponents claim the .xxx domain will make it easier to filter out these graphic sites, while web experts say it will make it more difficult because the sites will be operating under dual domains.
The .xxx would also establish a virtual red light district or “safe haven” for illegal, hardcore obscenity. Rather than legitimize an industry that exploits women and endangers children, ICANN should focus its efforts on making the web safer for families.
According to a federal judge, public schools—not parents—have the right to control the curriculum to which children are exposed. Joseph and Robin Wirthlin sued Lexington, Massachusetts schools for allowing their son’s second-grade teacher to read the homosexual fairy tale, King and King, to the class without prior notice to the Wirthlins. A couple FRC interviewed for Liberty Sunday, Tonia and David Parker, joined the suit when their son brought home a book about families that included two gay adults. Judge Mark Wolf sided with the school, saying, “…Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become productive citizens in our democracy.” Wolf continued by saying that if parents don’t agree with the curriculum, they are welcome to send their kids to a private school. “It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.”
Clearly, this is not about diversity but a political agenda. Massachusetts law on homosexual marriages was imposed by judicial decree and is far from settled. The government seems bent on overpowering parents and dictating what’s in the best interest of children. At the very least, the Parkers, Wirthlins and others deserved to be informed about the content of the curriculum and to have their kids exempted from lessons that violate their moral beliefs. School administrators argued that the books did not focus on human sexuality but family structures. If they truly believe that, Lexington officials must be living in the very fairy tales their schools are promoting.
It’s no wonder America is failing miserably to keep up with international test scores. Public schools are consumed with teaching not the basics reading and writing but the chic and the radical. Both couples will appeal the case to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, where we can only hope that the inherent authority of parents will fare better.
Out of 16 students in my general studies World Politics class only 1 could identify Iraq and Afghanistan on a blank map on their exam. One other student found Iraq and another correctly located Afghanistan.
Pardon me while I go weep quietly in the corner.
Well, it’s not exactly as if those countries have been in the news lately. Perhaps we just need more globes in the classroom — or more military veterans.
On Wednesday night, before a packed Statehouse gallery, the Iowa legislature held public hearings on an issue that has spawned debate all across the country. The three-hour proceedings on human cloning illustrated just how divided Iowans are. Most of the scheduled speakers favored overturning the state’s human cloning ban, but they were clearly not representative of the crowded audience who voiced strong opposition to the bill.
While researchers insisted that the law would promote embryonic stem cell research, not human cloning, critics point out that the bill would not only promote human cloning but would legally protect it. State Senator Pat Ward (R-West Des Moines) says the repeal is “not needed, period” because stem cell research without cloning is already happening.
Although scientists argued that the current cloning ban hinders Iowa’s ability to treat disease, one biotech executive disagreed, saying, “The fact that we’re located in Iowa has not hurt our ability to do business with other scientists… [even under] Iowa law.” In an effort to expose this deceitful “stem cell” bill, the Iowa Right to Life Committee and Catholic-based Fidelis have launched a radio campaign to educate citizens before today’s vote. In neighboring Kansas, the House has introduced a bill that forbids the government from funding human cloning research.
Unlike measures elsewhere, this version accurately defines cloning in the terms used by the President’s Council on Bioethics. The state’s scientists are outraged by the language because they fear that the reality of the procedure will deter voters from supporting “progressive” research.
On Wenesday, FRC filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief with our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fausey v. Hiller. We are arguing that the Court should review the case, which would determine if parents can control “third-party visitation rights.” These cases pit a third party (often a grandparent) against a parent in determining whether visits with the parent’s children will be permitted, and on what terms.
Some states have sought to use a standard (“best interests of the child”) that was developed for mother-and-father disputes and to expand that standard to other relatives and parties. In today’s world these disputes can enmesh families where the grandparents are in fact loving in their intentions.
While recognizing this, FRC maintains that before the state intervenes in a decision made by what the law deems “a fit parent,” the only reasonable standard is to put the burden on the third party to show that the child would suffer harm if such visits were denied. Only such a standard can preserve the fundamental right of parents to supervise the upbringing of their children, a right long ago recognized by the Supreme Court as fundamental under the U.S. Constitution. Churches, counselors and other resources can and should employed to help families achieve reconciliation and enjoy the important cross-generational ties that strong families experience.
The need to solve cultural problems for today's family is great, urgent, and possible.
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