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August 27, 2010
`Lies that Silence Christians`

(WorldNetDaily)  David Kupelian, author of the recently released blockbuster "How Evil Works," will be featured this Sunday on an internationally televised documentary titled "Lies That Silence Christians."

A new DVD production produced by Coral Ridge Ministries, the documentary is being introduced in three weekly installments broadcast at the end of "The Coral Ridge Hour," which airs Sunday mornings on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and other networks (check local listings for air times).

This weekend`s production, the third and final in the series, includes Kupelian discussing the segment`s main topic – the oft-repeated but deceptive notion that "You can`t legislate morality."

Watch it now!

 

August 27, 2010
Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study

(LifeSiteNews)  More than 176 abstinence education programs will lose funding for their outreaches to youth and young adults on September 30 because Congress and the Obama Administration canceled all grants going to abstinence-centered programming in their FY2010 budget.

The funding cuts will come even though the Obama administration was forced to reveal the results of a new study on Monday showing the effectiveness of abstinence education programs and the support parents have for them.

“We are greatly concerned that the sex education policy being implemented by this administration does not reflect the values of what most parents and teens clearly want," Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association told LifeNews.com today.

Huber explained that some programs will lose their funding midstream in their five-year grant award.

"This means that nearly two million students will return to school without the skill-building lessons they have come to expect in their abstinence education classes," she said.

"Teen-sex advocacy groups have pushed for an end to abstinence education funding, despite the fact that a recent HHS study showed most teens and their parents support the core message of the program," Huber continued.

The study, The National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents, was posted Monday to the HHS website after significant grassroots pressure. It calls into question whether recent sex education policy decisions truly reflect cultural norms or clear evidence-based trends.

According to the findings, about 70% of parents agreed that it is “against [their] values for [their] adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage” and that “having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do.” Adolescents gave similar responses.

Larry McAdoo, executive director of STARS, an abstinence program in Mississippi that will lose funding, also complained about the impending cuts.

“Our state has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. I do not understand why our services to needy teens would be cut short. Mississippi’s teens need more resources, not less," he said.

"Our abstinence program equips youth with the skills necessary to make healthy choices. Soon, however, Mississippi’s youth will be left without any resources to counter the sexual messages with which they are continually bombarded," McAdoo added.

Looking further at the study, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of HHS, funded a survey of 1,000 adolescents 12-18 years-old in order to measure parent-adolescent communication and adolescent attitudes toward sex and abstinence.

The study found parents strongly support the concept that sexual relations are best saved for a marital relationship and parents` attitudes are more important in influencing adolescent views than the level of parent communication with their adolescent.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) highlighted the results on its web site: “Adjusting for all other factors in the model, parent and peer factors are more consistently associated with differences in adolescent attitudes about sex and abstinence than are measures of adolescent exposure to sex and abstinence topics in a class or program."

However, during an APHA conference, researcher Lisa Rue, Ph.D., who specializes in adolescent behavior, was intrigued by the study and requested the full report. She was denied access and the Obama administration denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for it.

The National Abstinence Education Association responded by encouraging interested persons to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the public release of a study.

"Hundreds submitted the request for openness regarding the study. As a result, HHS posted the entire study report on Monday," Huber of NAEA said.

Huber concluded in her comments: "It is important that the representative government reflects the desires of its constituents. This study`s findings call for a reinstatement of
funding for abstinence education within the next fiscal budget."

Related web sites:

Abstinence study results -
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/content/docs/20090226_abstinence.pdf

NAEA - http://www.theNAEA.org

Abstinence Works - http://www.abstinenceworks.org

August 27, 2010
What`s wrong with letting same-sex couples legally?

(Family Research Council) There are two key reasons why the legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities of civil marriage should not be extended to same-sex couples.

The first is that homosexual relationships are not marriage. That is, they simply do not fit the minimum necessary condition for a marriage to exist--namely, the union of a man and a woman.

The second is that homosexual relationships are harmful. Not only do they not provide the same benefits to society as heterosexual marriages, but their consequences are far more negative than positive.

Either argument, standing alone, is sufficient to reject the claim that same-sex unions should be granted the legal status of marriage.

Let`s look at the first argument. Isn`t marriage whatever the law says it is?

No. Marriage is not a creation of the law. Marriage is a fundamental human institution that predates the law and the Constitution. At its heart, it is an anthropological and sociological reality, not a legal one. Laws relating to marriage merely recognize and regulate an institution that already exists.

But isn`t marriage just a way of recognizing people who love each other and want to spend their lives together?

If love and companionship were sufficient to define marriage, then there would be no reason to deny "marriage" to unions of a child and an adult, or an adult child and his or her aging parent, or to roommates who have no sexual relationship, or to groups rather than couples. Love and companionship are usually considered integral to marriage in our culture, but they are not sufficient to define it as an institution.

More questions here.

August 27, 2010
Black Christians Debate Abortion as Civil Rights Issue

(Christian Post) The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is pushing back against fellow African-American Christians who have accused her of hijacking the civil rights movement for her own political agenda – namely to protect the unborn.

 

"It is absolutely ludicrous that abortion supporters would accuse a blood relative of Dr. King of hijacking the King legacy," Dr. Alveda King said in a statement Thursday. "My dad and my uncle gave their lives to ensure that the day would come when blacks would be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. If they were here, I know they would stand with me in this fight for the lives of those most vulnerable among us."

Her comments were in response to statements made by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice at a press conference Thursday. The coalition denounced the "religious right" for "disparaging clinics that provide abortion, birth control and reproductive health services."

"It insults the intelligence and values of African Americans and is offensive to women who make conscientious moral decisions about pregnancy," said the Rev. Dr. Carlton W. Veazey, president and CEO of the coalition.

The coalition also blasted the upcoming Restoring Honor Rally, led by Fox News` Glenn Beck, and Alveda King`s "Freedom Rides for the Unborn" event as insulting and contrary to the famed civil rights leader`s ideals of justice, freedom and respect for the dignity of all people. The rally is being held Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial to mark the 47th anniversary of the historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

"The `Religious Right` and the Tea Party can hold a rally on the anniversary of a time that is sacred in our nation’s march to equality but there is no question that they are not – and never have been – concerned about the African-American community or about the racism, poverty and injustice that Dr. King was dedicated to eradicating," said Veazey.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, black women are more likely to have an abortion, at rates three to five times the rate of white women. The high abortion rate, however, has been linked to poverty and women of color tend to come from lower-income households.

While pro-life groups argue that the abortion industry is targeting African-American communities, Veazey said the higher abortion rates among black women are directly related to their higher rates of unintended pregnancy and to broader health disparities.

"Persistent reproductive health and health care disparities perpetuate a cycle of poverty and are serious problems for the African-American community. Providing comprehensive sexuality education for youth and expanding family planning and reproductive health care services are proven ways to improve health and life prospects," he said.

"Closing clinics and scaring women and men can only hurt the African-American community."

Meanwhile, Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, believes abortion – especially in the black community – is the greatest civil rights battle of his time.

She questioned the religious convictions of clergy fighting for reproductive rights.

"It`s interesting to me to hear so called religious people call us the religious right – but that`s okay because they are obviously the complete opposite... they are the religious wrong!" Gardner commented. "Which begs the question: what God, if any, do they serve?"

"As for me, I serve the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac – the great I AM – Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all things created. Those of us who serve the one true God acknowledge we are all made in his image. We bow to God`s Word when He says: `Blessed is the fruit of the womb.` If God says children are a reward, a gift and our heritage, then we must uphold that all children are greatly valuable and desirable to God. So, I ask again, what God do they serve?"

On Saturday, Alveda King will urge Americans to stand with her at the Lincoln Memorial to boycott the abortion industry.

August 27, 2010
LeTourneau University Receives $5M Endowment for Homeschoolers

(Christian Post)  LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, has received a five million-dollar gift to establish an endowed scholarship fund for home-schooled students.

The gift, which came from an anonymous donor, was announced Wednesday by LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford at the university convocation and is believed to be the single largest endowment for home-school scholarships ever established.

“The generous donor sees the critical need to endow scholarships for future generations and believes deeply in the value of the kind of quality Christian education that LeTourneau University offers,” Lunsford said.

According to the Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, the number of home-schooled students has increased from 1999 to 2007 by 74 percent to more than 1.5 million. The number of home-schooled students at LETU, meanwhile, has risen in the past 13 years from two percent of the incoming student population in 1997 to 18 percent in the current incoming class for 2010.

Over the past year, LETU’s mission has been to increase endowments for scholarships across the board.

The five million-dollar gift, added to the nearly $1.5 million for other new scholarships endowed this year, brings the school to nearly $6.5 million in new endowed scholarships this year alone.

“Our goal as a university is to equip our students to impact every workplace in every nation for Christ,” said Vice President for Development Ben Y. March. “It is a priority at LETU to build our endowment funds to help support our students and their parents so these talented students can fulfill that goal.”

Recently recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges” as one of the top 10 universities among private schools in Texas and above all state universities in Texas in the same category, LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university that offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate programs in a variety of liberal arts with flagship programs in aeronautical science and engineering.

LeTourneau University also offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs for working adults online and at educational centers in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler.

LeTourneau University is named for its founder, businessman and devout Christian R.G. LeTourneau, who invented earthmoving equipment.

August 27, 2010
Facebook app should be used with caution
(OneNewsNow)  Internet`s largest social networking website has introduced a new geo-location service though which its 500-million users can share their whereabouts in real-time from a mobile device.

Facebook has rolled out a new locator application to its U.S. users that has an Internet watchdog group concerned. The site maintains, however, that users are in control of what they post and the people with whom they share. They can choose whether to share their location and can only inform friends if their settings allow it.

Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough, warns that even though the application uses special privacy provisions for minors under 18, parents need to be aware that teens often befriend people on Facebook that they do not know.

"What kids and parents need to be aware of is that if they do choose to use `Places` [the name of the application]...anyone in their friends list will be able to find out if they`re in a location," she points out. "The issue is that a lot of teens who use Facebook, they have lots and lots of people on their friends list that they don`t personally know."

The Internet watchdog contends that the application leaves the door open for individuals who may or may not have a child`s best interest in mind.

"The real issue is parents and teens alike really need to go through their friends list and make sure that they feel safe with all those people in that list knowing where they would be at any given time or place if they use this feature," Hughes urges.

Security experts agree that Facebook users should use the site with care. They say it is important to realize what criminals can glean from the social networking site where people are located, so postings on Facebook can leave one`s home and personal belongings vulnerable to theft. Internet security tips can be found at Internetsafety101.org.

August 27, 2010
North Korea Executes 3 House Church Leaders

(Christian Post)  North Korea executed three leaders of the underground church and jailed 20 other Christians, reported a news agency focused on Asia.

Although the execution and imprisonment happened in mid-May, news only got out this month.

According to AsiaNews, North Korean police raided a house in Kuwal-dong in Pyungsung county, Pyongan province, and arrested all 23 believers who were gathered there for religious activity.

The leaders were sentenced to death and soon after executed. The other 20 were reportedly sent to the infamous prison labor camp No. 15 in Yodok. The 23 Christians had come to faith after some of them traveled to China on business and met with church members there.

North Korea Intellectual Solidarity, a group of North Korean defectors based in Seoul that seeks to raise awareness about injustice in North Korea, confirmed the events.

For eight straight years, Open Doors has ranked North Korea as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians.

In 2009, The Associated Press reported that a 33-year-old Christian woman accused of distributing Bibles and “spying” for foreign countries was publicly executed in North Korea.

There are an estimated 400,000 Christians in North Korea who live under the constant threat of imprisonment, torture or public execution if authorities discover their Christian faith.

Being a Christian in North Korea is considered one of the worst crimes by the oppressive government. All citizens are forced to adhere to a personality cult revolving around the worship of the current dictator and his deceased father.

No other religious beliefs are allowed in the country.

An estimated 40,000 to 60,000 Christians are currently in prison labor camps because of their faith.

“Please pray for believers in North Korea who follow Jesus at great risk,” urged The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. “May they have opportunities to meet together and provide encouragement to one another.”

August 26, 2010
Atheist doctors `more likely to hasten death`

(The Guardian)  Terminally-ill patients would be well advised to find out the religious beliefs of their doctor, according to research showing the effect of faith on a doctor`s willingness to make decisions that could hasten death.

Doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to take decisions that might shorten the life of somebody who is terminally ill as doctors who are deeply religious – and doctors with strong religious convictions are less likely even to discuss such decisions with the patient, according to Professor Clive Seale, from the centre for health sciences at Barts and the London school of medicine and dentistry.

"If I were a patient facing end of life care, I would want to know what my doctor`s views were on religious matters – whether they are non-religious or religious and whether the doctor felt that would influence them in the kinds of decisions they were looking at," said Seale.

A patient who wanted their life prolonged at all costs in the event of a terminal illness, or did not want it prolonged, should make sure they had a doctor who was in sympathy with this.

Doctors are influenced by their beliefs, just as other people are, said Seale.

"It is easy for clinicians to present themselves as neutral appliers of science, but values do come into it," he said. That is accepted in abortion care, but the issue has not yet been widely discussed in the care of the dying. "I had a GP who was powerfully committed to not legalising euthanasia," said Seale. He has now changed his GP.

Seale`s study, published online today in the Journal of Medical Ethics, was based on a survey of doctors in specialisms likely to care for people at the end of life, such as neurology, elderly and palliative care but also general practice. More than 8,500 doctors were contacted and almost 4,000 responded.

The doctors were asked about the care of their last patient who died, if relevant – including whether they had provided continuous deep sedation until death and whether they had discussed decisions judged likely to shorten life with the patient.

They were also asked their religious beliefs, ethnicity, and their views on assisted dying/euthanasia. More than 3,000 described the death of a patient.

Specialists in the care of the elderly were somewhat more likely to be Hindu or Muslim, while palliative care doctors were somewhat more likely than other doctors to be Christian, white, and agree that they were "religious."

The chances of a doctor making an ethically controversial decision expected or partly intended to end life was largely unrelated to the doctor`s ethnicity, but was strongly related to his or her specialisation. Specialised doctors in hospitals were almost 10 times as likely to report this than palliative care specialists.

But regardless of their speciality, doctors who described themselves as "extremely" or "very non-religious" were almost twice as likely to report having taken these kinds of decisions as those with a religious belief.

The most religious doctors were significantly less likely than other doctors to have discussed options at the end of life with their patient.

August 26, 2010
Federally funded groups defend hiring fellow believers

(AP)  More than 100 leaders of religious groups are urging Congress to reject legislation that would prohibit them from hiring only fellow believers if they accept federal funds.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, says taxpayers shouldn`t fund religious charities that discriminate against nonbelievers in hiring.

But officials from Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish groups argue that while they serve people of any religion, it`s the shared faith of their employees that motivates and defines their mission.

In a letter to members of Congress, the religious groups note that their freedom to hire people of the same faith was protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

August 26, 2010
Back to school without leaving the house

(Houston Chronicle)  The first day of school will be different for the Blane family this year. Parents Eric and Melissa won’t have to pack their children’s lunches or send them to the bus stop this morning.

The Blanes of Montgomery County have joined a growing number of Texans forgoing public and private schools, deciding to home school their 11-year-old son, Cory, and their 8-year-old daughter, Madison.

“It’s a desire we have to be the ones who are teaching them and motivating them,” said Melissa Blane, who will be the children’s primary teacher. “We’ll be starting bright and early.”

Melissa Blane plans to kick off her school year today to coincide with the return of roughly 4.5 million students to Texas public schools. Since 2007, state lawmakers have forbade school districts from holding classes before the fourth Monday in August.

‘A lifestyle’

Tina Robertson, a mom who runs New Beginnings, a support group for parents new to home schooling, lovingly chuckles when they follow the traditional start date.

“Guess how much I care about August 23rd?” she asked the parents gathered for a meeting Friday night at a bookstore in The Woodlands. Robertson doesn’t care at all. She plans to take her own three children, whom she has taught since kindergarten, to the park today. She said she teaches them year-round.

“Home schooling is a lifestyle,” Robertson said. “The line between learning and living gets blurred — and it should.”

Over the past five years, the number of Texans opting to home school has grown about 20 percent to an estimated 120,000 families and 300,000 children, according to the Texas Home School Coalition.

“The economy does have an impact on folks,” said Tim Lambert, president of the coalition. “We saw families last year who had their kids in a private school, times were tough and they couldn’t afford to do that anymore, but they didn’t want to put them in a public school.”

The most recent survey of parents by the National Center for Education Statistics found that families primarily opted to home school because they wanted to provide religious or moral lessons to their children. Other top reasons include parental concerns about safety, peer pressure and the academic instruction at traditional schools.

Parents in Texas are not required to register with any agency or to get their curriculum approved. Legal rulings have upheld that parents simply are supposed to have a curriculum that teaches reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

The Blanes said they wanted to start home schooling several years ago, but they were worried that Melissa wouldn’t have time to teach while also helping Eric with the family light-fixture business. Finally, Melissa Blane said, they decided to “pray and rely on the Lord.”

Her home office will do double-duty as a classroom, with computers, a desk and a bulletin board on the door. The children can read in their bunk beds if they choose, but they will have to change out of their pajamas and do their hair every morning.

Their son is excited, Melissa Blane said, while their daughter is concerned about missing her classmates.

“She’ll still have time for friends,” the mother said, adding that their schedule will include field trips with other families who home school.

A trial run

The Rangel family of Houston also plans to try home schooling this year, with their 3-year-old daughter, Sophia. She’s too young for pre-kindergarten, but mom, Angela, wants to give her an early start and to test whether home schooling works well for the family.

“Since I went to private school my whole life, I really had wanted her to go to private school,” Angela Rangel said. “I have looked into it, and the one that I like, there’s a waiting list, and it’s very pricey. It kind of depends on where we are income-wise. My husband and I are leaning more toward home schooling.”

Rangel spent the weekend converting an apartment attached to their home into a classroom. One corner houses the library; posters about colors and shapes line the walls; and supply boxes with crayons and glue sit on top of a small table with two red chairs.

She doesn’t expect the school day to last more than an hour and a half, beginning with a Bible lesson and working up to learning to read. Rangel plans to begin class at 8:30 a.m. today.

 

August 26, 2010
“Gay marriage slowly gaining” — younger generation believes it is a lifestyle choice not genetic

(Forbes) “There is one surprising area where young people differ from their elders about homosexuality. Since the pollsters started asking about it in the late 1977, the number saying homosexuality is something one is born with has been growing. But today, more young people than older ones believe it is a lifestyle choice. In May 50% of 18-29 year olds told CBS News pollsters that being homosexual is something people choose to be; 47% said it was something a person couldn’t change. Among those 65 and over, however, 25% said it was a choice, 55% said it was something that couldn’t be changed.”
http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/20/gay-marriage-polls-opinions-columnists-karlyn-bowman_2.html

August 26, 2010
99 Percent of Music Chart Hit Acts are “Soft Porn” Says Music Industry Giant

(LifeSiteNews)  While religious leaders have been warning about the moral effects of the modern pop music scene for decades, now even some leaders of the industry are expressing their concern. Today record producer Mike Stock told British media that he believes children are being “sexualized” by popular culture.

“The music industry has gone too far. It`s not about me being old fashioned. It`s about keeping values that are important in the modern world. These days you can`t watch modern stars - like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga  - with a two-year-old.”

“Ninety-nine per cent of the charts is R `n` B and 99 per cent of that is soft pornography,” he added.

Stock is one of the trio of “legendary” music producers that constitute Stock Aitken Waterman, whose talent properties have included Cliff Richard, Debbie Harry, Donna Summer, La Toya Jackson and Kylie Minogue. The trio was one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships in the history of the music business, with more than 100 UK top 40 hits, and earning an estimated £60 million.

Stock told the Daily Mail, “Kids are being forced to grow up too young. Look at the videos. I wouldn`t necessarily want my young kids to watch them. I would certainly be embarrassed to sit there with my mum.”

In Britain the “Hit Parade,” the first British record sales chart at the dawn of the popular music era, was published in November 1952, and was measured by sales of sheet music. The first number 1 song on Britain’s Hit Parade was “Here in My Heart” by Al Martino, the Italian-American “pop crooner” and actor who is also known for his portrayal of the character Johnny Fontane in the 1972 film The Godfather.

This week, BBC Radio 1 reported that the number one UK spot was held by American rapper Tramar Dillard, better known by his stage name “Flo Rida,” for his rap piece “Club Can’t Handle Me.” The number, performed largely on two notes of the musical scale, includes a video in which a frenzied mob of night-clubbers burst out of the club and into the streets, destroying a corner shop to end up gyrating in a laundromat.

Lady Gaga’s widely criticized single, “Alejandro,” has fallen on the charts this week to number 22. The video features Lady Gaga, shown in scanty underwear and a mock nun’s habit, simulating sado-maochistic sex and swallowing a rosary. It also shows a team of semi-nude male dancers performing mock homosexual acts, themes that are so common they are starting to be considered passé in British pop culture.

“Before children even step into school, they have all these images  - the pop videos and computer games like Grand Theft Auto  - confronting them and the parents can`t control it,” Stock continued.

He has responded to the concerns of parents by producing what he has called a “family-orientated show.” The Go! Go! Go! Show is a pop song and dance show performed by “tween” singers that is playing to positive reviews in London.

Brian Clowes, the research director for the pro-life and pro-family group Human Life International, expressed surprise that there is anyone left who “doesn’t believe that the music industry degrades morals, sexualizes young girls and is disrespectful to women.”

Such people, he told LSN, “should just visit YouTube and randomly select a half-dozen music videos to watch.”

“There are only a handful of artists who even attempt to promote good moral values, since this is considered ‘uncool’ and, even more importantly, unprofitable.  Many of the singers target pre-teen girls with their messages, and then these girls follow the advice and lyrics they hear and wind up ruining their lives,” Clowes commented.  

“It`s true that we are not forced to watch this trash; but we are also responsible for making sure our kids grow up holy, healthy and happy. If they follow music videos and shows, they will be zero for three.”

August 26, 2010
Mexico City Governor Seeks Punitive Action against Cardinal for `Homophobia`

(LifeSiteNews)  Mexico City Chief of Government Marcelo Ebrard and other members of his party have filed complaints against several representatives of the Catholic Church in Mexico for "homophobia" and "moral damage" following criticisms of the city`s new homosexual "marriage" and adoption laws.

The complaints stem from comments made earlier this week by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, accusing Ebrard and international pro-abortion groups of "feeding" (i.e. bribing) nine Supreme Court justices who voted to approve homosexual "marriage" as constitutional, and to impose it on all of Mexico`s 31 states.

Diocesan spokesman Fr. Hugo Valdemar is also being charged along with Sandoval Iñiguez, apparently for his recent statements accusing Ebrard of creating "laws that are destructive to the family, that cause worse damage than narcotrafficking."  In addition, a complaint has been filed against the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City, Norberto Rivera Carrera, for reasons unstated in the Mexican media.

Ebrard and his political allies are making their complaints in a variety of agencies and courts, picking venues inside of socialist-dominated Mexico City itself as well as left-leaning federal organisms that will be more likely to rule in his favor.  They include the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City, the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, the National Commission to Prevent Discrimination, and the Federal Electoral Institute.  The cases could last five months or longer.

However, Sandoval Íñiguez and Valdemar remain defiant. The cardinal has continued his refusal to retract his statements, as demanded by Ebrard, while Valdemar has responded to the charges by denouncing the "new religious persecution" motivated by "intolerance, hatred, and viscerality" which could "unleash a war in the country."  He defends his comparison to the drug trade by noting that, while the war with narcotraffickers has caused 28,000 deaths so far, the legalization of abortion has caused the deaths of 42,000 unborn children.

"For that reason I said that his laws were pernicious, perverse, and do worse damage than organized crime.  I don`t have anything more to demonstrate, that is what I affirm and maintain it using information from his (Ebrard`s) own government," Valdemar said.

August 20, 2010
Lawyers may move to recover Prop. 8 court costs

(Associated Press)  The lawyers who successfully sued to overturn California`s gay marriage ban are indicating they plan to recover attorney`s fees if the verdict is upheld on appeal.

In papers filed Tuesday, attorneys for two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco asked the court to extend a deadline for seeking reimbursement from the losing side. In this case, that would be the groups that put the ban on the 2008 ballot.

Sponsors of Proposition 8 defended the ban in court after California`s governor and attorney general refused to.

Lawyers familiar with scope of the case suggest the dollar amount would be in the millions.

Plaintiffs lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr. says it makes sense to wait until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides on the Aug. 4 ruling that overturned the ban.

August 18, 2010
$600,000 Life Prizes to be Awarded for Second Year

(LifeSiteNews)  Up to $600,000 will be awarded by the Gerard Health Foundation`s during its 2009-2010 Life Prizes awards ceremony on January 22, 2011. The awards will recognize and honor individuals or organizations that have worked to save human lives.

"Our Foundation has a profoundly simple mission: to save lives," stated philanthropist Raymond B. Ruddy, founder of the Gerard Health Foundation. "Life Prizes works to honor those who have best accomplished this noble goal and to inspire the next generation to break the mold in their life-saving work."

The 2009-2010 "Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Life Prizes" awards will be held in Washington DC on January 22, 2011, in conjunction with Students for Life of America`s annual conference during the week of the March for Life in Washington, DC.

Last year’s six winners included Jill Stanek, a nurse who exposed the infanticide of abortion survivors, and Lila Rose, who covertly filmed Planned Parenthood employees around the nation covering up statutory rape.

The first awards ceremony in 2009 featured Laura Ingraham as master of ceremonies and popular Christian rock band BarlowGirl.

The 2009-2010 winners are to be selected based on their success in saving human lives through efforts including public advocacy, scientific research, outreach programs, public disclosure activities, legal action, and other achievements as determined by a selection committee.

"As last year`s winners will tell you, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary goals," said Raymond Ruddy.  "We look forward to celebrating six new heroes and thanking them for their ingenuity, dedication, sacrifices and leadership."

August 19, 2010
Why Not Same-Sex Marriage?

CitizenLink

How will my same-sex marriage hurt your marriage?
Unfortunately, the question is not only about the impact of the homosexual unions.  Same-sex marriages would eliminate the difference between male and female, which would affect us all.  Those who support same-sex marriage are asking society to permanently alter the definition of a family.

Is same-sex marriage like interracial marriage?
In short, the answer is no.  The restrictions on interracial marriage once practiced in the United States were a part of racism—an evil social problem that kept the races apart.  Marriage as an exclusively heterosexual union is a profound good that brings male and female together.

Marriage has nothing to do with race, but for thousands of years in every civilization, it has had everything to do with male and female.  Striking down bans on interracial marriage affirmed marriage by declaring that any woman has a right to marry any man.  Same-sex marriage would redefine marriage—saying men and women are optional for the family.

Where does it stop?
Proponents of same-sex marriage have said that “the right to marry whomever you wish is a fundamental civil right.”1  And yet, when asked why same-sex marriage wouldn’t lead to multiple-party marriages, Cheryl Jacques, former director of the homosexual lobbying group Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said “Because I don’t approve of that.”2

Is Cheryl’s disapproval of polygamy more reasonable than my disapproval of same-sex marriage?  Once same-sex marriage is legalized, there is no logical stopping point. If marriage is torn away from its moorings, the ship could drift anywhere.

Can’t we all just get along by having religious marriage and civil marriage?
Marriage is more than a religious institution.  It has been present in all civilizations—not just Christian or religious ones.  Every society needs men and women to cooperate in founding homes and raising children for the benefit of society as a whole.

What public good does marriage provide?
Nature unapologetically enforces and imposes marriage upon all human civilizations. Societies without same-sex families do not suffer because of such a deficiency.  If there were, societies would have created such families to meet the need for homosexual unions.  But they have not, because same-sex “marriage” exists primarily to meet personal desires of a few adults, not to provide for the public good as a whole.  Anthropologists tell us that marriage does four primary jobs:

Marriage socializes men. It channels their sexuality and aggression in socially productive ways that harness their energy and empower society.

Marriage regulates sexuality. Every society must have rules, roles, and standards about sexual behavior; and marriage is how societies manage human sexuality.

Marriage protects women from exploitive males. Marriage protects women by regulating sex.  As women socialize men through marriage and parenthood, men are compelled to care and provide for their wives and children.

Marriage provides mothers and fathers for children. Healthy children define a growing society.  And marriage is the way we ensure the next generation grows up with the irreplaceable benefit of their mother and father.

Is it healthy to subject children to experimental families?
Marriage implies the possibility of children.  So, while many same-sex couples will not want children, the argument for same-sex marriage is the argument for the same-sex family.  No society at any time – primitive or developed, ancient or modern – has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex homes.  Same-sex marriage will subject a generation of children to the status of lab rats in a vast, untested, social experiment.

But haven’t medical and psychological groups said that same-sex parenting is fine?
Actually, there is no definitive research that compares same-sex parenting to heterosexual married parenting and draws definitive conclusions.  Instead, studies found that there often similar outcomes for children in heterosexual step-families or divorced families and same-sex parenting situations.

Although the AAP has issued statements of approval, in the following statement the group admits that research is just beginning:

The small and non-representational samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve … Research exploring the diversity of parental relationships among gay and lesbian parents is just beginning.3

If anything, these results support the conclusion that children need both a father and a mother in the home to develop and thrive.

How do we know what kind of families children need?
At least thirty years of child-development research tells us that children do best when they are raised by their own mothers and fathers. Even more liberal organizations are starting to understand this.  Child Trends, in a recent research brief, explains:

An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents. . . . Thus, it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children’s development.4

Is the same-sex family about the needs of the children or the wants of adults?
Rosie O’Donnell, a world-famous lesbian mother, has been quoted, when asked about her son’s desire for a father, as saying:

But as I said to my son, Parker, ‘If you were to have a daddy, you wouldn’t have me as a mommy because I’m the kind of mommy who wants another mommy.5

Parker wasn’t asking for the “rights and benefits” of marriage, he asked for what he recognized as the missing piece – a daddy.  Unfortunately, the answer is: you can’t have what you need, because I want what I want.  Today we are making unwarranted assumptions about children simply because such assumptions arise from adult wishes.  We must realize that the same-sex family is a social experiment that will change the experience of growing up.

Does gender really matter?
Proponents of same-sex marriage tell us that male or female, husband and wife, or mother and father do not really matter for the family or society.  We are told that “you can have a man and women in your family if you want, but neither is necessary.”

The truth is that our maleness and femaleness go right to the very core of our being.  Each gender has what the other needs but lacks.  Any family that intentionally rejects either male or female — saying either is not necessary — cannot be viewed as good and virtuous in a society that esteems the unique value of both male and female.  The idea that male and female are replaceable is really an anti-human message.

These answers were summarized from the booklet, “Ten Persuasive Answers to the Question. . .’Why not gay marriage?’” by Glenn T. Stanton, and first published in 2005.

Jenny Tyree is a marriage analyst for CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family.
________________________________________
1 Andrew Sullivan, “Shelby Steele, Separatist: A Fisking,” AndrewSullivan.com online, April 3, 2004, (June 23, 2004).
2 CNN Crossfire (February 24, 2004), Transcript #022401CN.V20.
3 Ellen Perrin, “Technical Report:  Coparent and Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,”  Pediatrics, 109 (2002), pp. 341-343.
4 Kristin Anderson Moore et al., “Marriage From a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, p. 1.
5 Diane Sawyer (Anchor), “Rosie’s Story: For the Sake of the Children: Rosie O’Donnell’s Crusade on Behalf of Gay Parents Seeking to Adopt Children,” ABC News: “Primetime,” (March 14, 2004).

Related posts:

  1. Mom and Dad: Kids Need Both
  2. More about the lesbian parenting study
  3. Focus on the Family’s Position Statement on Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions
  4. A not-so-Rosie outlook on marriage
  5. Are the kids really alright?
August 20, 2010
Football coach reveres Muslim holiday
(OneNewsNow)  A ministry leader says a high school in Michigan is conforming to President Obama`s political correctness and Islamic sentiments by altering its schedule to accommodate its Muslim students.

Fordson High School in Dearborn is holding its football practices in the middle of the night in order to give special accommodation to Muslims on the predominantly Islamic squad. The team feels the nocturnal regimen is a way for players to eat and drink while observing the month of daytime fasting known as Ramadan. The August heat has also played a factor in Coach Fouad Zaban`s proposal to reverse the clock for a week of two-a-day practices.

Cutting practice was not an option at football-crazy Fordson, which is coming off a one-loss season, but nobody wanted to lessen the significance of Ramadan in the Detroit suburb that is dominated by Muslims.

"Dearborn is Dearbornistan," notes Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. "I am sure that some of these teachers have got to cave or they`re going to lose their jobs. We`re in strange times where good is called evil and evil is called good."

She believes Muslims have clearly become a specially privileged group in the U.S. and beyond. "There are clearly favors that are done to certain special-interest groups, particularly homosexuals and Muslims," the Messianic Jewish leader observes. "Christians and Jews, we just don`t have that kind of privilege."

She doubts a practice would be moved if a group of Christian players objected to training that would interfere with a Christian holiday.

August 18, 2010
Schools claim Lucifer as model and guardian

(OneNewsNow)  While a California school district is seeing a boom in interest in a controversial educational philosophy that goes back more than 100 years, at the same time it`s fighting a lawsuit over whether the system is legal in public schools.

California`s capital city offers two Waldorf-inspired public schools -- John Morse Waldorf Methods School (K-8), and the high school George Washington Carver School of Arts and Sciences. The Sacramento City Unified School District now is facing a trial in federal court on allegations that those schools are religious, making them ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars.
 
The lawsuit, filed in 1998 by the group People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools, is just now making it to trial after several appeals. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, the president of PLANS uses phrases like "cult-like religious sect" and "new-age religion" to describe the activities at the schools.
 
Dr. Bruce Shortt, author of The Harsh Truth about Public Schools, explains to OneNewsNow that the Waldorf system is based on a dangerous philosophy called "anthroposophy" from the writings of 19th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
 
"And in those writings he basically posits that the universe is driven by conflict between Lucifer and the god of darkness called `Ahriman` -- and his educational philosophy is built around that conflict," says Shortt. "...In fact, in his view Christ came to earth as a `son god` to balance the forces of light and darkness."
 
The author says these views are reflected in The Waldorf Teachers Survival Guide.
 
"As a matter of fact, quoting from the guide, it says `most of what contributes to our work as teachers -- preparation work, artistic work, even meditative work -- is under the guardianship of Lucifer. We can become great teachers under his supervision....`  And it continues in that vein."
 
Although the Waldorf system is primarily offered through private education, the demand for Waldorf public schools has grown to more than 40 across the country, including two dozen in California.

August 18, 2010
Somalia`s Christians Plead for Prayers during Ramadan

(Christian Post)  Somalia’s underground Christian community is asking fellow believers worldwide to pray for their safety during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan.

The tiny Christian population is regularly persecuted by Islamic extremists. They are requesting that fellow Christians pray they can live in peace with their Muslim neighbors. Ramadan began Aug. 11 and ends on Sept. 9.

“We are called criminal and apostate. What is our crime? We are Christians! We suffer because of what we believe,” said a Somali Christian, whose name is withheld for security reasons, to Open Doors USA.

“Please pray for all Somali Christians who suffer persecution to not seek revenge but commit their case unto God.”

Religious zeal and extremist activity generally increase in Somalia during Ramadan, noted Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog. Many Christians in Somalia must pretend to be practicing Muslims in order to remain safe.

A Somali Christian shared that after the suicide bombing last month in Uganda, the believer had to attend a Friday prayer meeting at the local mosque.

“I was there because I need to blend in with the crowd. That saves my life, my family and my colleagues,” the Somali Christian said.

When the prayer leader praised those behind the suicide bombing, people at the mosque shouted “Allahu Akubar,” which means “God is great.” The Christian joined with them even though the believer did not agree with the action of the suicide bombers.

“But this is the normal way things are for the Christian community in Somalia,” the Christian noted.

Somalia is ranked No. 4 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

In June, Compass Direct News reported that a 17-year-old girl who converted to Christianity was severely beaten for leaving Islam and was chained to a tree by her family.

An Islamic extremist group, called al Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda, is reported to be responsible for the murders of several Christians in Somalia.

Al Shabaab militants killed Mohammed Ahmed Ali, a convert to Christianity who led an underground church, in January. And in 2009, its members were behind the beheading of four Christians who worked for a local non-governmental organization that helps orphans in Southern Somalia. The Christians were converts from Islam and were beheaded for apostasy. News of their deaths was relayed to their families by an al Shabaab militant.

Somalia, which is located on the Horn of Africa, is one of the most lawless countries in the world. Chaos and tribal conflicts have plagued the country for the past two decades. The country also suffers from a humanitarian crisis in which 35 to 40 percent of the population depends on external assistance, according to the United Nations. Also, about 1.2 million Somalis are displaced because of fighting and droughts.

The U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said recently that assistance for Somalia this year is predicted to be between $300 to $400 million worth, down from $650 million last year.

“[W]e have critical gaps in assistance in some of the key areas where people need help,” said U.N. official Mark Bowden to China’s Xinhua news agency.

Despite the critical need, al Shabaad in August expelled three Christian humanitarian agencies. The Islamic insurgency group accused World Vision, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and Diakonia of using humanitarian work as a guise for spreading the Gospel.

The Christian organizations all denied the allegations and have temporarily suspended their operations.

Al Shabaad has also reportedly declared war on the United Nations and other Western non-governmental organizations that distribute aid in Somalia.

An estimated 4 million Somalis depend on humanitarian assistance to survive, according to the United Nations.

Somalia’s population is nearly all Sunni Muslim.

August 17, 2010
Polling Director: Polls Stating Americans Support Gay Marriage Untrustworthy

(LifeSiteNews)  According to Tom Jensen, director of the North-Carolina based Public Policy Polling (PPP), polls finding that a majority of Americans support homosexual "marriage" cannot be trusted because Americans are sometimes hesitant to state their position before a live interviewer who may judge them to be intolerant.

Earlier this month a CNN poll found that 52% of Americans thought that homosexuals should have the constitutional right to marry; 46% said the Constitution should not give that right.

Public Policy Polling`s latest survey however, found that 57% of Americans think that same-sex "marriage" should be illegal, while only 33% think it should be legal and 11% have no opinion.

The difference between the two polls, according to Jensen, springs from the fact that CNN and other major polling organizations use live interviewers, while Public Policy Polling uses an automated system.

He said that people are "more likely to tell their true feelings on an automated poll, where there`s no social anxiety concern, than to a live interviewer who they may be worried about the reaction of."

"It is frankly impossible," he continued, "based on the results of gay marriage referendums over the last decade, to believe that a majority of Americans support its legalization."

Gay marriage has been rejected by all the 31 U.S. states where it was put to a vote.  Public Policy Polling was the only polling company that correctly predicted that Maine citizens would overturn a "gay marriage" law last year.

"Dark blue states like California and Maine voted against it just in the last two years," pointed out Jensen. "Obama states like Wisconsin and Virginia rejected it by 14 and 18 points margins in 2006 and red states like South Carolina and Tennessee did so by 56 and 62 point margins."

Jensen nevertheless said that the "the numbers are moving in the right direction for gay marriage proponents, if slowly."

Voters under 30 opposed homosexual "marriage" 52% to 44%, according to the poll.

Over half of Americans thought that it would be legal 20 years from now, however.  Proponents of gay “marriage” were very optimistic - 96% of them thought that it would be legal by 2030, while only 1% thought it would not be.

August 17, 2010
Documents Show Botched Abortions Hurt Women More Frequently Than Believed

(LifeSiteNews)  A pro-life group released new documents today from a former abortion facility staffer showing two women injured medically by botched abortions in Columbus, Ohio in the last two months. The organization says it and other documents show women are injured more frequently than most people understand.

An abortion whistle blower provided documentation to Operation Rescue showing disturbing information about two botched abortions that took place at different abortion businesses in the Ohio state capital in the last month.

"It is our understanding from conversations with our confidential sources in Ohio that abortion patients in Columbus end up in the local emergency rooms with alarming frequency," OR president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com today.

"Our whistleblower says that these two incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. The true number of abortion complications is hidden from the public and it now appears that complications requiring emergency hospitalization have reached epidemic proportions," said Newman.

The pro-life organization is demanding that the Medical Board of Ohio conduct inspections and close the dangerous abortion businesses in Columbus and around the state.

The information from Ohio is just the latest the group has obtained from former abortion facility staffers blowing the whistle on shoddy and potentially illegal medical practices at abortion centers.

Former employees of late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart submitted affidavits detailing illegal abortions, unlicensed staff dispensing drugs and performing medical tasks for which they were not qualified, and other offenses. This launched investigations by the Nebraska Attorney General and Health Department.

A whistleblower confirmed abortion abuses that have been occurring at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa where dangerous abortion pills are being administered through a remote-controlled push-button scheme known as "telemed abortion." A medical board investigation is ongoing.

Whistleblowers in California helped expose the fact that abortionist Andrew Rutland was violating the terms of his probation by doing abortions without the required supervision of another physician. He faces almost certain license revocation at a hearing scheduled for early next year.

Operation Rescue blew the whistle on illegal late-term abortion referrals provided by abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus in Kansas. Neuhaus now faces disciplinary action after Kansas authorities filed an 11-count petition against her based on OR`s complaint.

Two victims of forced abortions done by Michigan abortionist Alberto Hodari came forward to tell of their horrific ordeals. Both women filed medical board complaints and one has sued. Currently, all seven of Hodari`s Detroit area abortion centers are up for sale

August 16, 2010
Appeals Court Extends Hold on Calif. Gay Marriages

(Christian Post) In its order, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion to stay the ruling of Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who last week ordered state officials to stop enforcing California’s Proposition 8 beginning Aug. 18.

The week before, Walker had ruled that people of the same sex have the right to marry and that the decision of the majority to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman – as Prop. 8 had done – violates that right.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which has been defending Prop. 8, announced immediately after Walker’s most recent ruling that it would appeal to the 9th Circuit to stay the trial court’s decision until the case is concluded.

In granting the motion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals trumped Walker’s order but also agreed to expedite its consideration of the Prop. 8 case.

The 9th Circuit Court, the most notoriously liberal appeals court in the nation, has scheduled oral arguments for the week of Dec. 6 and changed the due dates of the opening brief to Sept. 17 and the answering brief to Oct. 18.

Lawyers for the two gay couples that challenged Prop. 8 said Monday they would not appeal the panel`s decision on the stay to the U.S. Supreme Court.

August 17, 2010
Poll: Voters Say No to Abortions on Military Bases, Repealing DADT

(LifeSiteNews)  A new survey commissioned by the Military Culture Coalition (MCC) indicates that American voters would prefer to keep in place the 1993 law banning homosexuals serving in the military. The poll also indicated that U.S. voters oppose allowing abortion on military bases.

The MCC survey of 1000 likely voters nationwide found that 48 percent said they would prefer to keep the 1993 law, with 45 percent favoring repeal.

A plurality (48 percent of voters) said Congress should give more weight to the testimony of the four service chiefs than advocates of overturning the law, which is often conflated with a corresponding Pentagon policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Forty-one percent said that Congress should heed the advice of advocates for repeal of the law and DADT.

But voters also gave strong signs they did not want the acceptance of homosexuals to turn the military into a training camp for social experimentation.

Fifty-five percent of voters disagreed with the statement that the “military should modify training programs to promote acceptance of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in all military colleges, training programs, and schools run by the U.S. Defense Department.” Just 40 percent voiced agreement.

Voters also held that politics, not principle, motivated President Barack Obama’s promise to overturn the 1993 law by a full 26 percentage points (57 percent - 31 percent).

Only one percent of likely voters said repeal of DADT and the 1993 law should be a priority for the Congress and President Obama.

However, the poll also indicated that Congressmen would receive more voter blowback for repealing the 1993 law than they would for maintaining the status quo. Thirty percent said they would be less likely to vote for their Member of Congress for changing the status quo, while 21 percent said they would be more likely.

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), which also sponsored the MCC survey, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) Friday that Americans “prefer the status quo. They prefer the law stay where it is.”

She said that the poll contradicts the narrative of many civilian surveys, which have simply polled adults, as opposed to likely voters - something that the MCC survey avoids.

“They don’t explain what the law actually says. Ours is different: it does ask about the law itself, it even asks the respondents to comment on statements right out of the current law,” explained Donnelly.

Donnelly pointed out that the 45 percent of respondents supporting repeal of the law is a full 30 points less than the February 2010 ABC/Washington Post survey showing 75 percent of surveyed adults favored inclusion of professed gays in the military.

“So it calls into question a lot of the civilian surveys that have been done up to today.”

The U.S. House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the law behind DADT. The matter will be decided in the Senate where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is trying to cobble together a filibuster to prevent a September vote on the repeal, which is included in a military appropriations bill.

Also in the bill is a measure to repeal the ban on abortions being performed on U.S. military bases that was submitted by Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.).

According to the MCC poll, voters were more decidedly opposed to allowing abortion in U.S. military medical facilities, by a margin of 49 percent to 41 percent. Also the political ramifications were greater, as 43 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for lawmakers who approve tax-funded abortions at military bases, while just 21 percent said they would be more likely.


Further details of the Military Culture Coalition survey can be found here: www.militaryculturecoalition.com.

August 16, 2010
UNC Bends to Pressure from Pro-Life Students, Abortion Coverage Now Optional

(CitizenLink)  After receiving significant pressure from students and the media about its health insurance policy covering abortion, the University of North Carolina (UNC) system will now give students the chance to opt-out of the coverage.

Students for Life, CitizenLink and other pro-life organizations sounded the alarm on Wednesday that the University of North Carolina system, which oversees 17 institutions, offered only one health insurance plan to uninsured students – and it covered abortion.

Erskine Bowles, president of the school system, directed Pearce and Pearce, the largest student health care insurance company in the nation, to contact students who purchased policies and offer them a chance to opt-out.

Kristan Hawkins with Students for Life is thankful students now have an option.

“The Board of Governors came out and said they were going to allow pro-life students to opt-out of abortion coverage ,” she said, “and that their health care money wouldn’t go for other women’s abortions.”

She said she would rather abortion not be included at all, because “Abortion is not health care.”

August 13, 2010
Defending Our Religious Liberties
Focus on the Family Daily:
Alliance Defense Fund President Alan Sears discusses several current issues including the recent federal court ruling that struck down California`s Proposition 8 and the upcoming congressional vote on the military`s "don`t ask, don`t tell" policy.
August 13, 2010
John Bolton: Russia`s Loading of Nuke Fuel Into Iran Plant Means Aug. 21 Deadline for Israeli Attack

(NewsMax)  News that Russia will load nuclear fuel rods into an Iranian reactor has touched off a countdown to a point of no return, a deadline by which Israel would have to launch an attack on Iran`s Bushehr reactor before it becomes effectively "immune" to any assault, says former Bush administration U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton.

Once the fuel rods are loaded, Bolton told Fox News on Friday afternoon, "it makes it essentially immune from attack by Israel. Because once the rods are in the reactor an attack on the reactor risks spreading radiation in the air, and perhaps into the water of the Persian Gulf."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared in March that Russia would start the Bushehr reactor this summer. But the announcement from a spokesman for Russia`s state atomic agency to Reuters Friday sent international diplomats scrambling to head off a crisis.

The story immediately became front-page news in Israel, which has laid precise plans to carry out an attack on Iran`s nuclear facilities while going along with President Obama`s plans to use international sanctions and diplomatic persuasion to convince Iran`s clerics not to go nuclear.


Bolton made it clear that it is widely assumed that any Israeli attack on the Bushehr reactor must take place before the reactor is loaded with fuel rods.


"If they`re going to do it that`s the window that they have," Bolton declared. "Otherwise as I said before, once the rods are in the reactor, if you attack the reactor you`re going to open it up and radiation will escape at least into the atmosphere and possibly into the waters of the Persian Gulf.


"So most people think that neither Israel nor the United States, come to that, would attack the reactor after it`s been fueled."


Bolton cited the 1981 Israeli attack on Saddam Hussein`s Osirak reactor outside Baghdad and the September 2007 Israeli attack on a North Korean reactor being built in Syria. Both of those strikes came before fuel rods were loaded into those reactors.


"So if it`s going to happen in Bushehr it has to happen before the fuel rods go in," Bolton said.


The conversation that touched off the de facto deadline for Israeli military action was a telephone conversation with wire services involving Sergei Novikov, a spokesman for Rosatom, the Russian Energy State Nuclear Corp.


Novikov said: "The fuel will be loaded on Aug 21. This is the start of the physical launch” of the reactor.


"From that moment the Bushehr plant will be officially considered a nuclear-energy installation," Novikov said, adding that the head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, will visit Bushehr Aug. 21 to conduct a ceremony for the event.

According to Bolton, once the reactor is operational, it is only a matter of time before it begins producing plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

"And in the normal operation of this reactor, in just a fairly short period of time, you could get substantial amounts of plutonium to use as nuclear weapons," Bolton told Fox.


Russia, which is operating under a $1 billion contract with Iran, has spent more than a decade building the reactor. If Russia moves forward with its plan to fuel the reactor, it could be seen as a major setback to the Obama administration`s strategy of engaging Russian leaders in order to win their cooperation.


"The U.S. urged them not to send the Iranian`s fuel rods," Bolton said. "They did that. The Obama administration has urged them not to insert the fuel rods in the reactors, but as they`ve just announced that will begin next week. What that does over time is help Iran get another route to nuclear weapons through the plutonium they could reprocess out of the spent fuel rods."


The developments mean Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon may face a stark choice: Attack the Bushehr reactor in the next 8 days, or allow it to become operational despite the certainty it would greatly enhance Iran`s ability to create nuclear weapons.


Russian leaders have said the Bushehr reactor project is being closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN`s nuclear watchdog group. According to Iran`s ISNA news agency, IAEA inspectors will be on hand to observe the fuel-rod loading process that is now scheduled to begin Aug. 21.


According to Russian officials, Iran has promised in writing to send all spent fuel rods from Bushehr back to Russia for reprocessing, to ensure they cannot be used for nuclear weapons.



Bolton said the reactor has been "a hole" in American foreign policy for over a decade.


The failure to demand it be shut down began in the Bush years, he said, and continues with the Obama administration "under what I believe is the mistaken theory that Iran is entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy."


"I don`t think Iran is entitled to that, or I don`t think we ought to allow it to happen, because they`re manifestly violating any number of obligations under the non-proliferation treaty not to seek nuclear weapons. But this has been a hole in American policy for some number of years, and Iran and Russia are obviously exploiting it," Bolton said.


Russia’s move would put Iran "in a much better position overall," he said, adding, "I think this is a very delicate point, as I say, it closes off to the Israelis one possible target for pre-emptive military action.


U.N. sanctions against Iran, he said, "have not had and will not have any material effect on Iran`s push to have deliverable nuclear weapons."

August 13, 2010
Obama, N.Y. pols, Jewish groups show Ramadan hospitality with iftar dinners

(USA Today)  All the fracas over the mosque near Ground Zero isn`t driving politicians away from acknowledging the Islamic holy month of Ramadan that began today. Starting with President Obama.

As he did last year he`s scheduled an iftar -- a post-sunset meal -- for the White House on Friday. In his Ramadan greetings statement released today, (The Oval has full text) Obama said the holiday rituals, including a focus on service and charity...

... Remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam`s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country...

And in New York, where voices screamed loudest about the Islamic Center planned for two blocks from Ground Zero, the same political leaders who gave iftars in 2009 are stepping up again to show hospitality.

Faiza Ali, community affairs director for the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told USA TODAY`s Benjamin Soloway,

This year, local elected officials across the five boroughs are hosting Ramadan iftars displaying their continued commitment to building bridges with all New Yorkers despite opposition to mosques and community centers.

Mehmet Demirci, who wrote about iftars all over Manhattan for the Turkish web site ZamanUSA.com last year, says he thinks there will be no shortage of similar events in 2010 because election season looms.

Politicians will consider Ramadan dinners as a chance to get to know Muslim communities better...Meanwhile Ramadan dinners serve a good purpose for Muslim communities as well. They give Muslims the chance to explain themselves better and ...show themselves as a community.

In Chicago, the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative and Anshe Sholom B`nai Israel Congregation are holding "Iftar in the Synagogue 2010 - Know Thy Neighbor" on Thursday evening. Their press release, also backed by several Jewish and Muslim community groups, notes:

The Torah commands us to "love thy neighbor," and the Quran reminds us that "We created you ... and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other."

August 13, 2010
They`re doing it: U.N. makes its move into your school

(WorldNetDaily)  The agenda of the United-Nations-funded and -run International Baccalaureate Curriculum is making massive inroads into America`s public schools, with operations already established in more than 1,000 locations.

Worldview Weekend President and Founder Brannon Howse says the program is trying to train American students to embrace an anti-Christian worldview.

"This U.N. curriculum is extremely hostile to Christians. It`s hostile to American values and ideas and very big on humanism, redistribution of wealth, and very big on pluralism and that all religions are equal," Howse told WND.

Howse says one of his radio program`s listeners is frustrated that there is no outcry from the public.

http://www.worldviewweekend.comHere`s the instruction manual on an alternative to public schools, in "You`ve Decided to Homeschool, Now What?"

"The man wrote me an e-mail, and he said, `It`s crazy how we`re not informed and how so many parents, Christian parents, are shuffling their kids into these programs thinking it`s a good thing, a positive thing," Howse said.

Listen to with Brannon Howse:

Howse points to the program`s objectives that say the entire curriculum is shaped by the U.N.

According to a report at EdNews.org, the program should overrule any "parochial" values or beliefs, with a heavy focus on a social agenda throughout classes.

"Math Studies curriculum explores problems concerning the weather, environmental protection, conservation and energy. … The statistics unit will examine a variety of problems from a global perspective, such as the disparity of wealth distribution between first- and third-world countries."

The report says Latin students "will examine the ancient world as a sounding board to measure and compare the global issues in a modern world. Students will discuss the impact on the Roman world, as well as their own, of such topics as women`s rights, slavery and national imperialism."

The report is highly critical of the International Baccalaureate.

The organization "not only teaches its own worldview, it simultaneously undermines the beliefs and values of the United States (also called the `American creed`)," the report said. It cites an International Baccalaureate teaching page, which says, "Both Democrats and the Republicans supported a more or less unrestrained capitalist system. They believed that it offered unique incentives to hard work and opportunities for all even though there was plenty of evidence that it left many people very poor and a few grotesquely rich."

Read the entire article.

August 13, 2010
Judge Walker v. The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God

(CNSNews)  Thomas Jefferson, a deist, and Alexander Hamilton, an Episcopalian, anchored opposite ends of the political spectrum in the early years of the republic but agreed on one basic proposition: The nation’s laws must follow God’s laws.
 
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled last week from a courtroom in San Francisco that “same-sex marriage” is a constitutional right, views Americans who agree with Jefferson and Hamilton as religiously motivated bigots.
 
“Good and wise men, in all ages ... have supposed that the Deity, from the relations we stand in to Himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever,” Hamilton wrote in 1775. “Upon this law depend the natural rights of mankind.”
 
A year later, Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” and that “to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”
 
In declaring that the Constitution guarantees two men a “right” to marry—and become parents of children through, if necessary, “assistive reproductive technology”—Judge Walker said, “The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples.”
 
“A private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples is not a proper basis for legislation,” he said.
 
The judge struck down California’s voter-approved state constitutional amendment that reserved marriage to one man and one woman as illegitimate under the federal Constitution because, he said, it was based on the voters’ understanding of morality. By the same logic, he could have struck down the laws against theft or murder.

Read the entire article.

August 13, 2010
Newly Identified Corporate Supporters of Planned Parenthood Named

(LifeSiteNews)  Life Decisions International (LDI) has released a revised edition of The Boycott List identifying corporations that support of Planned Parenthood, the world`s primary abortion-advocacy group.

"As a direct result of the commitment, action and prayers of pro-family people, at least 256 corporations have stopped funding Planned Parenthood," said Kenneth C. Garvey, LDI`s Director of Communications. It is estimated that the boycott has cost Planned Parenthood more than $40 million since the Corporate Funding Project (CFP) began nearly 18 years ago.

"This should serve as a testament to those who thought it impossible to change corporate philanthropic behavior," he added.

New boycott targets include AOL, Darden Restaurants (Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille, LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Season 52), Franchise Services (PIP, Signal Graphics, Sir Speedy), Hilton Worldwide (Conrad Hotels, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns/Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels, Homewood Suites), Ignite Restaurants (Brickhouse Tavern+Tap, Joe`s Crab Shack), ING (financial services), Kohl`s (department stores), Mrs. Fields (cookies), Staples (office/school supplies), Toys "R" Us, and Trader Joe`s (markets/supermarkets).

Returning to The Boycott List are The Gap (apparel/accessories) and Freddie Mac (U.S. government-sponsored secondary mortgages).

Corporations continuing as boycott targets from the previously released Boycott List include AlphaGraphics, Wells Fargo (including Wachovia), Nike, Time Warner, Bank of America, Walt Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Lost Arrow (Patagonia, etc.), Chevron, and Nationwide Insurance, among others.

Garvey was critical of pro-life organizations that continue to use PayPal even though it has been a boycott target for several years now. "PayPal is owned by boycott target eBay," Garvey said. "Most pro-life groups are aware that it is a boycott target because it has funded Planned Parenthood, but they have consciously chosen to continue doing business with the company. Doing so is indefensible."

Garvey said alternatives to PayPal exist, and he will gladly help anyone who has trouble tracking them down. "It is unconscionable that anyone who claims to be pro-life would willingly do business with a company that funds the number one enemy of preborn children," Garvey said.

The new Boycott List includes a "Dishonorable Mention" section, which identifies charitable groups that are associated with Planned Parenthood and/or its agenda. Groups named in this section include Lions Clubs, the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, Boys & Girls Clubs, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Camp Fire, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts, Kiwanis Clubs, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Rotary Clubs, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Salvation Army, YWCA, America Gives Back (formerly [American] Idol Gives Back), and YMCA, among others.

"This has not been some sort of `Jesse Jackson boycott` where we make news for a few days and then go away," said LDI Chairman Thomas C. Strobhar. "Corporate officials are learning that those who value life are among the most dedicated people on earth. We will not go away until corporate involvement with Planned Parenthood comes to an end."

For more information about the CFP, including the steps taken before a corporation is placed on The Boycott List, click here.

August 13, 2010
American Center for Law and Justice Calls on State Department to Cancel Tax-Funded Middle East Trip by Controversial Imam

(CNSNews)  The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on Tuesday called on the U.S. State Department to remove Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf from a taxpayer-funded trip to Muslim countries, citing his controversial views about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

While the State Department has not released a statement on the issue, spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Monday, “I think we are in the process of arranging for him [Rauf] to travel as part of this program. And it is to foster a greater understanding and outreach around the world among Muslim majority communities.”
 
Crowley also said of Imam Rauf, “He is a distinguished Muslim cleric. We do have a program whereby through our Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau here at the State Department, we send people from Muslim communities here in this country around the world to help people overseas understand our society and the role of religion within our society.”
 
Imam Rauf  is seeking to build an Islamic community center, the Cordoba House, about two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. Imam Rauf is controversial, in part, because two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, he told CBS’ 60 Minutes, “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
 
When then asked by CBS’ Ed Bradley in that Sept. 30, 2001 interview to explain “how” America was an accessory to the 9/11 attacks, Imam Rauf said, “Because we have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.” 
 
Also, while the U.S. State Department has labeled Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) as a terrorist organization, Imam Rauf apparently has declined to say whether he agrees with that designation.

August 13, 2010
Sears Ignores Calls to Stop Selling Porn

(LifeSiteNews)  Retail giant Sears, which was exposed last week for marketing pornographic posters through their website, could be facing a boycott if they continue their refusal to remove the products.

“Sears is playing with fire.  Sears is the place that American families are used to going, … and I just cannot imagine that the vast majority of their customer base wants to shop at a place that’s marketing pornography,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis at the American Family Association (AFA).  “There are a lot of other places that American families can shop for the same goods they get at Sears.”

The AFA broke the news about the posters in an action alert August 3rd after the company refused to respond to more than a half dozen attempts at communication.  The posters, which AFA has published in an edited form behind three warning walls, depict nudity and groups of people involved in sexual activities, including one featuring two women.

Sears appears to be digging in its heels on the issue, based on their response to one of AFA’s supporters.  Chris B., a Sears employee, wrote: “We … have reviewed the products in question and found that they do not fall outside our marketplace guidelines.”

“Sears is taking their stand.  They are going to defend the merchandising of soft-core pornography on their website,” commented Fischer.

Asked if AFA will launch a boycott, Fischer said they will continue monitoring Sears’ response.  “If they continue to stonewall and stick a thumb in the eye of American families and their values, then at some point you need to do something,” he said.

The company has also drawn a rebuke from the influential social scientist Dr. Judith Reisman, an expert on the damaging effects of the sexual revolution.  In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Reisman lambasted Sears for using pornography to turn a profit, emphasizing that the scientific research clearly shows porn to have a dangerous impact on our brains and our physical and mental health.

"Sears` management clearly agreed that pornography would conscript children and vulnerable adults as consumers," she said. "The Sears pornography adverts had to survive multiple administrative debates, redrafts and societal cost-benefit analyses before they got the green light.”

"Children cannot buy alcohol because their bodies and brains are corrupted by its toxins," she said. "Similarly, Sears` reckless distribution of pornography, of `erototoxins` in the public space should be charged with deliberate brain damage - bringing the role of dopamine as a `natural drug` to an American jury. Let the scientific challenge begin!"

The AFA is calling on men and women of good will to demand that Sears remove the products from their website and their line.


Contact Information:

Larry Costello, Public Relations Director
Sears Holdings Corp.
Phone: 1-847-286-9036
E-mail: larry.costello@searshc.com

August 13, 2010
The Kids Are Not All Right...

(Family Research Council)  Hollywood has been trying to charm the pants off moviegoers this summer with a flick about two lesbians who raise "a modern family" (which, by their definition, means gay porn, emotional abuse, and a general lack of sobriety). Ironically, the film was still showing when a federal judge tried to defend relationships like these as the ideal environment for children. When I debated the lead attorney for that case on CBS`s "Face the Nation" last Sunday, he insisted (like Hollywood) that the kids are all right in volatile same-sex households. In fact, he insisted that there isn`t a scrap of social science showing that children fare better with a married mom and dad. "There simply wasn`t any evidence," David Boies claimed. "... There weren`t any empirical studies. That`s just made up. That`s junk science." As I said Sunday, he`s just plain wrong.

Not only is there research, but much of it has been confirmed by scientists in the pro-homosexual movement. In his rush to throw 40 years of analysis under the bus because it didn`t suit his personal agenda, Judge Walker launched a full-scale assault on the international research community. Considering the quick snapshots below, how many people would feel comfortable turning over young children to homosexuals? How many would agree with Walker that "same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples?"

Promiscuity and Infidelity

  • Journal of Marriage and Family: In 2005, the dissolution rate of homosexual couples was more than three times that of heterosexual married couples, and the dissolution rate of lesbian couples was more than four-fold that of heterosexual married couples.1

  • Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity among Men and Women: Researchers found that 43% percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, and 28% had 1,000 or more partners.2

  • The Social Organization of Sexuality: Only 4.5% of homosexual males said they were faithful to their current partner, compared to 85% of married women and 75.5% of married men.3

  • Sex Roles: "Forty percent of homosexual men in civil unions and 49% of homosexual men not in civil unions had `discussed and decided it is okay... to have sex outside of the relationship.`" Only 3.5% of heterosexual married men and their wives agreed that sex outside of the relationship was acceptable.4

Substance Abuse

  • The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association: "Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population. Also, "gay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse than straight men."5

  • The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association: "Illicit drugs may be used more often among lesbians than heterosexual women," and alcohol "use and abuse may be higher among lesbians."6

Domestic Violence

  • National Institute of Justice: "Same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants--39% of lesbian cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a cohabitating partner at some time in their lifetimes, compared to 21% of heterosexual women. Among men, the comparable figures are 23.1% and 7.4%."7

Child Sexual Abuse

  • Journal of Sex Research: Although heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least 20 to 1, about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses are homosexual in nature.8

  • Archives of Sexual Behavior: Eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.9

Psychological Instability

  • Journal of Human Sexuality: "No other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology."10

And that doesn`t begin to explain the hundreds of risks to personal health. For even more proof, download a free copy of FRC`s latest pamphlet, The Top 10 Myths about Homosexuality.

August 13, 2010
Teach my child that, and you’ll be sorry

(Dr. Miriam Grossman)  S*x education for tots is in the headlines. Last month it was a policy in Provincetown, Massachusetts, making condoms available to first graders. Student requests were to be kept secret and parents’ objections ignored.

Now the news is from Montana. If the Helena school district has its way, kindergarteners will learn about “reproductive body parts”: the p*nis, v*gina, breast, n*pples, test*cles, scr*tum, and uterus. Ten year olds will be taught that “s*xual intercourse includes but is not limited to v*ginal, oral, or anal penetration”. Two years later they will discover this may involve “the p*nis, fingers, tongue or objects”.


Have these people lost their minds? To the contrary. All these maneuvers are entirely consistent with the s*x education programs supported by President Obama. Moreover, the administration would like taxpayers to fund their export to the rest of the world.


Who came up with the notion that it’s necessary to teach the world’s children about high risk s*x acts their parents never heard of? The usual suspects: Planned Parenthood and the S*xuality Education and Information Council of the United States (SEICUS, a private organization). These groups portray themselves as guardians of our children’s health; they claim to provide students with all the information and skills they need to make smart choices. Their curricula, they declare, are comprehensive, age appropriate, ideologically neutral, and medically accurate. They give children the same message as parents: you’re too young – wait until you’re older.


If only it was so. The priority of this industry is not s*xual health, but s*xual freedom. Their objective is not for students to delay s*xual behavior and remain free of infection, but for them to be open, from a tender age, to just about any form of s*xual activity.


Let’s get this straight. There is no evidence that knowing the anatomy of male and female gen*talia is vital to the well-being of young children. And the “one size fits all” approach, mandating that children learn about intercourse or same s*x attraction at a particular age, is contrary to the principles of child development.


Children are not miniature adults. Introducing them to new information that cannot be easily assimilated can be distressing. A young child has his own theories about where babies come from, based on what he already knows; he may think his sibling came from a store or the hospital, or that his mother consumed some particular food or drink.


There’s nothing wrong with that. “Parents should respond to the needs and curiosity level of their individual child”, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “offering no more or less information than their child is asking for and is able to understand”. In other words, let him be.


The s*x ed oligarchy ignores this wisdom. And while insisting that first graders be taught “human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender”, and expecting third graders to “define HIV/AIDS”, these “experts” omit critical biological facts from the one group that actually needs s*x education: adolescents.


Among other things, middle and high school students are not taught that:


* Intimate behavior causes the release of a brain chemical that promotes feelings of attachment and trust, even if you are with a stranger.


* A girl’s immature c*rvix increases her vulnerability to geni*tal infections. HIV aside, girls and women carry 80% of the burden of negative consequences from early s*xual behavior and multiple partners.

* Faeces are filled with dangerous pathogens. Oral-anal contact is associated with serious infectious diseases such as salmonella, shigella, and hepatitis A, B, and C.

* The physiology and anatomy of the an*s is vastly different from the v*gina. Regarding HIV transmission, anal intercourse is at least twenty times more dangerous than v*ginal intercourse.

* As stated on condom wrappers, breakage is more likely to occur during anal intercourse.

How do “comprehensive” sex educators justify the omission of these life-saving facts? How do they boldly claim that their curricula are medically accurate, and their sole priority the health of children? I don’t know about Montana, but where I come from, that’s called chutzpah.

The administration wants to see programs like Helena’s go global. This year, thirty-nine House democrats introduced H.R. 5121, the Global S*xual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010. It calls for comprehensive s*x education in developing countries using US taxpayer funds.

How do we fight this madness? Like hundreds of parents, grandparents, teachers, and clergy in Helena are – by standing up publicly and insisting that s*x education, like all health matters, be based on biological truths, not social agendas. By reminding authorities that this is a war against disease, not social injustice. And by proclaiming loud and clear: “my child’s innocence is precious. You try and take that away, and you’ll be sorry.”

August 13, 2010
Colson on Prop. 8 Battle: We Can Still Win This

(Christian Post)  Over the past 30 years, virtually every Supreme Court case involving sexual freedom – whether it’s been abortion or gay rights – has been decided in favor of the expanded liberties, noted prominent Christian conservative leader Chuck Colson on Monday.

But when the case of same-sex marriage reaches the high court, the battle can be won, asserted Colson in a commentary that aired Monday.

Last Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California released the long-awaited ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker, who concluded that people of the same sex do have the right to marry and that the decision of the majority to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman – as California’s Prop. 8 had done - violates that right.

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians," the judge wrote in the 136-page ruling released Wednesday.

"The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite sex couples," he added, effectively overturning Prop. 8.

Following the ruling, Colson said his first reaction was, “Our worst nightmare has come true.”

“But my first reaction was wrong,” he later stated.

After spending the days following the ruling in the Prop. 8 case praying, reading, and thinking, the ministry leader concluded that the issue is far from settled.

As Colson noted Monday, in every Supreme Court case that involved sexual freedom and that resulted in a decision in favor of expanded liberties, public opinion was on the side of the expanded liberties.

“But the same cannot be said about same-sex marriage,” asserted the ministry leader, who served for four years as special counsel for then-President Richard Nixon. “Every time the issue has been placed on a state ballot, the people, usually by large margins, have rejected the idea. And the polls show that the American people still do not accept gay marriage.”

And that matters, continued Colson, because the court is reluctant to go against strong public opinion to the contrary.

In the 1997 Washington v. Glucksberge case, for example, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against affirming a Ninth Circuit holding that would have made assisted suicide constitutional.

In the opinion of the court, then-Chief Justice Rehnquist noted how “Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality” of the practice and said the court should “permit the debate to continue.”

“So, can we win this in the court of public opinion? Yes we can!” Colson said.

“If the polls show a year from now when this case makes its way to the Supreme Court that the public is against gay marriage, we will win,” the ministry leader asserted.

Thus, last week’s decision - which was criticized by pro-family leaders nationwide - could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, Colson added.

The conservative leader said he believes the ruling can help to awaken people and get them mobilized in the effort to protect traditional marriage.

“A federal judge declaring that the ‘ability to marry’ is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to gays and lesbians. What nonsense,” Colson remarked. “Societies throughout history have restricted the ability to marry (which is why, for instance, you’re not allowed to marry your sister.)”

“Folks, there is still hope – but only if we get to work now,” he added.

Colson is encouraging supporters of traditional marriage to get educated and to start informing their neighbors on the issue as well as join in a campaign of prayer and fasting this coming fall.

“I know a lot of people are saying these days that Christians should take a vacation from politics, that only the elites can change the culture. Baloney! We can move public opinion,” Colson stated.

“Enough of saying to ourselves let somebody else do it: We’ve got to wake up and get busy. Not only traditional marriage, but our religious and personal liberties depend on it,” he concluded.

Before heading to the Supreme Court, the case over Prop. 8 must first pass through the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which Colson referred to as “the most liberal court in America.”

After that, the case, which has been followed closely by people on both sides of the marriage debate, could lead to a precedent for whether gay marriage becomes legal nationwide and – as traditional marriage advocates say – whether the nation’s democratic principles will be upheld.

If California’s Prop. 8 is overturned, marriage laws in 45 states and the federal Defense of Marriage Act may ultimately be nullified, law experts say.

Prop. 8, which California voters passed in 2008, effectively defined marriage in the state’s constitution as the union of one man and one woman. The amendment was passed by 52 percent of California voters.

August 12, 2010
Same-Sex Marriage Judge Finds That a Child Has Neither a Need Nor a Right to a Mother
(CNSNews)  U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who ruled last week that a voter-approved amendment to California’s constitution that limited marriage to the union of one man and one woman violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, based that ruling in part on his finding that a child does not need and has no right to a mother.
 
Nor, he found, does a child have a need or a right to a father.
 
“Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted,” the judge wrote in finding of fact No. 71 in his opinion.
 
“The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment,” the judge stated in finding of fact No. 70. “The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”
 
Despite Walker’s claim that this “fact” is “beyond serious debate,” one of the sources he cited for it was a brochure published by the American Psychological Association (APA) that was entered into evidence in the case, which specifically stated twice: “Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.” Walker did not quote this part of the brochure in his opinion.
 
However, Walker did quote this same brochure as saying: “[S]ocial science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents--concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people--are unfounded.”
 
This quote comes from a side-bar box on page five of the six-page APA brochure. The box purports to answer the “most common questions” about homosexual parents, posing four such questions and giving the APA’s answer to them.
 
The first is: “Do children of lesbian and gay parents have more problems with sexual identity than do children of heterosexual parents?”
 
The full answer in the brochure is as follows: “For instance, do these children develop problems in gender identity and/or in gender role behavior? The answer from research is clear: sexual and gender identities (including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and sexual orientation) develop in much the same way among children of lesbian mothers as they do among children of heterosexual parents. Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.”
 
The brochure does not explain why the APA concludes that the “answer from research is clear” that children of homosexual parents do not have more problems with sexual identity than children with mothers and fathers when in fact, as the brochure itself states, “[f]ew studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.” Nor does Judge Walker explain how his finding of “fact” that the gender of parents does not matter to children is “beyond serious debate” when in fact his own source stipulates that “[f]ew studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.”
 
The second question answered in the brochure is:  “Do children raised by lesbian or gay parents have problems in personal development in areas other than sexual identity?”
 
The entirety of the answer provided in the brochure states:  “For example, are the children of lesbian or gay parents more vulnerable to mental breakdown, do they have more behavior problems, or are they less psychologically healthy than other children? Again, studies of personality, self-concept, and behavior problems show few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents. Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.”

Judge Walker does not quote this part of the brochure in his finding that the gender of parents does not matter, nor does he explain how his finding can be “beyond serious debate” when in fact the very evidence he uses to establish this point states that “[f]ew studies are available regarding gay fathers.”

 
To further his case that the well-being of children is no bar to declaring same-sex marriage a right protected  by the Fourteenth Amendment, Judge Walker makes a finding of fact that the state of California already legally recognizes that the gender of parents is irrelevant.  As Walker reports it, California laws goes so far as to “encourage” homosexuals to acquire children whether through adoption, foster care, or artificially conceiving a child and, presumably, in the case of a male-male couple, securing a female to gestate the child until the male-male couple can take custody of it.
 
“California law permits and encourages gays and lesbians to become parents through adoption, foster parenting or assistive reproductive technology,” writes Walker in finding of fact No. 49. “Approximately 18 percent of same-sex couples in California are raising children.”
 
To support this finding, Walker notes that California’s attorney general, who is Jerry Brown, “admits that the laws of California recognize no relationship between a person’s sexual orientation and his or her ability to raise children.”
 
“Attorney General admits,” writes Walker, “that California law protects the right of gay men and lesbians in same-sex relationships to be foster parents and to adopt children by forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Walker’s ruling declaring same-sex marriage protected under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, if upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, would have ramifications far beyond California, requiring states across the union to recognize same-sex marriages while wiping out any legal protection a child might have from being handed over by state governments to same-sex couples either through adoption or foster parenthood.

 
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied by Walker would require states to grant a marriage license to same-sex couples and would-be parents, while implicitly annihilating the notion that each American child has an equal right to a mother and a father.
 
A child put out for adoption or foster parenting by the state, or a child conceived through technological means and gestated in a hired womb, would have no right not to be assigned to a homosexual couple who would act as his or her father and father or mother and mother.
August 12, 2010
Justice Kennedy`s the one to watch in Proposition 8 case

(Sacramento Bee)  Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will have something to say about California`s gay marriage ban.

That`s when the landmark case will really get interesting.

Kennedy`s the one to watch, even if his name appears nowhere in a trial judge`s 136-page opinion issued Wednesday striking down California`s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages.

Nonetheless, the Sacramento native`s previous decisions were cited 16 times in U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker`s ruling that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.

Walker`s citations of Kennedy`s work foreshadow the highly anticipated showdown that`s expected to come when the U.S. Supreme Court finally considers gay marriage.

"It seems the issue will clearly be close, and on close cases (Kennedy) tends to be in the middle," said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor.

Kennedy wrote gay-friendly opinions in a 1996 case striking down a Colorado ballot measure and a 2003 case striking down a Texas law that banned gay sodomy.

He says Kennedy hasn`t tipped his hand on gay marriage, stressing that the 2003 decision "does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter."

However, some hope – and some fear – that Kennedy`s sympathies are already clear.

Kennedy`s opinion "dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 2003 dissent.

The Supreme Court could look different by the time the gay marriage case arrives, though. Some intervening steps, not all of them predictable, also may shape the case`s outcome.

A randomly selected three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will review Walker`s decision first. Eleven of the 9th Circuit judges then could review the appellate panel`s work, in turn, in what`s called an en banc decision.

The appellate reasoning and the resulting posture of the case could nudge justices one way or another, though the Supreme Court never hesitates to show who`s boss. During the last two years, the Supreme Court reversed 9th Circuit decisions in 22 out of 31 cases.

The 9th Circuit`s briefing schedule released Thursday calls for all briefs to be submitted by late December. Oral arguments will come later.

Because the Supreme Court typically finishes setting its docket in mid-January, that means there probably won`t be time to hear any appeal before the term ends next June.

"We`re talking the 2011 term," Tobias said.

The position of at least one new justice, Elena Kagan, who was sworn in Saturday, may have been foreshadowed by her stand as Harvard Law School dean opposing the military`s ban on gays openly serving.

"I abhor the military`s discriminatory policy," Kagan declared in a 2003 memo. "This policy is a profound wrong, a moral injustice of the first order."

By 2011 there might be other court newcomers whose views will shape the outcome.

The court`s oldest member is 77-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who`s battled cancer several times. Justice Stephen Breyer is 71.

Democratic presidents appointed Ginsburg and Breyer. Neither has hinted at retiring, but any voluntary retirement during President Barack Obama`s term is likely to be a Democratic appointee.

This conjures several retirement scenarios that could affect the gay marriage case. For instance: If Democrats lose some Senate seats this November, as appears likely, their weaker grip on the Senate could make Obama more prone to pick a moderate for the Supreme Court rather than an avowed liberal.

Still, for the foreseeable future, Kennedy is likely to be the go-to justice.

During the court`s 2009-10 term, Kennedy was in the majority 82 percent of the time, according to a tally by the nonpartisan SCOTUSblog.com. This was more than any other justice.

Kennedy has a tradition of being part of the court`s winning 5-4 majority more than any other justice, though he wasn`t in the previous term.

Kennedy and his colleagues will be bound, in part, by the factual record.

Here, opponents of Proposition 8 may have an advantage.

Walker devoted some 54 pages of his opinion to "findings of fact," such as "stereotypes and misunderstanding have resulted in social and legal disadvantages for gays and lesbians."

Appellate judges pay close attention to a trial judge`s fact-finding, as appellate courts focus attention on legal analysis.

"The resulting evidence," Walker wrote, "shows that Proposition 8 simply conflicts with the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment."

That amendment guarantees U.S. citizens equal protection.

August 12, 2010
Bible will be taught in Chino, Calif. schools
(OneNewsNow by Becky Yeh)  A flood of people packed the board room of the Chino Valley Unified School District Thursday to show their support for the Bible being taught in public high schools. (See related story)

Fred Youngblood (Chino Valley)Excited to see the Bible back in public education, church members, students, parents and residents from the surrounding cities made their way to the District Service Center and encouraged the class, which will be taught in Chino Valley public high schools.

Fred Youngblood, president of the Chino Valley Board of Education, was grateful for the positive turnout. "It was a full crowd," he reports. "The support versus the non-support was 95 percent."

James Na, vice president of the board, adds that he has received plenty of support from staff and parents, and he also recalls a student who expressed his gratitude for offering the course.

James Na (Chino Valley)"People are excited," the vice president explains. "I think it`s important for parents to not only let the board understand the support, but also for them to say that we have a real concern for the curriculum in the school district. This is a positive class for our children, and we want that."

At Thursday`s meeting, several addressed the crowd on the importance of the Bible in public school, stating that a major current issue is the lack of biblical knowledge. All five board members expressed their gratitude for the community`s support.

Jack Hibbs, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, also speaks in favor of the course and the textbook that will be implemented. He assures the textbook is not a work that will violate federal law. "It was nice to see a large number of the community came out in support," Youngblood shares. "I think it is the right thing to do, and it is nice to see the support."

But in the midst of the encouragement, Chino Valley School Board members also received opposition from parents who argue that the class is "unconstitutional" and will sway students. Na suggests that the concern stems from confusion. "Most calls from parents...were coming from misunderstanding of this class," he explains. "They are afraid we are going to indoctrinate their children, which is not true. We are offering an elective class -- not a religion class."

Despite the opposition, Youngblood is sure the "Bible As/In History and Literature" course will be taught in the Chino Valley district this fall. "The funds have been donated," he reports. "The training is going to happen for the teachers. We have four high schools, and [the Bible class] is authorized for [all] four."

BibleThe board members are hoping that other school districts will offer a similar class. "More districts` members should pay attention to the needs of the community and the students," suggests Na. "[The Bible] will bring greatness in students` lives. I would like to thank God and Christian parents who are going to support this class."

August 12, 2010
Judge rejects demand to censor Christian prayer

(WorldNetDaily)  A federal judge in New York has rejected a demand from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State that a town board be ordered to change its invocation procedures so that the statements from volunteers on a rotating basis would be more "ecumenical" and "inclusive."

The decision from U.S. District Judge Charles Siragusa said officials in Greece, N.Y., did not violate the Constitution`s Establishment Clause with their tradition of opening meetings with an invocation from local clergy members.

Two plaintiffs represented by the Americans United organization had wanted a court order that the town instruct those who deliver prayers to be "inclusive and ecumenical."

"The court finds that the policy requested by plaintiffs would … impose a state-created orthodoxy," the judge said. "The court has also considered the identities of the prayer-givers and the process that the town employed in inviting clergy to deliver prayers, and finds that these factors did not have the purpose or effect of proselytizing or advancing any one, or disparaging any other, faith or belief, within the meaning of the Establishment Clause."

It was a rare victory for prayer over the general rulings in recent years that often have restricted, limited or censored prayers that are offered at the openings of various government meetings, such as town and county boards and commissions.

"America`s founders opened public meetings with prayer," said Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster of the Alliance Defense Fund, which defended the town`s practices.

"Opening public meetings with prayer has always been lawful in America, and the court here affirmed that it still is today," he said.

"As the court itself concluded, invocation policies like the Town of Greece`s are constitutional," Oster continued. "In fact, the court specifically pointed out that government attempts to mandate watered-down prayers that don`t mention a specific deity, as demanded by Americans United, would violate the First Amendment by placing government in control of the content of prayer. An organization with `separation of church and state` in its name should not advocate for a violation of the Establishment Clause."

The court`s opinion said the prayers being challenged in the New York case were virtually "indistinguishable" from some recent prayers offered in Congress.

The case originated in 2008 when Americans United sued Greece on behalf of residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens. They alleged the opening invocations at town meetings were unconstitutional.

"Congress continues to permit sectarian invocations, as it has since the practice`s inception," the opinion explained. "On this point the court takes judicial notice of just two recent prayers given at the beginning of sessions of the United States House of Representatives. On April 15, 2010, the Rev. Clyde Mighells, of Lighthouse Reformed Church, gave the opening prayer in the House, which ended with the words, `It is in the blessed name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that we lay these requests at Your feet. Amen.`"

The judge said also on June 30, 2010, Rev. Robert Henderson of First Baptist in Lincoln, Ill., prayed, "These things we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

"The issue is not whether the prayer is sectarian or nonsectarian, but whether, based on the totality of the circumstances, the prayer is being exploited to advance or disparage a belief, or to associate the government with a particular religion," the judge said.

"The court finds that plaintiffs` proposed nonsectarian policy, which would require town officials to differentiate between sectarian prayers and nonsectarian prayers, is vague and unworkable," he ruled.

August 12, 2010
Court rules NY town can open public meetings with prayer

(Alliance Defense Fund)  A federal court issued a decision and order Thursday that allows the Greece Town Board, represented by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys, to open public meetings with prayer. Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the town on behalf of two residents who objected to the practice.

“America’s founders opened public meetings with prayer. Public officials today should be able to do the same,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “Opening public meetings with prayer has always been lawful in America, and the court here affirmed that it still is today.”

“As the court itself concluded, invocation policies like the Town of Greece’s are constitutional,” Oster explained. “In fact, the court specifically pointed out that government attempts to mandate watered-down prayers that don’t mention a specific deity, as demanded by Americans United, would violate the First Amendment by placing government in control of the content of prayer. An organization with ‘separation of church and state’ in its name should not advocate for a violation of the Establishment Clause.”

“The Court finds that the policy requested by Plaintiffs would…impose a state-created orthodoxy,” the court’s opinion states. “The Court has also considered the identities of the prayer-givers and the process that the Town employed in inviting clergy to deliver prayers, and finds that these factors did not have the purpose or effect of proselytizing or advancing any one, or disparaging any other, faith or belief, within the meaning of the Establishment Clause.”

The court listed examples of recent prayers given in Congress that mention a specific deity and pointed out that they are “indistinguishable from some of those being challenged in this case.”

In February 2008, AU filed a lawsuit against the town of Greece on behalf of residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, who alleged that the opening invocations at town meetings are unconstitutional. ADF attorneys responded to the lawsuit on the town’s behalf, arguing that allowing government entities to acknowledge America’s religious heritage and invoke divine guidance and blessings upon their work has always been constitutional.

The lawsuit Galloway v. Town of Greece was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. ADF-allied attorney Laurence Behr of Buffalo, one of nearly 1,800 attorneys in the ADF alliance, served as local counsel in the suit.
August 12, 2010
47% of Gay Couples Have “Sex Agreements” – Only 45% Monogomous: Study

(LifeSiteNews)  Forty-seven percent of gay couples in a recently published study said that they had "sex agreements" with their partners, which clarify how often and in what circumstances they are permitted to have sex with others. Only 45% said that their relationships were monogamous, while another 8% disagreed about whether their relationship was “open” or exclusive, according to an ongoing study by the Center for Research on Gender & Sexuality at San Francisco State University.

The Gay Couples Study said that the couples interviewed typically put a positive spin on “open” relationships, with three out of four participants describing non-monogamous agreements as "positive" because it eliminates the need to lie to one`s partner.

The authors also claimed that, "we found that couples make sexual agreements because they want to build a strong relationship rather than for HIV protection."

“With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” according to Colleen Hoff, the lead researcher for the Gay Couples Study, "but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

"Agreements about whether or not to allow sex with outside partners covered a wide range of types, including `traditional` monogamous arrangements as well as those that permitted sex with outside partners," the study`s authors write. "For those couples who allowed sex with outside partners, most placed rules or conditions limiting when, where, how often, and with whom outside sex was permitted."

The study`s authors note that examining homosexual relationships is important because "previous research shows that gay and bisexual men in relationships engage in substantially higher rates of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with their primary partners than do single men with their casual partners."

Anal intercourse and other forms of homosexual behavior are associated with a variety of diseases and syndromes, including high rates of sexually transmitted diseases such AIDS, syphilis, and hepatitis, which homosexuals suffer at rates many times higher than the general population.  It is also associated with damaged rectum linings and a variety of anal and intestinal diseases that were once known in the scientific literature as "gay bowel syndrome," until the term was dropped following pressure from homosexual activists.

The New York Times, writing about the study in January, before its release, noted that the study tends to vindicate those who have warned that homosexual "marriage" will lead to a redefinition of the institution itself, destroying its traditional meaning.

Noting that "gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony," the Times added that "quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that," citing the Gay Couples Study. The Times also noted that the homosexuals they tried to interview were worried about what would happen to the gay "marriage" movement if the truth were known about homosexual behavior.

Claiming that "the traditional American marriage is in crisis, and we need insight,” a anonymous homosexual told the Times that "if innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages."


Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:

NYT: Rampant Polygamy in Gay `Marriage` May Benefit Institution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10020505.html

How do Homosexual Couples Compare to Heterosexual? An Analysis
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/apr/04040610.html

AIDS Rate 50 Times Higher in Homosexual Men: Center for Disease Control
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09082609.html

August 07, 2010
Bible Textbook for High Schools Drawing
August 06, 2010
Articles on Proposition 8

Schwarzenegger calls for same-sex weddings

Prop. 8 ruling will `stir a fire`

Officials tweet Prop. 8 ruling

With California`s Gay Marriage Ban Overturned, the Spin Can Begin

Prop. 8 Supporter: Judge`s Gay Marriage Ruling is a `Terrible Blow`

The Volokh Conspiracy: Legal Insights on Perry v. Schwarzenegger

Prop. 8 Ruling: "Fantastic" Decision or "Judicial Activism"?

August 06, 2010
Sen. DeMint: Ratifying U.N. Children’s Rights Treaty Would Turn Parental Rights ‘Over to International Community’

(CNSNews)  Sen. Jim DeMint (R- S.C.) said that if President Barack Obama gets his way and the Senate ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the precedent would be set to place parental rights under the jurisdiction of the international community.
 
“We believe we need to take clear action here in Congress to protect the rights of parents to raise their children," DeMint said at a Wednesday panel discussion. "This treaty would, in fact, establish a precedent that those rights have been given over to the international community."
 
DeMint is lead sponsor of  S. Res. 519, a resolution to protect parental rights, which is co-sponsored by 30 senators total. Only four more senators need to sign on to inform President Obama that he does not have enough votes in the Senate to ratify the treaty, DeMint said.
 
DeMint has also introduced a joint resolution, proposing a constitutional amendment to protect parental rights.
 
Under Article 2, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution, treaties must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate for them to take effect.
 
The U.N. adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, 1989. By Sept. 2, 1990, 20 nations signed on to enforce the treaty. Currently, with the exception of the United States and Somalia, 193 nations have signed on to enforce it.
 
Nations that ratify U.N. treaties are bound to adhere to them by international law.
 
The convention established an 18-member panel to oversee children’s rights in nations that are part of the treaty. If approved by the Senate, the United States would fall under the jurisdiction of this panel.
 
DeMint said the threat to parental rights is “not some theoretical threat.”
 
He also said that ratification of the treaty would be “a terrible precedent” not just for parental rights, “but in other areas that we’ve looked at.”
 
“It submits our federal laws, our national laws to this treaty,” DeMint told CNSNews.com. “And the fact is that we don’t know exactly how it’s going to run, but we know how bureaucracy works. Once a precedent is established and we have yielded control, we know that it will continue to grow. So the precedent is almost worse than the immediate details.”
 
DeMint also said that the treaty is superfluous because there are laws already that safeguard abused children in the United States.
 
“We have laws in place,” DeMint said. “And when we have a parent that abuses a child, in our country, we have laws to protect our children. So we don’t need an international law that was developed for a third world country.” 
 
Asked by a reporter how to hold child abusers accountable, given high levels of child abuse in the U.S., according to statistics, DeMint said that the social services system may not be perfect, but that it is at least under U.S. control.
 
“The fact that there’s not perfection in our system does not mean that we go to the United Nations for help,” he added.
 
While DeMint is in the forefront of opposition to the convention, liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is leading the charge for its adoption.
 
During the Senate confirmation hearing of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, held in January of 2009, Boxer told Rice the treaty would protect "the most vulnerable people of society."
 
"Children deserve basic human rights,” Boxer said at the time, “and the convention protects children`s rights by setting some standards here so that the most vulnerable people of society will be protected."
 
Boxer also labeled the fact that only the United States  and Somalia are non-participants to the treaty as a “shame.”
 
Boxer has urged the Obama administration to review the treaty for the purpose of adopting it. The United States is already a part of two optional provisions in the treaty, namely relating to child prostitution and child soldiers. Boxer, however, is pushing for full participation in the treaty.
 
DeMint said there is a “pervasive attitude” in Washington at present that the federal government has “complete control over everything.” The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, he said, is government intrusion to the last degree.
 
“If the government, or even the international community, tell you how to raise your children here in America, is there anything that’s off limits?” DeMint asked.

August 06, 2010
Tebow`s devotion to faith divides Broncos fans

(Denver Post)  Michelle Olson calls herself the anti-Tebow.

She is a diehard Broncos fan but has no love in her heart for its limelight-stealing sensation, rookie quarterback and evangelical everyman Tim Tebow.

"He`s a big distraction and has done nothing to prove he`s NFL material," the 25-year-old Fort Collins woman said Tuesday morning at Broncos training camp in Dove Valley.

It`s Tebow`s eagerness to share his Christian values and beliefs that really irks her.

"That`s why I hate him," she said.

"That`s why I adore him," said Jennifer Longmore, 26, of Loveland, who quickly adds that "it`s a miracle" she and Olson are good friends.

Tebow is the only player on the team whose name Longmore knows.

"It`s my personal opinion that if you don`t have a uterus, you don`t have a right to express an opinion about abortion," Olson snapped.

"You did not just go there," Longmore said.

Tebow, a former University of Florida Gator, is perhaps as well-known for his custom of inscribing Scripture chapters and verses under his eyes as he was for winning a Heisman Trophy.

Then he filmed a Super Bowl TV ad for the Colorado Springs conservative ministry Focus on the Family, for which he and his mother extolled family virtues and made subtle reference to her decision to give birth to him, her "miracle baby," rather than end her life-threatening pregnancy during her Christian mission overseas.

"If he wants to preach his values, he can do it at church and not at Mile High stadium," Olson said.

"I think he`s absolutely great testimony, and I`m glad he was not aborted in the missionary field," Longmore said.

It probably was a long ride home to northern Colorado for them.

Unquestionably happy about Tebow, the large evangelical Christian community in the state sees him as the perfect role model for sports-crazed children.

"We are excited he`s here in town," said Robin Gentry, a 38-year-old mother of three from Centennial who identifies herself as an evangelical Christian.

"He`s not afraid to talk about his faith or show people what he believes," Gentry said. "I like him as a person. I like his integrity."

Dillon Meyers, an 11-year-old from Littleton, is, like many people, wearing Tebow`s No. 15 jersey.

"I think he`s going to be good. I like that he looks up to people and believes in God," Dillon said.

His grandfather, Ron Woitalewicz, said he approves of Dillon`s looking up to Tebow.

"His character, his work ethic and beliefs make him special," Woitalewicz said. "We`re Catholic. People are excited about his devotion and faith. In an age of flamboyant NFL players, he`s grounded. It`s not all about him."

There are other pro athletes out there who are like that, Woitalewicz said, "but he`s just more open about it."

James Perry, 22, of Denver comes from a long line of Broncos fans. He said he likes to think that religion is kept separate from what happens on the field, yet he realizes that Tebow`s faith is an important part of his character.

"He plays with a lot of heart," Perry said. "He`s very fierce on the field. He has a great attitude. You watch him in the wind sprints — he never gives up. He never dogs out."

As many fans observed in many different ways, Tebow plays football religiously.

August 06, 2010
Israel Objects to U.S. Supplying Weapons to Lebanon’s National Army

(CNSNews)  Israel plans to urge the U.S. and other countries arming the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to stop doing so, following a deadly border skirmish Tuesday.

Government officials cited by Israeli media organizations Wednesday said Israel would launch a diplomatic offensive, arguing that weapons intended to be used against terrorists were instead being used against Israelis.
 
The arming of the LAF has drawn opposition before, with critics voicing concern that some of the equipment could end up in the hands of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia which views itself as the “resistance” against Israel.
 
Tuesday’s border clash brought a different concern – that the LAF itself could use weaponry provided by the U.S. and European countries directly against Israel.
 
Initiating the firefight, the LAF says it “confronted the enemy’s forces with weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.” An Israeli lieutenant-colonel killed and a second officer critically wounded.
 
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned fire with light arms and a helicopter fired at a nearby LAF command center, killing three soldiers and a journalist.
 
Four months ago, a shipment of U.S. equipment provided to the LAF included “1,000 M16A4 rifles, 10 missile launchers, 1,583 grenade launchers, and 538 sets of day/night binoculars and night-vision devices,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

Israeli soldiers use a crane to cut down a tree near the border with Lebanon on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Ronith Daher)

The clash between the two countries’ militaries sparked a flurry of accusations and counter accusations from the two sides. Israel said its troops came under fire while using a crane to remove a tree on Israeli soil; the LAF said its troops opened fire after the Israelis entered Lebanese territory.

Click here to read more.

August 06, 2010
1000 UK Girls Under 12 Prescribed Hormonal Contraceptives Last Year

(LifeSiteNews)  The General Practice Research Database, a body of the UK’s Department of Health, has released figures showing that more than 1,000 preteen girls across the country were prescribed hormonal contraceptives last year. The issue has raised questions about the effectiveness of age of consent laws in a country where children as young as 11 can legally be given contraceptives without parental knowledge or consent and are taught in schools how to obtain them.

The figures show that in 2009 long-term implanted or injected contraceptive devices such as Norplant were given to another 200 aged between 11 and 13, at the expense of the National Health Service.

Last month a study by Ofsted, the body that inspects schools warned that parents are “rarely” consulted about their children’s lessons involving sex education.

John Smeaton, the head of Britain’s leading pro-life organization, told LifeSiteNews.com, “This is the result in great measure of government policies which are actively reaching out to capture young people and to get them on to hormonal contraception.”

Dr. Trevor Stammers, a GP and chairman of the Christian Medical Fellowship, expressed similar views, saying, “These figures illustrate the fact that the UK is facilitating the secularization of young people at an ever younger age.”

“If sex education is introduced in primary schools in the way being proposed, we will see many more eleven-year-olds seeking contraception and if we pay GPs to give out contraception without pointing out the risks … we are going to make matters worse.”

But Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), says he lays the blame squarely in the lap of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, who have strongly supported the government’s sex education programs. Smeaton told LSN in an interview that in his view the bishops’ accommodationist policies have given the government the necessary stamp of moral approval to push the contraceptive culture.

“Thus the greatest ready-made body of opposing opinion within England and Wales, [the Catholic Church] is totally subverted by the official guardians of that body of opinion, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

“The greatest moral authority on earth is being undermined by them so I’m not at all surprised by these figures.”

Asked whether in increasingly anti-Catholic Britain it makes a great political difference if the Catholic bishops support or oppose government policies, Smeaton said, “It would make a huge difference. There’s no question whatever if the Catholic bishops were to adopt an unequivocal position on the life issues, it would make a huge difference.”

He cited the case of Cardinal Keith O’ Brien who spoke out thunderously against the government’s proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, saying there is no doubt that O’Brien’s intervention stalled the progress of the bill.

O’Brien, Smeaton said, “speaks up on life issues, in clear, ringing terms. About the impact of government policies, on the iniquity of proposals to widen the abortion law. Whenever he speaks out, O’Brien gets headline news up and down the country. It’s commented upon by all the media.”

British politicians, he said, have “an instinctive awareness” that once mobilized and united under strong moral leadership, the Catholic vote would make a difference in British politics.  “And there’s something written on human hearts which draws people to the truth,” he added.

Even with the current leadership in the Church and the government, Smeaton continued, pro-life advocates have succeeded in preventing the abortion law from being extended into Northern Ireland. “The pro-life voice has been heard, but we’re being completely undermined by the official policy of the bishops of England and Wales. Particularly in the case of getting hormonal contraceptives to young people without parental consent.”

In April, the Catholic Education Service (CES), an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, appointed former Labour MP Greg Pope as deputy director. Pope’s lengthy pro-contraception and anti-family parliamentary record includes multiple endorsements of international abortionist agencies such as Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes. Significantly, in 2007, Pope voted against a bill which would have required parental consent for provision of contraception or abortion to children under 16.

Smeaton said that Pope’s position was well known and “reflects the policy of the bishops of England and Wales.”

August 06, 2010
Pro-Life Television Show Wins Emmy Award

(LifeSiteNews)  Producers and staff members with the weekly pro-life television show Facing Life Head-On are celebrating after the show was awarded a regional Emmy in the category of Interview and Discussion.

"I believe this is a first for the pro-life movement—receiving an accolade at this level by the media industry, much less the Academy," said Brad Mattes, host and executive producer of the show.

The show, which is a project of the Life Issues Institute, won the award on the strength of an episode in which Mattes interviewed Missy Davert, a woman who is 2 feet 11 inches tall and has a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta. 

Davert, whose condition makes her bones exceptionally brittle (she has had over 200 fractures throughout her life), found out eleven years ago that she was pregnant with twins. Doctors advised Davert and her husband that she should abort one or both of the infants due to the many difficulties that her pregnancy would entail – an option that the tiny, but feisty woman was unwilling to consider. 

With the help of Dr. Daniel Wechter, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist based in Saginaw, Michigan, she was able to carry the twins for 32 weeks before giving birth to Austin and Michaela. They are now 10 years old.

“Missy’s story is an inspiration to any woman who may be facing a high-risk pregnancy,” reads a description of the episode on Facing Life Head-On’s website. “With the help and support of Dr. Wechter, Missy was able to defy the odds and give birth to two beautiful children.”

In the acceptance speech at the black-tie award ceremony, Brad Mattes thanked God for allowing him to interview guests that have been such an inspiration to his viewers.

"We thank God for this award," he has said. "The glory goes to HIM.  It’s HIS ministry."


The award-winning episode may be bought or viewed here.

August 06, 2010
HHS to Use Tax Dollars to Promote Gay Sex, Abstinence-Only Education Programs

(CitizenLink)  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – already embroiled in controversy for allegedly allocating taxpayer funds to perform abortions – on Friday released two sexual education funding announcements, as part of President Obama’s healthcare law.

The new health care law will allocate $55 million to a new grant program – the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) – and $50 million to abstinence-only programs.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of HHS, laid out the requirements of the “personal responsibility” education programs, which are to “replicate evidence-based effective program models or substantially incorporate elements of effective programs that have been proven on the basis of scientific research to change behavior, which means delaying sexual activity, increasing condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, or reducing pregnancy among youth.”

GAY SEX EDUCATION

For the first time, the federal government is encouraging states to include curriculum based on “the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and questioning youth and how their programs will be inclusive of and non-stigmatizing toward such participants.”

“This should come as no surprise to Americans,” said Candi Cushman, CitizenLink education analyst. “The Center for American Progress (CAP) and other liberal advocacy groups signaled immediately after President Obama’s inauguration their intent on changing so-called disparities in healthcare and education.”

CAP’s position papers, as well as gay activists “wish lists,” now appear to be the very road maps used by the administration through federal funding programs.

GRASSROOTS PUSHBACK

The activists’ education agenda have experienced strong resistance on the state level from concerned parents.

To the ire of activists, one such stealth campaign to implement gay sex ed into the Helena, Mont., school curriculum was exposed and received unwanted attention by national talk show hosts:

•    SEAN HANNITY: “What right does a school district that can’t even teach kids to read and write — and this is, generally speaking, around the country — have to impose their values on the kids?” [Transcript, 7/13/10]

•    BILL O’REILLY: “This stuff comes from the school boards and the superintendent. They want to indoctrinate the children. The reason is they don’t want bullying. They want tolerance across the board. So you take a 5-year-old who just wants to play and, all of a sudden, it’s Heather has two mommies …” [Video,  7/14/10]

•    LAURA INGRAHAM: “Children will learn that sexual relationships could happen between two men or two women. Why stop there? Why are they stopping at two? I mean that’s very exclusionary, don’t you think?”  [7/15/10]

Despite the federal government’s push to promote risky sexual behavior, attentive parents in Johnson County, Kan., and Helena, Mont., successfully defeated efforts to implement gay sex education.

ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION

Condemned by abortion and gay activists as being ineffective, abstinence-only until marriage advocates have overcome efforts to eliminate the much-needed programs. This year, $50 million is allocated for abstinence education.

Planned Parenthood, in its “wish list” submitted to John Podesta – in charge of President Obama’s transition team, following the Inauguration – specifically requested the elimination of abstinence programs. On page 2, it said:

“Eliminate Failing Abstinence-Only Programs & Invest in Comprehensive Sex Education.

“Complete, accurate, and age-appropriate sex education helps young people reduce their risk of unintended pregnancies and STIs, including HIV/AIDS, helps keep young people safe by delaying sexual activity and increasing contraceptive use when they do have sex.”

“Senator Obama supported an amendment to provide funding for comprehensive medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies. He is also a cosponsor of the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act…which would provide federal money to support responsible sex education in schools, and the Prevention First Act, which includes the REAL Act language….

i.    Abolish the abstinence-only program with the Title V MCH Services Block Grant;
ii.    Abolish the Community-based Abstinence Education program;
iii.    De-link the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) from the A-H definition in the Title V abstinence-only program;
iv.    Provide at least $50 million to promote comprehensive sex education in our schools and communities nationwide.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay activist organization, said about abstinence funding:

“Because only Congress can act to end funding for abstinence-only programs, HRC recommended, as part of the Blueprint for Positive Change, that in the meantime HHS could require recipients of federal funding for sexuality education to ensure that the programs acknowledge LGBT youth and the difficulty presented by an abstinence-only message when most states, and the federal government, do not recognize marriage equality. HHS’s inclusion of LGBT youth in Friday’s funding announcements, as well as its requirement that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate, are positive steps. But the real solution is for Congress to stop funding disproven programs and instead support comprehensive sexuality education that empowers students, LGBT and straight alike, to live healthy lives.

Valerie Huber, executive director with the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), points to recent research, showing the effectiveness of abstinence education and underscores the need for single-focused programs.

“In facing the complex problem of teen sex,” said Huber, “we must not limit solutions, we must support what works and continue to find even more effective ways of reaching our youth.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read “Myths and the Truth”

Read “Take Twelve:Top 12 Sexual Myths Refuted”

Learn more about the National Abstinence Education Assocation.

Read ACF’s sexual education grant guidelines released Friday.

Read about Helena, Mont., parents fighting back.

Read the Heritage Foundation’s blog, “Sex Change You Can Believe In.”

Read Center for American Progress July 27, 2009, white paper on “LGBT issues in Health Reform.”

Read HRC’s “Blueprint for Positive Change.”

WISH LISTS (Submitted In January 2009 to John Podesta, Obama’s Transition Chief)

Read HRC’s “Sexual Orientation Data: Inclusion Information Systems and Databases of HHS.”

Read “The GLBT Health Access Project” wish list

Read Planned Parenthood’s wish list, “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in the
New Administration: Immediate Action Steps.”

Related posts:

  1. Senate Committee to Vote on Abstinence-Education Funding
  2. House Subcommittee Cuts Funds for Abstinence Education
  3. Abstinence Education Works
  4. Activists Blame Teen Births on Abstinence Education
  5. Lawmakers Urged to Include Abstinence Funding in 2011 Budget
August 06, 2010
Calif. marijuana supporters lead in campaign cash
(AP)  Supporters of a ballot initiative seeking to legalize recreational use of marijuana in California have raised more money than their opponents, even as the proposition is struggling to gain favor.

Proposition 19 on the November ballot would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and local governments to tax its sales.

Campaign finance reports filed Monday show two groups supporting the initiative raised more than $316,000 between April 1 and June 30 and have nearly $162,000 cash on hand.

The main group opposing the initiative has nearly $19,000 cash on hand and raised about $41,000.

Supporters say legalization will raise tax revenue, while critics say it would increase pot use and crime. A recent Field Poll shows more voters opposing the initiative than supporting it.

August 06, 2010
New Study Shows Homeschoolers Succeed in College

(Christian News Wire)  The study covered homeschoolers from 2004-2009 at a mid-sized college in the upper Midwest.  Among the major findings:

Homeschooled students earned a higher first-year GPA (3.41) when compared to other freshman (3.12).

Homeschooled students earned a higher fourth-year GPA (3.46) when compared to other freshman who completed their fourth year (3.16).

Homeschooled students achieved a higher graduation rate (66.7 percent) when compared to the overall student population (57.5 percent).

Other research has shown that parents spend on average $500 per child, per year to homeschool.  In comparison, the average public school spends over $10,000 per child, per year.  Homeschooling is proving itself everyday to be a credible and cost-effective method of educating children. 

Other examples of homeschool success can also be found in the college preparatory area.  Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy, which conducts online AP* classes with a Christian worldview, released its results today for the May 2010 United States Government and Politics AP* Exam.

Reported scores for homeschooled students who studied with PHC Prep averaged "3.75" on a scale of 1-5 (with 3 being a pass). Last year`s national average for the same exam was "2.78."

As millions of children go back to school in the next few weeks, it`s important to remember the hundreds of thousands of homeschool families (representing over 2 million homeschooled children) who are achieving amazing results on a fraction of the budget.

*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.

 Last week, a study titled Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students was released and showed that homeschooled college students significantly outperformed their peers. "This is great news for the homeschool community," said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA.  "Once again, homeschooling parents have shown they are more than capable of preparing their children for all aspects of life," he added.
August 05, 2010
Adult Stem Cell Research Far Ahead of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

(AP)  A few months ago, Dr. Thomas Einhorn was treating a patient with a broken ankle that wouldn`t heal, even with multiple surgeries. So he sought help from the man`s own body.
 
Einhorn drew bone marrow from the man`s pelvic bone with a needle, condensed it to about four teaspoons of rich red liquid, and injected that into his ankle.
 
Four months later the ankle was healed. Einhorn, chairman of orthopedic surgery at Boston University Medical Center, credits "adult" stem cells in the marrow injection. He tried it because of published research from France.
 
Einhorn`s experience isn`t a rigorous study. But it`s an example of many innovative therapies doctors are studying with adult stem cells. Those are stem cells typically taken from bone marrow and blood -- not embryos.
 
For all the emotional debate that began about a decade ago on allowing the use of embryonic stem cells, it`s adult stem cells that are in human testing today. An extensive review of stem cell projects and interviews with two dozen experts reveal a wide range of potential treatments.
 
Adult stem cells are being studied in people who suffer from multiple sclerosis, heart attacks and diabetes. Some early results suggest stem cells can help some patients avoid leg amputation. Recently, researchers reported that they restored vision to patients whose eyes were damaged by chemicals.
 
Apart from these efforts, transplants of adult stem cells have become a standard lifesaving therapy for perhaps hundreds of thousands of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases.

Click here to read more.

August 06, 2010
Virginia`s Health Care Reform Lawsuit Clears First Hurdle

(AP)  Virginia`s lawsuit challenging the Obama administration`s health care reform law has cleared its first legal hurdle.
 
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson on Monday denied the Justice Department`s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
 
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli claims that Congress does not have the authority under the Constitution`s Commerce Clause to require citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
 
The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year exempting state residents from the coverage mandate.
 
More than a dozen other state attorneys general have filed a separate lawsuit in Florida challenging the federal law, but Virginia`s lawsuit is the first to go before a judge.

August 03, 2010
FDA OKs First Embryonic Stem Cell Research Trial on Humans, Despite Concerns

(LifeSiteNews)  The Obama administration has approved the bid by cloning company Geron to undertake the first trial involving the use of embryonic stem cells in humans. They have never been used before in people because the cells cause tumors and have been plagued by immune system rejection issues when tried in animals.

Scientists and pro-life advocates say human embryonic stem cells are not ready for trial because problems associated with the cells in animals haven`t been solved.

The Food and Drug Administration had initially placed the trial on hold but Geron indicated today that the agency is now allowing it to proceed with an early stage trial on a stem cell therapy for acute spinal cord injury.

The FDA placed a hold on the trial last August, when evidence showed Geron`s GRNOPC1 encountered safety issues when used in animal studies. Geron`s own data showed higher frequency of small cysts within the injury site in the spinal cord of animals injected with the embryonic cells.

“We are pleased with the FDA’s decision to allow our planned clinical trial of GRNOPC1 in spinal cord injury to proceed,” said Thomas B. Okarma, Geron`s president, in a public statement today. The company`s stock rose in value following the announcement.

Previously, Dr. John A. Kessler, chairman of neurology and director of the stem cell institute at Northwestern University, said the first application from Geron for the embryonic stem cell trial was flawed.

“We really want the best trial to be done for this first trial, and this might not be it,’’ he said at the time.

Responding to the news today, Dr. David Prentice, a former biology professor at Indiana State University who is now a fellow at the Family Research Council, tells LifeNews.com those concerns should still exist.

"It`s unfortunate that the FDA has released Geron from the safety hold on their embryonic stem cell trial," he said. "Even many pro-embryonic stem cell scientists have expressed reservations about Geron`s trial, that it is not proven even in rats. The concern for many of us is that Geron is endangering patient`s health and very lives, to make a political point and increase their stock price."

Prentice also said the trial`s approval makes it so the use of adult stem cells, which are safely helping patients battling more than 100 diseases and conditions already, continue to be ignored.

"In the meantime, adult stem cells have already shown published scientific evidence for safety and successful repair of spinal cord injury in patients. Only adult stem cells offer both an ethical and successful path to healing," he said.

Prentice also explained that the trial isn`t precisely the first one involving embryonic stem cells -- making it so media outlets need to fully explain what Geron is doing.

"They inject cells derived from embryonic stem cells; in this case a cell type called an oligodendrocyte, which is a cell that forms a sheath, like insulation, around nerve fibers," he said. "So they don`t inject growing embryonic stem cells, but the cells are indeed directly derived from embryonic stem cells, and actually are not completely differentiated, but only part-way ("precursors")."

"The theory is that once inside the body, the cells will finish specializing to the final cell type, and form an insulative covering over exposed nerves in the spinal cord," he told LifeNews.com.

Last August, Evan Snyder, a neuroscientist who heads up the stem cell research center at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in San Diego, warned the research may not be ready for humans.

"There`s a lot of debate among spinal cord researchers that the pre-clinical data itself doesn`t justify the clinical trial," Snyder, who is working on using neural stem cells himself, says.

Snyder says the mice Geron used to conduct pre-human trial research had more excessive injuries that scientists would normally prefer to see prior to trying the procedure on human patients.

He suggests that Geron should have done experiments involving larger animals before seeking FDA permission to use the controversial embryonic stem cells in humans.

Those concerns existed as early as 2005 and may not have been addressed.

Snyder said then that Geron should do more animal testing first to make sure the tests would be on the same injuries humans have.

"I`m not convinced they have done that yet," Snyder said.

Jerry Silver, a neuroscience professor and stem-cell researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told Knight Ridder back in November 2005 that Geron was moving too fast and needed to do more tests on animals before seeking human patients.

"Frankly, I cannot conceive of a human trial with the use of human embryonic stem cells following immediately from experiments in rodents only," he said then. "Many treatments that work in rodents to alleviate disease fail miserably in humans."

Geron came under criticism earlier this year when news surfaced that the application Geron Corporation submitted to the FDA to become the first to engage in human trials of embryonic stem cells was timed with a trigger to make it so it would be considered during the Obama administration. The cloning company worried it would not be approved during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Just days after Obama took office, the FDA suddenly decided to approve Geron`s application for the controversial study.

August 03, 2010
Scottish police force to ramp up ‘hate crime’ work

(Christian Institute)  A Scottish police force has launched a campaign to clamp down on ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’. But critics are concerned that ‘hate crime’ initiatives are straying into issues of civil liberty by confusing disagreement with hatred. Earlier this month a report by the Civitas think-tank warned that Christians are being unfairly targeted for hate crime prosecutions.

Prosecuted

The Civitas report noted Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, Christian hoteliers from Liverpool, who were prosecuted for a hate crime after a breakfast debate about Islam.

The Vogelenzangs, who were supported by The Christian Institute, were declared innocent by a judge at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in December.

Earlier this year Christian street preacher Dale Mcalpine was arrested in Cumbria after he expressed his religious belief that homosexual conduct was a “sin” during a conversation with a Police Community Support Officer. The charges were later dropped.

Eliminate

The new initiative, which is being promoted by Central Scotland Police (CSP), is designed to combat crimes which are based on “race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity”.

The Multi-Agency Hate Response Strategy (MAHRS), which has been launched by a group specifically set up to combat hate crimes and incidents, includes public bodies such as colleges and councils.

A document from the MAHRS sets out that the bodies involved will do everything they can to “identify and eliminate” hate incidents.

Report

CSP Assistant Chief Constable Gordon Samson said: “Anyone who believes they have been a victim of an incident motivated by hate can have confidence in reporting it to the authorities and of receiving a professional service.”

He also said: “Those who think it is acceptable to commit a criminal act against another individual because of homophobia, transphobia, religious bigotry, racism or disability related prejudice need to realise that this behaviour has no place within our communities.”

Another member of MAHRS is the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service. It was recently revealed that the Crown Office is among a number of public bodies who have partnered with homosexual rights group Stonewall to become “diversity champions”.

Harassment

In England, a Civitas report on hate crimes was written by Jon Gower Davies. He said: “Some police forces and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] seem to be interpreting statutes in favour of ethnic and religious minorities and in a spirit hostile to members of the majority population, defined as ‘White’ or ‘Christian’.”

Many of the prosecutions have been for causing “religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress” under England’s Public Order Act.

In June the Scottish Parliament passed a law which criminalises ‘abusive speech’ in public or in private.

Fear

To breach the new law, a person must have spoken or behaved in a threatening or abusive manner, intentionally or recklessly causing (or likely to cause) a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.

There are concerns about the law in regard to civil liberties, although it is an improvement on what the Scottish Government had originally proposed.

Last year a BBC investigation questioned Britain’s hate crime statistics.

Over 46,000 hate crimes were recorded in Britain in 2008 but a Radio 4 investigation found these figures may be massively inflated.

Vague

It suggested that the figures may overblown because “if the victim or a witness believes the crime is motivated by some kind of hatred, it will be recorded as a hate crime”.

Radio 4′s The Report concluded that this vague and very subjective definition of hate crime “may well explain why some police forces are seeing big rises in their recorded crimes and why the UK tops a list of over 50 countries for hate crimes”.

August 02, 2010
Ban Bullfighting but Kill Babies?: Spain’s New Moral Values Criticized by Pro-Life Leader

(LifeSiteNews)  As Spain’s newly liberalized abortion law comes into effect the Spanish regional government of Catalonia has banned the ancient blood sport of bullfighting, and the irony has not been lost on pro-life observers.

Catalonia`s regional parliament voted Wednesday to ban bullfighting from January 1, 2012, making it the first region in mainland Spain to outlaw the centuries-old tradition, which has inspired artists from Goya to Picasso to Hemmingway. Bullfighting promoters have called the measure “outrageous” and have vowed to “launch a huge battle” in conjunction with the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), which sees itself as the defender of Spanish cultural traditions.

Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, the director of the Rome office of Human Life International and an Uruguayan of Spanish descent, said that the banning of bullfighting in Spain, like the banning of fox hunting in Britain, even as those governments promote abortion, represents a triumph of newly invented moral values based on arbitrary “progressive” whims and social fads.

He told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the banning of bullfighting and the promotion of abortion is part of the same liberalizing social re-engineering project being undertaken by the far left in Spain.

Barreiro said that “a large percentage of the persons in favor of animal rights are not concerned at all about the rights of the unborn.” Those who voted for the bullfighting ban, he said, are on the progressive left, the same people who have pushed to expand abortion and homosexuality.

“This is based in a wrong ideology,” he said. “Animals should not be treated with cruelty, but animals do not have rights. Rights are inherent to the human person, so from the moment of conception, you have a human being who has rights. Animals need to be treated with respect, but is not a bearer of rights.”

“It’s an irony that these people are protecting non-existent rights and they conveniently forget about real rights of human beings. And they forget about the most basic of all rights, which is life,” Barreiro said. 

Barreiro added that the efforts to ban longstanding cultural traditions like bullfighting and fox hunting is a favorite work of “progressive” liberals and socialists. “Bullfighting is part of Spanish tradition,” he said. “It’s a very ancient Spanish tradition that has to be respected. It’s a manly sport and obviously in manly sports you have risks.”

He compared it to the determination of the Tony Blair Labour party in Britain to ban fox hunting based on “animal rights,” while working to liberalize abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Barreiro put it down to the creation of “new moral values” that are based on arbitrary social fads instead of perennial philosophical norms.

“New moral values are coined that are not part of the Natural Law, and real values are destroyed or not recognized.”

“Socialists and liberals are bent on destroying the traditional customs and institutions of society.”

“The main issue,” he said, “is the protection of animals against the lack of protection of babies. But it must be mentioned, this conscious policy of different socialist and liberal governments to destroy legitimate cultural traditions of different nations. It’s a conscious decision.”

August 02, 2010
California Abortionist Accused of Homicide in Patient Death

(LifeSiteNews)  The Medical Board of California amended a complaint on Wednesday against troubled abortionist Andrew Rutland to include the charge of homicide in the death of Ying Chen. The action came after the Los Angeles County Coroner`s Office reclassified Chen`s death as a homicide in June.

A revocation hearing before the Medical Board is scheduled for February, 2011.

Rutland had committed a second trimester abortion on Ying Chen at a dirty, unlicensed acupuncture clinic in San Gabriel, California, during which he administered an overdose of lidocaine. He failed to recognize the symptoms of the overdose and the patient went into cardiac arrest. He and his staff were untrained and unequipped to handle the medical emergency. After a "significant delay" in contacting 911, the woman was transported to a local hospital where she died six days later. Chen`s death was originally classified as accidental.

Rutland has a long history of board discipline and other problems. His medical license was revoked in 2003 for severing a baby`s spinal column during a forceps delivery, then lying to the parents by telling them that their baby suffered a stroke. The baby later died. His license was reinstated in 2007 and Rutland was placed on five years probation with the restriction that he operate only under the supervision of another physician.

Last October, Operation Rescue reported that Rutland was violating his probation by engaging in the solo practice of medicine at an abortion clinic in Chula Vista. The organization asked its supporters to contact the California Medical Board and demand that his medical license be revoked.

On November 3, 2009, an Inspector from the California Medical Board attempted to inspect Rutland`s stock of drugs and his records at his Chula Vista clinic, but was refused access by Rutland`s staff.

In January, the Medical Board asked for an emergency suspension of Rutland`s license until the Board could work through the lengthy process to finalize revocation. During that hearing, a judge blocked Rutland from doing abortions, but allowed him to continue office consultations.

Operation Rescue learned in February that Rutland was continuing to administer the abortion pill and contacted the board with the evidence. Judge James Ahler later amended his order to allow Rutland to continue to do the chemical abortions, as long as he did not engage in surgical abortions.

In response the reclassification of Chen`s death as a homicide, Rutland sent an angry letter to a list of elected officials and others, including Oprah Winfrey, demanding an investigation into "clandestine collaborations of national antiabortion group organizations and local antiabortion activists with the Medical Board of California." Rutland singled out Operation Rescue and complained that the organization used "clandestine political collaborations" to force several abortionists out of business.

"Rutland has proven himself to be a dishonest man who presents an ongoing danger to the public. It was his own negligence and attitude that he is above the law that has landed him in repeated trouble with the Medical Board," responded Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

"Rutland complains his problems are somehow the result of an anti-abortion plot. He is upset that authorities would hold him accountable to the law, but what he really wants is to be treated as if no laws apply to him. People are dying due to his shoddy work and Operation Rescue is proud of any small part we may have played in bringing him to justice."

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