Month Archives: March 2007

Interspecies Cloning a Baaaaad Idea

by Tony Perkins

March 27, 2007

If the U.S. doesn’t move quickly to regulate the new trend of interspecies cloning, it’s safe to say that researchers will experiment until the cows come home. In the U.K., some already have. Since human eggs are in short supply, researchers in Britain applied for permission to create human-cow embryos. In America, scientists are not even required to ask for permission—because no such restrictions exist!

At the University of Nevada, Professor Esmail Zanjani has joined the ranks of Harvard and Yale scientists who have taken advantage of the lack of government scrutiny. This week, Zanjani announced that his team has created the world’s first human-sheep chimera, whose cellular make-up is 15% human and 85% animal. Although Zanjani promises that the technique will give rise to a new source of organ donors, there’s no telling what complications will result from the hybrid.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of ethical complications in this amoral frontier. Research like this has created a legal and moral vacuum that Congress should fill with guidance and oversight. Join us in urging your leaders to ban creation of animal-human hybrids.

Life in These United States

by Tony Perkins

March 27, 2007

While the federal government is mired in debates about the culture of life, three states have taken it upon themselves to pass a bevy of pro-life legislation. In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill that would prohibit abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. In the meantime, the legislation requires abortion clinics to offer women an ultrasound before they consent to the procedure.

Neighboring Arkansas approved a House measure that requires abortion businesses to tell women that they cannot be coerced into having an abortion. Vermont tackled a bill that affects the end of life. Despite pressure to follow in Oregon’s footsteps, the Vermont House defeated a measure that would have legalized assisted suicide.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire is one state that has become the focus of an intense attack from anti-family forces. Next week, legislators are considering bills on every subject from parental notification and abortion regulation to legalizing civil unions and a constitutional amendment to protect marriage. Our friends at Cornerstone Policy Research are hosting a rally tomorrow at the New Hampshire statehouse in Concord. The Granite State is increasingly a key battle ground in the nation’s culture wars.

Eugenics, U.S.A.

by Jared Bridges

March 26, 2007

What do gay British men do when they want a designer baby? They pay a visit to their Uncle Sam, of course. A shortage of donor eggs and surrogate mothers in the United Kingdom has prompted some infertile gay couples to buy “designer babies” from a Los Angeles clinic:

DOZENS of gay British men have paid about 33,000 to create a baby of their chosen sex on an IVF programme for two-father families.

Nearly 20 male couples from this country have already taken part in the scheme, in which they pay for eggs from a university student which are then implanted in a different woman who bears the child.

The Fertility Institutes, the clinic in Los Angeles which runs the programme, said it had also received 25 inquiries by last week from male couples in Britain thinking of paying for surrogate children.

These $65,000 children come highly customized. Here’s clinic director Dr Jeffrey Steinberg:

On our programme, to be an egg donor, it is a requirement that you are between 18 to 27 years old and that you are currently at a university. Couples worry about the family history, and if there is a social marker of stability and achievement it is probably success at a university. University students are not interested in carrying the baby for themselves or anyone else.

The surrogates, on the other hand, are very interested in carrying the baby but, a lot of the time, they are blue-collar and not of the best of the selection [for eggs]. If we separate them we get the best egg donors and the best women to carry the babies, which is the perfect combination.

That’s right, it’s only the best for British gay dads. It’s a good thing that Dr. Steinberg is seeing to it that these “blue collar” types who continually pollute the gene pool are only used to do the “manual labor” of making a baby. Who knows what type of people we would end up with if the proletariat produced any offspring?

Of the myriad of tragedies associated with this program, one is that the children end up with a (white-collar) donor mother and a (blue collar) surrogate mother whom they will likely never know. Two “dads” simply don’t measure up to a mom. Add to this the dangers involved with IVF-PGD, and a program that touts the creation of new life can quickly become a recipe for destruction.

Miss World Runway Clears Pregnant Winner For Takeoff

by Tony Perkins

March 26, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

At the Miss World beauty pageant, God may have already saved the queen. Earlier this month, when the winner of the Miss World beauty pageant, Miss Jamaica, realized she was pregnant out of wedlock, she announced it to contest organizers. According to reports, pageant officials pressured Sara Lawrence to have an abortion, saying that she couldnt keep her crown and a baby. Somehow they rationalized that carrying the child to term would harm the tradition of the pageantyet taking an innocent life would not. Still Lawrence said she would give up her title and face up to her responsibilities. Saying she doesnt believe in abortion, Lawrence said, Its my moral obligation to do whats right. This week, pageant officials decided to let Lawrence keep her throne. But parents are hoping that shell keep her commitment toonot just as a model, but as a role model. Even though shes made some pretty big mistakes, family groups are asking Lawrence to use her testimony to promote abstinence. If she agrees, this pageant queen could make a real difference in the lives of teenagers. And thats the real beauty of it.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Following Mommy’s Steps: Hamas’ Tool to Recruit Children Bombers

by Family Research Council

March 24, 2007

A “music video” broadcast on a Palestinian Hamas TV station on Wednesday features a young Palestinian girl singing to her mother who is preparing to carry out a suicide bomb attack. The caption of the video reads, “Duha, daughter of suicide bomber Reem Riyashi, sings to her mother.” In 2004, Riyashi killed four Israelis after blowing herself up on a border crossing between Israel and Gaza.

Initially the little girl is frightened (Mommy, what are you carrying in your arms instead of me.”) but after seeing her mom on TV, the daughter has a change of heart: Instead of me you carried a bomb in your hands. Only now, I know what was more precious than us. May your steps be blessed, and may you be flawless for Jerusalem. Send greetings to our messenger Muhammad.

By the end of the video the girl decides to become a bomber herself. After finding explosives in her mothers drawer she says, My love will not be (merely) words. I am following mommy in her steps.

(HT: Iconia)

Quote of the Week

by Family Research Council

March 24, 2007

Last week I pointed out that the bill to provide supplemental war funding included $25 million for payments to spinach producers, $120 million to the shrimp industry, $74 million for peanut storage, and $5 million for shellfish, oyster and clam producers (see: Funding the War on Spinach). In response to this pork-loading, Congressman Mike Pence has a great retort:

Spinach, shrimp, peanuts and shellfish? That’s not a war funding bill, that’s the salad bar at Denny’s. “

TIME for God

by Tony Perkins

March 24, 2007

It’s not just ‘The Good Book’,” said Georgia State Sen. Tommie Williams. “It’s a good book.” Williams was referring to the Bible in an interview about the state’s decision to introduce Bible literary classes in the public schools. The movement to bring the world’s best-selling book back into the classroom is gaining ground across the U.S., demonstrated, in large part, by a thoughtful Time magazine cover story on the subject. The article, “The Case for Teaching the Bible,” argues that the social and cultural benefits of secular Bible classes outweigh any hypersensitivity about Church and State.

Drawing on polls that show over 60% of Americans favor teaching about Scripture in a secular setting like public schools, writer David van Beima discusses the consequences of our nation’s Biblical illiteracy. Among them, he notes the lack of knowledge and understanding about Western civilization at large. Van Beima writes, “[In the end], what is required in teaching the Bible in our public schools is patriotism: a belief that we live in a nation that understands the wisdom of its Constitution clearly enough to allow the most important book in its history to remain vibrantly accessible for everyone.”

What was lost in the sweeping 1963 Supreme Court case that removed prayer from public schools is the reality that the Constitution does not bar an objective treatment of the Bible and religion in schools. It encourages it. Yet the case triggered a mass exodus of any reference to Christianity in education. The time has come for our nation to experience a true revelation on the Bible’s relevance—not only to our personal lives but to our identity as Americans.

A Bad Day for Kids

by Tony Perkins

March 24, 2007

Yesterday, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) announced that he wants to end state funding for abstinence education, a move that would eliminate about a half million dollars’ worth of positive programs. Strickland said, “Over the long term, there’s no data that show they prevent, in a statistical sense, sexual activity outside of marriage.” However, stacks of peer-reviewed research are showing the direct impact of abstinence education, including a peer-reviewed study on America’s largest and oldest abstinence program, Best Friends.

In Adolescent and Family Health, Dr. Robert Lerner’s analysis of urban D.C. participants found that, “Despite the fact that [these students come from schools that]… are located in Wards that have higher rates of out-of-wedlock births, girls who attended the program are substantially less likely to…have sex than a comparable sample… The relative odds of 120 to 1 of a [high school] Diamond Girl abstaining from sex is a result so strong that it is unheard of in practically any empirical research.”

Elsewhere, a U.S. District Judge has decided to strike down a 1998 law, supported by FRC, that protects children from online pornography. Judge Lowell Reed, Jr. suggests that parents invest in software filters because they are “far more effective than the [Child Online Protection Act].” Following the judge’s advice would be like dispensing with water treatment plants and asking every family just to filter their own drinking water.

Brownback And Terry: A Cut Above The Rest

by Tony Perkins

March 23, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Remember the old saying haste makes waste? Well, two congressmen have found an exception. If their tax cuts pass, haste may actually prevent waste. Senator Sam Brownback and Representative Lee Terry introduced a bill last week that would help counter the Democrats push to raise taxes. Instead of waiting for liberals to undo the Presidents tax breaks, these two are trying to speed up family tax reliefbefore its gone for good. Under their proposal, the $1,000 child tax credits would become permanent. And the bill would also give stay-at-home parents a break from Uncle Sam. Right now, only families who use day care get a tax deduction. Their policy would level the playing field and give parents a choice to spend more time with their kids without paying for it. But the Parents Tax Relief Act isnt just for moms and dadsits for couples too. Although Democrats are threatening to reinstate the marriage tax penalty, this bill would fully eliminate it. As far as Brownback and Terry are concerned, what God has joined together, let no tax put asunder.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

The Thinking Primary

by Jared Bridges

March 23, 2007

Is there anything good about presidential political campaigns starting so early? Ken Blackwell, FRC’s new Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, says there is:

There appears to be every possibility that ideas will ultimately decide the nomination, perhaps for both parties. The thinking primary has begun. That’s a welcome sign, because this is the primary that matters, and if there is any advantage to having our presidential competitions start almost two years away from Election Day it’s the opportunity to examine and think about our options.

Read the whole commentary at Townhall.com.

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