Month Archives: March 2007

Wrongful Life: A Worst ‘Case’ Scenario

by Tony Perkins

March 9, 2007

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

A Boston woman has decided that she doesnt want to raise children, she wants to raise support. In 2004, she had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Or so she thought. The procedure wasnt done correctly and, unbeknownst to Jennifer, she was still pregnant. When she went to a hospital with pelvic pain, they realized she was still carrying the baby. Now shes suing Planned Parenthood for wrongful birth. Essentially, this moms saying that because she never wanted the baby, she should be paid for raising her. But why not put the child up for adoption instead of dragging the little girl through all this? Jennifers seeking damages for her daughters birthbut what about the damage shes doing to the little girl who hears over and over again that she should have never been born? Life is a gift, and the law should promote life and the court should protect itnot reward those who want to destroy it.

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

Homeschooling and Socialization

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

Stuart Buck found an interesting quote in psychology professor Richard G. Medlin’s article, “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 75 (2000): 107-23:

Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.

The most intriguing part of the study, however, involved observing the children as they played and worked together. Small groups of children who all had the same school background were videotaped while playing in a large room equipped with toys such as puzzles, puppets, and dolls. The children were then videotaped again in a structured activity: working in teams putting puzzles together for prizes.

Each child’s behavior was rated by two observers who did not know whether the children they were rating were home-schooled or traditionally schooled. The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist … , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timid, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group. Shyers (1992a) described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted in friendly, positive ways.

Marriage and Caste

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

In a review of Kay Hymowitz’s new book, Marriage and Caste in America, Lisa Schiffren notes how we have become jaded about out-of-wedlock births:

The U.S. government recently announced that 36.8 percent of the children born in America in 2005 were born out of wedlock. In other words, almost 4 of every 10 American newborns were placed into the arms of unmarried mothers with no real claims on the men who impregnated them. Very few of these parents will end up marrying each other, and very few of the fathers will be permanent presences in the lives of their children. The children themselves will have meaner and more marginal lives than their peers in two-parent families.

The number is staggering, and at least as much of a threat to our way of life as anything Osama bin Laden has cooked up. Yet it is met with a collective shrug. Indeed, we are now so inured to such statistics that we regard them as a fact of nature, about which little can be done. Because child-bearing outside of marriage is a subject wrapped up with the highly fraught issues of sex, race, and personal mores, politicians tend to avoid it. Academics often try to quantify it, but in ways that miss the human element of the problem.

Read the rest at Commentary magazine. (HT: Dustin Steeve of The Right House blog who also has some intriguing thoughts on the subject.)

Family Facts #5

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

According to a national survey on volunteering, among respondents who belonged to a house of worship, 61 percent of those whose parents volunteered likewise served as volunteers, and 44 percent of those whose parents did not volunteer served as volunteers. Among those with no religious affiliation whose parents did not volunteer, only 30 percent volunteered.

Source: Brooks, Arthur C., Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide, (New York: Basic Books 2006), pp. 97-114.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

To Have And To Hold Fake Wedding Ceremonies

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

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

Ive heard a lot of stories about indoctrinating kids, but this one doesnt just take the cakeit cuts it. At Glendale High School in California, gay teachers got permission to hold fake weddings for students in the cafeteria. As part of the Freedom to Marry project, sponsored by the school, teens could participate in same-sex ceremonies. The event was approved by the principal and hosted by an openly gay teacher who said, The goal was to mock marriage. Unfortunately, Glendales making an even bigger mockery of education. As part of the lesson, everyone took part in a petition drive that called on the government to end its discrimination against gays. But in the eyes of angry parents, the honeymoons over for promoting a political agenda during school hours. To encourage this lifestyle with kids that are 13, 14 and on up, it just totally… disturbs me. In the end, the only thing this schools testing is parents patience.

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

Pro-Homosexual Sex Ed: New But Not Improved

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Montgomery County, Maryland, which had its last sex education curriculum thrown out by a federal judge in 2005, has started implementing a new version. In the new curriculum, condoms are demonstrated on a piece of wood (not a cucumber as before) and lessons on homosexuality no longer bad-mouth the long list of historic world religions that disapprove of it. But the lessons still fail to explain the high health risks of certain sexual acts favored by homosexuals and still stigmatize those who disapprove of homosexual behavior by using the loaded term “homophobia.”

Two citizens’ groups that oppose the curriculum, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), appealed the curriculum to the State Board of Education—but the county rushed the pilot program into use without even waiting for a ruling on whether it complies with state laws and regulations. FRC’s Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident who served on a committee that reviewed the curriculum, will speak on its flaws at a town hall meeting tonight in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Order his pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School,” to learn how you can fight the homosexual agenda that is affecting schools across the country.

Remembering the Maine

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Under the new Congress we are anticipating a slew of pro-homosexual bills as payback for the help that the same-sex marriage lobby gave the Democrats in the election last fall. Because most people, including many in Congress, realize how radical that lobby is, homosexual groups are well-versed in masking their agenda. Creating special protections for homosexuals becomes “hate crimes.” Forcing businesses to elevate homosexuality to civil rights status becomes the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” Mainstreaming the homosexual lifestyle at the expense of morale in the Armed Forces becomes “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act.”

While we are fighting a federal wish list that Rosie O’Donnell would love, our friends in the states have been battling this same agenda for years. A state legislator in Maine recently introduced a bill to strip the clergy of the right to sign marriage licenses, thereby divorcing state-sanctioned marriage from religious ceremonies. Lawmakers in Maine have also introduced LD375, “an act to amend the Family Medical Leave Laws,” which would greatly expand the existing domestic partnership benefits. Mike Heath, Executive Director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, is working hard to push back the agenda by enlisting online activists to help him. Please sign up for the Civic League’s citizen Action Center today.

CREW Rails On Pro-Life Metro Ads

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

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

When it comes to advertising on the D.C. metro, pro-lifers are in for a bumpy ride. This month, the Conference of Catholic Bishops bought ad space on the subway to educate people about abortion. The posters tell riders that the human heart starts beating at 22 daysbut explains that Roe v. Wade says a doctor can stop it for the next 244. Now a group thats funded by George Soros, CREW, is doing its best to derail the campaign. Theyve asked the Transit Authority to investigate, saying the ads are false and misleading. But if its truth in advertising they want, why not target Planned Parenthood or the Human Rights Campaign? Those groups have used metro space for years to promote something that doesnt even exist outside of marriagesafe sex. As the Supreme Court considers the partial-birth abortion case, the Catholic Bishops are trying to be an engine for change. And as far as Im concerned, theyre on the right track.

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

South Carolina: Learning Their Lesson on School Choice

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

Despite the sagging test scores in South Carolina and disappointing graduation results, The Wall Street Journal tells an inspiring story about one school that is raising the grades—and hopes—of low-income kids. In Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy has gotten by on a measly $160,000 budget, holding school in rented office space with a total of 42 students. As the WSJ tells it, teachers are either volunteers or work for a humble $8 an hour. “Only five students come from two-parent homes, and most of the students are African-American. Each year, [the principal] is forced to dip into her retirement account to keep the school running.”

As the state debates whether or not to spend a small amount of government money on school choice, the Capers school makes a good case for why it should. Despite Capers’ modest budget, the students’ SAT scores are 164 points above the state average. Each graduate is expected to go on to college.

As the South Carolina lawmakers debate whether to create a tax credit for middle-class parents and a “scholarship” for poor students in failing schools, we urge them to look no further than Capers, where a small investment is paying dividends in the future of our next generation.

Game Over For Flimsy Rating System

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

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

Chances are, your kids aren’t carjackers, murderers, or thieves—at least, I hope not. But they could be playing one in their newest PlayStation or Nintendo game. In “Grand Theft Auto,” players score points by killing policemen, raping prostitutes, and stealing cars. Another game, “BMX XXX,” takes bikers into strip clubs between races. And that’s just the beginning. Parents, like Senator Sam Brownback, have had enough. After all, what good is a rating system if it doesn’t give families an honest assessment? Last week, Brownback introduced a bill called the Truth in Video Game Rating. It would force reviewers to play the game before rating it — something the agencies currently don’t do. Instead, the FTC watches taped segments that are submitted by the game’s producers. And those clips only include portions of the game that would guarantee it the lowest possible rating. Hopefully Senator Brownback will convince Congress that with his bill, families will have a better chance of taking the “X” out of the XBox.

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

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