Month Archives: March 2007

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Telling of Congressional Priorities

by Tony Perkins

March 2, 2007

You may not have asked, but I’ll tell you any way. Wednesday, Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) reintroduced legislation that would not only repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy but also the 200-year-old law that bans homosexuals from openly serving in the military. Citing opinion polls, Meehan says the general support for his bill is growing. However, what matters in this case is not what the latest poll says, but what’s best for our military and the men and women who serve. The same study that found higher civilian backing for the repeal also showed overwhelming opposition to change among our servicemen. Only 26 percent of soldiers support a move to allow gays to serve openly. With the demands on the Armed Services, Meehan estimates that over 40,000 homosexuals would join the military if the ban is lifted.

What he doesn’t address are the tens of thousands who would not join or who would leave the service if the legislation is passed. As a veteran of the Marine Corps I can say that the defense of our country should not be sacrificed for the promotion of a political agenda.

On Clean Air, Hollywood Continues To Blow Smoke

by Tony Perkins

March 2, 2007

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

When it comes to setting a good example, Hollywood stinks. Literally. For all the anti-pollution celebrities, there seem to be even more environmental hypocrites. A new study by UCLA found that the entertainment industry is one of the biggest reasons for L.A.s filthy air. Turns out that all of those studios use diesel generatorsand that means lots of smog. Then theres Al Gore, winner of two Oscars for his documentary on global warming. The Tennessee Electric Company just made his power bills public and lit the fuse of conservatives everywhere. His home in Nashville uses more electricity in one month than the average American house uses in an entire year. Meanwhile, stars like Brad Pitt brag about driving electric cars but ride in plenty of private jets. His travel from L.A. to Africa guzzled 11,000 gallons of gas, and burned enough fuel to drive his Prius to the moon. Obviously, Hollywoods campaign for the environment has been a toxic waste… of time.

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

More Maher Mendacity: Bill Maher on FRC and the HPV Vaccine

by Family Research Council

March 2, 2007

Remember when comedian Bill Maher was smart, thoughtful, and funny? Yeah, me neither. Still, I keep holding out hope that he will say something witty or intelligent. Instead, he continues to disappoint by sinking to greater depths of boorishness and mendacity.

Take, for example, his latest half-cocked rant in Salon.com, Christians crusade against cancer vaccine:

Now for the bad news: Not everyone is pleased with this [HPV] vaccine. That prevents cancer. Christian parent groups and churches nationwide are fighting it. Bridget Maher — no relation, and none planned — of the Family Research Council says giving girls the vaccine is bad, because the girls “may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”

Maher forgets to mention that the quote from “Bridget Maher…of the Family Research Council” is found in a New Scientist article from April 2005. Even third-rate bloggers wouldnt dredge up a quote from two years ago without seeing if its still relevant. [Note: Ms. Maher no longer works for FRC.] Maher could have checked Wikipedias entry on FRC where he would have found that the quote did not reflect FRC’s position on the HPV vaccine. Or if he had bothered to look at FRCs website he would have noticed on the front page a link to an article titled, Clarification of 2005 Family Research Council Media Remarks on HPV Vaccine

In response to initial media inquiries regarding the HPV vaccine in early 2005, an FRC spokesman raised the question of whether a vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease like HPV could give its recipients a false sense of security and thus make them less cautious about their sexual behavior. The theory that reducing one of the risks of a behavior might make that behavior more common is hardly illogical. There is even a scientific term for this, which is “sexual disinhibition.” In our meetings with Merck regarding the vaccine later that year, they indicated that they were quite aware of the potential for sexual disinhibition, and that they had examined that issue in the course of their clinical trials for the HPV vaccine. They assured us that they had found no evidence for any increase in sexual disinhibition in connection with the vaccine. We had no basis for doubting that claim, but encouraged them to continue to study that issue after approval of the vaccine for general use.

After extensive study of the vaccine and discussion with medical experts, we concluded that the public health benefits of developing and distributing such a vaccine far outweighed any potential, hypothetical concerns about its impact on sexual behavior. Therefore, we announced in October of 2005 that we would enthusiastically support the development of the vaccine and federal approval of its use, including its addition to the list of vaccines recommended to physicians and of those made available to lower-income families through the Vaccines for Children program. Virtually all pro-family public policy organizations have announced similar support for the vaccine itself. [emphasis added]

In other words, the position of FRC is the exact opposite of what Maher claims.

(Also, does he believe that Merck wants to “make sure sex is as dangerous as possible”? After all, they examined the issue of sexual disinhibition in their clinical trials— the very question that he criticizes Ms. Maher for raising. Obviously, the researchers at Merck hate sex.)

Unfortunately, this is not the only fact that Maher gets wrong. He also claims that “the vaccine is so good, it could wipe out HPV.” Perhaps he missed the recent Washington Post article which notes, “Just 3.4 percent of the women studied had infections with one of the four HPV strains that the new vaccine protects against.” Although that 3.4% will account for 70% of cervical cancer cases—and have a significant impact on women’s health—the vaccine will not help the millions of other women infected with other, less deadly strains of HPV. The vaccine will not, as Maher claims, wipe out HPV.

Maher would obviously have no problem telling a child that since she had the vaccination she had no chance of getting HPV. She would be in for quite a shock then if she were to later develop a nasty case of HPV-related genital warts. Mahers own ignorance about the STD shows why it was not unreasonable to wonder if girls could get a false sense of security from having the vaccination.

Mahers incomprehension about STDs is rather disconcerting. He claims that, Activists don’t want girls inoculated against HPV because they want sex to remain as scary as possible. But if the average American male has as rudimentary a sexual education as Maher, its hard to image how sex could get any scarier.

Family Facts #3

by Family Research Council

March 1, 2007

According to a 2006 report in the Journal of Marriage and Family, higher levels of father involvement were associated with less aggressive and anti-social adolescent behavior, and partially accounted for the impact of family structure on adolescent behavior..

Source: “Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes”

Carlson, Marcia J. Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 68, Number 1. February, 2006. Page(s) 137-154.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

No Aid to AIDS Groups That Promote Prostitution

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

In a commonsense ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals sided with the Bush administration yesterday saying that the president can deny AIDS funding to groups that condone prostitution and sex trafficking. The case, now a year and a half old, was brought by DKT International, Inc., a family planning group that, among other things, provides condoms to Vietnamese sex workers. When DKT refused to sign a pledge that it would honor the President’s anti-trafficking policies, the administration denied it taxpayer support. A lower court sided with DKT, stating that the nonprofit’s First Amendment rights were violated because the funding conditions “insisted that the groups ‘parrot’ the government’s position on prostitution.” Fortunately, a three-judge panel reversed the decision and restored President Bush’s authority to fund only those organizations that communicate the U.S. government’s opposition to sex trafficking.

U.K. Pro-Lifers Take Baby Steps in Legislature

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

The miraculous story of little Amillia Taylor, who is said to be the youngest surviving premature baby, has prompted Britain to reconsider its abortion policies. As it stands, the U.K. allows women to abort through the 24th week of pregnancy. Until recently, experts argued that unborn children could not survive outside the womb before that period, a theory that Amillia’s existence has completely discredited.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries has sponsored bills in the past that would impose a tighter limit on late-term abortions. In light of the Taylors’ story, Dorries intends to reintroduce legislation that would make abortions illegal after 21 weeks. As one doctor said, “To me it seems utterly illogical that one doctor is struggling to save a baby delivered at 23 weeks while another is aborting a healthy baby of the same age.”

In Hawaii, Coast Is Clear from Civil Union Threat

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

After a grueling five hours of testimony, Hawaiian lawmakers refused even to vote on a bill in committee that would have allowed same-sex unions. Later, the state’s legislators refused to offer an explanation for the move, but we applaud the Hawaii Family Forum for motivating voters to voice their opposition to this dangerous measure. The vote in Hawaii is more evidence that legislatures are reluctant to change the public understanding of marriage when they are free to debate and vote in the absence of a judicial decree that puts a finger on the scales of justice.

Hawaii is a politically liberal state, but it was one of the first in the nation to grapple with a pro-homosexual judicial ruling upsetting the man-woman character of marriage. When Hawaii courts first ruled on the matter roughly a decade ago, voters amended the state constitution to require that any changes in state law on the nature of marriage could only be made by the elected branches of government, not judges.

This stands in sharp contrast to the judicially-driven outcomes in Vermont, Massachusetts, and now New Jersey. It also has the virtue of being more honest: elected officials must account for themselves, and not point to another branch of government and say, “They made me do it.” Whatever your position is on this issue, or any other controversial matter, voters should expect their elected officials to stand on the courage of their convictions, not the convenience of coercion.

Abstinence Programs Worth Their Wait In Gold

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

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

Some pro-abortion groups are arguing that Congress is spending too much money on a good thingabstinence education. This year, if the Presidents budget passes, funding for abstinence programs will be at an all-time high. And for good reason. A study in the journal Adolescent and Family Health says classes that teach kids to save sex for marriage are responsible for a 66% reduction in teen pregnancies. Researchers are finding proof that the best weapon against promiscuity isnt contraception but urging kids to abstain from sex altogether. And if President Bush gets his way, more students will get the message that the safest sex is within marriage. His budget includes a $28 million increase in abstinence fundingwithout putting extra money in the hands of people whose only answer to pregnancy and disease is more safe sex! Join with me in asking Congress to invest in what works. Otherwise, well be paying an even bigger price for a generation of mistakes.

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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