Month Archives: July 2009

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

July 31, 2009

Here’s a compilation of articles for your reading pleasure.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

July 29, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

  • Pro-gay marriage group spent big in Vermont,” John Curran, Chicago Tribune (July 27, 2009)
  • The leading proponent of Vermont’s gay marriage bill spent about $294,000 on lobbying and advertising in advance of the Legislature’s vote — more than seven times as much as opponents did, according to disclosure forms filed Monday.

    Through its task force and an action committee, Vermont Freedom to Marry spent $65,866 of that in the week before the April 7 vote by the Democrat-controlled Vermont house, which passed the bill in a 100-49 vote to override the veto of Republican Gov. Jim Douglas.”

  • Will proposal promote euthanasia?,” Carrie Budoff Brown, The Politico (July 28, 2009)
  • Backers of Gay Marriage Rethink California Push,” Jesse McKinley, The New York Times (July 27, 2009)
  • Discouraged by stubborn poll numbers and pessimistic political consultants, major financial backers of same-sex marriage are cautioning gay rights groups to delay a campaign to overturn Californias ban on such unions until at least 2012.”

  • Clash of worldviews - coming to a wedding near you,” Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow (July 29, 2009)
  • That’s why this, I believe, is going to be the biggest threat to our religious liberty in our near future,” the Christian attorney remarks. “We are facing a clash of worldviews; a collision between the same-sex agenda and a moral and religious worldview. Those two are incompatible in these kinds of conflicts. If we go down this road of same-sex unions, [it] will continue to escalate.”

  • Obama’s Science Czar: Babies Aren’t Human Until They’ve Been Socialized,” Van Helsing, Right Wing News (July 29, 2009)
  • A large part of the horror of abortion lies in the monstrous presumption of liberals declaring that human life begins not at conception, but whenever they say it does. Maybe that’s six weeks, maybe six months. Maybe it’s years. Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren (the guy who wanted to put a sterilizing agent in our drinking water) gives us an idea of how slippery this slope can get. From his book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, via Patterico’s Pontifications:

    The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”

  • States with more Catholics more favor gay rights,” Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today (July 29, 2009)
  • The bishops have campaigned long, loudly and clearly against same-sex marriage but the Catholic Church also offers a pervasive message of social justice, an umbrella many liberal Catholics stand under when they argue for marriage equality or life issues such as abortion, contraception and end-of-life decisions.”

Dare to Risk: Take the Dinner Conversations Public

by Benjamin Scott

July 28, 2009

In Ronald Reagans 1989 farewell speech he inspired the youth in America to dream of change and pursue active leadership for the good of America. All great change in America begins at the dinner table, Reagan told America. And he was right.

Yet as a college student, I am aware of how many of my contemporaries across this nation see little reason to devout themselves in the world of politics. Millions of college students around the country would rather stay in their comfortable safe havens of youthful apathy then dare to engage the complex political world surrounding them.

Many young American intellectuals are scared. Scared to engage in a fearless way in the world of politics, for the sake of the future of our country. A temptation for college students is to keep the dinner conversations, merely dinner conversations. To keep the transformative ideas and dreams of what America could become, only in term papers and research assignments. College students are tempted to keep the questions they raise in classrooms about their stake in Americas future only to themselves, their peers, and their professors.

Yet if the transformative fortieth president, The Great Communicator Ronald Reagan was still with us today, he would demand of us to take our dreams for Americas future and to cast ourselves into the world of politics. Reagan himself lived this out when he dared to take the conversations he had around his dinner table concerning ending the evil empire of the Soviet Union, and pursued the presidency fighting for the freedom of those in political bondage.

Aspiring conservatives ought to learn from current President Barack Obama who wisely saw former president Reagan as one of the greatest transformative presidents of modern time. Reagan still matters. His message still matters. His legacy still matters. And most importantly his optimistic spirit, his grand yet specific dreams for his country still matter. Leading conservatives have urged Republicans nation wide to forget the dreams Ronald Reagan spoke of and move on into the future with a spirit of fear and compromise. This is unwise and will lead to political death.

Aspiring leaders of our country can only change America in a more responsible way when they understand that America needs their ideas to be expressed not only in the safe comfortable world surrounding the kitchen table, but in the scary, complex world of local, state, and national politics.

If young leaders with a vision for the future of America would take the risk to express their ideas publicly and throw themselves into the world of politics, America would once again be lead into her future as Winthrops city on a hill.

Obituary: The Episcopal Church in the United States (1789-2009) Cause of Death: Suicide

by Peter Sprigg

July 24, 2009

The Episcopal Church in the United States took another major step toward ensuring its own demise last week, by adopting a resolution endorsing the ordination of homosexuals as clergy and bishops.

The resolution, adopted at the denominations General Convention, said that gay and lesbian persons … have responded to Gods call and have exercised various ministries, and declared that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

The resolution was widely interpreted as abandoning a moratorium on the ordination of homosexual bishops that was adopted after the furor surrounding the appointment of Gene Robinson, a homosexual man, as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Several branches of the worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly the more conservative churches in Africa, rejected the decision to elevate Robinson. In the U.S., a number of Episcopal parishes and dioceses have already left the Episcopal Church altogether, and they recently organized as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The Episcopal General Convention three years ago adopted a resolution urging restraint regarding the elevation of any bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the highest ranking official in the worldwide Anglican Communion, had told the convention, I hope and pray that there wont be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart.

Sponsors of this years resolution denied that it constituted a repeal of the earlier statement, but Pamela Reamer Williams of Integrity USA, a pro-homosexual advocacy group, declared that this years action supersedes the effective moratorium.

Most observers believe that this years resolution may be the last straw that results in a complete rupture of relationships between the Episcopal Church and most other worldwide Anglicans. Jeff Walton of the Institute for Religion and Democracy noted, In the Anglican Communion, 22 out of 37 other provinces are already in a state of either impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church. [Source]

The liberal Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, warned against recognition of the new ACNA by declaring that schism is not a Christian act. But British theologian (and Bishop of Durham) Tom Wright pointed out in the Times of London that it is the Episcopal Church which is formalizing the schism they initiated six years ago by consecrating Robinson as bishop. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion, said Wright.

One aspect of the resolution that has not attracted much media attention is that it appears to use money as a weapon to discourage any action against the Episcopal Church by the Anglican Communion. The resolution reaffirm[s] its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion, and the accompanying explanation notes that in 2007 the Episcopal Church contributed $661,000 to the Inter-Anglican budgetmore than a third of the total of $1,864,000. Presumably the resolution was hinting that this funding would be in jeopardy if the Anglican Communion were to break with the Episcopal Church.

In addition to a break with worldwide Anglicans, the Episcopal Church action is likely to lead to further erosion here in the United States as well. News about the release of the American Religious Identification Survey earlier this year focused on the 10% drop since 1990 in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians (from 86% to 76%), without noting that almost all of the decline occurred in the 1990s. But they also failed to highlight that the biggest drop in Christian self-identification has come among the more liberal mainline Protestant bodiessuch as the Episcopal Church, which dropped from 3.5 million adherents in 2001 to only 2.4 million in 2008.

A Love for Life: Christianitys Consistent Protection of the Unborn

by Robert Morrison

July 24, 2009

A Love for Life:

Christianitys Consistent Protection of the Unborn

By Dennis DeMauro

(Wipf and Stock Publishers, 163 pp.)

What were you, Bob, before you were a Lutheran? Thats the question Fr. Ed Bryce asked me many years ago. Father Bryce was the head of the Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Office. Father, I replied, I was a Democrat. We both laughed. But that answer was completely true.

I had not only been a registered Democratic voter, but I was also a candidate for my state legislature and a state party staffer. In those long-ago days before Roe v. Wade, the terms pro-life and pro-choice had not yet been coined. When I ran for the New York State Assembly, I had a real dilemma. I wanted to talk about taxes, education, and political corruption. But various groups wanted to talk to me about abortion. Thats because New York State had been one of the first states to liberalize abortion. The year was 1970.

By 1971, however, millions of New Yorkers were shocked by what they saw. Encouraged by widely respected Terence Cardinal Cooke, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, the state legislature had repealed its narrow approval of abortion up to six just months. New Yorks pro-abortion governor, Republican Nelson Rockefeller, vetoed the repeal, and so the Empire State continued as an abortion magnet for distressed young women from all over the Eastern Seaboard.

As an unchurched young man whose main interest was politics, I saw the abortion issue as a small stormlike a tornadoon the horizon. I just hoped it would veer and not touch me. Soon, however, it became clear that there would be no avoiding it.

How I wish I had had Dennis DeMauros fine bookA Love for Lifethen. It would have saved a great deal of yelling and arguing for me as first my respected campaign managerJoe Zeichner, my former civics teacherand then my dear friend and contemporary, Victor Cipolla, pulled me in one direction then in the other.

Joe described himself as a proud Jewish atheist. Joe knew he was a lot more liberal than I was, but he gave of himself unstintingly to get me elected. Victor wasif you can imagine ita young Sicilian-American who seemed like a Catholic version of Che Guevara. Both Joe and Victor knew I was just a WASPWhite Anglo-Saxon Protestant. That was more a sociological term than a witness to my Christian belief.

As my two closest campaign aides fought over the issueand fought over what my campaign would say about the issue, I felt stirring within me a deeper conviction. Our liaison to the state Democratic Party was good man even if he was more than a little cynical. Morrison, he would cry in exasperation, Im not trying to get you into Heaven, Im just trying to get you to Albany! Such jaded comments actually helped me decide. I began to realize that I would make decisions about my political life, but more importantly, about my own soul that would shape me. I was only twenty-seven, but I sensed that this time my decision really mattered.

When I told Joe that I had resolved to come out against abortion, he was shocked. Whats the matter with you, he asked in a tone of genuine disbelief. I countered:

Joe, youre the one who taught me the prayer your father the rabbi taught you. Remember, when you drove us to Albany, you said I needed to say a shehechayanuthat beautiful prayer for the first time you do something? The prayerwhich I remember with affectionis this: Blessed art Thou, O Master of the Universe, that Thou hast preserved us in life to savor this experience for the first time.

Preserved us in life. Thats what God does for us every moment that we live. And He gives us the gift of life. This much I learned from my historical study of Thomas Jefferson. Young Jeffersons writings had made him a favorite to draft the Declaration of Independence. When I read his earliest public papers, I could see why. The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.

Dennis DeMauro understands all of this only too well. His great short book is subtitled:

Christianitys Consistent Protection of the Unborn. Chapter by chapter, he shows how the early Church stood uncompromisingly for the childs right to live the life God alone can give and take away. In those early days of pro-life activity, the liberal media tried to advance the idea that opposition to abortion was only a Catholic thing. Although half of my family was Catholic, and dearly loved, none of my Protestant relativesincluding those closest to mewas against abortion. Mine would be a lonely decision.

DeMauros chapters on the biblical teaching of Luther and Calvin are especially strong. He shows how the great Reformers differed on many things with the Church of Rome and on some things they differed from each other. But on the sanctity of life of unborn children, all branches of the Christian family stood together.

DeMauro also shows how, gradually at first, but then with increasing speed, liberal Protestant church bodies have departed from their historic roots. It might even be argued that as they adopt ever more liberal views of Scripture, these religious groups depart from the Bibles clear commands.

Yet even in what used to be called Mainline Protestantism, there are renewal groups dedicated to reclaiming the genuine heritage of their great denominations. Presbyterians Pro-Life, Anglicans for Life, and important United Methodists like Stanley Hauerwas and Paul Stallworth are carefully tending the flickering candle. They valiantly witness for life in the midst of largely hostile church bureaucracies. God bless them for it!

DeMauro describes the great course correction of the Evangelical churches in the mid- to late 1970s, powerfully aided by such important figures as Billy Graham, Dr. C. Everett Koop, Francis Schaeffer, and of course, Chuck Colson and Dr. James Dobson. Rev. Dr. Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the 15 million-member Southern Baptist Convention deserves special, honorable mention. He and his brothers helped bring that great ship back onto her true course.

Im especially grateful to Dennis DeMauro for telling the story of Lutherans for Life.

When I came to faithfinally at age 30I had to choose a church. Because The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod had always maintained a strong biblical stance in defense of life, and because my military LCMS military chaplain preached Gods Word in all its power and purity, the decision to join this church body was really like a decision to go home.

About that state election: I lost, thank God. The man who would later act as Hillary Clintons chief fund-raiser in New York State found out that I was anti-abortion. He cut off every penny of the $25,000 that had been promised to my campaign by the state Democratic Party. I soldiered on, expecting to win anyway. I was shocked when the election returns showed me losingand by a wide margin. What Id prepared my whole life for was gone in an instant. Or so I then thought.

Dennis DeMauro is a serious scholar and dedicated pro-lifer. He ends his book with an eloquent appeal to pro-choice Christians. He strikes exactly the right tone in appealing to these separated brethren.

DeMauro concludes his work with a chart most fitly labeled Headcount. He shows convincingly how the vast majority of the worlds Christians defend the sanctity of life.

This listing reminds of the hostile reporter I once encountered in Connecticut. Aware that I was a Lutheran working with that states Catholic bishops to defend life, the journalist asked me accusingly: What percentage of the Catholic Churchs funds go to pro-life activities? I smiled and answered: A hundred percent.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

July 23, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

  • Councilmen waver on new state gay marriage bill,” Jenna Chandler, The Porterville Recorder (July 22, 2009)
  • Abortion Opponents Criticize Health Reform Bills,” Dan Eggen and Rob Stein, The Washington Post (July 22, 2009)
  • President Obama, who has vowed to find common ground on culture-war issues, finds himself in the middle of a classic Washington dispute over abortion that is further undermining support among conservative Democrats for his ambitious health-care reform efforts.”

  • Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Is Not Health-Care Reform,” John Boehner, National Review (July 23, 2009)
  • The Obama administration contends the urgent deadline is necessitated by the suffering of American families who have waited too long for Congress to act to address the high cost of health care. But according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill the president supports won’t lower health-care costs; it will increase them. And as the veteran political operatives in the Obama White House well know, the frantic timetable conveniently leaves precious little time for the American people to know what’s actually in the bill.”

  • Obama Staffer Speaks at Planned Parenthood Event, Urges Pro-Abortion Lobbying,” Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com (July 23, 2009)
  • A top official with the administration of pro-abortion President Barack Obama spoke to gathering of Planned Parenthood activists last week. There, she promised leaders of the abortion business that Obama is a pro-abortion president and urged them to continue their pro-abortion lobbying efforts.”

  • Taliban cracking down on Christians,” Allie Martin, OneNewsNow (July 23, 2009)
  • According to Open Doors USA, raids against Christians, carried out by the Taliban, have increased throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says the Taliban does not tolerate anyone who thinks or believes differently than they do. Christians are being evicted from their homes, he says, and some are being forced to convert to Islam or pay special taxes in exchange for protection.”

  • Non-embryonic stem cells pass major hurdle in mice,” Seth Borenstein, Associated Press (July 23, 2009)
  • Two teams of Chinese scientists have made a major advance in mice in the development of a new kind of stem cell that doesn’t involve destroying embryos.

    Those cells are derived from ordinary skin cells, and when they were created two years ago from human skin and genetically reprogrammed, it was hailed as a breakthrough. But questions remained whether they could act as chameleon-like as embryonic stem cells and morph into any cell type in the body.”

Science Czar or Bizarre?

by Tony Perkins

July 23, 2009

Science Czar or just plain bizarre? Among President Obamas growing list of czars there are as many as 34, by one Congressmans count - is the White House science czar, Dr. John Holdren.

Holdren wrote a text book with well-known scientist Paul Ehrlich. Your remember Paul Ehrlich, right? He wrote a popular but now discredited book entitled The Population Bomb more than three decades ago in which he claimed that the world was overpopulating and would be out of food by the end of the 1970s. Well, were still here, with greater food supplies than ever in history.

Holdren and Ehrlichs book, which they wrote in 1977, is entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. In it, they advocate for radical government action to limit population growth. Their proposals included coercive abortions for women and involuntary sterilization through infertility drugs placed in food or the water supply.

So-called undesirables those that contribute to supposed social deterioration, would be forcibly sterilized at puberty. Holdren also advocated a planetary regime that could control the global economy. Holdren and the White House have dismissed the concerns saying he made those statements 30 years ago.

My question: Does he now disavow them? And as he works in the White House shaping national policy, what recommendations is he making?

To learn more about how FRC is defending the culture of life, visit us as www.frc.org.

Are Some Members of Congress Just D-U-M-B?

by Peter Sprigg

July 22, 2009

FRC has recently noted the contradictions of the position of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who calls himself pro-life but was actually drummed out of the Democrats for Life of America because his plan for reducing abortion is to give more money (for contraception) to Americas largest abortion provider (Planned Parenthood).

But this quote from Rep. Ryan in a LifeNews.com article about the split with Democrats for Life really jumped out at me: I cant figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception.

Really? He cant figure it out? Not for the life of him?

Perhaps Rep. Ryan is under the impression that engaging in sexual relations is mandatory. Its not. Perhaps he thinks people will die if they dont have sex. They wontbut thousands die each year (of sexually transmitted diseases) because they do.

If Rep. Ryan cant figure out … how to stop pregnancies without contraception, let me spell it out for him.

A-B-S-T-A-I-N.

Spending A Moral Issue

by Tony Perkins

July 22, 2009

A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens children. That bit of insight is from the wisest man who ever lived Solomon, the author if the Book of Proverbs.

Notice that Solomon is not calling for us to just hold back of little of our savings to leave something for your kids, but rather that it is prudent foresight that leads to investment in future generations.

Such advice would be considered radical in America today, especially in Washington where the nations debt is currently $11.5 trillion, with another trillion projected to be added this year. In fact, for every dollar that the federal government is currently spending, 47 cents is borrowed. When federal, state and local government debt is combined the average familys burden of that debt is almost one million dollars.

As a nation, weve not only lost the biblical ideal that one generation should pave the way for the next by investing in its future, but we have decided by our fiscal irresponsibility to live on Easy Street and let our grand kids and great-grand kids pay the mortgage.

Thats not right, and its got to change. To learn more about how federal tax policy affects your family, click here.

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