Month Archives: November 2010

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News—November 5, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

November 5, 2010

If you are interested in receiving the Social Conservative Review, click here.

Hello Friends,

This week’s elections remind us that ideas matter and that social conservatives have a very potent weapon to make their convictions heard: The vote.

One of the issues influencing the outcome of Tuesday’s referendum on the past two years was the President’s effort to repeal the current ban on homosexuals in the military. FRC President Tony Perkins commented on Mr. Obama’s insistent post-election drive to overturn the ban in a statement you can access here.

In addition, when you visit our website, be sure to click on our “Events” tab to find out about upcoming lectures and also view previous lectures by some of America’s top conservative scholars, writers, and thinkers.

As always, thank you for working to advance faith, family, and freedom.

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Private and Religious Education

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Homosexuals in the Military

Sexually-transmitted disease

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End-of-Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, led by Dr. Pat Fagan, is a premier venue for the understanding the contemporary American family. As Dr. Fagan notes, “The Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) organizes data in a form accessible to the lay reader. As the Institute makes clear, the overwhelming majority of social science data supports the premise that the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human and social goods and the core strength of the United States, and a norm to be considered again, first for those who worship God, but also for all men and women of good will.”

Three times annually, MARRI offers a report on its research concerning the American family, which you can access by clicking here.

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Parental Rights

Media

Pornography

Broadcast and Cable Decency

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Check out RealClearReligion for updates on Religious Liberty

Religion in American Public Life

Secularism

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Judicial Nominations

Other News of Note

Book reviews

Rabid Democrat Says VOTE Pro-Life!

by Robert Morrison

November 5, 2010

I had a job in politics when I was a young man. I was hired by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party to raise funds and help get out the vote. My territory included all of Northern Minnesota. I planned all year for a two-week run of county DFL conventions and fund-raising events in the 7th and 8th congressional districts.

But just before my planned departure from Minneapolis, I was bitten by a young German Shepherd pup. The owner gathered up the dog and ran away. Doctors in the local Lutheran hospital said Id have to have rabies shots.

I cant stay home, I cried, I have a two-week swing through Northern Minnesota planned. Its what Ive been working for all year. Its my job.

Okay, the doctors said. Well give you rabies vaccine packed in dry ice. Whenever you come to a new town, go straight to the local emergency room. Tell them you need to be injected. Well give you enough rabies vaccine for fourteen days.

So I did that. It was always fun to gauge the startled reactions on peoples faces in the Emergency Rooms as I came in and announced I needed someone to give me my rabies injection. I can truly say that I was once a rabid Democrat.

Voting is very serious business in Minnesota. Theyre famous for being Minnesota Nice, but youd better not suggest to Sven and Ole that they go ice fishing on Election Day. Every county convention I spoke to that yearafter Id gotten my required rabies shotsI pounded home the theme: Its almost a sin not to vote.

In many of those county DFL conventions, ex-Gov. Karl Rolvaag would be introduced. Hed always get an appreciative cheer. Rolvaag was a legend in Minnesota politics. Its not that he accomplished a great deal in his term as governor of the North Star State, it was the circumstances of his election that always inspired awe. The paper ballots that would tip the election had been brought down from Lake of the Woods County by canoe.

Every American school child knows where Lake of the Woods County is. Just run your finger along the map along the 49th parallel,, the border between the U.S. and Canada. When you come to that little notch that sticks up, thats Lake of the Woods County.

When that county cast its paper ballots for Karl Rolvaag in 1962, everyone in the North Star state knew voting mattered. Minnesotans have something to teach all Americans. The right to vote is precious

On my swing through Northern Minnesota, young Jim Oberstar was campaigning for his first term in Congress. Oberstar was something of a rock star to 8th district DFLers. He would speak first to county delegates. I was only paid staff and so I would always speak last. I always heard Oberstars speech. I doubt he ever heard mine.

Still, I admired Oberstar for his staunch opposition to abortion. It was in Minnesota that I first learned it was even possible for Americans to oppose the cruel and unjust Roe v. Wade ruling.

The salt-of-the-earth folks in the 8th district were pretty left-wingon everything except the right to life. In county convention after county convention, I would be buttonholed. Cant you go back to Minneapolis and tell the DFL Central Committee (yes, it was actually called that) that we love everything about the partyexcept abortion.

I did. And it wasnt pretty. The DFL partys co-chair thought the anti-abortion people were idiots. She said she wanted to wear a button with a picture of a fetus, with an eye that winked goodbye as it was aborted. With leadership like that, my job with the party wasnt likely to be long-standing or happy. It wasnt.

Still, Jim Oberstar got elected up on the Iron Range. And he got re-elected every two years. His voting record has always been about two degrees to the left of the Supreme Soviet, but to his great credit, he was always pro-life.

Until this year. Tragically, Rep. Jim Oberstar was one of those Democratic faux lifers who back in March made it possible for President Obama to ram through his health care takeover without the pro-life Stupak Amendment. Before Bart Stupak caved in, Jim Oberstar helped to pry other formerly pro-life Democrats away. He not only betrayed his record, he put many of his colleagues in serious political jeopardy. During the past campaign, we saw Congressman Oberstar attacking his critics at public meetings. He sneered at them, and called them flat earthers.

I take it personally. For more 36 years, I have been pointing to Jim Oberstar as my example of a man of principle, even a man of the left, who recognized the great transcendent truth: That innocent human life must be protected.

Mr. Oberstar was defeated on Tuesday. I recommend a long rest for him. Maybe he should rent the Academy Award-winning movie, A Man for All Seasons.

In that film, Sir Thomas More is betrayed by a young teacher who covets political office. More turns to Richard Rich and asks what badge of office he is wearing. In return for perjuring himself, Sir Richard Rich was made Attorney General for Wales.

Richard, I am sorrier for you than for my own peril, says Thomas More, knowing he will be beheaded because of Richs false testimony. Dont you know it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? But for Wales?

Yes, Congressman Oberstar. You had thirty-six years of voting pro-life before you abandoned this noble cause. But for Duluth?

Dont Tweek It, Kill It

by Chris Gacek

November 4, 2010

In case the new House of Representatives needs any additional incentive to eliminate Americas insanely bloated spending, deficits, and debt it need only read a new article on Americas fiscal bankruptcy by economist, Laurence Kotlikoff. Professor Kotlikoffs article, A Hidden Fiscal Crisis, appears in the September 2010 issue of the International Monetary Funds journal, Finance and Development.

Kotlikoff teaches economics at Boston University and argues that American federal government debt is much higher than the $13.5 trillion figure we hear repeated. FYI, that amount equals 60% of current gross domestic product. Rather, according to Kotlikoff, the actual debt figure is 14 times higher and comes in above $200 trillion. In August, Kotlikoff wrote a highly noted article for Bloomberg entitled U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It. The professors most recent book is Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World’s Ongoing Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking. In the book, he argues that the 2008 financial meltdown was caused primarily by massive, systemic fraud.

Two interviews with him can be heard via the Financial Sense Newshour a weekly podcast on the economy and investing. The interviews can be found here (June 9, 2010) and here (September 11, 2010).

* * * * *

With this in mind the new Congress needs to kill/repeal the bankruptcy-increasing Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). One has to assume that the Democrats will not vote for this nor will President Obama sign such legislation. Radio host Mark Levin has linked to an important article in the New England Journal of Medicine by a pro-Obamacare healthcare expert who wants to keep the program but points out a short list of implementational vulnerabilities. (Start reading at the middle of p. 1686 (Here is how such a process could work.)) Well, it looks like a good place to start thinking about the strategy and tactics of repeal.

So, Whats Wrong with Dude?

by Robert Morrison

November 3, 2010

So whats wrong with the President of the United States letting his hair down, going on TV to mix it up with the coven on The View and get called Dude by comic Jon Stewart? Isnt that just another way of stripping the Oval Office of its aura. Isnt that just another way of showing youre not stuck up?

Before we had Presidents Day, and gave equal billing to Jimmy Carter and James Buchanan, we had Washingtons Birthday and Lincolns Birthday. Little children in grade school would cut out hatchets to remember the boy George Washington and the legend of the cherry tree. For Abraham Lincoln, a tall, black stove pipe hat would be our introduction to the tallest of our Presidents.

A new book, a best-seller by James Swanson, tells the story of the death pageant for President Lincoln as his body was taken back to Springfield, Illinois, following his assassination on April 14, 1865. More than a million Americans lined the tracks and brushed quickly past the open casket to pay their last respects to the man they called Father Abraham. It was an unprecedented outpouring of grief. Author James Swansons Bloody Crimes contrasts the Lincoln funeral train with the hunt for Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

One of the things we learn from Swansons wonderful book is that the funeral train was a tribute not only to Abraham Lincoln, but also to his people, all of his people, and to all the blood that had been shed to preserve the Constitution he called the last best hope of earth.

Swanson includes a remarkable account from journalist George Alfred Townsend. Townsend had been permitted to enter the dead Presidents office as his effects were being packed up, a month after he was shot.

I am sitting in the Presidents Office. He was here very lately, but he will not return to dispossess me of this high-backed chair he filled so long, nor resume his daily work at the table where I am writing.

A bright-faced boy runs in and out, darkly attired, so that his fob-chain of gold is the only relief to his mourning garb. This is little Tad, the pet of the White House…He will live to be a man pointed out everywhere, for his fathers sake, and as folks look at him, the tableau of the murder will seem to encircle him…

They are taking Mr. Lincolns private effects, to deposit them wherever his family may abide, and the emptiness of the place, on this sunny Sunday, revives that feeling of desolation from which the land has scarce recovered. I rise from my seat and examine the maps…[they] exhibit all the contested grounds of the war; there are pencil lines upon them where some one has traced the route of armies…was it the dead President?

Jim Swanson describes the passage of the great funeral train along a 1,625-mile route that re-traced Lincolns Inaugural journey of 1861. It was an unspooling of a ribbon of fire across this broad land as people from all walks of life came to offer their prayers, their flowers, their salutes.

Another Townsend, General Edward D. Townsend, has charge of the funeral train. It is his duty to make sure the remains of the dead Emancipator suffer no indignity along the route.

In Baltimore, for example, there is some fear that Lincoln haters might try to break through the cordon of guards and spit on the corpse. Nothing like that happens. In fact, Baltimores nobility shines through her tears. Black and white Baltimoreans gather to show their deep affection for the slain leader. They shuffle quietly past the catafalque in what may have been the Souths first great integrated event.

Gen. Townsend performs his function with great honor. But he is nearly dismissed when a wrathful Sec. of War, Edwin M. Stanton, learns that Townsend has permitted a photographer in New York City to make an image of Lincoln in his casket.

Stanton had wept, but then had taken brisk command during that terrible night of April 14-15, when fear ruled the nations capital and it seemed an assassin lurked behind every lamppost. Now, he belongs to the Ages, Stanton said as Lincoln breathed his last.

Stanton could not imagine anyone being allowed to hawk ghoulish souvenirs of the Presidents face frozen in death. He need not have worried, the photograph is distant, ever so respectful, and gives us the only image we have of Lincoln in repose. Its a national treasure.

Lincoln would have been the last one to stand on his own dignity. He was an awkward man whose rumpled clothing and giant boots gave no hint of elegance. When a visitor once expressed his surprise that the President was blacking his own boots, Lincoln disarmed him: Whose boots should I black?

His dignity came from his own soul, his integrity, his great mission. It was Lincoln who said right makes might. It was Lincoln who appealed to the better angels of our nature.

Not every President can be a Lincoln. We can thank God we have not had another Civil War to tear us apart. But even during the Civil War, Lincoln did not refer to the people of the South as his enemy. Yet, that is how President Obama refers to his domestic political opponents in an appearance on Univision.

When you allow the Presidency to be degraded, Mr. President, when you willingly lower the dignity of the high office to which we have raised you, you degrade us all.

Every President who comes into office has to look to Washington and Lincoln as models. All the great ones did.

Nobody looks to Andrew Johnson for a guide. President Johnson took a train trip out of Washington for a swing around the circle in the 1866 mid-term elections. He harangued drunken crowds from the back of the train. He called for his political foes in Congress to be hanged. His performance was so rancid that Gen. Grant left the Presidential train in disgust. Johnson suffered a landslide vote against him and his policies in those congressional elections.

President Obama came to Washington invoking Lincoln. Its not too late for him to return to that high road.

Civil Rights Gained on the Backs of Little Children

by Cynthia Hill

November 2, 2010

Yesterday the Vermont Supreme Court upheld a 2009 family court ruling that awarded sole custody of Isabella Miller-Jenkins, now eight, to Janet Jenkins as a result of a bitter lesbian custody case. Jenkins and her then-partner Lisa Miller had entered a VT civil union in 2000 which lasted until 2003. Later, their own private business of Lisas 2002 artificial insemination would become the business of a nation, the VT court system, and, sadly, one very innocent and undeserving little girl.

Miller, fearing this outcome of lost custody, failed to appear for both the court-ordered January 2009 custody exchange, as well as the VT Supreme Court ruling yesterday. She has long-since renounced her homosexuality and, to date, she and Isabella are attempting to remain underground.

This case is a loss for all involved. It is a tragic consequence of the civil “right” that, unfortunately, Lisa Miller, fought for - and now has to live in spite of. Only this time, an innocent child suffers at the hands of adults in a political milieu where the innocent loses and no one, especially little Isabella, wins.

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