Month Archives: May 2011

Democrats Battling over Choice?

by Robert Morrison

May 9, 2011

When I was a young political fund-raiser, I was tasked with going all around northern Minnesota speaking for the Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) party sustaining fund. It was an interesting and often exciting job. The lead speaker at a host of county DFL conventions was always Jim Oberstar, then the candidate for election to Congress. Mr. Oberstar would be followed by candidates for state legislature, county offices, and on down the list. It would often be midnight or later before I was introduced to speak. We all made the circuit of those colorfully named county powwows. Kandiyohi, Crow Wing, Yellow Medicine, and Chippewa counties brought out hundreds. (I confess I remember Morrison County best). It tells you something of the hardiness of those good folks in Minnesota that they actually hung around and listened.

I would invariably be politely received, even applauded. My New York accent was no bar to my being warmly welcomed by those Minnesotans. Thats why they call it Minnesota Nice. Political talk would follow into the wee hours.

And then I would get buttonholed by grassroots volunteers. Youre from the DFL state central committee, Bob. When you go back to Minneapolis, please tell them to dump this abortion stuff. We love the DFL, but we dont want them pushing abortion.

I readily agreed, since I was strongly anti-abortion. The term pro-life had not yet been invented. It would take Ronald Reagans presidential race in 1976 to bring about that happy changewhich the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press have yet failed to notice.

The ice on Lake Superior started breaking up in June that year. Duluth and Grand Marais were finally released from its deathly grip. What will it take for the Democrats to break free from the deathly grip the abortion traffickers have on their party?

Maybe we need more heroes like State Rep. Daphne Campbell (D-Fla.) When this Haitian-born legislator from Miami dared to vote for a pro-life bill on the floor of the State House, she was viciously abused. No Tallahassee Nice for this brave lawmaker.

But she stood firm. She even quoted the Bible!

She supported a bill brought forward by majority Republicans. That bill would tighten up requirements of parental notice before a minor girl could receive an abortion. We know that well-drafted parental notice requirements alone can save hundreds of thousands of lives. The bill also limits third-trimester abortions. (Most Americans dont even know that unborn children can be killed so late in pregnancy.) Finally, the bill would require that a young woman be offered the choice to see an ultrasound image of the unborn child she is carrying.

This protective legislation was passed last year, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. He was trolling for votes among the pro-abortion ranks. It didnt work.

Pro-abortion people react violently to the idea that young women should have the choice of seeing whator whois living in the womb. One of Rep. Campbells Democratic colleagues threw papers at her, tossed her pen in the trash, and verbally abused her for supporting these eminently reasonable protections for human life. He threatened her, saying he would recruit a primary opponent to run against her. Pro-abortion people know that when young women actually see their unborn children, they very often choose life.

Planned Parenthood is desperate to prevent young women from seeing such images. They have denounced Abby Johnson, a former director of one of their abortion facilities. When Mrs. Johnson saw real-time ultra-sound of a second-trimester abortion, she quit and became pro-life. Planned Parenthood has denounced Abby Johnson and her book, Unplanned. Shes lying, they say. There were no second-trimester abortions scheduled at her facility that day, they claim.

Well, they can easily resolve this issue. If they say her reaction to the horrifying image of a young life being destroyed before her eyes was a lie, then let Planned Parenthood show us all what is involved in a second-trimester abortion. Let them show the American people what they do thousands and thousands of times a year. Let them put it on the Internet and show us all why they need billions of our tax dollars to subsidize their lethal operations.

In the meantime, let us honor brave women like Daphne Campbell and Abby Johnson.

Let us thank God we have such voices in America.

Young Female Leaders Speaking Out About Girl Scouts of America and Planned Parenthood

by Family Research Council

May 6, 2011

FRC previously has reported on the allied relationship between Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) as well as their international branch, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAAGGS). Because of the increasingly close connections between these groups, pro-life young women who desire to grow and do good through involvement in the GSA have found themselves in increasingly difficult, and even compromising, positions.

Onto that backdrop, two teenagers and former girl scouts, Tess and Sydney Volanski, using some of the very skills acquired in scouting formation (Discover, Connect and take Action), have come forward in an effort, what they describe as a moral imperative, to educate their friends and girls around the country about the relationship between PPFA and GSA; to speak the truth about the girl scouts via a new blog.

I would highly recommend the blog —- it is very informative, and includes the Volanskis personal story about leaving their scout troop after eight years of involvement, as well as other information about GSA and abortion, such as a look at major GSA role models (many who are active abortion advocates). It also includes interesting quotes from Abby Johnson, a former PP clinic director who is now a pro-life activist. In the Volanskis words, It was a very difficult experience to discover that we had unknowingly been promoting and supporting a group that stands for the opposite of the beliefs we hold deeply in our hearts. We want to do everything we can to prevent this heartbreak for other girls and their families.

For those girls and families who are looking for a wholesome scouting alternative to GSA, the Volanskis make a few suggestions on their website, including American Heritage Girls.

On the Unborn, the Media, and the Conscience

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 5, 2011

There are some things in life you just cant avoid. Death and taxes come to mind, of course, and the seeming inevitability of the Cubs ultimate collapse.

There are others. One of them is the inescapable reality that abortion involves not a collation of tissue but the destruction of a person, a human being.

This is not just a theological assertion or philosophical rumination: We know from medical science that from conception, the unborn child has the entire DNA of a fully mature adult. What changes at time of birth is not the humanness of the child but his or her place of residence: For nine months, the womb was home; for the remainder of a persons life, it is the world around us.

Even the mass media cannot help itself. In ordinary stories, the personhood of the child pops up in the simple reportage of stories of the day. However much the pro-abortion movement has sought to shape the language of popular culture and public education, the fact that the little ones in the womb are, in fact, people, keeps intruding itself into public discourse. For example (bold and italics are mine):

  • On Monday of this week, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul noted that a grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Buffalo man with three counts of vehicular homicide after a multi-vehicle crash in Lakeville killing two people and an unborn child.
  • On April 28, the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser had this headline: Family grieves loss of woman, her unborn child.
  • In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the CBS affiliate told us late last month that a Kentucky state investigator testified Tuesday that Kathy Michelle Coy, the woman accused of killing a pregnant mother and stealing her baby.
  • Yesterday, the Today Show news site reported, Mom recounts saving unborn child from shooting spree.
  • Also yesterday, the Chicago Tribune, one of the nations largest papers, informed us that Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced James Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., to five natural life sentences on murder charges, two 30-year prison sentences for attempted murder charges and two 45-year prison sentences for charges of intentional homicide of an unborn child.

These are only a few examples from just the past couple of weeks.

Seminary president Al Mohler has observed that while The American conscience remains deeply divided over the question of abortion … the truth has a way of working itself into view.

That view is clearly seen in every ultrasound, but is also known to the law written on the heart described by the Apostle Paul (Romans 2:15). We can euphemize our language, speaking only of fetus and choice. We can deflect the demands of intellectual honesty when confronted by medical fact and common reason. But in the depth of our hearts and minds, we know better. We know.

News Conference On H.R. 3, ‘The No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion Act’

by FRC Media Office

May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - WASHINGTONDC

News Conference On H.R. 3, ‘The No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion Act.’ The legislation was approved by a vote of 251-175 in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.

U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), authored the bill that would codify and make permanent the Hyde Amendment across the federal government. The legislation makes permanent multiple restrictions on abortion funding that have been passed for years, and it would also close the abortion-funding loopholes created by the new health care law. It also makes permanent the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause protecting health care workers who object to being forced by the government to participate in abortion.

Speakers:

Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J.

Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.

Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.

Day Gardner, President of The National Black Pro-Life Union

Rev. Dean Nelson, Vice President of Underserved Outreach at Care Net

Nancy Tanner, Silent No More

Jabriel Ballentine, Chair of DC Council of Black Republicans

See Article on Obama Higher Ed Regs — Relating to May 11 FRC Panel

by Chris Gacek

May 5, 2011

Next Wednesday, May 11th, FRC will host a panel discussion of the Obama Administrations efforts to cripple for-profit higher education institutions through new government regulations from the Department of Education. Todays Washington Times has a good background article on this debate by Ben Wolfgang. I also highly recommend panelist Richard Bishirjians article The Coming Brave New World of Higher Education which argues that the current model of higher education is unsustainable and will be replaced by something akin to what he describes in his analysis. Look here also (Recognize that the actual cost of an education, the cost of books and room and board , is about 75% higher than the average middle class family is able to pay.).

Cinco de Mayo: Why Americans should Care

by Robert Morrison

May 5, 2011

Its not Mexican Independence Day today. This day commemorates instead a great Mexican victory over the invading French at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862.

Now, U.S. Civil War buffs will notice that date. It was in the middle of Gen. George McClellans ill-fated Peninsula Campaign. Its when the young Napoleon was supposed to take the Confederate capital at Richmond but didnt.

McClellan had all of the famous French emperors qualities vanity, a lack of respect for elected officials, a love for pomp and show, and a lust for military glory except two: speed and decision. McClellan, President Lincoln complained, had the slows. And sending more troops to him was futile; they always got diverted. It was, in Lincolns phrase, like shoveling fleas.

France had a Napoleon then, too. The nephew of the famed conqueror had staged a military coup detat and installed himself as emperor. He titled himself Napoleon III. He was a thoroughly ridiculous figure who loved to pose in spectacular uniforms, who sported long, waxed mustachios, and who was determined to re-establish monarchy in the Western Hemisphere, in direct violation of Americas Monroe Doctrine.

Napoleon III tried to get the British to intervene in our Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. His whole purpose was to undercut the principle of republican government in the world.

President Lincoln was not wrong in seeing the Civil War as a peoples contest testing whether that government, or any government so conceived and so dedicated [could] long endure.

The Mexicans resisted Napoleon IIIs invasion. But it was hard for a people perennially suffering from bad government to put up an effective defense. Still, the victory at Puebla encouraged Mexicans to stand against a powerful European state. France had not been defeated since the Battle of Waterloo.

Napoleon III persuaded an Austrian Archduke, the hapless Maximilian, to become his puppet emperor in Mexico. The Northern press referred to Maximilian as the Archdupe. Maximilian was suitably dim-witted, but seems to have sincerely thought he was doing the Mexicans a favor.

Lincolns Secretary of State William Seward hoped to reunite America by declaring war on Britain and France. And throw in Spain, too, perhaps. Sewards fight ‘em all plan was called wrap the world in flames.

President Lincoln politely sat on his friend Seward. One war at a time, Seward, Father Abraham said.

The Mexican victory against the French this day gave encouragement to all that republics could fight and win against monarchies. That was not so clear in the 1860s as it is today.

So we Americans who value our own independence can appreciate that Cinco de Mayo represents a victory over European interference in this hemisphere. It was as well a vindication of our own Monroe Doctrine.

Theres another reason to value Cinco de Mayo. Millions of loyal Americans are descended from legal immigrants from Mexico. Recognizing this holiday is a way of showing our appreciation of our fellow Americans of Mexican descent. And, as Canadas Stephen Harper just showed in a dramatic way, appealing to the essentially conservative, pro-family, pro-faith, and pro-life values of immigrants and the children of immigrants makes good politics, too. Viva Cinco de Mayo!

Eleven Chronicles 7:14

by Robert Morrison

May 5, 2011

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. —- II Chronicles 7:14

The date was January 21, 1985. The great cloud of witnesses represented the highest levels of the American government and the foreign diplomatic corps. They were crowded into the massive Capitol Rotunda of the United States.

It was a rare event, the inauguration of a president on a Monday. Thats because January 20th had fallen on a Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. It was also unprecedented as the first inauguration held indoors. The outdoor ceremony had been cancelled because of dangerous arctic winds that hit Washington.

Sen. Joe Biden was doubtless there, but happily no one let him near a microphone. John Chancellor, that always grave, chin-stroking journalist, was there. He served as anchor of NBC News. He provided the hushed and solemn words of the voiceover for the millions of Americans listening at home and around the world. President Reagan has his hand on the open Bible, Chancellor intoned: It is open to a favorite passageEleven Chronicles 7:14.

Few of us imagined that II Chronicles would be so read by such an august figure on national television. It was hilariously funny to those who happened to know that there are only two books of the Bible titled Chronicles. Do you think maybe Mr. Chancellor thought it was inflation? He never caught himselfand no one on his network seemed to notice the gaffe.

How would they? As scholars Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter would soon demonstrate in a classic study, our media elites almost never attend worship services of any kind. What John Chancellors famous faux pas shows us is they apparently dont read the Bible, either. Thats doubtless why CNNs Bill Schneider famously said: The media doesnt get religion.

Its not just the media. Many of our secular elites dont get religion, either. Take the famous incident of Gov. Howard Dean. This gentleman, a highly educated medical doctor, was asked to cite his favorite book of the New Testament. The book of Job, he happily responded. Duh! Was that right church, wrong pew? How about out the door?

Gov. Dean flamed out in the Iowa caucuses in 2004, but was given the chairmanship of the Democratic Party as a consolation prize. He then proceeded in 2005 to knock the Republicans as pretty much a white, Christian party. And doubtless readers of the book of Job.

Howard Dean was immediately taken to task by then-Sen. Barack Obama:

As somebody who is a Christian myself, I don’t like it when people use religion to divide, whether that is Republican or Democrat,” Obama said. “I think in terms of his role as party spokesman, [Dean] probably needs to be a little more careful and I suspect that is a message he is going to be getting from a number of us,” Obama explained.

Howard Dean never got the point, but when Barack Obama won the presidency, Dr. Dean did get the boot.

With that seemingly greater sensitivity to religious sensibilities in America, Barack Obama managed to persuade millions of American Christians that he was one of them, that he shared their core beliefs.

Therefore, it had to come as a shock to these supportive Christians when President Obama went to Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt to give his major address to what is termed the Muslim world. That was in June, 2009. Al Azhar is a hotbed of Muslim Brotherhood activity. That should have been troubling enough.

What he said there was more troubling still. He called the Koran holy. If it is, then it supersedes the Holy Bible. Thats what the Muslim Brotherhood believes. He said the Mideast is the region where Islam was first revealed. Thats a most revealing

statement. He didnt say where Islam began. Or call the Mideast the region from which Islam spread throughout the world. He said: was revealed. That means it was revealed by God. If that is so, then Jesus is not the Alpha and Omega, after all. How can He be?

We dont elect our presidents to be theologians-in-chief. Americanseven in the early days when more than 98% of us were Protestant Christianscould never have agreed on one established church. Thats why we have been blessed with the worlds greatest example of religious freedom. But when a president makes a point of speaking to a worldwide religious community, he ought to be most careful with his words. He ought not to deny the tenets of the religion he is so determined to tell us he practices.

We have much to ponder in our hearts on this National Day of Prayer. We can thank God for the fact that Osama bin Laden has been brought to justice, or, rather, that justice was brought to him. We can surely pray for a restoration of peace and prosperity to our land. If we turn from our wicked ways, we may yet see His face.

O Canada, the True North Strong and Free!

by Robert Morrison

May 4, 2011

Each morning, as I drive into Washington, D.C. along the John Hanson Highway from Annapolis, I read the road sign that says Bladensburg, Upper Marlborough, Washington. Most commuters, Im sure, dont pay much attention. We all know the route.

But I never fail to be reminded of the engravings outside the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Canada. They list the same three names. And they are monuments to British victories in the War of 1812. Our Virginia and Maryland militiamen ran away when the British fired off their Congreve rockets. And the British burned the White House, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress. Former President Thomas Jefferson had said that conquering British Canada would be a mere matter of marching for the far more numerous Americans. Not so fast, Mr. Jefferson. Its not one of his better predictions.

Thanks to British victories in Canada in the War of 1812, our northern neighbor is a very different country. For starters, their Conservatives are blue and their Liberals are red. Now, thats the way it ought to be. And they can stage an election whenever the Prime Minister thinks it would be advantageous to do so.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the first Conservative Prime Minister in a generation is arguably the first truly conservative party leader since the 1960s. He probably didnt think when he chose his May 2nd election date that his great victory would be almost completely overshadowed by the Royal Wedding and the dispatch of Osama bin Laden.

Still, despite being nearly eclipsed by other world news, Canadas election is a big deal. For one thing, Canadas political system has been beset by odd quirks of multi-party factionalism. At least five partiesConservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Partyhave seats in Parliament. Stephen Harper has had to govern for the past five years with a minority government. Thats always unstable in a parliamentary system.

This weeks election saw the Liberal Party nearly collapse. This party ruled Canada for most of its history. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was defeated in his own riding (district). Thats like Nancy Pelosi being defeated in San Francisco! He resigned as leader. He had no choice. Liberal MP Ken Dryden also lost. Yes, in hockey-mad Canada, this Hall-of-Famer, this six-time Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens, lost his seat as a Member of Parliament. Now, thats a shellacking.

Also ousted on Monday was Gilles Duceppe, the longtime leader of the separatist group, the Bloc Quebecois. This party routinely sat in the federal parliament while formally committed to Quebec secession. Try to imagine Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee sitting as members of the U.S. Senate! Maybe M. Duceppe will now reconsider the big bash he threw to celebrate his twenty years of causing mischief in Ottawa!

The Bloc nearly collapsed in Quebec. Voters there apparently tired of these manipulators. They didnt go for the Conservatives, though. They also dumped the Conservatives in their French-speaking province and went heavily for the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Jack Layton, the NDP leader, was Mondays other big winner. If Stephen Harper is happy to have a majority government for the first time, Layton is happy to win the coveted title of Leader of the Opposition, as the Liberals sink to third place in Canadas House of Commons.

The NDP is unapologetically socialist. Can this be good? It does clarify the choices that voters must make. Conservatives generally do better when voters realize what the stark alternative is. And so it seemed on Monday in Canada.

The Harper government controlled spending, kept down taxes, and stressed competent and clean governance. Stephen Harper went to the New Canadiansthe large immigrant populationand pitched common sense values of conservatism to these hard-working voters. It paid big dividends on election day.

Prime Minister Harper has pledged no radical moves. Thats almost reassuring. But the prior Liberal Party majorities, when they werent busily enriching themselves at public expense, made plenty of radical moves. Will Stephen Harper even try to scale some of these back? He pledged no change on abortion. That cannot be good news. He also has not promised to roll back Canadas radical laws on marriage.

Still, there have been small but important changes in Canadas direction under Stephen Harper. He braved liberal scorn when he ended his speeches with God bless Canada.

Good grief, they cried, another George W. Bush! Harper has announced a pullout from Afghanistan, but there, too, he has marched with his U.S. ally. The Harper government has promoted a compassionate aid effort in Africa to help young mothers combat dangerous diseases.

How do social conservatives south of the 49th parallel know Mr. Harpers policy is a good policy? Thats easy: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Ottawa and publicly attacked the Harper government for not pushing abortion on the Africans.

Finally, some of the socially liberal Conservative Party members were defeated. Do they call them CINOs, like we have RINOs? These social liberal losses were made up for by True Blue Conservatives elected in other ridings, in other provinces. This could be the most pro-family Conservative Party in Canada, ever.

We who are American social conservatives need friends across the border and around the world. We care about faith, family, and freedom. And in praying for our Canadian friends, we show that a conservatism of heart and hearth is truly international.

How Should Christians Respond to the Death of bin Laden?

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 2, 2011

Theology professor Christopher Morgan has written a thoughtful response to the death of Osama bin Laden in which he notes that Christians “can rightly grieve that Osama bin Laden opposed the true and living God and will be punished accordingly. But we also can rightly rejoice in the defeat and judgment upon people who are eviland he was clearly evil and deserving of every punishment earth can give.”

This seems to hit about the right balance: bin Laden was made in the image and likeness of God, was loved by Him, and was a sinner for whom Christ died. Personal hatred of the man is not in keeping with Jesus’ message of love. Yet that message was designed for His followers, not the secular state —- which, the Apostle Paul reminds us, “does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:4). Bin Laden was, as Morgan notes, “clearly evil,” a mass murderer who for many years pursued an agenda of indiscriminate killing. Grief at his eternal punishment and satisfaction that earthly justice has been done are rightful, and simultaneous, responses to the death of this author of so much human destruction.

Yet there are two additional dimensions to the demise of bin Laden that Christians should consider: The potential for retribution against believers in Jesus, and also the opportunity bin Laden’s death brings to share the Gospel. In a story in today’s Christian Post:

The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention says it has more than 5,000 personnel members serving internationally, several of whom have been calling the Virginia headquarters today with a message for Americans. ‘They have really pled that Christians here, instead of celebrating, would fall on their knees and pray for an opportunity to share the Gospel,’ said Wendy Norvelle, IMB associate vice president and spokesperson.

Indeed. And with this prayer, let us also pray for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East, perhaps most especially Pakistan. “There are fears that the death of Osama bin Laden could incite Islamic militants to carry out revenge attacks on Christians in Pakistan,” writes Brian Hutt in Christian Today-India. Hutt notes that “Christians make up only three per cent of the population in Pakistan and are regularly the victims of killings and attacks … Just last week, a church and missionary school were targeted by Muslim extremists in Gujranwala after Christians were accused of defiling the Koran. The attack has prompted hundreds of Christians to leave the city out of fear for their lives.”

Thus, prayer seems the best recourse of all: For opportunities for the Gospel, and for protection of our own country, for those who serve her so faithfully in uniform and in our clandestine services (whose bravery and tenacity in killing one of America’s greatest enemies we honor), and for those who profess Christian faith in regions where to do so is to risk one’s life.

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