Month Archives: October 2011

Pornland or Portland? Christians Fighting Back, In Love

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 31, 2011

I went to theological seminary in Portland, Oregon. That might sound rather ensconced and safe, but I worked at a large commercial bakery in a run-down industrial section of the city. This exposed me to some things I would rather have not seen, as when, driving along a side-street one evening, I found myself running a narrow gauntlet of hectoring prostitutes; I drove away as fast as I could.

Portland has a justified reputation for urban renewal and natural beauty. Bisected by the Willamette River and set among lush, fir-laden hills, Portland’s charm is hard to forget.

Yet now, as Katelyn Beaty documents in her moving article about the sex trafficking trade in the City of Roses (that would be Portland; I proposed to my wife in the city’s massive rose-test garden, albeit in the winter when none were in bloom), Portland has become perhaps the single most dominant city in one of the ugliest “industries” ever devised - the trafficking of persons for sexual purposes. Veteran journalist Dan Rather has called Portland “Pornland,” and according to Joslyn Baker of the Multnomah County (Portland area) unit that specializes in child prostitution, “most Portlanders accepted the ubiquitous strip clubs as part of their premium on individual freedomuntil February 2009, when the FBI swept the Portland-Vancouver area and found seven underage girls, the most in any FBI raid at the time. With the ensuing national media coverage, Portlanders began realizing that their lucrative sex industry is the main ‘gateway’ for pimping children.”

Christians are fighting back, with love and tenacity. They have now started the Oregon Center for Christian Voices (OCCV), which over the past four years “has … become Oregon’s flagship nonprofit for passing laws that make it harder to sexually exploit children. In the same four years, two Christians in Portland’s leading assault advocacy group and police department have created a unique model for assisting underage victims. Their model earned their county a $500,000 federal grant that created a special committee on CSEC (‘commercial sexual exploitation of children’).” Additionally, Oregon State Legislator Andy Olson (R-Albany) “has worked with OCCV to try to amend Oregon’s Constitution (whose free speech provisions open the door for prostitution and illicit sexuality among youth). A Christian, he calls trafficking a ‘family values issue.’”

Rep. Olson is dead right, and the noble efforts of committed Christians to change Portland’s culture of prostitution and sex trafficking are animated by the same spirit of sacrifice and compassion that led the early believers to rescue unwanted babies from the Roman ash-heaps. As Shoshan Tama-Sweet, executive director of the Oregon Center for Christian Voices, told journalist Beaty: “The church has something special: We have the Good News. We have a vision of the way the world is supposed to be. And it doesn’t include the rape of children on our streets. When you realize that God loved every victim when they were born, that he’s with them every day they’re traumatizedit’s incumbent on believers to protect them, to help them become whole, and to insist that, in our society, we are not going to tolerate the antithesis of God’s beloved community.”

I believe Mr. Tama-Sweet is among those Jesus is unashamed to call brothers (Hebrews 2:11). May God bless him and his colleagues in their efforts.

Earlier this year, FRC held two events focusing on human trafficking and what Christians can do to fight it. You can view them here and here.

FRC Blasts Supreme Court for Allowing Decision to Stand that Removes Roadside Crosses in Six States

by FRC Media Office

October 31, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2011

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397

FRC Blasts Supreme Court for Allowing Decision to Stand that Removes Roadside Crosses in Six States

October 31, 2011

SCOTUS Lets Stand One of Worst Religious Liberty Assaults in American History

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Family Research Council (FRC) strongly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to let stand one of the worst religious assaults in all of American history. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Davenport vs. American Atheists will now result in the removal of 14 crosses bearing the names of fallen Utah state troopers that have been placed at roadside locations. In addition to Utah, the cross removal order will affect five other states including Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case could have significant implications for national memorials and monuments across the nation, including, but not limited to, the crosses on headstones in Arlington Cemetery.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded with these comments:

The Supreme Court has failed to recognize that religious liberty is a fundamental right given to us by God and protected in the Constitution. I find it tragic that our freedoms are now at greater risk from our own courts than from the foreign or domestic enemies we’ve faced,” concluded Perkins.

Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council Ken Klukowski co-authored FRC’s brief in the case with Professor Nelson Lund. Of the case, Klukowski said:

The U.S. Supreme Court decided today to let stand one of the worst court decisions on religious liberty in American history. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered removal of roadside crosses in six states is the worst example yet of the Establishment Clause being turned on its head to sterilize the public square of references to faith.

Freedom of religion means, in part, that no government should discriminate against those who, using their own funds, wish to erect a non-invasive religious display on public property,” concluded Klukowski.

To read FRC’s amicus brief, click here: http://www.frc.org/davenport

-30-

When in the course of Human Events!

by Robert Morrison

October 28, 2011

I confess its been awhile since I read the feisty conservative publication, Human Events.

I picked up a copy from a stack at the Capitol Hill Club yesterday and instantly remembered why I loved this journal so when I was a young conservative coming up.

There is a bright blue banner above the Masthead of Human Events that proclaims a celebration of Ronald Reagans Centennial. Well should this grassroots conservative hold high that banner. Ronald Reagan was their most famous reader in the 1950s and 1960s.

He continued reading Human Events in the White House. Theres a famous story that White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III tried to keep Human Events out of the presidents pile of reading because this spirited journal fearlessly criticized any backsliding or and named the backsliders. (The powerful and efficient Mr. Baker was forever leading the backslider lobby.)

Picking up my copy of Human Events, I showed it to Attorney General and Mrs. Ed Meese. With a wink, I said: Sir, the statute of limitations has run out by now. Am I correct in thinking there may have been someone with Reagan who made sure the president got his weekly copy of Human Events? The ever-gracious Mr. Meese smiled as he signed a copy of his book, With Reagan.

How fully modest he is. Most Washington Bigs write their memoirs focusing on themselves and their own self-importance. Dean Acheson, the very important Secretary of State in Harry Trumans administration, set the pattern with his memoirs, Present at the Creation. Well, Acheson was there when much of the shape of the modern world was formed in those tumultuous years after World War II. Still, many of us think of something even more awe-inspiring when we see Creation with a capital C.

Ed Meese was with Reagan throughout those years. And he continues to serve the conservative cause with distinction, warmth, and good humor.

Human Events has lost none of its brio. STUPID COMES TO WALL STREET reads one headline. You wont doubt where they stand.

Editor Jason Mattera is taking Human Events into a new era. He confronted Vice President Biden last week on Capitol Hill. Jason wanted to question the outspoken v.p. about his claims that rapes and murders would increase if we didnt pass President Obamas phony jobs bill. The ever-ungracious veep rounded on Jason: Dont ____ with me!

Of course, its not just plucky Human Events reporters who think the Vice President may have stepped in it again. The Washington Posts Glenn Kessler awarded Joe B*Den four pinocchios for his outlandish claims. Kesslers Fact Checker column is a rare gem in fair and balanced journalism.

I confess I have missed most my friend John Gizzis stellar reporting. And what would we do without Gizzis weekly Hows Your Political I.Q.? John Gizzi has forgotten more about American politics than most of us will ever know. Who was the last president to carry Michigan? George H.W. Bush in 1988. Which three candidates lost the New Hampshire primary but went on to win the White House? They were Bill Clinton (1992),

George W. Bush (2000) and Barack Obama (2008). I knew those, but I missed two others. Will it be time to retire when I can get a 100 on the Gizzi political IQ test?

Does your public library carry Human Events? Chances are they carry a host of liberal publications. If they dont subscribe to Human Events, maybe they should. Liberalism is parasitic. In government it moves and breathes and has its being. Deprived of government subsidies, would it survive at all? Human Events is one way to fight back against liberal Big Government dominance. But do not, I repeat, do not Occupy the Public Library. I wouldnt want stupid to come to the stacks.

Roosevelts to France!

by Robert Morrison

October 27, 2011

I thought of President Theodore Roosevelt as I attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Annapolis recently. We were observing the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknowns at St. Johns College. Those unknowns are not American soldiers and sailors but those of France who died fighting for our freedom in the War of Independence. Theodore Roosevelt cared deeply about such things. As president, he presided over the return of the remains of John Paul Jones from France.

And he was more than willing to have his own body buried in France. Yes. Former President Roosevelt went hat-in-hand to the White House in 1917. There, he almost begged President Woodrow Wilson to let him go to France to fight against Germany.

Wilson demurred, saying it would be too dangerous to let a former President of the United States be captured or killed in combat. I would be more than willing, T.R. told his long-time adversary, to have my epitaph read: Roosevelt to France.

Wilson didnt turn T.R. down then. He said to his faithful aide Joe Tumulty after his rival left the presidential office: Theodore is like a big boy. Hopeful, T.R. said he thought the professorial Wilson might relent.

Today is Theodore Roosevelts birthday. T.R. is getting beaten up a good bit among conservatives these days. His embrace of national health care when he ran as the Bull Moose (Progressive Party) candidate for president in 1912 is seen, with some justification, by President Obama as an early endorsement of his own takeover of one-sixth of the nations economy.

T.R. was wrong about that. He referred in 1912 to his own Progressive ranks as the usual assortment of reformers, do-gooders, and, of course, the lunatic fringe. With humor, T.R. gave us that wonderful phrase.

Still, Theodore Roosevelt might justly be called the first pro-family president. He pored over Census reports. He was appalled by rising divorce rates and declining birth rates. He cared deeply about the American family. He constantly held up the role of mothers and fathers as important to the nations well-being. He honored marriage.

His own role as husband and father endeared him to the nation. T.R.s lively brood was the youngest First Family in decades. Coming into the White House at just 42, in the wake of a beloved presidents assassination, Theodore reveled in the power of the presidency. He was the first to make The White House the official name of the Executive Mansion. He put it on the stationery. Edith Kermit Roosevelt was a most lovely and amazingly patient First Lady. She had to be.

T.R. was forever leading the family on romps. He would interrupt Cabinet meetings to retrieve a stray snake that his impish boys had let loose on the stuffed shirts. He would promptly usher official visitors out of his office to make time for his six children at the end of a hard days work.

If Abraham Lincoln was the first president to invite black men to the White House for meetingsand give respectful ear to the advice of the great abolitionist editor Frederick Douglass, Theodore Roosevelt was the first to have a black man to dinner. The almost universally respected Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, came to advise President Roosevelt on what was then called the color line.

So vitriolic were some Democratic Senators in denouncing the presidents courteous gesture that T.R. felt he had to go down to Mississippi to mend political fences. He accepted an invitation to go bear hunting. His hosts were unable to scare up any proper game for the New Yorker president. So, they collared a sickly black bear female and tied her to a tree.

Refusing to do anything so cowardly as shoot a trapped beast, T.R. put his footand his rifledown. Washington Post cartoonist Cliff sought to poke fun at the episode, saying Roosevelt was drawing the line in the South. He meant it about race.

But readers took it up as a comment on the sportsmanlike conduct and tender heart of their beloved Teddy. Soon, the whole world knew the story of Teddys Bear. Today, we remember our 26th president in the Teddy Bear. (I actually think we might make this a symbol of our pro-family movement. Teddy would surely approve.)

Former President Roosevelt never got to fight in France. The vindictive Woodrow Wilson made sure of that. But all of his sons fought bravely in World War I. The youngest, Quentin, was shot out of the skies over German-occupied territory in Northeast France. He was buried with full military honors. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was seriously wounded in that war and was honorably discharged with a full disability. In World War II, this cousin of the Commander-in-Chief, FDR, volunteered and was among the first to land on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Medal of Honor winner, died of a heart attack just days later. He is buried in France beside his younger brother. In the end, for American freedom and the cause of justice in the world, it was indeed: Roosevelts to France.

Does U.S. Foreign Policy Matter for Religious Freedom?

by Jared Bridges

October 27, 2011

Yesterday here at FRC headquarters, a sobering panel of religious freedom & foreign policy experts looked at the past, current, and potential impact of U.S. foreign policy upon religious freedom around the world.

Watch the panel below, or visit the event page for audio and embed code.

Participants included:

  • Elyse Anderson, Foreign Policy Director for Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.)
  • Ann Buwalda, Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign
  • Dr. Thomas Farr, first Director of the State Department’s office of international religious freedom and Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Visiting Associate Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Emmanuel Ogebe, Nigerian attorney and human rights leader
  • Tina Ramirez, Director of International and Government Relations, The Becket Fund

Anti-Gay Hate and Pro-Gay Terrorism

by Peter Sprigg

October 21, 2011

Two acts of vandalism were committed in recent days against facilities associated with the debates over homosexualityone on each side of the issue.

In Arlington Heights, Illinois, bricks were thrown through the glass doors and windows of the Christian Liberty Academy. That night, the Christian school was to host a banquet put on by Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), a pro-family organization led by Peter LaBarbera. The banquet was to feature presentation of an award to Scott Lively, another pro-family activist who heads Abiding Truth Ministries.

In the other incident, an office door and two display cases of the GLBT Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh were defaced with spray paint, including an anti-gay epithet.

Both acts of vandalism were contemptible, and Family Research Council (FRC) condemns them both equally. The debates over homosexuality, however emotional they may become, should be carried on peacefully by those on both sides. Physical attacks on people or property are never justified. (Will liberal groups join us in equally denouncing both acts? The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is quick to accuse conservatives of hate, chose to blame the victims, criticizing the attackers in Illinois primarily for [a]dding fuel to a fire started and stoked by anti-gay activists.)

So are there any differences between these two incidents? Yes. There is not the slightest evidence that the spray paint attack at NC State had any connection with any religious or political organization or public policy issue, or that it was perpetrated by anyone other than a lone thug.

In the attack on the Christian Liberty Academy, however, the vandals made clear that their attack was directed specifically at the work of AFTAH and Lively. A note accompanying one of the bricks said, This is just a sample of what we will do if you dont shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH. It followed with obscenities (edited here): F*** Scott Lively and Quit the homophobic s***! The other brick had written directly on it, Shut down Lively.

If that werent bad enough, an anonymous person posted a detailed claim of credit for the attack on the left-wing Chicago Independent Media Center website. It included this declaration:

These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down.

(It is bizarre that anyone could think throwing bricks through school windows could be considered a way of combating hatred.)

Were either or both of these incidents hate crimes? In a generic sense, as the term hate crime is typically used, both were hate crimes. Both involved criminal acts, and both were motivated by characteristics of the victims (in the one case, sexual orientation, and in the other, religion, or more specifically religious beliefs in opposition to homosexual conduct).

In the legal sense, however, neither of these fit under the definition of hate crimes that merit federal intervention, according to the 2009 law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The new federal hate crimes bill applies only to cases where a person willfully causes bodily injury or attempts to cause bodily injury, so crimes of vandalism directed only at property are not covered.

Some states have their own hate crime laws featuring broader definitions than the federal statute. North Carolina, however, does not include sexual orientation as one of the protected categories in its hate crime law.

Illinois, on the other hand, has a hate crime law that does cover religion as a protected category. It also states explicitly that even an act of misdemeanor criminal damage to property will be treated as a Class 3 felony if it is motivated by bias and takes places on property used for religious purposes (such as the Christian Liberty Academy).

Thus, under current state laws, the North Carolina incident would appear not to be a hate crime, but the Illinois one would be. However, police treatment of the two cases appears to be diametrically opposite of what the law would suggest. Authorities in North Carolina say they are investigating the spray paint attack as a hate incident, while those in Illinois say there was no hate crime because Lively was targeted for his views, not his religion.

While Christian moral teachings are not the only reason to oppose homosexual conduct, does anyone seriously believe that if an African American church were targeted for supporting civil rights protections, or a Jewish synagogue were targeted for giving aid to Israel, it would not be considered a hate crime?

Family Research Council opposes the entire concept of hate crimes, because we believe that criminal laws should punish actions alone, not the personal opinions of those who commit those actions. We hope that both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents will be thoroughly investigated, solved, and prosecuted on that basis.

Nevertheless, the selective application of the hate crime law in Illinois shows that such laws are actually not applied on a neutral basis, but are used primarily when they will advance a politically correct cause, such as the affirmation of homosexual conduct.

While both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents were hateful on their face, there is another factor at work in the attack on Christian Liberty Academy. Those who claimed credit for the attack online said it had a specific goalto directly cause this event [the AFTAH banquet that night] to be shut down (in this they failedthe program went forward as scheduled). They also warned of similar attacks in the future: If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings [a reference to AFTAHs Truth Academy educational programs] do not end, the Christian liberty academy will continue to be under constant attack.

There is a word for the use of violence to deter others from opposing your political agenda. That word is not just hate, but terrorism.

Some who posted comments under the claim of credit for the Illinois attack condemned it: As a gay man, I cannot condone your actions. Violence is never acceptable. Shockingly, though, a number of the comments actually praised this act of pro-gay terrorism.

Some were mild in their endorsementThese kinds of actions may have their place, and It should be respected. Others, however were downright gleeful: lol those homophobes got served maybe they think twice before bringing fascists to our town again; and, I only wish I could have been there with a truckload of concrete blocks for smashing. Let’s STONE those haters for the criminals they are.

There is such a thing as anti-gay hate. The attack on the GLBT Center at NC State is an example of it, and FRC does not hesitate to condemn it.

Peaceful opposition to demands for official affirmation of homosexual conduct, however, is not hate.

And the terrorism at the Christian Liberty Academy shows that it may be those making such pro-homosexual demands who are guilty of the most hatred toward their opponents.

Tulip Time?

by Robert Morrison

October 21, 2011

Tulip Time is an all-American festival thats also all-Dutch. Its an annual celebration in Holland, Michigan. And it shouldnt be missed. But its a spring event, an occasion to rejoice in the blooms of new life.

I never associated tulips with the fall. In front of our house in Maryland today, my wife has placed chrysanthemumsyellow, burgundy, and purples ones. Theyre there along with pumpkins and gourds and harvest-themed garden banners. Its all very nice and welcoming. But theyre not tulips.

So what about tulips in the fall? My own introduction to tulip time in the fall was a bit unusual, Ill admit. In 1980, my new wife pleaded with me to help her plant tulip bulbs. It was October. Sorry, my love, but Im busy this weekend, I told her. Im campaigning for Ronald Reagan. Ill help you plant your tulips in the spring, I promised.

If we dont plant tulip bulbs in the fall, well have nothing in our garden come spring, she protested. It was the first house we had owned as a married couple, so I tried to sympathize with her nesting instinct. But I was heaven-bent on the coming elections.

If we dont get Jimmy Carter out of there, I sternly remonstrated, youll have Soviet tanks in your garden come spring!

I didnt help her at all. Instead, I went doorbelling for Reagan. You really learn about American politics when you go to a third floor walk-up and try to persuade a young mother to listen to you. Ill always remember the wife of a shipyard worker who answered my knock. She had one baby on her hip and another on the floor who seemed to need a change of diapers. All the while, she was stirring soup on the stove.

She said: Youve got just one minute, mister. Okay, I said, Ronald Reagan will get the economy going again. Hell build up our Navy, which will be good for your husbands work; hell make America respected again, and, of course, hell stand up for the right to life. That was enough for her. She said she would vote for Reagan and ask her husband to do so, too. I kept my promise and was out of there in less than one minute.

Politics! Why do I always think of politics? In 1980, my young wife must have been shocked. She had married me between presidential election years. She didnt know that every four years I go more than a little crazy.

Ive always felt a little guilty about not helping my wife with her tulip bulbs that year. But not so guilty that Ive ever helped her since.

Until now. I was cornered this week. We were visiting our daughter and son-in-law. And, of course, we were seeing our two-year old grandson. My wife announced that we would be planting tulip bulbs. Grandson would join us in the back yard. No escape.

She produced for me a tool I had never seen before. Its called a bulb digger. It looks too much like work. I would have the privilege of digging up large clods of earthrich, black soiland my wife and our grandson would put the tulip bulbs in the neat, round holes, covering them with plant food.

We moved quickly throughout the back yard, marking out a large semicircle for planting.

I tried to envision what it would look like with all those tulips coming up next May.

We werent out there that long, but it was long enough for me to get blisters on my hands, so unaccustomed are they to honest work.

Planting and planning. Looking ahead to the future. This is what life is really about. There are surely lessons for young people here. And some older ones, too.

Our grandson was delighted to help in the planting of the tulips. What a blessing it is in this country to have the joy of introducing a little Dutch boy to tulip time. Put the heads up, my wife instructs him. Good counsel. (Im seriously thinking of having her plant me that way, too.)

Theres been so much doom and gloom in the air this year. Terrorism. Double-dip recession talk. Claims of global eco-crises. Mullahs with nukes. It can all get quite dispiriting.

I love the quote from Martin Luther. When asked what he would do if he learned that Jesus was coming back for us tomorrow, the Blessed Doctor said: Id plant a tree.

Or a tulip?

Where are the Comments? Update on HHS Women’s Preventive Services “Contraceptive Mandate”

by Family Research Council

October 21, 2011

On September 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received thousands of negative comments related to the interim final rule published on August 3rd where all insurance plans were informed that they must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay. A very narrowly defined conscience exemption for religious organizations was included which, in essence, covers only places of worship and was originally drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a bill in California. For more information on the rule, see FRC’s fact sheet on this topic.

Curious to read some of the comments and get a sense of volume, this week I perused the official regulatory website of the government, regulations.gov. Recall that the language from the rule indicated that comments would be posted publicly: “All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.”

Much to my surprise, my search led me to only a very small number of comments — under 100. Knowing that FRC constituents alone submitted close to 12000 comments, and that USCCB constituents filed close to 60,000 comments, I was surprised and assumed I was searching incorrectly. So, I called the regulations.gov helpline and had a knowledgeable customer service representative walk me through the process to assure I was doing everything correctly. At the end of that conversation together we located only 58 comments! I then asked the customer service representative if HHS may withhold certain comments. The representative ironically began by telling me that the “Obama Administration is committed to transparency” but then told me that HHS has control over what they post.

The Social Conservative Review: October 20, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

October 20, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Conservatism, it has been said, is not an ideology but a way of viewing the world. This is partially true: conservatives seek to impose no utopian vision upon an imperfectible humanity.

At the same time, conservatism presupposes both human dignity and fallenness, and argues that personal virtue must be the foundation of political self-governance. Conservatism is suspicious of schemes to change humanity through external constraints, or reshape human nature through insistent indoctrination.

At Independence Hall in 1861, Abraham Lincoln said, “The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.”

An equal chance because, as the Declaration says, all men are of equal merit in the sight of their Creator. This was not only Lincoln’s claim; it has been the principle claim of our Republic since its founding.

Despite its protestations to the contrary, the Left argues that most men are not, in fact, created equal: The “masses” are too reactionary to know what’s good for them, too benighted to recognize the obvious truths of political liberalism, too fearful of the bracing, brave new world that Godless men can create.

Most people understand, intuitively, that grand plans for social engineering and cultural transformation will collapse under the weight of human arrogance, incompetence, and elitism. They grasp that there are limits to human commitments and even love, which is why one man and one woman marry each other, and do not have multiple partners. It’s why each of us cares for his own children more than those of our neighbors. It’s why one can have only so many close friends: People are finite, and there’s only so much of each of us to go around.

This is not a cynical perspective, but it is not naive either. It is conservative, taking and enjoying reality as it is. “Conservatism advocates that the wisdom of the past be used to create a promising future,” writes constitutional scholar Patrick Garry. “It does not seek to simply confer a basket of benefits in the present, without regard to whether those benefits will build a foundation for a more lasting and promising future” (Conservatism Redefined, pp. 153-154).

A more lasting and promising future.” That’s the vision of Family Research Council for all Americans. Thank you for sharing in it with us.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC has just released five new publications, which can be downloaded at no charge by clicking on the links below:


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Secularism

International

Israel

International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

Yorktown Day: 19 October 1781

by Robert Morrison

October 19, 2011

President Reagans excellent sense of American history was demonstrated again in 1981.

He hosted French president Francois Mitterrand in Virginia to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown. Relations withFrance were not the best in 1981, but Reagan was determined to remind Americans of our historic debt to the country that provided the necessary aid to theUnited States in our fight forIndependence from Britain.

Reagan used many such occasionsincluding his own Inaugural Addressto revive the civic spirit of the country. We had been so beaten down over the previous 15 years that many feared for the survival of our nation. Some had taken to calling the depressed public mood a malaise. Reagan knew and proceeded to demonstrate that there was nothing wrong withAmerica that some strong leadership could not cure.

How necessary was French aid in the Revolution? The Comte de Rochambeau, commanding 5,000 French troops, persuaded Gen.Washington not to attempt an assault on the heavily-fortified British encampment in New York City. Instead, Rochambeau urged Washington to coordinate his movements with those of French Admiral de Grasse.

The French navy was about to achieve a most rare thing in the eighteenth century: area command of the sea over the all-powerful Royal Navy.

When Admiral de Grasse defeated the British squadron at the Battle of the Capes on 5 September 1781, the stage was set for a classic entrapment. The British commander in the South, Lord Cornwallis, was hemmed in on Virginias York Peninsula.

Aided powerfully by those French troops,Washington hastened South to spring the trap. Quickly, French engineers directed American soldiers in building siege works. Every night, the Franco-American forces moved closer and closer to the entrapped British in Yorktown.Virginia patriot Thomas Nelsons own brick house was in the occupied town. He selflessly encouraged the Continental Army to bombard his home. Nelson knew what our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor really meant.

Failing to escape to the Gloucester side of the York River, Lord Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender. Because one of Cornwallis commanders, Banastre Tarleton, had bayoneted Americans as they tried to surrender in the South, and because the Americans had been denied the full honors of war when they surrendered Charleston,South Carolina, in 1780,Washingtonsternly refused to give his defeated foes full military honors.

At the surrender ceremony on this day in 1781, the British and Hessian troops marched out of their encampment to lay down their arms. Many of the redcoat regulars were in tears, so humiliated did they feel in losing to the despised Yankees and the even more hated French. Some of them broke their muskets and bashed in their drum heads as they laid them down.

Pleading illness, Cornwallis sent his second-in-command to surrender his sword to his enemies. When Gen. OHara approached the allies line, he first offered Cornwallis sword to Gen. Rochambeau. It was a studied insult to the Yankees. The Yankees outnumbered the French at Yorktown, but not by much.

Rochambeau declined, nodding to Gen.Washington. When the hapless OHara offered his commanders sword to Washington, he was again rebuffed. His Excellency was a stickler for military protocol. As Commanding General, he could not accept a sword of surrender from a subordinate British officer. So,Washington, in turn, nodded to Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, the man who had suffered the indignity of surrendering at Charleston.

The British bands played The World Turned Upside Down.

Washington was no vengeful man. He had no desire of humble his British enemies. Victory at Yorktown was enough to secure American Independence. When word of the defeat reached London, the British Prime Minister, Lord North, wailed: O God, its all over! And, after two long years of negotiations, so it was. Later, with a wink,Washington would point out his favorite hunting dog, named Cornwallis.

I had the honor years ago of marching out of Benjamin Lincoln Hall at the Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, and onto the battlefield. My Officer Candidate Class took part in Yorktown Day ceremonies. In the crisp fall air, on that golden Virginia afternoon, there was something unforgettable about the smell of black powder from the cannon and the sound of fifes and drums as they played Yankee Doodle. American and French flags snapped in the autumn breeze.

My favorite portrait of President Obama is the one produced on a New Yorker Magazine cover for his inauguration in 2009. It was a respectful reminder that all presidents are measured against the high standards established by that first indispensable man.

When candidate Barack Obama went to Berlin in 2008, he proclaimed himself a citizen of the world. No previous American president has found it necessary to be anything more than a citizen of the Great Republic. None of us should wish to be less.

  • Page 1 of 3
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

September 2011 «

» November 2011

Archives