Month Archives: July 2012

RUSerious? Jennie McCormack, the Next Roe? Good Grief!

by Family Research Council

July 9, 2012

Today, the U.S .9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a civil suit challenging Idahos ban on getting out-of-state abortifacient drugs on the Internet. This heated case was brought about by the arrest of Jennie McCormack, a single mom who aborted her 5 month-old unborn child with the harmful and damaging abortifacient drug called RU-486. When police came to her home to arrest her, they found frozen remains of her innocent unborn child in a box on her barbecuecriminal evidence that can make any rational human being cringe with disgust. Accordingly, police charged Ms. McCormack with a felony last year.

What exactly is RU-486? It is an abortion-inducing regimen that consists of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks progesterone from binding to its receptor sites in the endometrium of the uterus and essentially thwarts progesterones pregnancy-preserving actions. As a result, this drug destroys the uterine lining through horrific chemical means, and thereby starves and kills the implanted embryo. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken two days after RU-486 and induces contractions to expel what leftists call a blob of tissue. This two-part killer medicine has been known to cause pelvic infections, hemorrhaging, abdominal pain, excessive bleeding, cardiopulmonary problems, allergic reactions, and severe psychological repercussions, such as clinical depression. Knowing these life-threatening effects of this procedure, it is hard to believe that RU-486 was approved by the FDA under the guise of advancing reproductive justice and womens health.

When Ms. McCormack took RU-486, she was 20 weeks pregnant with her unborn child. This is shocking and dangerous, because these drugs should only be taken up to 9 weeks of pregnancy according to the FDAs approval. Since Ms. McCormack was able to purchase the abortion drug regimen over the internet without doctor consultation, she was able to use the drug in an off-label way (after the time frame approved by the FDA). However, when Ms. McCormack purchased the drug on the internet, she broke a few state laws, including the ban on obtaining RU-486 out-of-state. She also violated Idahos ban on 20 week abortions as well as a 1972 law that prohibits self-induced abortionsactions that truly go against the very notion of motherhood.

Now, her attorney Richard Hearn, also a physician, wants to take her case to the Supreme Court. Her civil suit with the U.S.9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the first step in doing so. Just as Jane Roe challenged Texas pro-life law some forty years ago, Jennie McCormack is fiercely challenging Idahos ban on obtaining out-of-state RU-486 drugs in an attempt to be the 21st century Roe. Isnt it ironic that Ms. McCormack is a mother of three children, yet would file a civil suit to allow for more leniency for the dangerous abortion drug regimen, RU-486? Although Ms. McCormacks case is highly disturbing, it should motivate us to further our efforts in protecting the unborn from deadly chemical abortions.

Independence Day on Cook’s Point

by Robert Morrison

July 6, 2012

[caption id=”attachment_8278” align=”alignright” width=”224”] American, Maryland and Gadsden flags on Cook’s Point[/caption]

I hadn’t really expected to see the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying at an Independence Day celebration on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But I knew this would be a special celebration. Peter and Margarete wanted to include a reading of the entire Declaration of Independence at their gathering of family, friends and neighbors. The Chesapeake Bay breezes, very warm, ruffled and flourished the American,Maryland and Gadsden flags on Cook’s Point.

The waters of the bay invited, but we were warned of jellyfish beneath the cooling waves. A boat ride may be better than a swim today. Maryland is just beginning its Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Two hundred years ago, it was stinging British warships that posed a greater danger than jellyfish in these waters. You cannot go anywhere these days, it seems, without pointed reminders of the country’s heritage.

We began our July 4th observance with prayer. A priest reminded us of the rare privilege we have in this country to pray publicly and how this right is the basis for our civil liberty, as well. Then, we all faced the flagstaff as the Star-Spangled Banner was played.

Following this, our hosts’ 13-year-old daughter stood atop a picnic table and read the first two stirring paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.

She read with the enthusiasm and conviction that only a bright teenager can bring to this venerable 236-year-old document.

I had the honor of reading the middle part, everything from “…pursuit of happiness” to “…let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

My portion of the Declaration included that line stating that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” I cannot help but consider the process of passing Obamacare when we talk about consent of the governed.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House rammed through the Senate a bill that did not include protections from abortion coverage—on Christmas Eve, 2009. This in a country that Gallup tells us is increasingly pro-life. (51%-41% in the latest survey.)

Then, they spoke of having to go to a conference committee of the House and Senate to reconcile the different versions of the bill. That was because the House of Representatives in November 09 had passed Obamacare with the famous pro-life Stupak Amendment. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) joined with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) to attach a pro-life provision to the Obamacare measure that passed the House.

Earlier, on November 7, 2009, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment passed the House by a vote of 240-194. It was the highest vote cast on any measure related to the overhaul of health care. If you were seeking consensus, if you yearned for bi-partisanship, if you cared about the consent of the governed, you must look to this historic vote.

The Senate might have taken up the House-passed version, and passed it, with its pro-life provisions. Or, it might have gone to a conference committee, reconciled the two versions and then re-passed the result.

But the Senate had passed a milestone with the Jan. 2010 special election in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown had been elected promising to be “#41” —a decisive vote to stop Obamacare from passing. In that famously liberal state, in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Massachusetts voters emphatically did not give their consent to Obamacare.

Faced with the possibility of the Senate’s having to swallow the House version, with the Stupak Amendment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged to go down the chimney, around the gate, over the wall; in short, to do whatever was necessary to steamroll the bill through. Stupak and most of his pro-life Democratic House colleagues were pressured and arm-twisted into swallowing an Executive Order from President Obama. They were gulled into believing this measure from the most pro-abortion president in history would protect Americans from having to pay for abortions. It wasn’t a fig leaf; it wasn’t even a bay leaf to hide their nakedness.

Dozens of those faux-life Democrats went down to defeat the following November as voters gave a “shellacking” to the president’s party. But not before the whipped and tricked House Members voted through the Senate version of the health care bill, 219-212. It was a hair’s breadth victory, but it met the Pelosi test of doing anything to jam and sham it through.

It was to this dog’s breakfast of a process that Chief Justice Roberts gave his blessing in his infamous ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius late last month. Then, continuing a wholly dishonorable tradition, the Chief absconded to the island fortress of Malta. He left the country perhaps to avoid having to answer any questions about his tortured reasoning and its suspect timing.

The American people at every point had rejected this bill. They had voted in an avowed opponent in the nation’s most liberal state. They had voted out scores of Obamacare backers in the House. And yet, Chief Justice Roberts genuflected to this bizarre legislation as evidence of his judicial restraint. He tells us he is constrained to respect this abuse of power, this rape of the representative process, as the prerogative of the legislative and executive branches.

One of the classic political science texts on Congress is called The Dance of Legislation. This bill might more properly be called the St. Vitus Dance of Legislation. And the four-Justice minority pointed out that if this is a tax, then tax bills have to originate in the House of Representatives (Art. 1, Sec. 7, Clause 1).

The pretzel pundits in many an elite journal are tying themselves in knots trying to see a silver lining in the dark cloud Chief Justice Roberts pulled over us.

He labeled the Individual Mandate a tax, they say, thus making it harder for this administration, or any liberal successors to do anything worse.

If you allow them to keep this scaffold in place, why do they need anything worse? Roberts’ ruling merely takes away one rope. Just as then-Speaker Pelosi swore back in 2010, they will find another rope.

Let’s understand what Obamacare is: It is the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. It is the basis for the HHS Mandate against hospitals, schools and para-church ministries. The HHS Mandate is the gravest threat to religious freedom in our nation’s history. It will force all of these private and religious groups, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to provide coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs. If they can Mandate abortion drugs now, why not Mandate abortion procedures and sex-change operations after election day? Then, as we’ve all overheard, Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world may see an even more “flexible” administration.

I believe the Roberts Ruling and the media reaction to it reflects a bottomless, Inside-the-Beltway cynicism. The best example of cynicism I’ve read comes not from Washington but from Paris. In 1815, France’s Foreign Minister Talleyrand waited impatiently for the Russian Minister to meet him. When the Russian failed to show up on time, Talleyrand tapped his foot in irritation. Told that the Russian had collapsed and died in his carriage en route to the meeting, Talleyrand stroked his chin pensively and said: “I wonder why he did that.” That’s how I read the pretzel pundits.

Chief Justice Roberts may actually come back to the Constitution when the many lawsuits against Sec. Sebelius’ HHS Mandate get to the Supreme Court. Let us pray he does. But that is no reason to go silent now. If his outrageous ruling of June 28th was a mere maneuver intended to give him more latitude later, that ignoble tactic can only work if conservatives help him out by raising a hue and cry against his unprincipled opinion. We must beat the drums of opposition to this appalling decision.

After he was confirmed in 2005, reporters asked Chief Justice Roberts if he would wear the three gold stripes that the late Chief Justice had added to his robes as a badge of rank. “I think I’ll have to earn them,” Roberts said with becoming modesty then. Now, unfortunately, it is the liberals and the pretzel pundits who are sewing on those gold stripes.

As the sun set over the Chesapeake, I was encouraged by the faith and courage of the good people I met on July 4th on Cook’s Point. Our beloved Declaration was crafted with such folks, the “good people of these colonies,” in mind.

After our reading of the Declaration, I pored over the names of those intrepid Signers of 236 years ago. Two names stood out:New Jersey’s Rev. John Witherspoon andMaryland’s Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian pastor, a leader among hundreds of clergy in the “Black Regiment” of preachers who rallied to Freedom’s cause. Charles Carroll lived in my home town of Annapolis. A wealthy landowner, he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration. Witherspoon and Carroll pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Can we do any less? In that Catholic-Protestant alliance our nation was forged. In such a strong faith coalition, it may yet be saved.

The Social Conservative Review: July 5, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

July 5, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

Last week’s Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care plan has been the subject of much commentary and controversy. Along with the extensive legal and political commentary about it, a longer-term view might be in order.

John Steele Gordon, writing in Commentary, offers a valuable historical perspective:

Never before that I know of, has a federal tax been placed on inactivity. If you buy something, you pay a sales tax. If you earn income, you pay an income tax. If you do business as a corporation, you pay an excise tax. Now, if you don’t buy health insurance, you pay a tax on not doing so. What else then can be taxed? Not exercising?

This seems far afield of where the brave men and women of 1776 wanted our country ever to be. But it’s in their spirit - one committed to an ordered liberty based on rights given by God, not the government - that conservatives, undaunted, press ahead.

We owe our Founders nothing less.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council


Educational Freedom and Reform

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Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

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Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

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Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

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Human Life and Bioethics

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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.

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Check out Dr. Kenyn Cureton’s feature on Watchmen Pastors called “The Lost Episodes,” featuring how religion has had an impact on our Founding Fathers.

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Is it the Fourth?

by Robert Morrison

July 4, 2012

I recall finishing David McCulloughs excellent John Adams onJuly 4, 2001. A great thunderstorm broke overAnnapolis that afternoon. The violent wind and rain, thunder and lightning were the perfect accompaniment to the storm that attended the greatAdamss departure, July 4, 1826.

In a powerful coda to his life, he died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. No one did more to bring about American Independence that this blunt-spoken man fromMassachusetts. Lawyer, patriot, Member of Congress, and diplomat, John Adams was born to lead and men naturally turned to him, even when they didnt especially like him. Men generally respect hard work and no one worked harder than John Adams. In the Continental Congress, he served on scores of committees, including the essential committee that dealt with the Army and the Navy. (Today, those who say the repeal of the misnamed Dont ask/Dont tell policy overturned the law Bill Clinton signed in 1993 are wrong. The ban actually dates from John Adamss rules for the Army and Navy, written in 1775. Adamss ban was older than the country.)

John Adams was such a selfless fighter for Independencethat he nominated Col. George Washington to be Commander-in-Chief of the Army, thereby putting off a key Massachusetts ally, John Hancock. As President of Congress, Hancock coveted the command for himself. But Hancock joined the other delegates in electing Washington unanimously. Adams also selected the tall, lanky young Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, to draft the Declaration of Independence. His reasoning, as he later recorded it, was typical of bluff, honest John Adams:

  1. That [Jefferson] was a Virginian and I a Massachusettensian. 2. That he was a southern Man and I a northern one. 3. That I had become so obnoxious for my early and constant Zeal in promoting [Independence] that any [draft] of mine would undergo more severe Scrutiny and Criticism in Congress than one of his composition. 4thly and lastly that would be reason enough if there were no other, I had a great Opinion of the Elegance of his pen and none at all of my own….

How can we not love this man? There, he shows us his candid heart. He proves to us that he has no elegance in his pen. Massachusettensian? Good grief! Thank you, John, for tapping Mr. Jefferson for this historic task.

John Adams a diplomat? He was a disaster in Paris. The French foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes, couldnt stand the man. Adams worked through the nights as Benjamin Franklin partied. The aged sage engaged in witty repartee with Frances leading philosophes (and in naughty badinage with some of Paris leading ladies). It reflects badly on blunt John that he became resentful of the great Dr. Franklin. Franklin, in turn, parried John Adamss complaints to Congress. He deemed his younger New England compatriot a good man, a wise man, in all an honest man. He generously conceded Adamss patriotism. But in some things in some ways, absolutely out of his mind.

Fortunately for us, Adams was driven from France to Holland. There, he negotiated a wonderful treaty with the Dutch that provided what we would today call a bridge loan, a vitally needed one. It was doubtless a great achievement. But when Adams wrote to Congress claiming to be the Washington of diplomacy, the delegates all laughed heartily at his expense.

When David McCullough gave a presentation on his book here at the National Press Club, I pressed him on Adams and the Titles Crisis. As the first Vice President of the United States, John Adams took up a full six weeks of the time of the first Senate meeting in New York with long and wearisome lectures on the importance of giving highfalutin titles to our elected officials. Adams wanted Washington to have the title His High Mightiness, President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties. George Washington wanted no such thing. And for advocating it, Adams made himself look ridiculous. Jefferson was appalled. His old revolutionary colleague must have become deranged during his years as our minister to Great Britain. Behind his back, Adams got a title he didnt want: His Rotundity.

McCullough smoothly and wittily waved me away. Well, you know, Adams was a flinty New Englander. He knew everyone wants to be noticed. And he figured titles were a cheap way of giving politicians distinction. The urbane McCullough brushed off my question and got a good laugh doing so.

But it points out the problem with Honest John. Today, everyone quotes the Founders. And we should. The Federalist Papers are cited daily (most recently in the dissents from John Roberts egregious decision in NFIB v. Sebelius). Nobody cites John Adamss Discourses on Davila. In those long, turgid commentaries, Adams gives vent to his suspicions of the people.

While we hail John Adamss 1780 Massachusetts Constitutionand we shouldwe must note that it has a radical defect: the people of the Bay State cannot amend that splendid document without getting permission from state legislators. And that is the reason weve never had a referendum on true marriage in Massachusetts!

Having said all this, why still honor Adams? Because he was the Colossus of Independence. He worked without ceasing for the freedom of our country. He and his cousin Samuel were shrewd enough to maneuver around the anti-Independence Pennsylvania delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Their Massachusetts machine even reached out to German-speaking Pennsylvania farmers with Der Alarm, a newsletter pushing for election of a pro-Independence slate of delegates. Without their constant labors within Congress and without, its doubtful all of Jeffersons fine words and Washingtons noble sacrifices would have achieved the political result of Independence.

When a delegation approached the 90-year old Adamsfor a blessing and a quote on the eve of that 50th Anniversary Independence Day, the great patriot could only croak: Independence Forever!

Its all he had to say. On that Glorious Fourth, the last day of his life, Adams said: Thomas Jefferson still survives. Four hundred miles away, Thomas Jefferson at 83 also lay dying. He had asked his family Is it the Fourth? When told it was, he gave up the ghost.

When these two great Founders died on the same day, there was of course no Breaking News to flash the word instantly. It took some weeks before the whole nation knew. Modern historians are inclined to say that some Americans at that time saw the hand of Providence in the deaths of the two great Founders on the Nations Fiftieth Birthday. Yes, and some of us still do.

Missing Chief Justice Rehnquist

by Chris Gacek

July 3, 2012

Last weeks switch in time by Chief Justice John Roberts that saved the socialist takeover of healthcare in America made me reminisce about former Chief Justice William Rehnquist (1924-2005). The point was driven home even further by an article in The Atlantic featuring a lengthy 2007 interview with Chief Justice Roberts that should have raised a lot of red flags. (One should have been raised marking Roberts really poor historical acumen.) For example, it contains this jarring observation: Roberts suggested that the temperament of a chief justice can be as important as judicial philosophy in determining his success or failure. Seriously?

William Rehnquist was known for being a great administrator of the Court and an excellent colleague, but I dont think he would ever have misunderstood that a justices primary duty lies in being consistently faithful to the original meaning of the Constitution in some sense. Apparently, Justice Roberts believes he swore an oath to the Supreme Court not the Constitution. It is unimaginable that William Rehnquist would have behaved as Roberts did in the Obamacare case.

It seems to me that in the past fifty years only Ronald Reagan was a more significant conservative than William Rehnquist. One good thing, perhaps the only good thing, to come out of NFIB v. Sebelius (the Obamacare decision) is that conservatives will begin to better appreciate how much that great Chief Justice accomplished and how courageous he was for decades.

Jim Wallis, Health Care, and the Constitution

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 3, 2012

So, Leftist Evangelical Jim Wallis believes that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Obama health plan “is an important victory for millions of uninsured people in our country and ultimately a triumph of the common good.” He offers the Democratic Party line that the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA), while imperfect, “is an important step in expanding health care coverage and reducing long-term costs.”

Well, he’s entitled to his opinion, however invalidated by simple fiscal realities and the inherent coercion of the mandate it might be. What he is not entitled to is to ignore the Constitution of the United States, which he does almost completely in his 850-word missive (at one point, he comments on a decision about life sentences for minors and the Court’s reference to a related constitutionality issue).

This is not uncharacteristic of Wallis, for the whom the Constitution seems to be an annoying anachronism whose original meaning, if applied as intended by those who drafted and ratified it, would derail his project of implementing massive social change through the agency of the federal state.

Wallis is a theonomist, a man who would use the instrumentality of the state to achieve what he believes are biblical priorities —- redistribution of income, substantially reducing defense spending, treating those in need as what Herbert Schlossberg has called “the ontologically poor,” victims too weak and weakened to overcome their economic circumstances. This he would do even while asserting that he simply is trying to live-out the words of Jesus. Again, he’s entitled to his interpretation, however expositionally inadequate it is.

The charges Jesus gave to His church, and the demands the Bible place on the state, are distinct and in some cases wholly separate. Should the state be just? Surely. The Bible’s teachings on this are copious and ineradicable. But should the state do injustice (e.g., engage in confiscatory taxation or suppress God-ordained religious liberty) to fulfill some discredited utopian dream? This is a question Wallis avoids assiduously.

For this reason, the Constitution —- with its limitations on the roles and duties of the federal government —- is anathema to persons of the Left, whose profession of faith is complemented by an allegiance to a “progressive” social vision. A written text is, after all, profoundly constrictive if understood in the normal way people interpret language. So, when Chief Justice Roberts convolutes the ACA such that a penalty for not doing something becomes, with the equivalent of a judicial shrug, just another item in the long retinue of federal taxes, what’s the big deal as long as long as those in need have new “stability and security in their lives,” as Wallis puts it?

The big deal is distilled in, perhaps, the most essential assertion of practical ethics: Ends don’t justify means. Distortion of the role of government, intellectually dishonest misinterpretation of a law for political ends (in this case, as Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fundamental problem with the Courts approach to this case is this: It saves a statute Congress did not write), and pretending that we live in a world of only positive law, law not constrained or defined by a charter text, create not just individually bad policies but erode the lawful liberty whose “stability and security” are anchored in the Constitution.

Better to ignore the Constitution than take it seriously, right? Maybe, if we do, it will just go away. Seems to be heading for oblivion anyway.

A Glorious Fourth: 10 Ideas for the Family

by Family Research Council

July 3, 2012

When historian and author Paul Rahe (19:10 mark) was asked where America ranks in the history of the worlds republics, he responded, It is the greatest of the republics.

As parents of three young children, my wife and I are often thinking of ways to make the great history of our republic come alive for our little ones. Believing that America is, as Lincoln said, the last best hope of earth, we want to impress on our children those values and traditions which make our country uniqueand yes, exceptionalin world history. Independence Day offers a multitude of ways to do just that.

Ive put together a short list of ideas and activities that can help you make the glorious fourth more meaningful for your family. Whether you apply one of these ideas or better them with your ownbe intentional. It falls primarily to parents to explain the great meaning ofAmerica, to cultivate in our children a love for this nation, and to light the fires of liberty in their hearts and minds.

Here are a few ideas and activities to get you on your way:

  1. Sign the Declaration of Independence.

    Ask the member of your family with the best handwriting (the felicity of pen as Adams said of Jefferson) to write out the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. Then have each member of your family sign their names, big enough for King George to read without his spectacles. Talk about what it meant for the signers to pledge their lives, treasure and sacred honor on behalf of their new nation.

  2. The Declaration of Independence is a spiritual and political document.

    As President Calvin Coolidge said, it is the product of the spiritual insight of the people.

    No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.

  3. All men are created equal.

    Few nations in the world have acknowledged what our founders believed was self-evident. Namely, that all men bear the image of their Creator, and derive their rights from Godnot from the government.

    Discuss with your children the struggle to abolish institutionalized slavery in America, and the ongoing effort to protect the unborn. The Declaration of Independence continues to serve as a spur to our conscience, calling us to deeds in keeping with the truths we espouse.

  4. Fly Old Glory.

    Ask your children to help you raise the flag somewhere in your house, apartment or yard.

    On June 14, 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the new nation.

    Resolved, that the Flag of thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.

  5. Sing the National Anthem.

    Ask the most musical member of your family to lead the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Read aloud the less familiar verses.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.

    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land

    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  6. Take in a parade.

    This is always a favorite for our boys, especially if Opa is marching with the American Legion. Local papers usually have times and locations in your area. If theres no parade in your town, why not start one?

  7. Read aloud America.

    This song was one obf several unofficial national anthems used until the Star Spangled Banner was officially adopted in 1931.

    Our fathers’ God to Thee,

    Author of Liberty,

    To thee we sing,

    Long may our land be bright

    With Freedom’s holy light,

    Protect us by thy might

    Great God, our King.

  8. Religious liberty.

    In the First Amendment to our Constitution, Congress laid out the broad religious liberties that were guaranteed all Americans.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The establishment and free exercise clauses were an assurance that the federal government would not compel or impose any sect on the American people, nor would it interfere with Americans as they lived out their faith as good citizens. It was also an acknowledgement that religious belief and expression were central to the character of the American peopleand central to the founding of the republic.

    No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those the United States. Every step by which [we] have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. - President George Washington, Inaugural Address, 1789

    Religious liberty remains the exception and not the rule in human history; that Americans may worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience is a rare and priceless gift. Its something we must not take for granted and a liberty all of us at FRC are dedicated to preserving.

    Take a few minutes to exercise your religious liberty and pray for those holding offices of authority at the national, state, and local level (1 Tim 2:1-4).

  9. Listen to For God and Country.

    If your children are old enough, they may enjoy listening to Adventures in Odysseys The Day Independence Came or The American Revelation. Complete sets and individual episodes are available online.

  10. Celebrate.

    Take time to enjoy your family this Independence Day; acknowledge the great liberties we share, and the cost at which they were purchased, and give thanks to God Almighty for his love, mercy and provision for our nation.

    [Independence Day] will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. John Adams

What activities, traditions or values would you add to this list? How does your family plan to celebrate Independence Day? Wed love for you to leave your stories in the comment section.

Freedom Rising

by Robert Morrison

July 2, 2012

I was standing in the room where Abraham Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation when I heard the news. I was visiting the Lincoln Cottage with some good friends from Scottsdale, Arizona, when we got the word: The Supreme Court had upheld President Obama’s takeover of health care and John Roberts had written the majority opinion. I was shocked. My first thought: Now all Americans’ freedom is in danger. The good work of President Lincoln in jeopardy. A government of the people, by the people, for the people cannot be reconciled with an all-embracing health control regime that issues mandates.

Some conservatives are taking consolation from the thought that Roberts said no to using the Commerce Clause as a means to bind us by government edicts. This is cold consolation. If Congress can do this through its taxing power, what can it not do? All a Pelosi Congress would have to do is to define an activity, craft a penalty for Americans not engaging in that activity, and have it upheld under this precedent as a tax. How can this measure be a tax when those who wrote it, those who introduced it, those who defended it, and those who voted to pass it, all vehemently denied that it was a tax? And if it is a tax, why did it not have to originate in the House of Representatives? My copy of the Heritage Guide to the Constitution makes it clear the Founders wanted to keep “power of the purse” in people’s House as a check on the power of the more aristocratic Senate.

Is this too silly an obstacle? Is this too basic? John Roberts muffed the administering of the Oath of Office to President Obama. Might we imagine he overlooked this little detail, as well?

My friends are telling me that this volte-face by Roberts is “not as bad as Souter.” Really? I was in the room when Souter was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. I remember well looking over to pro-life friends as they shrugged their shoulders. Souter was a blank slate. This non-entity, this squirrelly recluse from the New Hampshire woods, was never a man in whom we placed any hope or confidence. And when this nowhere man was confirmed, I crossed my fingers, hoping that Gov. Sununu of the Granite State knew better than we did.

I was soon disabused, however. The Saturday after he was confirmed, my wife handed me a clipping from the Washington Post “Style” section. It said Justice David Souter had asked the clerk at the supermarket in his new Georgetown neighborhood if the can of tuna he had purchased was “dolphin safe.” Instantly, my heart sank and I knew that the fate of millions of unborn children had been sealed. Souter left Washington after twenty dismal years here, unsung and unhung.

We were assured by staunch Reaganauts that John Roberts was a committed and fearless constitutionalist. We did not expect that he would in every case rule as we would have him rule. Still, we respected his intellectual integrity. No one in 2005 dreamed that he would re-write the greatest power grab in American history in order to find it constitutional. The tortured logic of the Roberts ruling defies history and reason. And it gives every impression of having been cobbled together at the last minute in some feckless attempt to prove the Court is not partisan.

The Court should be partisan—for ordered liberty, for the rule of law, for the Constitution itself. What Roberts has achieved with this dog’s breakfast of a ruling will only hold the Court up for renewed scorn. After nearly forty years of Roe v. Wade, after the slaughter of fifty-five million innocents, one might have thought there were more important considerations in the minds of a learned jurist than the prestige of his “eminent tribunal.” Apparently not.

Many political commentators are giving Roberts credit for playing chess while we mere mortals play poker. He is being described as a clever Machiavellian who knows how to energize the conservative base for the November elections.

If that is true, why should we respect him as the honest and dispassionate “umpire” he vowed under oath that he would be? His duty was to rule whether this law could be reconciled with the Constitution we revere. He failed manifestly do to so. If any of the kudos bestowed on him as a supreme politician are true, the sense of betrayal would only be sharper. The British have a saying that applies here: “Too clever by half.”

We Americans might instead identify with Theodore Roosevelt’s keen disappointment in one of his chosen justices: “I could carve out of a banana a judge with more backbone than that!”

We have no choice now but to replace those who crafted this legislative power grab, repeal the health care takeover, and restore the Constitution as the the Great Charter that guarantees the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

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