Month Archives: September 2012

The Not-So-Great Society: Time for a New Solution

by Sharon Barrett

September 17, 2012

Single motherhood is hard on women. The Houston Chronicle reports that the number of single mothers who live in poverty is a staggering 41 percent, almost three times the national poverty rate. As MARRI intern Lindsay Smith commented in a recent post, the statistics clamor for action:

[Combined] with the fact that more than half of single mothers over age twenty rely on public assistance…these statistics dont softly whisper for concern. They deafeningly cry for action or should I say results.

Many people believe increased funding for public assistance programs will help lift single mothers out of poverty. The Chronicle article continues,

Low wages, limited public assistance and insufficient child care subsidies make it difficult for many single mothers to improve their lives. They are more likely than other poor people to face hardships such as food scarcity and eviction.

But why are single mothers more likely to suffer these hardships? Not because Uncle Sam isnt forthcoming with the welfare check. Lindsay Smith observes that the welfare state does no more than create a treadmill on which the hardworking single mother can never advance out of poverty. The Great Society has had four decades to prove itself, and it is time for a new solution.

What will lift women and their children out of poverty is not money, but marriage not the public dole, but private commitment. A married family has the highest income and is less likely to experience poverty; a married man is more likely to be employed. Women who grow up in an intact married family are far less likely to enter the cycle of poverty with a non-marital pregnancy.

The new solution has been with us all along. It is time to rebuild a culture of marriage that encourages fathers and mothers to raise their children, and their economic status, together.

He Who Believes is not Afraid”

by Robert Morrison

September 17, 2012

It was certainly good to man the FRC booth at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit. I always encouraged my college students to walk precincts. It’s a great way to get to know the American people. It gives you invaluable experience if you ever want to work in politics. At the Values Voter Summit, the precincts walk to you. People from all over the country, and even the world, voluntarily come together to defend faith, family and freedom. We had many great speakers—all of whose addresses are now available online.

My favorite speaker was my friend, Leo Johnson. Leo received the Faith, Family, and Freedom Citation for his heroic actions at FRC’s Washington headquarters on August 15th. Leo has said that he believed God put him in that place at that time to stop the shooter from making FRC another in the all-too-familiar roster of mass homicide attacks. Leo believes and that his faith gave him courage to advance toward the shooter and disarm him. Leo took a bullet in the arm and kept struggling until the attacker was subdued. Big Bill Bennett got a good laugh talking about mountain climbing. “When I climb a mountain, the mountain knows it’s been climbed.” I’d say, when powerful Leo subdues you, you know you’ve been subdued.

The Israelis have courage, too. They need it. Until recently, they only had deadly enemies on the North, Northeast, and East of their small country. In the past few years, since this administration has been lavishing olive branches and U.S. gold on Islamists, Israel now has deadly enemies approaching them from the West and the South. Surrounded. These enemies come by air, land, and sea. And they even tunnel under the desert.

But the Latma satirical group is unafraid. They’ve put out this video for the Jewish New Year. It amazes me how they can so bravely and humorously defy their foes. The mullahs breathe annihilation and the star of the video, Noam Jacobson, sings that Israel’s Air Force will have them for lunch. I’ve been sharing these videos for a year or more. I call them Saturday Night Live for our side. The Latma funsters prick the balloons not only of their nearby enemies—just google “Latma” and “Three Terrors”—they also go over the top with a sendup of Vladimir Putin. Putin still has 27,000 nukes! [Google “Latma” and “Putin”]

This most recent YouTube video is amazing in another respect. All the previous ones I’ve watched were funny, but made no direct reference to faith. This one, however, reviews the long history of the Jewish people and shows how their haters have most often wound up on the same gallows they intended for the Jews. (I confess I really liked Noam turning aside to spit on the ground at the name of Haman.)

These are dangerous times. We all sense it. We need courage. The theme of the Latma Jewish New Year video is “He Who Believes is not Afraid.” That message is necessary for the Jewish people, but it is also a light for the Gentiles.

I remember the first words we received from Rome in 1978 when the world learned that Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Cracow, Poland, had been elected Pope: Be Not Afraid. I was serving on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the Bering Sea. We had to board Soviet vessels every day. It could have been dangerous. I am not Catholic, but one of the “Separated Brethren” whom the new Pope John Paul II now addressed with words of faith and courage. There is probably no greater distance on earth than that from the Pribilof Islands to the Eternal City of Rome, but in those perilous days, his courage was contagious.

Falling for the Same Old ‘Overturn’ Trap

by Robert Morrison

September 13, 2012

It’s regrettable to see pro-life candidates falling for the same media trap all over again. The pro-abortion press presses in. “Do you favor overturning Roe v. Wade,” reporters ask earnestly. And all too often, pro-life candidates say, yes, Roe should be overturned. That question has been poll-tested for decades. It is designed to make pro-lifers look like they are the radical ones, like they are in favor of upheaval, chaos. Just keep in mind any TV picture in front of any U.S. Embassy in the Mideast this week. That’s the picture the media wants to frame in voters’ minds when they talk about overturning.

Roe v. Wade is what is radical. The Supreme Court’s ruling was rightly called “raw judicial power” by John Kennedy appointee, Justice Byron White. The Supreme Court in 1973 overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states. Protective laws. Liberal laws. Laws that protected some unborn children and exposed others to lethal violence. Every one of those laws was overturned by the radical ruling of Roe v. Wade.

Since Jan. 22, 1973, the mainstream media has consistently misinformed Americans about what is in Roe. As a result, most Americans do not know that there are 1,200,000 unborn children killed each year, or that Planned Parenthood publicly claims to have killed 340,000 of these unborn children.

The mainstream media won’t even call them unborn children. Except if they are the unborn children of an English Duchess. Kate Middleton’s possible pregnancy has excited the tab press. There, it’s OK to talk about a “baby bump.” Or, if the unborn child is expected by a Hollywood starlet.

Babies bump out everywhere. Except in politics. Except in federal court briefs.

My favorite example of this curious avoidance of the truth that everyone knows was a report by the late Peter Jennings. The ABC News Anchor described breakthrough prenatal surgery. “The fetus was diagnosed with hydrocephaly, water on the brain. Doctors removed the fetus from the mother’s womb. They put a shunt into the back of the head of the unborn child. They returned the unborn child to the womb, where the mother carried the fetus safely to term.”

Did we follow Peter on that one? Fetus-unborn child-fetus. It all depended on where the human being happened to be located. Within the womb, it was a fetus, outside the womb—even temporarily, even preterm—it was an unborn child.

Sen. John Kerry spoke to the problem liberals have with “that thing in the womb.” In Senate debate on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Kerry said we cannot simultaneously regard the fetus as a human being and preserve “a woman’s right to choose.” Kerry voted that the child in the womb is therefore not a human being. It is the same position that state Senator Barack Obama took in Illinois.

Not a human being? TIME Magazine’s liberal Joe Klein noted that ultra-sound has made it “impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being.” Well, Joe, just watch Kerry and Obama deny it. They do it every day.

When the Supreme Court ruled on Roe and overturned fifty state laws on abortion, every one of those laws was to be found in the homicide code. Homicide is invariably defined as the killing of a human being.

Most of those laws were put on the books by elected lawmakers in the 1800s. Even then, legislators knew when human life began. Science had told them as early as 1859: Human life begins at conception. Conception occurs when sperm meets egg. There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” It is a zygote, a developing human being.

I encourage pro-life candidates to state clearly and honestly: Roe v. Wade needs to be corrected. And that answer will lead naturally to a discussion of what needs to be corrected. Parents should have a right to know if their minor daughters are contemplating abortion. Mothers must have a right to see their unborn child. (Surely, the abortionists will never give up ultrasound to target and kill unborn children!) Unless fathers are rapists, they should have a right to know. A host of questions can be brought forward to show that Roe is radical and was erroneously decided.

It is not constitutional law,” said John Hart Ely, a respected dean of law, “and [the Roe ruling] shows no obligation to be constitutional law.” And Ely favored liberalized abortion!

Overturning is what we see daily on our TV screens. It powerfully suggests danger and disorder.

In 1786, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, to argue for a correcting of the increasingly unwieldy and inadequate Articles of Confederation. They called for a Constitutional Convention to meet in Philadelphia the following year to discuss necessary amendments. If they had said that they favored overturning the Articles of Confederation, we would be living under them today.

Let’s urge our pro-life candidates to make a strong case for correcting the fatal errors and reversing the lethal logic of Roe v. Wade.

The Social Conservative Review: September 13, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

September 13, 2012

Do you want to receive the most current news related to social conservatives? Sign up today to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Barry Brown is a bear of a man. A veteran and an athletic trainer, he is also the recipient of adult stem cell therapy.

When Barry learned he needed triple bypass surgery, he began working with Dr. Joshua Hare of the University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. While undergoing heart surgery, Barry’s adult stem cells - harvested from his bone marrow - were injected directly into his heart.

Did the treatment work? Well, on the third anniversary of his adult stem cell transplant, Barry ran a half-marathon of more than 13 miles.

Ethical stem cell research and treatment is working. As David Prentice, Ph.D., director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Life and Bioethics, said earlier this year in congressional testimony:

Numerous peer-reviewed papers document improvement in patient health after adult stem cell treatment, including a paper published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewing 10 years of studies and 69 published patient trials that documented the benefit to patient health of adult stem cells for autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, systemic lupus, and Crohn’s disease, as well as acute and chronic heart damage and peripheral vascular disease.

You can view a video about Barry and other short films about patients treated successfully with adult stem cells here. FRC believes that sound science and moral integrity not only can coexist, but necessarily complement each other.

Adult stem cells save lives. Take a jog with Barry Brown and see for yourself.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S. Read FRC President Tony Perkins’ Washington Times op-ed on party platforms and the fall election to learn more about the stakes involved this coming November.


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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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Moral Courage and the Law 1, Political Correctness 0 (for once, at least)

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 12, 2012

Ward Churchill was an ethnic studies professor at Colorado University. Here are three of his more memorable expressions of scholarly wisdom:

** “The spirit of Hannibal Lecter is … at the core of an expansionist European ‘civilization’ which has reached out to engulf the planet.” A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust & Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present

** As for those in the World Trade Center… Well, really, let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire - the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved … If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it. “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens”

** The FBI is composed of agents of repression who conduct secret wars against radical organizations. Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement

Today, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld two lower court decisions on Mr. Churchills case (affirming) that the universitys Board of Regents had essentially acted as judges in firing him for academic misconduct in 2007 and was therefore legally immune to his attempts to win his job back. You see, in addition to being an extremist whose income was dependent on the economic system he professed to hate, Ward Churchill was a plagiarist. So, in 2007, he was fired from his job at Colorado.

Plagiarism, racism, malicious hatred, rhetorical violence: Quite a gem of a guy teaching Americas youth, right? Thankfully, no longer.

At FRC, we hold to the novel belief that the educational institutions to which hard-working parents send their children should not be composed of teachers whose goal is to foster contempt for everything those parents stand for. That includes all primary, secondary, and university education.

It is our hope that Mr. Churchill will have a quiet retirement thinking about his squandered, bitter experience as an “educator,” and also turning away from it. He is an articulate man of intelligence and ability; may his remaining years turn these qualities toward activities that benefit, rather than denigrate, his country and its citizens.

iPledge Sunday full broadcast and transcript

by FRC Media Office

September 12, 2012

Here’s video of the complete iPledge Sunday program:

Read the transcript of the event here. [PDF]

On Sunday, September 9, 2012, Family Research Council and American Family Association hosted iPledge Sunday from First Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, an event streamed to thousands of churches and home groups across the nation encouraging Christians to Pray, Prepare, and Participate in the 2012 election.

Participants included Tony Perkins, Kirk Cameron, Sen. Rick Santorum, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., Kristan Hawkins, Franklin Graham, Dr. Mark Harris, NYC Fernando Cabrera, and others.

Abortion and Women’s Health

by Family Research Council

September 7, 2012

With all of the talk this week at the DNC about abortion and women’s health, it might be worth asking the basic question: Is abortion good for women’s health? What does the research show? What can science tell us?

Two studies published this week actually show a connection between abortion and higher mortality rates for women.

Similarly, according to the CDC, since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, at least 450 women have died in the United States as a result of abortion complications. Keep in mind that this number is definitely a low estimate because many states do not report abortion data to the CDC, including California whose abortion rate is so high as to account for approximately one fifth of all abortions in the country. The CDC data also only uses information from 1973-2007 — later reports are not yet available.

What data do we have on the safety of chemical abortion? According to the Food and Drug Administration as of April, 2011 (10 and a half years after RU-486 was approved in the U.S.), there were a whopping 2207 adverse event reports on file with the government. Of these, there have been 612 hospitalizations, 339 blood transfusions and most sadly, 11 deaths directly related to the use of chemical abortion. See for yourself.

There is so much more to be written on this topic. There is much research on abortion and psychological problems. There is also a wealth of information on abortion and non-death physiological consequences. The science and research tell the facts. I just wish we could move away from the dangerous and false rhetoric that abortion is good for women’s health. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What You Need to Know About the Mark Regnerus Study of Homosexual Parents

by Peter Sprigg

September 7, 2012

University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus sparked a firestorm of criticism from pro-homosexual activists when his peer-reviewed scholarly article on children raised by homosexual parents was published in the journal Social Science Research in June. Using a large, population-based sample, Dr. Regnerus found that children whose parents had a same-sex romantic relationship while the child was growing up suffer deficits compared to children raised by their own married biological mother and father.

Because the study undermined the politically correct claim that such children are no different from children with heterosexual parents, and because it reinforced a key point made in defense of the natural definition of marriage as the union of man and woman (namely, that kids need both a mom and a dad), it became urgent for pro-homosexual activists to discredit the study and, if possible, destroy Regnerus.

That effort, thus far, has failed. First, a liberal blogger who uses the pen name Scott Rose filed a complaint with the University of Texas charging Regnerus with scientific and scholarly misconduct. Although Rose had little standing to bring such a charge, the University convened a four-person faculty committee (and hired an outside expert in research integrity) to conduct an inquiry into whether the charges merited in-depth investigation. The conclusion was clear: Professor Regnerus did not commit scientific misconduct … None of the allegations … put forth by Mr. Rose were substantiated. (This was hardly a surprise; as the journal article itself stated, Both the study protocol and the questionnaire were approved by the University of Texas at Austins Institutional Review Board—before the research was even undertaken.)

Because of the importance of the Regnerus study—and the viciousness of the attacks upon it and him—I have written about it several times since its release in June. I am here posting links to each of these papers and posts, to provide the reader with convenient one-stop access to all of them.

THE HOMOSEXUAL PARENTING DEBATE

My first Issue Brief explained the importance of this study in the context of the debates over homosexual parenting and what the research shows. It explained why Regnerus methodology was superior to that of virtually all previous studies on this subject—as demonstrated by the article which accompanied Regneruss, by Loren Marks, which showed the serious weaknesses of other gay parent studies usually relied upon by those who claim no differences from heterosexual parents. It also briefly summarized Regneruss findings.

Peter Sprigg, New Study on Homosexual Parents Tops All Previous Research: Children of Homosexuals Fare Worse on Most Outcomes, Issue Brief; online.

FINDINGS IN DETAIL

In response to requests for a more thorough summary of the actual findings in the Regnerus study, I prepared a second Issue Brief. This piece is shorter than the first, because it contains less narrative explanation, but it actually includes more detailed data on the findings, as well as a response to some of the key criticisms of the study. One of its key points is that the New Family Structures Study did not just compare children of homosexual parents to children of married, biological parents. It also compared them to children of heterosexual parents from several other (less stable) family forms—and found the children of homosexuals at a disadvantage in those comparisons, as well:

Peter Sprigg, Homosexual Parent Study: Summary of Findings, Issue Brief; online.

THE MEDIA: GETTING THE STORY WRONG

The pushback against Regnerus was so immediate and so intense that even conservative media outlets made mistakes in covering it. One such outlet was The Weekly Standard, which criticized FRCs summary of the study (a single sentence taken out of the context of the first Issue Brief, although The Weekly Standard did not mention that). In response to this article, I wrote a two-part blog post. The first explained why the Weekly Standard criticism of FRC was unjustified:

Peter Sprigg, The Homosexual Parent Study and The Weekly Standard, Part 1: Making Mountains out of Molehills, FRC Blog; online.

Part 2 of this blog post pointed out errors which author Andrew Ferguson made in the Weekly Standard article which were far more deserving of criticism than FRCs summary:

Peter Sprigg, The Homosexual Parent Study and The Weekly Standard, Part 2: Making Molehills out of Mountains, FRC Blog; online.

AN AUDITORS WEAK CRITIQUE

Finally, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article summarizing findings (not yet published) by a critic of the study who was appointed to audit it by the Social Science Research journals editor. The Chronicles headline labeled the study severely flawed, and the article quoted the auditor, Darren Sherkat, describing the Regnerus paper as b***s***. However, the actual criticisms described in the article ranged from weak to completely implausible, as I wrote on the FRC Blog:

Peter Sprigg, An Obscenity and a Headline Cant Discredit Study of Homosexual Parents, FRC Blog; online.

FRC will continue to monitor the reactions to the Regnerus study. However, I remain convinced that far from being discredited, the New Family Structures Study will stand as the gold standard for research in this field for years to come.

Want More Jobs? Lets Build Stronger Families

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 7, 2012

Strong families lead to a strong economy.

This thesis is proven substantially and repeatedly by FRCs Marriage and Religion Research Institute in studies of the effects of family formation on economic growth (see, for example, The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth).

We are now witnessing the results of family dissolution inAmericas troubling employment situation. The intact family, in which a married mom and dad raise children and worship together weekly, results in a better education for the children and a higher incentive for a Dad, or if need be, for both parents, to provide for their family.

These facts augment this mornings disappointing job numbers, not only because those numbers reflect more than 25 percent fewer new jobs than had been anticipated, but also because a closer look shows them to indicate a growing undercurrent of hopelessness among job-seekers.

Heres how the Wall Street Journals Phil Izzo explains it:

The unemployment rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed people who are without jobs, who are available to work and who have actively sought work in the prior four weeks. The actively looking for work definition is fairly broad, including people who contacted an employer, employment agency, job center or friends; sent out resumes or filled out applications; or answered or placed ads, among other things. That number declined by 250,000 in August, but it was overwhelmed by a 368,000 drop in the size of the labor force. That suggests that many of those 250,000 stopped looking for work not because they found a job, but because they dropped out of the labor force … (the labor force participation rate of) 63.5% is at the lowest levels since women first started entering the labor force in large numbers.

This interpretation is based not on partisan projections, but data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Heres what the BLS said this morning about the true nature of the unemployment situation:

In August, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier … There were 844,000 discouraged workers in August … Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

According to the BLS, there minimally are 23.1 million persons unemployed, underemployed, or too discouraged to look for work. These are federal, not conservative or Republican, statistics.

To bring it back to families: As Drs. Pat Fagan and Henry Potrykus demonstrate in their new paper, Non-Marriage Reduces U.S. Labor Participation:

The long decline of adult male labor participation represents a withdrawal of able-bodied workers from productive employment. A persistent ‘gap’ exists between the employment rates of married men and unmarried men … Given the cultural-demographic drift away from marriage the risk of (economic) depression will be exacerbated over time.

This paper shows how among working-age men, half of the current labor drop-off is caused by this gap and the population shift away from marriage.

Marriage and children incentivize work. Cohabitation, divorce, and fatherlessness create dependency on government, a fact born out by the fact that now roughly one in seven Americans are receiving food stamps.

Are there other factors, such as tax and trade policies? Sure. But even if we somehow get them completely right, we cannot we meet our need for stable growth, and cannot foster the intangible but essential belief that families and individuals can have a brighter financial future, without a family unit that is sound, secure, and vibrant.

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