Month Archives: October 2012

The Romance Revolution: Effects on Children and Couples

by Sharon Barrett

October 15, 2012

As a fellow MARRI intern recently observed, Watch any Hollywood romance, and you might think the best reason to get married is passionate romantic love because the purpose of marriage is the satisfaction of the couple. Maria Reig Teetor describes how redefining married love paved the way for the no-fault divorce revolution. The Romantic philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s advocated self-fulfillment through experience, and the 1960s sexual revolution carried Romanticism to its logical conclusion: free love.

In past centuries, marriage had been an institution characterized by permanence. But no-fault divorce embodied the values of free love with no strings attached; now, marriage need be only as permanent as the feelings that fueled the couples initial attraction. In Maria Reig Teetors words,

With the legalization of no-fault divorce, it became clear that marriage was only about being in love. This relationship was now independent of common good, community, generosity, hard work, self-giving, children….

If falling in love is as easy as Hollywood makes it look, falling out of love and moving on is nearly that easy. While treating marriage as permanent had kept the couple accountable to the parties who are the reason for marriage (that is, children who need a committed mother and father), now the partners were accountable only to themselves. The romance revolution, by jump-starting the divorce revolution, left a wake of damaging impacts on children: broken relationships; reduced educational attainment and earning capacity; disillusionment with religion; and increased risk of crime, drug abuse, and suicide.

Another, equally disturbing trend has arisen as a result of the romance revolution: couples who choose childlessness in order to focus on their personal fulfillment. In Canada, this trend has risen so far that the 2011 census shows 44.5% of couples are without children, compared to 39.2% with children. According to the Toronto-based National Post, while the 44.5% figure is padded by empty-nest parents, it includes the growing number of Canadian women currently one in five who will never have a child. Without the burden of children, life can be less demanding and more exhilarating:

Having children used to be the point of being a pair. It was the great aspiration along with finding love everlasting a biological impulse to go forth and multiply….

No more. Gone are diaper changes and ballet classes, replaced by hot yoga and shopping trips to New York City.

But is a partnership without children as fulfilling as one with children? Mariette Ulrich, writing for MercatorNet, notes the irony of this lifestyle. Ulrich says the idea that life without kids is a never-ending joyride is as much a myth as the contention that life with children is overwhelmingly stressful, exhausting, expensive and heartbreaking.

This is a myth of the same class as the myth that marriage is about falling in love, rather than providing a permanent home for children and a safe haven for ones spouse. Maria Reig Teetor sums it up:

…As modern love is individualistic, so is modern marriage. The soul of marriage has become myself.

Humans were designed to live in community, which involves giving to others before seeking to receive fulfillment from them. As we recognize that the foundation of marriage is in the human community, not the individual, we can begin to reverse the unhealthy effects of the romance revolution.

 

What Do Islamist Radicals and Homosexual Activists Have in Common?

by Peter Sprigg

October 15, 2012

What do Islamist radicals and homosexual activists have in common? Not much, one would think, given the harsh treatment of homosexuals in many Muslim countries.

However, there is one thing they have in common. Both seek to stifle freedom of speech, if that speech is critical of themcritical, that is, of their religion in the one case, or of their sexual conduct in the other.

Jonathan Turley wrote an excellent piece in The Washington Post this weekend on the growing efforts to stifle free speech in the name of tolerance. Turley is a well-known professor at George Washington Universitys law school. Hes no conservativehe is currently leading efforts in court to legalize polygamy. However, Turley is sensible enough to realize that if speech is only free when no one takes offense to it, then it is not free at all.

Turley notes that efforts are under way to carve out exceptions to the principle of free speech in four areas. One is when speech is blasphemousthis is where some Muslims have called for limits on free speech. Another are is when speech is deceitfulas with the Stolen Valor Act, a law making it a crime to lie about having received military honors, which was struck down by the Supreme Court.

 

Below are the two sections in which he includes references to the issue of homosexualitywhen speech is [considered] hateful or when speech is [considered] discriminatory. Please note: Turley is not endorsing the speakers mentioned below, or their words. Neither am I, by reprinting this. However, using the law to punish someone in these contexts is shocking:

QUOTE

Speech is hateful

In the United States, hate speech is presumably protected under the First Amendment. However, hate-crime laws often redefine hateful expression as a criminal act. Thus, in 2003, the Supreme Court addressed the conviction of a Virginia Ku Klux Klan member who burned a cross on private land. The court allowed for criminal penalties so long as the government could show that the act was intended to intimidate others. It was a distinction without meaning, since the state can simply cite the intimidating history of that symbol.

Other Western nations routinely bar forms of speech considered hateful.Britainprohibits any abusive or insulting words meant to stir up racial hatred.Canadaoutlaws any writing, sign or visible representation that incites hatred against any identifiable group. These laws ban speech based not only on its content but on the reaction of others. Speakers are often called to answer for their divisive or insulting speech before bodies like the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

This month, a Canadian court ruled that Marc Lemire, the webmaster of a far-right political site, could be punished for allowing third parties to leave insulting comments about homosexuals and blacks on the site. Echoing the logic behind blasphemy laws, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley ruled that the minimal harm caused … to freedom of expression is far outweighed by the benefit it provides to vulnerable groups and to the promotion of equality.

Speech is discriminatory

Perhaps the most rapidly expanding limitation on speech is found in anti-discrimination laws. Many Western countries have extended such laws to public statements deemed insulting or derogatory to any group, race or gender.

For example, in a closely watched case last year, a French court found fashion designer John Galliano guilty of making discriminatory comments in a Paris bar, where he got into a cursing match with a couple using sexist and anti-Semitic terms. Judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud read a list of the bad words Galliano had used, adding that she found (rather implausibly) he had said dirty whore at least 1,000 times. Though he faced up to six months in jail, he was fined.

InCanada, comedian Guy Earle was charged with violating the human rights of a lesbian couple after he got into a trash-talking session with a group of women during an open-mike night at a nightclub. Lorna Pardysaid she suffered post-traumatic stress because of Earles profane language and derogatory terms for lesbians. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled last year that since this was a matter of discrimination, free speech was not a defense, and awarded about $23,000 to the couple.

Ironically, while some religious organizations are pushing blasphemy laws, religious individuals are increasingly targeted under anti-discrimination laws for their criticism of homosexuals and other groups. In 2008, a minister inCanadawas not only forced to pay fines for uttering anti-gay sentiments but was also enjoined from expressing such views in the future.

END QUOTE

Turley says, In the United States, hate speech is presumably protected under the First Amendment. He seems to be implying that horror stories like the three from Canada mentioned above will not happen here. However, the recent suspension of a Gallaudet University administrator, Dr. Angela McCaskill, merely for signing the Maryland marriage petition seems to indicate that we may be headed in the same troubling direction.

The Real Issues

by Family Research Council

October 12, 2012

In a recent article called Unapologetic: Evangelical Christian, Pro-Life and Democrat, Jo Kadlecek, writing for The Huffington Post, makes some strong statements regarding Christianity and a whole life ethic. She states that as a young Christian woman she was drawn to the Democratic platform because to her being pro-life is more than trying to save innocent babies. It is to be pro-opportunities…pro-jobs and pro-education and pro-immigrant and pro-art. She supports natural marriage but she bemoans the lack of concern that she perceives in her Republican neighbors for the poor and downtrodden. She states that Republicans dont seem to care about anything except fighting big government, abortion and homosexuality… and keeping their guns.

When working through policy issues with my interns, I often remind them to make sure they know the real principles guiding any discussion. Being pro-life is about valuing life because it is God-given and necessary for all other human experience on earth. It is NOT about being pro-opportunities and pro jobs or any other such thing. No dead people have jobs, enjoy art, or get a good education. Being pro-life means you dont want innocent people to be murdered. A little state charity doesnt make a platform of murder more palatable. If a man ran for office, ended all poverty, gave everyone an ideal education, but every day stood outside the White House and presided over the legal killing of innocent Americans, no one would vote for him. That is what happens in America, only it is labeled choice. Innocent people are killed and not a single one of them gets a good education or a chance to have a good life. It is the first liberty without which the others cant be exercised.

When the author says that Republicans dont care about the poor, she means that many of them dont think the government is the means to solve these problems. The real question is not who cares about the poor but how should we help the poor. The author implies that government welfare carries more weight than life itself. I believe Christians should work, love, and give more than anyone because of what Christ gave for us. We love because He loved us. Modern liberalism is built on smoke. It says abortion is about privacy, big government is about poverty, homosexuality is about equality, and guns are about violence. These are all not the real issues. Fighting big government is about freedom. Fighting abortion is about life. Fighting for marriage is about righteousness and a healthy nation. Fighting for guns is about self-defense.

Proverbs says Open your mouth for the dumb [voiceless] in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. I will open my mouth for the voiceless unborn, and I will not support those who advocate murder. My friend, Rob Schwarzwalder, says it best when he urges Christians to consider the weightier matters. The blood of millions of innocent children cries loudly from the grave. This is a weighty matter. Will you speak for them?

Another igNobel Peace Prize?

by Robert Morrison

October 12, 2012

All the breathless anticipation. All the excitement in the international media. It’s almost as thrilling as the Oscars. And about as predictable. I’m talking about the annual Nobel Prize announcements. This year, the European Union copped the Peace Prize. Amazing.

That left-wing Nobel prize committees give awards to their fellow left-wing Eurocrats should hardly come as a surprise. But this year’s Peace Prize is absurd.

During the earlier years of the European Union, the Soviet Union dominated half the continent. President Jerry Ford probably lost the 1976 election when he gaffed that “Eastern Europe is not under Soviet domination” in debate with Jimmy Carter. Ironically, it was Carter, the winner of that election, who managed to become even more supine in dealing with Soviets about their Eastern European empire. Not an easy task. Maybe that’s why Carter got the Peace Prize earlier.

So, where was the European Union during this period of Soviet domination? Nowhere. The EUrocrats were afraid of making a peep that might upset the Eurocommunists in their home countries. They were also very afraid of the Red Brigades (Italy) the Baader-Meinhof Gang (W. Germany) and the Action Direct (France). These violent KGB-backed groups had kidnaped and murdered Italian Premier Aldo Moro and a number of West German bankers.

Better to talk about “peace” and not to upset the Soviet Bear. So, it was left to Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Polish Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa, and Margaret Thatcher of Britain to make the case for peace based on freedom for Eastern Europe. To be fair, the Nobel Peace Prize did go to Lech Walesa. But he would have been jailed and perhaps killed had it not been for the other leaders who backed up his cause with spiritual authority and economic and military power.

It was Ronald Reagan who did more for a European union in freedom than anyone in the EU secretariat in Brussels. It was also George H.W. Bush who patiently and, yes, prudently, managed the dissolution of the Evil Empire in Eastern Europe.

Does anyone think the Nobel Peace Prize might be given to them? Not likely.

Then, there was “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia. For an entire decade, peoples in the former Yugoslavia were at each others’ throats, with atrocities on both sides. It was the worst outbreak of civil violence in Europe since the Second World War. For the period of the 1990s, the European Union watched the slaughter, and did nothing.

Only in 1999—at former Prime Minister Thatcher’s urgent appeal—did President Bill Clinton intervene with NATO airstrikes on the Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic’s military. It was a fairly surgical procedure that ended Milosevic’s misrule.

Again, this year’s Peace Prize winner, the EU, was powerless to effect any amelioration in those bloody ethnic struggles.

The European Union has distinguished itself by giving the world a debt crisis. Germany’s Angela Merkel has to race to Athens to shore up the wobbly Greek government’s attempts to avoid defaulting on its debt—and dragging other EU members down with it.

Does anyone propose Chancellor Merkel for a Peace Prize? No. Better to stroke the Eurocrats who fathered this crisis.

There is some justice in the Peace Prize awards, however. In this year’s presidential campaign, no one is touting President Obama’s Peace Prize. When it was announced in 2009—42 days into his term—there was literally a stunned reaction in Oslo. Even those politically correct legions could hardly believe that the once-prestigious prize had been bestowed on a leader for his peaceful intentions. Now, after three years in office, his campaign surrogates are on the hustings bragging about his decision to kill Osama bin Laden. When we consider what bin Laden tried to do in the world, making war on all of civilization, Mr. Obama probably earned his Peace Prize after the fact. Somehow, I doubt any of the Nobel committee members would agree.

Tony Evans: “I Always Start with the Right to Life”

by Robert Morrison

October 12, 2012

Pastor Tony Evans has seen God bless his ministry in Dallas. He started with a small home-based church in 1976. Today, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship has grown to 9,500 members. Among the many ministries of Oak Cliff is its Adopt-a-School initiative. Rev. Evans and the members of his congregation have partnered with 65 urban schools to provide mentoring, tutoring, and family support services.

In a most revealing interview with Emily Belz on the World Magazine website, Dr. Evans speaks important truths about how Christians should vote. “I always start with the right to life because all other rights depend on your ability to live.” How heartening. How important. If only all pastors, priests, and rabbis in America had stood forthrightly for this inalienable right. America would be that kinder, gentler place we all seek.

Dr. Evans’s statement was especially encouraging to me. Forty years ago, I was an unchurched young Democrat, seeking my first elective office as a Assemblyman in my native New York State. I knew my Ten Commandments, of course, but I had never read the passage where the Psalmist addresses his words to God:

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mothers womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Even so, it was possible through the application of natural right reason for me to oppose abortion as the direct taking of innocent human life. Jefferson did not cite Scripture when he wrote: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” It is no mystery when God gives us life. Science has incontrovertibly told us: every human life begins at conception and continues, whether intra- or extra-uterinely until death.

Dr. Evans begins with the right to life because it is foundational. Without life, no other rights matter. It’s especially good to see this brave black pastor speak so strongly. The evils of slavery and segregation were based on a denial that some Americans were “created equal.”

As Abraham Lincoln put it: “Nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon.” Slavery treads upon that divine image. So does segregation. And abortion is the the cruelest and most unjust result of treading upon that divine image.

Tony Evans goes on in this vital interview to defend the biblical definition of marriage. No one has the right to counterfeit marriage. This is not a matter of imposing Christians’ beliefs on the rest of society. Christians will still go to church to have their true marriages blessed.

Those who will suffer most from the ending of marriage are those who suffer most right now—the poor, the marginal, women, children, and minorities. In standing for marriage, Tony Evans his showing his compassion for the least of these.

There is an alarming trend in the growing inequality of incomes in America. Too many Americans are seeing their prospects for a better life eclipsed by a go-go culture that leaves them far behind. What we disagree about is why this is happening.

Christian leaders like Tony Evans are pointing to the solutions. Protect life and defend marriage and you will see these disturbing traits minimized.

When we see horrific figures like 71% of unborn children aborted in Harlem and 78% of the unborn children of black mothers aborted in Mississippi, we know that Rev. Jesse Jackson was right to denounce abortion as “black genocide.”

The right to life and the defense of marriage are the civil rights issues of our day. In 1866, newly freed slaves walked to Tennessee in their thousands to have their marriages legally recorded. Those striving young couples understood something we have lost sight of today: they prayed in hope for real change in their lives. We should join our prayers to theirs. And we should all thank God for the leadership of Rev. Dr. Tony Evans and Dallas’s Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.

The Social Conservative Review: October 11, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

October 11, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

America’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is at it again.

Increasingly notorious for its massive abortion business (its clinics performed about 330,000 last year), Planned Parenthood is involved in what pro-life champion Lila Rose calls “a rebranding scheme.” Trying to position itself as a compassionate purveyor of women’s healthcare, the organization is attempting frantically to derail the growing movement to end its huge government subsidies at the state and federal levels. These funds enable Planned Parenthood to retain its infamous position as the nation’s leading provider of abortion.

FRC has recently published an updated version of our booklet on Planned Parenthood called, “America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Planned Parenthood.” You can download this informative and compelling booklet at no charge. We urge you to do so - and forward it to others committed to standing for the lives of the unborn and their mothers.

As FRC’s friend Ryan Bomberger says, “No one knows the beautiful possibility of Life: planned or unplanned.” Amen - so let’s keep standing and praying and working for it.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S. The director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, makes the case that “the ban on discussing politics” from the pulpit is unconstitutional. Read his op-ed on this critical subject here.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

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.

Human Trafficking

Marriage and Family

Adoption

Family Economics

Family Structure

Media

Pornography

Internet

Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

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.

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

On the Values Bus in Colorado

by Robert Morrison

October 11, 2012

Following a press conference and joint statements on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, the Family Research Council and Heritage Foundation Values Bus returned to the Airport Crowne Plaza to set up for the Western Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The mood was apprehensive among the activists gathered for this important meeting. It was the afternoon of the first presidential debate.

The following morning dawned cold and clear, but the mood had changed abruptly. It was as if a jolt of electricity had gone through the attendees. Gov. Romney came by for a short, unscheduled greeting to the CPAC conferees. He received a hero’s welcome. It was truly amazing to see the change in the atmosphere. Must have been climate change.

The Values Bus proceeded to Loveland in a cold drizzle. There, a small but enthusiastic crowd huddled to hear Heritage’s Vice President for Communications Genevieve Wood and this writer speak about the vital social and economic issues that voters should consider this fall. Candidates for state and local office joined the speakers roster as they endorsed the ideals principles promoted by the Values Bus.

It’s a reminder of what Ronald Reagan said before a church audience in 1980: You can’t endorse me, but I can endorse you. When candidates take the time to publicly embrace the Values Bus message, it counts.

Saturday, we set up shop at a gun show in Pueblo, Colorado. Several thousand people came through the exhibits. It took awhile for some of the attendees to warm to our FRC message. But once the kids started taking little blue basketballs, the ice broke. We had many families coming by, showing their children the big blue bus and explaining what we were about. The Coloradans say “Howdy” in an unaffected way. It is definitely a laid-back crowd. And not since I stood duty in the armory in boot camp have I seen so many weapons. Don’t Tread on Me flags captured the spirit of the event.

I had a chance to walk around the exhibits and engaged the “Gunzilla” folks in a lively conversation. They were selling a product that cleans, protects, and lubricates guns without chapping and cracking the users’ hands. The son of the marketer of “Gunzilla” explained to me how his friends, soldiers coming back from Iraq, had shown him their cracked and bleeding hands. This was the result of the harsh cleaners they had had to use to keep their weapons functioning in fire fights. The young man proudly told me how his dad had approached a chemist friend and they’d provided a safe, non-flammable, and environmentally sound alternative product that would do everything with one application. And it was kind to hands.

That led to a discussion of gun oil in general. In my writing with Ken Blackwell, I had learned that wolves are highly sensitive to the smell of gun oil. They have learned to associate that smell with humans, with hunters, and stay away. Thus, even the non-gun bearing hikers and campers who go out into the wilderness are protected by the hunters and ranchers.

Our last stop was a happy homecoming at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. Harsh weather forced us inside the lobby of Focus’ beautiful main building. There, we set up our tables and banners. FRC’s Rev. Randy Wilson opened the rally with prayer. He was most eloquent in that House of Prayer.

Carrie Gordon Earll of CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, welcomed us and urged all the rally attendees to take their Colorado voters guide. This is the state equivalent of the FRCAction Voters Guide. Together, we provided citizens with the information they need to hold their state, congressional, and presidential candidates accountable.

State Sen. Kent Lambert reminded everyone of the national and international issues at stake in the fall elections. Sen. Lamber is not a candidate this cycle, so he was free to speak of the importance of the full range of issues voters will decide.

Former State Sen. Dave Schultheis offered a prepared address that raised profound issues of forcing Americans to pay for the destruction of innocent human lives through abortion. Sen. Schultheis movingly appealed for Christian citizens to vote and bring their family and friends to the polling places in order to preserve our heritage of religious freedom.

I was happy to applaud both of these able public servants—even as they stole all my lines. Happily, I had been talking earlier with Congressman Doug Lamborn about our mutual admiration for Ronald Reagan. The Congressman is a candidate this cycle, so legal advice given to our hosts preferred he not address the rally.

Very well. I thanked Mr. Lamborn for coming. And I launched into a tribute to Ronald Reagan’s pro-life and traditional family values positions. I pointed out that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was wrong to say that Reagan didn’t care that much about abortion. (Correcting Chris Matthews’ errors could be nearly full-time work.)

Ronald Reagan was the first president to speak of the unborn in his Inaugural Addresses and in his State of the Union messages. He called abortion “a wound in America’s soul.” He wrote a book titled “Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation,” the first sitting president to publish a book. I noted that I had gone to the Reagan Library for three days of research into Reagan’s actions on the abortion issue.

I thought when I went that I might not have enough material there to occupy for three full days. I could easily have spent three weeks there. I held hundreds of handwritten letters in my hand—letters in which Ronald Reagan invariably anguished over “this slaughter of innocents.”

How moving to see this oldest of America’s presidents care so deeply about the youngest of Americans.

I concluded by speaking of the speech President Reagan gave at the Berlin Wall. He said “Tear Down this Wall” there. That part was widely reported.

But I discovered only in 2009 another important part of Reagan’s speech. He said the East German Communists had erected a radio tower to overshadow all the church steeples in East Berlin. But it had a defect. The atheist authorities there tried to etch it out with acid. They tried to paint it over. They tried to sandblast the defect.

But when the sun shone on the globe of the radio tower, the President said, “it reflects the Sign of the Cross.” I shared with my listeners at Focus on the Family the fact that that was only time any president had publicly invoked the Sign of the Cross. And I admitted that I got excited at reading my president’s words, just as Chris Matthews does now.

From the Industrial Revolution to the Contraceptive Revolution

by Sharon Barrett

October 11, 2012

As MARRI intern Alex Schrider points out in Student Debate: Taxing Conscience, the HHS contraceptive mandate is a direct attack on religious freedom. It does more than require employers to deny their personal beliefs about life and contraception; it forces many (primarily conservative Catholics and Evangelical Protesants) to violate church teachings and religious convictions..

This is significant for more reasons than the obvious wrong of asking religious Americans to violate their conscience. It represents an attack on religion itself.

Historically, religious practice formed the fabric of American culture. From New England Puritans to Maryland Roman Catholics, colonists came to the New World seeking religious freedom. After the nation was established, revival meetings helped unify the ragged frontier. Immigrants from all ends of the globe relied on religion to keep their families and communities intact.

The twentieth century, however, saw a cultural about-face. The ostensibly conservative, religious postwar era gave way to urban riots and juvenile delinquency. America left the 1950s baby boom for the 1960s free love movement, followed by four decades of increase in non-marital births and decrease in the overall birth rate.

 

MARRIs Patrick Fagan and Henry Potrykus suggest part of the impetus behind this shift:

The contraceptive mindset…is of one cloth with the West shifting its economic orientation from family enterprise to individualist labor activity while simultaneously moving from religious to secular social values.

The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century weakened both family life and the American economy, because industrialism severed the workplace from the home. Urbanization in the twentieth century further undermined ties to family and local community. As this shift happened, the religious values that emphasized marriage and the family as a context for childbearing also declined.

The shift in values has economic effects, as Alex Schrider explains:

MARRI has documented the effects of widespread contraceptive use: when birthrate decreases, the average age of a population increases, eventually leading to population decline. An aging and declining population is associated with economic problems, not the least of which is the substantial burden placed on the shoulders of the smaller, younger generation, which must provide for the disproportionately large elderly generation.

There is a solution, but it does not lie in the HHS mandate. Rather, according to Fagan and Potrykus,

Remediation lies in a re-adoption of stable marriage as a societal norm and the rejection by governments and peoples of this non-sustainable model of society a religious, sexually polymorphous, serial polygamy and its replacement by a less secular, more traditional, family-oriented life.

Rebuilding our culture and economy requires us to return to family-oriented values. To start this process, our culture must return to religion, which creates these values. The federal government should not attack the very bedrock of society with an ill-conceived mandate that smothers religious freedom.

The End of Men, the End of Families

by Sharon Barrett

October 10, 2012

In a recent MARRI blog post, I posed the question, What do women want? Feminist writer Hanna Rosin, who published an article (2010) and then a book (2012) titled The End of Men: The Rise of Women, says women want a smooth path to a career, coupled with abundant sexual pleasure. Rosin suggests that in the post-industrial age, we have entered a post-masculine economy. She says men have had to learn traditionally feminine skills social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus to compete with women for the jobs that are available today.

But what if the issue is not so much a change in the job market as a change in mens character? In 2003, Dr. Terrence Moore (one of my Hillsdale College professors) argued that the sexual revolution caused our culture to abandon the traditional definition of manhood and replace it with two extremes: the wimp and the barbarian.

[Women] say matter-of-factly that the males around them do not know how to act like either men or gentlemen….[They] must choose between males who are whiny, incapable of making decisions, and in general of acting like men, or those who treat women roughly and are unreliable, unmannerly, and usually stupid.

Commenting on Dr. Moores essay in a piece for the blog CounterCultured, a fellow Hillsdale alumnus states:

Manhood is…a standard from which barbarians and wimps deviate.

In other words, both barbarism and wimpiness are clues to an underlying deficiency our culture encourages in men. Where the barbarian lacks gentleness, the wimp lacks strength. But the standard from which they deviate is neither strength nor gentleness, but something more fundamental. As I explained in my MARRI post,

Masculine strength is best defined in one word: commitment, the decision to give ones word to another and stand by for the long haul. Men who embody commitment to a wife, family, job, and community are the ones who can reverse the current trend of fatherless families, broken marriages, and child poverty.

Marriage, because it demands commitment, makes men more employable. This has little or nothing to do with the type of jobs available (unskilled labor or high-powered executive, versus childcare or phone sales) and far more to do with the desire to work to support a family. In fact, this desire may be part of why marriage correlates with increased job satisfaction.

The sexual revolution elevated singleness and sexuality over marriage and family formation. What Ms. Rosin sees as a benefit the separation of sex from childbearing, which enabled women to pursue a career without needing mens support in actuality contributed to the consistent trend of unemployment and lower earnings among single men compared to married men. Men are less employable today not because women have squeezed them out of the job market, but because women are not marrying them.

As I concluded in my previous post, When women live as if they dont need men, real men disappear. What comes with the end of men will not be, as Ms. Rosin predicts, the rise of women; rather, with the end of men will come the continued decline of families. If MARRIs original research is any indication, the success of the post-masculine economy may be short-lived.

Wont Back Down A Courageous Film

by Chris Gacek

October 9, 2012

I recently had a chance to see the film Wont Back Down, a movie about an effort by parents and teachers to replace the failing school their children attend with a charter school. The movie, set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is based on a real story that took place at the Desert Trails elementary school in Adelanto, California. The movie stars Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Perez, and Holly Hunter. Wont Back Down was produced by the same company, Walden Media, that made the 2010 education documentary, Waiting for Superman.

Wont Back Down is a good, courageous film. I cant recall any movie taking such a tough line on a union in this case a teachers union that impedes reforms to a horrific educational system. It is hard to imagine that the Screen Actors Guild was happy about this movie being made, but it was. I did a quick Google search on the movie and found many political-focused negative reviews that objected to the movies union bashing. Good grief. Toughen up folks you are the power structure that has failed. Show a little humility.

In fact, Doreen Diaz, the actual mom in Adelanto, California, who fought for a better school, writes that the unions tactics made the dirty tricks depicted in the movie ‘Wont Back Down’ seem tame by comparison. Diaz fills in some of the details:

They told some parents the school would be shut down as a result of their efforts. They took photographs of the parents who refused to rescind their signatures. Some parents who were undocumented felt their immigration status was being used against them.

Nice folks. Diaz also has an interesting story about Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who participated in a nationally televised panel about the film and about trigger for failed schools. It isnt flattering.

If you have an opportunity to see Wont Back Down, please do so. Courage deserves to be rewarded. A vote for the movie is a vote for heroic mothers like Doreen Diaz across America who are fighting for better schools for all of us.

Here is movieguides review for objectionable content. The movie is rated PG.

 

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