Month Archives: December 2012

Older White Catholic Woman for Obama”

by Cathy Ruse

December 19, 2012

The election was 6 weeks ago, but Obama voters like to keep their yard signs up and bumper stickers stuck.  Enough already.

Last week I was driving behind a car with a bumper stick that read:  “Older White Catholic Woman for Obama.” I thought it was a joke, until I pulled up and got a look at the driver. Spectacles, snow-white bob, slight scowl on face — this lady was not joking.

Older white women did vote for Obama, in droves.  But younger white people favored Romney by a 13-point spread.  White women under 30 favored Romney over Obama, too.  That hasn’t been a favorite post-election soundbite.

Imagine a bumper sticker that read:  “Younger White Catholic Woman for Romney.”  Wouldn’t I be called a racist? 

Campus Diversity? “Gay” Trumps Black, Female, Christian

by Peter Sprigg

December 19, 2012

The restrictions on freedom imposed by pro-homosexual political correctness grew tighter this week. A 3-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the University of Toledo’s 2008 firing of Crystal Dixon for writing an opinion piece questioning comparisons between the civil rights movement and the homosexual movement.

Dixon was Associate Vice President for Human Resources, and had been promoted several times and received excellent performance appraisals in the years she had served at the University of Toledo. All that changed, however, in April of 2008. First the editor of the Toledo Free Press published a rather simplistic opinion piece saying that he has friends who are gay, and therefore does not understand why anyone would oppose the “gay rights” agenda. Dixon wrote her piece in response, and it was published on April 18, 2008.

Dixon, never identifying who she worked for, began by affirming that “human beings, regardless of their choices in life, are of ultimate value to God and should be viewed the same by others.” This could hardly be taken as endorsing “discrimination” against anyone.

Dixon then went on:

As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo’s GraduateSchool, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are “civil rights victims.” Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended.

In contrast, Dixon wrote, “thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle.”

Dixon concluded with a statement of her religious convictions:

There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27)… . There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God’s divine order… . Daily, Jesus Christ is radically transforming the lives of both straight and gay folks and bringing them into a life of wholeness: spiritually, psychologically, physically and even economically. That is the ultimate right.

Dixon’s immediate supervisor immediately told her that people had complained about what she wrote. Three days later, Dixon was suspended; on May 12, she was informed that her employment was being terminated.

With the help of the Thomas More Law Center, Dixon sued. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they become employees of a government agency (such as the University). While private employers have more discretion in terms of what conduct they permit or prohibit, public employers are bound to respect the exercise of constitutional rights unless it interferes with the individual’s job or the mission of the institution.

Crystal Dixon’s case appears to be a clear violation of her right to free speech. She expressed her personal and religious opinion on an issue of public concern in a forum unrelated to her work, and did so without identifying her employers. For her to be fired under these circumstances would appear to be a clear case of “viewpoint discrimination,” which the law does not permit.

However, the Court of Appeals accepted the University’s argument that her statements did interfere with her work, reasoning that they call into question her commitment, as a Human Resources officer, to enforcing non-discrimination policies that include “sexual orientation.” Yet Dixon had not criticized or even commented upon these university policies, and had never been accused of failing to enforce them. (Her only comment about the university in the opinion piece was one defending its efforts to equalize benefits for all employees.) The record even showed that Dixon had personally hired homosexual employees.

In the brave new world of pro-homosexual political correctness, it is not enough to do what the PC police demand. One must also say and even think the right things, or one’s career may be in jeopardy.

What really lost at the Sixth Circuit was freedom. That much is Crystal clear.

A Christmas Memorial

by Robert Morrison

December 19, 2012

Even for those of us who believe, it’s always sad to have a loved one die on or near Christmas.

On December 19, 1989, “Gram” finally succumbed to cancer in Tacoma, Washington. My mother-in-law, Edith Dougherty, was strong to the last. We had pleaded with her to come East to live with us, but she firmly refused. She was born in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and resolved to die there.

Our relationship—Edith’s and mine—had not always been easy. We got off to a rocky start. A month after my wife and I married, Edith and I quarreled, at Christmas. We didn’t speak. A month later, we didn’t see.

When Edith would come to visit our new home on the Kitsap Peninsula, I would make a point of taking the ferry to Seattle. I would spend the day at University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library. I was a Ph.D. student there.

Seven months into our estrangement, I began to be lonely at Suzzallo—and hungry. So I called my Russian teacher, Nina Konstantinovna. Nina is a Mother Russia and I was sure she would be good company over lunch.

After soup, Nina asked “How is married life?”

Oh, it’s great, I said. I love being married to my dear Kate. She’s done wonderful things with the new house.

And how is it with Kate’s family?”

Oh, very good. I really get along well with my brother-in-law.

And your mother-in-law?”

Uh, well she’s visiting Kate in the new house right now.

Nina didn’t have to be a KGB interrogator to see what this was about.

And you’re not there? What’s wrong?”

Quickly, seven months of wounded feelings poured out.

Feeling I was the one wronged, I expected Nina to be on my side, seempahteechnuh.

Not at all.

You must luff your mother-in-law,” Nina Konstantinovna said in a her heavily accented voice that brooked no contradiction.

Love her? I don’t want to be in the same room with her!

Nina, unsmiling, gave me my orders:

You are Christian, are you not? You love Kate, do you not? You haff duty to luff mother-in-law. Now go home and luff her.”

So I did. Edith and I reconciled that day. And I learned that Nina was right. Edith had many good qualities, even if appreciating my unique gifts was not one of them. But she seemed to warm to me, especially after I named our first born after her beloved late husband.

When we got word Gram had passed away, my wife made the difficult decision to have a memorial service immediately. She was concerned that Edith’s many friends wouldn’t get word, so close to Christmas. Cold and overcast as the day of the graveside memorial service was, the cemetery seating area was packed.

The largest wreath was placed by Wolfgang, owner of the Tacoma German shop Gram loved. Her first husband had been killed by the Germans in World War II, but great was her quality of forgiveness. She even forgave me.

We flew home to Maryland with our son and daughter that Christmas Eve. The pilot joked about racing against certain reindeer.

Kate was then assigned to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland. No time to worry about Christmas dinner, she had had a million details to organize for the memorial service. It’s OK, Kate said. We can eat dinner at the naval hospital tomorrow. Our young son and daughter won’t mind, she assured me.

But when we got home, we found the refrigerator packed with an entire Christmas dinner. Kate’s hospital food service staff had filled it for us. To this day, the sweet sad Christmas of 1989 is the one our children say they remember best.

A Very Un-merry Christmas for Nigerian Believers - and What You Can Do

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 18, 2012

The term “Boko Haram” has a distinctly non-English sound to it.  Rightly so, as it is the name of an Islamic terrorist group in Northern Nigeria.

Literally meaning “Western/book learning is evil,” this radical Muslim sect is committed to creating an Islamic, Sharia law-based society in Nigeria.  To that end, the Boko Haram have bombed and burned hundreds of churches over the past decade; they are truly ecumenical, as their targets are both Catholic and Protestant.

Since its inception in 2001, the British Broadcasting Company reports that Boko Haram has murdered as many as 10,000 people, men, women, and children.  Anyone professing Christianity is ripe for death in the twisted minds of Boko Haram’s members.  As with their unconcern with denominations, they are equal-opportunity killers of all ages.

Despite their unvarnished record fanatical brutality, the U.S. State Department has not been willing to declare Boko Haram a “foreign terrorist organization.”  Although State has designated several Boko Haram leaders as terrorists, its view of the movement itself seems more benign.  Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, testifying before FRC’s great friend U.S. Rep. Chris Smith’s House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, sought to draw distinctions within Boko Haram – even though, after doing so, he called the group a “terrorist organization.”

Why is this important?  In the words of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Benjamin Bull, “Such a designation triggers a variety of legal sanctions against the terrorist organization including freezing bank accounts, outlawing transfer of funds to support the group, expelling or arresting its members or associates in the U.S, and imposing sanctions on countries that provide support for the group.”

Yet the State Department’s Jason Small, deputy director of the Office of West African Affairs, argues that “We (the U.S.) are very concerned about how the designation would be received in northern Nigeria. We continue to make a strong case with the government; there are legitimate grievances people have in the northern states, they need to have a comprehensive government response, a more professionalized security response.”

Legitimate grievances?”  So profound that they justify murdering mourners at funerals, driving car-bombs into church buildings, and burning people alive?  Even for those of us used to the slimy rhetorical ooze that masquerades as diplomatic tact, this is too much.  Two months ago, the Boko Haram admitted its mission is nothing more than the violent overthrow of the Nigerian government and the end of Nigerian Christianity:

A Boko Haram spokesman has declared war on Nigeria’s government, the security services, and the country’s Christians. “I enjoy killing anyone that (Allah) commands me to kill the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” the spokesman said in a video released online.

Last month, FRC President Tony Perkins joined with our allies at ADF and the Jubilee Campaign, a Christian human rights organization, in signing a petition calling on our State Department finally to label the Boko Haram what it is, a foreign terrorist organization, and thereby helping to de-fund and arrest the spread of this vicious movement.

 You can join Tony and FRC in signing this petition by going to the Jubilee Campaign’s website.  Please join us in standing with Nigerian Christians whose only crime is their faith, whose only failing is remaining steadfast.

Peace on the Earth and Goodwill to Newtown

by Family Research Council

December 18, 2012

My wife is a nanny and I am the children’s church director at our local church.  We both teach and care for children on a regular basis.  They are so sweet and precious.  They say the cutest things and one can’t help but love them.  When the tragedy in Connecticut occurred it was unfathomable how anyone could harm these little ones.  My wife pointed out that many of their parents probably had presents under their Christmas trees that will now be a reminder of what is lost.  How sad.  I wish this never happened.  I wish that Christmas could be a time of “peace on the earth and goodwill to men” unmarred by human tragedy.  But how can it be?

When Jesus came to the earth there was a brutal leader named Herod ruling.  Murder was one of his primary methods of preserving his throne.  When he heard that a Messiah was born in Bethlehem he ordered all the young males there to be murdered.  Bethlehem was a small community and the murder of its children would have scarred the town just like the shooting last week.  Jesus came into that world and it was to stop that kind of thing that he came.

Much has been said about mental health treatment and gun laws but there is another much more important area that has been neglected, the heart of man.  Man was not created to be vile and evil, but he is, because of sin.  Jesus said that hating your brother was the same as murder in God’s eyes.  He said that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves and that there was no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends, and as He demonstrated to die even for your enemies.

Men around the world and throughout time have committed atrocities against their fellow men.  From Haman to Hitler.  From the barbarians to the Bolsheviks.  Yet in the midst of this horror Jesus offers the only cure.  What if we followed Jesus teaching and eliminated hate in our hearts for our fellow man?  What if we taught children that God is watching all that we do and that even when they feel helpless or unloved that He is there for them?  Then perhaps the outsider in society could find hope and the hateful man could change through love.  I know that nothing I can do can stop the hurting families of the Newtown disaster.  But I pray that the God of all peace would grant them healing and that the special love of One who endured the horrible murder of His only Son on a cross might answer their hearts cry with the sweet touch of His mercy as one who knows what they feel.  And further I pray that we as a nation would turn to the only true hope for stopping sin, the loving Christ who was born so long ago bringing the great hope of peace to a weary world.  And I pray for, to borrow the words of the angels at Jesus birth, peace on the earth and goodwill to Newtown.

Thinking Outside the Box about College at the American Thinker

by Chris Gacek

December 18, 2012

The American Thinker blog has posted this thought provoking article on the college debt debate by Gary Jason.  Jason has many interesting ideas, but I am glad to see that he brings up the need for more vocational training in high tech economy:

There is another pertinent point worth noting: there is a shortage of high-skilled trade workers.  A recent article in the WSJ points out that the value of American manufacturing output per hour is 30% higher now than a decade ago, and 125% higher than a quarter-century ago.  But this proliferation of productivity requires manufacturing workers who are trained in a post-secondary program (typically vocational training delivered at a local community college or trade school), and companies are reporting shortages of such trained personnel.

A big part of the problem lies in the fact that many high-school grads are turning their backs on skilled manufacturing programs in favor of bachelor’s degrees of dubious use in finding appropriate work.

Jason notes how the current loan programs have perverse incentives that need to be adjusted so that fewer loans are made for goofy programs of study while developing private industry education alternatives.  This is an agenda which conservatives can support while the Left is forced to defend the Blob and its Robber Baron kleptocracy.

He’s On Earth and Mercy Miles”

by Robert Morrison

December 18, 2012

That’s how our grandson sings his favorite Christmas song. Well, kids do say the darnedest things. Our grandson has been singing the songs of the season that he’s learning in his pre-school. Happily, it’s a Christian pre-school where Jesus is the reason for the season.

The lad repeated almost verbatim what the pastor had taught about candy canes. Turn it upside down and you get the letter “J.” For Jesus. See the white and red stripes? The red is for the blood Jesus shed for our sins. The white is how he washes us clean from those sins. And right side up, the candy cane is a shepherd’s crook. That’s because Jesus is our Good Shepherd.

The tykes are moving right along. At this little Christian pre-school, He is on earth.

Their first lesson last September was basic: God made me. I asked my grandson who made all the other children in his class. God made them, too, he said confidently.

Amazing. My grandson just turned four and already he knows more than the President, the Senate, and a majority of the Supreme Court. Smart kid.

I like his use of Mercy Miles. We’ve traveled a lot of them. Last December, when his twin sisters were born, we dashed the hundreds of miles to visit.

It was all fine until Christmas Eve. Then, the elder of the twins looked gray. Quickly, she was raced back into St. Mary’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She had Respiratory Synctial Virus (RSV).

In a few minutes, the loving staff at St. Mary’s called for her sister to be brought in, too. She also had RSV, though a less serious case. Younger sister remained just sick enough, though, to be a constant companion to her older sister.

Through nine days of watchful waiting, we prayed most earnestly.

My Catholic friends know what a Novena is. Now, we know, too.

The Christmas lights of St. Mary’s blazed through all those nights. I would lift our grandson up and point to the window of the girls’ room. He was not allowed to visit them. But he could pray for them, and for all the dear children who were being cared for at that quiet time of year.

Throughout 2012, I traveled around the country with the FRC-Heritage Foundation Values Bus. I put in some 13,341 miles. At every stop in the 40 cities and towns in eight states that we visited, I would tell the story of the twins and their RSV and how St. Mary’s gave them the best medical care in the world. I also said our family would do all we could to defend this blessed institution and its staff from threats to their—and our—religious liberty.

In every room at St. Mary’s, there is Jesus. He’s on earth. And I like to think that all those travels this year—to carry a message—were Mercy Miles.

Nursing Conscience

by Family Research Council

December 17, 2012

We were all shocked…All these years I’ve been a nurse, I was never told to help kill children,” said Fe Esperanza Racpan Vinoya, a veteran nurse of the ER and ICU at the Same Day Surgery Unit at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), in Newark. Fe and 11 other nurses stood up to hospital managers and administrators, refusing to help perform abortions, even though they were afraid of losing their jobs.

I knew we were going to lose our jobs,” says Lorna, who, at one point, amid the flurry of discussions with the managers, was asked to provide a patient with a bedpan. Retrieving it, she found an aborted baby inside. Horrified and sobbing, she called for help, telling the manager who responded, “I don’t know what to do with this. I can’t do this.” She soon found herself in the office of the vice president of nursing, where she was accused of refusing to help patients and threatened with termination. She wasn’t the only one called in.

Our jobs were hanging by a string,” Beryl says. “We were like, ‘All right. If they’re going to fire all 12 of us, fine. But this is against what we believe God wants us to do.’ We didn’t come into this profession to do [abortions]. We told them we weren’t comfortable with it and didn’t feel they should force us. And if that meant our jobs, well… God was going to provide.”

Read the rest of their story here, how Alliance Defending Freedom helped the nurses with their case, and how they ultimately were able to keep their jobs and clear consciences. 

Planned Bullyhood - Planned Parenthood’s Attack on Komen

by Anna Higgins

December 17, 2012

On Thursday, December 13, FRCwas pleased to host a lecture and panel discussion featuring Karen Handel, former Vice President of Komen for the Cure. Karen was joined by Jeanne Monahan, President of March for Life, and Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies atFRC.

The reason Karen is the former Vice President of the Susan G. Komen foundation is detailed in her new book, Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Karen’s story is a fascinating account of how a renowned charity with the purpose of fighting breast cancer became the target of a vicious attack by Planned Parenthood.

The firestorm started when Komen decided to review its grants to other organizations for the purpose of determining which grants were effectively used to fight breast cancer. Since Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) provided no mammogram services, the approximately $700,000 annual grant from Komen to Planned Parenthood fell into the category of non-impactful grants and was slated to be eliminated. According to Karen, when Komen reached out to Planned Parenthood and explained its position, all signs pointed to an amicable break between the organizations. Instead, Komen was completely blindsided by the wrath that was unleashed against it by the media,Hollywood, and executives at PPFA. As Karen related, Planned Parenthood offered up Komen as a sacrificial lamb to protect its abortion agenda.

PPFA is primarily an abortion provider; in fact, they are the leading abortion provider in the U.S.and now require all affiliate centers to provide abortions. Abortion is an extremely lucrative business for PPFA. In 2010, PPFA performed 329,445 abortions, which amounted to $181 million in revenue. Out of PPFA’s total income, almost half (46%) comes from the pockets of American taxpayers. Government funding for PPFA in 2010 reached a staggering $487 million, according to PPFA’s annual report.

The current administration continues to persist in issuing massive grants to PPFA despite evidence that PPFA affiliates have been involved in financial waste, abuse, and potential fraud, according to Alliance Defending Freedom’s comprehensive audit. Additionally, PPFA affiliates have been involved in lawsuits for failure to report statutory rape and sex abuse. Several undercover sting videos by Live Action have shown various affiliates’ willingness to aid and abet the sex trafficking of minors and accept donations for the purpose of aborting minorities.

As many of you know, three days after it announced that its grants to Planned Parenthood would be terminated, Komen retracted amidst relentless pressure, and decided to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Karen’s story is not to be missed, and I encourage everyone to read the book and especially to watch the web cast of the event. The question remains, what can we do?

First, read FRC’s  America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Abortion pamphlet, and FRC Action’s publication, The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death to become fully informed on the issues. Additionally, urge your legislators - national, state and local - to not remain silent on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Ask them to participate in any Congressional investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood. For additional steps you can take to help hold PPFA accountable, please see the America’s Abortion Provider pamphlet.

Any organization that receives a significant portion of its annual budget from the American people should be held accountable for its use of that money. Such an organization should be expected to maintain the highest ethical standards. Planned Parenthood falls miserably short of these expectations. The day for giving them a free-pass is long past.

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