Month Archives: February 2013

Obama Hypocrisy on “Federalizing” Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

February 28, 2013

Press reports indicate that President Obama’s Justice Department will file a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California’s Proposition 8—the state constitutional amendment adopted by California voters in 2008, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Most people know that President Obama announced last May, for the first time, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” But at the same time, he repeatedly said that this debate should play out at the “local” (presumably he meant “state”) level, and not be “nationalized” or “federalized.”

So is today’s decision hypocritical? Judge for yourself from the following excerpts from President Obama’s May 9 remarks:

Transcript: Robin Roberts ABC News Interview With President Obama

Obama Announced That He Now Supports Same-Sex Marriage

May 9, 2012

… I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue… . Whether it’s no longer defending the Defense Against Marriage Act, which— tried to federalize— what [has] historically been state law.

 . . .

At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that— for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that— I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. Now— I have to tell you that part of my hesitation on this has also been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue. There’s a tendency when I weigh in to think suddenly it becomes political and it becomes polarized.

And what you’re seeing is, I think, states working through this issue— in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that’s a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.

 . . .

 … [W]hat I’m saying is is that different states are coming to different conclusions. But this debate is taking place— at a local level. And I think the whole country is evolving and changing. And— you know, one of the things that I’d like to see is— that a conversation continue in a respectful way.

I think it’s important to recognize that— folks— who— feel very strongly that marriage should be defined narrowly as— between a man and a woman— many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. They’re coming at it because they care about families.

 . . .

ROBIN ROBERTS: I— I know you were saying— and are saying about it being on the local level and the state level. But as president of theUnited Statesand this is a game changer for many people, to hear the president of theUnited Statesfor the first time say that personally he has no objection to same-sex marriage. Are there some actions that you can take as president? Can you ask your Justice Department to join in the litigation in fighting states that are banning same-sex marriage?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I— you know, my Justice Department has already— said that it is not gonna defend— the Defense Against Marriage Act. That we consider that a violation of equal protection clause. And I agree with them on that. You know? I helped to prompt that— that move on the part of the Justice Department.

Part of the reason that I thought it was important— to speak to this issue was the fact that— you know, I’ve got an opponent on— on the other side in the upcoming presidential election, who wants to— re-federalize the issue and— institute a constitutional amendment— that would prohibit gay marriage. And, you know, I think it is a mistake to— try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue.

I think that— you know, the winds of change are happening. They’re not blowin’— with the same force in every state… .

 . . .

I want to emphasize— that— I’ve got a lot of friends— on the other side of this issue. You know, I’m sure they’ll be callin’ me up and— and I respect them. And I understand their perspective, in part, because— their impulse is the right one. Which is they want to— they want to preserve and strengthen families.

And I think they’re concerned about— won’t you see families breaking down… .

 . . .

I’m not gonna be spending most of my time talking about this, because frankly— my job as president right now, my biggest priority is to make sure that— we’re growing the economy, that we’re puttin’ people back to work, that we’re managing the draw down in Afghanistan, effectively. Those are the things that— I’m gonna focus on… .

Corporal Gooding and Captain Lipps

by Robert Morrison

February 28, 2013

More than anything else, it was courage that changed history in the Civil War. Historians have tried for a century and a half to explain this incredible outbreak of violence in the middle of a century of progress and enlightenment. Author Shelby Foote famously told the makers of Ken Burns’s PBS series, The Civil War, that we Americans had failed at the one thing we prided ourselves on: our ability to compromise. Because neither side could yield, he said, it came to war. Mary Boykin Chesnut, the great Southern lady, said in her diary that the war came “because we hated each other so.”

In today’s cultural crisis, we are seeing some of these same dangerous emotions arise. Last summer, FRC was invaded and my friend, Leo Johnson, was shot by a young man who said that we were the haters. “It’s not you, man, it’s this place. It’s what it stands for,” said the assailant as he shot Leo. Let’s check the logic on that one: He thinks we hate, so he shoots Leo.

Maybe it’s the irrationality of our day and the feeling that, in Shakespeare’s words, “the time is out joint” that drives me increasingly to the past, to find inspiration and hope from the fact that here in America we once tore ourselves apart for four bloody years and yet still managed to bind up the nation’s wounds. We are stronger for it.

One of my friends is opposed to Black History Month. He says it only perpetuates the notion of a separate history for black Americans when, in fact, black folks have been here since 1619. Blacks were here to greet my earliest immigrant ancestors. There is literally no history of the United States apart from the history of black Americans. My friend, Gordon, should know. His ancestors fought in an Indiana Colored Regiment in the Civil War.

Corporal Henry Gooding fought in the first and most famous of these Colored units, Massachusetts’ 54th Regiment. Corporal Gooding was not an ex-slave. He was what was then called a free man of color. He had apparently been educated in Upstate New York (since Massachusetts raised the first black regiment, many a young man came from other Northern and Eastern states to rally to the colors.)

On the Altar of Freedom is a collection of Corporal Gooding’s reports from his unit. In the first part of the book, the corporal manages to make even camp routine—training, drilling, cleaning, cooking, and prayer meetings—sound attractive and interesting. One day, as the 54th is on parade, proudly bearing their 1853 Enfield rifles, a large group of civilians came out from Boston to watch. “I could not but put the question to myself, when I saw so many strong, able-bodied young men, why are you not here? Why come as spectators when there is ample chance for you to become actors? I felt a mingled feeling of joy and sorrow—joy, because I felt the men who stood as actors in the scene were superior, in the eyes of all patriotic men, to those who came to see the show; sorrow, for these men who had the effrontery to come here and look patronizingly upon those who are…going to secure them a home hereafter.” He doesn’t tell us whether the onlookers are white or black. It’s sufficient to know that Henry Gooding believes they have a duty to join the great Union cause.

Corporal Gooding’s letters are published in a Massachusetts newspaper under the heading of “Monitor.” A monitor is one who watches and guards. It was the name of the famous Union ironclad of 1862. From internal evidence, it seems that he had once been a sailor. He wrote poems about his travels to Muslim lands, to Scotland, England, and France. And, amazingly for that time, Corporal Gooding cites the Swiss philosopher, Vattel, one of those most referenced on human rights. Gen. Beauregard, the Confederate commander at Charleston, South Carolina, refers to Vattel in protesting Union assaults that destroyed private dwellings. Henry Gooding knows that millions of his fellow black Americans are being denied their liberty by Gen. Beauregard, so he is less than persuaded.

When Col. Robert Shaw, the white officer who led the 54th Regiment, was killed in the assault on Fort Wagner, his body is thrown in a ditch along with those of his fallen black soldiers. Gooding contrasts this unchivalrous treatment with the care Col. Shaw had taken to give a dead rebel officer a proper military burial. When his troops raise $1472 for a monument to Col. Shaw, Henry Gooding contributes, but he disagrees with its placement.

Amazingly, he writes “it would ill become us to flaunt our success by raising monuments to our fallen heroes on their soil.” Besides, he wants the Bay State to honor her favorite son. “[Massachusetts] was the first to say a black was a man, let her have the first monument raised by black men’s money, upon her good old rocks.”

This brave, literate and deeply feeling young Christian warrior, Corporal Gooding, died as a prisoner of war—in dreaded Andersonville.

The diary kept by my own ancestor, Capt. Jonas Alexander Lipps of the 50th Virginia infantry, is also a marvel. Uncle Jonas was in the Stonewall Brigade and took part in every famous battle up to May, 1864, when he was captured outside Chancellorsville.

Capt. Lipps was stabbed by a Union guard in the minutes after his capture. He pulled out the rifle and bayonet and ran it through the guard, killing him. Jonas was not harmed. The Union captain witnessed the incident and called it, rightly, self-defense.

Jonas was taken with 600 other Confederate officer prisoners and placed outside the Union batteries at Fort Morris, near Charleston, S.C., very near where Cpl. Gooding had served. In reprisal for the Confederates’ tying Union POWs to lampposts inside the city, Jonas and his brothers were tied up and subjected to “friendly fire” for 31 days.

Jonas’s diary entry tells of an amazing vision he sees while under fire.

September 21, 1864: On Morris Island the forenotes has give the particulars of the day. In good health by the help of God. Must make a note of my vision on last night more than ever experienced before in my dreams, I had a view of being at the assembly of my fathers family prayers and that I had a view of the solistial [celestial]home in heaven which I rejoiced in my sleeping dose. The view was beautiful for the hope of Mortal man. Surviving on this earth having the view death and departure of this life all viewed beautiful and inclined to go for the reward that is not made by hand of Mortal man but in his reach by humble submission before him who is able to save from all danger and the way is strait and may be found by the[h]umbleness of man by faith.

Facing death every day for a month, Jonas’s thoughts go to Heaven and his father’s house of prayer. He would not live to see his father again. Jonas at 24 died a prisoner at Camp Delaware, just three days after Appomattox.

Is this not the answer to the culture war we are in? We must struggle and prayerfully prevail, but we must remember men like Corporal Gooding and Captain Lipps, warriors on opposite sides, but both men of faith, love, and courage.

World Family Map maps the world of the family

by Julia Kiewit

February 28, 2013

While there are many societal differences between the U.S. and Canada, the need for strong families to maintain society is one area in which researchers in the two countries can agree. The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada this year has launched a new annual study of family well-being around the world. The World Family Map 2013 looks at the family as the core institution of society and examines four indicators of family well-being: family structure, family socioeconomics, family process, and family culture, as well as how family structures relate to children’s educational attainments. The report includes data on these categories in different countries representing all regions of the globe.

Much of the data revealed in this report supports the research published by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. For example, data published by MARRI highlights the association between living in an intact, married family and higher GPAs in school.

And this same sort of data is found in the “World Family Map.” An article by the Toronto Sun reports that

A new, international report makes the claim that Canadian children score higher on literacy tests and are less likely to repeat a grade if — wait for it — raised by two parents.

According to the World Family Map Project, released last week, “children living with two parents had higher reading literacy scores and were less likely to repeat a grade compared to those living with either one parent or neither parent in all three North American countries included in the report.”

The researchers go on: “This pattern is found even after accounting for the higher levels of poverty and lower levels of parental education among single-parent families.”

The author of the article goes one step further to point out that government would do well to pay attention to this research:

Now this is awkward. Governments can pour money into education, but if children are not coming from stable homes, it’s like throwing money into the cold, Canadian wind. There is no quick government fix for family breakdown. But neither should politicians go to great lengths to avoid this research.”

Here at MARRI and the Family Research Council, we couldn’t agree more.

The Social Conservative Review: February 28, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

February 28, 2013

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Orthodox Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein has written a startling column on Patheos.com called, “Are Christians the New Jews?” Consider these words:

Even where Jews were tolerated, they were treated as the refuse of mankind … Today, Christians—especially those who take their faith most seriously—report that they feel like a scorned stepchild within general culture. They are mocked and derided, and treated as intellectual pygmies who have nothing to offer the better, more enlightened people around them.

The Rabbi’s perceptive comments reflect the growing sense among many American Christians that the collaboration of social and governmental forces working to diminish religious liberty is becoming stronger and more purposeful. We are not facing the physical persecution so many believers experience around the world, but rather its precursors: cultural isolation, political marginalization, and a general stereotyping that would be unacceptable were it directed toward virtually any other self-identified community.

Where does this leave us? Do we retreat into the quiet precincts of home and church, reducing our faith to an innocuous pietism, hoping that the forces that disdain us will leave us alone if only we keep to ourselves? Or do we face the reality that aggressive evil has an all-consuming appetite, and continue to labor “with grace and truth,” both, for our God-given rights and hard won liberties, not only for ourselves but for all of our fellow citizens?

Readers of The Social Conservative Review know what my answer to that question is, as it reflects their own. Cowardice and complacency are not part of the Gospel. Thanks for standing, bravely and for right.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to sign FRC’s petition to the Boy Scouts of America in which we urge the Scouts to “show character and courage in the face of adversity.”


Educational Freedom and Reform
Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

Government Reform
Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care
Abstinence

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

The Courts
Constitutional Issues

Other News of Note

Book Reviews

FRC in the News: February 28, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 28, 2013

Having Lunch with History

Bob Morrison, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, had an article that was featured in Human Events, which recounts his recent luncheon with Rick Valentine, who is related to President Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton. Morrison clears up the misconceptions about Stanton and his involvement with the Mary Surratt’s case as well as reflects on the celebration of those who have gone before us and will come after us.

Defending Marriage in Business

FRC’s Tom McClusky was cited in a recent Boston Globe article regarding an amicus brief that the Family Research Council presented for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and its impacts on businesses. McClusky states that even though redefining marriage “might be attracting some business” it is “also detracting lots of other business.” The DOMA will be presented to the Supreme Court this month.

A “Stupid” Defense to Religious Liberty

FRC’s Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison point out in their recent article on Townhall.com that the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, used a poor choice of words to talk about America’s religious freedom. In a meeting in Germany, Kerry told German students that Americans “have the right to be stupid”, in reference to why Americans have the right to religious freedom. Blackwell and Morrison point out notable responses that the Secretary could have used instead.

Getting Lincoln Right

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison tackle the issues President Lincoln faced during his presidency, such as succession vs. revolution, slavery, and founding principles in their article featured in The American Thinker. As Blackwell and Morrison also point out:

“…if conservatives today surrender Lincoln to the Hollywood left and Barack Obama, we will be giving up a vitally important cultural icon and one of our two greatest presidents.”

FRC in the News: February 26, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 26, 2013

The SPLC and Violent Bullying

FRC’s President, Tony Perkins, wrote an article featured in the The Christian Post about how the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claims to have an anti-bullying message, yet their recent actions have shown the opposite. The SPLC has promoted bullying and harassment in the cases of  Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, Eugene Delgaudio, who is the president of the Public Advocate of the United States, and in the case of the attempted mass shooting at FRC.

The Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Debate is not “Inevitable”

FRC’s Peter Sprigg explores how the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate is not “inevitable” in his article featured in The Christian Post. Though opponents of heterosexual marriage claim that they have the upper hand, yet the evidence proves otherwise. Sprigg also discusses the current White House administrations changes on the issue.

Join FRC for the Marriage March

by FRC Media Office

February 26, 2013

On March 23, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, which will determine if California’s Proposition 8 measure is constitutional. This will determine whether “same-sex marriage” will become recognized and whether Americans will have the right to protect marriage.

With the legal arguments being heard, FRC has various resources available on marriage from religious, legal, and cultural perspectives. Visit our Why Marriage Matters site to learn more and to find out how you can educate others about the importance of traditional marriage.

Additionally, FRC will be joining other organizations to promote traditional marriage through participating in the Marriage March on March 26th. Marriage March 2013 will feature various speakers that will empower and motivate you to promote the values of traditional marriage within your community. Click here to learn more about the Marriage March and to find out how you can get involved.

The Oscars and the Sad Truth about Media Culture

by Nathan Oppman

February 26, 2013

There has been some concern about the crass humor displayed at the Oscars last Sunday. I did not watch the Oscars, but I have read enough of what was said to know it was a moral debacle. When even children are the subject of coarse jesting, it becomes even more troubling. When a culture treats sex as a joke and uses lewdness to attract attention, it is a sign of that culture’s weakness. Why does an emcee at a major media awards event feel it is appropriate to make comments about a young actress’ sexual appeal to George Clooney? It is because our culture has lost its moral footing.

Hollywoodoften expresses outrage at the very things it promotes. Violence, sexual licentiousness, the objectification of women and children, and bullying (especially the “Christian right”) were all part of what was celebrated and joked about at this year’s Oscars, yet all are things Hollywood would argue against in other contexts. When will the moral decay in media cease? Perhaps, it will cease when Americans stop paying for it at the box office.

What would I do to encourage peace, love, the honoring of women, and the protection of our children in media? I would recommend adopting the Christian moral ethic that treats sex and marriage as sacred and that admonishes us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It may be called old-fashioned, but it is exactly what our culture needs.

Tony Perkins talks sequestration and CR with Jim Jordan Scott Garrett

by FRC Media Office

February 25, 2013

This morning, FRC President Tony Perkins guest hosted for Sandy Rios in the Morning on the AFR radio network. Tony spoke with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) about the “sequestration” and continuing resolution (CR) facing Congress this week. Tony and his guests examined the myths, facts, and any likely resolution.

Listen to the audio here.

FRC in the News: February 25, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

February 25, 2013

Schwarzwalder Reminds Warriors of Victories

Robert Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President at FRC, reminds Godly warriors in his recent article featured in Religion Today, that those who are fighting for God’s causes should know that hope is alive and it can be seen in many recent victories across the nation.

Religious Freedom Lecture Highlighted in The Christian Post

Ken Klukowski, FRC’s Director, Center for Religious Liberty, hosted a public policy lecture last week, Religious Liberty in America which was mentioned in a recent article by the The Christian Post. Klukowski was joined by Adele Keim from The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty and Kellie Fiedorek from Alliance Defending Freedom. Klukowski stated:

“It is imperative that we make ourselves aware of the battle fronts and support those who stand as sentinels against encroachment on our first freedom.”

Click here to view

Assisted Reproduction Case in the Senate Health Committee

Dr. David Prentice testified in a recent Senate Health Committee concerning the issue of assisted reproduction as highlighted in the Topeka Capital-Journal’s recent online article. Dr. Prentice’s statement in the hearing included the following:

“While the technique has helped some infertile couples to have children, the practice of manipulating human embryos has also opened the way to areas of ethical concern and to cavalier views of nascent human life and of women.”

Panetta Gives Same-Sex Partners Benefits

FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Peter Sprigg, commented recently in a Fox News article and on Fox News Special Report regarding Panetta’s decision to give benefits to same-sex partners. Sprigg believes that benefits should be limited to opposite-sex married couples only, but also points out that  Panetta’s decision

“does qualify as discrimination against opposite sex couples who are essentially in the same position [as same-sex partners], unmarried but living together.”

What Will Kerry Do About Christian Persecution in China?

FRC’s Kenneth Blackwell and Bob Morrison co-wrote an article featured in The Huffington Post addressing why the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, should not sit back while Chinese Christians are persecuted.

What Children Need (Hint: It’s Not Universal Preschool)

FRC’s President Tony Perkins was cited in USA Today regarding Obama’s proposal for universal preschool. Tony’s statement included that:

“What a 4-year-old needs more than anything is a loving, secure home with a mom and dad who love each other. There is no better way to start a young life. We cannot have secure, well-prepared, confident children if we continue to sustain a culture where no-fault divorce, cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births are the norm.”

January 2013 «

» March 2013

Archives