FRC Blog

The APA is Crazy: “Traditional Masculinity is Psychologically Harmful”

by Cathy Ruse

January 11, 2019

The American Psychological Association (APA) has decided that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful.”

That’s what should be known as traditional asininity. According to the APA, “[t]he main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.”

The APA’s report condemns itself. It should be read far and wide. But reader, be warned that you will encounter gibberish like this: “Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.” 

Rod Dreher rightly sees this nonsense as yet another diktat from the elites: “The more I think about it, the more Soviet this seems. Dissent from gender ideology (not just the transgender stuff, but the establishment’s view of what men and women are)? Well, then you must be insane. Expert opinion says so!”

I agree with David French at National Review: “We do our sons no favors when we tell them that they don’t have to answer that voice inside them that tells them to be strong, to be brave, and to lead.” 

I have daughters, not sons. But I pray my daughters marry masculine men, not the kind the APA would mold.

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Family Research Council Opposes the “Equal Rights Amendment”

by Family Research Council

January 10, 2019

On January 10, 2019, a press conference was held by The Family Foundation to oppose the “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA). Two spokeswomen for Family Research Council made the following statements.

Alexandra McPhee – Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy:

The ERA fails procedurally—it is legally moot, and thus, off the table for ratification. In 1972, when the amendment passed, Congress itself conditioned ratification on a deadline: March 22, 1979. A later extension moved the date to June 30, 1982. Proponents of the amendment failed to rally enough states to ratify the amendment at either juncture, and in that time five states withdrew their ratification.

Now, 36 years later, proponents believe they can and should revive this stale effort. But they cannot and should not.

Congress reasonably imposed this deadline because a lot can happen in five years, and even more in a lifetime. The deadline was binding enough when the ERA thought it would win. Now that it has lost—twice—proponents argue that the rules need not apply.

If Congress represents the will of the people, why ignore that? 2019 is not the time to undermine the will of the people in 1982, when the people of at least 15 states decided that the ERA should fail. And what ratifying states wanted in 1982 and earlier should not dictate the voice of the people in 2019.

Assuming all of this, whatever ERA proponents want the General Assembly to pass will have to make its way anew through Congress by a 2/3rds vote. Based on the current makeup of Congress, the ERA will not garner the necessary votes.

As a woman, the ERA does not support my interests, so I do not support ERA—nor should it find support in those who understand the negative consequences that will result from this amendment. I urge all representatives to Vote NO.

Patrina Mosley – Director of Life, Culture and Women’s Advocacy:

Women are continually used as props to push an agenda. The ERA is not about women, it is really a smokescreen for abortion. Abortion has extinguished over 60 million children from our nation and by design, our poor and minority communities have been disproportionately affected.

The majority opinion of Roe written by Justice Blackmun is laced with eugenic ideology and has even been acknowledged by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The abortion industry, from day one, has used the courts to force its agenda. Now that it seems that the courts may be stacked against them, they will use any backdoor (or prop – even if it’s women) to preserve abortion.

Abortion lobbyists who fatten the wallets of legislators knows that abortion has no actual constitutional basis and are convinced they need a constitutional amendment to keep abortion “legal.” 

While trying to protect abortion, the ERA leaves women unprotected by threatening legal distinctions based on sex. This puts men in women’s shelters, prisons, bathrooms, showers, sports, and more. Instead of achieving “equality,” the ERA has undermined the already achieved protections specifically designed for women.

But today, we act like we don’t even know what sex/gender means! So, if the ERA really cared about protecting women it would have seen it as necessary to define what it means to be a woman. It does not.

This amendment has failed so many times because it is disingenuous and has no moral compass—therefore it continues to trip over itself.

The ERA is bad all the way around. I urge all representatives to Vote NO.

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The ERA: A Bad, Old Idea

by Cathy Ruse

January 10, 2019

Yesterday a senate committee in Richmond voted in favor of Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, I am speaking of your grandmother’s ERA.

The deadline Congress set for states to ratify the amendment has long since passed—nearly three decades ago. Proponents couldn’t convince enough states that it was a good idea within the deadline, and since then five states have withdrawn their ratification.

The issue is officially moot. But proponents hope they can convince enough states to go through the motions anyway, and then convince a lawless judge to ignore the deadline.

The Left loves lawless judges.

Women deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. We can all agree on that. But the ERA won’t deliver these things—in fact, it will undermine them.

The same lawless judges who might ignore ratification deadlines could also employ the ERA to eliminate the recognition of male and female. But that puts men in women’s shelters and prisons. It puts men in women’s bathrooms and showers. It puts men in women’s sports.

We don’t need that kind of help.

The ERA is not only anti-woman, but anti-children—especially the most vulnerable waiting to be born. 

Proponents say the ERA is not about abortion. But look at what they do: Every time a state considers ERA language that is abortion-neutral, they kill it. That’s because abortion is at the heart of the ERA.

Women deserve safe spaces, privacy, and a level playing field. Children deserve a fighting chance to be born.

When the Virginia Senate takes up the measure in the days ahead, they should waste no time in putting to rest this bad, old idea.

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Myth #1: “Abortion does not destroy a human life.”

by Ingrid Skop, M.D.

January 8, 2019

Some say that abortion does not destroy a human life because we can’t know exactly when life begins. This is a false statement. Life is commonly defined as organisms that “maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve.”

Any basic physiology textbook will tell you that at the moment of fertilization, a one-celled human embryo with a complete set of 46 chromosomes comes into existence that is uniquely different from that of either parent. This one-celled embryo will then begin dividing and growing rapidly. Basic obstetrics textbooks tell us that a biomolecular communication system is established between the zygote/blastocyst/embryo/fetus and mother that is operative from before the time of implantation and persists through the time of birth.

In an unborn child, the precursor to the nervous system appears between days 12 and 17. By 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating and pumping blood; by 30 days, arms, legs, and brain begin to form; and by 35 days, mouth, nose, and ears begin to develop. By 9 weeks, fingernails are forming, and he can be seen on the sonogram sucking his thumb; by 10 weeks, he squints, swallows, and frowns; by 12 weeks, he smiles and has intricate hand and feet movements.

For more, see our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.

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Top 10 Myths About Abortion

by Family Research Council

January 7, 2019

The issue of abortion is emotional, heated, and fraught with passionate opinions on all sides, and rightly so—the lives of human beings in the womb hang in the balance. It’s no surprise, then, that a lot of misguided, inflammatory, and patently false rhetoric inevitably surrounds the abortion issue whenever it is debated.

Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist for 22 years, is passionate about inserting some much-needed scientific truth and common sense into the abortion debate from the perspective of a medical professional who works with pregnant women on a daily basis. In FRC’s new video series and corresponding publication, she dispels 10 common myths about abortion.

Over the next two weeks leading up to FRC’s ProLifeCon and the March for Life, we will be releasing a series of 10 videos of Dr. Skop discussing each myth about abortion. For a more detailed discussion of each myth, be sure to read FRC and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (AAPLOG) new publication authored by Dr. Skop, Top 10 Myths About Abortion.

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The Postal Service Stamps Out the Christmas Spirit

by Alexandra McPhee

December 26, 2018

Tavia Hunt was just trying to get into the holiday spirit when she decided to request through a private vendor a customized stamp with a family photo (above). Unbeknownst to Hunt, she made the mistake of choosing a picture of her family posing in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

Hunt’s request was denied. She was told that the photo was a violation of a United States Postal Service (USPS) regulation that prohibits “content that is unsuitable for all-ages audiences, including . . . [a]ny depiction of political, religious, violent or sexual content.” The cathedral, apparently, was too religious.

According to USPS, it aims to “to limit content to family-friendly images or text that would not cause concern among mainstream, multi-generational users of the mail.”

It’s a bizarre state of affairs when even arguably religious content is considered as unsuitable as violent or sexual content or as cause for “concern.” First Liberty Institute, which has filed a demand letter on behalf of Hunt, pointed out the irony that St. Basil’s Cathedral “was secularized and converted into a museum decades ago.”

First Liberty rightly called out the USPS and said:

If the USPS insists that Tavia’s family photo in front of a historic cathedral contains religious content in violation of the USPS guidelines, then the guidelines raise significant First Amendment concerns that may require further legal action.

USPS has said the regulation prohibits any religious content to avoid “delegat[ing] unduly fine-grained distinctions to providers and increas[ing] First Amendment and [USPS] liability.”

Well, so much for that. The overbroad prohibition has created exactly the scenario USPS sought to avoid. Yet again, government treats religion as a leper, and now citizens are shut out from even being in the same picture with a cathedral if they want to appear on a stamp for their family Christmas card.

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Is Anyone Surprised that Planned Parenthood Treats its Pregnant Employees Terribly?

by Patrina Mosley

December 21, 2018

Planned Parenthood is discriminating against pregnant women. Honestly, we already knew this to be true as Planned Parenthood commits over a third of the nation’s abortions. But the New York Times has uncovered that the hailed “champion of women” has been discriminating against their own female workers for being pregnant!

Managers have discriminated against pregnant women and new mothers, according to interviews with the current and former Planned Parenthood employees and with organizers from the Office and Professional Employees International Union, which represents some Planned Parenthood workers.

If this was fake news it would be the ultimate satire, but unfortunately, it does not appear that way. The new Planned Parenthood President, Dr. Leana Wen, has stated that “we must do better than we are now.” Here are just a few allegations from the report:

Tracy Webber, the former director of clinical services in White Plains, sued the organization for pregnancy discrimination in 2009, saying she had been fired four weeks after giving birth. Planned Parenthood settled for undisclosed terms.

In Miami, one current and two former employees said that women at a Planned Parenthood office were scared to tell managers they were pregnant. One of them said that, in conversations with supervisors, colleagues would often volunteer that they were not planning on having children or were gay or single.

[At a Planned Parenthood in California] supervisors openly debated whether candidates were likely to get pregnant in the near future and preferred those who were not … (Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is illegal to consider whether a job candidate is or will become pregnant.)

In New York, Ta’Lisa Hairston was refused breaks and bedrest: “‘I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,’ she said. ‘It made me jealous.’”

Planned Parenthood “managers in some locations declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth, according to current and former employees in California, Texas, North Carolina and New York.”

You can find hypocrisy and injustices in any organization made up of people. However, when you have shown a pattern of disregard for the law and women’s safety as Planned Parenthood has, it’s highly suspect to lay claim to being “pro-woman” and deem yourself as a haven for “Care. No matter what.” Their habitual scandals make it obvious that they are in the business of profit, no matter what.

Failing to Report Statutory Rape and Sex Abuse

  • There are several recorded examples of Planned Parenthood supplying abortions to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking despite state mandatory reporting laws that make Planned Parenthood personnel mandatory reporters in most states. Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Kentucky were willing to cover up sexual abuse.
  • In Fairbanks v. Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood was sued for refusing to report a 16-year-old girl’s abuse after she informed them that she was impregnated by her father who was sexually molesting her.

Willing to Aid and Abet Sex Trafficking

  • In a 2011 investigation, Live Action found that Planned Parenthood was willing and able to aid sex traffickers who were trafficking girls as young as 13 as part of a sex-slave ring. Their investigations exposed multiple Planned Parenthood facilities across New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
  • A report on sex trafficking survivors showed that over a quarter had visited a Planned Parenthood facility while being trafficked. One victim said that they went to Planned Parenthood because “they didn’t ask any questions.”

Performing Services that it Knows Are Dangerous and Low-Quality

  • One of the most egregious examples of this is a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, which has had several instances where witnesses have seen ambulances transporting women out of their facility on multiple occasions year after year. This same St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility had several deficiencies and health violations cited during an inspection by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
  • Cree Erwin died after receiving an abortion at a Kalamazoo, Mich. Planned Parenthood facility.
  • Despite widely reported dangers and adverse events reported by the FDA, Planned Parenthood continues to tell women that “the abortion pill is safe.” The FDA reported 1,445 more cases of adverse events from the abortion pill from 2012 to 2017.

These are just a few examples that show the irony in Planned Parenthood’s “pro-woman” reputation; more can be found in our publication, “Planned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman.” All this is notwithstanding their participation in the sale of aborted baby parts, Medicaid fraud, supporting sexual exploitation as sex work, and the organization’s eugenic roots.

The New York Times report further noted that “A dozen lawsuits filed against Planned Parenthood clinics in federal and state courts since 2013 accused managers of denying workers rest periods, lunch breaks or overtime pay, or retaliating against them for taking medical leave.”

PPFA President Wen said the organization is investigating the allegations of pregnancy discrimination and is conducting a review to determine the cost of providing paid maternity leave to its employees nationwide.

Seattle Planned Parenthood Manager Christine Charbonneau wasn’t pleased with the scrutiny. “It is easy to accuse someone of hypocrisy if you’re not the one trying to find $2 million out of thin air,” she said. “You try to be the Planned Parenthood that donors expect, and yet it is unattainable.”

It is interesting she should say that. While Planned Parenthood holds non-profit status, its total revenue for 2016-2017 was about $1.459 billion, the highest in its history. In 2016-2017, Planned Parenthood reported an excess of revenue over expenses of nearly $100 million.

When Planned Parenthood heard about the coverup of child sexual abuse at several of its affiliates, the organization swore to retrain its staff. Yet when Ramona Trevino, a former Planned Parenthood manager, asked how to better comply with mandatory reporting laws, her concerns were dismissed:

[I] went in really believing that Planned Parenthood could redeem themselves. They’re going to prove that they really do care about women and this is something that really concerns them. [The trainer] immediately shot me down and she said, ‘We’re not here to talk about that, Ramona. We’re here to teach you how to identify if you’re being videotaped or recorded or entrapped in any way.

Planned Parenthood’s treatment of pregnant women in the workplace is no doubt rooted in the fear that their obvious advertisement of life seen in their own employees might change the minds of their pregnant customers, which would take away profits to be had from these vulnerable women.

While Planned Parenthood has shown a keen interest in disregarding pregnant employees, they have always taken a special interest in targeting minority neighborhoods. Nearly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are within walking distance of black and Hispanic communities. In a series of undercover videos, Live Action exposed that Planned Parenthood facilities were willing to earmark money specifically donated for the abortions of African-American babies to “lower the number of blacks in America.”

The fact that Planned Parenthood has been referred to the DOJ and FBI for criminal investigation makes it more than clear that this organization does not deserve any more of our tax money or political protection.

This brings us back to the sad story of Ta’Lisa Hairston. After resigning from Planned Parenthood because of the terrible treatment she received from the organization during her pregnancy, the last thing Ms. Hairston heard from them was a letter asking her to donate money.

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Is Chai Feldblum Reconsidering Religious Freedom?

by Peter Sprigg

December 21, 2018

I found it interesting that Chai Feldblum saw fit to respond to Everett Piper’s op-ed on the “Fairness for All” proposal, and to deny that her position is “that LGBT rights must always prevail, no matter what.” Her summary statement does sound more generous to religious liberty than other things she’s been quoted as saying in the past:

I believe there are some situations in which the rights of religious liberty for organizations who believe homosexuality is sinful will conflict with and should prevail over the rights of LGBT people who might experience discrimination at the hands of such religious organizations.

But what are some examples of those “situations?” And how does she define “religious organizations?” She never says.

I don’t doubt that Feldblum, in her concern for “religious pluralism,” would probably say pastors should not be forced to perform same-sex weddings, and churches should not be forced to hire pastors who identify as homosexual. But do “religious organizations” include anything other than churches, synagogues, and mosques? It would be nice to know.

Throughout her op-ed, she mentions only “religious organizations.” She does not talk about protecting the rights of profit-making organizations (e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop), nor about the rights of religious individuals (e.g., Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran). My guess is that her concern for the “rights of religious liberty” simply does not extend to them.

I carefully analyzed her position in our paper opposing her renomination to the EEOC a year ago. Here is an excerpt:

Feldblum was best known to conservatives, however, for her blunt statements discounting the idea that the free exercise of religion should ever be allowed to trump “rights” asserted by those who identify as homosexual.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty held a conference in December 2005 regarding potential conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious liberty. Feldblum participated, and Maggie Gallagher drew attention to Feldblum’s views in a 2006 Weekly Standard article.

Sexual liberty should win in most cases,” Feldblum declared. “There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win …” In fact, she declared, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

Feldblum understands what this means for religious believers. In a related article [2006], she declared that “we are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side,” adding later, “And, in making the decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.” Indeed, she openly endorses government coercion of the believer: “To the extent that forced compliance with an equality mandate burdened an individual’s belief liberty, my argument … is that such a burden is likely to be justified.”

Feldblum admitted that the heavy-handed approach she favors goes well beyond Supreme Court precedent, noting that:

[T]he Supreme Court, for the moment, has come down clearly on the side that the liberty protected by the substantive Due Process Clause is solely a negative liberty. … But in many circumstances, the only way to achieve real liberty for some individuals will be for the government to take affirmative steps to bring about that liberty—even if such steps might then interfere with the liberty of others.”

Feldblum deserves some credit for describing more accurately than most the moral concerns that social conservatives have regarding homosexual conduct, and for at least acknowledging the reality of the conflict between “gay rights” and religious liberty. And she has been gracious to participate in events like the Becket conference, and even in a 2008 panel discussion held at Family Research Council.

However, this should not be allowed to mask the extremism of her positions. After she wrote that the courts should essentially ignore the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment (recognizing only a more nebulous “belief liberty” instead), she admitted that “my suggestions are radical.”

And more recently, since she has been on the EEOC, she has also expressed skepticism of religious exemptions:

Feldblum has continued to state her view that religious liberty exemptions should be extremely narrow. For example, at an “LGBT Summit” sponsored by The Atlantic magazine in December 2015, she participated in a panel discussion with David Boaz of the Cato Institute, who identifies both as gay and 5 as a libertarian (and who supported the redefinition of marriage). The issue of private businesses impacted by non-discrimination laws, such as those in the wedding industry, was discussed, as Reason magazine reported:

Boaz stated: “I think we have millions of small businesses, and I would like to leave the heavy hand of government out of their relationships with their customers and their employees as much as possible.”

… Feldblum, however, dismissed the idea that religious beliefs could ever justify discrimination. “When someone has not been educated [about tolerance of LGBT individuals] and wants to keep discriminating,” she said, “there is only one federal government, there is only one state government, one local government that can say: We will not tolerate this in our society.”

Feldblum then referred to an EEOC case against a funeral home charged with “gender identity” discrimination:

With a religious exemption to non-discrimination laws, the funeral home owner “could say, ‘well, actually, we’re religiously based,’” said Feldblum, raising her arms high and rolling her eyes. “It’s a funeral home! We do not want to allow that and the only thing that can protect us is a law that doesn’t have [a religious] exemption.”

LGBT activists like Feldblum are unlikely to accept any vision of religious liberty that extends beyond the four walls of a church’s sanctuary. But the “free exercise” of religion extends not just to churches but to individuals, and in every sphere of endeavor, including the public square and marketplace.

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