FRC Blog

Perkins Perspective: The Call

by Tony Perkins

August 22, 2008

I got side tracked this week on presidential politics and did not get to share my perspective on The Call which took place on the Mall here in DC this past Saturday.  It was an amazing day, from the incredibly pleasant August day to the praise and worship to the prayers of thousands being lifted up for America.  I wasable to join Lou Engle for about half of the 12 hour event. 


The media had a hard time understanding why 70,000 plus people came to Washington not to call for the reining in of the run-away courts, nor to promote a political party.  Rather, The Call was a recognition of a spiritual deficit in our nation for which we as Christians must take responsible (2 Chronicles 7:14) and that is what happened on Saturday.  That is not to say that the key moral issues that our nation is facing were not addressed. There was clearly a recognition of the threat that abortion and the spread of same-sex marriage poises to the future of America.  But they were recognized for what they are, symptoms of our spiritual deficiency.   What was most encouraging to me was that most of those 70,000 plus who came to DC from across the country were young people.  While those in the media and even some “religious” leaders claim young evangelicals care more about issues other than life and marriage the evidence suggest otherwise.  A Pew poll last year showed that 71% of young white evangelicals believe abortion should be restricted.  The poll shows that these young evangelicals are more pro-life than their parents.  That conviction was clearly visible on the Mall last weekend.

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Little Hope for Religious Freedom in China after the Olympics

by Bill Saunders

August 21, 2008

As we saw in the Olympics the problem is not the wonderful Chinese people it is the woeful Chinese government. The government increased persecution in the lead-up to the Olympics and there is no reason to think it will change after the Olympics. See my new paper about the increase in religious persecution before the Olympics, which is a true prediction of what will happen afterwards.

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Tilting at Windmills

by Michael Fragoso

August 20, 2008

I find it difficult to describe how boneheaded Mike Bloomberg’s newest idea is.  CBS News calls the plan, to put windmills on New York City bridges “bold.”  It’s not bold.  It’s ugly. 

New York’s suspension bridges are part of the artistic patrimony of the United States.  They were made for one specific purpose: allowing people to travel from one point to another without getting wet.  With this goal in mind, engineers designed the bridges to do so safely, while also taking into consideration construction economy, design efficiency and overall aesthetic elegance.  The consideration of these factors, coupled with and driven by economic growth in New York at the turn of the last century, impressive developments in industrial steel production, and sophisticated engineering load-calculation resulted in a wonderful flurry of suspension bridge construction uniting New York City unto itself and its neighbors.

The relationship between form and function in New York bridge engineering can be seen in the difference between the bridges.  Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge, designed in the days of carts, pedestrians, and trolleys, brings people from the industrial heart of Brooklyn to the financial heart of Manhattan with a stony classical grace.  On the other hand, Ammann’s George Washington Bridge-along with the Chrysler Building, one of the great paeans to the automobile-accommodates 14 lanes of private and commercial motorcar traffic (opposed to the Brooklyn Bridge’s six non-commercial lanes) using the superior mobility granted by automobile travel to span a narrower area of the Hudson with an ingress point at the less bustling Upper Manhattan.  These bridges were designed to facilitate different sorts of movement, and they do so spectacularly and uniquely, while providing beautiful aesthetic experiences in the process.

Now, in Mayor Mike’s preening greening scheme simply allowing people to access his city isn’t good enough for these marvels of engineering.  The spans that linked a series of unruly islands into the greatest city on earth no longer have sufficient economic or cultural value to continue their stolid duties unmolested.  No, they need to be retrofitted with windmills to look like steal islands planted tight with pinwheels.  Their forms, their functions, and their histories have to go by the wayside because Bloomberg wants his city to be the greenest city.

Therein lies the problem with much of the environmentalist movement.  People should conserve; clean energy is a good thing.  But is it such a good thing that it warrants the mutilation of majestic structural art, embedded in the public consciousness and of great historical significance?  Mayor Bloomberg and his cohorts seem to think so.  The posturing moralism of the few leads to banal ugliness for the many.  Wagner had it almost right with his planned book (The Unbeauty of Civilization): What we’re dealing with is the unbeauty of liberal civilization. 

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Underage Drinking—Costs and Protective Factors

by Michael Leaser

August 19, 2008

Most people are well aware that underage drinking can exact a deadly toll, approximately 5,000 youths every year. What may prove even more disturbing is just how young underage drinkers can be. According to the National Institutes of Health, 11 percent of eighth grade students have engaged in binge drinking (blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher), and this percentage increases to 22 percent of tenth grade students and 29 percent of twelfth grade students.

Analyzing additional federal survey data, the latest Mapping America reports that one of the most significantly protective factors against abusive underage drinking is frequent religious attendance.

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Republican Energy Protest Starts Picking up Steam

by Family Research Council

August 15, 2008


Returned to the House floor yesterday to watch the Republican “speech-in” demanding a vote from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on energy.  The crowds was at least four times the crowd I saw last week and while there are a few tourists in shorts and sandals it was great to see parents bringing their children, all dressed appropriately for the historic surroundings.

The Republicans have been getting a lot of favorable press on the story (including here, here, here, here, here here, here, and here as just a few of too many examples to list.)  Even the Senate is getting in on the action.  Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Ola.) has asked people to send him their gas receipts so he can deliver them to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)  So far he has received over 750 receipts totaling to $37,996.78. 

My favorite story comes from Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) who is traveling his district asking people to sign a petition asking for a vote.  At one stop, all caught

Nancy Pelosi with Bullwhip.jpg

on camera, an elderly man interrupts Rep. Hensarling demanding to sign the petition because “All I want to do is get my signature on here. That Pelosi woman is nuts.”   You can watch the video here.

Are the efforts having the desired effect?  Some Democrats are wavering on their position like Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)   Speaker Pelosi at first indicated she would back down, but now in true fashion is backing away from that and putting qualifiers on her statements.  We had sent out an alert for people to contact the Speaker but as of this morning the e-mail account the Speaker set-up for ordinary citizens to contact her has been disabled.  You can still call her at 202-225-0100.

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Buchenwald liberator, American hero dies at 83

by Family Research Council

August 15, 2008

This story just briefly shows a glimpse into the horrors James Hoyt saw, all created by mans inhumanity against his fellow

James hoyt.jpg

man.   Please read the full article about this very humble man.  The motto of those who survived the horrors of the Nazis is “Never Forget” - Mr. Hoyt is a man who witnessed why. 


By Wayne Drash, senior producer

(CNN) — James Hoyt delivered mail in rural Iowa for more than 30 years. Yet Hoyt had long kept a secret from most of those who knew him best: He was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first see Germany’s Buchenwald concentration camp.

Hoyt died Monday at his home in Oxford, Iowa, a town of about 700 people where he had lived his entire life. He was 83.  More . . .

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But What About Toyota Drivers?

by Family Research Council

August 15, 2008


The Wilson County Fair in Tennessee came under fire this week for offering a $2 promotion to any fairgoers who showed up with a church bulletin.  This of course had ACLU and atheists (did I just repeat myself) up in arms that this was tantamount to Wilson County endorsing Christianity.   

Other discount days include a Senior Citizens day, a Tennessee Lottery Day — with a $1 for showing a lottery ticket — and a Ford Fun Family Day, where fairgoers who showed a Ford key or keychain will get a discount.  I am just wondering when the ACLU will contact me to file a law suit as being discriminated against as an under-65, anti lottery Toyota driver.  

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Stories I Wanted To Get To This Week But Ran Out Of Time

by Family Research Council

August 15, 2008


Doctor asks county to turn up heat on abortion providers

Supporters of abortion rights often insist they don’t really like the procedure itself - they simply believe it should be legal, rare and safe.
The Allen County Commissioners may soon put the last part of that argument to the test. And they should.  More . . .


Portland, Oregon Abortion Business Delayed Another 60 Days for Permit

Denver, CO ( — Women and children in Oregon will get another 60 day reprieve before Planned Parenthood builds a new abortion business in a historically black area targeting them. City officials in Portland, Oregon were expected to close the deal on Wednesday, but the developers weren’t ready.

As a result, it will take another 60 days before the Portland Development Commission gives the final go-ahead for building the new abortion center. More . . .


Is ‘Meaning of Candy Cane’ OK in schools?

(USA Today) The U.S. Supreme Court was asked on Monday to consider whether a fifth-grade student’s religious expression on a classroom project can be considered “offensive” and subject to censorship by school officials. More . . .

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Getting High at Home

by Michael Leaser

August 14, 2008

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) released its annual National Survey of American Attitudes of Substance Abuse this morning. Most of the survey’s findings aren’t too surprising, but they are disturbing nonetheless. Among the findings: About two-thirds of high school students and twenty percent of middle school students report that drugs are kept, sold, or used on school grounds. A quarter of teens know a parent or guardian of a friend that uses marijuana. And for the first time, prescription drugs are easier for adolescents to obtain than alcohol. It should come as no surprise that the likeliest place for teens to get prescription drugs is in the home.

Taking a close look at federal survey data, the Family Research Council’s Mapping America recently analyzed the significant influence of family structure on adolescent drug use.

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Go World USA

by Michael Fragoso

August 14, 2008

I was watching the Olympics last night, and was struck by a number of things. When, exactly, did “beach volleyball” become an Olympic sport-and why isn’t there any Kenny Loggins playing during the game? Is Michael Phelps really the guy from Waterworld? And most importantly, what is Visa thinking?

Their series of “Go World” commercials defy any sort of explanation. Narrated by Lucius Fox-err, Morgan Freeman-and put to music clearly lifted from an exhibit in Epcot Center, they strive to embody the very soppiest of Olympic-tide twattle.

We’re told, “We don’t always agree, but for a few shining weeks we set it all aside…” Right. Tell that to the people of Georgia. Freeman goes on, “[We] come together, and stand, and cheer, and celebrate, as one.” We act as one. That’s rich, given that the games are being hosted by the ideological step children of history’s most bloodthirsty and murderous collectivist. “We forget all the things that make us different, and remember all the things that make us the same.” I guess some people in the Chinese government missed the memo on that. Oops. We’re lastly admonished to take up a new cheer: Go World.

Listen, I’m perfectly fine with athleticism for athleticism’s sake. I think it’s just great. I respected Curt Schilling pitching a masterful game seven in the 2004 ALCS with a torn up ankle-even though he was playing for a bunch of dirty Boston scrubs against the greatest team in the history of sports. In fact, Leon Kass and Eric Cohen recently had an excellent piece The New Republic on how the human good of pure athleticism is the benchmark ethical criterion for discussions of performance enhancement. This Visa campaign is not that. What we have here is trite utopian One-Worldery channeled into a sentimentalist corporate ad campaign. It would probably be par for the course with the Olympics, but given both the tense state of world affairs and the brutal tyranny of the Chinese Communist host regime it is not only in bad taste but is insulting.

The Chinese regime wants us to overlook their current despotic ways-and forget that these are but minor peccadilloes compared to the grievous sins of their not-so-distant past-amidst a tidal wave of artificial pomp and ginned-up false unity. The recently departed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn warned us against that sort of historical amnesia, and it’s a shame that Visa is willing to help us along that path. It didn’t used to be that useful idiots and fellow travelers could count among their ranks international conglomerations. So much for the Running Dog…

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