Month Archives: July 2013

FRC in the News: July 11, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 11, 2013

Politifact Deserves ‘Pants on Fire’ on Religious Liberty and Gay Marriage

Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s director for the Center of Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart addressing the media’s intentional downplaying of stories of Christians who have experienced persecution due to their opposition to same-sex marriage. We have been hearing about more and more incidents of Christian bakers, florists, and photographers who have been punished because of their refusal to cater to the wedding needs of same-sex couples because of their beliefs. As a result, many liberal media sources have not written on these stories, or have at least made them seem less serious than they actually are. Ken gave the following remarks:

This is a big story—a serious story—and one that you can expect liberal media outlets to ignore or downplay in their efforts to avoid any negative stories involving supporters of traditional marriage. It’s harder to call someone an ignorant bigot when you see them suffering because they’re simply trying to live out their faith in their daily life.”

Reporters without law degrees or law licenses presuming to dismiss the legal judgments of professional attorneys to promote a left-wing media agenda by saying traditional-marriage supporters’ claims are only “half true” might satisfy liberal editors and colleagues, but it is an appalling betrayal of the public trust because it deceives the public on the truth on a matter that impacts many millions of Americans. Such abysmal pseudo-journalism should be spurned for the toxic waste it is.”

Americans seek the news to understand the truth about what’s going on in their world. Some outlets won’t give the people that, which is why we will.”

NC Same-Sex Marriage Case May Endanger Religious Liberty

Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s director for the Center of Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart about the recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against North Carolina, challenging their ban on same-sex marriage. Their basis is that North Carolina’s Constitution violates the fourteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, by not allowing homosexuals to marry. ACLU is trying to create a constitutional right for same-sex marriage and strike down all 50 states’ right to choose whether they want same-sex marriage or not. This could be brought before the Supreme Court in the next two years. Ken made the following statements:

Those in the new forms of marriage could demand all public, legal, and taxpayer rights for any marriage unit they choose to create. This could pose profound dangers to religious organizations (such as churches) and individuals (especially business owners) who refuse to recognize or participate in same-sex marriage.”

Already, this issue is moving again through the court system, where its fate is uncertain.”

Transformation Through Christ, Not the State

Rob Schwarzwalder, Family Research Council’s Senior Vice President, wrote an article for Religion Today citing historic examples of communist individuals who claimed that man can achieve self-transformation into an overall improved person through external means, such as good economic or political conditions. Christ teaches just the opposite. It is only through Him that a person can find true fulfillment and change of the heart. We must internalize His law, not just outwardly obey its commands. Rob gave the following comments:

It is noteworthy that socialism, communism, fascism, emperor—worship and all other forms of totalitarianism displace God and elevate the state to His position of primary and central Lordship. Thus, invariably they lead to the crushing of freedom, economic stagnation if not collapse, and power concentrated in the hands of those relatively few who have seized authority and become “more equal than others.” This is because power, materialism, and god-like authority ultimately are irresistible to the unredeemed sons and daughters of Adam or at least to those not penned-in by allegiance to what they believe is a higher power.”

Only God is infinite, which is why He ordained the family and interpersonal friendships: To enable finite and fallible persons who still bear His image to love and care for one another in small, knowable, intimate groups. For example, no one loves any child more than his own – this is an ineradicable feature of human nature. Attempts to change it are futile exercises in self-arrogation.”

Press Conference Media Hits

On Tuesday, July 9, Family Research Council joined Congressmen Fleming, Bridenstine, and Gohmert, and groups concerned about religious liberty, on Capitol Hill to participate in a press conference urging support for Rep. John Fleming’s (R-LA) military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. In addition to the speeches given, Family Research Council released a new report consisting of incidents of hostility toward religious expression in the military. The following news sources covered our event:

CNS News- “There’s a long list of things that have been happening in very recent years that for those who do the most for us – uniformed members – who put their lives on the line and who have done that over 237 years, those who have fought for our religious liberties the most are the ones today who are having those very liberties taken from them,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said at the press conference.

The Christian Post- Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of FRC, explained in a statement the purpose of the press conference and its support for the amendment to the NDAA. “We must do all we can to ensure that our service members have the right to practice the very freedoms that they risk their lives to defend,” said Boykin.

Stars and Stripes - “We get calls all the time telling us how bad it is to be a religious person in the military,” said retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, now executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council. “Political correctness has destroyed the ability to live your faith in the military.”

Navy Times - “The evidence is beginning to point to a clear and present danger to religious liberty in our nation’s military,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins said there’s a “growing hostility toward religious freedom. Unfortunately, members of the military cannot speak out about these things.”

The Daily Caller - Lawmakers like Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, warned that recent examples in the media about religious freedom in the military could end up keeping people out of the armed forces.“ If this administration is going to continue to tolerate this kind of intolerance, we’re going to lose members of the military that cannot serve if their first amendment rights are not going to be protected with regard to religious,” he said.

The Oklahoman - In a message to the House last month, the Obama administration strongly objected to the language.

By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale and mission accomplishment,” the White House message said.

Bridenstine quoted that message and compared it to a statement made in 1787 by George Washington that purity of morals was “highly conducive to order, subordination and success in the Army.”

I don’t know about you, but I think President Washington was a little more qualified to discuss military matters than our current president,” Bridenstine said.

World Magazine- “We believe that those who are wearing the uniform, those who are putting their lives on the line to protect the religious liberties of all Americans should not themselves have to give up those religious liberties that they are willing to die for,” said Ron Crews, the alliance’s executive director, at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday.

US News and World Report - The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said Tuesday it planned to reach out to Christian members of the military in coming months to inform them of their “constitutionally guaranteed religious liberties.” The alliance will connect with those soldiers through its 2,400 member chaplains – which represent nearly half of the total number of chaplains in the military.

They’ll receive a palm card… saying: here are your religious liberties and here is what to do if threatened,” said Ron Crews, the executive director of the alliance, at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “They could receive counsel from chaplains, or legal representation.”

Fox News - Perkins and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, the FRC’s executive vice president, released a nine-page document detailing anti-religious behavior in the military.

Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified tremendously during the Obama Administration,” the FRC report states.

We will stand with servicemembers who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights of religious liberty,” Boykin said. ‘We must do all we can to ensure that our servicemembers have the right to practice the very freedoms that they risk their lives to defend.”

The Family Research Council said it is evidence of an attempt to “scrub the military of religious expression, through which the chilling effect of punishment and potential career destruction lie at the back of everyone’s mind.”

The document, titled, “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military,” dates back to 2005 when Mikey Weinstein became a major critic of the United States Air Force Academy.

The Washington Post - Fleming’s amendment has already passed the House, and a similar amendment by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has passed the Senate Armed Services Committee. Fleming hopes the Obama administration will leave it intact after saying the amendment “would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”

We know the president is very uncomfortable with your religious liberty,” Fleming said.

Houston Chronicle - Obama objected to an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow individuals to express their faith. The president said that it would “limit the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units.” According to a White House statement, the provision would have an adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.

At the press conference, Gohmert spoke of the founding fathers and how they were actually able to attend church at the Capitol. The Republican lawmaker believes that the type of intolerance we are seeing mirrors the type of intolerance that forced Pilgrims to flee to America.

The Social Conservative Review: July 11, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

July 11, 2013

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

As our culture struggles, the issues with which we deal not only multiply but become more intense. From the Supreme Court decisions last week on marriage to the acrimonious debate in the Texas legislature about late-term abortion, it is easy for social conservatives to feel not only overwhelmed, but discouraged.

Don’t. Either Jesus Christ is Lord or He isn’t. And since He is, we need to move forward with confidence in His ultimate victory in time and history. I use the word “ultimate” advisedly, in that between now and then, hardship of a number of types might ensue. But perseverance and faithfulness are vastly more important than any temporal win, however rewarding or sweeping, ever can be.

Thanks for the privilege of continuing to partner with you.

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch a lecture by FRC’s Dr. Pat Fagan on “the impact of pornography on college campus life.” Register for the event, at no charge, here. Also, download FRC’s groundbreaking new summary of religious persecution in the nation’s military and watch our launch of the study, with three Members of Congress, yesterday at the U.S. Capitol.


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

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

Growing Human Liver Tissue from iPS Cells

by David Prentice

July 5, 2013

Co-Author: Andrew Mullins

Japanese scientists have succeeded in growing chunks of functional human liver tissue in mice. The research, published in the journal Nature, constructed the human liver tissue using a combination of three cell types: induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), human umbilical cord blood stem cells, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. The liver cells were induced to form from the iPS cells, while the other cells were used to form support tissue including cells for blood vessels. In the laboratory, the cells organized themselves into pieces of tissue, termed “liver buds”. When transplanted into mice, the “liver buds” showed some specific liver function, and also hooked into the circulatory system, allowing the liver tissue to survive and continue growing. The functional human liver tissue was also able to rescue mice from liver failure.

It’s still early in the study and development of iPS cell-derived tissues and organs, and the mice will be observed for some time to come to observe whether iPS cells, since they behave like embryonic stem cells, create tumors in the animals. Still, it’s a significant step forward for potential use of iPS tissues in laboratory studies, and a novel way to produce organ rudiments.

Back in 2006, McGuckin’s lab showed that they could grow pieces of liver tissue in the laboratory, starting with human umbilical cord blood stem cells. The adult stem cells found in umbilical cord blood, as well as the solid umbilical cord, appear to be very flexible in their potential use for various tissues.

In 2010, Wake Forest scientists showed that they could construct miniature human livers in the laboratory using adult precursor cells. That research technique differs from the new report for iPS cell-derived liver. The Wake Forest group started by stripping the cells off of normal liver tissue, forming “decellularized scaffolds” to which cells normally attach in an organ and which give an organ structure. The decellularized scaffold consist of extracellular matrix, including the proteins and other biomolecules on which cells hang in an organ and which can affect cell differentiation within that tissue. That matrix was then seeded with human liver precursor cells and human endothelial cells (which line and help create blood vessels.) The remade liver construct was grown in a bioreactor in the lab, and after a week demonstrated human liver tissue growth and function.

Another route to liver regeneration involves injecting adult stem cells into damaged liver tissue, stimulating regrowth of liver tissue. The technique has been used in limited clinical trials but has shown some success for adult stem cell regeneration of liver in patients.

Both techniques were recently reviewed by the Wake Forest group, as well as in-depth description of the decellularization method for liver construction. Non-embryonic stem cells continue to lead the way in the lab, as well as in the clinic.

U.S. Is Helping Fund China’s “One-Child” Policy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 5, 2013

If you doubt it, read this post by Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse:

A few of the eye-popping, soul-discouraging, indignation-inspiring nuggets:

  • China is currently short more than 37,000,000 women as female infanticide, sex-selective abortion, and neglect have ripped through the female population.”
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) spent $4,861,000 in China last year for “population dynamics programs,” “family planning,” and other population control programs. The United States gave $30,200,000 to the UNFPA last year.”
  • Over the past two decades, Population Research Institute has repeatedly sent teams of investigators into China. We have thoroughly investigated UNFPA ‘model family planning counties,’ and found that local UNFPA representatives are working hand-in-hand with the Chinese government. If anything, forced sterilizations and forced abortions were more prevalent in the UNFPA’s so-called ‘model counties’ than in the rest of China.”

The President of the United States has the authority, under legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan, “to stop funding ‘any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization’.”

Let’s pray that God would work in Mr. Obama’s heart to exercise his authority on the side of life.

Israel’s Bicentennial Gift to America

by Robert Morrison

July 4, 2013

In New York on that two hundredth Fourth of July, 1976, the Parade of Tall Ships sailed majestically down the East River. My Coast Guard buddy, Lt. Cdr. Bill Albanese and I were especially eager to see the procession of sailing vessels from all over the world. Bill brought his son, Dante, and I brought my nephew, John. We wanted the boys to experience the all-out celebration of America’s Bicentennial from the vantage point of Governors Island. The Coast Guard’s training barque, Eagle, had the honor of leading the way. Above us on that brilliant sunny afternoon loomed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

After Op Sail concluded, we watched the nighttime fireworks that seemed to go on forever. Millions of our fellow Americans celebrated with us from sea to shining sea. Riding back to Brooklyn that night, with the boys asleep in the back seat of the van, Bill and I listened as WCBS Radio’s reporters noted that there had been no homicides in New York City that day.

That was not so halfway across the world in Uganda. There, at Entebbe Airport, one of the hundred hostages on board an Air France jet parked on the tarmac was taken off the plane. She was murdered by soldiers of dictator, Idi Amin. Dora Bloch was a frail, 75-year old Jewish woman from Britain. The hundred hostages remaining on board were Israelis, or Jews from other nations who had been held for a week after Palestinian terrorists had released the flight’s non-Jews.

Suddenly, we heard that almost all of the remaining hostages were free. An Israeli commando team had flown thousands of miles and liberated the Jewish passengers threatened hourly with death. The leader of the commandos was Jonathan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu. Today, Benjamin is the Prime Minister of Israel.

Jonathan did not live to wear the victor’s laurels. He was the only one of the heroic commandos to die in the Entebbe raid. Three of the passengers were killed in the rescue effort, but so were all the Palestinian hijackers and their German Communist comrades.

The news of this amazing rescue capped America’s Independence Day celebration.  We had always been close to the Jewish people. Our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had seriously proposed a design for the Great Seal of America that depicted the Children of Israel being freed from bondage in Egypt. Now, we were seeing these Children of Israel being freed from their own bondage in Uganda. The waves were not parted for them, but the clouds were. Idi Amin’s decade of murder and misrule began to unravel from that fateful night. Soon he would be forced to flee Uganda for exile in Saudi Arabia; the world saw this clownish killer no more. 

Israel’s fearless action on our Bicentennial Fourth of July was an amazing gift to America, too. They showed that faith and courage can work miracles. The Entebbe Raid required careful planning and great skill to bring off successfully, to be sure. But faith comes first. “He who believes is not afraid,” sings the Israeli satirical group, Latma.  (I call them “Saturday Night Live” for our side.) The Latma video commemorates the Israeli War of Independence and highlights the miracle of Entebbe.

We should remember our Bicentennial and Israel’s Operation Jonathan when dealing with Iran’s rulers. And we should remind those murderous mullahs of the fate of Idi Amin. WE who believe are not afraid.

Boston Men’s HIV Cure is a Victory for Adult Stem Cell Research

by David Prentice

July 3, 2013

written by Andrew Mullins

The news of two men supposedly being cured from HIV (only the 3rd and 4th people ever to be cured) is cause for celebration for those promoting ethical adult stem cells, and provides motivation to increase adult stem cell research. As reported at the International AIDS Society meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the two men, now known as the “Boston patients”, received bone marrow adult stem cell transplants as part of their treatment for lymphoma.

Their doctors believe that the adult stem cell therapy (via graft-versus-host reaction) combined with continued anti-retroviral drugs during the transplant period eliminated virus-containing cells in the men’s bodies. Their adult stem cell transplants were 3 and 5 years ago, but now the men have been off of their anti-retroviral drug therapy for several weeks, and continue to show no signs of viral DNA or RNA in their blood. It will probably be two years before scientists feel more secure in labeling the men “cured”.

Their treatment was different from the “Berlin patient”, Timothy Brown, who appears to have been cured of HIV after an adult stem cell transplant in 2007. Brown, the first person apparently cured of HIV, received an adult stem cell transplant specifically from a donor whose cells carried the HIV-resistant CCR5-Δ32 gene. Recently news broke of a baby who was born with HIV but who is now apparently HIV-free, due to anti-retroviral drug treatment. Prevention is of course better, and in fact there was a recent celebration of the one-millionth baby born without HIV, as a result of the PEPFAR program started under President Bush.

The technique used for the two new patients apparently cured of HIV opens up a larger potential donor pool for adult stem cell transplants, though this is still a risky treatment procedure that will need refinement, and this is not a suitable treatment option for every HIV patient. Still, this is another encouraging example of the usefulness of ethical adult stem cells.

FRC in the News: July 3, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 3, 2013

Pro-Life Bill Protects The Most Vulnerable

Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director for the Center for Human Dignity, wrote an article for Townhall about Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the fact that babies in the womb at 20 weeks and over are given anesthesia for prenatal surgery.  This fact demonstrates the inconsistency of some in the legislature who are opposed to Rep. Franks bill, yet adhere to the truth that unborn babies feel pain and should receive anesthesia during surgery. Many Americans agree that late-term abortion should be banned, yet some Members of Congress have refused to stand and reflect the majority opinion. Anna gave the following comments:

As a Member of Congress, Ms. Pelosi is well-aware that abortion is a political issue, whether she believes it should be or not. Abortion on demand was imposed by Roe v. Wade and is regulated by states and by Congress. Thus it is her job to represent the people of her district and her job as Minority Leader to represent the Democrats in her caucus. She, like other representatives, must be held accountable to the American people for their support or opposition of legislation put before the House — including bills on abortion. Her avoidance of the issue only drives home the fact that Ms. Pelosi and her allies have no reasonable defense for opposing legislation meant to protect the most vulnerable persons among us.”

Allowing pain-capable children to be dismembered in the womb is an overt violation of human dignity. In this country, of all countries, we can and must do better. We must not allow these barbaric practices to continue and we must hold our representatives accountable in their vote for or against legislation that reflects the will of the people. The passage of H.R. 1797 in the House of Representatives is a positive first step toward ending abortion on pain-capable unborn children. We now look to the Senate to stop future Gosnells and put an end to brutal late-term abortion practices by passing legislation to protect pain-capable children.”

White House Violates Law with Obamacare Delay

Ken Klukowski, FRC’s Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart.com about the Obama administration’s illegal delay of enforcement of the Employer Mandate section of the Affordable Care Act. The White House is beginning to realize that Americans are noticing that their “free” healthcare isn’t so free. The Employer Mandate requires that for companies with 50 or more full-time employees, employers must provide them with health care insurance. The Obama administration has decided not to carry out this mandate until 2015 … in order to manipulate the 2014 midterm elections. Because of the delay, Americans now have to find their own insurance, which leads them right back to the government because many health care insurance providers on the individual market have had to raise their prices due to the mandates and entitlements. They will be forced to purchase insurance from a state-based exchange, where the federal subsidies are from taxpayers. Ken gave the following comments:

In the meantime, though, this will drive millions of Americans onto government-run healthcare, conditioning them to think of it as an entitlement. By promising them all the benefits now but delaying the massive costs until after the 2014 midterm election, Obama and his team hope to buy themselves a couple years to make this system work.”

Bad policy makes for bad politics, however; sooner or later everyone has to pay the piper. Maybe Obama will delay the most onerous parts of Obamacare until after the 2014 elections in an attempt to keep the Senate and retake the House, but it might take a miracle to keep this shell game going until after the 2016 election, when voters decide on a new president and what direction we take as a nation.”

Whether Obamacare remains the law of the land will be at the center of that national discussion for 2016. Suspending the Employer Mandate just added to that debate.”

 

 

Sesquicentennial: Gettysburg 2013

by Robert Morrison

July 3, 2013

The good people of Indianapolis waited for the Presidential Funeral Train to stop in their city in the spring of 1865. When it arrived, decked in mourning colors and in Union bunting, they sent all the schoolchildren of the town past Abraham Lincoln’s bier first. They knew their children were their ambassadors to the future. They wanted them to remember always this experience.

So, when my son-in-law asked me if we could take his four-year old little boy, on our guided tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield, how would I deny him? And when one of our Family Research Council interns, a recent Georgia Tech grad, asked to go, too, how could I say no?

We arrived at the visitors center to meet Jim Cooke. Jim is a licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Guide. We were excited to have this extraordinary opportunity to see the battlefield in the company of one so very knowledgeable. This week, the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the climactic battle of July 1-3, 1863, Gettysburg’s population will once again be overwhelmed by tens of thousands. They have come, tourists, descendants, re-enactors, media, politicians, a multitude.

Why? What was there about this place that attracts us so? It was here that Gen. Robert E. Lee sought to win a crushing victory over Union forces in a northern state. If Lee’s surging Army of Northern Virginia could win what military strategists call a victory of annihilation, on Northern soil, he believed the North would give up the effort to compel the South to return to the Union.

Gen. Lee had good reason for believing that. He was an avid reader of Northern newspapers. He knew that the people of the North, though they outnumbered the South two-to-one, and though they had vast material resources—including an overpowering Navy, were dispirited and divided.

Democratic Party politicians hated Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and incited mobs against Lincoln’s Republican administration. They charged Lincoln with fighting “a war for the Negro.” Railing against the military draft and the practice of allowing wealthy men to buy a $600 exemption, they claimed it was a rich man’s war.

Lincoln had the previous autumn (November 1862) relieved Gen. George McClellan from command of the federal Army of the Potomac. It was a high-risk action. McClellan clearly had the “slows.” The dashing, handsome, and politically influential young McClellan had repulsed Lee’s advance into Maryland at Antietam Creek, true, but he had failed to pursue Lee and his retreating Army of Northern Virginia as they re-entered Virginia.

Gen. McClellan’s officers even spoke darkly of turning the army on Washingtonand ending the civil war by negotiation. Lincoln had summoned one of them to the White House to answer for his loose talk of insubordination. Maj. John Key was a descendant of the Star-Spangled Banner’s author, Francis Scott Key. Maj. Key had openly endorsed the idea of the two armies forcing a settlement on the civilian government. Lincoln dismissed him from the Army on the spot.

McClellan’s successors—Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside and Gen. Joseph Hooker—had led the Army of the Potomac into two disastrous defeats at Fredericksburg (December 1862) and Chancellorsville (May 1863). Buoyed by those smashing victories, it is small wonder that Gen. Lee felt confident going into the North.

Our small group starts off the tour where Union Gen. John Reynolds died on the first day of the battle. We learn that the critical maneuver of that First Day was the holding action of Union Gen. John Buford’s cavalry. At Oak Ridge, Buford’s men, though outnumbered, prevented what could easily have become a Union disaster—as we had seen at First Manassas and Chancellorsville.

My grandson sports a Union blue kepi. He brandishes a cavalry sword and proudly says “sess-quee-sen-TENN-ee-yull.”. He’s a real Trooper this day, paying close attention to Jim Cooke, even if he (and we) sometimes find it difficult to follow all the complex military maneuvers that make up a Civil War engagement.

Jim Cooke takes us along Seminary Ridge, where the Confederate artillery is being readied for a massive bombardment. We pass through the Devil’s Den and mount Little Round Top. There, on the Second Day, major action takes place. We rehearse Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s heroics on Little Round Top. Embellished as the story has been, the fact is Chamberlain’s Twentieth Maine Regiment does hold off the Alabama Fifteenth. Those Alabamians, we learn, had been force-marched some thirty-five miles in the previous day. And at the critical moment, the Fifteenth Alabama had been ordered up Little Round Top without even re-filling their canteens.

Most thrilling for me is the addition of Benner’s Hill to the usual round of battle sites. Benner’s Hill is Northeast of Cemetery Ridge, the main Union force’s redoubt. This is where a nineteen-year old rebel artillery commander is being supported by the Fiftieth Virginia Infantry Regiment. My great-great-great Uncle Jonas Lipps serves in the Fiftieth.

The Fiftieth will not take part when Confederate Gen. Longstreet gives the crucial order to Gen. George Pickett to attack on the Third Day. What we know as Pickett’s Charge against the main body of the Union forces will end Lee’s boldest attempt to win the war in one crushing victory.

Southern author William Faulkner will write of Pickett’s Charge eighty years later.

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago….

What magnificent writing from this Nobel laureate. Yet, truth compels me to add: Not every Southern boy feels this way. Surely those Southern boys who are black do not yearn to reverse the outcome of Gettysburg.

And the great Civil War historian James McPherson gets it wrong, too, when he describes “a Victorian America” in the 1860s. That was precisely what we were not. And the Union victory at Gettysburg assured that we would not bow to Queen Victoria or any monarch.

When our little Trooper gets older, we’ll explain to him that Uncle Jonas was fighting on the rebel side. Jonas didn’t fight for slavery. He never owned any. But he did fight to keep Yankees from telling him what to do about slavery. And that was enough to bring death and destruction to America on an unprecedented scale.

Today, our most urgent task is to prevent another civil war. To our opponents, heroes defend the dismemberment of unborn children as a constitutional right. They reject Lincoln’s belief that “nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon.” And they also believe that what Lincoln called “that eminent tribunal,” the Supreme Court, must rule us in everything that matters. Those robed masters, we are told, must even hold sway over a government of the people, by the people for the people.

On this much, Faulkner had it right: The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.

FRC in the News: July 1, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 1, 2013

Halt arbitrary fetal euthanasia: Opposing view

Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, wrote an article for USA Today about the recent passing of the 20 week abortion ban through the House, and the steps other states have taken to follow in that direction. The pro-choice “viability” argument continues to lose credit as technology improves. Babies are able to survive outside the womb at a younger gestation age. Babies also receive anesthesia during surgical procedures while in the womb, another proof they feel pain. While the majority of Americans oppose late-term abortion, proponents for it are now arguing for the case of abnormalities that arise. The following is a quote from her article. She states:

Some say abortion bans at 20 weeks cannot be justified because of fetal abnormalities diagnosed after that time. Allowing late-term abortion for babies with fetal abnormalities confronts us with arbitrary fetal euthanasia. Which conditions? What about Down syndrome? Cleft palate? A missing finger? Ending lives for such things is illegal for children after birth, so why is it acceptable to end their lives before birth?”

Not so Fast: New Supreme Court Filing as California Jumps the Gun on Gay Marriage

Ken Klukowski, FRC’s Director for the Center of Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart explaining that last Friday the Ninth Circuit issued an order to allow for gay marriage in California, which cannot be done until California officials have the power to do so: 25 days after the decision is handed down, then will an order for possible rehearing be given by the Supreme Court. Lawyers for traditional marriage from Alliance Defending Freedom went to the Supreme Court Saturday to file an emergency application with Justice Anthony Kennedy to restore the rule of law on the Prop 8 case, and to order that California not begin any gay marriages. Here is a portion of what Ken had to say:

 “The lawsuit is not yet over. Yet once again public officials are violating their oaths of office to collaborate with gay-marriage activists to force this issue, seemingly trying to create the impression that this train has left the station and there’s no going back to traditional marriage.”

This may be a preview of coming attractions as the conflict over gay marriage moves to the next level nationally, one that will likely focus on state sovereignty, parental rights, and religious liberty.”

All eyes are on Justice Kennedy to see what he does with this emergency application. And all eyes will likely remain on him as these other issues work through the court system in the next few years.”

A New Dawn for the Defense of Marriage

FRC President Tony Perkins wrote an article for The Christian Post about the hope we have despite the marriage rulings of the Supreme Court last week. These decisions should be used as a motivation for us to fight even harder for our convictions and values. We have seen that our religious freedoms have been attacked, but God has equipped us with the Truth. Tony offered the following enlightening remarks:  

The Court can declare same-sex “marriage” a legal right in the eyes of government, but judges cannot make it morally right in the hearts of the people.”

The Left will say that we are on the wrong side of history, but that doesn’t matter if we’re on the right side of truth…Forty years ago, many people thought – as some might today – that the battle for life was lost. Over time, our movement and technology helped to change people’s hearts and minds to a new understanding of the sanctity of the unborn child. And we will do it again. As more Americans see and feel the erosion of religious liberty, of parental rights, of children’s innocence, and of conscience rights, their opinions will no longer be swayed by emotions and popular opinion – but by the reality of the fundamental harm that same-sex “marriage” poses to society.”

Someday – years from now – when law students are memorizing this date and its importance in American history, what will they say about our movement? That it united together and changed the conversation on marriage? That it refused to quit until it transformed state and federal laws? Hopefully, they will say that you and I stood on truth – and restored marriage and the Author of marriage to their rightful place in American policy.”

Naming the Defense of Marriage Act

by Robert Morrison

July 1, 2013

My hero Amherst Professor Hadley Arkes has provided a powerful analysis of the Supreme Court’s latest exercise in raw judicial power. Hadley gave strong testimony for the Defense of Marriage Act when it came before the Congress in 1996. He approvingly cites Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent.

Proponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are no more moved by animus against homosexuals than adherents of the U.S. Constitution are moved by hatred of other countries’ constitutions, argues Justice Scalia. He’s right. I can smile on the British monarchy, for example, while resolutely forswearing all allegiance to any foreign prince or potentate.

I had the honor of working as a policy analyst at Family Research Council in 1996 when the Defense of Marriage Act was being drafted and shepherded through Congress. My role was quite limited. Senior Analyst Bob Knight led the effort within our office. Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) was our chief sponsor.

A technical question came to FRC from the Hill. Our good friends on Sen. Nickles’s staff asked us if we might agree to re-naming the draft legislation “the Definition of Marriage Act”?

I was adamant. NO. The reason was that the name of the law must educate Americans and contain the rationale for the law. Americans needed to know that marriage itself is under assault. American citizens needed to know that those in Congress who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act were actually voting against the institution of marriage.

Serving in the Reagan administration, I had learned valuable lessons from our leader. He would regularly defend the right to life of unborn children in his State of the Union Addresses. He knew that millions of Americans who paid little attention to politics would be watching this one night of the year. So President Reagan would describe abortion as “a wound in the soul of America.”

The news media sneered. Their cameras panned the grim-faced, black-robed Justices of the Supreme Court. They showed the jowly images of Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd and the ever-grinning Joe Biden. Few of the Justices and none of those senators would extend any mercy to unborn children. But President Reagan spoke over their heads, to the hearts of the American people.

We have never had a president since who would defend marriage that way. It was my earnest hope that the name of the law would help Americans understand that their own cherished institution of marriage was in danger.

Why should marriage itself be in danger? Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was as offended by the title of the law as most liberals. He despised the Defense of Marriage Act. “I don’t understand how your marriage is affected if I marry Herb Moses,” he challenged Bob Knight on camera.

The answer was provided by Hollywood star years ago. Mae West was a woman so famously endowed that her name was given to sailors’ life jackets in World War II. She said: “Marriage is a great institution. I’m just not ready for an institution.” Mae West understood marriage better than Barney Frank did.

Marriage is not only your marriage and my marriage. It is a social institution. It has been part of the natural order of human beings for the care and protection of children. Marriage as an institution needs protection.

As Hadley points out in his column for the website Right Reason, there is now no principled basis for authorities to say he cannot marry his sons. Far-fetched? Men marrying men and women marrying women was far-fetched in 1980, 1990.

Boosted by challenges to true marriage in the 1990s, FRC worked hard to gain passage of the Defense of Marriage Act. So broad was the support for this measure that we could have passed it in Congress without a single Republican vote. The bill passed the House of Representatives 342-67 and the Senate 85-14. President Clinton saw we had the votes to override his veto in both houses.

Clinton’s press spokesman snarled that the bill was “mean spirited,” but his boss nonetheless signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. And then, in that election year, he shamelessly took out ads on Christian radio stations bragging that he had signed it.

Still, we had the Defense of Marriage Act in law. And with that law, FRC helped in thirty-two states where marriage was being threatened. We joined in a broad coalition and had a string of successes until 2012. Just last year, in four liberal states, the Democratic Party machine fully engaged to re-elect President Obama and to overturn true marriage.

Marriage is in danger from academics and activists. GWU Law Professor Jonathan Turley told an overflow crowd at the Newseum in 2008 that opponents of his idea of same-sex couplings say it will lead to polygamy. “Well, I’m for that!” For his boldness, Turley was rapturously applauded by the liberal audience of federal law clerks, congressional staffers, journalists, and graduate students.

Every argument for same-sex couplings is an argument for polygamy. And what if the two men who seek to marry are brothers? Twin brothers announced on TV talk show that they were homosexual. May they marry? If not, why not?

President Obama has given a key appointment to Georgetown University Professor Chai Feldblum. She famously argues that any clash between religious freedom, which is protected by the Constitution, and her demands for homosexual rights must be resolved in favor of the homosexual position.

She helped draft the radical statement “Beyond Marriage” (www.beyondmarriage.org) This document argues that any number of adults may contract to raise any number of children.

That, of course, spells the end of marriage in America. It’s what they want. It’s what they demand. It’s why we passed the Defense of Marriage Act.

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