Author archives: Karah Kruger

FRC in the News: July 29, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 29, 2013

No Such Thing as ‘Independent’ Voting

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President at Family Research Council, wrote an article for Bangor Daily News. U.S. Senator Angus King is registered as Independent. While he claims to work across the aisle, he almost always votes with the Democratic Party.  In a recent article, National Journal said he votes 90% of the time with Democrats.  Rob used Sen. King as an example of why it is very different for one to be a true independent. He made the following quotes:

Politics is about the public expression of various points of view and the enactment of those views into law. Increasingly, American politics is divided along conservative and liberal lines. The overlap of commonality between the GOP and the Democratic Party is increasingly small. Thus, as Republicans identify, substantially, as conservatives, and Democrats as liberals or progressives, anyone involved in electoral politics has to be, by virtual if not legal definition, a partisan.”

The founders of our country warned against partisanship, or what James Madison called “the violence of faction.” In “Federalist Ten,” James Madison asserted that factions would form due largely to the perceived economic self-interest of various groups.”

That might have been true in the 1780s, but it is no longer. Some of the wealthiest Americans vote most consistently liberal, and many lower-middle income voters support the Republican Party because of its social conservatism.”

In our time, the divide goes not so much between the wealthy and the poor as between those with one vision of American life and those with another. Deeply held convictions about the role of government, the morality of culture, and the nature of the family cut across economic lines.”

No man is an island, and no voter is his own party. True partisan independence is exercised only by those so consciously inconsistent that they are uninterested in having their votes actually matter.”

Virtue, Freedom and Redemption

Rob also wrote an article today for Religion Today. His article began by citing the story of British Soldier Dusty Miller, who served during WWII.  Miller was held in a Japanese prison camp and later crucified as an attack on his Christian faith. Miller was only capable of kindness towards his captors because of the grace of Jesus. Rob went on to say that man needs to be viewed in the correct way, as both intrinsically valuable, and completely depraved. Rob said the following:

…without a proper understanding of the nature of man, political action becomes dangerous. If man is viewed as merely material, he will be oppressed. If he is viewed as perfectible, he will be coerced. If he is viewed as unimportant, he will be murdered.”

For us to keep a free society, we have to govern ourselves, or else the ensuring chaos will produce repression and coercion. Personal self-government begins with virtue, and virtue begins the conscience (“the law written on the heart,” Romans 2:15) and God’s self-revelation in Scripture.”

Dusty Miller was a man of virtue. He died at a young age because he loved God and loved others. His death came at the hands of a man who hated God and so dehumanized his prisoner that, to him, Miller’s crucifixion was merely a fitting, if brutal, taunt. Men need Christ, culture needs God, and human nature needs redemption – or, in its absence, appropriate temporal restraint. This is what Dusty Miller, decades after his martyrdom, still teaches us.”

Building Stronger Families and Safer Communities

Tony Perkins, FRC President, wrote an article for The Clarion Ledger. Tony is part of the Right on Crime campaign, a conservative project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Prison Fellowship Ministries. A top goal is to keep families together by championing prison sentencing reforms that will be best for the family and defendant, while making sure justice is fully served. Our prisons are full of non-violent criminals, causing Americans taxpayer dollars and overcrowded prisons. Prisons are meant to keep society safe from violent criminals.  For those who commit non-violent acts such as drug abuse, what they need is to get their lives straightened out so they can contribute to society and raise their children. Children who do not have their parents in their lives face many difficulties, such as the likelihood that they will drop out of school or engage in delinquent behavior, because they haven’t had a positive example in their lives. Why separate families if there could be a better alternative? Tony had the following words to say:

One fact we often overlook is that two-thirds of these children’s parents are in prison for nonviolent offenses. Eighty-five percent of female inmates, for example, are serving time for nonviolent crimes, and most of them are mothers. Given incarceration’s impact on families, doesn’t it make more sense to place lower-level offenders under mandatory supervision in the community, allowing them to remain connected to their relatives, gainfully employed and available to parent their children?”

I am not proposing this approach for all incarcerated parents. Violent and career criminals must be locked up to protect society, and we must also exclude offenders whose crimes endanger their own children, crimes such as manufacturing drugs or engaging in prostitution in the family home. But for many nonviolent offenders, we should do all we can to keep families together while maintaining public safety.”

We know keeping families together strengthens our society, and when people with addictions get treatment and probation instead of incarceration, they can straighten out their lives, remain in their homes, hold down jobs and be better parents. This not only saves taxpayers money; it preserves family unity as well.”

Censoring Eisenhower and Religious Freedom in the Military

Tony also wrote an article for CNSNews.

Military Chaplain Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes (USAF) of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska wrote a piece, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II” and posted it to his website. Mikey Weinstein, founder of Military Religious Freedom Foundation, found the title of Reyes’ piece offensive, and asked Col. Brian Duffy to censor the chaplain. The Colonel adhered to Weinstein’s request and took his article off his website. Weinstein wants further action against Reyes, however, and is calling for a formal punishment. Tony made the following remarks:

(Referring to being punished) “For what - doing his job? Engaging in constitutionally-protected speech? Like it or not, a chaplain’s duties, by definition, are to offer prayer, spiritual guidance, and religious instruction. Whether Duffy punishes Reyes or not, the damage has already been done. As FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin told Fox News’s Todd Starnes, chaplains across the military are already afraid of carrying out the most basic duties of their job. “In this case, a chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members. … Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?””

Thankfully the U.S. House of Representatives is on the verge of passing the Defense Department budget with language inserted to protect troops’ conscience and religious rights. Additionally, over 160,000 Americans have signed a petition to Defense Secretary Hagel, urging him to issue clear policies to protect the religious freedom of our troops. Without such protections, the free speech rights and religious liberties of our nation’s most diligent servants will continue to be trampled.”

 

FRC in the News: July 25, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 25, 2013

Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, wrote an article for Breitbart.com, also picked up by Drudge Report. His article addresses the recent news story about Christian Chaplain Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, who serves in the Air Force. He wrote an essay which Military Religious Freedom Foundation found offensive against atheists, so they called for his punishment. They were particular upset about his phrase ‘no atheists in foxholes.’ The base commander took his essay down as a result. Ken gave the following remarks:

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council—one of the leaders of a new religious liberty coalition for the military—responded, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?””

MRFF is activist Mikey Weinstein’s organization. He called observant Christians “fundamentalist monsters” seeking to impose a “reign of theocratic terror,” and he described sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as an act of “spiritual rape” that makes believers “enemies of the Constitution” who are committing an act of “sedition and treason” against this nation.”

The Obama-Hagel Defense Department and Air Force have met with Weinstein and MRFF over a period of four years and recently told Congress that there are no problems with suppressing religious speech in the military. However, because this growing wave of anti-Christian extremism has been exposed to the public, the U.S. House has inserted new religious liberty protections for military members in pending legislation.”

President Obama threatens to veto the legislation. Reyes’s story makes it more likely that Congress will stand its ground and fight to protect the religious liberty of him and countless others in the military, as those service members continue risking their lives to fight for all Americans.”

Most Europeans—and Americans—Agree with Texas’ Abortion Law

Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council, wrote an article for The Daily Caller. Most Americans agree that late-term abortion needs to be banned, according to every modern poll. In fact, there has always been at least 80% who believe this. France bans abortion after 12 weeks, so there is France along with most of Europe, if not the world, who agrees with recent Texas’ pro-life legislation. Yet the far-left considers legislation opposed to late-term abortion as “extreme”. America disagrees. The majority wants to see stricter abortion laws. Cathy mentioned the following in her article:

The “pro-choice” fringe is not only fighting public opinion, but science and medicine as well. Ultrasound technology has created the common experience of seeing the first picture of a baby in utero, and there is no mistaking what the image portrays. Medical experts are demonstrating that fetuses can feel pain much earlier in pregnancy than previously thought, a reality that adds a whole new dimension to the abortion debate and was the driving force behind the new Texas law.”

Most Americans are squeamish about causing any living creature pain. The growing acceptance of the truth about fetal pain gives late-term abortion defenders a tremendous challenge – not only to find ways to obscure the reality that abortion takes a human life, but to find the right words to excuse what we now know is torture.”

FRC in the News: July 24, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 24, 2013

San Diego Clerk Sues Over Gay Marriage

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart.com. San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg has petitioned the California Supreme Court to not give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in order to further confirm that California law declares marriage as one man and one woman. The only court that had jurisdiction to determine whether Prop 8 violates the Constitution was the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where homosexual Judge Vaughn Walker decided it did. It is unclear whether he had the authority to do so because there was only one county clerk named as a defendant in Hollingsworth v. Perry. Ken made the following statements:

…the California Supreme Court is solidly liberal, and became more so after Brown appointed ultra-left Goodwin Liu to the court. And the reason Prop 8 was passed in 2008 is because this same court struck down California’s previous traditional-marriage law as unconstitutional.”  

 “His (Dronenburg) oath of office presumably includes obeying the Constitution of the United States and the California Constitution. The former is silent on marriage (given that there is no federal ruling on the question as far as he is concerned), and the latter says marriage is only one man with one woman. He should be on firm legal footing.”

Then gay couples would sue him, and he could defend himself all the way to the California Supreme Court. Where, of course, the outcome might be the same.”

Court Rules For Hobby Lobby in HHS Mandate Case, Supreme Court Next?

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart.com about the recent court victory for Hobby Lobby. There have been two major victories for Hobby Lobby. The first happened on June 27th. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decided that the HHS Mandate violates the Religious Restoration Act and places a burden on corporations whose owners and operators hold to religious beliefs. Last Friday, the U.S. Oklahoma district court gave a temporary exemption for Hobby Lobby to refuse the mandate without penalty until they have time to fully rule on the preliminary injunction. Ken gave further explanation:

This is a black eye for the Obama administration and could lead additional federal courts to similarly block the HHS Mandate. (As we’ve written, some already have.) The Justice Department likely has no choice but to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take this case at this time, rather than waiting until the case goes all the way to final judgment in the district court and on appeal, which could easily take at least another full year.”

The problem for the administration is that there are very likely five votes on the Supreme Court to hold that the HHS Mandate violates RFRA, in which case the mandate will be struck down nationwide.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Rolling Stone Crime and Punishment

Bob Morrison, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, wrote an article for the Christian Post comparing the glamorization of history’s criminals by media to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of bombing the Boston Marathon back in April. Bob is referencing the August edition of Rolling Stone magazine, featuring on its cover the picture of the Boston Marathon bomber. It is a direct insult on those who were affected by the terrorist attack, and other news outlets, like CVS, are acknowledging that by refusing to carry the issue. This is not the first time attention is drawn to the attacker. During World War II, TIME magazine featured Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin on their covers, even naming them ‘Man of the Year.’ Bob had the following to say about this pattern seen throughout history:

So, will TIME nominate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev their 2013 “Person of the Year”? Rolling Stone, in effect, has already scooped them. The key to all of our efforts to understand the motives of great criminals may have been given to us before Hitler, Stalin, or even Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ever drew a breath.”

In 19th century Russia, novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Crime and Punishment. In it, a hungry former university student in Petersburg, one Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, realizes that even the great conqueror Napoleon had to start somewhere on the trail of gloire and gore. Young Raskolnikov rationalizes that he should kill a grasping, greedy pawnbroker, an old woman. He has a right to do it, he fantasizes, for he is an extraordinary man.”

What are we supposed to learn from Rolling Stone today-or TIME in 1938 and 1943-that we couldn’t have learned from the great Russian novelist? And why must we keep learning these lessons year after year?”

FRC in the News: July 23, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 23, 2013

Human Sexuality and the God of the Bible

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President of Family Research Council, wrote an article published in Religion Today. He wrote about what true sexuality and marriage look like, as a way of combating the perversion and lies that have attacked what God created. He, along with other leading Christians, offered comments about God-designed marriage and sexuality: 

Want to be truly countercultural? Love God. Love your spouse. Love your children. Be loyal to them. Die to your own selfishness. Stand for marriage as it is taught in the Bible. Model servanthood.”

You’ll be thought, by some, at least, odd, old-fashioned, and out-of-date. That’s OK; you’ll be content. Not a bad thing, that.”

Christians must not go with the flow. They must instead love the advocates of same-sex marriage better than they love themselves precisely by refusing to endorse it” (Jonathan Leeman).

… Each man is a part of the human race, and human nature is something social, and has for a great and natural good, the power also of friendship; on this account God willed to create all men out of one, in order that they might be held in their society not only by likeness of kind, but also by bond of kindred. Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk” (Augustine of Hippo, “Of the Good of Marriage”).

Why Pay Clintons Top Dollar for No Answers on Jerusalem?

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, along with Bob Morrison, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, wrote an article for Townhall. Ken and Bob found that the Clintons are paid up to $500,000 for a speech. If they can be paid that much, how much is it to ask for them to give the American people the answers they want, and in this case, why they decided to divide part of Israel and give it to terrorist Yasser Arafat? Ken and Bob had this to say:

What happened to Jerusalem the last time Jerusalem was divided? In the thousands of years that Jerusalem has been regarded as the Holy City, it was formally divided only for a brief period, 1948-1967. Then, the neighboring Jordanians occupied the Eastern part of the city. Jews were forbidden to approach the Western Wall, their holiest place. Their cemeteries—some going back a thousand years—were used for latrines. Their grave markers were uprooted and carted away for paving stones. Christians’ access was severely limited, too.”

If Jordan, widely regarded as a moderate Hashemite monarchy, could so treat East Jerusalem, how would Palestinian militants treat it? Look to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to learn how.”

This is why Jerusalem—regardless of what timid, droning Obama State Department apparatchiks keep saying—must never again be divided…”

The Obamacare ‘Jam Rule’

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, wrote an article for World Magazine. Obamacare, the President’s ‘signature piece of legislation’ has been labeled a ‘train wreck’ according to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Many of the law’s backers are now turning their back on it, knowing how disastrous it is to America. President Nixon was impeached on the basis of lawlessness, all too similar to Obama. He’s not too concerned about fulfilling his duties since doesn’t have another term to worry about campaigning for, and knows he won’t get impeached, since Republicans couldn’t pull off the impeachment of Clinton when the GOP had majority in both the House and Senate. Ken had the following to say:

I cannot honestly say I oppose delaying Obamacare’s employer mandate. But I believe it is the responsibility of Congress to change the laws, not something this president (or any president) should do by fiat. Surely, if corporations can get a year’s reprieve from Obamacare regulations, then the average Joe and Jane deserve a yearlong respite, too. Most of those corporations have accounting departments that can help them cope with the train wreck they so narrowly averted. I thought liberals cared about ‘the little guys.’”

The whole Obamacare fiasco has an Alice in Wonderland quality to it. It was a great achievement in the past. It is something great to be anticipated in the future. But no one seems to want it right now. Instead of “train wreck,” maybe we should call it the Obamacare Jam Rule. In Alice’s amazing world behind the looking glass, it was always “jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.” If we don’t repeal this thing, we will all be in a jam.”

Letter: Religious Freedom Threatened in Military

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, wrote a letter to the editor published in the Baton Rouge Advocate. After FRC’s news conference addressing the attack on religious liberty in the military on July 9, there were articles released throughout the media that discredited what was said at our conference. Some reporters claimed that our concerns were false, and that the hostility against those of faith in our armed forces was not that bad. Those who are experiencing the persecution feel differently. In his article, Tony mentions a story of Rear Admiral William Lee, who was told he ‘crossed the line’ when he gave a Bible to a Coast Guardsman who had attempted suicide. 

Just a few weeks after Adm. Lee told of the restrictions and threats military members face if they simply share the hope they have found in following Jesus Christ, I met the young man who survived the self-inflicted gunshot to the head. His outlook on life has totally changed. He has hope, he has purpose and he has a future because someone crossed a line that should never have been drawn.”

 

FRC in the News: July 19, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 19, 2013

Texas Passes 20 Week Abortion Ban, Should Survive Legal Challenge

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart about the recent pro-life bill that became law yesterday when Governor Perry signed it. Once enacted, the law will ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation, the point in the pregnancy proven when a baby feels pain. Ken Klukowski that if challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be upheld. The following are quotes from Ken’s article:

Pro-life advocates praised Perry and the Texas legislature. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said, “We applaud the brave state leaders—including Gov. Perry—who refuse to back down from defending human dignity, even in the face of pressure and harassment.” He was referring to the nationwide efforts of abortion supporters who portrayed this law as a “war on women” by requiring a woman who wants an abortion to make that decision before she’s five months along in her pregnancy.”

This Texas law (or one of its counterparts in Wisconsin or another state) will show whether this theory (that any abortion restriction that is good enough for Kennedy should survive a court challenge) is correct. If you carefully study Kennedy’s jurisprudence—not only regarding abortion but many other issues as well—it seems Kennedy does not like the idea of completely shutting the door on federal courts saying women can abort their pregnancies—but wants to leave the door cracked open, not wide open.”

If that is true, this law and many other restrictions should be upheld. One of these laws should be before the Supreme Court in the next 18 months, with a decision by summer 2015.”

Obama’s Pants on Fire in White House Obamacare Speech

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart consisting of several examples when the Obama administration, sometimes with the approval or help of the Supreme Court or IRS, quietly admitted that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t working by actions such as making the previously mandatory Medicaid expansion optional for states, not enforcing the Employer Mandate until 2014, issuing waivers for companies who cannot pay health care benefits for their employees, and putting off state exchange systems for a year. Yet with all the mess Obamacare is causing, President Obama is vehemently defending it.

Yet with all that, Obama says that the ACA is working great, and those who deny it must have sinister political motives. (Set aside the fact that now some of the ACA’s biggest critics are major unions like AFL-CIO and the Teamsters, normally Obama’s biggest allies and without whose zealous support the ACA would never have passed Congress.)”

It’s like George Orwell’s 1984. The government literally could say 2+2=5, and no one would call them on it. If a conservative leader said such things, the media would call for his head. But when a liberal does it, they ignore it. (Or if you’re MSNBC, you applaud his “courage” and might offer him a TV show to anchor.)”

 “So using such a word would be disrespectful, and we won’t do it here. But if the smoke detectors go off at the White House, there’s no need to call the fire department. The smoke is because President Obama’s pants are on fire.”

 

FRC in the News: July 16, 2013

by Karah Kruger

July 16, 2013

Defending the Religious Liberty of Those Who Defend Us

Ken Blackwell, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, wrote an article for Breitbart.com about the recent attacks on religious liberty. It is very obvious that members of our armed forces are the ones experiencing outright suppression of their religious freedoms. Family Research Council recently released a document containing dozens of incidents of hostility toward religious expression, entitled “A Clear and Present Danger.” After citing the story about when Muslim radical Nidal Hasan shot 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, TX, which Obama did not treat as a terrorist attack, Ken gave the following comments:

No wonder even such a measured and sober analyst of public affairs as veteran columnist Michael Barone can describe Obama administration policy bluntly. This Harvard-educated senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute says Mr. Obama’s military policy is: “Christianity bad; Islam good.”

The cover of FRC’s Clear and Present Danger report shows a white cross from the U.S. Cemetery at Normandy. It might as well have shown the Stars of David that are nestled among those beautiful crosses. For Jewish service members have their religious freedom threatened by Obama policies, as well. Now is the time for Congress to act to protect the religious liberties of all those who protect us.”

New Coalition Pushes Back on Obama Admin’s Religious Liberty Failures

Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article for Breitbart.com concerning the response lawmakers have received from Obama’s military appointees after Members of Congress sent letters to the Pentagon asking why Pentagon officials were meeting with an anti-Christian activist and how their current stated policies, such as forbidding proselytizing, could be justified with our federal law protecting religious liberty. The three responses tried to assure the lawmakers that they had nothing to worry about. These Secretaries can deny the reality of religious liberty being attacked, but we know that his administration is aggressively against the expression of Christianity, as Obama openly threatened to veto Rep. Fleming’s (R-La.) religious liberty amendment. Ken made the following statements:

…A new coalition—Restore Military Religious Freedom (RMRF)—was announced to secure passage of this new religious-freedom legislation and establish a long-term agenda to protect the First Amendment for those in uniform. The RMRF coalition was launched on Capitol Hill in a press event with Members of Congress and conservative religious-liberty leaders.”

RMRF pledged to organize national support to work with Congress to see these new protections put into law. Military service members put their lives on the line to protect against threats to the freedoms of all Americans, and now lawmakers and policy leaders are returning the favor.”

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.

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.”

 

 

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.”

FRC in the News Regarding Yesterday’s Supreme Court Marriage Decision

by Karah Kruger

June 27, 2013

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled on two very big cases: U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, offered remarks about the SCOTUS ruling on marriage which were picked up by various news networks. They include the following:

USA Today—”The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father.”

Washington Times—“The Court’s decision allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge. Ironically, by refusing to defend the law,California’s executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Associated Press—”While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.”

CNN—”Their refusal to redefine marriage for all states is a major setback for those seeking to redefine natural marriage. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’”

New York Times—“The lines are being drawn between states that stand with natural, traditional marriage and states that redefined it.”

Tony Perkins also wrote an article stressing the inevitable consequences this ruling will bring on society. The article is found in CNSNews. Many questions now arise regarding future litigation. Tony Perkins asks those questions:

The Defense of Marriage Act imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states. However, the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. The ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex “marriages” in states that recognize them raises as many questions as it answers.”

For example, what is the status of such couples under federal law if they move to another state that does not recognize their “marriage?” This decision throws open the doors for whole new rounds of litigation.”

Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, was mentioned in the Washington Post. He said:

Advocates of redefining marriage did not get what they wanted today — a declaration that all 50 states must treat same-sex unions as “marriages.” That means that this debate will continue across the country. This is an issue which should be resolved through the democratic process, not the courts.”

In an Associated Press article, he echoed what Tony Perkins said about the court ruling of federal recognition: ‘‘it raises as many questions as it answers.’’

‘Will recognition be based on the law in the state where the marriage was celebrated or the state in which the couple resides?’’ he said. ‘‘The doors may now be wide open for whole new rounds of litigation.’’

Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s Director, Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article that appeared on Breitbart.com. Klukowski defends the fact that Proposition 8 is still California law and explains the outcome of the Court’s decision to dismiss ruling on California’s Proposition 8:

As of today, there is no appellate opinion (meaning an opinion issued by a court of appeals) against Prop 8. The Supreme Court refused to issue one, and threw out the only other one (the Ninth Circuit’s). There is only a trial court opinion. So every agency inCaliforniais legally bound to regard Prop 8 as binding law.”

Since no one who wants to defend Prop 8 has standing to appeal rulings on it to the Ninth Circuit, there will never be such an opinion in the federal court system. So the only way to get an appellate opinion would be in the California state court system. So someone would have to file a lawsuit regarding Prop 8, and then appeal it to a California court of appeals and then maybe to the California Supreme Court. Only when one of those courts hold Prop 8 unconstitutional can the public officials in that state regard it as stricken from the books.”

That litigation could take years. And in the meantime, supporters of traditional marriage can continue making the case for marriage.”

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