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Join Us in Standing for Truth in Houston

by Family Research Council

October 25, 2016

The Politically Incorrect Truth About Sexuality and Gender” is the topic for the second annual “stand4truth” conference, being held in Houston, Texas this weekend (Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, 2016). More information and tickets are available online at: http://www.stand4truth.net/

Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, will represent Family Research Council and will address the conference on Saturday on the topic of “The Truth about LGBT Institutions.” Mr. Sprigg will also be part of a panel discussion during the event.

Mr. Sprigg was the keynote speaker for last year’s inaugural stand4truth event in Salt Lake City. His address in October 2015 can viewed on YouTube.

Following the Supreme Court’s shocking redefinition of marriage in 2015, the last year has seen an increase in attacks on the fundamental idea that we are created male and female. Too many people have bought into the myths that a person can be “born gay”—and now, that one can be born “a man in a woman’s body” or vice versa. A year ago, few would have imagined that a Charlotte ordinance and an Obama administration letter to schools would trigger “bathroom wars.”

stand4truth” is the only conference that will focus entirely on addressing issues of sexuality and gender—through the lens of religion, politics, psychology, law, media, education, and science.

If you live in Texas or can get to Houston, by all means come. For others, however, the event will be simulcast.

Book Review: American Patriots

by Jared Hooper, FRC Intern

December 12, 2012

President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned us that “those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” This is especially true today, where we so easily fail to remember the sacrifices that were made, and the lives that were given in order to preserve the freedoms we now take for granted. We no longer remember our heroes. Rick Santorum’s new book, American Patriots, is a very noble attempt to help us remember the heroes who defended freedom in our nation’s early years.

What is an American Patriot? Is it someone who receives glory by accomplishing great feats for his country? Is it someone who stands in the political arena as a champion of liberty? According to Rick Santorum, you don’t have to be a Signer of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence to be a Patriot. All it takes is a heart for your country, and the resolve to promote and protect liberty no matter what the cost may be to you.

American Patriots demonstrates these qualities by introducing the reader to real American Patriots during the Revolutionary War. While the reader may recognize names such as Nathan Hale or John Witherspoon, there are many other less famous heroes during our nation’s infancy. Patriots like Peter Francisco, Nancy Morgan Hart, Charles Carroll, Francis Marion, and others like them may not be as well-known as other heroes of the Revolutionary War era, but their accomplishments and feats are no less fascinating. One cannot help but to be inspired by the courage and sacrifice of these American Patriots.

The book has three sections: Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness. Each of these sections share inspiring stories of great men and women who fought for unalienable rights, often at great cost. Each story in the book details the life of an American patriot and his or her sacrifices for the cause of liberty. Some, like Peter Francisco and John Laurens, fought on the battlefield. Others, like Nancy Morgan Hart, carried messages through enemy-ridden territory at great danger to themselves.

The reader comes to understand that these were not superhuman beings. They were nothing more than average Americans with a passion for freedom and a deep love for their country. These simple colonists were no different than any of us. They had no special gifts or superior knowledge, but they gave all they had for the cause of freedom. Their stories are a testament of what one person can accomplish if they make a stand. Rick Santorum has done a fantastic job of showcasing the American patriot in an inspiring way, and for that he should be commended. Inspiring as the stories in the book are, they are also very informative. American Patriots is a book for those Americans who want to learn more about our past and be challenged by the accomplishments of our patriots of the past.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned us that “those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” We must not forget the sacrifices made by our forefathers. Their courage, their love of freedom, and their perseverance stands as a convicting question: they gave everything for this country; what are you willing to do for it? 

Can Video Games Be Helpful?

by Family Research Council

March 20, 2007

If your parents cautioned that playing video games would be harmful to your eyesight, their concerns may not have been entirely true. Findings from a recent study by researchers from the University of Rochester in New York show that playing action video games for an hour or so on a daily basis actually heightens ones visual acuity.

According to Daphne Bavelier, lead author in the study and a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, “Action-video-game play changes the way our brains process visual information…These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.”

What is particularly interesting about the research findings is that they give researchers cause to be optimistic about the possibility of using video games for therapeutic purposes in patients with visual problems. It is even possible, according to Bavelier, that some action video games might help stem visual impairment resulting from natural aging of the brain.

An important qualification, however, is that not all action games will help improve visual acuity. Games such as Tetris, requiring much slower reaction times, did not have the same effect as other seemingly more complicated first-person action video games. The researchers did, however, put out a disclaimer along with their findings: excessive amounts of time spent in front of a bright screen may result in eyestrain and be disruptive to the bodys biological clock, and some games may be psychologically harmful.

So, while it is true that certain types of video games may be beneficial in improving ones acumen, this study is not a carte blanche endorsement of video games and even cautions against harmful content and spending unreasonable amounts of time playing them. The research is, however, good food for thought and may help parents to approach the subject of video games with a broader, more informed perspective when deciding what is best for their children.

Sex Ed. in the Shop Class?

by Family Research Council

March 6, 2007

In Indianapolis, Indiana, middle school “sex education” has reached an entirely new plateau. What for months remained a jealously guarded secret at Warren Townships Raymond Park Middle School has now been shockingly exposed: Two 6th grade students engaged in sexual intercourse during class under the nose of an oblivious teacher.

At the middle school, so-called shop class afforded the students the opportunity of learning through experience. Apparently books simply arent realistic enough for certain subjects.

The story surfaced when a disturbed local resident tipped off a news channel, writing: …during school hours in a classroom with an experienced teacher present, two sixth graders completed the act of intercourse…at least ten students were witnesses. No disciplinary actions were taken against the teacher… All teachers were told to keep quiet.

According to Warren Township Associate Superintendent Jeff Swensson, the act of classroom intercourse did take place and was subsequently kept hidden one skeleton that needed to stay in the closet. Maybe more interestingly, the Raymond Park Middle School Principal refused to be interviewed concerning the subject, only issuing the following trite statement:

Two students were involved in inappropriate conduct in a lab class last semester. We have investigated the matter and taken appropriate action. The school corporation considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.

We have a serious problem on our hands when the instructors of Americas next generation are sanctioning public educational sexual intercourse. Have our moral sensibilities been desensitized to the point that we no longer assent to even the most basic codes of ethics?

Jesus Costume Too Scary

by Family Research Council

February 22, 2007

A suit was filed on Tuesday in Pennsylvania by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of a 10 year old boy whose freedoms of religion and free speech were violated. During a Halloween celebration, officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside, Pennsylvania informed the boy that he could not wear a crown of thorns or tell others that he was Jesus.

Alternatively, school officials said that, because his garb included a robe, he could identify himself as a Roman emperor or some other religiously neutral figure. Since both the boy and his mother found the pagan elements of Halloween offensive, they did not want to celebrate Halloween in the typical manner; however, the mother of the boy also did not want her son to feel isolated from his schoolmates simply because he was not wearing a costume.

As I take stock of the situation, I cant help but chuckle in amazement at the brazenness of school officials. The purported reason for prohibiting the boys costume was that it was in violation of a school ordinance against the promotion of religion.

Apart from the fact that such a policy is no more than a facade for promoting virtually anything but Christianity, the school was not promoting religion by allowing the child to wear a costume. The school did not sanction the costume, obviously did not show support for the custom, and certainly did not give it undue preference over the myriad other costumes present among which were the typical devils and witches.

Upon closer examination, I think what you will see is that religion is defined very narrowly by many secularists: religion = Christianity. Toleration is all-inclusive, with one small exception Christians.

Why do I get the feeling that a Ghandi costume wouldnt have elicited the same response?

Baby Amillia Goes Home!

by Family Research Council

February 22, 2007

People everywhere are talking about the baby born after spending less than 22 weeks in her mothers womb. Baby Amillia has been called everything from the pro-life icon, the new poster child for the pro-life movement, miracle baby to small wonder. Her parents are pleased just to hear her name. Yesterday, the Taylors were informed that they could take their daughter home. And even though her development is continually being monitored by medical staff people everywhere are rejoicing at the news.

The media attention Amillia is getting should WAKE UP AMERICA to the fact that life can not be determined merely by length of time in the womb. At 21 weeks, Amillia Taylor was more than just a blob of tissue as the media and pro-choice advocates would want you to believe. Although not fully developed yet, Amillia has attributes of a full term baby only smaller. She had tiny visible toes, wiggly fingers, and a beating heart! Instinctively Amillia knew she had to fight, and fight she did. Doctors are now saying her prognosis is excellent. Amillas continued success embodies the cliche big things come in small packages.

Despite her small package her life has and will continue to have big impact to the pro-life movement. Pro-choice advocates are no longer left to battle a faceless opponent. With every breath taken, Amillia serves as a living testament of what pro-lifers have been saying all along. For those who have closed their eyes and minds to the debate of when true life begins, Amillia is a loud voice resonating in a small body that calls out for us to WAKE UP.

Sadly, amidst the celebration of Amillias progress; her picture on every media outlet across the country, also reminds us of the countless faces we will never see due to those fighting to keep abortion legal. I know not only what Amillias birth does for the pro-life movement and the advancement of womens health, but also what it does for women in the black community. 40% of African Americans have their babies aborted, yet only represent 17% of the U.S. population. That statistic saddens and disturbs me. As the pro-life movement continues, I pray more women realize life begins at conception not at birth.

A recent article written by Dr. Lillie Epps, VP of Urban Development at Care Net highlights the effect abortion has had on the black community. Epps article quotes statistics that point to the continued dangers the option of choice has done to African Americans. Often convinced by political and social leaders many are told and believe the only option is to abort. Its time for leaders of every community to WAKE UP and help pregnant women understand all of their choices.

One day Amillia may have a lot to say to those who believed her life was not worth fighting for. Reaching hearts of individuals one at a time is what we can continue to do, as we pray for Amillia, her family and our country.

The Harm of Teen Sexual Behavior

by Family Research Council

February 8, 2007

A recent study dealing with the emotional consequences of teen sex confirms what conservatives have long been trying to convince mainstream society premarital teen sex can be harmful. The study, performed by researchers at the University of California San Francisco, found that as many as one-half of the sexually-active teenagers surveyed felt guilty, remorseful, and used as a result of their promiscuity.

Survey results even highlighted the harmful impact that oral sex can have on the teen psyche, pointing out that about one-third of teenagers who reported having engaged in oral sex believed that it had been detrimental to them. In elaborating on the significance of the study results, researcher Bonnie L. Halpern-Felsher stated, It is important for parents to help teens understand that having oral sex may result in social, emotional and physical consequences just as having vaginal sex may result in these consequences.

Given the source of this information, it is actually quite surprising that we see results which validate, if only from a pragmatic perspective, the conservative ideal of approaching sex with a great deal of caution. As expected, the study does not invoke any truly moral considerations for avoiding sexual intimacy, nor does it overtly say that teens should, in all instances, abstain from sexual behavior. It does, however, open the door for continued discussion and, at the very least, implicitly lends credence to the idea that abstinence is the best way to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the younger generation of Americans.

Possibly the most important result of this study is that it gives the conservative community yet another set of facts for arguing with our liberal counterparts individuals who oftentimes disdain moral considerations for remaining sexually pure and place reliance upon cold, hard facts. Well, we now have those facts. Lets use them to our advantage.

The door is cracked open. Its our job to widen that crack.

Young Minorities Share Old Values

by Family Research Council

February 7, 2007

A recent survey conducted by the University of Chicago provides some interesting insight into the comparative social behavior of blacks, Hispanics, and whites between the ages of 15 and 25. The scope of the survey was broad, covering issues ranging from political involvement to entertainment to sexual mistreatment of women, but what I found most intriguing about the study were the answers to the question, Is abortion always wrong? The responses surprised me greatly, for among blacks and Hispanics surveyed, 47% and 46%, respectively, thought that abortion was wrong in all instances, while comparatively only 34% of whites surveyed believed that abortion was wrong in every circumstance.

When I read further, however, the survey data continued to puzzle me.

When asked about homosexual activity, 55% percent of blacks surveyed felt that homosexual activity was, once again, always wrong, while only 35% of whites felt the same way. What we increasingly see is that the picture being painted by this eye-opening survey is inconsistent with the traditional voting record of minority communities. As evidenced by the above statistics, we have minority groups, and most especially African-Americans, who appear to support the underlying moral principles of the conservative social agenda, yet who consistently and even dogmatically persist in voting for liberal legislators. So, how do we reconcile the findings of this study with what we know from past experience?

For any social issue there are a number of contributing factors, so to posit that there is a simple cause and effect for the dichotomy in professed beliefs and behavior of some minorities would be naive. However, I propose that this disparity might very well be due in no small part to a general lack of information in the minority community, especially among its younger members the subjects of this survey. Perhaps the conservative community is not reaching out to minorities as it should. Might it even be plausible that conservatives have, in some instances, ceded that ground to the liberal platform and gone on their merry way? I think this might very possibly be the case.

More than anything else, I believe these statistics give us hope. The real crux of the issue lies in the opportunity that conservatives have with the younger generation of minority voters the future influencers of thought and opinion both in minority communities and in the nation as a whole. At a time when the black and Hispanic communities are showing an increasingly open mindset toward the social issues so vital to the life of our nation, we need to seize the opportunity to reach out to them on common ground, to make ourselves relevant, and to lay the foundation for future success in revitalizing the moral fibers of our country.

Michigan Says “No” to Gay Benefits

by Family Research Council

February 2, 2007

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this past Friday that public universities and state and local governments providing health insurance to the partners of homosexual employees would be in violation of the state constitution. In its ruling, the Court opined that the voter-approved gay marriage ban passed in 2004 applies not only to gay marriage itself but also to benefits of partners. The Court stated, The marriage amendments plain language prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose.

This, of course, is very encouraging news for the conservative community and is indicative of prevailing public opinion towards affording gay unions the same legal status as marriage between a man and a woman. The majority of Americans does not now support nor has it ever supported the legal elevation of gay unions to equality with marriage. Finally, we see a state court standing firm in its obligation to uphold its constitution, and we see a respect for the results of the democratic process in this case, the passage of the 2004 voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

What is even more auspicious than the ruling itself is the emphatic language used by the three judge panel in handing down its decision: The protection of the institution of marriage is a long-standing public policy and tradition in the law of Michigan. One might truly say that in the battle over the foundational unit of American society the family we can see the fight turning in our favor.

Making the Adoption Tax Credit Permanent

by Family Research Council

February 2, 2007

According to a 2005 survey done by Adoptive Families, the average cost of adoption ranges from $20,000 to $25,000 a significant amount of money for many working-class families wishing to adopt a child. To alleviate this problem, an adoption tax credit was first instated in 1994 and later renewed in 2001. Along with the renewal of the tax credit adoption in 2001, the tax credit benefits associated with adoption were expanded, providing up to $10,000 in qualified tax credits to adoptive families.

Unfortunately, the 2001 renewal of the adoption tax credit is scheduled to expire in 2010. In anticipation of this approaching expiration date Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) has introduced a new measure, H.R. 471, which will make the current $10,000 adoption tax credit permanent. Congressman Wilson is optimistic about the prospects for passage of the bill, especially given the co-sponsorship of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, a New York Democrat. If passed, the measure would provide adoptive families with a tax credit of up to $10,000 for expenses pertinent to both domestic and international adoptions. Further provisions of the measure also allow an employer to offer up to $10,000 in adoption expenses which will be excluded from income.

To emphasize the importance of H.R. 471, Wilson circulated a letter to his fellow representatives, saying, While some aid is available, the financial strain adoptive families undergo cannot be overstated. Along with Rep. Wilson, we lend our full support to this measure a measure we believe will assist in helping loving families afford adoption. Write your Congressman and Senators and let them understand just how important H.R. 471 is to you.

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