Category archives: Other Issues

He Who Believes is not Afraid”

by Robert Morrison

September 17, 2012

It was certainly good to man the FRC booth at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit. I always encouraged my college students to walk precincts. It’s a great way to get to know the American people. It gives you invaluable experience if you ever want to work in politics. At the Values Voter Summit, the precincts walk to you. People from all over the country, and even the world, voluntarily come together to defend faith, family and freedom. We had many great speakers—all of whose addresses are now available online.

My favorite speaker was my friend, Leo Johnson. Leo received the Faith, Family, and Freedom Citation for his heroic actions at FRC’s Washington headquarters on August 15th. Leo has said that he believed God put him in that place at that time to stop the shooter from making FRC another in the all-too-familiar roster of mass homicide attacks. Leo believes and that his faith gave him courage to advance toward the shooter and disarm him. Leo took a bullet in the arm and kept struggling until the attacker was subdued. Big Bill Bennett got a good laugh talking about mountain climbing. “When I climb a mountain, the mountain knows it’s been climbed.” I’d say, when powerful Leo subdues you, you know you’ve been subdued.

The Israelis have courage, too. They need it. Until recently, they only had deadly enemies on the North, Northeast, and East of their small country. In the past few years, since this administration has been lavishing olive branches and U.S. gold on Islamists, Israel now has deadly enemies approaching them from the West and the South. Surrounded. These enemies come by air, land, and sea. And they even tunnel under the desert.

But the Latma satirical group is unafraid. They’ve put out this video for the Jewish New Year. It amazes me how they can so bravely and humorously defy their foes. The mullahs breathe annihilation and the star of the video, Noam Jacobson, sings that Israel’s Air Force will have them for lunch. I’ve been sharing these videos for a year or more. I call them Saturday Night Live for our side. The Latma funsters prick the balloons not only of their nearby enemies—just google “Latma” and “Three Terrors”—they also go over the top with a sendup of Vladimir Putin. Putin still has 27,000 nukes! [Google “Latma” and “Putin”]

This most recent YouTube video is amazing in another respect. All the previous ones I’ve watched were funny, but made no direct reference to faith. This one, however, reviews the long history of the Jewish people and shows how their haters have most often wound up on the same gallows they intended for the Jews. (I confess I really liked Noam turning aside to spit on the ground at the name of Haman.)

These are dangerous times. We all sense it. We need courage. The theme of the Latma Jewish New Year video is “He Who Believes is not Afraid.” That message is necessary for the Jewish people, but it is also a light for the Gentiles.

I remember the first words we received from Rome in 1978 when the world learned that Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Cracow, Poland, had been elected Pope: Be Not Afraid. I was serving on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the Bering Sea. We had to board Soviet vessels every day. It could have been dangerous. I am not Catholic, but one of the “Separated Brethren” whom the new Pope John Paul II now addressed with words of faith and courage. There is probably no greater distance on earth than that from the Pribilof Islands to the Eternal City of Rome, but in those perilous days, his courage was contagious.

What, Me Praising CBS News?

by Robert Morrison

August 1, 2012

I grew up with CBS News. I can remember the day my father got me up before dawn to hear the CBS World News Roundup on the radio. They were announcing the death of Stalin. And my father had actually been to the USSR in his ship before World War II. He explained to me—a little school boy—what the death of this brutal dictator meant.

It seems I checked out of CBS News around 1980. I do have fond memories of Dan Rather trying to do a folksy Texas commentary on Jimmy Carter’s disastrous election night that year. “He’s got his back to the wall and his shirttails are on fire.” In those long-ago days, network TV colored the Republican states in blue and Democratic states in red. I remember when New England and New York all went for Reagan that glorious night. When Massachusetts and Connecticut turned blue, Dan Rather’s face turned green.

I was long gone from that “Tiffany Network” when Dan Rather was finally tripped up. He tried to do a story—a big expose—on President George W. Bush. He showed a letter said to have been written by the younger George Bush’s commanding officer in the Texas Air National Guard. The letter suggested that young Bush had had political pull to get a slot that would keep him out of Vietnam. The only problem for Dan Rather: The letter had been typed in Microsoft WORD format. And word processing wasn’t invented by the time of the date on that bogus letter. The fellows at the Powerline Blog had caught him in the act. It made people wonder: How long has CBS News been pulling this stuff and getting away with it?

So, being an ex-CBS viewer, it’s a joy to find something to praise my formerly favorite network for. Here’s a short video from the CBS website on the forthcoming Revolutionary War Museum.

It’s truly a gem of reporting—and it’s all good news. Amazing. Two minutes thirty-six seconds of CBS reporting—and I applaud every word of it.

Grieving for Aurora

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 20, 2012

The existence of God, or rather, of a God Who is personal, sovereign, omniscient, and kind, is the only context in which any of us can make sense of the Colorado shootings.

Why He allowed these killings, why He has allowed and continues to allow so much suffering and violence in our world, remains a mystery. Yet He did, and does. And this is where faith, faith of a specific type, comes in.

It must not be a slushy faith in which platitudes and cliches substitute for hard truths. Nor can it be a severe faith, one that angrily tells us to accept what is and move on, unquestioningly. Such a faith induces not trust but the repression of the spirit, the hardening of the soul.

True, biblical faith reposes in the God Who claims to be intimate yet omnipotent, knowing the number of the hairs on our heads while keeping the inaccessible vastness of the universe in constant animation. He indwells those Who know His Son as their Savior, yet Scripture tells us that the world cannot contain Him.

Such a God is worthy of awe, not only because of His character and nature, but because He chooses not to disclose the how and why of things fully to us. We want explanations; He offers Himself, Who He is and what, in Christ, He has done for us. We can only bow humbly before One Who weaves uncounted and often invisible threads of life and movement and being so intricately, so finely, so mysteriously.

To bring it down to the grim, irreducible pain of the moment: The parents and loved ones of those murdered in Aurora need to know that Christ is with them in their pain, that His love can comfort only because it is real. We do not know the why; we need to know the Who. Let us pray that the families of the victims, the dozens of wounded, and the family of the gunman himself will find in Jesus, Who knew pain as no other, the hope that He alone can give.

If We Forget…

by Robert Morrison

May 25, 2012

If we forget what we did, we will forget who we are. Those were the words of President Ronald Reagan in his Farewell Address to the American people in 1989. They are especially poignant words, since it was just five years later that the former President was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease, a fatal ailment that first robs victims of their precious memories.

Ronald Reagan has been given credit for restoring American patriotism at a time when corrosive cynicism threatened all our institutions. This Memorial Day is a good time to remember who we are.

Family Research Council is grateful to Californias Kim Bengard, who serves as a board member. Kim and her husband Tom have given so much to FRC, but they have also helped to give us back our memories. They produced Mother of Normandy. This film and website tells the story of Madame Simone Renaud, wife of the Mayor of the little French village of Sainte Mere Eglise. This was the first town liberated by American soldiers when we invaded on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Madame Renaud, fluent in English, began writing to the young widows and mothers of American soldiers who had been killed fighting to free her country. She was shown in LIFE magazine putting flowers on the grave of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the son of the President. What began as a mission of mercy became a lifetime calling. Mother of Normandy tells this touching story of war and remembrance.

President Reagan gave another famous speech, this one at the 1984 ceremonies marking the fortieth anniversary of D-Day. The president spoke from the heights that had been scaled by American Rangers. Many of the survivors sat before him as he hailed The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. He lauded their heroism and thanked them on behalf of a grateful nation for their sacrifices.

Historian Douglas Brinkley says that Reagan revived American patriotism with this speech. By focusing on a small group—those valiant few who scaled the heights on that cold and blustery June morning—Reagan lifted up all soldiers, all sailors, and all airmen. He lifted up an entire generation of Americans who gave their all for Victory.

Subsequent presidents have gone to Normandy. It is no partisan statement to say their words there have been largely forgotten. One of them even hovered over the nations like a god. Hovered and departed.

Reagan, with his unerring sense of drama, took care not to make his words too abstract. He pointed to living, breathing men, to the gnarled hands that once stabbed their daggers into hard and unyielding stone to reclaim a continent for freedom. Like Lincoln, he lifted them up, not himself. This is why we can remember what he said there.

He spoke of the band of brothers who buried their dearest friends in Normandy. Today we can think of those beaches at Normandy and know that they represent all the places where American warriors have carried the flag to defend our enduring freedom.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of the summer season. It is not unfitting to take time for recreation and enjoyment. Those who fought and died enjoyed the blessings of liberty, too. They wanted us to share in that joy of living.

Still, we should take time as well to thank God for the gift of freedom. Let us pray for the families of those they left behind. We can pray, as well, for the families who today receive uniformed officers bearing the dreaded news: their loved one has been killed inAfghanistan, or some other trouble spot.

We can share with our own families words from Stephen Spenders poem, words that Ronald Reagan memorably shared with the world.

The names of those who in their lives fought for life,

Who wore at their hearts the fire’s center.

Born of the sun, they traveled a short while towards the sun,

And left the vivid air signed with their honor.

Missing My Mammoths in Minnesota

by Robert Morrison

May 25, 2012

Thomas Jefferson thought there were woolly mammoths on theGreat Plains. He really did. Jefferson was no dummy. He succeeded Ben Franklin as president of the American Philosophical Society, an organization to which the leading lights in American science all belonged.

When he was president, Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to undertake their great Corps of Discovery. Its a thrilling story, the nineteenth century equivalent of Americas race to the Moon. Historian Stephen Ambroses bestselling book, Undaunted Courage retells the story that once entranced all Americans.

The reason Mr. Jefferson thought Lewis & Clark might encounter woolly mammoths on theGreat Plainsis simple: he believed in Creation. And to his most logical mind, it did not make sense for the Creator to make something as wonderful as a woolly mammoth only to let it become extinct. We might say God doesnt make any junk.

Mr. Jeffersons theology, however, failed to take into account the catastrophic consequences of the Fall. His dearest friend, James Madison, fully appreciated Mans fallen nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary, Madison wrote in Federalist 51. I like to say that whenever Mr. Jefferson would lean forward too far, like MSNBC, Madison would be there to pull him back by his coattails.

Back to the mammoths. So, Lewis & Clark were the ones to report back that there was no Northwest Passage to the Orient on this continent. Map makers and explorers in the Age of Jefferson thought there might be an all-water passage that would open up Asia for commerce and friendship. They sent back to Washington crates of bones and fossils and they stuffed and mounted some of the large animals they saw on the Great Plains. Buffalo, or American bison, were a sensation. But no mammoths.

An all-water passage would be found much later, in 1957. The Coast Guard icebreaker, Storis plowed a pathway between the seas and lead a small flotilla from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Storis saw polar bears, seals and walruses, whales, and porpoises, but still no woolly mammoths.

Maybe the reason Lewis & Clark missed the woolly mammoths is they followed the Missouri River and turned left too soon. They entirely missed Minnesota. You gotta watch out for those premature left turns.

So, in 1973-74, I decided to do my own search for woolly mammoths in Minnesota. I trekked all over the state, raising funds for the Democratic Farmer-Labor party. I knew those big cities and small towns very well. Twin Cities, Rochester, Mankato, Moorhead, Thief River Falls, Detroit Lakes, and all the towns on the famed Iron Range—Virginia, Eveleth, Hibbing. Grand Marais sounds so romantic. Thats French for Big Swamp. In Bemidji, I saw a mammoth statue of Paul Bunyan, but no woolly mammoths.

In Duluth, in the middle of the night, I thought it was an earthquake when I heard booming and cracking. It was just the ice on Lake Superior breaking up on June first.

This would be the perfect place to find end my quest. Even if my prehistoric pachyderms were petrified in the ice, it would still be a great discovery. Some years back, the Soviets had actually uncovered mammoths in the Siberian ice. They claimed you could eat the meat. If you ever tried Bolshevik burgers, Im sure mammoth meat would be a welcome change. Now, the Russians are saying they have mammoths in Siberia. Im skeptical. Trust but verify.

Last week, I returned to Minnesota. I was there to promote FRCs support for the North Star States marriage referendum. I was honored to go to Stillwater, Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud and New Hope. Just being in Minnesota gives me new hope.

All the buzz, of course, was about President Obama and his coming out for same-sex couplings to be recognized as marriages. He finally dropped the other shoe, said all the liberal blogs. It seemed to me it was more like a centipede dropping the last shoe, but whatever.

Mr. Obama claimed he had evolved on the issue. Newsweek even hailed him as the first gay president. Talk about evolving. Then, it hit me. Thats why I couldnt find my woolly mammoths in Minnesota. Like the president, they had all evolved.

The Hemming-in of Boy Scouting Continues

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 27, 2012

Over the past few days, the secular media have reported extensively about a woman whose lesbianism compelled the Boy Scouts of America to ask her to resign as a Den Mother. She has been featured in numerous media interviews, her overwhelmed-looking little boy with her, and been heralded as a hero for standing up to the BSA.

Here are some facts:

  • Scouting does not allow homosexuals to be in leadership - period. After hundreds of lawsuits regarding the sexual abuse of boys - nearly all of them involving homosexual molestation - and after paying out many millions of dollars in settlements ($18.5 million in one case alone), the BSA wisely has chosen to have a zero-tolerance policy toward homosexuality. It has been reported that since 2007 alone, the Boy Scouts of America have been sued for sexual abuse claims by 35 individuals in 11 states. This prohibition on gays and lesbians in leadership positions is widely known and was known, specifically, by Jennifer Tyrrell when she chose to become a Den Mother.
  • Ms. Tyrrell seems intent on using her little boy as a means of attacking the BSA’s position on homosexuality. By all accounts, she was capable and caring as a leader of the Tiger Cubs. That is irrelevant: Despite her claim that a local Scoutmaster told her that her lesbianism was immaterial, the stated policy of the Boy Scouts of America is that homosexuality is incompatible with the tenets of Scouting. Every week, roughly 2.8 million Scouts take an oath to remain “morally straight.” According to the historic tenets of Scouting, homosexuality does not comport with that standard. Every adult in Scouting is to support and model the moral convictions expressed by the BSA. Ms. Tyrrell knew that, too.
  • In 2000, the Supreme Court declared that as a private organization - one joined voluntarily by every person involved with it - the BSA had the right to require belief in a Creator and traditional sexual morality of all participants. Ms. Tyrrell (drum roll, please) knew that before becoming a Den Mother, as well.

In West Virginia, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is composed of 10,600 acres of land adjacent to the New River Gorge National River. It is a boy’s paradise, and was provided through the generosity of several wealthy families and an energy company. Together, they have given in excess of $100 million to provide Scouts with a beautiful and perpetual site to hold their National Jamboree and many other activities.

Yet this remarkable gift would have been less necessary to the future of Scouting had the American Civil Liberties Union not filed a suit insisting that the BSA could not officially be sponsored by the Department of Defense, since according the ACLU the Scouts’ affirmation of a Creator constitutes a state endorsement of religion. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, under the agreement reached between the ACLU and the DOD, “Provided there is no sponsorship by Department of Defense personnel in an official capacity, Boy Scout units are permitted to meet on military bases and military personnel are permitted to remain active in Boy Scout programs.

While Scouts are grateful they can continue their historic access to military facilities, the fact that they affirm belief in God and eschew homosexuality places the continued use of military bases at risk. Why? Two reasons: (1) Homosexual and atheist groups continue to work to undermine Scoutings positions on God and human sexuality, and (2) the U.S. military now allows open homosexuality. Given these things, how long will it be before the Scouts are told to endorse homosexuality and drop their allegiance to a Creator or else never come to military bases again (much as many cities and corporations have also cut off support to the BSA for these reasons)?

These attacks on Scouting have made private donations, including massive ones that provide locations for major Scouting events, essential.

Cruz Tyrrell, the young boy thrust into the center of this controversy, and his fellow Tiger Cubs are the ones most adversely affected by Ms. Tyrrells behavior. Our hearts should go out to them. Yet it would be a disservice to millions of boys and their families to lift the prohibition on homosexuality in Scouting. Just look at the litigation history of the past 40 years: Of course not every gay man is a sexual predator, but the predators in Scouting have been, almost without exception, male.

Tonight one of my sons will be staying on a military installation with a host of other local Scouts. He will lead his Patrol in a series of activities and, barring something unforeseen, have a great time. In all likelihood, they will never consider the matters discussed in this piece. Nor should they have to: They are boys, surrounded by honorable men, roughing it with a spirit of fun and adventure.

May it be ever thus.

International Womens Day: An Endangered Sex

by Robert Morrison

March 8, 2012

I love women. That should be obvious. If I dont get to talk to my sister at least once a week, Im blue. Im forever pestering my wife to let me talk to our daughter when she checks in, almost daily. And dont ask about my infant twin granddaughters.

When my wife was named as the commanding officer of the Naval Academy Clinic, she refused to let the public affairs office announce the first female, CO; (she was like Margaret Thatcher in that respect). Still, I was bursting with pride for her achievement.

I shouldnt need to say these things. It should be assumed that a gentleman of mature years will take a courtly interest in the fairer sex. But I do need to say them because Im being daily accused of waging war against women.

You see, the Left thinks that because I dont approve of a womans right to choose abortion, Im a domineering, patriarchal, male chauvinist pig. Hogwash. They say if I dont accede to their demands for legalizing unmarriage and agree to pay for elective surgery to change ones sex, then Im a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

Today is International Womens Day. Google has a special logo. And the Washington Post has a full-page article explaining in depth the importance of this 101st anniversary.

I called our daughter to congratulate her. She was fretting over not voting in her states primary. She agrees with a young friend who said women have a duty to vote here because so many women around the world are denied that right.

Generally, I agree. But in the case of that primary, when there is no other question on the ballot, you have no duty to vote when you disapprove of both candidates and of the questionable means of restricting voter choices.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton knows more about elections and primaries than I do. And she will doubtless be observing International Womens Day. She has made promoting womens issues central to her tenure at State.

Madame Secretary once said that abortion is wrong (Newsweek, October 31, 1994). Only once. Before that single statement, and ever after, she has done all in her power to promote abortion around the world. Kenya, a mostly Christian country, was pressured into legalizing abortion in its new constitution by Madame Secretarys State Department and by not very subtle pressures from Joe Biden. And Madame Secretary gave our Canadian good neighbors a public tongue-lashingin Ottawa!for not pushing abortion in Africa. The only place the administration in which Mrs. Clinton serves has actually made abortion rare is on the Moon.

I am waiting for Madame Secretary to speak out against sex selection abortions. Can she at least stand against forced abortion in China? Surely, with her well-advertised concern for women, she can argue that forcing tens of millions of women to have abortions is against their freedom to choose. Her silence is deafening.

Dr. Nick Eberstadt is not silent. This scholar at the American Enterprise Institute published a powerful study of the worldwide war against baby girls. This widely respected demographer, writing in The New Atlantis, shows how in many cultures, the preference for boys is having a drastic effect on the sex ratio at birth (SRB). Hundreds of millions of women are being killed as unborn baby girls because pre-natal testing has determined they are female. This is genocide.

This is the lethal cultural contradiction of radical feminism. They say a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. They say if men could get pregnant then abortion would be a sacrament. To these unfeminine feminists, abortion is a sacrament. So how do these radicals respond to the incontrovertible evidence that what they view as a fundamental human right is being deployed daily to bring about an historic human wrong?

Abortion is a global danger to women. No one understood this better than the late Pope John Paul II. He issued an encyclical titled On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.

The formal title of the document is Dignitatis Mulieribus. That has a certain ring to it. Im not Catholic and I dont speak Latin, but that phrase, the dignity of women, has to touch the hardest of male hearts.

And heres what John Paul the Great wrote to the UN Womens Conference that met in 1995 in Beijing, of all places:

As most women themselves point out, equality of dignity does not mean “sameness with men”. This would only impoverish women and all of society, by deforming or losing the unique richness and the inherent value of femininity. In the Churchs outlook, women and men have been called by the Creator to live in profound communion with one another, with reciprocal knowledge and giving of self, acting together for the common good with the complementary characteristics of that which is feminine and masculine.

We have just gone through a wrenching and ugly episode in our national life. Rush Limbaugh has apologized for saying a word about a woman he should never have said.

Bill Maher will soon apologize for calling a conservative woman a word I cannot even print. (Mr. Maher will apologize, wont he?)

Both of these prominent men should read Dignitatis Mulieribus. We should send a copy to Madame Secretary. Perhaps by the next International Womens Day, we can all do more for endangered unborn women. We need to do more to defend the dignity of women. That dignity is, after all, endowed by God.

Is the Gray Ladys Slip Showing?

by Robert Morrison

January 30, 2012

The New York Times takes a firm stance against slavery. The Gray Ladyas the authoritative newspaper of record was once known—wants everyone to know that she wont tolerate backsliding on the great moral issue of the nineteenth century.

I take no issue with the Times on slavery or on segregation. The liberal conscience of Americafor so the editors see themselveshad an honorable record on those twin evils. In the American Civil War, the Times staunchly defended Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation. Similarly, during the modern Civil Rights era, the Gray Lady thundered daily against Jim Crow. It was for many of us the great moral issue of the twentieth century.

In the 1960s and 70s, I was a daily reader of the Times. But recently? Not so much.

And the reason is simply that I cannot abide the Times regularly railing against the defenders of human life. The Times routinely excoriates the Roman Catholic Church. Dont even ask them about Evangelicals and Lutherans who speak up for the unborn.

Since that grim gray day in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was handed down, the Times has not found a single abortion it could not defend. Of 53,000,000 innocent lives lost, there is not one that should have been welcomed in life and protected by law. At least according to the Gray Lady.

Now, the Times is again putting Thomas Jefferson under its moral microscope. The Gray Lady is perplexed by the paradox of this Apostle of Liberty keeping hundreds of black Americans in bondage. Jefferson himself was perplexed. So were virtually all those members of the Founding generation who found themselves entangled with the serpent, human bondage. Patrick Henry anguished in a letter to a friend: Would any one believe that I am Master of Slaves of my own purchase!

So if they were so anguished about it, why did so many of the Founders own slaves? Henry candidly confessed: I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them… Well, how hypocritical of Henry. He cant put up with the inconvenience of not owning slaves.

Isnt it ironic, therefore, that the Times has nothing but praise for Supreme Court jurisprudence in the area of abortion? Consider Justice OConnors opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992):

To eliminate the issue of reliance that easily, however, one would need to limit cognizable reliance to specific instances of sexual activity. But to do this would be simply to refuse to face the fact that for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives

In short, men and women have a reliance interest in abortion-on-demand. OConnor thinks its necessary to keep legal lethal violence against the unborn so that people can order their lives as they wish.

What an insult to professional women like my wife, a high ranking military officer, and the millions of other professional women, including, presumably, Sandra Day OConnor herself to say that without legal abortion they could not have achieved their honors and status.

We can point to many, many moves the Founders made in an attempt to arrest the expansion of slavery. Jefferson, in particular, sought as a Congressman to ban slavery west of the Appalachian Mountains. He lost in the Confederation Congress by one vote.

Heaven itself was silent in that awful moment, he mourned. But Jefferson applauded a partial victory when Congress approved the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which banned slavery north of the Ohio River.

The First Congress under the Constitution affirmed the Northwest Ordinance and President Washington willingly signed it. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass would point again and again to Jeffersons approval and Washingtons signature as indisputable proof that Congress could prevent slavery in the territories.

The Founders called slavery wrong and treated as a wrong. They tried in many ways to work for its elimination.

As President, Thomas Jefferson prodded the Congress to take action, early action, to stop the execrable commerce [his words] of the Atlantic Slave Trade. He asked Congress in 1806 to act, even though the Constitution prevented the bill from taking effect until January 1, 1808. Jefferson pleaded against this violation of the human rights of unoffending Africans. [Again, his stirring words.]

The Times rightly criticizes the author of the Declaration of Independence for failing to follow George Washingtons splendid example of freeing his own slaves. Fair enough.

But the Gray Lady makes no mention of his oceanic achievement in banning the Slave Trade. President Jefferson had no constitutional obligation to act as he did. He didnt even want the slave ships to depart from Africas shores if they would arrive here after January 1, 1808.

Hillary Clinton has said abortion is wrong (Newsweek, 31 October 1994), and her husband said it should be rare. But their public lives have been dedicated to expanding abortion at home and abroad. The Times has applauded every pro-abortion move by Hillary Clinton, and by Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Never has the Times asked why it is wrong, if it is wrong, or why it should be rare. And the Gray Lady is even less curious about what Mr. Obama or the Clintons have ever done actually to make abortion rare. In fact, the only place President Obama has made abortion rare is on the Moon. He achieved that only by grounding NASA.

The Gray Lady has a positive genius for seeing motes in her neighbors eye. She is utterly blind to the beam in her own. And, frankly dear lady, your slip is showing.

Former Model Leads Campaign against Cosmopolitan

by Krystle Gabele

January 16, 2012

While I was in the line at the grocery store recently, I happened to glance over at the magazine rack when I noticed the recent copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine. The model on the cover looked young, and in fact, she did not look old enough to be on the cover. It was Dakota Fanning, who is only 17 years of age, and the headings around the cover provided the usual standard of sex advice.

I was disgusted by this display. I turned around only to see a little girl pick up a copy of the magazine only to run back to her mother and say how pretty the model was. The mother of the girl also looked disgusted by the magazine and told the little girl to put back the magazine.

Fox News has focused on this recently, and they were shocked by this recent image as well. In fact, Rachelle Friberg, a media expert who was interviewed by Fox, said:

Cosmopolitan is going overboard by putting an underage girl on its cover surrounded by such article titles. It is one thing to educate young women about sex and their bodies, but putting a young, underage girl on the cover of a magazine that had long been known to push the limits is sending the wrong message.

Cosmopolitan, of course, defended its decision to have Fanning as the magazines cover model. Of course, their decision generated controversy, and there is no doubt that teenagers, who are fans of Fanning are lining up to buy the issue and being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda of promoting immodest behaviors and promiscuity.

Today, I was glad to read that a former model is calling out Cosmopolitan for its practices and is calling for the magazine to be marketed as an adult-only publication, which would require the magazine to be sold in packaging that would not show the cover. Nicole Weider is leading this effort and has a petition urging the FTC to help protect our youth from vulgarity. The petition has almost 21,000 signatures, and there is no doubt that will garner more signatures from those who agree the magazine has gone too far.

Does Cosmopolitan realize the impact that these behaviors have on young women? In 2010, the American Psychological Association released, Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. This report highlighted how publications, like Cosmopolitan, have a negative impact on young womens mental health.

One of the dominant themes about sexuality reported across these studies and across magazines is that presenting oneself as sexually desirable and thereby gaining the attention of men is and should be the focal goal for women.

The evidence from this research is not shocking. Its sad that publications, such as Cosmopolitan feel the need to consistently market women as sex symbols. The editors of Cosmopolitan dont even offer the perspectives of those who want to abstain from sex until marriage, which is even more depressing.

Family Research Council has released a report, Why Wait: The Benefits of Abstinence Until Marriage, that provided evidence that those who abstain from premarital sex tend to have happier and healthier marriages. The report also highlighted the emotional impact that premarital sex has on young women.

A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later.eens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs.In addition, they are more likely to commit suicide.

With research like this, Ms. Weiders petition is needed to protect young women from being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda. Yes, it has been said that sex sells, but the real selling point is what a woman offers in terms of grace and intelligence.

Tom Landess: The Occasion of Wit in Others

by Robert Morrison

January 10, 2012

My Mainer friend, Bob Knight, called me last night with the news: our old colleague Tom Landess had died in South Carolina. He apparently suffered an aneurysm while watching a football game Sunday night. I hope it was Tim Tebows. Tom was a tireless laborer in the vineyard. A social conservative for decades, we was still in the harness at age eighty.

I had not seen Tom in ten years and had spoken to him only a few times since he returned to the sunny South. Tom joined our staff at the U.S. Department of Education in 1986. Thats when reporters, not so kindly, referred to that agency as Fort Reagan. I would joke we were all committed to disestablishing that department, as our brave president was. But if liberals in Congress would not let us do that, we should conduct ourselves so that they will wish they had never created it.

Shortly after meeting Tom, I started laughing. And never stopped. Like Shakespeares Falstaff, Tom was not only witty himself, but the occasion of wit in others. If you wanted to find him on the fourth floor of that dreary government building, you could just go down the hall, turn right, and follow the peals of laughter.

Very soon I learned that Tom was an American by birth and a Southerner by choice. He exemplified the best in the South. He told us endless stories of the Agrarians, an important literary school of the 1930s and 40s. But he sure could puncture the pieties. Hed tell you the whole story of Allan Tates writing of Stonewall Jackson, relating the almost worshipful feeling that Southerners have for that intrepid Presbyterian warrior. Then, hed catch you up by saying: Its not a very good book.

When Tom defended the flying of the rebel flag on the State House in South Carolina, I took issue with him. Tom argued passionately that it was Southern heritage that was being honored, not racism. I think Tom was entirely sincere. I remarked to Tom on the arrangement of flags atop the capitol in Columbia: U.S national ensign, then, bright blue and white flag of the Palmetto state, and, beneath them, the Confederate flag. Reminds me, I told Tom, of what Jefferson Davis said about his frustration in dealing with fractious state leaders. Davis said if the South lost the Civil War, its epitaph would read: Died of a theory.

With Tom you learned not to judge Southerners by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. He was the one who brought an aged Rev. Ralph David Abernathy around to meet all of us. Dr. Abernathy was Martin Luther Kings right-hand man in the civil rights movement. He was Kings successor in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Tom worked with Abernathy on his autobiography. Dr. Abernathy had been deeply wounded by all the vicious liberal attacks on him when he endorsed Ronald Reagan for president.

I will always remember Tom looking over my shoulder when the first word processors arrived in our offices. He watched disapprovingly as I labored to transfer my writing from the yellow legal pads I then used for drafting.

Dont do that, he said sternly. Write directly on the screen. I cant do that, I replied.

I think by writing, and I have to write it out longhand first.

You must train yourself to think as you write on the word processor. The device lets you revise and change at will. Think as you write! He said it with the air of command of a Stonewall Jackson. I was reminded that Jackson would shoot a shirker at the drop of a hat. And drop the hat himself.

I obeyed. And never went back. I will treasure the memory of this true Son of the South teaching a stubborn Yankee to use a devilish new machine in order to be more efficient. Jack Kennedy was right: Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.

My favorite Tom Landess story is of his Episcopal priest, Father Rogers. The preacher was talking about giving to the poor. It was a good sermon for his well-to-do parish. Afterward, over coffee, folks talked about how they would surely give to the deserving poor. Thats fine, said Father Rogers, but Ive found that the deserving poor dont stay poor. So I always give to the undeserving poor. Stunned, his parishioners asked the good father why. I give to the undeserving poor because I am undeserving poor.

Tom understood our need for grace and why it continues to amaze. I thank God for making Tom Landess my friend.

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