Category archives: Religion & Culture

Shall We Save the Whales?

by Robert Morrison

January 13, 2010

Theologian Al Mohler has written a provocative column on the move to grant personhood to whales and dolphins. Federal law already protects marine mammals. I had the honor of serving in the U.S. Coast Guard where, among our other duties, we boarded foreign fishing trawlers to make sure none of them was taking these magnificent creatures in violation of our Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Anyone who has been dolphins body-surfing along the bow of a cruise ship or, in my case, the mighty Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, has felt a thrill. Its impossible even to see these wonderful animals and not share in the joy they seem to feel.

Rev. Mohler quotes the London Times about these cetaceans:

Dolphins have long been recognized as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps, which some studies have found can reach the intelligence levels of three-year-old children. Recently, however, a series of behavioral studies has suggested that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, could be the brighter of the two. The studies show how dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.

Rev. Mohler says that our Christian worldview must, in the end, lead us to reject the very idea of granting personhood to non-human creatures like whales and dolphins. It is a grim thought that marine mammals are better protected in federal law than are unborn children.

When Justice David Souter was confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989, many of my fellow pro-lifers and I were perplexed. Hed been named by President George H.W. Bush, so we thought he might hold promise on restoring the right to life to the unborn.

But my heart sank when my wife handed me a little squib for the Style section of the Washington Post just days after Souter was seated on the High Court. It described how the bachelor Souter had gone grocery shopping at a corner market in his new neighborhood of Georgetown and asked the lady at the checkout if the can of tuna hed just purchased was dolphin-safe. For some strange reason, too many of those willing to protect these great creatures are unwilling to protect their own kind. They want to save the whales, but think its OK to harpoon unborn children. Souter, who left Washington recently unsung and unhung, was one of these.

The knowledge of the inherent differences between the animal world and humans is deep-seated. When I boarded my last Soviet trawler in the Bering Sea, I was going over the side when I made a final requestin Russian—of the Captain. Naobarot, spaceetyeh keetov (By the way, save the whales.)

We know wot you mean, said the Russian skipper, smiling through stainless steel teeth. But you cant say it that way. Spah-ceets means to save ones soul. Whales dont have souls. Only people have souls.

I half expected the trawlers smokestack, with its jaundiced yellow profile of Vladimir Lenin, to fall into the sea. Lenin hated religion. He regarded any religious idea, however slight, as unspeakably vile. Seventy years of militant atheism had not pounded into the skull of this Soviet captain the understanding that people do not have souls.

In expressing his delight at seeing humpback whales broaching and sounding on a vacation trip to Hawaii, Rev. Al Mohler signals his belief that these great creatures should indeed be protected by international conventions. He does not believe we need to hunt the whales or kill them for whale oil.

I had occasion to read Moby Dick when I was on a family vacation in Maui. That great American novel certainly gives one a sense of how the entire development of New England relied on the whaling industry. Whaling was a major American occupation until the CSS Shenandoah virtually wiped out our Yankee whaling fleet in Alaskan waters during the Civil War.

We can certainly see how our role as stewards of Creation calls us to protect marine mammals. But that in no way requires us to extend personhood to these creatureshowever marvelous they are. We, not they, were made in the image of God.

Noonan: People Who Don’t Care About Us

by Chris Gacek

January 7, 2010

It seems so long ago now, but Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal wrote a terrific commentary piece before Christmas entitled The Adam Lambert Problem. In it Noonan discusses the alienation and sense of pessimism that Americans now have about the primary institutions of this nation.

She opines that the national disquiet isnt only about money, jobs, health insurance and material security. Noonan writes, Americans are worried about the core and character of the American nation, and about our culture.

For those of you lucky enough to not know much about Adam Lambert go to Wikipedia or read Noonans description:

This was behind the resentment at the Adam Lambert incident on ABC in November. The compromise was breached. It was a broadcast network, it was prime time, it was the American Music Awards featuring singers your 11-year-old wants to see, and your 8-year-old. And Mr. Lambert came on andagain, in front of your children, in the living room, in the middle of your peaceful eveninguncorked an act in which he, in the words of various news reports the next day, performed faux oral sex featuring S&M play, bondage gear, same-sex makeouts and walking a man and woman around the stage on a leash.

People were offended, and they complained. Mr. Lambert seemed surprised and puzzled. With an idiots logic that was nonetheless logic, he suggested he was the focus of bigotry: They let women act perverse on TV all the time, so why cant a gay man do it? ….

Enough said about the former American Idol finalist, but the background sets up Noonans theme of alienation:

It is one thing to grouse that dreadful people who dont care about us control our economy, but another, and in a way more personal, thing to say that people who dont care about us control our culture. In 2009 this was perhaps most vividly expressed in the Adam Lambert Problem.

Here Noonan seems entirely correct. While there used to be an unwritten pact by the artistic elites and the entertainment-industrial complex to refrain from assaulting American families in their homes, that norm is rapidly breaking down. And the sorts of folks who run Comcast-GE-Universal-Disney-CBS-whatever dont care about staying in their boxes. Now they are going to make you watch smut (and pay for it) on your TV and in your house, on your new TV-iphone-GPS-camcorder, and on whatever else they can force on you. Lets be honest: unless something changes it is only a matter of time before basic cable has soft porn and then real porn on it. The FX channel is only a stones throw away now.

And, yet the libertarian conservative political class in Washington doesnt get what Noonan does that there is political gold in the hills for the political leaders who understand that being free entails not being compelled to buy things that offend us morally. Why is that? Too many political contributions from the cable industry probably.

But note this: NONE of the libertarians who founded this country would have disagreed with the proposition that freedom rests on the ability to reject morally objectionable ideas and art. Anything less is tyranny. A mans house is his castle, Mr. Otis observed.

Perhaps, it will take a woman, a mother, to ride this political horse to victory someone like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. When shes ready, she should call Peggy Noonan to write the speech. There is a nation waiting to hear it.

Anti-Christianity: Exhibit A

by Robert Morrison

January 6, 2010

For those of us who have to read the Washington Post, it can often be a trial. We are used to having our political, economic, social, and foreign policy principles trashed on a daily basis. We know that the Post considers us poor, uneducated, and easy to command. Our hometown paper regards us Christians as, at best, interlopers here. One of the prime examples I cite was the cartoon done by the late Herblock. He depicted anti-abortion demonstrators as decidedly declasse. The woman bearing a placard looked mean-spirited and frowsy. But at least she was a woman. The man in the cartoon wore a ragged black frock coat, a broad-brimmed hat, and nasty little granny glasses perched on his long and disapproving nose. Here was the best part: in the pocket of down-at-the-heels preacher was a snake. Oh my. How very tolerant the tolerance troopers are.

For sheer leer and sneer, however, youd be hard-pressed to top the Posts TV critic, Tom Shales. Shales has made a career of looking down his nose at just about everything that we cherish. They are the beliefs of tens of millions of us from outside-the-Beltway (and tens of thousands inside-the-Beltway, too) Shales came down like the big ball in Times Square this new year on Brit Hume.

The former FOX News anchor, now a senior commentator, had the temerity to recommend to Tiger Woods that he get right with Jesus. Oh, the humanity! Oh, the horror! Shales thought Hume was dissing all the Buddhists in the world by stating Christianity offered forgiveness and redemption that exceeded that of other faiths. And he said itgaspon camera.

Okay, Mr. Shales. Lets talk about Christian forgiveness. Id like to take you to the Lincoln Memorial. There, the words of the majestic Second Inaugural are inscribed on the wall. President Lincoln offered this thought about the slavery issue that had convulsed the country through four long years of civil war: It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

Where do you think that judge not phrase came from? Was it a saying of Buddha? Or Mohammed? Or might it possibly have been found in Matthew, Chapter 7, verse 1, and offered by You Know Who?

Frederick Douglass was the first black man ever invited to an inaugural reception at the White House. Unlike today, where the uninvited get in, guards tried to keep President Lincolns guest out. When the President saw Douglass after he had climbed through the window, he hailed him. Theres my friend Douglass. He motioned for the champion of black Emancipation to come to the head of the line. He asked for Douglass opinion of the Address. Mr. Lincoln, it was a sacred effort.

What? Sacred efforts undertaken on the Capitol steps? Wasnt Lincoln attempting to shove religion down Americans throats? If Tom Shales had been there to report on that scene, would he have carped: He doesnt really have the authority, does he, unless one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize? Was Lincoln trying toshudderproselytize?

How else could Ulysses S. Grant treat Robert E. Lee and his ragged rebel hosts with such tenderness, such dignity, at Appomattox? What else could explain Lincolns policy of letting `em up easy than an understanding of forgiveness and redemptionas taught in the Christian Scriptures?

I am not saying Lincoln and Grant were evangelists. Or born-again Christians. But at their best they lived and acted in a world formed by biblical ideals. They wereas millions of Americans then and nowshaped by scriptural truths.

If Brit Hume had gone to Thailand and there told a TV audience that Buddhism was inadequate, there might be room for protest. If he had confronted the Dalai Lama and urged him to give it all up, there might be room for Shales haughty harrumphs. But Brit was reaching out in a most tender-hearted way to a man whom he admired greatlywhom we all admired greatly. Brit was offering Tiger Woods balm in Gilead. You can enter the Kingdom of Heaven with thatand even pass through airport security.

Persecution for the Brit Hume Witness

by Peter Sprigg

January 6, 2010

The liberal blogosphere has erupted in outrage over comments by Fox News analyst Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday (which he reiterated to Bill OReilly on Monday) suggesting that Tiger Woods life might improve if he were tobrace yourself!become a Christian. Specifically, when asked for 2010 predictions, Hume said:

Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation for him. I think he’s lost his family, it’s not clear to me if he’ll be able to have a relationship with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out of this scandal — the extent to which he can recover — seems to me to depend on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist; I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”

That anyone should be surprisedlet alone shockedwhen a Christian recommends Christianity is itself perhaps an illustration of the depths to which our society, the media (and perhaps American Christianity) have fallen. But shocked they are. Darts of derision should be aimed at Hume, declares the Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales. First off, apologize. You gotta.

Apparently, Humes apologetics require an apology not just because he violated the well-known constitutional principle of the separation of church and television (?), but because he expressed his heretical disbelief in the scientific theory that all religions are equally valuable and effective.

Several things should be pointed out here. First of all, the depth of Woods Buddhism is questionable. When asked directly in a videotaped interview with Reuters in 2008,

Are you a practicing Buddhist? Woods replied, Umm . . . I practice meditation. Thats something that I dosomething my mom taught me over the years. Referring to his Buddhist mother, he added that we have a thing we do each and every year, we always go to temple together. So to call Tiger Woods a Buddhist is like saying that a person who prays and goes to church once a year is a Christian. I think most practicing Christians (and probably most practicing Buddhists) would have a higher standard.

However, even if we assume that Mr. Woods identifies enough with Buddhism to take offense at Humes commentshould he? Has Brit Hume slandered Buddhists by mischaracterizing their theology? Not really. Barbara OBrien, author of Barbaras Buddhism Blog, admits, Mr. Hume is right, in a sense, that Buddhism doesnt offer redemption and forgiveness in the same way Christianity does. Buddhism has no concept of sin; therefore, redemption and forgiveness in the Christian sense are meaningless in Buddhism.

Buddhism is a religion of works, in contrast to Christianity, which is a religion of faith and of grace. Woods himself showed his understanding of this in the same Reuters interview, saying:

In the Buddhist religion, you have to work for it yourself, internally, in order to achieve anything in lifeand, in Buddhism, set up the next life. But its all about what you do and the internal work. So, thats one thing [my mothers] always preached is you have to work for everything in your life, and you get out of it what you put into it.

The problem is, if Tiger Woods now gets out of this life what hes put into his moral life, hes in a heap of trouble. Buddhism is not tolerant of sexual libertinismeven Barbara the Buddhist Blogger agrees that its fairly plain that Mr. Woodss conduct has been falling short of the Third Precept. If Buddhism is true, not only is there no redemption for him in this life, but because of reincarnation, Woods will be paying a price in the next life as well. According to Eerdmanns’ Handbook to the Worlds Religions, in Buddhism, [G]ood works automatically bring about a good rebirth, bad works a bad one.

Brit Hume was simply, and accurately, pointing out the difference between this Buddhist view and the Christian one. Another book on comparative religions notes that in Christianity, [W]hen the commandments are broken and sin is committed, the believer has recourse by repenting and receiving absolution by the Christ who atoned for sin (1 John 1:9). No such recourse is available to the Buddhist.

So it would appear that Brit Hume was accurate in his description of both Buddhist and Christian theology. But did he still do something wrong in suggesting that Woods should accept Christ? The Posts Shales thinks so, asking indignantly, [I]s it really his job to run around trying to drum up new business? He doesnt have the authority, does he, unless one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize?

The word proselytize is usually used pejoratively and sometimes with an implication of coercion. But the dictionary definition is simply, to induce someone to convert to ones faith. By that definitionyes, Mr. Shales, it is his job and he does have the authority. According to the Bible, both (the job and the authority) were given by Jesus to his followers shortly before he ascended into heaven. Christians call it The Great Commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of [i.e., proselytize] all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you … (Matthew 28:19-20a, NASB)

Brit Hume has every right to share his faith on television, and he should be commended for doing so, not condemned for it. Tiger Woods, of course, has an equal right to tell Brit Hume to go jump in a lake. Everyone else should lay off.

But Woods would do better to listen to Humes counsel, and heed it.

Media Paints Pope as Sympatico with Environmental Extremists

by Cathy Ruse

December 17, 2009

News reports on Pope Benedicts recent statement on the environment left out significant quotes relating the Churchs grave misgivings of the modern environmental movement. True, the Pope supports efforts to promote a greater sense of ecological responsibility — but only those that would safeguard an authentic human ecology and thus forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one is trained in love of neighbour and respect for nature.

For a good analysis of how the mainstream media is spinning the Popes World Day of Peace message — and for important quotes you wont read elsewhere — see John-Henry Westens editorial in

To read the Popes full World Day of Peace Message click here.

Two American Idols, One Celebration of Christmas

by Rosalind Bergen

December 15, 2009

The Carrie Underwood Christmas Special aired last week. I was looking forward to it. I put on my fuzzy slippers, dropped a couple of extra marshmallows into my hot cocoa, and snuggled up in front of the TV. I couldnt wait to hear her sing my favorite Christmas song, O Holy Night. I reached for the Kleenex box. One must be prepared for tears, especially when she hits that ever-famous note toward the end: Diviiiiiiiiiine. I was like a kid at Christmas, bursting with anticipation.

So, you can imagine my shock, sitting there on the floor in my living room, staring at the TV, mouth agape, at the opening of the Carrie Underwood Christmas Special: Miss Underwood rises from under the stage in a throne-like chair, smoke swirling and lights flashing. Shes clad in skin-tight, black leather from head to toe. I didnt know hair spray could get hair that high? I didnt know Christmas was about Carrie Underwood. Male dancers (wearing only pants yikes and matching, black leather, of course) flanked her on all sides. They all started dancing… err, more like flailing, all over the stage. The song she sang (though, is it technically a song if it lacks a discernable melody?) was no more a Christmas song than fruitcake is cake.

I grabbed the remote and hit OFF. Sigh. Speaking of fruitcake… I trot off to the kitchen. I figure Ill have better luck getting into the Christmas spirit with a slice of grandmas fruitcake. And thats not sayin much. Sorry, Grandma.

But, Christmas is about rejuvenation and re-birth, and last night, I got my second chance. I was on the treadmill at the gym, of all places, barely eeking out that first mile. (One too many marshmallows, apparently). There were about eight TVs on the wall, each broadcasting a different channel. Lets see, what can I watch to help me reach mile two? TV one: news. Pass. TV two: news. Pass. TV three: …whats this? I see a church sanctuary, brightly lit with candles and adorned with wreaths and garland. A gospel choir is swaying back and forth. I see Jennifer Hudson belting something out at a microphone. Could it be? I scrambled for my headset so I could listen. Theyre singing, Silent Night!

Alleluia! Throughout the next forty-five minutes, I was delighted by one traditional, Christmas carol after the next. No self-glorification or self-aggrandizement. No dance choreography. Not even any Rudolf. Only the beautiful singing of the old, great Christmas carols and hymns. Only the celebration of love, giving and family. At one point, during an interview before a song, Jennifer Hudson tells us, Jesus is the light of the world. Now this is a Christmas Special. I was invigorated. I looked down at my treadmills screen. Five miles?! I havent run five miles in at least five years! (Okay, a decade, at least).

Thank you, Jennifer Hudson, for producing an appropriate, traditional Christmas special. In an age where Christmas decorations are stripped from public buildings, and citizens are forced to take down nativity scenes displayed in their yards, I know I speak for many when I say, I appreciate you remembering Christ in Christmas. And thank you ABC (did I actually say that?) for your bravery in broadcasting Hudsons show. And P.S., Miss Hudson, the note you struck in Diiiiiiiiiivine, was far more beautiful than Carrie Underwoods ever could have been.

A Swiss Non-Miss

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 2, 2009

So: the people of Switzerland, by a roughly three-to-two margin, have decided to prevent the erection of any more minarets (not mosques, mind you, just minarets) in their traditionally Christian country.

Switzerland, whose national flag features a cross (odd - the Saudi flag features a scimitar), is weary of having minarets popping up in their quiet towns and suburbs. A European country with a unique culture and thousand-year old architectural tradition disliking the insinuation of Islamic structures into its neighborhoods - go figure …

Now, that amorphous entity, the “international community,” is up in arms. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is condemning “the anti-foreigner scare mongering which has characterized political campaigns in a number of countries including Switzerland.” Anti-foreigner? Or cultural self-protection?

Of course, any true religious or ethnic bigotry is morally wrong. All persons are made in the image and likeness of God and should be free to worship as they wish. But no group has the right to enter a host culture and demand conformity to its traditions. That’s aggressive, insulting and insensitive.

Why is it unacceptable for Europeans not to want their countries Islamicized? Muslims are now in Europe in significant numbers, but they are almost entirely unharrassed. Yet not a single Christian church exists in Saudi Arabia. Christians in Islamic countries often are attacked, discriminated against (Christians and Jews are often paid only half of their Muslim counterparts, per the command of the Quran) and prevented from free and open worship. Go to Voice of the Martyrs and see for yourself.

Count the crosses in the Islamic world. Read about the anti-Semitic rhetoric of many Islamic groups in Europe. Consider the repression of, and frequent violence against, Christians in Muslim-dominant nations. Add up the “fatwas” against Muslims who dare convert to faith in Jesus.

Then ask me to worry about the Swiss vote on minarets. Just don’t hold your breath.

Religious Persecution in India Should be on President’s Agenda

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 24, 2009

Official Washington is all atwitter about the state dinner to be given tonight to Indias Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. There have been newspaper articles filled with stories of guest lists, menus and the anecdotes of past dinner attendees.

India is a large nation, in geography and population. Its friendship with the United States benefits both countries, and all Americans should welcome its respected PM to our shores.

India is also a nation rife with problems that dwarf those in our own: Massive corruption that stultifies economic growth and robs the poor of needed resources; endemic poverty affecting tens of millions; a weak educational system, fraught with caste-system bias; nearly 300 million Dalits, or untouchables, viewed in Hindu theology as sub-human and treated with contempt by their own society. Sexual slavery and human trafficking also present profound and enduring challenges to all conscientious Indian political leaders.

Religious persecution in India is also on the rise. Such Web sites as Open Doors, Catholic Online and Voice of the Martyrs provide chilling descriptions of what happens to Christians who stand for their faith in areas where devout Hindu and Muslim activists are determined to squash Christian faith violently.

Consider just one example, this one detailed in the UKs Guardian newspaper:

We cannot now return to the village as the murderers would be on the streets with more hatred and anger for us.” So said a witness after testifying last month in a courtroom in Kandhamal district in India’s eastern state of Orissa, which was the scene last year of ferocious violence against Christians carried out by mobs incited by extremist Hindu nationalists. The case saw three men acquitted of hacking to death a non-Christian tribal leader who tried to stand up to the mobs, and burning to death an elderly widow. They were convicted for destroying evidence, but sent home on bail, pending appeal. (Orissas Forgotten Victims, November 23, 2009).

Family Research Council hopes that President Obama will raise the issue of anti-Christian persecution with Prime Minister Singh. To PM Singhs credit, he has made strong statements against anti-Christian violence, noting that Christianity is part of Indias national heritage (, October 20, 2008) and condemned the anti-Christian assaults in the province of Orissa (, August 29, 2008).

But as events of recent days indicate, much more must be done. It is in Americas interest for us to press our friends to live to the principles of human dignity and religious liberty to which they are sworn. By doing so, we are standing true to our own principles, and standing with those suffering for owning the Name of Jesus.

Trial by Terror

by Tony Perkins

November 19, 2009

In a heated exchange with the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder stood by his decision to jeopardize—not only New York City, but 200 years of American traditionby launching the trial of the century against 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other terrorists in the Big Apple. Holder insists that New York is the best venue to obtain justice, but as Senators on both sides of the aisle argued, prosecuting terrorists minutes from the graveyard they dug for 3,000 innocent U.S. victims is dangerous, misguided, and unnecessary. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was the most visibly upset. Were making history here, Mr. Attorney General…bad history. Rather than leave the terrorists fate to a military tribunal, Holder is rolling the dice with a jury of civilians who—with a single not guilty verdict—could exonerate men who committed an act of war against our nation. Essentially, the decision boils down to a global PR stunt to showcase Americas fairness. Its more than a little ironic, then, that both Holder and President Obama have already determined the outcome. Failure is not an option, Holder said. If thats the case, why bother with a trial that endangers the city, shows disdain for our military, prolongs the process, and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars ($75 million a year for security alone)? This entire charade besmirches the memory of every 9-11 victim and family—and, more than that, it disrespects every soldier, living and dead, who put on a uniform to fight in the war these villains started.

Mister, can you spare a copy of the Constitution? [UPDATED 11/18]

by Tony Perkins

November 17, 2009

If so, please send it to Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.). She is the latest example of a Member of Congress who should not be there. I am sure the Founders never envisioned elected Representatives who would not have a grasp of the most basic concepts of the Constitution. It may be time for an amendment requiring members of Congress to take a basic proficiency test on at least the Bill of Rights.

Still lamenting the overwhelming defeat that she and her pro-abortion cohorts suffered in the House when the Stupak-Pitts amendment was attached to the health care bill, Rep. DeGette is now calling for religiously-affiliated groups to be shut out of the public policy process as the bill goes to the Senate.

Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

In other words if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a collective voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, youre a second class citizen and your voice should not be heard.

This is a far cry from what the Founders believed. Several months after the British surrender at Yorktown, George Washington, in a letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York, wrote, “The establishment of civil and religious liberty was the motive which induced me to the field (of combat).” Sadly, Diana DeGette seems eager to smother these precious freedoms, neither of which can exist without the other.

Rep. DeGettes comments serve to only further confirm that this takeover is not about healthcare, it is about a radical social policy in which the expansion of abortion, at tax-payer expense, is at the very center of this effort.

If you have a spare Constitution, send it to Congresswoman DeGette.

UPDATE 11/18 (Editor): It now appears that The Hill inaccurately quoted Rep. DeGette. See Tony Perkins’ correction and further statements here.