The New York Times reports that a deal could be in the works between the White House and Senate Democrats on the stalemate over appellate judges. It is unclear whether this deal would be beneficial over all. AdvanceUSA will be watching this important issue closely.
Peter Keisler, Steve Matthews, and Robert Conrad are excellent nominees who have been waiting far too long for up-or-down votes in the U.S. Senate. The Senate needs to do its constitutional duty and consider these nominees before the Memorial Day recess.
Our friends in Congress tell us that the House Subcommittee on Health will hold hearings tomorrow on stem cell research. We are pleased that several proponents of ethical adult stem cell research (including a man who was successfully treated with his own adult stem cells after a heart attack) will testify, but we are concerned that the hearings will be used to promote unethical embryonic stem cell research, particularly its support with tax-payer dollars.
CitizenLink also reports.
last June, when Jim Holsinger was nominated by President Bush to be surgeon
general, radical homosexual interest groups smeared his reputation and
convinced the U.S. Senate to stall his nomination because of his religious
convictions concerning homosexuality and for sound medical reports he issued on
the health dangers of homosexual activity.
Holsinger is a Methodist and has taken public stands in defense of
Biblical teaching on homosexuality while serving his church in leadership
appears Jim Holsinger has been vindicated by the United Methodist Church as
that body recently upheld the traditional definition of marriage and biblical
teaching on sexual morality at its recent global conference. The
Institute on Religions and Democracy explains.
has been a full year since George W. Bush first nominated Holsinger, and his
nomination is still stalled in the U.S. Senate.
It is a shame that a man’s religious convictions can be used to smear
his reputation and prohibit him from serving his country.
A so-called “anti-discrimination” bill in the Colorado legislature is very similar to the proposed ENDA legislation in the U.S. Congress both of which would award special privileges to homosexuals and transgenders based on their “actual or perceived” sexual behavior. Concerned citizens must be vigilant to oppose this kind of dangerous legislation. The Alliance Defense Fund gave testimony against the bill which is also very relevant to the federal version. Excerpt:
“The government shouldn’t cater to the agenda of political activist groups and then use the strong arm of the law to force it on the public,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “This law would not protect rights but would grant special privileges based strictly on someone’s sexual behavior. Further, those privileges would have a significant impact on the constitutional rights of Coloradoans who have a moral objection to homosexual behavior.”
was privileged to sign onto a letter, along with other conservative organizations, encouraging
President Bush to tighten regulations regarding tax-dollars and Planned
Hill reports. Excerpt:
“We respectfully ask that you make the
necessary changes to the Title X regulations so that U.S. taxpayer funds are
not used to promote and facilitate abortion,” the groups wrote in the letter.
Title X provides nearly $300 million in
federal funds to family planning groups such as Planned Parenthood.
Former President Ronald Reagan first issued
regulations more than 20 years ago that prohibited family planning
organizations from providing advice to help women obtain abortions. The
Reagan-era regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court, but were then
rescinded soon after former President Bill Clinton took office in 1993.
Not only has the United Methodist Church recently made progress in recognizing the need to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage and upholding Biblical teaching on sexual morality, but it seems this influential, global organization is moving closer to a position of defending the sanctity of unborn and elderly human life. At the recent global conference (which occurs every four years) the sanctity of human life was upheld by resolutions in the following ways (source: The Institute on Religion and Democracy):
- "Affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion."
- "Respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child."
- Support for adult "notification and consent" when a minor is seeking an abortion.
- "Reject euthanasia and pressure upon the dying to end their lives."
- Delete language from a previous United Methodist statement that had been used to support abortion as a means of back-up birth control.
- Decrying the international problem of gender- selective abortions, while describing abortion as "violent" and opposing "trivial reasons" for abortion.
LifeNews also reports. Excerpt:
Mark Tooley, the director of the UMAction Committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy told LifeNews.com he's pleased with the small steps to move in a pro-life direction.
"These incremental steps continue a trend from the last several General Conferences towards an increased acknowledgement of the sanctity of all human life," he said.
"The United Methodist Church is slowly moving towards the historic Christian concern for the most vulnerable," he added. "These latest moves continue this positive trend."
Hagelin reports. Excerpt:
Who could argue with the idea that, when it
comes to sex education, our teenagers should be taught to say “no”? Considering
what’s at stake (their health, their future, their dignity as human beings,
their morality) -- and because we love them and want what’s best for them --
nothing short of a clear-cut abstinence message will do.
At least, that’s how it appears out here in
the Real World. In the rarified air of a congressional hearing room, it’s
another matter. According to several witnesses (including John Santelli of the
Guttmacher Institute, and Max Siegel of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth
& Families) who spoke recently before the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform, abstinence education is not only impractical, it’s
the Heritage Foundation’s study on the effectiveness of
abstinence education here.
The Cures Without Cloning coalition will continue its campaign to amend the Missouri constitution to fully ban human cloning but must wait until 2010. Unfortunately, because of delays in the court process there will not be enough time for the coalition to gather enough signatures to put a true cloning ban on the Missouri ballot in 2008. Anti-cloning forces are encouraged by aspects of a recent appellate court ruling but plan to appeal the final verdict to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Regardless, Cures Without Cloning and other pro-life organizations in Missouri will prepare for the efforts to get the cloning ban on the 2010 Missouri ballot. Click here for read CWC’s press release on the recent court ruling and on plans for the future.
CitizenLink reports. Excerpt:
Johnson County District Attorney Phill
Kline has charged Planned Parenthood's Kansas City clinic, Comprehensive
Health, with 107 criminal charges in district court, including 23 felonies.
Planned Parenthood wanted the court to
order Kline to return medical records from 30 patients' files. But the court
ruled today that Kline has proper legal clearance to be in possession of the
"It's about time the courts allowed
Phill Kline to do his job and conduct this investigation involving serious
allegations against Planned Parenthood," said Dawn Vargo…
Our friends at the Committee for Justice have important information about the recent Senate agreement on judicial nominations. There is a strong danger that the good faith agreement recently struck will not be honored. If Chairman Leahy (D-VT), Majority Leader Reid (D-NV), the members of the Judiciary Committee, and both your senators don’t hear from you about this issue, we may not see three more crucial circuit court judges appointed by the Memorial Day recess.
CitizenLink also reports. Excerpt:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have sent a second letter to Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., urging him to confirm three Circuit Court nominations before the Memorial Day recess.
Peter Keisler has been waiting 660 days for a committee vote. Steve Matthews and Robert Conrad, nominees for the 4th Circuit, have been waiting months for their hearings.
“All three of these nominees deserve prompt consideration by the Committee and up-or-down votes by the full Senate,” McConnell and Specter wrote in the letter.
Leahy said two weeks ago he would “do everything possible” to confirm the nominees by Memorial Day, but no action has been taken. Specter said hearings for Matthews and Conrad must be held by May 6 if they are to be confirmed before the recess.
For an illustration of the lack of progress on judges check AdvanceUSA’s circuit court comparison chart.
LifeNews reports. Excerpt:
Stem cell researchers continue to make
progress with induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which are
embryonic-like stem cells that don't require the destruction of human life to
obtain. After their discovery last year, pro-life groups hailed the cells as an
ethical alternative to embryonic stem cell research.
The UCLA researchers that have advanced the
use of the iPS cells before were able progress further and grow functioning
heart and blood cells.
They said the success is the first time iPS
cells have been differentiated into the three types of cardiovascular cells
needed to repair heart and blood vessels.
LifeNews reports. Let’s hope this speaker can convince this
influential organization to respect the sanctity of unborn human life.
CitizenLink warns us
of this serious and dangerous issue.
Hate crimes legislation is misguided and a very real threat to religious
freedom and “equal justice under law.”
Mary E. Traeger explains
in the Metro Voice. Excerpt:
It is evident the cloners have won the day.
They have again used the court system to stop efforts to ban human cloning in
Missouri. Even though the judges would uphold Judge Joyce's new ballot language
there is not enough time now to gather the needed 150,000 petition signatures
by the 5 p.m., May 4, 2008, deadline. Again the will of the people of Missouri,
the majority of whom do not support human embryonic cloning, is mocked by
ambitious politicians and judicial charades.
At the same time this charade of justice
was playing out in Missouri, a renowned international scientist admitted to the
public that human embryonic stem cell research hasn't been successful. Of
course, this is not news to pro-life proponents, but it is quite an
acknowledgment for a well-accepted embryonic cloning researcher to admit. On
April 8, 2008, the chairman of the UK National Stem Cell Network, Lord Patel of
Dunkeld admitted in a "Scotsman" newspaper interview that this
controversial science may never deliver new treatments for diseases. He
explained, "In terms of embryonic stem cell therapy, there is currently no
such therapy that is available in a large number of patients. We have to be
cautious. It may not deliver therapy for anything. We may find that stem
therapy is quite a risky business." (LifeNews.Com, April 8, 2008)
Bioethics conservative watchdog Wesley J.
Smith sums it up well in his statement, "By hyping the potential, the
politicized science sector misled people to win a political debate, and in the
process reduced science to just another special interest spinning and
obfuscating to get a greater share of gruel in the public trough."
It is regrettable that the State of
Missouri is also tied up to that public embryonic stem cell trough along with
the State of California which is facing a $16 billion dollar deficit.
fight against human cloning in Missouri will continue and you can find out more
about it at MOCuresWithoutCloning.com.
By Daniel Herbster
I recently corresponded with Bryan Wickens, president of Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK), and asked him about the work he does fighting sexually oriented businesses and protecting families. Visit reclaimourculture.org for more information. Below is my interview with Bryan.
DH: Bryan, thanks for taking the time to tell our readers about your work in the culture war fighting against pornography and for families in Kentuckiana. First of all, for our readers who may not be familiar with the term, what is Kentuckiana, and how much area does it contain? Is it basically the greater Louisville area?
BW: Thanks, Daniel. Kentuckiana usually means central Kentucky up to central Indiana and that is definitely where ROCK’s focus began. During the past couple of years, however, as we have expanded our reach and been invited to join in on national initiatives and projects, we are recognized now as ROCK and have interests in projects across the country. Since our staff lives in the Kentuckiana region, we will of course always have the communities that ROCK was born out of at the heart of anything we do. But it is imperative to us that we not confine our work to one geographic circle in that the issues we face today are certainly not confined to one geographic circle.
DH: How did ROCK get started, and how long has it been operating?
BW: ROCK was created in March 2004 in response to a series of articles reporting on the unrestrained growth of sex business in the Kentuckiana area and their related negative effects on the community. As a result, a group of citizens, concerned about the state of affairs of our culture came together to form ROCK. This group simply said “enough is enough” and decided to do something, to get off the sidelines – to change Kentuckiana for the better.
I was asked to sit on the board of ROCK in 2004 which, at the time, was an all volunteer organization comprised of some incredible individuals. In 2005, ROCK was growing and decided to hire its first full time President. At the time, I was a partner in one of the largest law firms in our region and was feeling a call in my life to use my skills and abilities to stand up against the attacks on our values, our beliefs and our families. But leaving my law firm to become the first President of a non-profit was not really in my plans. But as so often happens, God had a different plan! To the surprise of many, I left my law practice to become President of ROCK in September, 2005. And every person at ROCK has a similar story. It is amazing how that faithfulness has been rewarded and the blessings ROCK has experienced in a short period of time.
DH: How bad was the situation in Kentuckiana when ROCK was first started, and what kind of progress have you seen since that time? What are some of your proudest accomplishments as an organization?
AdvanceUSA has learned that the third annual “Wash for Life” will be held on September 13, 2008. The Wash for Life recruits young people across the country to hold car washes to raise funds for and awareness of pregnancy resource centers in their communities. Pregnancy resource centers do great work providing real choices for pregnant women, and are worthy causes for support. Mark your calendars for September 13 so you can get your car washed “for life” or organize your own “Wash for Life.”
Check out washforlife.com to see photos and results from last year’s Wash for Life and keep checking back with AdvanceUSA for more updates on this year’s event.
the Weekly Standard reports, with an influx of membership in Africa combined
with a growing conservative evangelical movement in the United States, the United
Methodist Church could begin to take more conservative positions on issues
such as homosexuality, abortion, family, and Christian doctrine at its quadrennial
global conference now meeting in Texas.
Already, a well-publicized anti-Israel resolution has been defeated, and
observers are expecting to see more surprising results in the future.
United Methodist Church is a global and highly influential organization (with a
large facility right next to the U.S. Supreme Court), and it is encouraging to
think that they might soon adopt a more Biblical understanding of sexual morality,
the family, and the right to life.
Concerned citizens would do well to pray that this influential
organization would cease to undermine traditional morality and the right to
life with its resources and policies.
Institute on Religion and Democracy has been watching and reporting on the
developing conservative movement within Methodism, and their
website is a helpful resource for monitoring these developments.
has unveiled a new informative video resource called “Turn Signal.” Click here to view
the very first edition where you can also view episodes from CitizenLink’s
popular “Stoplight” which uses humor and creativity to get people thinking
critically about contemporary issues.
Think creating half human, half animal creatures is only the stuff of science fiction? Think again. Some researchers want to create human-animal embryos so they can destroy them for stem cell research.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is the chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, has recently introduced legislation which would prohibit the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos. Read the text of this bill here. Similar legislation was proposed last year in the U.S. Senate by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Let your representative and both your senators know that you support H.R. 5910 and S. 2358.
reports on an upcoming
conference which will discuss the embryo adoption. Embryo adoption belies the notion that unused
embryos produced by IVF (In Vitro Fertalization) must only be discarded or else
used for research. These embryos can and
have been adopted by couples wanting children, and hopefully this conference
will raise awareness of this important alternative. No human life should be considered “leftover.”
President Bush holds
a “snowflake” child (a child who was adopted as an embryo) at a While House