Sam Brownback and David Blankenhorn write an enlightening piece about the destructive
incentives our government engenders toward the family through its tax
policy and welfare programs and what Congress should do to eliminate the “marriage
We believe that the time is ripe to
transcend the usual partisan politics and implement a plan to stop penalizing
lower-income couples who do the right thing — for themselves and their children
— and get married. That's something all of us, regardless of political
persuasion, should be able to agree on.
by newsUSA is a helpful reminder of the difference between ethical adult
stem cell research (which are already producing amazing results) and unethical
embryonic stem cell research.
I had the
opportunity to interview Mark Tooley about his work with UMAction
at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. The following is my interview
DH: What is UMAction
and how would you sum up its mission? Do you see it as more of a
theological or political movement or both?
is the Methodist program of the IRD. Its goal is to foster accountability
and reform within United Methodism. We’re not political in the sense that
we endorse candidates or specific legislation in civil society. We are
political in that we are concerned about the church’s public policy witness. We
are theological in that we vigorously affirm the official, orthodox teachings
of our church.
DH: I understand
that you were very active in the recent United
global conference in Forth Worth, Texas.
Are you encouraged by what took place there?
I’m encouraged by the growing numbers and influence of the non-U.S. church,
especially in Africa. They are the hope of the church’s future.
But the church still faces many battles ahead.
DH: What kinds of
decisions were reached on pro-life issues?
were some small, incremental steps supporting parental consent and affirming
the sacredness of unborn human life. We narrowly failed to remove church
agencies from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Had the
vote been NOT on the last day, when many of the Africans had left, we probably
would have won.
DH: What progress
was made in affirming the traditional definition of marriage and Biblical
teaching on sexual morality?
reports on a new book citing evidence from experts which demonstrates that unborn children can feel
pain. Excerpt from article:
The contributions from the large number of
experts who contribute to the book agree in affirming that a fetus can feel
pain before birth, the two editors explain in their introductory essay.
"Recognizing human dignity and human suffering from life in the womb is a
clinical duty in the service of better treatment," they declare.
like this shows the need for the Unborn
Children Pain Awareness Act now in Congress (check home page and scroll
down for more information on this important pro-life bill).
provides helpful commentary in
reading through euthanasia spin.
Even the most despicable ideas can be made
palatable when euphemisms are used to spin them. That's why abortion advocates
call themselves "pro-choice" rather than "pro abortion."
It's also why they talk about "terminating a pregnancy" rather than
"killing a baby."
Controlling the language not only controls
the argument, it often determines the outcome of the argument.
Proponents of euthanasia understand the
power of language in shaping debate. Therefore, instead of using the term
"physician-assisted suicide" to describe the practice they advocate,
they use euphemisms like "death with dignity" and "end of life
choices" to sugar coat the reality of the killings they have in view.
Turek at Townhall.com explains.
Why not legalize same-sex marriage? Who could it possibly hurt? Children and the rest of society. That’s the
conclusion of David Blankenhorn, who is anything but an anti-gay “bigot.” He is
a life-long, pro-gay, liberal democrat who disagrees with the Bible’s
prohibitions against homosexual behavior. Despite this, Blankenhorn makes a
powerful case against Same-Sex marriage in his book, The Future of
He writes, “Across history and cultures . .
. marriage’s single most fundamental idea is that every child needs a mother
and a father. Changing marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would nullify
this principle in culture and in law.”
NBC Augusta reports that Congressman
Paul Broun (R-GA) intends to
reintroduce the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment. Apparently the recent outrageous decision by
the California Supreme Court convinced Rep. Broun of the necessity of federal action in this
case to prevent unelected judges from spreading “gay marriage” from one state
thank Rep. Broun for his leadership in this issue and encourage our readers to call their
representatives and urge him or her to cosponsor and vote for Broun’s
Weyrich explains. Excerpt:
For many years the teachers unions used
scare tactics to prevent school choice programs from enactment. They claimed
that voucher programs would destroy the public school system. In fact, faced
with competition, school choice has actually strengthened the public schools.
Now that the public is able to see that union propaganda was a big lie citizens
are more willing to consider vouchers. This is especially true now that it is
widely acknowledged that the public school system is broken, graduating young
people who hardly can read or write and who fail math and science.
At a time when conservatives are in a funk,
believing that nothing good is happening in America, it is time to celebrate
this milestone development in Georgia. This is a victory not just for Georgians
but for all parents who are concerned with the state of public education in
these United States.
reports on the outrageous
“non-discrimination” legislation in Colorado which would make “open to men,
women, bisexuals, transsexuals and ‘transgendered’ individuals.” If ENDA
or similar legislation is passed in Congress, the entire country could be
subjected to these kinds of policies.
about the recent ruling in California.
So, more power to the people of California
in their uphill battle for an amendment to their state constitution. But the
real, long-term solution in the future for supporters of the rule of law is
ensuring the selection and election of good judges, judges who know their role
in a constitutional republic, in the first place, and holding them – and the
politicians who appoint and confirm them – accountable.
would also point out that the CA ruling illustrates the need for a Federal Marriage Protection
Amendment to permanently protect the traditional definition of marriage
from activist judges who would love to spread same-sex marriage from states
like California and Massachusetts to the rest of the country.
Yesterday, Steven Agee
was appointed to the
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
President Bush issued a statement expressing his gratefulness for Agee’s
confirmation, but also firmly rebuking the Senate for its unprecedented
judicial obstruction. Here is an excerpt
from a White House press release:
Unfortunately, many of my other judicial
nominees have not received a timely confirmation process and their nominations
have been pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee for significantly
Since the beginning of the 110th Congress,
the Senate has only confirmed eight Circuit Court nominees. In the last two years of the past three
Administrations, the Senate has confirmed an average of 17 Circuit Court
judges. I encourage the Senate to
provide all judicial nominees with a swift and fair confirmation process.
confirmation of Steven Agee brings the total number of Circuit Court judges
appointed in the last two years of President Bush’s term to 8 which, as our appellate court judges
chart demonstrates (below), is far below the 15 President Clinton had
confirmed by a Senate controlled by an opposing party.
Click here to see a
Yesterday Senator Hillary Clinton
won the Democrat Primary in Kentuky by a wide margin, while Senator Barack
Obama won the contest in Oregon. Despite
trailing in the delegate count, Sen.
Clinton promises to continue campaigning, at least until June. Senator John McCain, as expected, handily won
both states’ Republican primaries.
News has the full results for Kentucky
sure you know where the remaining major presidential candidates stand on
important issues with AdvanceUSA’s 2008
Baltimore Sun reports. It is a shame
that such a common sense ruling should be so surprising. In the interests of parental rights and
traditional marriage, let’s hope that the precedent set by the Maryland Supreme
Court will be followed by courts across the country (especially
Daniel Herbster reporting
Dr. David Prentice is one of the foremost experts on bioethics in the country. He has valuable science experience from his days as researcher and teacher, and he now works for groups like the Family Research Council and Do No Harm speaking out on some of the most important (though sometimes confusing) ethical issues facing our society today. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Dr. Prentice a number of times and have heard him speak often so it is a distinct pleasure to interview him today and share with you his scientific expertise.
DH: First off, tell our readers a little about yourself. What did you do before you came to FRC? What are your responsibilities at FRC and Do No Harm?
DP: Before FRC, I spent almost 20 years as Professor of Life Sciences at Indiana State University, at the same time as Adjunct Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics for Indiana University School of Medicine.
During those years I taught and did lab research, and also spent a few years in administration.
My job description now is somewhat similar: I lecture, give briefings, and testify about science, especially the scientific facts regarding stem cells, cloning, and other biotechnologies.
DH: You often hear people say that we should “leave science to the scientists,” that we who have ethical concerns with particular research techniques have no right to an opinion if we are not scientists ourselves. Is this true? Do we as a society have a stake in deciding what research should or should not be allowed? Why is this notion so dangerous?
DP: Some scientists might like that, but the fact is that society sets the agenda, both in terms of what's allowed as well as what resources are provided to science. Everyone has a stake in this discussion, because everyone is affected. Leaving these decisions just to one group means we abdicate our responsibility to help form a strong society.
DH: Dr. Prentice, what are stem cells?
DP: A stem cell has 2 main characteristics: (1) It continues to grow and divide, making copies of itself, and (2) given the correct signal, a stem cell can form many different specialized cells of the body.
DH: What are the two general types of stem cells, and are there any ethical differences between them?
Unfortunately our pro-life compatriots in Great Britain were unsuccessful in passing a ban on the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for unethical stem cell research in Parliament (for more details check this BBC report). However, it looks as though a move to lower the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 22 or 20 weeks might prove successful. It in encouraging to know that pro-lifers are fighting the good fight elsewhere in the world, but the fact that Britain will likely allow the creation of hybrid cloning is a sobering warning that such research could be coming to American shores in the near future (unless legislation like H.R. 5910 and S. 2358 is passed).
The fact that Great Britain even has a gestation limit on abortion illustrates the surprising fact that the United States is among the nations with the most unrestrictive abortion laws in the world. Many Americans are unaware that the Supreme Court decisions of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton basically mandate that abortion for whatever reason is permissible at almost any stage of prenatal development.
See also: pro-life page, stem cell page
Photo source: roots-travel.co.uk
As only he can, Dinesh D’Souza aims his intellect and gift for expression at the issue of same-sex marriage arguing that its institution by activist judges is a threat to democracy itself. He also helpfully explains why defending the preservation of the traditional definition of marriage does not threaten the Constitutional rights of homosexuals. Excerpt:
We already know what California citizens think about gay marriage: they oppose it. A referendum outlawing gay marriage was passed with the support of the state's voters. More than 60 percent of voters cast their ballots against gay marriage.
How, then, can a court invalidate the referendum and over-rule the will of the people? Basically through a kind of legal fraud. The court has to pretend that there is a right to gay marriage even though it is nowhere evident in the state constitution. Read the constitution, hold it up to the light, squeeze lemon juice on it--you won't see a right to gay marriage in there. It is simply not an enumerated right, nor is it a right that can be clearly derived from other enumerated rights.
In issuing its ruling the California court appealed to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The basic logic is that gays have a right to be treated like everyone else. But just like everyone else, gays do have the right to marry. They have the right to marry adult members of the opposite sex! What gay activists want is something else: the right to marry members of the same sex. This is not a right currently enjoyed by anyone. What these gay activists seek is not equal treatment but rather to change the definition of marriage.
AP explains which states have marriage protection amendments, which have
instituted gay marriage or civil unions, and which states could vote on
marriage in November.
see a breakdown of this information continue reading:
LifeNews reports. Excerpts:
Wesley Smith, an attorney and bioethics
watchdog, responded to the news.
"Geron Corporation has released a
series of press releases over several years stating that 'next year' it would
start the first human trials using ES cells. Apparently, that won't be
happening yet," he said.
"Tumors are an important worry, as is
efficacy. Meanwhile, those adult stem cell advances keep rolling in," he
[Senator] Brownback said human trials
involving embryonic stem cell research are unnecessary given the enormous
success scientists have had with adult stem cells.
“What makes this even more troubling is
that there is a viable ethical alternative with adult stem cells," he
"They are currently being used in the
treatment of well over 70 different diseases and conditions, including spinal
cord injury, type-I diabetes, heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease as
validated by peer-reviewed, published results."
In a blatant display of judicial activism, four out of seven members of the California Supreme Court have ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriages. In overturning the clear will of the people, California becomes the second state (after Massachusetts) to legalize same-sex marriage by judicial fiat.
This judicial outrage demonstrates the need for a state constitutional amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage. Protectmarriage.com recently submitted thousands of signatures in an effort to place a marriage amendment on California’s 2008 ballot. Check Protectmarriage.com to find out more about protecting marriage in California.
This ruling also shows the need to protect one-man, one-woman marriage on the national level with a Federal Marriage Protection Amendment so that unelected judges in one state cannot impose same-sex marriage on the rest of the country.
For more information on protecting marriage click here.
her piece at Townhall.com Sandy Froman reminds us of the important
of Supreme Court nominees in the upcoming presidential election. This is something we can’t be reminded of
The political “hot button” issues of guns
and judges have become intertwined in this election year. The fate of both
issues will be decided by the candidate we elect as president. Why? Because
over a four-year term, that president will likely appoint at least two and
possibly three justices to the United States Supreme Court. Simply stated, this
year when we elect a president, we will also cast our ballot for the next
said the late Julian Simon (referring to population concerns and not to using
human life as a mere commodity). Steven
Mosher has written a new book which explodes the “overpopulation” myth which
has been used as justification for forced abortion, eugenics, and other
horrors. LifeNews reports. Excerpt:
The numbers show that the world is not, has
never been, nor ever shall be, overpopulated. In fact, according to the world's
experts -- even the ones advocating population control -- birthrates around the
world are dropping at a precipitous rate.
The book thus torpedoes the lifeboat
scenario, which argued that in order to survive, we had to throw some of the
earth's passengers overboard.
But it is much more than this. The history
of the population control movement is replete with human rights abuses. Those
who were made to walk the plank of abortion, sterilization, and contraception
-- all for the supposed good of humanity -- have some horrific tales to tell.