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Today the Supreme Court refused to take up the case of Coach Joe Kennedy, but some of the justices nonetheless sent a signal in favor of religious liberty.Coach Kennedy, represented by our friends at First Liberty Institute, is a Christian high school football coach from Bremerton, Washington, who was punished after taking a knee and praying on the field after games. His case has been deliberated in federal district court, then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, before making its way to the Supreme Court.While the Court’s refusal to hear the case is not ideal, it appears that unresolved factual questions (the lower court never concluded whether Coach Kennedy was punished for praying or neglecting his professional duties) prevented the Court from hearing the full case and taking up the First Amendment free speech claim.Justice Alito, joined by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, penned a separate statement (see pp. 8-13) explaining that while he understands and agrees with the Court’s reason for not taking the case right now (if asked to do so, he would direct the lower court to reach a conclusion on this question, but at this point the Court was only asked to decide the legal question), he doesn’t necessarily agree with the lower court rulings, which appear problematic for religious liberty and the First Amendment:While I thus concur in the denial of the present petition, the Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future.Alito criticized the “highly tendentious way” the Ninth Circuit applied the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos (dealing with the First Amendment rights of public employees) to Coach Kennedy’s situation, which would have required public school employees like teachers and coaches to refrain from any religious activity a student might see or the school might not like, from the time the teacher or coach shows up in the morning until the time they leave. Alito concluded:If the Ninth Circuit continues to apply [this] interpretation of Garcetti in future cases involving public school teachers or coaches, review by this Court may be appropriate.Alito wasn’t finished:What is perhaps most troubling about the Ninth Circuit’s opinion is language that can be understood to mean that a coach’s duty to serve as a good role model requires the coach to refrain from any manifestation of religious faith—even when the coach is plainly not on duty. I hope that this is not the message that the Ninth Circuit meant to convey, but its opinion can certainly be read that way. After emphasizing that [Coach Kennedy] was hired to “communicate a positive message through the example set by his own conduct,” the court criticized him for “his media appearances and prayer in the [Bremerton High School (BHS)] bleachers (while wearing BHS apparel and surrounded by others).” [citation omitted] This conduct, in the opinion of the Ninth Circuit, “signal[ed] his intent to send a message to students and parents about appropriate behavior and what he values as a coach.” [citation omitted] But when [Coach Kennedy] prayed in the bleachers, he had been suspended. He was attending a game like any other fan. The suggestion that even while off duty, a teacher or coach cannot engage in any outward manifestation of religious faith is remarkable.It’s very encouraging to see Justice Alito on record noting the religious liberty problems with this case—something we’ve come to expect from him—along with Justices Thomas and Gorsuch. But it’s particularly heartening to see Justice Kavanaugh join this statement. While his judicial record would have suggested he’d rule the right way on religious liberty issues once seated on the Court, his refusal to join these three justices in dissenting from denial of cert in the Planned Parenthood defunding cases late last year left many wondering whether he would be a true originalist. While these actions don’t necessarily indicate how the justices will rule on the merits (there’s a good chance Justice Roberts still agrees with his originalist colleagues on these matters), they are heartening nevertheless.Justice Alito concluded by almost inviting Coach Kennedy to ask the Court to reconsider Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, a Title VII case lowering employee protections against religious discrimination, and Employment Division v. Smith, which cut back on Free Exercise protections and prompted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to be passed over twenty-five years ago.Let us hope Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh are prophesying where the Court is going on religious liberty.
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Yesterday’s ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a trial court’s temporary block on a Texas agency’s decision to terminate the state’s Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood affiliates. The Fifth Circuit reasoned that in an evidentiary hearing over a challenge to the decision, the state agency didn’t get a fair shake, and Planned Parenthood’s evidence improperly received greater weight in a “peculiarly asymmetrical way.”Undercover videos revealing officials from the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) illegally engaging in the procurement and sale of fetal tissue and body parts spurred Kansas, Louisiana, and Texas to terminate their Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood affiliates. Despite states’ “broad authority to ensure that Medicaid healthcare providers are qualified to provide medical services,” none of the states have until now been allowed to cut ties with Planned Parenthood, as ruling after ruling has resulted in success for the challengers.In Texas, a trial court temporarily blocked the termination effort after affiliates sued. At an evidentiary hearing, the state agency presented evidence to justify its decision, including the videos, which recorded statements from PPGC officials showing that the facility intended to or already had illegally procured fetal tissue and body parts. The research director stated that its doctors had “collect[ed] the specimens . . . in a way that they can get the best specimen,” and the abortion facility director implied that doctors were able to obtain intact fetuses by lying about intent. Forensic analysis showed that none of the videos were “deceptively edited.” Yet the trial court “suggested that [the videos] may have been edited,” and it asserted that the state agency lacked “even a scintilla of evidence, to conclude the bases of termination.”The Fifth Circuit vacated the trial court’s ruling, concluding that the trial court improperly weighed the evidence without any deference to the state agency’s evidence. In fact, the Fifth Circuit said, the trial court should have done the opposite and upheld the state agency’s decision unless it acted arbitrarily and capriciously.The Fifth Circuit made clear the trial court’s error by including in the opinion a screenshot from the videos of the remains of a fetus after it was dismembered and discarded in a pool of blood in a glass tray. The image is sad and alarming. But the image boldly displays the crux of the issue. Can it truly be said that a state acts arbitrarily and capriciously by severing ties with an organization saying on camera that it is willing to illegally capitalize on an industry that treats humans with as much dignity as livestock in a meat processing facility?For the Fifth Circuit, procedure mattered. Because the hearing with Planned Parenthood lacked procedural neutrality, Texas has been allowed another chance to uphold the virtues of health and life and to benefit from the rule of law.
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Pregnancy is a normal bodily function; it is not a disease. Interrupting this normal process is not health care. It is a surgical solution to a societal problem. The argument that “abortion is between a woman and her doctor” incorrectly assumes that an abortion requires a medical judgment, and will be performed by a woman’s own OB/GYN. This is false. The vast majority of abortionists are employed by abortion clinics, not health care clinics. Most abortionists are merely technicians who only perform one procedure for money; they do not perform any other health care service.Statistically, if a pregnant woman walks through Planned Parenthood’s door, there is a 96 percent chance that the pregnancy service she will receive is an abortion. Only 3 percent will receive prenatal care, and less than 1 percent of women will choose to place their babies for adoption, to be raised by a loving family if the woman is unable to do so. We know that 10-15 percent of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, so one also wonders why they do so little miscarriage management (1 percent)?It is often reported by an uncritical media that only 3 percent of their services are abortion. If a woman presents for an abortion, she is also going to have several other discrete services performed: pregnancy test, sonogram, STD testing, and possible pap, as well as a provision of birth control afterward. Thus, abortion is only 17-20 percent of the services provided to this woman, but an abortion is why she came.It is easy to see how counting every individual service, when most women have multiple services provided each visit, can dilute out the numbers and make it look like abortion is only a small part of what they do. The reality is that over 3,000 abortions is greater than over 2,000 pap tests. It is easy to see the primary purpose for this organization’s existence.What happens if women do not have access to a Planned Parenthood? Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) also receive state and federal money to provide indigent care, and they provide every service that Planned Parenthood does, except abortion. In addition, they employ practitioners who specialize in other health problems.A woman is more than a uterus, and she often has other health issues that can be addressed in a more comprehensive way by an FQHC. While the number of Planned Parenthood clinics in our country has dropped to 620 as of August 2017, there are 13,540 FQHCs. They outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20 to 1.For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Dear Friends,Today is Religious Freedom Day in America (see FRC’s resources below). In our great country, religious freedom has held a special place in our civic life ever since the days of Thomas Jefferson. But this freedom is increasingly coming under assault by activists on the Left here at home and by authoritarian regimes abroad. This is why we must never take the freedoms we have in this country for granted.So what do we mean by “religious freedom”? In this day and age, it’s vitally important to define our terms in order to counter those who have a far too narrow view of this first freedom. FRC’s David Closson has written an excellent summation of the proper understanding of religious freedom:“Simply put, religious liberty is the freedom to live out one’s faith according to his or her deepest convictions. This means people have the right to believe what they want in terms of theology and doctrine and can live in a way that brings their life into conformity with these beliefs. Obviously, this does not mean people can do whatever they want under the guise of ‘religious liberty,’ but it does mean that as much latitude as possible should be extended to those with sincere religious convictions about how to order their lives.”Our Founding Fathers understood that man’s deepest desire is to live out his most deeply held convictions, which most often come from religious foundations. The freedom of religion was therefore included in the First Amendment to the Constitution—our “first freedom.” May we never take this freedom for granted and always use it for the greater glory of God.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC “Religious Freedom Day” Resources“Washington Watch” Special Report: Religious Freedom Day – 5-6 p.m. ET on Facebook LiveOn Religious Freedom Day, consider life in countries without it – Travis WeberReligious Freedom Day – David ClossonWhen Free Exercise Comes at a Price – Alexandra McPhee FRC ArticlesNEW Policy Publication: Top 10 Myths About Abortion – Ingrid Skop, M.D.NEW Policy Publication: Why “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law – Peter SpriggAll I want for Christmas is a Supreme Court victory for public Christmas displays, crosses – Alexandra McPheeE-Verify — The Immigration Solution Congress is Looking For – Ken BlackwellSeventeen Years Later, Controversy Emerges Over Painting of “Ground Zero Cross” – Alexandra McPheeThe APA is Crazy: “Traditional Masculinity is Psychologically Harmful” – Cathy RuseFamily Research Council Opposes the “Equal Rights Amendment”The ERA: A Bad, Old Idea – Cathy RuseThe Postal Service Stamps Out the Christmas Spirit – Alexandra McPheeIs Anyone Surprised that Planned Parenthood Treats its Pregnant Employees Terribly? – Patrina MosleyIs Chai Feldblum Reconsidering Religious Freedom? – Peter SpriggCompassion Is Needed for Parents and Professors Dealing with “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria,” Too – Peter SpriggParents Beware of Puberty-Blocker Propaganda – Cathy Ruse Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareDemocrats Question Judicial Nominee About Membership in Catholic Association – Kevin Daley, The Daily SignalApple removes Christian ministry app following complaints by LGBT activists – Teri Webster, The BlazeColorado loses bid to dismiss cake artist’s lawsuit – Alliance Defending FreedomWashington state senior center bans religious Christmas expression – Alliance Defending FreedomEarly Christmas gift: City ends discrimination, Maryland church resumes worship – Alliance Defending FreedomHouse Passes Bill to Free Pastors from IRS Muzzle and Shield Churches from Accidental New Tax – Benjamin Gill, CBN NewsFamily’s Christmas Stamps Rejected Because of “Religious” Content – ToddStarnes.comTexas Lawmaker Wants to Put The Ten Commandments Back in Public Schools – Jeremiah Poff, ToddStarnes.comIndiana school district bars coaches from participating in team prayers after atheist complaint – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostOxford students demand university fire famed philosophy prof for ‘homophobia’ – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNewsInternational Religious FreedomWise Men Still Bring Gifts: Our Extraordinary Christmas in Egypt – Rick Segal, Desiring GodThe Coming 'Turkish Jihadist Invasion' Against Christians: A Christmas Plea from Syrians to US Christians – Chris Mitchell, CBN NewsAs China Cracks Down on Churches, Christians Declare ‘We Will Not Forfeit Our Faith’ – Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times2 Christian brothers sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, charity warns – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostIndia: Shock as pastor arrested for 'showing movie about Jesus' – Athena Chrysanthou, ExpressChinese City Bans Christmas Celebrations to Maintain ‘Clean Environment’ – Frances Martel, BreitbartTrump's troop withdrawal 'sacrifices' Syrian Christians, gives 'victory' to jihadis: activist – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostChristians 'Standing in the Way' of China's Xi Jinping's Totalitarian Rule – George Thomas, CBN NewsDuring Christmas Week, Iran Arrests 9 Christians for 'Zionism,' Spreading 'Corrupt' Beliefs – Tyler O’Neil, PJ MediaMilitary Religious FreedomAir Force Under Attack For Helping Salvation Army Provide Christmas to Needy Kids – ToddStarnes.com LifeAbortionAbortion Killed 42 Million People In 2018 – Paul Bois, The Daily WireLiving pro-vida – Mary Jackson, WORLDDemocrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions – Jessie Hellmann, The HillThe Supreme Court Should Protect Unborn Children with Down Syndrome – O. Carter Snead and Mary O’Callaghan, Public DiscourseTrump Contests “Sexual and Reproductive Health” at UN but Fails to Rollback Abortion Language – Austin Ruse, C-FamIndiana Health Department Refuses To License Abortion Clinic Over Undisclosed Records – Grace Carr, The Daily CallerPlanned Parenthood, Other Feminist Organizations Accused Of Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers – Ashe Schow, The Daily WirePro-choice activist tells kids: abortion is 'part of God’s plan,' ‘like dentist appointment’ – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostKansas judge rules telemedicine abortions can continue – John Hanna, ABC News‘Like a giant what-if’: Siblings of aborted children mourn their loss – Skyler Lee, Live ActionPlanned Parenthood’s President Admits Abortion Is Group’s ‘Core Mission’ – Alexandra DeSanctis, National ReviewAdoptionTexas couple: God ‘purposefully connected’ us to kids found chained in horrific abuse case – Caleb Parke, Fox NewsBioethicsObama-Appointed NIH Director: Aborted Fetal Tissue Will ‘Continue to Be the Mainstay’ for Research – Susan Berry, Breitbart FamilyMarriageWhy You Shouldn't Give Up on Your Marriage – Teri Reisser and Paul Reisser, Focus on the FamilyThe Cleansing of the Temple: Casting Pornography Out of Marriage – Michelle Curran and Luca Marelli, HumanumPodcast: Holy longing: The struggle with infertility – Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionState Efforts to Reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences Should Include Programs to Strengthen Marriage – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesParentingFarewell, Judith Rich Harris – Rod Dreher, The American ConservativeGender-Neutral Parenting Isn’t for Me – Leigh Harper, Family LifeFaith/Character/CultureHow Tragedy Testifies To The Supreme, Glorious Value Of Human Life – Caroline D’Agati, The FederalistWhat Do We Owe Our Parents? – Ashley McGuire, Family StudiesGrown Men Are the Solution, Not the Problem – David French, National ReviewIt Is Good That You Exist – Rachel Bulman, Word on FireThe Strongest Men Are Gentle – David Mathis, Desiring GodWatch This Dude Climb 3,200 Feet Of Granite With No Harness In ‘Free Solo’ – Glenn T. Stanton, The FederalistBreaking the Fourth Wall on Social Media – Austin Ruse, CrisisThis New Year, Act More Leisurely – Bart Price, Ethika PolitikaShould I Stay at a Christian Organization That Doesn’t Seem Christian? – Joshua Chatraw, The Gospel CoalitionHuman SexualityWhen Sex Becomes Cheap – Paul Sullins, HumanumProtecting Sex From Liberalism – Anthony McCarthy, Public DiscourseThe Problem Isn’t Technological: Rebuilding Women’s Reproductive Health – Weronika Janczuk, Public Discourse30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet – Stella Morabito, The FederalistComprehensive Sex Education Undermines Students’ Moral Development – Tapio Puolimatka, Public DiscourseStudy: Infidelity, porn prevalent sex sins in church – Diana Chandler, Baptist PressCriminal Records Show Women Are Prudent To Not Want Men In Their Bathrooms – Jamie Shupe, The FederalistIdaho ordered to provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate jailed for sexually abusing a child – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostHuman TraffickingWho Are Sex Traffickers, And Why Do They Exploit Other Humans? – Fight the New DrugPornographyTwo Developments That Changed Our Movement – Patrick Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation50 Heartbreaking Ways That Porn Harms Relationships And Society – Fight the New DrugFilmmaker/Actor Josh Radnor On Why He’s Against Porn – Fight the New Drug
Due to the controversial nature of abortion, it is very difficult to find reliable data in order to compare pregnancy outcomes of women in the United States. When most observers consider safety related to abortion, they only consider physical complications, but they should also consider psychological complications, which can also lead to a woman’s death. One comprehensive study analyzed 22 studies which considered mental health consequences of abortion. It found that there was an 81 percent overall increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. The safety of abortion is determined less by whether it is legal, and more by other factors such as available technology, gestational age in which it is committed, and the skill of the practitioner.The frequency of complications increases as the pregnancy advances. Only half of U.S. states require abortionists to report their complications and no states require non-abortion doctors, coroners, or emergency rooms to report abortion-related deaths for investigation. Deaths are counted by the CDC only if they happen to come to their attention through death certificates, anecdotal reports, reports to state health agencies, quality committees, or Morbidity & Mortality committees.For many reasons, the information about a preceding abortion may not make it onto a death certificate. The abortion may have initiated a cascade of events resulting in death, but only the most proximate events may be listed on the death certificate. The physician who completes the death certificate may be unaware of the abortion, which could happen if a sick woman presents to the emergency room, but leads the staff to believe that it was a miscarriage and not an abortion that led to her complication. If she is too sick to give a history, the family may be unaware of, or may be embarrassed about the abortion.An ideologic commitment to legal abortion may lead a physician to leave this information off of the death certificate. A single investigative reporter was able to document 30 percent more abortion-related deaths nationwide than the CDC had listed, merely by correlating public documentation of malpractice cases with autopsy reports.It is clear with the incomplete records available in the U.S., the political nature of abortion, and the ideological commitment of many academic researchers to legal abortion, that the question of comparative safety of abortion to childbirth is unlikely to be answered in our country.A more complete, and less biased way to look at this question is to perform a records-linked study in a country with a more neutral view on legalized abortion, single payer health care so that records on all procedures are readily available, and more complete death certificate documentation.Studies in other countries such as Finland have shown that women who have had abortions are 3.5 times more likely to die within a year than women who have carried their pregnancies to term. Researchers concluded that this may be due to the fact that carrying a baby to term has a protective effect on women’s bodies by reducing the risk of breast cancer as well as the risk of emotional stress.For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Science now shows that unborn babies can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization, and most likely even earlier.The first requirement for fetal pain perception is the presence of cutaneous sensory receptors, which begin to develop in the peri-oral area at seven weeks and spread to the palms and soles by 11 weeks. Early in the second trimester, the fetus reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, in much the same ways as an adult, for example, by recoiling. Fetuses can be seen reacting to intra-hepatic vein needling with vigorous body and breathing movements, increased heart rate, and increased blood flow to the brain. There are many instances in medical practice in which doctors take extra precautions to prevent pain in human beings by administering anesthesia to those who have experienced brain death, are in a vegetative state, or are being given the death penalty.However, this same precautionary use of anesthesia is not extended to unborn children who are being aborted by brutal abortion procedures, such as the most practiced second trimester abortion method of dismemberment where a child is literally torn limb from limb in the womb. This is a grave injustice.For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
In Camdenton, Missouri, a county commission is facing the threat of a lawsuit for a painting hung on a courthouse wall in remembrance of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A year after almost 3,000 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack on American soil, a local high school student painted an image of a firefighter and young girl pointing to the “Ground Zero Cross,” a cross-shaped steel beam pulled from the rubble of Ground Zero in New York City and mounted on a platform. After the attacks, rescue and recovery workers found comfort in this new memorial, and the Camden County community saw the painting as a marker for a period of renewed national unity after catastrophic loss of life.Commissioners called a public hearing after an activist secularist legal group, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), demanded its removal. Despite the specter of high legal fees to defend the painting in court, residents are holding fast.“What say ye, if it costs Camden County a tremendous amount of money. Does the painting stay?” a commissioner asked.Most, if not all, hands were raised. Voices from the crowd shouted: “We have people in the hall, too.” “Raise my taxes!”Legal arguments grounded on the so-called principle of the “separation of church and state” are based on the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.FFRF argues that the painting’s depiction of a cross-shaped beam constitutes an endorsement of Christianity, and thus, a violation of the separation of church and state. It dismisses the fact that a federal appellate court held that the very Ground Zero Cross depicted in the Camden County courthouse painting passed constitutional muster after a challenge to its exhibition in the National September 11 Museum by another secularist legal group.Recent letters released en masse by FFRF demonstrate that the group’s understanding of the Establishment Clause fails to account for Supreme Court precedent that grounds its reasoning in the original meaning of the text of the U.S. Constitution rather than cut-and-paste phrases from previous Court opinions. In Marsh v. Chambers (1983), Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (2012), and Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014), the Supreme Court shows that it is increasingly relying on legal history, which recognizes the role religion has played in our nation, to decide various government actions.The Supreme Court has not made clear whether this look at historical practices will be the standard under which courts consider establishment clause challenges to religious symbols located on government property. Hopefully, this will change now that the Court is slated to decide whether a war memorial in the shape of a cross and maintained by a local government can stand under the Establishment Clause. We have submitted a brief in that case urging the Court to recognize the pivotal role of religion in society and commemoration and to let the cross stand.But even under the most subjective legal standard, which the Court put forth in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) (looking at the primary effect of a government action, the purpose of the action, or the extent to which the action entangles government with religion), the courthouse painting passes muster. The local artist’s sister-in-law said it best: “I think it’s sad, that this many years later, we’re all here. I obviously see [a cross] . . . but I see it as a symbol of hope and a reminder to what we’ve lost.”
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has decided that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful.”That’s what should be known as traditional asininity. According to the APA, “[t]he main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.”The APA’s report condemns itself. It should be read far and wide. But reader, be warned that you will encounter gibberish like this: “Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.” Rod Dreher rightly sees this nonsense as yet another diktat from the elites: “The more I think about it, the more Soviet this seems. Dissent from gender ideology (not just the transgender stuff, but the establishment’s view of what men and women are)? Well, then you must be insane. Expert opinion says so!”I agree with David French at National Review: “We do our sons no favors when we tell them that they don’t have to answer that voice inside them that tells them to be strong, to be brave, and to lead.” I have daughters, not sons. But I pray my daughters marry masculine men, not the kind the APA would mold.
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
On January 10, 2019, a press conference was held by The Family Foundation to oppose the “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA). Two spokeswomen for Family Research Council made the following statements.Alexandra McPhee – Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy:The ERA fails procedurally—it is legally moot, and thus, off the table for ratification. In 1972, when the amendment passed, Congress itself conditioned ratification on a deadline: March 22, 1979. A later extension moved the date to June 30, 1982. Proponents of the amendment failed to rally enough states to ratify the amendment at either juncture, and in that time five states withdrew their ratification.Now, 36 years later, proponents believe they can and should revive this stale effort. But they cannot and should not.Congress reasonably imposed this deadline because a lot can happen in five years, and even more in a lifetime. The deadline was binding enough when the ERA thought it would win. Now that it has lost—twice—proponents argue that the rules need not apply.If Congress represents the will of the people, why ignore that? 2019 is not the time to undermine the will of the people in 1982, when the people of at least 15 states decided that the ERA should fail. And what ratifying states wanted in 1982 and earlier should not dictate the voice of the people in 2019.Assuming all of this, whatever ERA proponents want the General Assembly to pass will have to make its way anew through Congress by a 2/3rds vote. Based on the current makeup of Congress, the ERA will not garner the necessary votes.As a woman, the ERA does not support my interests, so I do not support ERA—nor should it find support in those who understand the negative consequences that will result from this amendment. I urge all representatives to Vote NO.Patrina Mosley – Director of Life, Culture and Women’s Advocacy:Women are continually used as props to push an agenda. The ERA is not about women, it is really a smokescreen for abortion. Abortion has extinguished over 60 million children from our nation and by design, our poor and minority communities have been disproportionately affected.The majority opinion of Roe written by Justice Blackmun is laced with eugenic ideology and has even been acknowledged by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.The abortion industry, from day one, has used the courts to force its agenda. Now that it seems that the courts may be stacked against them, they will use any backdoor (or prop – even if it’s women) to preserve abortion.Abortion lobbyists who fatten the wallets of legislators knows that abortion has no actual constitutional basis and are convinced they need a constitutional amendment to keep abortion “legal.” While trying to protect abortion, the ERA leaves women unprotected by threatening legal distinctions based on sex. This puts men in women’s shelters, prisons, bathrooms, showers, sports, and more. Instead of achieving “equality,” the ERA has undermined the already achieved protections specifically designed for women.But today, we act like we don’t even know what sex/gender means! So, if the ERA really cared about protecting women it would have seen it as necessary to define what it means to be a woman. It does not.This amendment has failed so many times because it is disingenuous and has no moral compass—therefore it continues to trip over itself.The ERA is bad all the way around. I urge all representatives to Vote NO.
Yesterday a senate committee in Richmond voted in favor of Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Yes, I am speaking of your grandmother’s ERA.The deadline Congress set for states to ratify the amendment has long since passed—nearly three decades ago. Proponents couldn’t convince enough states that it was a good idea within the deadline, and since then five states have withdrawn their ratification.The issue is officially moot. But proponents hope they can convince enough states to go through the motions anyway, and then convince a lawless judge to ignore the deadline.The Left loves lawless judges.Women deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. We can all agree on that. But the ERA won’t deliver these things—in fact, it will undermine them.The same lawless judges who might ignore ratification deadlines could also employ the ERA to eliminate the recognition of male and female. But that puts men in women’s shelters and prisons. It puts men in women’s bathrooms and showers. It puts men in women’s sports.We don’t need that kind of help.The ERA is not only anti-woman, but anti-children—especially the most vulnerable waiting to be born. Proponents say the ERA is not about abortion. But look at what they do: Every time a state considers ERA language that is abortion-neutral, they kill it. That’s because abortion is at the heart of the ERA.Women deserve safe spaces, privacy, and a level playing field. Children deserve a fighting chance to be born.When the Virginia Senate takes up the measure in the days ahead, they should waste no time in putting to rest this bad, old idea.
For more, watch the rest of our video series and read our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Some say that abortion does not destroy a human life because we can’t know exactly when life begins. This is a false statement. Life is commonly defined as organisms that “maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve.”Any basic physiology textbook will tell you that at the moment of fertilization, a one-celled human embryo with a complete set of 46 chromosomes comes into existence that is uniquely different from that of either parent. This one-celled embryo will then begin dividing and growing rapidly. Basic obstetrics textbooks tell us that a biomolecular communication system is established between the zygote/blastocyst/embryo/fetus and mother that is operative from before the time of implantation and persists through the time of birth.In an unborn child, the precursor to the nervous system appears between days 12 and 17. By 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating and pumping blood; by 30 days, arms, legs, and brain begin to form; and by 35 days, mouth, nose, and ears begin to develop. By 9 weeks, fingernails are forming, and he can be seen on the sonogram sucking his thumb; by 10 weeks, he squints, swallows, and frowns; by 12 weeks, he smiles and has intricate hand and feet movements.For more, see our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Some say that abortion does not destroy a human life because we can’t know exactly when life begins. This is a false statement. Life is commonly defined as organisms that “maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve.”Any basic physiology textbook will tell you that at the moment of fertilization, a one-celled human embryo with a complete set of 46 chromosomes comes into existence that is uniquely different from that of either parent. This one-celled embryo will then begin dividing and growing rapidly. Basic obstetrics textbooks tell us that a biomolecular communication system is established between the zygote/blastocyst/embryo/fetus and mother that is operative from before the time of implantation and persists through the time of birth.In an unborn child, the precursor to the nervous system appears between days 12 and 17. By 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating and pumping blood; by 30 days, arms, legs, and brain begin to form; and by 35 days, mouth, nose, and ears begin to develop. By 9 weeks, fingernails are forming, and he can be seen on the sonogram sucking his thumb; by 10 weeks, he squints, swallows, and frowns; by 12 weeks, he smiles and has intricate hand and feet movements.For more, see our new publication Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
The issue of abortion is emotional, heated, and fraught with passionate opinions on all sides, and rightly so—the lives of human beings in the womb hang in the balance. It’s no surprise, then, that a lot of misguided, inflammatory, and patently false rhetoric inevitably surrounds the abortion issue whenever it is debated.Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist for 22 years, is passionate about inserting some much-needed scientific truth and common sense into the abortion debate from the perspective of a medical professional who works with pregnant women on a daily basis. In FRC’s new video series and corresponding publication, she dispels 10 common myths about abortion.Over the next two weeks leading up to FRC’s ProLifeCon and the March for Life, we will be releasing a series of 10 videos of Dr. Skop discussing each myth about abortion. For a more detailed discussion of each myth, be sure to read FRC and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (AAPLOG) new publication authored by Dr. Skop, Top 10 Myths About Abortion.
Tavia Hunt was just trying to get into the holiday spirit when she decided to request through a private vendor a customized stamp with a family photo (above). Unbeknownst to Hunt, she made the mistake of choosing a picture of her family posing in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.Hunt’s request was denied. She was told that the photo was a violation of a United States Postal Service (USPS) regulation that prohibits “content that is unsuitable for all-ages audiences, including . . . [a]ny depiction of political, religious, violent or sexual content.” The cathedral, apparently, was too religious.According to USPS, it aims to “to limit content to family-friendly images or text that would not cause concern among mainstream, multi-generational users of the mail.”It’s a bizarre state of affairs when even arguably religious content is considered as unsuitable as violent or sexual content or as cause for “concern.” First Liberty Institute, which has filed a demand letter on behalf of Hunt, pointed out the irony that St. Basil’s Cathedral “was secularized and converted into a museum decades ago.”First Liberty rightly called out the USPS and said:If the USPS insists that Tavia’s family photo in front of a historic cathedral contains religious content in violation of the USPS guidelines, then the guidelines raise significant First Amendment concerns that may require further legal action.USPS has said the regulation prohibits any religious content to avoid “delegat[ing] unduly fine-grained distinctions to providers and increas[ing] First Amendment and [USPS] liability.”Well, so much for that. The overbroad prohibition has created exactly the scenario USPS sought to avoid. Yet again, government treats religion as a leper, and now citizens are shut out from even being in the same picture with a cathedral if they want to appear on a stamp for their family Christmas card.
I found it interesting that Chai Feldblum saw fit to respond to Everett Piper’s op-ed on the “Fairness for All” proposal, and to deny that her position is “that LGBT rights must always prevail, no matter what.” Her summary statement does sound more generous to religious liberty than other things she’s been quoted as saying in the past:I believe there are some situations in which the rights of religious liberty for organizations who believe homosexuality is sinful will conflict with and should prevail over the rights of LGBT people who might experience discrimination at the hands of such religious organizations.But what are some examples of those “situations?” And how does she define “religious organizations?” She never says.I don’t doubt that Feldblum, in her concern for “religious pluralism,” would probably say pastors should not be forced to perform same-sex weddings, and churches should not be forced to hire pastors who identify as homosexual. But do “religious organizations” include anything other than churches, synagogues, and mosques? It would be nice to know.Throughout her op-ed, she mentions only “religious organizations.” She does not talk about protecting the rights of profit-making organizations (e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop), nor about the rights of religious individuals (e.g., Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran). My guess is that her concern for the “rights of religious liberty” simply does not extend to them.I carefully analyzed her position in our paper opposing her renomination to the EEOC a year ago. Here is an excerpt:Feldblum was best known to conservatives, however, for her blunt statements discounting the idea that the free exercise of religion should ever be allowed to trump “rights” asserted by those who identify as homosexual.The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty held a conference in December 2005 regarding potential conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious liberty. Feldblum participated, and Maggie Gallagher drew attention to Feldblum’s views in a 2006 Weekly Standard article.“Sexual liberty should win in most cases,” Feldblum declared. “There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win . . .” In fact, she declared, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”Feldblum understands what this means for religious believers. In a related article [2006], she declared that “we are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side,” adding later, “And, in making the decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.” Indeed, she openly endorses government coercion of the believer: “To the extent that forced compliance with an equality mandate burdened an individual’s belief liberty, my argument . . . is that such a burden is likely to be justified.”Feldblum admitted that the heavy-handed approach she favors goes well beyond Supreme Court precedent, noting that:"[T]he Supreme Court, for the moment, has come down clearly on the side that the liberty protected by the substantive Due Process Clause is solely a negative liberty. . . . But in many circumstances, the only way to achieve real liberty for some individuals will be for the government to take affirmative steps to bring about that liberty—even if such steps might then interfere with the liberty of others."Feldblum deserves some credit for describing more accurately than most the moral concerns that social conservatives have regarding homosexual conduct, and for at least acknowledging the reality of the conflict between “gay rights” and religious liberty. And she has been gracious to participate in events like the Becket conference, and even in a 2008 panel discussion held at Family Research Council.However, this should not be allowed to mask the extremism of her positions. After she wrote that the courts should essentially ignore the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment (recognizing only a more nebulous “belief liberty” instead), she admitted that “my suggestions are radical.”And more recently, since she has been on the EEOC, she has also expressed skepticism of religious exemptions:Feldblum has continued to state her view that religious liberty exemptions should be extremely narrow. For example, at an “LGBT Summit” sponsored by The Atlantic magazine in December 2015, she participated in a panel discussion with David Boaz of the Cato Institute, who identifies both as gay and 5 as a libertarian (and who supported the redefinition of marriage). The issue of private businesses impacted by non-discrimination laws, such as those in the wedding industry, was discussed, as Reason magazine reported:Boaz stated: “I think we have millions of small businesses, and I would like to leave the heavy hand of government out of their relationships with their customers and their employees as much as possible.”. . . Feldblum, however, dismissed the idea that religious beliefs could ever justify discrimination. “When someone has not been educated [about tolerance of LGBT individuals] and wants to keep discriminating,” she said, “there is only one federal government, there is only one state government, one local government that can say: We will not tolerate this in our society.”Feldblum then referred to an EEOC case against a funeral home charged with “gender identity” discrimination:With a religious exemption to non-discrimination laws, the funeral home owner “could say, ‘well, actually, we’re religiously based,’” said Feldblum, raising her arms high and rolling her eyes. “It’s a funeral home! We do not want to allow that and the only thing that can protect us is a law that doesn’t have [a religious] exemption.”LGBT activists like Feldblum are unlikely to accept any vision of religious liberty that extends beyond the four walls of a church’s sanctuary. But the “free exercise” of religion extends not just to churches but to individuals, and in every sphere of endeavor, including the public square and marketplace.
Planned Parenthood is discriminating against pregnant women. Honestly, we already knew this to be true as Planned Parenthood commits over a third of the nation’s abortions. But the New York Times has uncovered that the hailed “champion of women” has been discriminating against their own female workers for being pregnant!Managers have discriminated against pregnant women and new mothers, according to interviews with the current and former Planned Parenthood employees and with organizers from the Office and Professional Employees International Union, which represents some Planned Parenthood workers.If this was fake news it would be the ultimate satire, but unfortunately, it does not appear that way. The new Planned Parenthood President, Dr. Leana Wen, has stated that “we must do better than we are now.” Here are just a few allegations from the report:Tracy Webber, the former director of clinical services in White Plains, sued the organization for pregnancy discrimination in 2009, saying she had been fired four weeks after giving birth. Planned Parenthood settled for undisclosed terms.…In Miami, one current and two former employees said that women at a Planned Parenthood office were scared to tell managers they were pregnant. One of them said that, in conversations with supervisors, colleagues would often volunteer that they were not planning on having children or were gay or single.…[At a Planned Parenthood in California] supervisors openly debated whether candidates were likely to get pregnant in the near future and preferred those who were not … (Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is illegal to consider whether a job candidate is or will become pregnant.)In New York, Ta’Lisa Hairston was refused breaks and bedrest: “‘I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,’ she said. ‘It made me jealous.’”Planned Parenthood “managers in some locations declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth, according to current and former employees in California, Texas, North Carolina and New York.”You can find hypocrisy and injustices in any organization made up of people. However, when you have shown a pattern of disregard for the law and women’s safety as Planned Parenthood has, it’s highly suspect to lay claim to being “pro-woman” and deem yourself as a haven for “Care. No matter what.” Their habitual scandals make it obvious that they are in the business of profit, no matter what.Failing to Report Statutory Rape and Sex AbuseThere are several recorded examples of Planned Parenthood supplying abortions to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking despite state mandatory reporting laws that make Planned Parenthood personnel mandatory reporters in most states. Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Kentucky were willing to cover up sexual abuse.In Fairbanks v. Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood was sued for refusing to report a 16-year-old girl’s abuse after she informed them that she was impregnated by her father who was sexually molesting her. Willing to Aid and Abet Sex TraffickingIn a 2011 investigation, Live Action found that Planned Parenthood was willing and able to aid sex traffickers who were trafficking girls as young as 13 as part of a sex-slave ring. Their investigations exposed multiple Planned Parenthood facilities across New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.A report on sex trafficking survivors showed that over a quarter had visited a Planned Parenthood facility while being trafficked. One victim said that they went to Planned Parenthood because “they didn’t ask any questions.”Performing Services that it Knows Are Dangerous and Low-QualityOne of the most egregious examples of this is a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, which has had several instances where witnesses have seen ambulances transporting women out of their facility on multiple occasions year after year. This same St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility had several deficiencies and health violations cited during an inspection by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.Cree Erwin died after receiving an abortion at a Kalamazoo, Mich. Planned Parenthood facility.Despite widely reported dangers and adverse events reported by the FDA, Planned Parenthood continues to tell women that “the abortion pill is safe.” The FDA reported 1,445 more cases of adverse events from the abortion pill from 2012 to 2017.These are just a few examples that show the irony in Planned Parenthood’s “pro-woman” reputation; more can be found in our publication, “Planned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman.” All this is notwithstanding their participation in the sale of aborted baby parts, Medicaid fraud, supporting sexual exploitation as sex work, and the organization’s eugenic roots.The New York Times report further noted that “A dozen lawsuits filed against Planned Parenthood clinics in federal and state courts since 2013 accused managers of denying workers rest periods, lunch breaks or overtime pay, or retaliating against them for taking medical leave.”PPFA President Wen said the organization is investigating the allegations of pregnancy discrimination and is conducting a review to determine the cost of providing paid maternity leave to its employees nationwide.Seattle Planned Parenthood Manager Christine Charbonneau wasn’t pleased with the scrutiny. “It is easy to accuse someone of hypocrisy if you’re not the one trying to find $2 million out of thin air,” she said. “You try to be the Planned Parenthood that donors expect, and yet it is unattainable.”It is interesting she should say that. While Planned Parenthood holds non-profit status, its total revenue for 2016-2017 was about $1.459 billion, the highest in its history. In 2016-2017, Planned Parenthood reported an excess of revenue over expenses of nearly $100 million.When Planned Parenthood heard about the coverup of child sexual abuse at several of its affiliates, the organization swore to retrain its staff. Yet when Ramona Trevino, a former Planned Parenthood manager, asked how to better comply with mandatory reporting laws, her concerns were dismissed:[I] went in really believing that Planned Parenthood could redeem themselves. They’re going to prove that they really do care about women and this is something that really concerns them. [The trainer] immediately shot me down and she said, ‘We’re not here to talk about that, Ramona. We’re here to teach you how to identify if you’re being videotaped or recorded or entrapped in any way.Planned Parenthood’s treatment of pregnant women in the workplace is no doubt rooted in the fear that their obvious advertisement of life seen in their own employees might change the minds of their pregnant customers, which would take away profits to be had from these vulnerable women.While Planned Parenthood has shown a keen interest in disregarding pregnant employees, they have always taken a special interest in targeting minority neighborhoods. Nearly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are within walking distance of black and Hispanic communities. In a series of undercover videos, Live Action exposed that Planned Parenthood facilities were willing to earmark money specifically donated for the abortions of African-American babies to “lower the number of blacks in America.”The fact that Planned Parenthood has been referred to the DOJ and FBI for criminal investigation makes it more than clear that this organization does not deserve any more of our tax money or political protection.This brings us back to the sad story of Ta’Lisa Hairston. After resigning from Planned Parenthood because of the terrible treatment she received from the organization during her pregnancy, the last thing Ms. Hairston heard from them was a letter asking her to donate money.
The magazine Psychology Today is hardly a hotbed of social conservatism. Nor is its contributor Samuel Veissière, Ph.D. campaigning against transgender ideology or identities. But merely by treating some parents’ concern about their transgender-identified children with respect, he has managed to produce one of the more remarkable short pieces on the transgender issue that I have seen in some time.Veissière, a professor at Canada’s prestigious McGill University, is “an interdisciplinary anthropologist and cognitive scientist.” On November 28, he posted a piece on the Psychology Today website reporting on an academic article about certain youth (especially girls) who identify as transgender, published by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University.Veissière summarized Littman’s conclusions:Littman raises cautions about encouraging young people’s desire to transition in all instances. From the cases reviewed in her study, she concluded that what she terms “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) appears to be a novel condition that emerges from cohort and contagion effects and novel social pressures. . . .(Neither Veissière, nor critics of Littman’s reliance on parental reports, cited what I consider some of the study’s most shocking revelations. Littman explains that “online advice . . . instructs individuals how to deceive parents, doctors, and therapists to obtain hormones quickly.” Apparently advice of the same nature exists for anorexics, who are given “‘anorexic tricks’ . . . for deceiving parents and doctors so that individuals may continue their weight-loss activities.” There is even a scientific term for this—it’s called “deviancy training,” which is “the process whereby attitudes and behaviors associated with problem behaviors are promoted with positive reinforcement by peers.”)Veissière added these observations from his own discipline:The notion reported by parents that the ROGD appears to be "scripted" is also telling. Medical anthropologists describe the process of outsourcing negative feelings to cultural narratives and systems of beliefs as “idioms of distress.” . . . When extreme forms of distress and coping arise through novel social pressures and spread through implicit imitation, strange epidemics of “mass psychogenic illnesses” have been documented.The latter remark reminded me of a brilliant turn of phrase by writer Rachel Lu in a 2016 piece in The Federalist. Although she applied it to the larger LGBT movement in general, it may be particularly appropriate to the transgender movement, and especially to “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.”Lu wrote:It will be remembered not as a Selma moment, but as a Salem moment: a period of collective insanity.That is, it will not be remembered as a triumph of civil rights, like the 1965 march on Selma, Alabama. Instead, it is more like the collective mass hysteria—implausible accusations of “witchcraft” against ordinary citizens—that led to the Salem witch trials in 17th-century Massachusetts.A day later, Veissière was back with another blog post, noting, “Some readers pointed out that I did not mention the controversy and significant public backlash that ensued after the study was first published in August 2018.”Universities routinely publicize the academic work published by their faculty members, and Brown University did so with Littman’s article on August 22. The school was immediately attacked by transgender activists, who did not like the implications of Littman’s article—and on August 27, Brown removed the item describing her research from their website (the article itself remained, and still remains, available from the journal PLOS ONE).This craven capitulation to political correctness led to a backlash of its own, with commentators ranging from my colleague Cathy Ruse to a former Dean of Harvard Medical School criticizing Brown for jeopardizing academic freedom.Brown denied this charge, but Veissière did not seem convinced:As it stands, the dominant and politically correct view of transgender identity being broadcast on university campuses — a view which, in a general sense, is linked to a culture of absolute validation and accommodations of people’s feelings and preferences — leaves very little room, if any, for alternative perspectives to be presented and discussed. All that is merely background for a third, more reflective piece that Veissière posted on December 2.In it, Veissière points out, as clearly and concisely as I’ve seen done anywhere, the logical contradiction at the heart of today’s gender ideology:As a very wise person put it to me, it is difficult to understand what views of gender are being called for in this new culture. On the one hand, gender is fluid, neutral, and doesn’t matter, or it isn’t a thing at all outside of false beliefs and oppressive constructs. On the other hand, gender matters so much that people will conceal, remove, or reshape their body parts to be recognized as one gender or the other. [Emphasis in the original.]Veissière makes a comment on “impulses” that could be considered a critique of the entire LGBT movement. He points out, “Impulses, which make us act on visceral needs, are always sincere. But they are rarely wise.”He illustrates the point with an example from his own youth: “In my adolescence, I committed vandalism in schools in the name of a noble fight against racism and colonial history.” However, he now admits, he knew little about either history or racism. “What I needed then was limits. Finding the right limits is as hard a project as finding the right impulses . . . [emphasis in the original].”In the reaction to his original posts, Veissière was challenged by individuals who identify as transgender—and as victimized and powerless:A “healthy debate” exists for you, but not for me. For you, this is your field of study. For me and people like me, you are one of many, many people we have to justify ourselves to.While admitting an obligation to feel empathy for the trials of those who identify as transgender, Veissière skillfully turns the point back on them:The most difficult act of compassion for those who feel comforted in the feeling that they are powerless is to gain a perspective on the vulnerability of those they perceive to be in positions of ‘power.’ . . . If you are young, powerless and angry, imagine if you will what it is like to be a manager, doctor, or professor in the age of social media, when . . . it takes a single dissatisfaction and a single email, tweet or Facebook post — a single act of anger — to annihilate your career, social, family, and financial life in a day.This is the nightmare scenario into which Lisa Littman of Brown found herself immersed.Veissière points out that the entire culture is being indoctrinated with a view of “gender” that is designed to make life easier for the tiny minority that are gender non-conforming—even though the vast majority of people (over 99 percent) still identify their “gender” with their biological sex at birth. He alludes obliquely to the harm this may cause to the majority, noting that this “odd reversal of the . . . Tyranny of the Minority”—instilling “the historical[ly] novel, highly confusing notion that gender is made up”—has results that are “terribly confusing for most, and increasingly destabilizing for the many.”We at Family Research Council disagree with the fundamental assertion of the transgender movement that a person’s psychological “gender identity” should ever be given precedence over the person’s biological sex in determining someone’s public identity as male or female. Veissière does not take that position. He affirms the (estimated) millions who identify as transgender by saying, “Denying such a large group the right to be gendered on their terms would indubitably be unjust,” and he adds generally that support for gender non-conforming teens “is a good, progressive move to help a very small group of people live healthy lives [emphasis in the original].”But when it comes to the parents of such teens (the subjects of Littman’s study), Veissière cites “an old adage:”Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.Veissière notes that efforts to “prepare the road” instead are likely to fail—thus hurting children in the long run:With this wise proposition, comes the recognition that encouraging youth to act on all their fears and desires does not prepare them well for the challenges of a world that will always come with unpredictability, and the competing needs of people with different fears and desires. The more we give each child the road they want, the more we set them up for failure and conflict with other children, who in turn want to be given a different road.Although anything but “absolute validation and accommodations of people’s feelings and preferences” has suddenly become heresy, Veissière is courageous enough to endorse parental rights by declaring that regardless of “the road [children] want,”[T]he responsibility is on their caregivers — not the children — to help them figure out, slowly and wisely, whether this is the best choice for them.I might add, it is the duty of public officials to make sure parents remain free to fulfill that sacred responsibility.
Transgender activists promote puberty blockers as safe, effective, and reversible. A new column at The Federalist details why medical experts disagree.Originally used to treat prostate cancer, puberty blockers are also used for endometriosis and “precocious puberty” (for girls under 8, boys under 9).But using puberty blockers to stop normal puberty is “off label,” meaning no research has been done to prove the safety of such use and the FDA hasn’t approved the drug for this purpose.Extreme Side EffectsOne of the puberty blockers frequently administered to girls who identify as boys is called Lupron.Even with on-label use, Lupron is associated with loss in bone density and weak and brittle bones. Tragically, and ironically, another side effect is severe depression and suicidal ideation. The transgender lobby likes to wag a finger at parents and say: “Do you want a transgender child or a dead child?” But look at the drugs they are pushing on children.LawsuitsNot sure if a drug is totally safe? Look at the lawsuits. Lupron manufacturer AbbVie has been sued by a woman who took Lupron 14 years ago for endometriosis and now has widespread arthritis and suffers constant pain: “My body is on fire.” Another lawsuit charges Lupron with causing extreme bone density loss in an individual who took the drug starting at age 17.Other CasesThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on another patient who took Lupron for precocious puberty at 10 after which she suffered such severe pain that she was put in a wheelchair in 5th grade. An Atlanta GYN who specializes in endometriosis reports many women suffering memory loss after taking Lupron.Are Puberty Blockers Reversible?No. The lost years of bone development cannot be regained, say medical experts.According to endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw: There is an exquisitely timed release and change of multiple hormones during normal puberty. Among these are growth hormone and the sex hormones which account for the growth spurt including bone growth and development. It has been shown that puberty blockers interfere with the expected increase in bone density in adolescence such that the bones are not as strong as they would be had normal pubertal development been allowed. This is due to the effect of dropping sex hormone levels to subnormal levels. These lost years of bone development cannot be regained.Why Some Medical Experts Call This Psychological Child AbuseUp to 98 percent of gender dysphoric boys and 88 percent of gender dysphoric girls will experience an end to their sex confusion after naturally passing through puberty, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition.That means only about 5-10 percent of effected children will pursue further sex-change interventions.But how many children on puberty blockers pursue further sex-change procedures? One hundred percent, according to a Dutch study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study, evaluating the impact of puberty blockers on 70 children, found that all 70 went on to take cross-sex hormones.What This Means for ParentsParents who visit a gender specialist for a suffering child, beware. Puberty blockers like Lupron are said to buy time to allow your child to explore his identity. But for many children—100 percent of them, according to a key study—they are a one-way ticket to transgenderism.
Dear Friends,Do you ever find yourself exasperated at a friend or family member because they don’t share your beliefs, even though you’ve witnessed to them time and time again? Or maybe you harbor this frustration in a subtler way by privately hanging on to feelings of sadness or bitterness toward someone because of their lack of understanding and belief. This has been a common part of my own faith journey, and I’m sure it is for others as well.It is at times like these that we should keep in mind that old familiar saying: “Patience is a virtue.” Yes, I know this phrase is dull and perhaps overused, but when we think about it in biblical terms, patience takes on a new dimension of meaning. For example, at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, we see the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17). This passage is a stark illustration of the fact that God used a lineage full of sinners to become man. In the words of one commentator: “Even in the midst of all this sin and unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. He continued to work patiently to bring his plan to fulfilment.”By paying attention to the faithfulness and patience that God has shown His people throughout salvation history and up to today, we begin to see that God does not do His work on man’s schedule. In the words of a priest I heard recently, “We have to be patient with the growth of His grace. This should prompt us to be patient with others.” This is a great reminder for us to not fall into discouragement and frustration when it appears that our words and prayers seem to have little effect on those we encounter. The important thing is to stay faithful in thought, word, deed, and prayer, always mindful that God is continually doing His faithful work and answering our prayers in ways we both can and cannot see.As the Advent season draws to a close and our Savior’s birth approaches, the virtue of patience takes centerstage in the Christian life. Let us patiently await the coming of the Savior, ever faithful in the promises He has kept and continues to keep every day of our lives.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research CouncilEditor’s Note: The Social Conservative Review will be on hiatus through Christmas. It will resume again on January 15, 2019. FRC ArticlesNEW Policy Publication: Religious Liberty and the “Wedding Vendor” Cases – Alexandra McPheeCongress Must Repeal Its Tax on Churches and Charities – Travis Weber and David ClossonOn Sex, the Science Is Deafening – Tony PerkinsAvoiding anti-religious decision-making – William G. BoykinSeason for Giving to Religious Groups – David ClossonObamacare 2019: Fewer options and more funding of abortion – Patrina Mosley and Chuck DonovanStats Show People Still Want Reason for the Season This Christmas – Alexandra McPheeFairness for Whom? – Peter SpriggObamacare and Abortion: Tell Us Your Story – Patrina MosleyWhat to Know About Indonesia’s New “Blasphemy Reporting App” – Travis WeberSupreme Court Pass on Defunding Cases Reminds Us of the Horrors of Planned Parenthood – Patrina MosleySupreme Court Refuses to Rule on State Decisions to Defund Planned Parenthood – Travis Weber and Alexandra McPheePronoun Police Get VA Teacher Fired – Cathy RuseSpeaking the Truth in Love: Lauren Daigle and the Reality of Being a Christian in Modern America – David ClossonWill Asia Bibi Be Forgotten? – Arielle Del TurcoStarbucks for Coffee, Not Porn – Cathy RuseChristian Healthcare Alternatives to Obamacare – Patrina Mosley Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareOhio city removes Nativity, Ten Commandments display from public property after atheist complaint – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostYAF Wins Landmark Free Speech Lawsuit, UC Berkeley To Pay $70,000 And Rescind Unconstitutional Policies – Spencer Brown, Young America’s Foundation'In God We Trust' Returning to Public Schools, Buildings in More States – Steve Warren, CBN NewsTreasury Dep't issues guidance softening parking tax burden on churches, nonprofits – Leonardo Blair, The Christian PostCompromising religious freedom – Everett Piper, The Washington TimesGroup protests Bible Clubs in Wood County Schools – Jess Mancini, The Marietta TimesVirginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student's new pronouns – Graham Moomaw, Richmond Times-DispatchPrincipal Bans Santa, Christmas Carols, Candy Canes & Jesus – ToddStarnes.comWise men will remain atop Newaygo Elementary – News 8International Religious FreedomPresident Trump, Asia Bibi is a Christian under threat of death in Pakistan -- please help her – Mike Huckabee, Fox NewsUSCIRF wants more sanctions to punish Myanmar's abuse of Rohingyas, Christians and others – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post100 Christians snatched in overnight raids on underground Chinese church – Mimi Lau, South China Morning PostUS groups urge Modi to take necessary measures to curb rise of Hindutva extremism – The Times of IndiaColombia: Pastors facing death threats, assassination attempts by extortionists, kidnappers – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostAsia Bibi apparently still in Pakistan as nations deny, debate appeals for asylum – John Burger, AleteiaChina: Fury as students BANNED from discussing religion – Latifa Yedroudj, ExpressRead Powerful Letter Detained Chinese Pastor Wang Yi Wrote, Anticipating Arrest – Tré Goins-Phillips, FaithWireTrump signs bill to aid ISIS genocide victims; Iraqi Christians ‘beginning to see a difference’ – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostEgypt’s Silent Epidemic of Kidnapped Christian Girls – Lela Gilbert, The Jerusalem Post114 Christians Arrested in One Week in Iran – Lindy Lowry, Open Doors USA LifeAbortionCalifornia Democrats eye mandating that state schools stock abortion pills – Kimberly Leonard, Washington ExaminerNashville Becomes Largest Abortion-Free City in U.S. After Planned Parenthood Stops Doing Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews'Holding the line' Pro-lifers look ahead to new Congressional session – Christine Rousselle, CANPlanned Parenthood Caught Selling Aborted Baby Parts Makes Over $100 Million Doing Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsAbortion pill restrictions approved by Michigan House – Jonathan Oosting, The Detroit NewsAdoptionNew York: ‘Change your beliefs or stop serving children’ – Alliance Defending FreedomWhy I’m Still an Adoption Romantic—Just a Less Starry-Eyed One – Mitch Pearlstein, Family StudiesWorse than foster care? Why not imagine something better for maltreated children? – Ron Haskins and Jeremy Kohomban, The Brookings InstitutionBioethicsThe Case Against CRISPR Babies – Nicanor Austriaco, First ThingsPro-life medical expert tells Congressional panel aborted baby tissue isn’t necessary for research – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsObamacareChristian groups win Obamacare birth control battle – Kimberly Leonard, Washington ExaminerHow Catholics Can Ensure Their Health Care Doesn’t Fund Abortion – Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register FamilyMarriageThe Partisan Divide in Marriage and Family Life: Four Takeaways from the 2018 American Family Survey – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family StudiesKeeping Your Marriage Intact While Grieving the Loss of a Child – Mary Ann Vincent, Focus on the FamilyProtecting your marriage during the holidays – MPR NewsYou Can Reduce Negative Reactions in Conflict – Milan Yerkovich and Kay Yerkovich, Focus on the FamilyThe Unlikely Marriage of Alexander Hamilton and His Wife, Eliza – Barbara Maranzani, Biography.comParenting3 Things Your Teens Fear the Most – Kevin Leman, Focus on the FamilyWhy parents constantly get their kids’ names wrong – Calah Alexander, AleteiaEconomics/EducationModeling Opportunity in America: The Success Sequence and Social Genome Model – Isabel Sawhill, Family StudiesVirginia county wants to nix law allowing homeschooling for religious reasons – Helaina Bock, LifeSiteNewsThe New Farm Bill Is So Bad That Supporters Don’t Want Its Details Released – Daren Bakst, The Daily SignalHow John Taylor Gatto Helped Parents And Children Regain Our Freedom To Think – Stella Morabito, The FederalistFaith/Character/CultureStudy: Half of All High School Students Don’t Trust the Media to Report Accurately and Fairly – A.J. Katz, TVNewserThe Authenticity of Clint Eastwood’s 'Gran Torino' – Dwight Longenecker, Intellectual TakeoutAmerica Was Always Diverse – Jim Geraghty, National ReviewAn Aging Society Needs Caregiving Superheroes – Amy Ziettlow, Family StudiesHuman Sexuality9 Transgender Patients Complain Of Mutilation, Botched Sex-Change Surgeries In Oregon – Walt Heyer, The FederalistParents protest Desert Sands Unified sex ed curriculum changes – Joseph Hong, Palm Springs Desert SunYes, Evangelical ‘Abstinence Culture’ Is A Bust, But The Answer Isn’t A Sexual Free-For-All – Matthew Cochran, The FederalistDoes Cohabitation Still Matter for Children’s Family Stability When It Becomes Common? – Laurie DeRose, Family StudiesWhy Puberty Blockers Are A Clear Danger To Children’s Health – Jane Robbins, The FederalistPornographyPornography and the Definition of Power – Scott Beauchamp, The American ConservativeTumblr will delete all porn from its platform – Lucas Matney, TechCrunchFederal Employee Downloaded 9,000 Pages of Porn, Infecting Network with Russian Malware – Craig Bannister, CNS NewsStarbucks finally bans porn – Kiley Crossland, WORLDMore College Students Wanting Universities to Filter Porn – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

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