Obama’s Religious Agenda

Obama’s Religious Agenda (32-page Report)Download File Location – http://www.americanvision.org/downloads/ob ama_religious.pdf

Protecting Marriage to Protect Children


Protecting Marriage to Protect Children

by David Blankenhorn

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.

Note: This column first appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 19, 2008. It is reprinted with permission. While this commentary articulates many of Focus on the Family’s concerns regarding the impact of same-sex “marriage” on children, it does not reflect Focus’ view on this topic in its entirety.

I’m a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.

Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That’s certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage.
But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I’ve come to a different conclusion.

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood — biological, social and legal — into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.

These days, because of the gay marriage debate, one can be sent to bed without supper for saying such things. But until very recently, almost no one denied this core fact about marriage. Summing up the cross-cultural evidence, the anthropologist Helen Fisher in 1992 put it simply: “People wed primarily to reproduce.” The philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of conventional sexual morality, was only repeating the obvious a few decades earlier when he concluded that “it is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.”

Marriage is society’s most pro-child institution. In 2002 — just moments before it became highly unfashionable to say so — a team of researchers from Child Trends, a nonpartisan research center, reported that “family structure clearly matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other.

For these reasons, children have the right, insofar as society can make it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. The foundational human rights document in the world today regarding children, the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically guarantees children this right. The last time I checked, liberals like me were supposed to be in favor of internationally recognized human rights, particularly concerning children, who are typically society’s most voiceless and vulnerable group. Or have I now said something I shouldn’t?

Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn’t last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!

For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California’s Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage’s customary man-woman form. Do you think that every child deserves his mother and father, with adoption available for those children whose natural parents cannot care for them? Do you suspect that fathers and mothers are different from one another? Do you imagine that biological ties matter to children? How many parents per child is best? Do you think that “two” is a better answer than one, three, four or whatever? If you do, be careful. In making the case for same-sex marriage, more than a few grown-ups will be quite willing to question your integrity and goodwill. Children, of course, are rarely consulted.
The liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously argued that, in many cases, the real conflict we face is not good versus bad but good versus good. Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict?

Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution — marriage — that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.

Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing — the gift, the birthright — that is marriage’s most distinctive contribution to human society. That’s a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support.
David Blankenhorn is president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of The Future of Marriage.

TAKE ACTIONIf you live in California, please vote “Yes” on Prop. 8. Visit ProtectMarriage.com for more information.

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.)
Paid for by ProtectMarriage.com committee P.O. Box 20012 Riverside, California 92516-0012 with major funding provided by Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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Presidential Voter Guide – Free from FRC Action

Download your free Presidential Voter Guide
Presidential Voter Guide – Free from FRC ActionSeptember 29, 2008 Refer a Friend
I am pleased to offer the FRC Action Presidential Voter Guide to you free of charge. Our well researched guide offers more than just a cursory glance at the candidates’ positions on the issues, rather our guide allows you to see the particulars of the candidates’ stances.

Click here to download your free copy today. Help us spread the word, too, by forwarding this email to family and friends. Additionally, we are happy to send you extra copies to pass along to your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members.
Please join me as we continue to pray for this nation.

Download the free 2008 Presidential Guide

Sincerely,Tony PerkinsPresident

P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend. The stakes in this year’s election could not be higher.

FRC Action: 801 G Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001P: 202/393-2100 or 888/372-2284 W: frcaction.org

Two Hollywood Men Take a Stand for Values

Two Hollywood Men Take a Stand for Values

by Jennifer Mesko, editor
‘We want to make movies and projects that really uphold and have a high view of that which is beautiful and wonderful in our culture.’
At a time when celebrity news yields little more than eye rolls, two Hollywood men are taking a stand for what is right.
Eduardo Verástegui, star of the pro-life movie Bella, is calling on his fellow Hispanic voters to oppose abortion and the pro-abortion policies of Sen. Barack Obama.
And Kirk Cameron, of Growing Pains fame, is making news because he will only kiss his wife.
“In a relativistic Hollywood culture, it is refreshing to see these two men standing up for what they believe in,” said Bob Smithouser, editor of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In magazine. “Those in Hollywood — and across America — could learn a lot from these two.”
Cameron made headlines this week when he told the Today show: “I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman.”
So, what happened when the script for his new movie, Fireproof, called for an onscreen kiss? They dressed his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, like the movie’s female lead.
Cameron said Fireproof — “an action-packed love story” — exemplifies his beliefs.
“We’ve been married for 17 years … and we have six children,” he said on Today. “So marriage is a very special and sacred thing to us. In a day and age where marriage is falling apart, we want to make movies and projects that really uphold and have a high view of that which is beautiful and wonderful in our culture.”
Verástegui produced and starred in Bella for similar reasons.
“The intent for this film is to promote life and family values,” he told CitizenLink when the movie premiered. “My goal was to make a film that I could invite my mother and my grandmother to and not have to cover their eyes during any scene.”
Now, he’s bringing the pro-life message to the presidential election.
Verástegui’s Spanish-language TV ads encourage Hispanic voters in the U.S. to put an end to abortion and expose the radical abortion positions of Obama, the Catholic News Agency reported.
He also points out that many abortion centers are located in Hispanic neighborhoods.
“Abortion is not only a lucrative industry,” he says in the ad, “it is also used by people who are racist.
“We need to put an end to abortion, and political candidates play a very important role in this matter.”
(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.)
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Obama Rep No Show at Christian Forum


Contact: Peggy Birchfield, National Clergy Council, 202-546-8329, ext 103, 202-236-0953

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /Christian Newswire/ — A top-level advisor and ten-member delegation for Sen. Barack Obama were no-shows at yesterday’s Reese RoundTable on Capitol Hill, a forum for the campaigns to present their respective candidates’ worldviews and how that informs their ideas about government.

The Obama representative, the Reverend Evna Terri La Velle, Senior Advisor Religious Affairs for Obama for America, inexplicably cancelled only hours before the event. When event organizers appealed to Democratic Party Officials, they were told someone would “look into it,” but that these decisions are made in Chicago, meaning Obama campaign headquarters.
Event host, Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), who moderated the discussion, said he was profoundly disappointed. He released this statement:

“Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean assured me last year in a private meeting in his office that his party would do everything possible to constructively engage Evangelicals, traditional Catholics and other moral conservatives. He even pledged to participate in events like this. Barack Obama has made similar promises. They did a couple of high-profile media events, but it appears they were not serious at a grass-roots level. Yesterday’s last-minute unexplained cancellation was nothing short of a snub. Our capacity crowd was insulted by their absence.”

Schenck is available for further comment . Contact Peggy Birchfield at 202-546-8329, ext 103 or 202-236-0953.



Non-Partisan Voter Guides for 2008 General Election

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Pastors, Churches and Political Activity
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Faith 2 Action Values Voter Guide – Democratic Primary
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Beat Planned Parenthood and Defend Conscience Rights

Tell the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to defend conscience rights for health care workers.

Beat Planned Parenthood and Defend Conscience Rights

HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt is proposing regulations to enforce current laws that protect the conscience rights of health care workers. Congress has passed three laws (Church Amendments, Coats Amendment, and the Hyde/Weldon Amendment) over the past 35 years protecting such rights; however, no regulations have ever been implemented. If issued, the proposed regulations would ensure that health care workers in programs that receive federal funds, including federal, state and local government programs, do not discriminate against health care workers who object to participating in such practices as abortion and sterilization. We need you to submit public comments to HHS in support of regulations to enforce current law because groups like Planned Parenthood have supplied thousands of comments to HHS opposing any regulations that protect doctors, nurses, pharmacists or others’ conscience. The deadline for submitting a comment (which will be viewable by the public) is September 25, 2008.

In submitting your public comments, please provide information to HHS as to your knowledge or lack of knowledge of the conscience protections contained in current law. For instance, did you know that health care providers have conscience protections, or are there examples where an organization you are affiliated with did not know of these rights? Provide examples where a lack of knowledge of conscience rights led to coercion to violate conscience.

Additional key points:
Please implement regulations that enforce current conscience laws for health care workers, including students in health care schools, many of whom are unaware of their conscience rights.
Health care workers should not be forced to participate in abortion or sterilization programs, whether directly by performing abortions or referring for abortions.
Current law protects health care workers from being discriminated against when they refuse to engage in abortion or other practices to which they have ethical, moral, or religious objections.
The HHS regulations should define abortion to include the destruction of human life before or after implantation. Such a definition will protect those who reasonably believe that destroying embryos by drugs which may prevent implantation constitutes abortion. Health care workers should not be forced to dispense or prescribe drugs, or perform or refer for practices that they believe involve an abortion.

Even if there is dispute about whether certain drugs cause an abortion, the conscience rights of those who think those drugs cause abortion even before implantation should be protected.
Click here to submit your comment to the Department of Health and Human Services (contains sample message)

Sincerely,Tony PerkinsPresident
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