Coke or Pepsi? An Age-Old Question Takes a Serious Turn

by Nathan A. Cherry, 05/31/2011

Pepsi logoMartinsburg, WV – I don’t drink much soda-pop since I don’t drink caffeine. Though on occasion I will splurge and have something. I have my favorites, as I am sure you do as well. One of the age-old battles, much like Ford vs. Chevy and Apple vs. Microsoft is Coke vs. Pepsi. And, up to now it has simply been a matter of preference. But the question is more serious since it has been revealed that Pepsi is using aborted baby tissue in their flavor research! Nope, that’s not a typo, Pepsi has partnered with a company that uses tissue from aborted baby’s to research flavors.

Lifenews.com recently brought to light that “biotech company Senomyx was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions.”

The company offers the following explanation of their research practices on their website:

“The company’s key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products. Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”

But Debi Vinnedge of the pro-life group Children of God for Life says there’s more to the story. Vinnedge told LifeNews.com that other options exist for research.

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

5 Reasons Why Life is Winning

by Nathan A. Cherry, 05/30/2011             

Martinsburg, WV – Do you think the pro-life cause is winning in the battle for life? I certainly do. As I have watched over the last several years I have noticed trends that indicateLife is Beautiful that life is becoming the dominant belief held by most people. Some trends include election outcomes, media coverage, and language used by politicians and individuals alike. So when I came across this article by pro-life blogger/writer Trevin Wax it was not a surprise to me, but an encouragement.

 In this well written piece Wax lists five reasons why he believes life is winning and the tide is turning in favor of the pro-life cause. These reasons (Public Opinion, The Media, Young People, The Third Wave and Abortion Advocates on the Defensive) are easily observable if one pays attention to what is happening in culture and society.

Read the article and pass it on to encourage someone else that is struggling with the issue. It might create another strong voice for life.

Five Signs the Pro-Life Cause Is Winning

By Trevin Wax, May 16, 2011

The pro-life cause is winning. In state legislatures, in the media, and in grassroots efforts to reduce the number of abortions, pro-life activists have put abortion rights advocates on defense. The pro-life movement certainly has hurdles to overcome before the United States can become a place where all human life is legally protected. Yet the eventual outcome is certain. Here are five reasons I believe we have reached a tipping point in favor of the pro-life cause.

1) Public Opinion
A majority of Americans surveyed in a recent Rasmussen poll, including a large percentage of those who identified themselves “pro-choice,” said they believe abortion is “morally wrong most of the time.” Last year, for the third consecutive time, Gallup found that more Americans accept the pro-life label, a result that led the polling firm to acknowledge “a real change in public opinion.”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

The Engaging Essentials

The Disturbing (and Disturbed) “T” in LGBT – Matthew Franck offers some . . . well . . . disturbing reports on New York’s law permitting (encouraging?) those suffering under the weight of gender identity disorder to have their genitalia altered.

Veteran Chaplains Speak Out – Chuck Donovan reports on the efforts by 22 retired military chaplains to encourage the military, if they insist on repealing DADT, to enact broad religious conscience protections.

Four Chaplains – Speaking of chaplains, my friend Gary MacCaleb at the Alliance Defense Fund picks up where Chuck Donovan leaves off in a piece both informative as to religious liberty and moving in light of Memorial Day weekend.

61% – That is the percentage of people that, according to the most recent Gallup poll, believe “all or most” abortion should be illegal.  In fact 71% maintained abortion should be illegal in at least some circumstances.  The tide is turning.

No Candy Canes for You – My friend and Texas counterpart, Kelly Shackleford, is representing a young boy whose school disciplined him for the high crime of bringing candy cane pens with a message about Jesus attached to them to the school’s “winter” celebration.  It is, rightly so, being billed as one of the most important religious liberty cases that SCOTUS has heard in decades.  Kelly explains:

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

As a Matter of Fact It Is Not Legal. Ever.

by Nathan A. Cherry, 05/26/2011             

According to the Constitution and federal law, same-sex "marriage" is never legal.

Martinsburg, WV –  Writing at the Family Research Council, Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has written a fantastic piece on the fact that, regardless of what position the Obama Administration takes and what they decide they will and will not defend, same-sex “marriage” is not legal in the United States, ever.

Same-Sex “Marriage” Is Not Legal Under Federal Law. Ever. At Any Time.
by Peter Sprigg

Christianity Today’s Politics Blog featured an article on May 13 by Tobin Grant with the unfortunate headline, “Is Same-Sex Marriage Legal Under Federal Law? Maybe. Sometimes.”

This headline is entirely wrong. Same-sex “marriage” is absolutely, unequivocally not legal under federal law. Ever. At any time.

That is because of a federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act (usually abbreviated DOMA). Public Law 104-199 was passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress (342-67 in the House, 85-14 in the Senate), and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.

One part of the Defense of Marriage Act provided that states could not be obligated to recognize same-sex “marriages” contracted in other states.

The other key provision of DOMA (found in Section 3 of the bill), now under challenge in several courts, defines marriage for all purposes under federal law. It states:

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

This statute (now codified in Title I, Chapter 1, Section 7 of the United States Code) has never been repealed. It has never been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the law. And it is unequivocal in forbidding federal recognition of same-sex “marriage.”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

The Engaging Essentials

Taxpayer Funding and Increase in Abortion for Poor Women – Are the two connected?  The National Right to Life Committee thinks so.

Churches Helping with Foster Care – As the National Foster Care Month (yeah, I didn’t know it was this month either) comes to a close, reports about how faith communities are encouraging foster care and adoption are quite encouraging.  As the Heritage Foundation points out, lawmakers need to look at ways to partner – or at least not prohibit – the sacred community in caring for orphans.

The Prenatal Testing Sham – With so many false-positives, it is disturbing how few babies that are diagnosed in utero with a genetic abnormality make it past the abortionist’s eager classification of the pregnancy as ‘unwanted.’  Churches and pastors, we need you to teach your community ethics, more specifically, bioethics.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Homosexuals Say They Want Your Kids

by Nathan A. Cherry, 05/26/2011

Indoctrination of youth

Homosexual advocates are now admitting they want to indoctrinate kids in support of the gay lifestyle.

Martinsburg, WV – Conservatives and traditional marriage advocates have been sounding the alarm for quite some time regarding the indoctrination of children by the gay lobby. All the while liberals and gay advocates have been denying that any such indoctrination of children is happening. Now, a homosexual speaks up and admits that he “and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality…”

The article below is disturbing because, though it shares what I and many others have believed has been taking place – a very real danger to our children, especially in public schools – the confirmation is chilling.

If you have ever wondered why we here at the Family Policy Council of West Virginia fight against anti-bullying programs that single out homosexual or other students as a specially protected class – rather than simply seeking to protect all students against bullying – here is that reason. Part of the reason for these programs, according to this homosexual advocate is to indoctrinate kids into accepting homosexuality. He says:

“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

The Engaging Essentials

The Rest of the Story – You heard Steve Tyler’s side of the story, now meet the woman the Aerosmith star (and others) regrettably pressured into having an abortion.

Why the Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Experiment Will Not Work – President of our ally, Focus on the Family, Jim Daly pens an editorial that asks (and then answers) a question worth pondering:

In the last half-century, progressives have exercised their own rights of cultural engagement, aggressively championing sweeping cultural changes on numerous levels. Although we may disagree with them, we certainly don’t begrudge them the right to engage the process. But in this pursuit to redefine marriage, wouldn’t it make sense to consider the outcomes of prior social reengineering efforts?

Does it Matter if Only 1.4% of People are Gay? – Michael Medved doesn’t think so.  Instead, he offers that homosexual behavior is a difficult, complex concept that even the most ardent gay advocates ought to consider before puffing away at talking points.

Abortions Down, Unless You’re Poor – It’s interesting that the abortion industry has been demanding that they need to retain Federal funding in order to increase birth control and other “women’s health services” to poor women.  Now, their research arm comes out with a story that confirms that poor women are their best customers.  What Planned Parenthood started as eugenics has now become devastating class warfare.

Foxx Amendment – Virginia Foxx explains how her amendment will prevent the use of taxpayer dollars within grant programs that encourage elective abortions:

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Pastors: John Piper Sets an Example on Speaking Biblically on Political Issues

Piper instructs: "Law is not our Savior."

For pastors, there is an ongoing tension when it comes to addressing moral issues that crossover into the political world.  There is a balance to be struck.  While there are Constitutional guarantees that permit pastors to speak freely and uninhibited while in the pulpit, pastorally, theologically, it may not always be wise (or even always Biblical) to seize that freedom to its absolute end.

Yet, there are issues of such great importance – culturally and morally – that pastors must address them from the perspective of a pastor.  This may or may not be in the pulpit itself, but the need exists.  It’s how one does it that the tension exists.

One approach may be to simply exposit Scripture verse-by-verse.  This is, indeed, exceptionally instructive and prohibits a pastor from skipping over ‘the hard parts.’  But, it’s not always timely.  Though God may cause current events and the passages that address them to coincide, it doesn’t always happen.  In that case, there is, I believe, warrant for pastors to speak directly and Biblically to current events.

Enter John Piper.  Having done much to focus many evangelicals on the supremacy of Christ in all things, for His own glory, Piper has left many challenged, encouraged, and convicted.  Personally, I am grateful for Piper’s passionate call for us to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.

In the past, Piper has given voice to a number of socio-political issues.  He was once (perhaps more) arrested for protesting (praying) outside of an abortion clinic.  He gave the infamous, “No, Mr. President” rebuke to President Obama shortly after his inauguration.  He’s spent much time in the pulpit making sure his congregation knows the evil of abortion.  And, I’m certain there are many more examples we could point to.

This week, Dr. Piper has taken the step to help Minnesotans think through the opportunity they will have in 2012 to vote on the legal definition of marriage.  It would be helpful – especially if you are a pastor – to read the whole thing and learn how a man like Piper is both thinking through this issue and instructing his flock how to think through it.  Below, are the 5 main points he makes.  He expands on them at desiringgod.org:

  1. There is no such thing as ‘gay-marriage.’
  2. Same-sex sexual relations are sin.
  3. Not all sins should be proscribed by human law, but some should be.
  4. The legal significance of marriage makes statutory definition necessary.
  5. It is wise that our laws define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Read the entire post by clicking here.

Allow me just a couple of observations from my perspective as an attorney and leader of a grassroots organizations like ours.

First, understand that this is an endorsement of a marriage protection amendment.  Dr. Piper may not have had that as his intent.  He does not use the typical, “vote for” language that bespeaks an endorsement.  He may even be angry that I have labelled it that way, but it is an endorsement by the person of John Piper of a ballot question.  One of the leading lights of Evangelicalism today has used his stature and position to encourage – albeit softly – voters to vote for marriage as between one man and one woman.  And, this is good.  Pastors ought to carefully and wisely instruct their flock on issues of moral concern within the public square and I will gladly defend Dr. Piper’s legal right to speak freely as a pastor.

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

The Engaging Essentials

I’ve been impressed, lately, with our readership here at The Engage Family Minute. It’s interesting that about half our readership comes to the blog.  The other half (or perhaps more) reads this material on our Facebook page.  Do me a favor, if you read this on Facebook, click the link that takes you to our blog and then click the “Like” button under the title.  This is an easy way to not only express your support for the blog entries you enjoy reading, but it also shares that information with your friends and social network.

India Increasing Abortion of Girls – Weep with me.  Despite some legislative attempts to solve “gender selection” abortions in India, Indian parents are opting to destroy innocent, female lives in favor of having boys.  God, have mercy!

Catholic Diocese of the Military – The Catholic Archbishop of the Diocese of the U.S. Military reiterates the church’s commitment to (1) defending marriage as between one man and one woman, (2) loving those struggling with same-sex attraction, and (3) warning of the threat to religious liberty that repealing DADT may bring.  In related news, yesterday ADF helped send a letter on a similar topic to the joint chiefs.

Unintended Consequences – First Things highlights the unintended consequences behind the Texas sonogram law.  They ask the ethical question, “Do the exceptions to this law setup the macabre opportunity to abort babies who might have a genetic abnormality?”  As a father of a son mis-diagnosed in the womb, I shutter at the thought.

China and Religious Freedom – Robert Schwarzwalder at FRC gives some very interesting perspective to the growing concerns of religious freedom – and what we can learn about the role of government in this regard – in China.

No More Adoptions – At least not for another Catholic agency who continues to hold to the ‘backward’ view of most Orthodox religions that same-sex relationships are morally wrong.  Tom Messner at the Heritage Foundation explains the threat this international story poses to domestic policy.

Born This Way – Al Mohler highlights a story out of Canada where parents have withheld the gender of their baby from public notice, wishing not to influence his/her sexual orientation.  Mohler makes a most incredible point we often overlook in this discussion:

The major issue at stake in this controversy is the objective reality of sex and gender. We are, in fact, what our genitals tell us we are. This is not because we are genitally determined, but because we were created by a holy God, whose plans and purposes for us are, inescapably, tied to our gender.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Guide to Homosexuality: A List of Resources

by Nathan A. Cherry, 05/24/2011

Martinsburg, WV – The great people at Citizenlink.com have compiled a very helpful list of resources for anyone that would like to learn more on homosexuality in our culture. This issue is front and center and will not going away any time soon; the worst thing anyone could do is remain ignorant on the topic. People need answers to tough questions and we must be prepared to share those answers with grace and truth.

I would highly recommend taking a look at this list and reading through some of these articles. You may even want to forward a few on to some others in order to help spread the information.

Click on the article title to go directly to that article.

Christianity and Homosexuality

Answering Newsweek on Same-Sex Marriage and the Bible

Answering Pro-Gay Revisionist Theology: Talking Points

Casting God’s Vision for Sex and Sexuality

Dig Deeper: So What Does the Bible Say about Homosexual Practice?

God and Sex

Pro-Gay Revisionist Theology: An Overview 

Pro-Gay Revisionist Theology: Did God Really Say…?

Responding to Pro-Gay Theology: General Religious Arguments

DADT

Ask, Then Don’t Listen: A Look at the Pentagon Report on Open Homosexuality in the Military

Navy Chaplain’s Memo is Revealing for What It Doesn’t Say 

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.