The Engaging Essentials

Now that the legislative session is over, I’m trying to remember what it was I did every day when I didn’t have to be at the Capitol lobbying.  Bear with me.  I’ll figure this out again.

New Front in Abortion Battle – The WSJ reviews an upcoming publication by the American Psychological Association on whether having an abortion causing psychological trauma to women.  As a word of caution, the APA, as well as other acronyms that claim to speak for the majority of the medical community, are routinely stacked heavily against both commonsense and medical consensus.  Still, it’s an interesting read.

Are Christians Obsessed with Gay’s and Abortion? – My friend, David French, explains that the unequivocal answer to this common slap used by our opponents is emphatically, “No!”

Conservative Feminism – The Heritage Foundation explores the question: Is ‘Conservative Feminism’ an oxymoron?

Abortion Exceeds Total NYC Deaths in 2008 – Disturbing.  In 2008, there were 55,391 total deaths in New York City.  That same year, there were 82,475 abortions not included in the “total deaths” tabulation.

Pro-Abortion in their Own Words – LifeNews.com provides a chilling video (below) of pro-abortion activists in their own words.  Be warned, their anger and hopelessness is on full display and may be disturbing to some.

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

David French vs. the SPLC and Gungans – With a lovely tongue and check retort to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s naming of several pro-marriage, pro-family organizations as equivalent to the KKK, David French admits his animus against the Gungan race.

Troops Care About Religious Liberty – Daniel Blomberg does a fine job of cataloging several of the anonymous comments from active duty soldiers concerning religious liberty.  Here’s just one:

“Forcing chaplains to deny their faith in order to serve in the Armed Forces is a grave threat to the First Amendment and to the spiritual health of Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who depend on them. If the military is forced to promote homosexual behavior, for the first time in American history there will be open conflict between the virtues taught by chaplains and the moral message delivered by the military.”(female)

DADT: Time for Cautious Judgment – Chuck Donovan does a very fine job of evaluating the Pentagon report on homosexual behavior in the military and why the Senate needs to slow down as it approaches this issue.

The Retreat from Marriage – Ok, if Al Mohler writes it, you should read it.  Period.  This piece moreso.  I listened to the interview of Mohler and Brad Wilcox last week that serves as the foundation for this article.  Both are worthy of your attention- ESPECIALLY if you are an economic conservative that does not care to involve oneself with icky social issues.

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

The Real DoD Report – FRC highlights several aspects of the Pentagon’s study about DADT and it’s rather suspect methodology for arriving at the conclusion that repealing DADT will be of little negative effect.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Must Stand – An excellent review by a retired Marine of why DADT ought to remain.

Pray for your Kids – For true family strength, Moms and Dads, turn to your knees to pray for your kids. Here is a very, very helpful guide in doing so. (H/T: Tim Challies)

Danger of Knee-Jerk Policymaking – David French does a fine job of highlighting the danger of acting qucikly to add more laws to laws that simply are (a) insufficient or (b) not being enforced. That is especially true when such calls for policymaking will have major religious liberty implications.

Phil Vischer (Yes, of VeggieTales fame) weighs in – very cogently – on the potential impact of Apple’s Decision to censor religious speech in their App Store.  Here’s a snip:

And if critics hold Apple responsible for anti-gay marriage rhetoric on the App Store, what about iTunes, where thousands of churches and ministry organizations stream content?  What about Christian albums on the music store?  What about kids videos like What’s in the Bible, that actually promote the dangerous idea that the Bible is, in fact, the word of God?  Reading the comments online in support of Apple’s decision, it’s very clear many people would like Christian voices in support of traditional marriage or right-to-life issues to be excluded from all digital media marketplaces.  Since Apple reserves the right to reject content for almost any reason (and often, in fact, does), they are an obvious target for those with an anti-Christian bias.

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

Lots of good reading over the weekend.  Take the time to follow these links and get yourself up to speed on the essential reading regarding life, marriage, and religious freedom from across the country.

I Swear – Peter Sprigg reports on a video project by homosexual activists that employees foul language to promote tolerance and equality.  Worse, he says, “what is really shocking about the video is this: three of its participants are children. Not teenagers–young, pre-adolescent children. One is a boy who appears to be about six years old. Another is a girl who looks to be perhaps nine. The third is a girl who is perhaps eleven. And yes–the children drop the ‘f-bomb’ too.”

Debating Marriage – David French laments the lack of ability students – and often faculty – have in defending even the most basic of social conservative issues.  For background reading, you really ought to read Prof. Todd Hartch’s account of what happened to him at EKU.

Why Obama Will Not Move to the Center – You will not find a more kind and sagacious woman than Janice Crouse.  You will also find her wisdom rarely rivaled.  Here’s her main point:

Clearly, the election of 2010 was a rejection of Mr. Obama’s ideology and agenda — a matter of the president’s chickens coming home to roost.  The Obama presidency — with its anti-exceptionalism, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom emphases — is a wake-up call for America.  The president’s rhetoric may continue to resonate with those who want big-government solutions to all of their wants and needs, but if we have learned nothing else, we now know that our nation will survive and thrive only with a fully informed and actively engaged electorate who can tell the difference between truthful analyses of the challenges facing America today and mere demagoguery about “enemies” and divisive appeals to emotion.

Scalia on Faith and the Nation – Justice Antonin Scalia offers some candid remarks, along with a challenge to Christians to be actively engaged in the life of our nation – no matter what the rest of the nation does in response.

Abortion a Winning Issue for Democrats in 2010 – Politico paints a picture of a few candidates who won by creating a caricature of  their pro-life opponent and embracing the pro-abortion position themselves.  This, the article suggests, was a success and suggests social issues lose campaigns.  Balderdash!  Either Americans have (overnight) embraced the plague that is killing children in the womb, or this article is as out-of-touch as the politicians profiled within it.

‘Lies Set Straight’ – From yesterday’s opinion page in the Charleston Gazette comes this whopper straightener that is, in itself, a whopper!  One of the lies it seeks to “set straight” is that taxpayer abortion is funded by HealthCare Reform.  The author claims:

Wrong! The health reform act adheres to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortion except in the case of rape, incest and the life of the mother. The president even signed an executive order, reaffirming the prohibition of using federal funds for abortion.

Wow.  Where to begin.  First, recall Congressman Stupak.  His entire beef was that Hyde Amendment protections had been removed from the bill and leadership refused to reinsert them.  His (and a few others’) vote was secured on empty promise that was the infamous Executive Order from a pro-abortion President that no abortion would be funded.  It won’t work.  Perhaps Renate Pore needs to consider this legal affidavit from American United for Life’s president, Charmaine Yoest.

(Bonus trivia: Charmaine Yoest is the daughter of Janice Crouse.  Smart women that family produces!)

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.

Social Conservatives Win Overwhelmingly on 11/2

The rest of the country did.

As you can probably tell, I’ve been slowly tunneling out from beneath the crush of Tuesday’s election.  On the way out, I’ve been slowly gathering data and information that I want to share with you and, through a series of posts today, hope to do so.  I’m working from the very, very general to the very specific.  While I’m planning on keeping a lot of analysis private, I do want to point out some data that will be of interest to you as you engage government.

First, the obvious: more conservative candidates were elected than liberal ones.  The House of Representatives flipped and the Senate is nearing parity.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that social values are the primary concern, with the incoming Congress, they are likely to get a more welcome hearing.  For a really comprehensive review of the Federal gains, check out CitizenLink’s piece today.

Second, state legislatures that were a continual stonewall against the people’s right to vote on the definition of marriage were flipped.  New Hampshire now has a veto proof majority to undo it’s past mistake of redefining marriage.  Likewise, the Pennsylvania state house has leadership that have promised to uphold the people’s right to vote on marriage.  And, in Indiana, voters voted out the handful of leaders who were holding such a vote hostage and replaced them with lawmakers who will listen to those who which to govern themselves.

Third, and perhaps most profound, is that of Iowa where voters voted not to retain (read=fire) the 3 judges who unilaterally redefined marriage in Iowa more than a year ago.  That success also carried into the vote for the statehouse where a pro-marriage contingent was sent to Des Moines to represent Iowans.

This has all led to David French to wonder why this keeps happening.  After all, he says tongue-in-cheek, if same-sex marriage is, “inevitable,” why do we continue to see it being routinely defeated outside the courtrooms of liberal, elitist judges?

It also leads me to ask why don’t more candidates run on such a platform?  Pro-life, pro-marriage conservatives win elections.  Moreover, it fits the plain narrative that most of the country is speaking right now, namely: government is not listening to the self-governed, it is destroying the values that have made this state and country great, and we do not accept taking power from the many and placing it totally in the few.

It also might serve as a warning bell to lawmakers in Charleston.  Though the national political “hot topics” have a way of coming to WV slowly, they do, in fact, arrive.  And, when they do, they can be assured that West Virginia voters will act much like their fellow countrymen did this election.

And, that’s just on the marriage front.  Ally Americans United for Life Action reports that 11 of the 12 races that it targeted this year flipped from pro-abortion to pro-life.  Moreover, I was amazed at what they call the, “untold election story” concerning important pro-life switches in congress and state governor races.  In all, 19 states flipped control to lawmakers who will be more friendly to protecting the pre-born.  And, here’s another remarkable stat:  pro-life female governors now outnumber pro-abortion female governors.  Wow.

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

Stigmatizing Truth – In his typical eloquent and entertaining way, David French takes on the recent cries for more nondiscrimination laws for sexual orientation following the horrible losses of life from suicides by men practicing a homosexual lifestyle.  Very good article.

1 in 10 Teens Have Same-Sex Partners – Remember when the risks of the teen years used to be whether your acne would clear up by prom?  No more.  Now, parents have allowed our teens to go from sexting to hooking up to experimenting with members of the same sex.  Why are we allowing a culture to exist that promote behavior that is unwise, immoral, and unhealthy?

Homosexual Activists Target Defenders of Marriage – Our friends at the National Organization for Marriage are having an impact as they stand for the simple truth that it is not bigoted to believe marriage should be between one man and one woman.  Apparently it’s a message that is met with strident disagreement:

As part of their anti-NOM effort, HRC and the Courage Campaign have launched the Web portal nomexposed.com, hammering the conservative organization as extreme, rife with religious influence and flush with anonymous cash. The site also includes a page calling for California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina to renounce NOM and its support for her campaign. The groups have also launched a California online ad campaign against NOM and Fiorina.

The Facts on Abortion in ObamaCare – Recall all the promises made by President Obama and Bart Stupak that abortion would not be funded by health care reform?  In fact, it was the President’s executive order promise that made Rep. Nick Rahall (WV-3) cast his vote in favor of the reform.  Well, looks like that was the charade we said it was:

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

Prop 8 Ruling Round Up – Chuck Donovan at the Heritage Foundation rounds up lots of quotes reacting to last week’s decision out of San Francisco that overturned the vote of 7 million Californians.  And, these aren’t the ‘usual suspects.’  Donovan has captured quotes from everyone from law professors to same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates – all questioning Judge Walker’s decision.

She’s Growing a Fetus – An interesting ‘dialog’ between pro-choice women.

Inside Higher Ed . . . Those Crazy Christians – David French reviews a debate between university professors debating whether there is a need to examine academic discrimination against Christian scholarship.

Candid Prop 8 Report – Following the (temporary) redefinition of marriage in California, same-sex ‘marriage’ activists released a report on the results of Prop 8.  It may surprise you what they admit report.

Pelosi, The Word . . . and when The Word Received the Right to Life – Classic progressive pandering and dodging:

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

Equality: Historic California Ruling – The Charleston Gazette weighed in Friday with their thoughts on the Prop 8 ruling.  And, you guessed it, morality is evolving, or so they say.

Civil Right v. Sacred Rite – An interesting article exploring whether the institution of marriage can be separated from its sacred roots in favor of a bifurcated sacred/secular system.

Judicial Theologicans – My friend David French has an interesting comparison between Judge Walker and Justice Kennedy.

Kenya Adopts Pro-Abortion Constitution – Makes for an interesting thought, doesn’t it?  Roe v. Wade found a right to abortion within the “penumbras” of our U.S. Constitution, meaning, it wasn’t expressly covered by our Constitution, so the court had to read it into ours.  If we had it to do over again, would our country adopt a clear right to life within the Constitution?  Marriage?  Food for thought.

Illegal Immigration Hits Church Vans? – Interesting blurb about unintended consequences.  Could Arizona’s recently enjoined immigration law affect how churches transport faithful parishioners to/from church?

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.

Remediated Convictions or “Go to a Gay Pride Parade and Reflect” or Leave Our University

Jennifer Keeton forced to remediate her religious convictions by participating in "gay pride" activities.

Sublime.  That’s the only word you might be able to use to describe this story – that is if you can keep your mouth from remaining agape!  Here’s how David French describes it at NRO:

Late yesterday afternoon, the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of Augusta State University counseling student Jennifer Keeton. Her tale has to be read to be believed. Essentially, the facts are as follows.

Jennifer is a devout Christian and holds biblically orthodox views regarding sexual morality. In the context of classroom discussions of homosexual behavior, she expressed her Christian views, and has also shared those views with her classmates outside of class. She has stated, for example, that she believes that sexual behavior is the result of personal choice rather than an inevitability arising from deterministic forces.

via Get Thee to a Gay-Pride Parade! – Phi Beta Cons – National Review Online.

What’s the result?  Jennifer is written up by her counseling department, which repeatedly excoriates her belief that homosexual behavior is a lifestyle that many of her potential patients might desire to leave, if offered the appropriate counseling.  French continues:

To alter Jennifer’s views, the faculty imposed a “remediation plan,” that included “diversity sensitivity training,” required Jennifer to read at least ten articles in peer-reviewed journals that “pertain to improving counseling effectiveness with GLBTQ populations,” and (my personal favorite) required that she “increase exposure and interaction with gay populations,” including a suggestion that she attend the “Gay Pride Parade in Augusta.”

As she did all these things, Jennifer was required to submit a monthly two-page “reflection paper” to describe how “her study has influenced her beliefs.” Counseling faculty would then decide, based on these “reflections” and two in-person meetings, whether she should continue in the program.

Her “remediation plan” ends with the ominous warning: “Please note that failure to complete all elements of the remediation plan will result in dismissal from the Counselor Education Program.”

via Get Thee to a Gay-Pride Parade! – Phi Beta Cons – National Review Online.

So there you go.  The University – a place where students are supposed to find “unity” amidst “diversity” – has now become the “Uni,” a monochrome, heavy-handed arbiter of what future minds are supposed to believe and practice.  (Be sure to watch the video on this case after the jump.)

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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.

Making Sense of CLS v. Martinez

What are the future implications of CLS v. Martinez?

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its last written opinions of the term.  Among them was a First Amendment, religious freedom/rights of association case we have been watching closely.

Our interest in the CLS v. Martinez case was of interest to us in several ways.  First, for it’s impact upon religious freedom and how that would affect not only college campuses, but principles of religious freedom throughout our culture.

Second, when in law school, I was very active in the Christian Legal Society and, thus, feel a sense of connection to those students who will be affected by this decision.

And, bringing some local flare, we worked with Attorney General Darrell McGraw to encourage him to sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief in this case.

Justice Ginsburg wrote the court’s decision.  According to nearly every source I trust, the decision was narrow, but unsatisfactory.   David French, senior legal counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, sorts out the “good, bad, and ugly” of the decision:

The good: The Court’s ruling is remarkably narrow. One of the strange quirks of this case is that there were actually two university policies at issue at different times in the case. Initially, the Christian Legal Society was de-recognized because it allegedly violated the school’s nondiscrimination policy, which prohibited — among other things — discrimination on the basis of “religion” and “sexual orientation” (CLS required leaders and voting members to agree with the group’s statement of faith and refrain from extramarital sexual activity). During the course of the litigation, the university stated that its policy actually required student groups to accept “all comers.” In other words, student groups could not exclude students from membership or leadership for any reason. This kind of policy is exceedingly rare: At the time of the oral argument, we were aware of no other university with an “all comers” policy.

via CLS v. Martinez: My First Quick Take – Bench Memos – National Review Online.

This certainly is good.  For the moment, and until the case can be re-heard by the 9th Circuit, the decision is limited to the unique facts and circumstances of the Hastings College of Law at the University of California.  But even that narrowness leaves us befuddled.  What about the associational rights of the students at UC Hastings?  What implications will this policy have upon broader First Amendment concerns?

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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.