Op-Ed: Civil Disagreement

by B.J. Erps, 08/16/2012

chainsWill homosexuality be the dividing line for our society? Without a doubt there are few hot-button issues in our country that incite emotional fervor the way the topic of homosexuality does.

On the side of public education, academic institutions, Hollywood, and mass media, to raise any objection to the right of the individual to choose behaviors that operate within the scope of sexual appetites and preferences is at best naive and at worst hate-mongering persecution. We like to demonize our detractors.

As a social experiment, test this one for yourself. Attend a WVU game wearing a University of Pittsburgh jersey or a Pride Parade with a sandwich board etched with the word “Repent.” Admittedly, neither would be advisable.

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So, Now the Word of God Is Out of Date Just Like Our U.S. Constitution?

By Tom Stark, 07/18/2012

Jeremy Dys hit a home run with his commentary on the upcoming “workshop” in Charleston, WV involving a pastor by the name of Kay Albright from Bridges of Grace United Church of Kay AlbrightChrist in Charleston, WV.  The reason for the workshop – billed as “Face to Faith: God & Gays” – a workshop designed to answer questions about the Bible and its meaning” – is apparently to promote the idea that God does not think that homosexuality is a sin any more.

She believes this, according to the Charleston Gazette article,  based on the idea that societal mores have changed and the Word of God (as recorded in the Bible) needs to be interpreted differently now.  After all she says,

“We’ve come so far in understanding sexuality. It’s impossible to equate our society with the audience the Bible was written for at that time. We’re in a very different place in 2012.”

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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

Ok, with the Legislative Session winding down, I can get back to some normalcy, including highlighting some of the things I’m reading and encourage you to consider too.

Human Rights’ Hidden Agenda – Mark Caserta writes in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch of the sneaky agenda behind laws to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into our civil rights laws.  Although he conflates civil rights and bullying laws (which are separate laws, though equal targets of same-sex activists), his final analysis isn’t too bad.  P.S.  SB 226 and HB 2045 did not survive cross over day and are, therefore, dead this legislative session.

Marriage Rites and Rights – Same-sex ‘marriage’ activists Bruce Severino makes his case for ‘equality’ in today’s Charleston Gazette.  Despite some massive jumps in logic (notably, the entire 2nd paragraph), it’s one of the better arguments I’ve seen locally for redefining marriage.  But, in the end, it fails for a variety of reasons, not the least of which because it contradicts the talking points.  Evidently, for Severino, it’s not so much about love and fidelity and ‘equality;’ it’s more about tax breaks.

In Defense of DOMA – A great editorial in the Wall Street Journal regarding President Obama’s decision to stop enforcing DOMA.  Here’s the best paragraph:

Inviting a comprehensive judicial resolution of the issues surrounding same-sex marriage, which is what the administration has done by announcing that it will no longer defend the law, is the worst of all possible solutions. There is a political process taking place that has secured, and doubtless will continue to secure, the ability of same-sex couples to marry in many states. Shutting down that process through a judicial ruling will end all possibility of compromise. And like Roe v. Wade’s effort to finally “solve” the abortion debate, it will divide our society on this issue for decades to come.

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

As you head to the polls and then come back and await the results, I thought we’d supply you with some reading material to consider as you wait:

The Death of Pro-Life DemocratsChristianity Today examines the efforts by many in the pro-life community to defeat several Democrats who, once supporters of life legislation, turned coat and voted for ObamaCare.  (That would include Cong. Nick Rahall, though the article doesn’t mention him.)  The article does a nice job in pointing out how difficult it is to demand pro-life votes, but remain friendly with both parties.  I’m thankful for many state-level politicians who are both Democratic and pro-life – indeed, many of them are strongly pro-family!  Now, I just wish the national Democratic Party would listen to these members and govern justly on behalf of the family.

Grudem on This Election – Dr. Wayne Grudem has written a fabulous statement regarding Biblical and ethical issues under consideration (even if just on the periphery) in this election.  It’s a statement signed onto by many Christian leaders and worth your examination.

Voting, Not Victory, Is Sacred – Jewish leader Brad Hirschfield might have the best quote at the close of this election:

Our commitment to victory is turning contemporary politics into a Vince Lombardi inspired football game in which winning is not everything, but the only thing. And politics ala Coach Lombardi is not something for which any of us should stand. In fact, in the long run, it is the kind of politics which makes democracies fall.

Voting tomorrow is a sacred obligation, perhaps even more sacred if the candidate one supports is likely to lose. How else will the other side even know that there is still another side?

via For God’s Sake: Voting, not victory, is sacred – On Faith at washingtonpost.com.

Gazette Calls for Democracy – Both in today’s paper and yesterday’s, the Charleston Gazette has opinion pieces from the Editors urging readers to participate in democracy through their vote, albeit with a certain edge to their call (“We think it will be tragic if conscientious folks ignore today’s election, leaving the decision to zealots such as those caught up in the strange tea party craze.”).  They claim it would be a, “shame if great numbers of West Virginia’s registered Democrats ignore their duty as Americans.”  Uh, what about Mountain, Independent, Constitution, or GOP voters?!  This one-sided demand should be beneath the journalistic dignity of the Gazette – even if it’s an op-ed. But it is consistent.  After all, earlier this year, the Gazette essentially said the only time we get to participate in democracy is in November of every even numbered year.  Beyond that – like, for instance, allowing us to vote ont he definition of marriage – it is mere mobocracy.  Drive, I suppose, by zealots.

Is Obama Keynesian? – This is a bit off-topic for this blog, but it was too funny not to pass along.  For those wondering, “Keynesian” is a term for a philosophy of economics, one that is decidedly capitalistic in its approach, named after is primogenitor, John Maynard Keynes.  He was British.  Not Kenyan.  This video also highlights the importance of listening carefully to your interviewer:

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 Edition

So much to read about Judge Walker’s decision to overthrow the self-determination of 7 million voters.  Here’s a few I find worthwhile:

Local Reactions – The Gazette profiles the local reaction to the decision, including comments from me.  Favorite online comment?  ”Dys is noting more than a media prostitute.”

Local Reaction 2 – In case you missed Talkline yesterday, here’s the story from wvmetronews.com.

The Predictable Vaughn Walker – This may be the best pure legal analysis I’ve seen yet on the decision.  Plus, how can you go wrong with an article that starts with a Jack Bauer reference?!

The Gavel Falls’ by Al Mohler – Hands down the best theological/philosophical review of Walker’s decision and a compelling warning/clarion call to the church.

Flip-Flop . . . Flip? – The Atlantic examines President Obama’s ever changing position on Prop 8 and dedication to marriage.  Incidently, I think this will be the position many of our local lawmakers will look to take.  It’ll sound something like, “I’m for marriage and I’m for equality, even if that means I’m against the people deciding the definition of marriage.”

Natural Law Theory by Robert George – One of the clearest thinkers on this subject is Robert George of Princeton.  He makes the case against Walker from Natural Law here.

Your Bias is Showing – NRO’s Ed Whelan quotes Gerard Bradley as he breaks down Walker’s scorched earth approach to judicial opinion writing . . . and what the means for appeal.

Bonus Reading – Peggy Noonan writes on the Wall Street Journal’s website that America is at the point of boiling over.  Not directly related to the Prop 8 decision, but still applicable.  Favorite line, “The biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us.”

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

Some good reading from today’s headlines, essentials for you and your family to stay engaged as we partner to advance, defend, and equip WV’s families:

‘Modified Infanticide’ – George Will re-examines the context of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s position on late-term abortion.  It’s remarkable (a) the machinations the ‘pro-choice’ crowd will go to in order to justify the killing of pre-born children and (b) that, when pressed, they neither have answers, nor will to engage.

Say Amen in Jail – A new intimidation from the progressive, liberal base.  If you pray outside, near, or within the bubble of an abortion clinic, you go to jail. From the story:  ”‘I tried to talk to the officer first and explain that the building doesn’t have an 8-foot bubble and that I didn’t talk to anyone,’ Holland said. ‘I said, ‘I’m praying, I’m praying to God, not talking to people’ and basically he said me praying was a type of approaching people and violated the bubble zone ordinance.’”

Pro-Life Murder – Yep, that’s the headline of the editorial in today’s Gazette.  What’s more remarkable, it’s an editorial on the need for RU-486, the ‘morning after,’ at-home abortion pill.  What’s truly frightening, is the Gazette’s callous reference to abortion as, “a common surgical procedure for American women” and that estimates are 1/3 of women in the US will have had an abortion by age 45.  And that the abortion rate has averages 1.2 million, or so, since 1973 – that’s 44,400,000 children eliminated with this “common surgical procedure.”   Oh, and then there’s this, “The article describes women — ‘sometimes scared and upset and heartbroken’ — craving to end their unwanted pregnancies. Conscientious doctors desire to help them.”  Craving?  Unwanted?  Conscientious doctors?  Excuse me while I weep for our lost countrymen.  And sense of morality.

Is too right better than too wrong? – The Gazette profiles new WV GOP chairman and wonders if he is too far to the right to appeal to moderate democrats.  As a settled Independent, I think Kabler misses Stuart’s appeal to many mainstream WV Democrats who are truly conservative.  Reminds me of the joke I heard from a surgeon upon waking an avowed Democratic patient after surgery.  He said, “I put some GOP blood in you while you were under.”  Indignant, the aged WV Democrat protested, “You did not!”  Doc says, “Well, do you believe in your right to bear arms?  Love coal?  Believe marriage is one man and one woman, and kids shouldn’t be killed in the womb?”  ”Of course,” the patient answers.  ”See,” the Doc concludes, “It’s working already!”

“Citizens, or corporations, united?” – In May, the FPCWV hosted a CLE on the impact of Citizen’s United on religious liberty and exempt organizations.  This article revisits the landmark case and examines the potential impact on the 2010 election cycle.  It’s also a reminder that many of the same progressive, liberal candidates who are weakening West Virginia’s economy, coal industry, and families with higher taxes, ballooning debt, and over-regulation of the coal industry, likewise wish to redefine marriage, promote abortion, and suppress religious liberty.  Thus, economic and social conservatives ought to work more in partnership now than ever.

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.

File This Under, “Uh . . . Really?!”

On Sunday, the editors of the Charleston Gazette authored an interesting editorial.  It was something of a review of a book titled, The Next 100 Million: America in 2050 by Joel Kotkin.

The editors are intrigued by the book because it suggests that America will swell to 400 million in population within the next 40 years.  This upsurge in population growth, led mainly by minority populations, will “fuel strong economic growth,” according to the professorial author.

The editors conclude:

We sure hope his prediction is on target.

Senior West Virginians have watched human life change enormously since the 1930s. (For example, our editor was born in a Wetzel County farm town that had no electricity or paved roads. Horse wagons were common. Gaslights, kerosene lamps, Model A Fords and outdoor toilets abounded.)

In those days, America's population was around 120 million, and the world had 2 billion people. Today, global population has tripled, and the U.S. head-count has passed 300 million.

Technology has soared like a moon rocket. Today, office-dwellers work at computer terminals linked to the Internet's 180 million Web sites. At home, West Virginians browse hundreds of television channels.

Life has transformed in a single lifetime, and the pace of change keeps accelerating. Undoubtedly, more transformation lies ahead.

Today, as America emerges from the Great Recession with lingering 10 percent unemployment, there's plenty of depressing news. American students lag behind foreign counterparts in science and math. America's health levels trail most of the world. Etc.

We hope Dr. Kotkin's glowing forecast is accurate. Great expectations lift the spirit. But it's difficult to guess the future. We assume that changes will continue as they have done since the 1930s — or more so — but nobody can foresee with clarity.

via Transforming: Incredible U.S. change  – Editorials – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports -.

There is much that could be said here, but I think it comes down to main 2 issues:

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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.

Charleston Gazette Snubs Doug Skaff in Endorsements

In their endorsements of local candidates, Wednesday, the Charleston Gazette snubbed one incumbent in the 30th district.  Doug Skaff, an able young democrat who is seeking his second term, did not receive the Gazette’s endorsement.

Why?  We can only speculate, but it is our belief that because of Delegate Skaff’s commitment to the pre-born, the Gazette chose to endorse only pro-abortion candidates in the 30th district.  Yes, Sharon Spencer also voted for the measure (though she was quite vocal in her opposition until her vote), but it was Del. Skaff who helped craft a compromise that allowed the bill to move forward.

That is unfortunate.  I have always found Del. Skaff to be a reasonable lawmaker.  Not that I always agree with his positions, but he is rational in his approach to lawmaking.  To have something of a petty snub like this against him is regrettable – especially when very little is known about Joe Wallace, the candidate for which the Gazette snubbed Skaff.  There appears to be no website and a simple Google search revealed very little about the man.

For your edification, here are the Gazette’s endorsements:     [Read more...]

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.

Afterthoughts: What I should have said . . .

This would be the first print edition of afterthoughts, an opportunity to elaborate on what you read or heard about in the news concerning the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.  Why?  Because we always think of our best thoughts after we’ve made the good ones.

In this edition, we examine what I should have said – or, more precisely, what I really did say – in today’s Gazette story entitled, “Group Calls for Abstinence Education:”

  1. My main message was this, WV Free works diligently to restrict the information women, and in this case lawmakers, need to have to make important decisions about life and family.  WV Free is attempting to solve the problem of teenage pregnancy with a contraception solution.  That, as Nathan Cherry has pointed out, makes no sense.  A true solution to teenage pregnancy is to believe that teens are mature enough and capable of choosing not to engage in risky premarital sexual behavior.  Opponents of abstinence education, can’t conceive of this.  From my view, they look at teens no less than animals, beings incapable of responsibly repressing their base sexual impulses.  I, like you, choose to think more highly of teens.  Moreover, I, like you I hope, aspire to higher things for our teens than going Jocelyn Elders on their hormones.   [Read more...]

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.

Commentary: Charleston Gazette – “Voters Should Rule on Marriage”

My latest editorial from today’s Charleston Gazette:

Since the end of the 2009 session, lawmakers have been studying whether they should allow West Virginians to vote on the definition of marriage. Yet, the 2010 legislative session has begun, and our leaders have failed to advance a legitimate reason not to let the people vote on the definition of marriage.

This summer, legislators heard from a variety of experts on the topic at a standing-room-only hearing. At that hearing, former Delegate Carrie Webster indicated that it was essentially the job of the Legislature to protect West Virginians from themselves. She posed an interesting hypothetical question to me. “What if,” she said, “we took a poll next year that indicated 90 percent of West Virginians wanted to vote to reinstitute slavery. Should we let them?”

Setting aside the apples-and-oranges nature of such a question for the moment, and putting aside that the founders did not implement the voting process to be dependent upon which subject matters individual legislators morally approve – and the fact that, in reality, West Virginians would soundly reject slavery if put to a vote – there’s a more foundational question, which I could ask of Delegate Webster herself: “What if next year we took a poll in your district, and 90 percent of the people there want to vote for you. Should we let them?”

This is a good question because the very process that West Virginia voters use to put lawmakers in office is being denied to the same voters when it comes to deciding an issue with which many lawmakers are at odds with the will of the people.

via Jeremiah G. Dys: Voters should rule on marriage  – Op-Ed Commentaries – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports.

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.