Seeing the Future from Canada – Engaging the Issues with Prof. Bradley W. Miller

Click to listen to this week’s edition of Engaging the Issues.

A decade ago, the nation of Canada redefined marriage with the promise that religous liberty would be strengthened and the families made more secure. As arguments in America swirl over the issues of marriage, toleration, and religious liberty, what can we learn from Canada? Has religious liberty been strengthened with more inclusive nondiscrimination laws? Has the redefinition of marriage brought more and better marriages?

Canadian professor of law, Bradley W. Miller engages those issues by surveying the data gleaned from Canada’s ten year social experiment. Listen to Professor Miller explain what American might expect should it adopt whole scale the agenda of tolerance

Click here to listen now.

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 Engage Family Minute

UK Christian Parents Can’t Foster Children – As the press for the acceptance tolerance of the homosexual lifestyle continues globally, more stories are coming in explaining the threat to religious freedom such “nondiscrimination” laws provide. In the UK, a foster-parent couple is on trial for their conviction that the homosexual lifestyle is immoral.

President Obama’s Nanny?The Washington Post 44 blog is reporting on a New York Times story that suggests his Jakartan nanny was a transvestite. Frankly, I would have passed over this story if two liberal, mostly credible papers hadn’t given it some attention. It bears linking here only insofar as it makes us wonder what impact that might have had upon the impressionable mind of a young Barack Obama.

DADT Back Up for Debate – As the Senate prepares to reconvene, this time with Joe Manchin on the floor, the discussion over whether to repeal the so-called, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Given what happened last Tuesday, I wonder how the discussion might change.

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.

Cookie Caper: Mom and Pop Moral Stand May Just Cook Baker’s Business

Homophobic bigots in Indianapolis.

A husband and wife who own a small business selling cookies in Indianapolis made a principled stand, last week, not to allow their craft to be used in the promotion of a lifestyle with which they morally disagree.

As a result, they have become the targets of everyone from same-sex activists to the mayor’s office.  More than simply lampooning the couple as old-fashioned people holding to an antiquated set of religious beliefs, as you see by the comments below, there is open hostility tolerantly being expressed to this mom and pop business.

Incidentally, if you’re curious, this could very plausibly happen in several places in West Virginia, most especially, in Charleston.  Why?  Because Charleston has a very similar ordinance to the one now being leveled against the cookie makers.

Just listen to some of the quotes that represent those who disagree with their decision:

  • From the board of the market leasing space to the cookie couple, ”That could be grounds for taking away their stand in the market.  I’d hate to lose them, but we can’t tolerate any kind of discrimination like that.” via The Indianapolis Star.
  • From the mayor’s deputy chief of staff,  ”The mayor was certainly dismayed and wants to make it clear that a person’s values, morality and personal beliefs are absolutely not relevant to making a purchase at the City Market.” via The Indianapolis Star.
  • From another board member of the market, ”If someone wants to run a business based on an exclusionary business model, that’s their call and they have to take their chances,” Vane said. “But if you’re going to do business in the City Market, that sort of practice is simply unacceptable.” via The Indianapolis Star.

Tolerance appears to be a one-way street.

Oh, and what of the customer who initially requested the cookies?

The found another cookie maker to help them out.

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

Abstinence Study Released – Sometime last week, we advised you of HHS’ intent to hide a study on the importance of abstinence.  Citizenlink now reports that, due to your calls and emails, HHS has relented and is releasing this critical data.

Know Your Rights – As kids head back to schools, we are encouraging parents and students to familiarize yourselves with what is covered by the First Amendment in regards to religious expression within the public school system.  The Alliance Defense Fund provides very helpful guidance (scroll to bottom for PDF brochures).

Homeschooling Growing Fast – For those of you for which the above is inapplicable, maybe it’s because you’re among the fastest segment of education in America today: homeschooling.

Top Marine: We Don’t Want Gay Roomates – Stinging words from the top US Marines re: the repeal of DADT, “I can tell you that an overwhelming majority would like not to be roomed with a person who is openly homosexual,”

How to Repeal the First Amendment – David French explains in his typically fresh way.  Nondiscrimination just isn’t what it used to be anymore.

Stem Cell Plan Blocked – A Federal judge has blocked the implementation of President Obama’s embryonic stem cell research funding plan.  Tough to understand the issues, but this is an important pro-life victory.  For more reading on this decision, along with links to more in-depth study of the issue, visit Justin Taylor’s blog today.

Virginia Imposes Tough Regulations on Abortion Mills – Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli has issued an opinion that permits the state to have greater oversight over the abortion industry in Virginia.  In other news, pre-born children in Virginia were seen breathing a sigh of relief.

Here We Go Again – Wyoming couple sues to challenge Wyoming law limiting marriage to one man and one woman.  Interestingly, Wyoming does not have an official Defense of Marriage Act, but it does have a statute defining marriage as a “civil contract” that if formed “between a male and a female person.”  West Virginians should watch this case with interest.  Similar logic could challenge WV’s DOMA, such as it is.

CA Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Prop 8 Appeal – Candidate for governor of California, Meg Whitman, says she would give standing to the proponents of Prop 8 to appeal Judge Walker’s decision from last month.  Not what I’d call an overwhelming endorsement of the people’s right of self-determination, but, then again, it is California.

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.

Al Mohler: Can Christian Organizations Remain Christian in a “Tolerant” Age?

From AlbertMohler.com, comes serious questions that should be asked in light of the upcoming SCOTUS case, CLS v. Martinez.  The most poignant question is that posed by the title of his piece and this blog entry, but the rest are worthy of consideration and contemplation.  Here’s the critical section of Dr. Mohler’s latest:

The case pitting the Hastings College of Law against the Christian Legal Society presents the nation — and its highest court — with an inescapable question: Are Christian organizations to be allowed to remain Christian, or must they all morph into secularized associations?

Must the Christian Legal Society surrender its biblical convictions in order to remain a recognized campus organization? Does religious liberty now stop at the law school door?

Obviously, much is riding on this case. The same logic used against the Christian Legal Society in this case can be used to argue that any Christian organization, school, or institution no longer serves the community’s welfare if it holds such policies. How long before similar arguments are made against churches and Christian schools?

Can Christian organizations remain Christian in an age of ideological “tolerance?” All eyes will soon be on the U. S. Supreme Court as the Christian Legal Society’s appeal is heard. Far more than one CLS chapter in one law school is at stake here.

via www.AlbertMohler.com.

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: Capture the Kids, Own the Future

“It is the first fact of civilization,” says lesbian activist and author Patricia Nell Warren.  “Whoever captures the kids, owns the future.”

That’s an agenda the Kanawha County Board of Education (KCBOE) appears to appreciate.  Out for public comment now is a proposal – proudly endorsed by Del. Carrie Webster – that would add “sexual orientation” to the KCBOE’s “cultural diversity” policy.  The policy would require the KCBOE to actively recruit teachers based upon their sexual orientation and require its faculty and staff to annually undergo required training about sexual orientation.

One can’t help wondering what exactly is meant by “sexual orientation.”  Presumably, the KCBOE knows, but its members do not appear to be telling.  Perhaps they would like to identify which one – of the more than 25 different sexual orientations that have been suggested in the DSM to date – they have in mind.  Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender behaviors are certain to be included; polyamorous, asexual, or pansexual behavior may be as well.

While we await that clarification, what can KCBOE teachers and principals expect if this measure becomes school policy?

Well, for one thing, those teachers who object to the forced indoctrination that is “cultural diversity education” can expect not to be paid.  Of course, on paper, citizens employed by West Virginia’s public education system shouldn’t be penalized or discriminated against for abiding by their beliefs.  But in this case, the Board of Education has threatened to hold the paychecks hostage and force its employees to complete diversity training that endorses homosexual behavior – even between minors.

Forcing teachers to participate in such indoctrination even if it violates their deeply-held religious convictions is unconstitutional. Under this policy, teachers will be forbidden to respond to students who have unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction and are being bullied for wanting to embrace their heterosexuality; on the other hand, they must learn to be sensitive to students who feel compelled to engage in anal, oral, or manual sex with members of their own gender, just to fit in with their peers.  What’s more, principals will be required to encourage boys to pretend to be girls, and faculty will be forced to remain silent when bisexual faculty are given alone time with children.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the KCBOE should concentrate its collective efforts on improving reading, writing, and arithmetic, instead of promoting, protecting, and propagating behavior that is unhealthy, unwise and unravels the moral fabric of the family.

Parents – not professional educators – have the fundamental right and final responsibility for directing their children’s education … including their sexual education.  This new policy, though, will force teachers to endorse behavior that in most cases directly contradicts what is being taught in the home.  It places the best interest of politicians over what’s best for students —  especially for those young people dealing with feelings of same-sex attraction.

The classroom is not the appropriate venue for this politically-charged debate.  Del. Webster herself admitted in a letter to the KCBOE that this policy will accomplish in the schools what her political agenda has not been able to accomplish through the Legislature.

Worst of all, though, students shouldn’t have their sexual identity forced on them by either school administrations or the government.  Where is the concern for students who have unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction?  Students struggling with their sexual feelings can’t be expected to make good, well-informed decisions if they’re only hearing one side of the issue.  Rather than provide that kind of balance, however, the board is pushing through a deeply-biased policy that will deliberately recruit bisexual teachers to fill roles like P.E. teacher and coach (positions that supervise class settings in which students are especially physically vulnerable and self-conscious).  And the policy prompts these sexually-focused teachers to encourage students to embrace behavior that has been statistically shown to increase the risk of suicide among teens.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has offered – at its own expense – to provide local, state, and national experts who will provide an informed and thoughtful opposing viewpoint to this proposal so that the KCBOE can make a fully informed decision on this policy.  Yet, the KCBOE has repeatedly refused this offer, choosing instead to rely upon junk science and political special interests to achieve what are clearly its politically-correct, rather than child-sensitive, goals.

Whatever the deaf ear the KCBOE turns to the rest of the world, we hope it will still listen to the parents and taxpayers of Kanawha County.  We, therefore, urge you to contact James Withrow, the General Counsel of the KCBOE, by calling him directly at 304-348-7798 or emailing him at jwithrow@kcs.kana.k12.wv.us.  Politely, but firmly, express your opposition to the proposed “cultural diversity” policy.

You have until July 1 to express your concern that the KCBOE is working to capture our children – and change our future for the worse.

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq., is president and general counsel of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, www.familypolicywv.com.


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.

FPCWV: "Cultural Diversity" Proposal Undermines Parents, Rights of Conscience

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  The Family Policy Council of West Virginia called on the Kanawha County Board of Education Tuesday to withdraw a proposed addition of “sexual orientation” to its “cultural diversity” policies.  The proposal, which is presently in the public comment stage, would mandate that “all persons employed by Kanawha County Schools” attend orientation on “cultural diversity” and “human relations” as part of instruction on “sexual orientation.”

“Individuals who object to the promotion of homosexual behavior to impressionable children shouldn’t be penalized for those beliefs,” said Jeremy Dys, president and general counsel of the Family Policy of West Virginia.  “The Board of Education should be concentrating on improving reading, writing, and arithmetic instead of promoting behavior that is unhealthy, unwise, and undermines the right of parents to direct the moral upbringing of their children.”

The policy change would result in the promotion of homosexual behavior in district schools, including the implementation of curriculum and policies that affirm and encourage such behavior.  In addition, according to Dys, employees who do not complete the “diversity” training could have their paychecks withheld, even though that training would violate their right of conscience.

“Forcing individuals to participate in or promote something that violates their conscience to receive a paycheck is unconstitutional,” said Dys.  “Neither the government nor an employer should make people choose between their beliefs about sexual behavior and their job.”

Dys is encouraging parents and concerned citizens to contact school board General Counsel James Withrow at 304-348-7730 or jwithrow@kcs.kana.k12.wv.us to politely express opposition to the proposal.  The deadline for public comment is July 1.

More information on the proposal is available at www.familypolicywv.com/KCBOE.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia advocates for policies that embrace the sanctity of human life, enrich marriage, and safeguard religious freedom.  Advancing, defending, and equipping West Virginia’s families on the web at www.familypolicywv.com.

www.familypolicywv.com


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.