HHS Definition of Gender: ‘A biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.’

Multiple news outlets are reporting on a Department of Health and Human Services definition of gender that has “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” This definition is logical, true, biologically correct and politically incorrect to some.

In a New York Times article titled “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration” Erica L. GreenKatie Benner and Robert Pear report:

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

[ … ]

The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.

[ … ]

Several agencies have withdrawn Obama-era policies that recognized gender identity in schoolsprisons and homeless shelters. The administration even tried to remove questions about gender identity from a 2020 census survey and a national survey of elderly citizens.

Read the full article.

In a Life Site News article titled “Pelosi threatens ‘collateral damage’ if Dems win, push radical LGBT bill as ‘top priority’” Calvin Freiburger reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi desperately hopes Democrats will retake control of Congress next month, and dropped multiple hints this week to the delight of liberals and alarm of conservatives about what they’ll do if that happens.

“We owe the American people to be there for them, for their financial security, respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country,” the former House Speaker said Sunday during an event hosted by 92nd Street Y. “And if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it, but it shouldn’t be our original purpose.”

[ … ]

“It isn’t in our ‘For The People’ agenda because it doesn’t get that specific, but there’s one more because it’s personal for me that I really want to do, and it’s called the Equality Act,” the Democrat leader said, according to the Washington Blade. “The Equality Act expands ending discrimination against LGBTQ people and women and adding that to the Civil Rights Act.”

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill later confirmed that his boss considers the bill a “top priority,” which would be introduced “early in the year” if Democrats retake the House of Representatives.

Read the full article.


4 Things to Know About Trump’s Possible Reversal of Obama’s Transgender Policy

Old News: Gender Isn’t Neutral

We Hear You: The President, the Electoral College, Transgender Suicide, and Podcast Feedback

Bakers Fined $135K Over Wedding Cake Appeal to Supreme Court

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Scott Broome on Unsplash.

JUST RELEASED: Colion Noir Exposes Seattle’s Heroin Epidemic [Video]

“Seattle was supposed to be this shining beacon of what the possibilities were for your life, raising your kids, your family… there’s a lot going on here that’s being actively ignored. By the politicians, even the people, almost kind of a desire to just ignore a very blatant but then yet allusive reality that is a heroin epidemic disguising itself as a homeless epidemic.”

Colion Noir shines a light on the heroin epidemic disguising itself as a homelessness problem, that is plaguing Seattle, while the politicians refuse to even acknowledge the issue and instead scapegoat gun owners and diminish the rights of the law-abiding. This is the true story of Seattle and its Utopian lie.

Some Theaters Call It Curtains on Gosnell

For the team behind the movie Gosnell, opening day was supposed to be a relief. Producer Ann McElhinney said, “I thought the other day when the film came out, ‘Oh good! We’re safe now!’ We’re not even slightly safe.” That’s just one of the shocking revelations she shared on “Washington Watch” about what the industry is doing right now to shut down a film so successful that it was in last weekend’s Top 10.

“It is relentless what we’ve put up with here,” Ann told me. And it’s been four years,” A long four years at that. For most people on the Gosnell team, it was the movie that almost wasn’t. They’ve battled HollywoodFacebookNPR, and even a crowdfunding site just to get the film on the screen. And now that it is, the establishment doesn’t want it there. Make no mistake, Ann explains, “This film did a phenomenal business over the weekend. We were the number one independent movie in the country.” But here’s the incredible part. “The theaters where we’re doing the most money, where the most money is being made, they’re dropping us. They’re going to drop the movie. They’re not going to continue to play it.”

“We have reports from all over the country where people go to a theater where they know it’s playing, and there’s no movie poster up. It’s not on the marquee. They’ve almost left the theater, thinking ‘Oh my gosh, it’s not here. We’ve gone to the wrong theater.’ They’ve gone to theaters and been told by the guy selling tickets, ‘You don’t want to go and see that. Why don’t you go and see Venom instead…'”

“I’m telling you, I just got off the phone — and the distributor said in his career, he has never had the reception he’s gotten for this movie from the movie theaters — in a 30-year career… So I would say to your listeners, they need to get out there — and they need to get out there in numbers and buy tickets, even if they can’t go.”

What makes the reaction even more astounding, Ann points out, is how profoundly the film is changing people’s lives. “I can tell you, on the flip side of that, we’re seeing and your listeners can look on Facebook at the Gosnell movie page and see what people are saying… at the end, people sit until the very end of the credits. At one place, a priest stood up and said, ‘Would anyone like to pray?’ and everyone stayed, and everyone prayed… In other places, people huddled in groups in the foyers of movie theaters and prayed. This is what we’re getting from the audience. But I can tell you that the warfare from the establishment is phenomenal.”

If you’ve been to the movie, then you understand how life-altering Gosnell is. Ann said she could stay on the show “all day reading the most beautiful letters from people who have changed their mind about abortion from watching the movie…” Others, she told me, have written and said they just didn’t know. They thought abortion was only legal up to three weeks, or they had no concept of what was involved. The testimonials are all over Gosnell’s Facebook page.

This is one of those rare moments in time when the pro-life movement has the opportunity to make serious impact on the hearts and minds of Americans. So what can you do? Keep buying tickets, for one. Take your church group, your family, or your Bible study. If your local theater isn’t playing the movie, call them up and demand it. Then have your friends do the same. Ask them, “Why won’t you show this film? It’s an incredible movie. Gosnell is the number one independent movie in the United States. It’s something I care about. My family cares about. Our church cares about. A huge number of people in this country care about it.”

Then, most importantly, pray. There’s a spiritual battle taking place in America over the truth in this movie. And it’s a battle — after 60 million unborn lives — that needs to be waged.

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.


McCaskill Tapes: For Your Lies Only

Conservatives Take a Beating from Far-Left

Suppression: Theaters Drop ‘Gosnell’ Movie Despite It Being a Top-Grossing Film 

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Nearly Half Of American Children Don’t Have Married Parents. Here’s Why It Matters.

Unmarried couples are having roughly 40 percent of all births in the U.S., marking a trend that may be detrimental to the upbringing of those children.

For the first time in U.S. history, out-of-wedlock births in America are largely a result of cohabitationaccording to the United Nations Population Fund 2018 State of World report released Wednesday. Single mothers had nearly 90 percent of out-of-wedlock births in 1968, but that number decreased to 53 percent in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Compared to children of married parents, those with cohabiting parents are more likely to experience the breakup of their families, be exposed to ‘complex’ family forms, live in poverty, suffer abuse, and have negative psychological and educational outcomes,” according to the Institute for Family Studies (IFS).

Roughly 14 million American adults cohabited in 2007, and that number rose to 18 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Half of cohabiting couples in the U.S. are younger than 35, according to Bloomberg Quint. Cohabitation has increased about 2,000 percent since 1960, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

Two-thirds of U.S. adults said increasing numbers of single women raising children by themselves was bad for society, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed also said greater numbers of unmarried couples raising children is not good for society, according to Pew.

Children with single parents have the highest rates of poverty followed by children living with unmarried, cohabiting parents, the IFS reported.

Between 2006 and 2010, 23 percent of births to married women were unintended while 51 percent of births to unmarried cohabiting women were unintended. That number rose to 67 percent for unmarried women not cohabiting.

Two-thirds of cohabiting parents split up before their child reaches age 12, while only a quarter of married parents divorce, according to an April 2017 Brookings Institution report.

Over 40 percent of married mothers and fathers have a bachelor’s degree, according to a March 2016 U.S. Census Current Population Survey. Only 8 to 10 percent of cohabiting mothers and fathers with one or more biological child have a bachelor’s degree.

Children living with their biological cohabiting parents are also more than four times as likely to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused as kids living with their married parents, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Married parents are on average older, better educated, and earn more money than their unmarried cohabiting peers. Some scholars have suggested awarding tax bonuses of upwards of $4,000 per child in order to incentivize people to marry before having children.

Since 1990, marriage rates have also continued to decrease, while those that do marry are delaying.


Grace Carr

Grace Carr is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @gbcarr24.

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured image by mario0107 on Pixabay.

Gosnell’s Success Has Liberals Reeling [Video]

It was the little production that could. After years of battling HollywoodFacebookNPR, and even a crowdfunding siteGosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer defied all odds on opening weekend. By Sunday, the film had climbed to number 10 on the box office charts — despite a media bent on ignoring the movie and the real-life drama. For the husband-and-wife team who fought to tell the story, the numbers don’t lie. After last weekend, the film was number one on the indie film chart — and despite debuting in just 673 theaters, brought in more than $1.2 million. Although some critics refused to screen the movie, the ones who did were overwhelmingly impressed. On Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates the scores of almost every review, Gosnell earned a score of 67 percent, beating out crowd-pleasers like last year’s The Greatest Showman by 11 points. And it was an even bigger hit with audiences, who gave the film a 99-percent approval rating.

It’s just too bad, CNS News points out, that so many media outlets seem “as uninterested in the film as they were when the actual Gosnell trial happened five years ago.” In politics, co-producer Phelim McAleer said, “there’s an equivalent term for this: voter suppression. It is a sad attempt to pretend our film isn’t in theaters across America. But they can’t ignore the box office numbers. We humbly thank all of our fans across the country for this great opening. The people have spoken.”

If you’ve seen the movie or read people’s accounts from the theaters — which range from audiences sitting in silence well after the credits or joining hands for impromptu prayer — you know what a difference the story is making. “This is not your typical pro-life movie. There’s no heart-warming storyline about a challenging but ultimately successful adoption. There’s no nervous single mother who sees an ultrasound and decides to leave the abortion clinic and raise her child against all odds. There is just horror, plain and simple.” And yet, National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis goes on, “it’s the most powerful kind of anti-abortion movie that could ever be made, because every minute of it… [is true].”

Do your part to spread the truth: buy a ticket. For a listing of theaters near you, click here. Or, to hear from the stars of Gosnell, like Dean Cain, watch this panel from VVS on the challenges of making a movie about the realities of abortion.

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Break Specialists: GOP Uses Recess to Move Judges

Pastor Brunson: Two Years — and Millions of Prayers — Later

‘Gosnell’ filmmakers didn’t care about abortion until they saw his victims

Why Is NPR Continuing to Cover Up the Crimes of Dr. Kermit Gosnell? (Even Daily Beast Is Complaining!)

EDITORS NOTE: This column with photos and video is republished with permission.

Racism, Sexual Assault Hypocrisy, & Mob Rule: The Planned Parenthood Approach

Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion company. It is also one of the most powerful liberal advocacy groups in the country.

That advocacy didn’t prevent Brett Kavanaugh from getting on the U.S. Supreme Court. But it did show corporate backers of Planned Parenthood that they are standing with racism, sexual assault hypocrisy, and mob rule.


This Tweet says it all, and the Rewire piece goes straight into wondering why white women aren’t dedicated supporters of liberal accusations of sexual assault and Democratic Party nominees named Hillary Clinton (no irony was included in the piece related to sexual assault accusations and the spouse of Hillary Clinton). The piece also says, “Throughout history, white women—including those who identify as feminists—have routinely thrown people of color under the bus to advance their own interests.”

Got it? White women are racist and self-interested, according to Planned Parenthood. (As opposed to Planned Parenthood, which uses half-a-billion taxpayer dollars to slaughter unborn babies for, what, altruism?) Additionally, white women allegedly vote how their husbands want them to.

To put it another way — Planned Parenthood and liberals at Rewire want women to make their own decisions, unless those decisions go against liberal preferences.

Hating Sexual Assault When It’s Convenient

According to Planned Parenthood when it retweeted NARAL, “we believe survivors.”

This is convenient for Planned Parenthood. During political campaigns and debates, it believes survivors. When it comes to their own abortion centers, Planned Parenthood has no problem covering up sexual assaultEven for those who abuse minors.

Mob Rule Instead of Republic Representation

Democracy has often been described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. This is why America is a representative republic, with competing interests in our political system to ensure that the wolves don’t always agree — and, thus, Americans could be free.

Planned Parenthood appears to be ignorant of this basic piece of American history. Check out these Tweets, the last two which were retweeted by Planned Parenthood:

Putting Politics Ahead of America

We want to make two last points about Planned Parenthood’s actions here. First, in supporting the Women’s March organization, Planned Parenthood is aligned with an activist group which is so anti-conservative and so incompetent that its initial anti-Kavanaugh press release had “XX” instead of Kavanaugh’s name because it didn’t matter who President Trump nominated. The Women’s March organizers were always going to take this route of aggressive and unethical opposition.

More importantly, Planned Parenthood’s support for mob rule clearly only applies when in support of the abortion giant’s goals. It has supported so-called “buffer zones” across the country — here’s just one example — which prevent pro-life activists from using free speech to advocate against abortion.

Yet corporations continue to blindly stand with Planned Parenthood. This cannot continue. It is long past time for corporations to put their money towards hiring Americans instead of killing them, and towards giving raises instead of deadly political activism.

Help us continue holding corporations and non-profits accountable for their activism by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is from Shutterstock.

VIDEO: Andrew Gillum – Job Interview – Florida Election 2018

The United West team “creates” Comrade Andrew Gillum’s Job interview for CEO of 80 billion dollar company.

Clearly, no one in their right mind would hire Gillum to run their candy store, but the crazy socialists will vote for him to run the state of Florida!

SHARE THIS to your friends and VOTE INTELLIGENTLY on November 6, 2018!

Andrew Gillum Endorses Antisemites – MUST WATCH!

Democrat candidate for Florida Governor, Andrew Gillum says he’s pro-Israel, but he just says that to get Jewish money for his campaign.

He endorses, and is endorsed by, a radical, anti-Israel movement.

“These Vulnerable Creatures”: A Review of “Gosnell”

Brad Miner reviews “Gosnell,” the dramatic film about the arrest and trial of the abortionist who was “America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” 

There have been notorious murderers brought down for reasons other than their most horrific crimes. Al Capone, mob boss, was felled by tax evasion; Dr. Kermit Gosnell, abortionist, by illegally selling prescriptions for painkillers.

I’d be surprised if there are any readers of The Catholic Thing who don’t know who Gosnell is, but just in case: he’s the former operator of a Philadelphia abortuary, who was a specialist in late-term and “partial-birth” abortions. He would regularly take babies born alive (his clinic’s procedures were slapdash at best) and cut their spinal cords at the neck.

Al Capone was a better person.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is in some ways like an hour-and-three-quarter length episode of Law and Oder: SVU– although the best-ever episode. The director of the film (also one of its stars) is Nick Searcy. Here he plays Gosnell’s defense attorney and manages to be convincing enough so that – even though we know he will lose the case – there’s still dramatic tension in the trial sequences.

Opposing him in court is an assistant district attorney played by Sarah Jane Morris. Ms. Morris is the film’s true star and its dramatic hub. I cry easily and did several times watching this film. Morris is an actress of the first order and her eyes show depth of feeling, whether of anger or sorrow or compassion, and it was she who made me tear up.

The levels of evil in this story are manifold. It starts, of course, with the indifference to human life inherent in abortion itself. Yet you could say – after the familiar pro-abortion mantra – that legal abortions should at least be safe and rare, whereas at Gosnell’s “clinic” they were anything but safe, were very frequent, and many weren’t even legal, occurring after the time limit prescribed by Pennsylvania law.

All this came to light because of a raid on Gosnell’s clinic by the Philadelphia P.D., the FBI, and the DEA looking for evidence related to those painkiller prescriptions.

During the raid, Gosnell is called into a procedure room to aid a patient “in distress.” One of the Philly cops, James Wood (Dean Cain), sees the patient sitting up, her hands on her belly: she’s clearly full-term. This can’t be right. . . . It’s just a glimpse, but it was enough to make me realize Mr. Searcy is as good a director as he is an actor.

Similarly, there’s a very nice sequence of scenes featuring an ambitious blogger, Molly Mullaney (Cynthia Fiallo), with bright red streaks in her hair and the requite tattoos, suggesting a far-Left pro-choicer, which is true. But she’s honest.

And there is some excellent balance between scenes, as, for example, when Detectives Wood and Stark (AlonZo Rachel) discover Gosnell’s collection of . . . baby feet and a later scene in which the prosecutor (Ms. Morris) plays with her own baby’s tootsies and, pro-choice though she is, “has a moment.”

Later, drinking something strong both to deaden her emotions (unsuccessfully) and to loosen her tongue, she explains to her shocked husband what investigators have discovered. “I’m gonna get that bastard,” she says.

The District Attorney (played by Michael Beach) is the first to pronounce Gosnell the worst serial killer in American history and warns his team that the courthouse will be swarming with reporters, all of whom will make this case (about the hottest of hot-button issues) a nightmare for the prosecutors. But when they arrive for the trial, only Molly the blogger is there, although that will change – thanks to her.

Gosnell is rated PG-13, which rating should put at ease any fear that the film is exploitive of the gore associated with abortion. To the extent that there is gore, it’s verbal. The horrors of the abortuary are described, not shown. Normally that would be bad cinema, where the rule is: Show, don’t tell. Here it works.

Gosnell, as portrayed by Earl Billings, lacks “affect,” as perhaps the bad doctor does – so much so that you might have thought he would escape conviction with an insanity defense. His Gosnell is ever-smiling and always in denial. “I look at all the women I’ve treated,” he says proudly, “as if they were my own daughter.”

Much of what’s in the film is based on trial transcripts, but there are some scenes that seem less fact-based – even unlikely. In the morgue, examining the bodies of the largest baby corpses recovered from Gosnell’s clinic of horrors, the medical examiner hands a scalpel to our heroine, the woman prosecutor, so she can cut into a skull to see if the brain is or is not intact (intact would mean the child was born alive and then murdered). This seems unlikely – a violation of medical and legal ethics. But it’s meant to be a kind of “crossing-the-Rubicon” moment for her. She’s pro-choice, after all.

Gosnell is not preachy. It’s fact-based. Janine Turner appears as a “respectable” abortion provider testifying for the prosecution, who – in cross-examination – says she has performed 30,000 abortions. As much as any line in the film, that one brought me up short. It’s that staggering number, of course, but it’s also because Ms. Turner, so stately and beautiful and composed, delivers the line so matter-of-factly. What she describes would make the film R-rated if it were shown.

Earlier, as the murderer’s trial is set to begin, a judge asks Gosnell if he has anything to say. He expresses concern for the rare turtles he keeps at his clinic. The judge instructs the prosecutor to see to the turtles’ welfare, because the judge takes the Endangered Species Act very seriously: “You are going to have to figure out how to deal with these vulnerable creatures.”

As mentioned, Gosnell is rated PG-13. Only one scene (in the morgue) involves blood – a liver autopsy. The teleplay is by Andrew Klavan; the screenplay is by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinny and is based upon their bestselling book. There are some interesting cameos, including the actual prosecutor, Christine Wechsler, and our friend and former contributor, Austin Ruse, as one of the late-to-the-trial press corps.

Sarah Jane Morris

Brad Miner

Brad Miner

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and Board Secretary of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Most Important Movie You’ve Never Heard Of

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Catholic Thing. Republished with permission. Copyright 2018 The Catholic Thing. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Hyperdo Media. Developed by Fiat Insight

Cuban Doctors Say They Are Treated Like Slaves

You are trained in Cuba and our education is free. Health care is free, but at what price? You wind up paying for it your whole life.” –Dr. Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez

In 2013, the World Health Organization brokered a deal through which Cuba would export doctors to Brazil to serve in its poorest and most remote areas. Yet as Brazil began to reap the benefits of improved care and decreased mortality rates, the Cuban doctors began to see their home’s regime in a new light.

“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” says Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the program’s doctors, in a New York Times profile. “There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”

The Cuban doctors began noticing the disparity in their government’s “take” from the Brazilian government—nearly four times their own salary—as well as the higher wages and greater freedoms enjoyed by their fellow “export doctors” from other participating countries.

“We began to see that the conditions for the other doctors were totally different,” Jiménez explains. “They could be with their family, bring their kids. The salaries were much higher.”

In response, more than 150 Cuban doctors have now filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts, claiming equality protections under Brazil’s constitution and requesting that they remain in the country as independent contractors with the ability to earn a full salary.

The New York Times summarizes the situation as follows:

The seeds of the rebellion were planted a year ago in a conversation between a Cuban doctor and a clergyman in a remote village in northeastern Brazil.

Anis Deli Grana de Carvalho, a doctor from Cuba, was coming to the end of her three‑year medical assignment. But having married a Brazilian man, she wanted to stay and keep working. The pastor was outraged to learn that, under the terms of their employment, Cuban doctors earn only about a quarter of the amount the Brazilian government pays Cuba for their services.

…In late September of last year, she sued in federal court to work as an independent contractor. Within weeks, scores of other Cuban doctors followed Dr. Grana’s lead and filed suits in Brazilian courts.

As for how the Cuban government has responded thus far, some have been allowed to keep their jobs or return home, while others were fired and face exile:

Late last year, judges issued temporary injunctions in some cases, granting Cuban doctors the right to remain as independent contractors, earning full wages. One federal judge in the capital denounced the Cuban contracts as a “form of slave labor” that could not be tolerated.

But the federal judge who handled Dr. Grana’s case ruled against her, finding that allowing Cuban doctors to walk away from their contracts posed “undue risks in the political and diplomatic spheres.”

Soon after the first injunctions were issued, Cuban supervisors in Brazil summoned doctors who had filed suits and fired them on the spot, several doctors said. Each was given the chance to get on a plane to Cuba within 24 hours — or face exile for eight years.

The costs have been high for those who left family behind in order to pursue a better livelihood or improve their prospects upon returning home. But for many, the risks have been well worth it.

“It’s sad to leave your family and friends and your homeland,” says Maireilys Álvarez Rodríguez, a doctor who sued the government but managed to keep her job and bring her children to Brazil. “But here we’re in a country where you’re free, where no one asks you where you’re going, or tells you what you have to do. In Cuba, your life is dictated by the government.”

We routinely hear critics of capitalism decry the supposed injustices of free wages set by free markets driven by the actions free people. Without the steady hand of heavy government control and redistribution—we are told—the ideals of equality and justice will never prevail.

Yet note how, in the present case, we see doctors from Cuba—a land that supposedly places excessive priority on “equality”—running from their government to the Brazilian constitution for equality protections. The irony is painful and shows the illusory nature of an equality based only on material outputs.

Without true freedom, self-constructed, arbitrary, materialistic notions about “equality” quickly devolve, crowding out new growth and creating other disparities in the process, whether among neighbors abroad or among workers at home.

Likewise, when given a taste of freedom, the view gets clearer, and the supposed communist ideals of “equality” are quickly placed in the context of what’s truly at the driver’s seat: control.

This article was reprinted with permission from the Acton Institute.

Joseph Sunde

Joseph Sunde

Joseph Sunde is an associate editor and writer for the Acton Institute. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, Intellectual Takeout, The City, The Christian Post, The Stream, Patheos, LifeSiteNews, Charisma News, The Green Room, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.

U.S. Attorney in Colorado may shut down pot shops. Here’s why.

U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer

Writing in the Denver Post, U.S. Attorney in Colorado, Bob Troyer, says you may see his counterparts begin to criminally prosecute licensed marijuana businesses and their investors. Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012 but has not gotten what proponents promised. Here’s what it’s gotten instead:


  • Youth marijuana use is 85 percent higher than the national average.
  • The industry targets kids by selling marijuana consumption devices to avoid detection like vape pens that look like high-lighters and eye-liner.
  • Marketers advertise super high potency gummi candies to youth whose developing brains make them more vulnerable to addiction. The vast amount of industry profits come from heavy and addicted users.

Marijuana-Related Traffic Fatalities

  • Marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up 151 percent.

Environmental Damage

  • An indoor marijuana grow consumes 17 times more power than an average residence.
  • Each marijuana plant consumes 2.2 liters of water—per day.

Contaminated Products

  • Colorado has issued more than 40 recalls of plants laced with pesticides and mold.

Burgeoning Black Market

  • Rather than being eliminated, the state’s black market has exploded. Colorado has become a source state for international drug trafficking and money laundering operations from Cuba, China, Mexico, and elsewhere.
  • Last year, the regulated industry produced 6.4 metric tons of unaccounted-for marijuana. More than 80,000 black-market plants were found on Colorado’s federal lands.

Read U.S. Attorney Troyer’s op-ed here.

Colorado legalized marijuana commercialization for medical use in 2009 followed by recreational use three years later. Like Colorado, the other seven states that fully legalized marijuana commercialized the drug for medical use first.

If you don’t want your state to become Colorado 2.0, make sure your state senator and state representative hear from you. Now, they are hearing exclusively from the marijuana industry, which is contributing to their campaigns.

If you live in Colorado or one of the seven other states with full legalization, ask your legislators to modify or repeal legalization.

If you live in a state that allows medical use of the drug, ask your legislators to prevent full legalization and to modify or repeal medical legalization.

If you live in a state that has done neither, work with your legislators to keep it that way.

You can find your state representative and state senator along with their contact information here. To the left, click on “Engage.” Click on “Who represents me?”

Colorado produced over 6 million marijuana plants, more than one plant for every man, woman, and child in the state.

Between January and June 2018, Colorado marijuana cultivators grew 6,011,678 marijuana plants, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. The data come from the division’s just released mid-year update.

Reading from the bottom of the graph above, the counties of Denver (A-dark blue), Pueblo (B-dark red), El Paso (C-green), and Boulder (D-purple) produced 80 percent of the plants grown across the state. See key, below.

Access Marijuana Enforcement Division report here. This key and graph above are on pages 7 and 8.

Violent crime up 25 percent in Colorado since 2013, latest CBI report shows

Crime has surged in Colorado since the state legalized marijuana, says the Colorado Crime Bureau of Investigation:

  • violent crime up 25 percent (18,426 in 2013 to 23,009 in 2017)
  • aggravated assaults up 31 percent (9,714 to 12,711)
  • drug violations up 53 percent (13,878 to 21,166)
  • motor vehicle thefts up a whopping 73 percent (12,806 to 22,187)

Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000, legalized dispensaries in 2009, and legalized “recreational,” “retail,” or “adult use” (choose one, the state has used all three names) marijuana in 2012.

Read Denver Post story here. Access Colorado Crime Stats here.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Thomas Bjornstad on Unsplash.

The Hyatt of Hypocrisy: Banning Gosnell

When Kermit Gosnell was sentenced to three life terms for killing at least one mom and snipping the necks of who-knows-how-many babies, Planned Parenthood tweeted that “justice had been done.” But apparently, it’s justice they don’t want anyone talking about.

Five years ago, the case had all the makings of a riveting courtroom drama. The man on trial was charged with serially murdering children and at least one mom in a filthy, blood-splattered horror house near Philadelphia. A real-life monster, he preyed on his victims as a doctor, then stashed parts of their bodies in a basement freezer, jars, or cat-food containers. He tried grinding the pieces down garbage disposals or flushing them down toilets. It was a scene that Philadelphia’s District Attorney Seth Williams said “comprehension of the English language doesn’t and cannot adequately describe.”

Normally, the media would be tripping over themselves to report every grisly detail. But as the gruesome testimonies spilled out, the bright lights of the network cameras were nowhere to be found. And the keyboards of reporters, who race to recount the nightmarish details of every other tragedy, fell silent. It wasn’t because the story lacked jaw-dropping revelations. Sherry West, who had been with the office for years, told the court about a screaming baby that had been born in the clinic and then murdered. Steven Massof, who was also hired by Gosnell, sent shivers down people’s spines when he described the busy times: “It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” In those moments, Massof confessed, “I felt like a fireman in hell. I couldn’t put out all the fires.”

“The killings became so routine,” an employee admitted, “that no one could put an exact number on them. They were considered ‘standard procedure.'” But what’s also become standard procedure in the half-decade since Gosnell’s conviction is for the media to pretend it never happened. The Left ignored the story then – and they want to ignore now.

Hopefully, that will be a lot harder, thanks to the producers of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. Despite four years of roadblocks — from censorship to outright intolerance — the film has survived its share of adversity. When Kickstarter refused to let the movie raise money on its site, they took their project to Indiegogo — and broke a crowdfunding record in the process. This past August, the hurdles only got higher. Executive Producer John Sullivan approached about buying airtime, only to be told that the ad was too conservative. Calling Gosnell an “abortionist,” they said, was a violation of their “value-neutral” policy. When Sullivan offered to change it to “abortion doctor,” executives refused a second time. Gosnell had to be a “doctor” — or no deal.

Now, the same organization that insisted Gosnell got what he deserved is doing everything they can to keep his story from being told. In Austin, the local Planned Parenthood is so afraid of people learning the truth about their industry that they bullied the local Hyatt Regency Hotel into canceling a screening of the film. Why? Because it coincided with Planned Parenthood’s $400-a-plate fundraising gala. According to Sullivan, the producers had more than 250 people registered only to be told the event was viewed as a “security” risk.

How ironic. If anyone’s a security risk, it’s the group killing 881 babies a day! Of course, no one should be surprised at Planned Parenthood’s pathetic attempt to shut the movie down. They’re probably afraid more Americans will make the connection between Gosnell’s barbarism and their support for procedures just like it. After all, if the group really wanted to spare women from these horrors, they’d fight for tougher clinic regulations. Instead, they’ve spent the last two decades trying to stop doctors from helping born-alive babies. Obviously, like Gosnell, they only believe “wanted” children have rights.

That would certainly explain why Planned Parenthood knew about Gosnell’s slaughterhouse and did nothing. For years, women and children suffered at the hands of this monster only to find out that Planned Parenthood could have stopped it — and didn’t. And this is the kind of organization we entrust with more than a half-billion taxpayer dollars? One that’s silent on abuse — and too concerned about profits to care about patients? “If Planned Parenthood thinks what Gosnell did was ‘appalling'” — at least publicly — “what do they call their own facilities’ dangerous, unsanitary conditions and practices of infanticide?” Students for Life asked.

In the end, the only way to stop this nightmare is to expose it. The producers of Gosnell did their part. Now it’s up to us. On October 12, go see the movie that the abortion industry doesn’t want you to see! In the meantime, check out what Gosnell‘s stars — including Dean Cain — had to say at VVS about the powerful story behind the film in the panel below. And take a minute to contact the Hyatt Regency in Austin (@Hyatt) and let them know that if they really believed in choice, they’d give audiences one!

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Conservatives Looking for Justice in Kavanaugh

Mobs on the Menu for Cruz

How to Spot Misleading Statistics in the Gun Control Debate

The question should not be, “Do guns prevent crime?” The question should be, “Are guns useful at resisting crime?”

The academic debate over gun control consists mainly of a war of statistics. New studies come out every few weeks, and as a result, both sides are constantly locking horns over the validity or invalidity of this-or-that study in this-or-that country.

For those who aren’t formally trained in data analysis, this debate can seem impossible to navigate. How should untrained laypersons go about interpreting the findings of statistical studies?

It’s About Resistance, Not Prevention

Statistics come in all shapes and sizes, so the first thing we need to do is determine which kinds of statistics are relevant to the gun control debate and which are irrelevant. To do this, we need a clear understanding of what the gun control debate is fundamentally about. We can’t separate the relevant from the irrelevant if we aren’t clear about how to frame the issue.

So, what is the debate over gun ownership fundamentally about? Many seem to think that it’s about deterrence; that is, whether gun ownership prevents crime. The most well-known proponent of this view is John Lott, who argues that shall-issue right-to-carry laws are effective at reducing crime rates by means of deterring criminals. Lott’s research has been corroborated by a number of other studies and criticized by others.

Regardless of whether Lott’s research stands up to scrutiny, I want to suggest that it’s mistaken to think about the gun ownership debate chiefly in terms of crime prevention. On the contrary, whether there exists a right to own guns depends chiefly on whether guns are reasonable means of resisting crime.

Although prevention is more socially desirable (it is better that a crime not happen in the first place), any deterrent benefits that guns may have would owe to their resistance benefits, so the latter is more fundamental. Guns are valued for self-defense primarily because of their ability to dispense lethal force, which means that resistance—not prevention—is primary. Prevention is an added benefit, but it is secondary.

None of this is to say that Lott’s research is wrong. Rather, the point I’m making is that prevention and resistance are two very different things, and the latter is what the gun debate is fundamentally about.

To illustrate the difference, let’s suppose that I encounter a mugger while taking a walk. I brandish my firearm to the mugger, who is undeterred and rushes me with a knife. I then shoot the mugger, stopping the crime. In that situation, my gun has failed to prevent a crime, but it was successful at resisting a crime. The gun was an effective and reasonable means of self-defense even though it failed to deter the would-be mugger.

This is a very crucial point that must be carefully appreciated. Even if guns don’t prevent crime by reducing the overall crime rate, it wouldn’t mean that guns are not a reasonable means of resisting crime. As far as gun rights are concerned, the single most important issue is simply the question of whether guns do a good job when deployed against a criminal assailant. Deterrence is not the key issue at stake.

The Wrong Kinds of Studies

With that point in mind, we are now in a position to evaluate the relevance of empirical studies. Suppose for the sake of argument that pro-control advocates are right that gun ownership or right-to-carry laws do not deter crime. What follows from this? Nothing much, actually. Since the gun debate is primarily about whether guns are reasonable means of resisting crimes, the fact that guns may not work to prevent crime doesn’t really damage the case for gun ownership.

This same is true even if guns increase crime. Let’s revisit the earlier scenario involving the mugger. Suppose that upon seeing my brandished gun, the mugger becomes enraged and charges me. In that case, not only has my gun failed to prevent a crime, it may actually have worsened one. But that wouldn’t mean that my gun wasn’t a reasonable means of resisting crime, nor that I wasn’t justified in using it to defend myself.

The point here is this: even if studies showing that gun ownership or right-to-carry laws increase crime are right, they’re irrelevant. It doesn’t follow that guns are not effective when used in self-defense. Since the merits of gun ownership center around their resistance benefits, it is misleading to attack that by focusing on their lack of preventative benefits. The failure of a gun to prevent crime doesn’t imply its failure at resisting crime.

Proponents of gun control are therefore guilty of a subtle sleight of hand when they cite studies showing that guns lead to more crime or that gun-owners have a higher risk of being killed by a gun. Even if all these studies are true (and there is considerable reason to doubt that they are), they are wholly irrelevant to what is actually at stake in the debate over gun ownership. It confuses the risk that guns have in general with their effectiveness when used for self-protection.

Now to be fair, many gun advocates are guilty of making this same mistake, in that they frame the entire debate in terms of deterrence and crime prevention. While it’s not wrong to look at these questions, they should be secondary to what really matters. Gun advocates should direct their primary attention to the number of defensive gun uses and the effectiveness of guns in self-defense, as they pertain directly to the core issue of the gun debate: resisting crime.

So, the next time you see a study showing how gun ownership may increase crime or one’s chances of dying, know that it is irrelevant to what is actually at stake. Being able to make the distinction between prevention and resistance won’t make you an expert at data analysis, but it will go a long way in helping you wade through the morass of anti-gun statistics.

The Right Kinds of Studies

The type of studies we should be paying attention to are those studies that deal directly with the effectiveness of guns when used in a self-defense scenario. On that topic, there is a clear and overwhelming consensus that guns are effective when used in self-defense.

A 1993 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology found that out of eight different forms of robbery resistance, “victim gun use was the resistance strategy most strongly and consistently associated with successful outcomes for robbery victims.”

A 2000 study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice found that men and women who resisted with a gun were less likely to be injured or lose property than those who resisted using some other means or who did not resist at all. In the case of women, “having a gun really does result in equalizing a woman with a man.”

A 2004 study published in the journal Criminology found that out of sixteen different forms of victim self-protection, “a variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury.”

Finally, a 2010 study published in Crime and Delinquency found that resistance with a gun decreased the odds of robbery and rape completion by 93 percent and 92 percent, respectively.

Taking stock of these points, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council concluded in a 2013 review of the literature that

studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.

When it comes to the use of studies and statistics, both sides tend to focus on the impact of gun ownership and right-to-carry laws on causing or deterring violence. These are certainly interesting issues to examine, but deterrence (or lack thereof) isn’t actually relevant to the key question in the gun debate. What matters is simply the question of whether guns are effective at doing what they’re designed to do. And on that question, there is clear consensus that guns are extremely effective at self-defense.

Tim Hsiao

Tim Hsiao

Tim Hsiao is Instructor of Philosophy and Humanities at Grantham University. His website is timhsiao.org

Planned Parenthood: Pro-Sexual Assault Until It Hurts Their Narrative

On Friday, Judge Brett Kavanaugh denied an unproven accusation that he and a friend sexually assaulted a woman in high school. As the Senate decides how to react to the accuser’s claims, Planned Parenthood is jumping on the bandwagon to claim that Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination process should be halted.

The replies to these Tweets lay out the case that Planned Parenthood is simply being a left-wing attack dog. More importantly, however, is their absolute hypocrisy when it comes to treatment of women who are sexually assaulted.

2ndVote readers are familiar with Live Action’s excellent work uncovering Planned Parenthood’s widespread protection of sex abusers. Are you also aware of the time a Mobile, Alabama Planned Parenthood center gave two abortions to a 14-year old girl in four months, but concluded that she wasn’t being sexually assaulted? The center also did not report the girl’s condition to the state, in violation of health care reporting laws.

The girl had two children prior to those abortions, as well. LifeSiteNews has more:

That official said that a LifeSiteNews summary of the situation was “true,” but it “would be much better” if LifeSiteNews framed its coverage favorably. It was subsequently clarified with this official that “essentially, your department was satisfied [Planned Parenthood] had acted in good faith, and not intentionally hid this information” from child protective services.”

This official also told LifeSiteNews that Planned Parenthood had previously investigated the 14-year old’s circumstances, and determined she was not being abused. However, the spokesperson LifeSiteNews spoke with on Monday said that there are no state requirements for what questions Planned Parenthood asked of the 14-year old to determine her four pregnancies were not due to abuse.

Got that? The state health department believed Planned Parenthood “accidentally” broke state law, so it gave them a slap on the wrist. No wonder Planned Parenthood’s national spokespersons believe they can continue to flout sex abuse, baby sales, and other laws with impunity. And no wonder Planned Parenthood believes it can claim to #BelieveWomen about sexual assault despite its own poor record on that front.

The only thing Planned Parenthood will listen to is money. 2ndVote shoppers should tell corporate backers of America’s largest abortion company to stop funding sex abuse cover-ups and slaughter of the unborn.

The following companies and nonprofits have directly funded Planned Parenthood

American Express
Bank of America
Bath & Body Works
Ben & Jerry’s
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Charles Schwab
Deutsche Bank

Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac
Frito Lay
General Electric
Jiffy Lube
JPMorgan Chase
Johnson & Johnson
Kaiser Permanente
Kraft Heinz
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
March of Dimes
Mondelez International

Morgan Stanley
Progressive Insurance
Susan G. Komen
United Airlines
United Way
US Bank
Wells Fargo
WD-40 Company

The following companies have supported 3rd party groups that fund Planned Parenthood

7 For All Mankind
Abbott Laboratories
Advanced Micro Device
American Airlines
American Express
American Greetings
American Petroleum Institute 
Ameriprise Financial
Ann Taylor
Banana Republic
Bank of America
Ben & Jerry’s
Best Buy
Black & Decker
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Calvin Klein
Campbell’s Soup
Caribou Coffee
Central Pacific Financial
Choice Hotels
Comerica Bank
Commerce Bank
Corning Inc.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Del Monte Foods

Delta Express
Deutsche Bank
Dollar General
Dollar Shave Club
Dow Chemical
Enterprise Holdings
Ernst & Young
Express Scripts Inc. 
Fannie Mae
Fifth Third Bank
Freddie Mac
Fry’s Food Stores
General Electric
General Mills
General Motors
Goldman Sachs
H&R Block
Hallmark Cards
Harris Teeter
HCA Holdings
Health Net
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Hershey Company
Hillshire Brands Company
Home Depot
Jack in the Box
Jiffy Lube
John Hancock Financial

Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase 
Junior Achievement
Kentucky Fried Chicken
L.L. Bean
Lands’ End
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
Lincoln Financial Group
Mars Inc.
Mary Kay
Merck & Co. 
MGM Resorts International
Mondelez International
Morgan Stanley
National Car Rental
National Basketball Association
National Football League
NBC Universal
New Balance
New York Life
Newell Brands
Old Navy
Pacific Life
Pizza Hut
PNC Bank
Prudential Financial and Insurance
Procter & Gamble
Progressive Insurance

Qdoba Mexican Grill
Quaker Oats
Quality Inn
Ralph Lauren
Rite Aid
Sam’s Club
Seattle’s Best Coffee
Shell Oil
Shelter Insurance
The Sherwin Williams Company
State Farm
Susan G. Komen
T.J. Maxx
Taco Bell
Tazo Tea 
Texas Instruments
The North Face
The Travelers Companies
Tiffany & Co
Time Warner
Toys R Us
Tractor Supply Company
Turbo Tax
UnitedHealth Group
US Bank
Vanity Fair
Victoria’s Secret
Wells Fargo
Western Union
Whirlpool Corporation
White Castle

Help us continue creating content like this and educating conservative shoppers by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Shutterstock.

Breaking News from Harvard: Faith is Good for You

The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). So often what passes for “news” is really nothing more than a refresher. A case in point is a new study from published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology about the link between religious upbringing and subsequent health and well-being.

One not-so-surprising finding of the study, which was done by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is that, “Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction and positive affect, a number of character strengths, lower probabilities of marijuana use and early sexual initiation, and fewer lifetime sexual partners.” Additionally, among the studies’ participants:

“Compared with never praying or meditating, at least daily practice was associated with greater positive affect, emotional processing, and emotional expression; greater volunteering, greater sense of mission, and more forgiveness; lower likelihoods of drug use, early sexual initiation, STIs, and abnormal Pap test results; and fewer lifetime sexual partners.”

These findings aren’t a surprise to us here at FRC. For years, we’ve seen this in practice, and in data like those published by our friend Pat Fagan at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. It is a demonstrable fact that when faith is allowed to flourish, good outcomes are in store for society at large.

The study’s author observes,

“These findings are important for both our understanding of health and our understanding of parenting practices. Many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviors, mental health, and overall happiness and well-being.”

Of course, we know that “faith” in a generic sense doesn’t always guarantee a comfortable outcome, but an abiding faith in Jesus Christ can anchor a person’s soul for whatever he or she may face in life. A study like this won’t necessarily cause people to embrace faith, but it does show that a society in which religious liberty thrives will be a healthier society. And any government that wants to promote the well-being of its people should give ample space for people to have the freedom to believe and to live out those beliefs.

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Deplorables, Irredeemables, and the Dregs of Society

Kavanaugh Allegations: Aimed at Justice or at a Justice?

FRC in the Media

Coca-Cola & IBM Join Dozens of Companies to Demand Northern Ireland Legalize Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

In the 3.5 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legally redefined marriage, religious liberty has plummeted across America. We are simultaneously seeing a major “transgender” push for men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms, no matter what the harm is to women and girls.

None of this matters to dozens of international corporations which are urging Northern Ireland to join the rest of the Western World in ignoring the reality of marriage — which is between one man and one woman.

Via Amnesty International (h/t to LifeSiteNews):

“We, the undersigned write to express our support for the extension of civil marriage in Northern Ireland. As employers we encourage and welcome diversity and inclusion in our workforce and recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender employees to be themselves and to live and work, free from discrimination, prejudice or exclusion.

We could hammer dozens of companies for signing Amnesty International’s misguided document, but we’ll focus on two: Coca-Cola and IBM. Both are companies which have jumped on the left-wing bandwagon on all of the issues which 2ndVote ranks. They are especially bad on marriage and religious liberty.

Coca-Cola has donated to the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD. It is a corporate partner of GLAAD, received the top score in Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate Equality Index,” and urged the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine marriage. It has since jumped further down the left-wing bandwagon by backing legislation and coalitions which would completely undermine religious liberty for tens of millions of Americans.

IBM has similarly left American values behind in its capitulation to liberal ideologies. It backs the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, is a GLAAD corporate partner, opposes religious liberty as part of business coalitions, and like Coca-Cola has structured its company so as to receive a maximum score of 100 Human Rights Campaign’s Index.

One would expect corporate leaders to recognize that same-sex “marriage” leads to a host of social ills. It denies children their right to opposite-sex parents. It encourages harmful sexual relations. It forces governments to crack down on those who rightly support only real marriage, and leads to problems such as female survivors of rape being told they must accept men in private changing and restroom facilities.

Instead, they are doubling down on bad policies by putting pressure on Northern Ireland to ditch common-sense laws. We urge 2ndVote shoppers to let Coca-Cola and IBM know that we won’t stand for them using our money for their left-wing agenda.

Send Coca-Cola an Email!      Contact IBM!

Help us continue creating content like this and educating conservative shoppers by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Shutterstock.