Catholic Bishops file amicus brief in support of Defense of Marriage Act

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on January 29, 2013 filed amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court in support of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, both of which confirm the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

DOMA was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996 and defines marriage for federal and inter-state recognition purposes. Proposition 8 is a state constitutional amendment approved by the citizens of California in 2008. Both laws are challenged because they define marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.

Urging the Court to uphold DOMA the USCCB brief in United States v. Windsor says that “there is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.” The brief also states that “as defined by courts ‘sexual orientation’ is not a classification that should trigger heightened scrutiny,” such as race or ethnicity would.

It added that “civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition—quite the opposite is true. Nor can the treatment of such relationships as marriages be said to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.”

USCCB argued that previous Supreme Court decisions “describing marriage as a fundamental right plainly contemplate the union of one man and one woman.”

The USCCB also cautioned that a decision invalidating DOMA “would have adverse consequences in other areas of law.”

In a separate brief filed in Hollingsworth v Perry urging the Court to uphold Proposition 8, the USCCB states that there are many reasons why the state may reasonably support and encourage marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, as distinguished from other relationships. Government support for marriage, so understood, is “recognizing the unique capacity of opposite-sex couples to procreate” and “the unique value to children of being raised by their mother and father together.”

The USCCB brief states that “[T]he People of California could reasonably conclude that a home with a mother and a father is the optimal environment for raising children, an ideal that Proposition 8 encourages and promotes. Given both the unique capacity for reproduction and unique value of homes with a mother and father, it is reasonable for a State to treat the union of one man and one woman as having a public value that is absent from other intimate interpersonal relationships.”

The USCCB brief adds that “While this Court has held that laws forbidding private, consensual, homosexual conduct between adults lack a rational basis, it does not follow that the government has a constitutional duty to encourage or endorse such conduct. Thus, governments may legitimately decide to further the interests of opposite-sex unions only. Similarly, minimum standards of rationality under the Constitution do not require adopting the lower court’s incoherent definition of ‘marriage’ as merely a ‘committed lifelong relationship,’ which is wildly over-inclusive, empties the term of its meaning, and leads to absurd results.”

“Marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, is not an historical relic, but a vital and foundational institution of civil society today,” the USCCB brief states. “The government interests in continuing to encourage and support it are not merely legitimate, but compelling. No other institution joins together persons with the natural ability to have children, to assure that those children are properly cared for. No other institution ensures that children will at least have the opportunity of being raised by their mother and father together. Societal ills that flow from the dissolution of marriage and family would not be addressed—indeed, they would only be aggravated—were the government to fail to reinforce the union of one man and one woman with the unique encouragement and support it deserves.”

The USCCB brief also notes that “Proposition 8 is not rendered invalid because some of its supporters were informed by religious or moral considerations. Many, if not most, of the significant social and political movements in our Nation’s history were based on precisely such considerations.Moreover, the argument to redefine marriage to include the union of persons of the same sex is similarly based on a combination of religious and moral considerations (albeit ones that are, in our view, flawed).As is well established in this Court’s precedent, the coincidence of law and morality, or law and religious teaching, does not detract from the rationality of a law.”

USCCB notes that a judicial decision invalidating Proposition 8’s definition of marriage would have adverse consequences in other areas of law.

“[R]edefining marriage—particularly as a matter of constitutional law, rather than legislative process—not only threatens principles of federalism and separation of powers, but would have a widespread adverse impact on other constitutional rights, such as the freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, and association.Affirmance of the judgment below would create an engine of conflict in this area, embroiling this Court and lower courts in a series of otherwise avoidable disputes—pitting constitutional right squarely against constitutional right—for years to come.

Kids Need Both Mom and Dad, Says Gay Man

The benefits of intact biological families were emphasized on a “Building a Marriage Culture” panel at the National Review Institute’s 2013 Summit, “The Future of Conservatism.” One of the panelists, Doug Mainwaring, spoke of his personal experience as a gay man who came to realize that his own children need both a mother and a father.

“For a long time I thought, if I could just find the right partner, we could raise my kids together, but it became increasingly apparent to me, even if I found somebody else exactly like me, who loved my kids as much as I do, there would still be a gaping hole in their lives because they need a mom,” Mainwaring, co-founder of National Capital Tea Party Patriots, said.

Mainwaring is now living with his ex-wife so they can co-parent their two teenaged sons.

“I don’t want to see children being engineered for same-sex couples where there is either a mom missing or a dad missing,” Mainwaring explained. “Somebody needs to stand up for the rights and needs of children in an age when the selfishness of adults seems to be trumping those rights.”

Read the rest at The Christian Post

What the Boy Scouts can learn about Gays in Leadership Positions from the Catholic Church and Penn State

Raynard Jackson a president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm, wrote in his Black Press USA column Boy Scouts Shouldn’t Become ‘Gay Scouts’:

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale that Boy Scouts, and all private organizations, have the constitutionally protected right under the First Amendment of freedom of association to set membership standards. In 2004, the BSA adopted a new policy statement, including the following as a “Youth Leadership” policy:

“Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scouting’s values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”

The Boy Scouts of America are reported to be reconsidering their position on gays becoming scout leaders.

What can the Boy Scouts of America learn from others who have put gays into leadership positions? Perhaps the experiences of the Catholic Church and Penn State University are two case studies that will predict what could happen.

BishopAccountability.org, an “online archive established by lay Catholics,” reports that over 3,000 civil lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic church, some of these cases have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements with multiple claimants.

In 1998 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million to twelve victims of one priest ($44.1 million in present-day terms). From 2003 to 2009 nine other major settlements involving over 375 cases with 1551 claimants/victims, resulted in payments of over $1.1 billion. The Associated Press estimated the settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950 to 2007 totaled more than $2 billion. BishopAccountability.org puts the figure at more than $3 billion in 2012. Addressing “a flood of abuse claims” five dioceses (Tucson, Arizona; Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Davenport, Iowa, and San Diego) got bankruptcy protection. Eight Catholic dioceses have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004-2011.

Penn State University (PSU) had a similar experience with Jerry Sandusky. The Sandusky scandal had far-reaching outcomes for the university. The report of an independent investigation commissioned by the PSU board and conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh and his law firm stated that Spanier and Paterno, along with Curley and school vice president Gary Schultz, had known about allegations of child abuse on Sandusky’s part as early as 1998, and were complicit in failing to disclose them.

In so doing, Freeh stated that the most senior leaders at Penn State showed a “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims” for 14 years and “empowered” Jerry Sandusky to continue his abuse.

On July 23, 2012 the NCAA imposed sweeping penalties on Penn State—among the most severe ever imposed on an NCAA member school—including a fine of $60 million, a four-year postseason ban and vacating of all victories from 1998–2011. In doing so, NCAA President Mark Emmert stated that the sanctions were levied “not to be just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of education, nurturing and protecting young people.” The Big Ten Conference subsequently imposed an additional $13 million fine. Spanier, Curley and Schultz have since been brought up on criminal charges for their role in the cover-up.

In addition 40 scholarships were stripped from Penn State University in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

Sandusky was a pederast, as were all of the Catholic priests involved in the abuse of young boys. All pederasts are gay according to Liberty University Visiting Professor of Law Judith Reisman, who said that “post the ‘landmark’ Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003, paraphrasing Justice Antonin Scalia, everything goes.” Professor Reisman said, “Following Alfred Kinsey ‘sexologists’ began to occupy our schools, so that educated professionals have largely been trained to be a form of sexual anarchists.”

“Although the stupidity of advocating harmless amoral sexuality overwhelms us daily, our arrogant ‘educated’ populations say morality has no place in our sexual lives,” Reisman said. “Just as AIDS is a natural outgrowth of amoral sexual education and media, so too is child sexual abuse. We are breeding a new human character and child sexual abuse is increasingly part of that character.”

Department of Homeland Security states AR-15 Rifles “Suitable for Personal Defense”

A hat tip to Breitbart’s Awr Hawkins for pointing this out.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a “Personal Defense Weapons” Solicitation number HSCEMS-12-R-00011. The solicitation is for AR-15 rifles for Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Part C of the solicitation states, “DHS and its components have a requirement for a 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense use in close quarters and/or when maximum concealment is required.” [My emphasis]

Hawkins reports:

According to New York state Senator Greg Ball (R), the Department of Homeland Security is seeking 7,000 self-defense weapons–all of which are AR-15 variants.

These are the very weapons Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), have been telling us nobody needs for self-defense. Apparently, DHS disagrees.

As I wrote on January 14th, a “Personal Defense Weapons Solicitation” was circulated within DHS describing an AR-15 variant as “suitable for personal defense.” Now, 7,000 such weapons are being sought.

DHS is also seeking 30 round magazines for use with all the rifles.

Florida Family Policy Council Publishes List of Bad Bills

The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) won a major victory in Jacksonville last year when a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance was soundly defeated. The FFPC is now focusing on bills being introduced by the Florida legislature during the 2013 session. According to the FFPC website, “The Florida Family Policy Council is committed to strengthening marriage and family structures, protecting innocent human life and defending our religious liberties. One of the ways we influence culture in these areas is by engaging our elected officials in Tallahassee.”

The FFPC website lists the following bills as “bad”:

HB 139 by Rep. Pafford SB 166 by Sen. Sobel

This bill would authorize domestic partnerships in Florida. For more information on these bills, click here for the House version and here for the Senate version.

HB 247 by Rep. Randolph SB 340 by Sen. Rich

These bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the list of protected classes in Florida’s Civil Rights Act. It would prohibit employers with more than 15 employees from discriminating in their hiring practices against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.  For more information on these bills, click here for the House version and here for the Senate version.

HJR 353 by Rep. Clemens SJR 1028 by Sen. Bullard

These bills would allow the medicinal use of cannabis in Florida. For more information on this bill, click here.

HB 487 by Rep. Fresen SB 710 by Sen. Bogdanoff

These bills would authorize “destination casinos” with full scale gambling in Florida. For more information on these bills, click here for the House version and here for the Senate version.

HB 563 by Rep. Gonzalez SB 1016 by Sen. Garcia

These bills create a new pari-mutuel in Florida called the Breeders Cup Permanent Meet. For more information on these bills, click here.

The FFPC Legislative Agenda page states:

We are looking to build on the successes of last session on protecting life in Florida. This year, we are promoting legislation that will prohibit abortions during the third trimester or after a baby is viable unless the abortion is required to save the life of the mother or to prevent severe and irreversible impairment of the mother. It would also grant the same rights to an infant born alive during an attempted abortion that any natural born infant would have and requires physicians to do all in his power to preserve the life and health of that baby.

We are also supporting legislation that would empower school board[s] to authorize student led prayers at non-compulsory assemblies.

We will be opposing legislation that would allow full-scale destination casinos in Florida. The casino industry has invested millions into this effort to dramatically expand the scope of gambling that is available in our state. The Florida Family Policy Council continues to stand against the expansion of gambling in Florida.

We also will be working against legislation that would create domestic partnerships in Florida.

To see the entire FFPC legislative list of good and bad bills click here.

Are We Witnessing The Global Failure of the Ethical Life?

C. S. Lewis once remarked, “No one knows how bad he is until he has truly tried to be good.”

According to William Lane Craig, author of Reasonable Faith, “The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard made the same point. Kierkegaard thought of life as lived on three levels:

  1. The most basic level is the aesthetic stage, in which life is lived selfishly for the pleasure it affords. Life so lived ultimately issues in boredom and ennui.
  2. The next higher plane is the ethical stage, in which one lives according to strict moral standards. But this life results ultimately in despair because one cannot live up to the standard of the moral good.
  3. Only on the highest plane, the religious stage, is authentic existence truly to be found. Kierkegaard rightly saw that it is the failure of the ethical life that propels one to the religious plane.”

Does government without God lead to despair? Are people becoming desperate?

There are signs that individuals are acting out across America and around the world. The headlines are filled with efforts by politicians trying to impose strict ethical standards on people who live their lives based upon selfish pleasures. Is government hindering, and in some cases blocking, citizens from moving beyond the aesthetic and ethical stages to the religious plane?

After debating the existence of God with Louise Anthony, Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Craig wrote, “Anthony confessed that one of the drawbacks of the atheism she had come to embrace is that under atheism there is no redemption. Think of that! One’s sin and guilt are truly indelible. Nothing can undo what has been done and restore your innocence. But the Christian message is a message of redemption.”

Are there some in our government who believe that those who cling to their religion as somehow less worthy?

Craig writes, “Today so many people think of right and wrong, not as matters of fact, but as matters of taste.”

Craig quotes American Philosopher Richard Taylor, author of Ethics, Faith, and Reason , who wrote, The idea of . . . moral obligation is clear enough, provided that reference to some lawmaker higher . . . than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God. . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense?

Taylor goes on to say:

The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, without noticing that in casting God aside they have also abolished the meaningfulness of right and wrong as well.

Read more.

This is the basis of the great debate taking place in America, Europe, the Middle East and across the globe. Are we seeing the failure of the ethical life? What is the next stage: the aesthetic or religious? Do we evolve or devolve?

White House Petition Declares Catholic Church a “Hate Group”

Zach N from Atlanta, GA is listed as the creator of a White House petition begun on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012. The petition states:

“In his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the global leader of the Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled homosexual people around the world. Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, the Pope painted a portrait in which gay people are second-class global citizens. Pope Benedict said that gay people starting families are threatening to society, and that gay parents objectify and take away the dignity of children. The Pope also implied that gay families are sub-human, as they are not dignified in the eyes of God.

Upon these remarks, the Roman Catholic Church fits the definition of a hate group as defined by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.”

Matt Smith, President of the Catholic Advocate in an email states, “This petition is truly shocking, and it’s an attack against ALL people of faith, not just Catholics! That’s why I’m so urgently asking you to stand with Catholic Advocate today and help us launch an all-out campaign against the Obama Administrations hateful, secular agenda.”

According to NewsMaxWorld.com, “Pope Benedict said on Sunday that Roman Catholic leaders must have the courage to stand up to attacks by ‘intolerant agnosticism‘ prevalent in many countries.”

“Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs,” added Pope Benedict.

Watchdog Wire has sent an email to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League asking if they define the Catholic Church as a “hate group” based upon its position on gays and gay marriage. Replies will be posted as an update when received.

UPDATE 1/7/2013:

According to Penny Weaver, from the Public Affairs office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the SPLC only monitors “’Radical traditionalist’ Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics. Many of their leaders have been condemned and even excommunicated by the official church.” Weaver stated the SPLC, “[Does] not [monitor] the mainstream Catholic Church.”

ADL: Roman Catholic Church is Not a Hate Group

New York, NY, January 4, 2013 … In response to an online petition calling on the Obama Administration to label the Roman Catholic Church as “a hate group” for its conservative views on marriage, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the petition as an “outrageous and offensive conceit,” adding, “It was irresponsible for the promoter of this petition to use our name.”

The petition, titled “Officially recognize the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group” and posted to the whitehouse.gov web site on December 25, claimed that Pope Benedict XVI “demeaned and belittled homosexual people around the world” in his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals.  It asserted that the Catholic Church “fits the definition of a hate group as defined by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.”

“The claims made in this petition to the White House are abhorrent, and the notion that the Catholic Church could be defined as a hate group is an outrageous and offensive conceit,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “While one may agree or disagree with the Church’s position on homosexuality and marriage, any attempt to label the entire faith as a hate group is illegitimate and unacceptable.  It was irresponsible for the promoter of this petition to use our name.”

An Atheist and Muslim Debate: Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil?

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and a self-professed atheist, agreed to an Al Jazeera interview with Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim journalist. The interview is highly enlightening. This may be the first time Dawkins has been interviewed by a journalist who is faithful to the second largest religion in the world – Islam.

While this begins as an interview it turns into more of an interrogation and at times a debate between Dawkins, with Hasan taking the position of a theist.

According to Al Jazeera, “Fanaticism, fundamentalism, superstition and ignorance. Religion is getting a bad press these days. Much of the conflict in the world, from the Middle East to Nigeria and Myanmar, is often blamed on religion.”

“But how are things from a different perspective? Defenders of religion claim Adolf Hitler was an atheist. Communism under Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao Zedong banned religion, but also massacred millions. And science brought incredible and amazing advances, but also pollution and the atomic bomb,” notes Al Jazeera.

During the interview Hasan notes that religion like science can be used for good or evil. Both Dawkins and Hasan agree that politics has a lot to do with how both are perceived and used. Has science become a religion to those like Dawkins?

During the interview Dawkins and Hasan discuss the existence of a mono-theistic God. Dr. William Lane Craig, noted Christian apologist and author of Reasonable Faith, lays out detailed arguments that God does exist in his column “The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God“. Dr. Craig’s moral argument for a God, for example, takes the following form:

  • If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
  • Objective moral values and duties do exist.
  • Therefore, God exists.

It is in times of great suffering and turmoil that individuals turn to religion. Many believe we are in those times and religion may be the only thing that will provide us with comfort and salvation. What do you think?

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, which is Christ the Lord

FROM THE BOOK OF LUKE 2:7-20 (KJV)

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

A Clash of Organizations in the War on Christmas and the Good Guys Win

ANN ARBOR, MI — On Saturday morning, December 15th, John Satawa with the help of family and friends and the Boy Scouts once again erected the Nativity on a public median in Warren, Michigan. The joyous occasion was the culmination of a four year legal battle in defense of the Nativity waged by the Thomas More Law Center against the County Road Commission and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

While the Nativity was being erected, Warren police controlled traffic as well-wishers gathered, reporters and TV stations conducted interviews, carolers sang Christmas songs, a priest from nearby St Anne’s Catholic Church blessed the display, and passing cars and trucks sounded their horns and drivers gave a ‘thumbs-up” in approval.

A Nativity at that location was a tradition begun by John Satawa’s father in 1945. It was observed every year thereafter without a single complaint until 2008 when the Road Commission capitulated to a demand letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and ordered Satawa to take it down.  That is when John Satawa contacted the Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The beginning paragraph of the U.S. Court of Appeals opinion which ruled in favor of the Nativity, described the clash between the Thomas More Law Center and the Freedom From  Religion Foundation as follows:

The Macomb County Road Commission faced a dilemma.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation,an organization dedicated to “protect[ing] the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state,” had written a letter objecting to a private citizen’s placing a crèche on a sixty-foot-wide median at Christmas time, as the citizen and his family had done for more than sixty years. The county immediately ordered the crèche removed. In response, the Thomas More Law Center, an organization dedicated to “restor[ing] and defend[ing] America’s Judeo-Christian heritage,”took up the citizen’s cause . . .” (emphasis added)

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation conducts seek and destroy missions of Christian expressions throughout America.  But thanks to the perseverance of John Satawa and the insight of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel that heard our case, this is one battle they lost. John Satawa is now able to resume this wonderful tradition started over 60 years ago.”

As a result of the Court of Appeals ruling, the Macomb County Road Commission agreed to allow John Satawa to resume the annual tradition of erecting the Nativity display during the 2012 Christmas season and all future Christmas seasons.  The Nativity display will stay up until December 29th.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.  It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America.  The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

Gingrich vs. The Pope on Gay Marriage

Former Speaker of the House, architect of the Republican revolution, Presidential Candidate, social conservative and Catholic Newt Gingrich stated, “gay marriage is both inevitable and okay by him”. It appears that Newt’s dramatic change in attitude is politically based. “Legalization of same-sex marriage in three states in 2012’s election changed the landscape, and conservatives have to come to terms with it,” he said according to The Hollywood Gossip magazine.

The Pope in an end-of-year speech warned that the very future of mankind is at stake over gay marriage .

According to The Telegraph, “In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question,” the Pope stated in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

The Pope spoke of the “falseness” of gender theories and cited at length France’s chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

“Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper,” Pope Benedict XVI said.

Reuters reports, “Bernheim, also a philosopher, argues that homosexual rights groups ‘will use gay marriage as a Trojan Horse’ in a wider campaign to ‘deny sexual identity and erase sexual differences’ and ‘undermine the heterosexual fundamentals of our society’. His study, ‘Gay Marriage, Parenthood and Adoption: What We Often Forget To Say’, argues that plans to legalize gay marriage are being made for ‘the exclusive profit of a tiny minority’ and are often supported because of political correctness.”

Is Gingrich being politically correct? Have Republicans caved on the most important social issue facing mankind? Does politics trump core human principles?

“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

RELATED COLUMNS:

How the gay movement lobbies your state legislators

CAN YOU NAME ANY PROMINENT BLACK MORMONS?

Column courtesy of Frances Rice:

Democrats consistently push the false narrative that Mormons are racist, while ignoring the existence of black Mormons. Then, hypocritically, Democrats demean black Mormons who step into the spotlight. Witness how Democrats trashed Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and the Republican Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives in Utah’s 4th congressional district. An article that describes the despicable treatment of Mayor Love is “Hate-Filled Screeds Appear on Mia Love’s Wikipedia Page” by Patrick Hobin.

Gladys Knight

Among the black Mormons not in the political arena and largely ignored is Gladys Knight who became a Mormon in 1998 after her son Jimmy and his wife and children did so. Ms. Knight was successful as an R&B singer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She now writes and performs Mormon Gospel music. Sam Warren of “The Drifters”, another famous black R&B group of the 1960s and 1970s, also became a Mormon. A well-known black personality who is also a Mormon is the famous college and NFL football hero Burgess Owens. NBA All-Star player Thurl Bailey became a Mormon, too, and now composes Mormon music.

LeRoy Eldridge Cleaver

An intriguing historical personality is deceased LeRoy Eldridge Cleaver who went from being a Black Panther to Black Mormon. Mr. Cleaver was the Minister of Information in the early Black Panther Party, a combination of Black Nationalism and Marxism. In 1968, he wrote “Soul on Ice” which became an international bestseller and was once considered the “Manifesto” of black nationalists and white radicals.

Among the lesser known, but influential black Mormons is Jesse Thomas Jr., a former Baptist preacher, who became a Mormon in 1989 and now serves in local priesthood-leadership positions. In 1995 Lee Radcliff, a black Baptist minister who served as a pastor in Chicago and Mississippi for decades, also became a Mormon.

The press cynically stirs up religious bigotry against Gov. Mitt Romney because his faith is Mormonism, a religion that embraces our constitutional principles of free enterprise and individual liberty. This effort to get the voting public to hate Mormons is anchored on the false notion that Mormons are racists. The Mormon denigrators focus on how, from 1849 to 1978, the Mormon Church had a policy against ordaining black men to the priesthood. In 1978, church leaders ceased the racial restriction policy for black men, declaring that they had received a revelation instructing them to do so.

In spite of that old rule about the priesthood, the Mormon Church has always had an open membership policy for all races and today’s church opposes racial discrimination and racism. In 1997, there were approximately 500,000 black members of the Mormon Church, accounting for about 5% of the total membership. Since 1997, the black membership has grown substantially, especially in West Africa, where two temples have been built.

It goes against our constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion to declare that a person is not fit to be our nation’s leader because of that person’s religion. No one has called for Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid to denounce his Mormon religion in order to be the leader of the US Senate.

Frances Rice

Frances Rice, Esquire – Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)

Frances Rice’s great-great-grandparents were slaves. She spent her formative years in poverty in the segregated South during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. Frances was born in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, the same hospital where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. She occasionally attended Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was the pastor.

She joined the Army in 1964 as a Private and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977 – all while serving in the US Army.

During twenty years of active duty in the US Army, Frances served in a variety of positions, including commander of a WAC company, adjutant of a basic combat training brigade, a prosecuting attorney, and chief of the administrative law division. She also served as a special assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General and an adviser to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity.

Subsequent to her military career, Frances worked for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, serving first as a member of that company’s “think tank,” and then as a government contract advisor. She later taught Business Law for the European Division of the University of Maryland in Brussels, Belgium.

Jeb Bush Endorses Amendment 8

Former Governor Jeb Bush today announced his support for Florida Amendment 8.

“For decades, faith based organizations have provided Floridians with access to high-quality public services including medical care, housing, food, after school programs, and disaster relief. These are basic services that serve Floridians in a time a need,” said Governor Bush.

A pending court case in Florida, Council for Secular Humanism v. McNeil, mounts a constitutional challenge to a prison ministry based upon the current law and has the potential of putting every faith-based social service program here in Florida at risk, according to Citizens for Religious Freedom and Non-Discrimination.

“To restrict these organizations from providing this service through government funding is nothing more than discrimination. I encourage all Floridians to vote ‘yes’ on 8 on election day.”

About Yes on 8

Citizens for Religious Freedom and Non-Discrimination (“Yes on 8”) is focused on ending discrimination against religious organizations and preserving much-need social services through the passage of Amendment 8. Visit www.sayyeson8.com and on Facebook and Twitter @sayyeson8.

Please watch this panel discussion on Amendment 8:

Is Planned Parenthood Worth Borrowing Money From China to Pay For It?

Send a condom to a Republican delegate!

Planned Parenthood “Send a condom to a Republican delegate!” Campaign

During the first Presidential Debate Governor Mitt Romney was asked: What things would you cut from spending? Romney replied, “Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test — if they don’t pass it: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?”

Is federal funding for Planned Parenthood worth “borrowing money from China to pay for it?” Keith Fitzgerald thinks so.

Democrat Congressional Candidate Keith Fitzgerald appears in a series of videos taken at an event featuring abortion activist Sandra Fluke. Fitzgerald is fixated on issues that are not of great interest to most Floridians. Polls show that the national debt, jobs and the economy are top of mind with Americans. Fitzgerald at the event made some interesting comments about helping the middle class.

Fitzgerald stated that eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood takes away a woman’s ability to “achieve and stay in the middle class”.

“If a young woman has access to reproductive rights and information about how to exercise those rights she can make choices about when to have a child.  She can make the choice to start her family when she has a partner in place, if that is her choice, when she has finished her education, when she has a life plan and a direction – a career and every study will show you that if a woman makes a choice on those grounds her economic prospects are great,” says Fitzgerald

Recent studies have shown that achieving and staying in the middle class is best determined by marital status, not reproductive choice.

The Heritage Foundation found that, “Despite the massive impact of marriage in reducing poverty, government does little or nothing to discourage births outside marriage – and nothing to encourage healthy marriages. Many common misconceptions persist. This isn’t about teen pregnancy: Most non-marital births occur to women in their early 20s. Girls younger than 18 account for only about eight of every 100 births outside marriage. Also, lack of access to birth control isn’t a significant factor.” [My emphasis]

“Planned Parenthood is a private organization that receives a little bit of — in the grand scheme of things – public funding,” says Fitzgerald.

“So, you are leveraging public dollars to let a private organization provide that (reproductive) information and those services.  You take that away and what do you do?  You take away the ability of a young person to make the choices that will allow them to get into the middle class or stay there. So we are taking people in the middle class and throwing them out, but not just them, but their children too. So Planned Parenthood is an issue about middle class as much as it is about women’s rights,” Fitzgerald stated.

However, the Heritage Foundation recommends that, “Government ought to connect low-income couples with community resources to help them learn, or relearn, skills needed to build and sustain healthy marriages – before they bring children into the world. It’s also imperative to reform the welfare system to encourage rather than penalize marriage.”

Fitzgerald said women’s issues, which he defined as Planned Parenthood and reproductive choices, are the primary reason he is running for Congress.

VIDEOS OF FITZGERALD EVENT:

RELATED COLUMN:

Fitzgerald Communications Director Fired after calling Republican “pre-orgasmic”

Florida Catholic Voter Card Released

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) has released its 2012 voter card comparing President Obama’s record and that of Governor Mitt Romney. The mission of the Conference is to, “Serve as liaison to state government on matters of concern to the Catholic Church in the seven dioceses of the Province of Miami, as a nonpartisan public policy voice on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Florida.”

The FCCB Voter Card covers a number of social policy issues including abortion, marriage, the death penalty and embryonic stem cell research. It also gives each candidates position on education choice, freedom of religion, heath care access for the uninsured, immigration and national security.

According to the Catholic Voter Card, “In keeping with its mission, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops aims to educate and inform Catholics about a wide range of issues. The information listed here has been compiled from policies, public statements, official and campaign websites and other resources to help voters inform their consciences before heading to the voting booth. The issues appear here in alphabetical order for informational purposes only and do not represent a complete list of issues that may be of importance to Catholics. The FCCB neither supports nor opposes any candidate for public office. The underlined text below indicates a hyperlink to the source. Go to www.flaccb.org to view these links.”

To view the Catholic Bishops 2012 Voter Card click here.