Senate Signals Left Turn for Central America
June 14, 2012 - Thursday
Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) name constantly crops up as a possible Vice Presidential nominee. But in El Salvador, the nomination he's more often linked to is Mari Carmen Aponte's. For the last year, Aponte has served as the President's very controversial ambassador to El Salvador--a post she had to bypass the Senate to get. Senate Republicans had such strong reservations about Aponte's past (she's been linked to a Cuban spy) that the President had to name her by recess appointment.
In the almost two years that Aponte served in El Salvador, she did plenty to prove her detractors right. Like most ambassadors, Aponte was given strict instructions to use her influence to demand acceptance for the President's radical social agenda. In most cases, this aggressive strategy has made more enemies of nations than friends--especially in countries as profoundly religious as El Salvador. At the request of Secretary Clinton, Aponte published a scathing op-ed in local newspapers chastising Salvadorians for their rejection of homosexuality and suggested their position was ignorant. The column sparked such a huge uproar that Salvadorian leaders called for her removal from office. When her bumpy term finally ended, it was just assumed that she wouldn't be re-nominated.
That's no longer the case, thanks in part to Sen. Rubio--who used her appointment as a negotiating chip with the White House. Sen. Rubio not only agreed to support the divisive nominee, but that also promised to lobby other Republicans to vote for her too. Keep in mind that her nomination is such an affront to Salvadorians that they organized a coalition solely for blocking her appointment. Together, they pleaded with Republican senators to back off, calling Aponte an insult to their people and their values.
"[A] fundamental rule in diplomatic practices," they wrote," is to not disregard the traditions and customs of the host country... Ms. Aponte, in clear violation of the rules of diplomacy and international rights laws, you intend to impose to Salvadorans, disregarding our profound Christian values, rooted in natural law, a new vision of foreign and bizarre values, completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as 'human rights.'"
When reporters asked Sen. Rubio how he could possibly vote with liberal Democrats on her confirmation, his office replied, "We worked behind the scenes with the administration and reached an agreement [on another policy in] Nicaragua, so the senator agreed to vote for cloture on Aponte and find enough Republican votes (6) for her to pass." The office even backed off its earlier opposition, claiming that it "was never based on her personally." "The administration addresse[ed] his policy concerns, he looks forward to voting for her whenever Senator [Harry] Reid (D-Nev.) brings her up for another vote."
Which happened to be today. Unfortunately, the Senate chose to confirm Aponte. (The vote results are here.) Please contact your senators and either thank them for opposing Aponte or ask why they failed to respect the wishes of the Salvadorian people. Real diplomacy means honoring the values of other countries while best representing your own. This candidate does neither.
Schools Need to Lessen Sex, Not Lesson It!
It was the kind of conversation that would land a fifth-grader in the principal's office. There was just one problem: the principal was the one who started it! At Onalaska Elementary School in Washington State, a lesson on HIV/AIDS took a shocking turn when a child asked about alternate forms of sex. Instead of referring the boy to his parents, the principal launched into a graphic explanation of various sex acts that traumatized children and enraged parents. When the fifth-graders got home and started relaying what they had heard--parents could barely believe their ears. "I trusted my school--that's the bottom line, and they crossed the line," fumed one mom. "It's one thing to teach about reproduction... but when they [teach] them these extra acts--it's appalling."
The outrage led to a small town media firestorm. Ultimately, the superintendent sided with the principal, insisting that she "only gave factual information." But being factual and being age-appropriate are two different things. The role of educators is to undergird--not undermine--the values instilled at home. Instead, the Left is using our schools to plant the seeds of sexual liberalism. This seems to be increasingly prevalent in states where marriage has been redefined. When Massachusetts legalized same-sex "marriage" in 2004, groups like GLSEN had a revised sex ed curriculum ready and waiting. In Washington State, where voters will try to overturn a same-sex marriage law this year, schools are already introducing the topic to little children.
Under ObamaCare, it will only get worse. Liberal school-based clinics, free birth control pills, millions of dollars for Planned Parenthood--it's all in there. That's why it is absolutely critical that parents get involved with what their schools are teaching and when. Otherwise, your children will end up like Onalaska's, where, as one parent put it, "The damage has already been done."
Two Weeks for Freedom
On Tuesday, June 19, at 8:00 p.m. (ET), Christians from across denominational lines will come together for a special newscast to mark the beginning of a two-week period of nationwide prayer for religious liberty. This First Freedom is threatened by the Department of Health and Human Services, which has approved, for the first time in American history, new federal regulations that would force faith-based groups to cover abortion drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations. Through rallies, lawsuits, and now a call to prayer, Christians are sending a message that we will not give up this constitutionally guaranteed right. Join us on June 19th for this special program, "Two Weeks for Freedom: Christians Standing Together for Religious Freedom." Confirmed speakers include:
- Governor Mike Huckabee
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
- Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebr.)
- Terence Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief, CNSNews.com
- Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action
- Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action