Family Research Council

September 03, 2014 - Wednesday

LA Judge: I'll Stand Bayou on Marriage

It took a brave southern judge, but the Left's perfect record on same-sex "marriage" rulings finally snapped. Earlier today, Judge Martin Feldman broke a string of 20-plus activist decisions and yielded to the democratic process on Louisiana's marriage amendment. After more than a year of constitutional contempt, Judge Feldman restored some semblance of credibility -- and sanity -- to a federal bench that had been rewriting marriage law since the Supreme Court's Windsor decision.

Refusing to cave to the small -- but vocal chorus -- of liberals, Feldman said he was reluctant to throw away centuries of natural, social science, and legal tradition to satiate a radical fringe. "This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest... whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others," he wrote, "in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents."

Relying on research -- not the Left's misshapen idea of "rights" -- the Reagan appointee was blunt about the danger of chasing the political and cultural winds. "Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental," he said plainly.

Unlike so many of his peers, Feldman rightly recognized that the courts have no authority to unilaterally change the definition of our most fundamental social institution. While the courts stampede voters' rights to force their agenda, Feldman defended government by the people, for the people. "The state of Louisiana has a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of review for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process."

We applaud him -- as well as state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and special counsel Kyle Duncan and Mike Johnson, for standing up for the rule of law. They may be in the minority in the courts -- but they're in the majority where it counts: public opinion.

New History Curriculum: A Blast to the Past?

School's back -- and so is the liberal agenda! Across the country, parents and lawmakers are up in arms about an honors curriculum that gives new meaning to the phrase "history in the making." The 95-page outline is so agenda-driven, educators complain, that basic U.S. facts are either distorted -- or worse, omitted altogether. The College Board's proposal is a study in liberal indoctrination -- so much so that the Republican National Committee (RNC) formally opposed the idea in August. In a vote, the RNC concluded that the Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum is a "radical revisionist view" of America's greatest moments.

If history had a milk carton, Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr.'s faces would both be listed as missing persons in this latest attempt to rewrite the past. And those two leaders aren't the only things absent from the Board's outline. "There is no mention of Hitler, the Holocaust, D-Day, or other historic battles," complains Christy Armbruster. "And you're not going to find Thomas Jefferson and the House of Burgesses and the cradle of democracy either," chimed in test expert Larry Krieger.

"What you're going to find is our nation's founders portrayed as bigots who developed a belief in white superiority that was, in turn, derived from a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority," he explained. The proud tradition of religious liberty -- the very thing that drove the Pilgrims to the new world -- vanished from the text like the lost colony of Roanoke.

It's a "drastic departure" from the old outline. Too drastic, experts say. With more than a half-million kids potentially exposed to the curriculum, you can't blame people for being upset about the revisions. If there's any hope for the future, it's giving the next generation a grasp on the past.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of outrage over the Left's push to modify the curriculum to fit their narrative. Teachers and administrators from various schools banded together to send a letter to the College Board, demanding that the group table the guidelines. Now, even legislatures are getting into the act, as seven states -- including Tennessee -- try to delay or block the curriculum. Volunteer State Senators Dolores Gresham and Mike Bell sent the draft to their Board of Education, asking for a thorough review.

In the meantime, the College Board is frantically trying to justify the framework, insisting that there was "no political motivation" behind the exam. You could have fooled us! With the Common Core debate raging in school board meetings on both coasts, parents are on to the Left's strategy for the classroom. In an August Gallup poll, only 15% of Americans said they wanted federal influence on the public schools. To understand why, tune in to FRC's special newscast next Tuesday, September 9 from 8:00-9:00 p.m. (ET), "Common Core: The Government's Classroom." It's time for the experts writing the lessons to learn one -- on local authority.

YouTubing into Censorship...

Which is more offensive: radical Muslims beheading Americans or a pastor preaching about radical Islam and the persecution of Christians? The pastor, according to YouTube.

The internet's biggest video warehouse didn't mind posting the gruesome video of a journalist's execution but drew the line at a small-town preacher giving a sermon about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Daniel Ausbun, the pastor of a Baptist Church in Georgia, used his message on August 24 to talk about the ongoing crisis of radical Islam and ISIS -- then, as he'd done for three years, posted the video of the sermon online for church members who missed it.

Three days later when he logged into to his computer, he had a message. "I received an email from YouTube telling me that my account had been terminated for violation of the terms of service and their community guidelines," Pastor Ausbun said. "They actually terminated my entire account." From what he can tell, his video had been flagged as "hate speech."

It's incredible. Terrorists are beheading Americans -- and we're still afraid of offending them! Stunned, Daniel called Fox News's Todd Starnes, who broke the story of YouTube's censorship -- and the double standard. After the story went viral, Pastor Ausbun was suddenly reinstated. YouTube sent him a note explaining that upon further review, the account is "not in violation of (the) Terms of Service."

Fortunately, the company saw the error of its ways and made an important course correction. But that wouldn't have happened if this Watchman Pastor hadn't stood his ground. This is exactly why conservatives -- and particularly, Christian conservatives -- need to challenge the cultural bullies. We can't just sit on the sidelines and wring our hands about the culture. We have to engage -- or risk losing society altogether. For more on Pastor Ausbun's story, click over to my interview with Todd Starnes on yesterday's "Washington Watch" radio program or listen to today's interview with Pastor Ausbun.

** With the Middle East descending into chaos, Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has plenty to write about. In his latest Townhall column, he asks "Why Back Hamas Homicides?" For an encore, he talks about the erosion of our liberty in a piece picked up by Huffington Post, "Our Freedoms Are Slowly Slipping Away."


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

September 02, 2014

DeGravelle Slams the Gavel on Clinic Law

The only thing abortion groups wanted on Labor Day was to keep women out of the labor room. And over the weekend, a few unelected judges were happy to help. A day after Planned Parenthood's "abortion vigil," judges in two states tried to answer those prayers by putting the brakes on common sense clinic laws. While most people were loading their ... (more)

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