Smart Bombs & Dumb Policies, Both are Destructive
The headline in today's New York Times was "Sexual Assaults in Military Raise Alarm in Capital." The Washington Post had the same lead story which cited this alarming fact: "The estimated number of military personnel victimized by sexual assault and related crimes has surged by about 35 percent over the past two years." At a press conference on Tuesday President Obama said he had no "tolerance" for this behavior and has ordered the Secretary of Defense to prevent these sex crimes and send a message to victims of sexual assault that "I've got their backs." What could have possibly brought about such a surge in sexual assaults? Could the radical social policies pushed by the Obama Administration onto the military be a factor? The Post and the Times failed to mention that two years ago was when the 1993 law against open homosexuality in the military was repealed.
The reports on the 35% increase are based on survey data that included a 33% increase in men reporting "unwanted sexual contact" (almost all of which comes from other men). FRC was mocked in 2010 for noting that same-sex assaults the year before were roughly three times higher than the rate of homosexuality in the general population--and for predicting that those rates would rise if the 1993 law were repealed. The Pentagon's report released yesterday said that male victims were now 12% of all victims making "unrestricted" reports, and 13% of those making "restricted" (confidential) reports--both higher than in FY 2009.
Of course, since the vast majority of people are heterosexual, so are most sexual assaults--like that allegedly committed over the weekend by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. This was a particular embarrassment to the Pentagon, since Krusinski was in charge of sexual assault prevention for the Air Force! It is ironic that the Air Force, which is plagued with sexual assault problems, has been preoccupied with suppressing religious expression. They would do well to dust off the advice of the first Commander-in-Chief, George Washington, who warned those who want morality without a moral code. Washington wrote in his farewell address to the nation, "...let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."
The Reality of Abortion
The murder trial of Pennsylvania abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, has revealed much to the nation. Despite the lack of media attention, America has come face to face with the realities of the inhumanity of abortion in Gosnell's action of killing an untold number of babies born alive, by snipping their necks with scissors. It was not just babies who died. At least one mother also died resulting in one of the murder charges against Gosnell and drawing attention to his clinic, which like many abortion clinics, lacked basic sanitary and health standards.
To ensure this reality was not lost on the nation, Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) organized a series of speeches on the House floor in which various members of Congress spoke about the horrific practices of Gosnell and the lack of media attention on the trial. One speaker was Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.). Shortly after speaking on the House floor, Congressman Stutzman had a conversation with his mother in which he learned that she had been very close to aborting him when she found out she was pregnant at 17. In an op-ed about his mother's experience, he notes, "Kermit Gosnell, like every other abortionist in this country, sold lies to young women like my mother."
Gosnell is not the only abortionist selling lies to people like Rep. Stutzman's mother. Infanticide and late-term abortion are practiced on a regular basis in this country. A series of undercover videos by Live Action reveal the grisly truth about the late-term abortion business. The videos highlight doctors from four different abortion facilities describing gruesome late term abortion procedures. The videos also reveal the fact that some babies are born alive in these clinics and are then left to die despite the laws in place requiring these facilities to administer life-saving care to these infants.
These horrific practices need to be confronted and not hidden behind the misleading language of "choice." Thanks to the courage of pro-life leaders like Rep. Stutzman and organizations like Live Action, the truth is finally coming to light.
Partial Victory in Obama Conscience Mandate Battle
The Obama administration has been asserting that no for-profit company has the right to claim a religious exemption from its health care mandate that requires employers to provide insurance coverage that includes contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs. Tyndale House, a Christian publishing firm that publishes the Bible, disagreed.
Last November, a federal judge ruled Tyndale was a religious employer. As a result, Tyndale won "a preliminary injunction ...that prevented the government from enforcing the (conscience) mandate, which forces businesses such as Tyndale to cover contraceptives that can cause chemical abortions."
The administration filed suit demanding that the injunction be lifted--and now, in a stunning development, has dropped its suit against the injunction. FRC's ally, Alliance Defense Freedom, took this case and pursued it vigorously. According to their Senior Counsel Matt Bowman, "The government dismissed its appeal because it knows how ridiculous it sounds arguing that a Bible publisher isn't religious enough to qualify as a religious employer ... now the Obama administration has had to retreat in court."
In describing the impact of the case, Baptist Press reports that "Tyndale is among the 25 for-profits that have obtained rulings in federal court. Of those, the for-profits have won injunctions against the administration in 19 cases, according to a tally by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, placing the for-profits' record at 19-6."
Although the administration is continuing to pursue its underlying case against Tyndale, it will no longer attempt to demand compliance until the case is settled. The conscience-violating Obamacare insurance mandate continues to roil the political and legal landscape, but for now a significant battle has been won for one company. However, countless other employers and employees are under threat from this administration unless Congress acts. As we work to make that a reality, we congratulate our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom for their court victory!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.