Family Research Council

August 02, 2013 - Friday

Washington Needs An Operation, And The Doctor Is In

Before this year, most Americans had probably never heard of Dr. Ben Carson. Despite being a world-renowned neurosurgeon whose life story was made into a popular movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dr. Carson became a household name when he blew the socks off Washington, D.C. with a speech that many called the longest 27 minutes of Barack Obama's presidency. From education to taxes and health care, the famous surgeon spoke from the heart about the problems facing our nation, telling the President what so many voters wish they could: his ideas are failing America. Dr. Carson's keynote speech was so powerful and his solutions so practical that the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial the next day, "Ben Carson for President." Today, FRC Action is proud to announce that Dr. Carson will be back in Washington to deliver another address -- this time at the Values Voter Summit. The legendary doctor joins a growing list of conservative superstars, including Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Rick Santorum, Governor Mike Huckabee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Fox News's Todd Starnes, Star Parker, Josh Duggar, and many others!

Before he made a political splash, Dr. Carson was already a hero to the medical community. The son of a single parent who grew up in inner-city Detroit, Dr. Carson overcame dire poverty thanks to a mother who emphasized the importance of education. He went on to make global headlines with a career that included: the first and only successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987, the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa, and the first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin. Dr. Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and has received literally hundreds of awards and citations.

In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and Time magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists. In June, 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. Dr. Carson was recognized in November 2008 by U.S. News & World Report and Harvard's Center for Public Leadership, as one of "America's Best Leaders." On February 7, 2009, the award-winning movie based on his memoir, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Carson, aired on TNT. In June, 2013, after 40 years of medical endeavors, Carson retired and today serves as Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his media appearances, Carson writes a weekly opinion column for the Washington Times. Carson has been married for over 37 years to his wife, Candy, and is the father of three sons. Don't miss his exciting debut at the premier conservative event in Washington! Join us October 11-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Tickets are just $99 for adults and free scholarships are available for students. Register today!

Even If Your Prayers Aren't Brief, This Brief Could Help Your Prayers

Today Ken Klukowski, FRC's Director of the Center for Religious Liberty and also a constitutional lawyer, filed a brief at the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 85 Members of Congress in what is likely to be a historic religious-liberty case the Court will hear late this year, Town of Greece v. Galloway. The case is about whether prayers at governmental assemblies -- called "legislative prayer" -- violate the U.S. Constitution. The lower court ruled that these prayers are unconstitutional for various reasons, including if the prayer givers make references to Jesus or if "too many" Christians volunteer to offer prayers. The Town of Greece, New York, has been defended for years in this case by our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom against militant secularists. It will be argued on our side by Tom Hungar, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who is one of the most accomplished Supreme Court litigators in America.

The brief filed by Ken and FRC supporting ADF's clients is asking the Supreme Court to set aside it's "endorsement test" -- which says that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is violated whenever government action involving religion gives some observer the impression that government is endorsing religion -- and instead hold that it is only violated when someone is coerced to participate in some religious act against their conscience. This is the most important religious liberty case to go before the Supreme Court in many years, with far-reaching consequences, because such a rule would apply to all religious speech -- not just prayers -- as well as passive and peaceful religious displays.

We'll Be Back...

For the next few weeks, the Washington Update will be taking its own summer recess. With Congress set to adjourn, I'll be giving the Update a rest and working on some long-term planning during August. But just because the Update is taking a vacation doesn't mean the FRC staff is! For breaking news and other developments, stay tuned to FRC's Action Alerts, the FRC Blog, Facebook, and our daily radio show, "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins." Look for our return to inboxes after Labor Day weekend. In the meantime, enjoy your summer -- and continue standing with us for faith, family, and freedom with your prayers, action, and financial support!

** If you're in Baton Rouge this Sunday, join the Perkins family at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church (19421 Greenwell Springs Road) for the 10:30 a.m. service. I'll be preaching the final message in the series of Life by God's Design: In the Culture -- Stand, from Ephesians 6:10-20.

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

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