Permission Accomplished: Parents Have Sex-Ed Say at RNC

Permission Accomplished: Parents Have Sex-Ed Say at RNC

July 23, 2018

What kind of country would fund a group whose best advice is "F*** everyone?" Ours. Last week's ad from Planned Parenthood was the perfect example of the pornographic messages conservatives are fighting to stop in America's sex ed curriculum. Every day, the headlines are full of horror stories about what students are learning with -- or more likely, without -- their parents knowledge. And at least one political party is doing something about it.

From Fairfax County to East Penn Schools, moms and dads are flooding districts with complaints for glamorizing dangerous sex acts, gender confusion, and the LGBT agenda. In some cases, like Pennsylvania, parents are suing just for the right to see the videos their kids are watching. In others, moms and dads have absolutely no idea what's being taught because the school refuses to tell them. That needs to end now, the Republican National Committee has declared. In its summer meeting that wrapped up this weekend, the RNC passed a unanimous resolution demanding that state legislators do more to protect kids from the outrageous curriculums sweeping the nation.

It's time, said Virginia's National Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar, to put sex-ed decisions back where they belong -- in parents' hands. Under the RNC's new language, the party will put its energy into "parents' rights" provisions that would force school districts to get moms' and dads' written permission before moving forward with any sex-ed material. "I'm thrilled this resolution passed," Cynthia said after the vote. "This should not be a partisan issue. Parents everywhere deserve the right to know what their children are being taught and afforded an opportunity to consent to it."

Of course, Americans' frustration over sex ed have been boiling over for quite some time. When "Activist Mommy" Elizabeth Johnston floated the idea of a protest, she was overwhelmed by the response. Thousands of people from around the world joined in her Sex Ed Sit Out in April, a sign of the growing irritation over how states are handling such a sensitive topic.

For the last several years, FRC's Cathy Ruse points out, liberal school boards have tried to use "opt out" provisions to shield themselves from criticism. ("Hey, we don't force it on anyone, you can always opt-out!") But in reality, most parents have no idea that they can pull their kids out of class -- or worse, that they'd even need to. A lot of parents trust their local schools -- and the districts have taken advantage of that trust by misleading them about the true content of sex ed. In Fairfax County, for example, some of the lessons labeled "abstinence" weren't about abstinence at all!

Forty years ago, when sex ed was two hours on the basics of human development and reproduction, the opt-out system might have worked. But it's completely inappropriate for today's radical, graphic, and age-inappropriate sex ed. Thank goodness the Republican National Committee agrees! It's time to stop letting schools exploit parents, who would never dream that their son's eighth grade teacher would give him a lesson with 18 mentions of "anal sex" or tell their seventh grade daughter that she was born in the wrong body because "biological sex is meaningless."

The Republican National Committee made sure to address these "family planning" sex-ed programs in its 2016 platform. Together, the delegates called for sexual risk avoidance (abstinence) education that makes saving sex until marriage the responsible and respected standard. But this is the first time the RNC has directly taken on the tactics of the far-Left, so our hats go off to the RNC for joining us in this fight and demanding parents have a say!

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

Pompeo Rolls out the Welcome Mat for World Leaders

July 23, 2018

The State Department's first-ever ministerial on religious freedom doesn't begin until Tuesday, but the event may have already been a success! That's because, as FRC's Travis Weber points out in a new column, the most important thing may not be what happens at there, but that it happened at all.

"The very fact that the Ministerial is being held sends a signal that the United States is taking religious freedom seriously," he writes. "Let us not underestimate the power of this message." The rest of the world certainly doesn't. As State Department gears up to host government officials, representatives of international organizations, religious leaders, rights advocates, and members of civil society organizations from around the world, the significance of the moment isn't lost on anyone. After all, Ambassador Sam Brownback points out, "This has not happened ever in the world."

Three months into his new job as secretary, Mike Pompeo has put his stamp on plenty of foreign policy. But this decision to bring the world together on one of the greatest human rights crises of our time might be a turning point for millions of people. "The human dignity, the human right attached to religious freedom I feel personally, and I know President Trump does as well," Pompeo has said in the lead-up to this week's summit. Of course, just because leaders sit down and talk about it doesn't mean the problem of religious persecution will just magically disappear. But it could go a long way to starting a dialogue in some countries that, until now, have been very unwilling to discuss the topic.

"Not every country will achieve the level of religious freedom that we have here in the United States," Pompeo explained. "But we think we can advance it all across the world by bringing together folks from all faiths, and frankly, those who have no faith, but their capacity to practice religion in the way they choose is important for the world." Although the complete list of participating nations hasn't been released to the public, Brownback says he was pleasantly surprised by some of the names on the list -- including some countries who don't exactly have a stellar record on the topic. This event, he points out, gives the U.S. a chance to do more to engage them.

"We've had a process of more of a name-and-shame process where we would identify bad actors and we would shame them and that's about [all] that would end up happening. What we're trying to do – we are still going to name bad actors -- but we want them to come and say, 'Let's work together to get off of this [watch] list. We'll put in effort and you put in effort toward this." Considering that religious freedom cuts against instability and decreases the likelihood of terrorism, everyone in the world has a stake in the ministerial succeeding.

"For years," Sam said, "the foreign policy establishment has really not wanted to engage on the issue of religion... not being sure how to handle it or what to do. But now, you are seeing more people saying that it is a key component for what is taking place in the world today, and we've just got to deal with this." Behind closed doors, the Trump administration is already prioritizing the issue more than anyone knows. As Pompeo told CBN, "I want your viewers to know that the United States rarely has an encounter with a country where we don't raise human rights concerns where they exist."

After the eight years of the Obama administration, we're more appreciative than ever for President Trump's emphasis on religious liberty. With all of the issues competition for the world's attention, Travis explains, Americans are grateful the White House isn't overlooking one of the most important.

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

Freedom Takes a Nosedive at Warren Air Force Base

July 23, 2018

Our military is trained to handle plenty of traumatic situations. But apparently, nothing prepared a group of airmen for one particularly disturbing encounter -- with the Bible. The sight of the book on the Missing Man Table was so upsetting, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) argued, that at least 36 men and women at Warren Air Force Base demanded its removal. And amazingly, base commander Col. Stacy Huser agreed.

After trying this stunt (and failing) at other bases and government offices, MRFF Mikey Weinstein celebrated the decision over "gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize Americans." To veterans like our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), Huser's decision is a slap in the face to the POWs that these Missing Man Tables were meant to honor. After all, he points out, these tables are common sights on military installations across the country. Disrupting the displays -- or censoring them – cheapens the sacrifice these men and women made for our freedoms -- one of which happens to be the freedom of religion!

Still, Colonel Huser insists in her statement, "One of our focus areas... is increasing the sense of belonging for all our Airmen; a large part of that effort is ensuring the religious and non-religious feel included and cared for. This concern being brought to our attention only helps us work toward meeting the needs of all Airmen." Instead, she proposes, the 90th Missile Wing will "replace the Bible on the POW/MIA table with a 'book of faith' containing scriptural writings and prayers from the five DOD chaplain-appointed faith groups and a sixth set of blank pages to represent those who find solace by other means."

Former Governor Mike Huckabee was astounded. "It's embarrassing to the nation. We're supposed to be a nation that has freedom of religion, not freedom from religion." In fact, he said on Fox, this is exactly the kind of political correctness the current administration won't tolerate. "This is an issue I'd love to see the president interject himself into. I'd love to see him say, as commander-in-chief of the military, 'Put the Bible on the table. Let's not be stupid about this.'"

Just think: if our soldiers are traumatized by a Bible, how are they going to handle war? It's a legitimate question in a military worn down by eight years of Barack Obama's anti-religious hostility. In caving to MRFF, Huser is only keeping the last administration's disregard for basic military tradition alive. These displays don't violate a single regulation, Defense Department policy, or the Constitution. It's time for Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who's been a champion of religious liberty, to step in and set the record straight. Tweet her to keep up the good work by reinstating the Bible at Warren AFB. After all, most service members know who the enemy is -- and the Bible isn't it!

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

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

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