Kavanaugh's TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished


Kavanaugh's TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished

September 07, 2018

There's probably no one happier to call it a week than Brett Kavanaugh. Four days, 212 arrests, and one cause for Senate expulsion later, the president's Supreme Court pick finally arrived at the end of the most chaotic SCOTUS confirmation hearing in history. Piling one bizarre moment on another, Democrats stuck to their plan to turn one of the most important jobs of the Senate into a noisy, mud-slinging riot. And it worked. Democrats finally managed to prove someone was unfit for the job. But it wasn't Brett Kavanaugh!

When they weren't shouting down Republicans or releasing classified documents, 2020 hopefuls like Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) were demanding that Kavanaugh answer questions they'd never dream of asking a liberal president's nominees. "Can you comment on your personal opinion on whether Obergefell [the case that decided national marriage equality] was correctly decided? It's a yes or no. Please." "That is the precedent of the Supreme Court agreed with by..." Kavanaugh started before he was cut off. "Sir, I'm asking your opinion. You're the nominee right now so it is probative of your ability to serve on the highest court in our land," Harris insisted. "... Either you're willing to answer or not. And if you're not willing to answer it, we can move on. Do you believe Obergefell was correctly decided?"

"Each of the justices have declined as a matter of judicial independence," he began. "So you will not answer that question?" Harris interrupted impatiently. He didn't. Just as Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito did not. No one seemed to mind in 2010 when Kagan replied to a question on abortion that it would be "...inappropriate for a nominee to ever give any indication of how she would rule in a case that would come before the Court. And I think, too, it would be inappropriate to do so in a somewhat veiled manner by essentially grading past cases." Of course, when this president's nominees apply the same standard, they're shamed, vilified, and harassed on social media.

The double standard continued through most of day three, capped off by some outright distortion of Kavanaugh's answers on abortion. When Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked the judge why he dissented in a case over the Obamacare contraception mandate in 2015, Kavanaugh said that he agreed with the majority of courts who've decided that forcing groups like Priests for Life to provide birth control or "emergency contraception" is a violation of their religious liberty.

"The question was first was this a substantial burden on their religious exercise? And it seemed to me, quite clearly, it was," Kavanaugh explained Thursday. "They said filling out the form would make them complicit in the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to." Planned Parenthood and NARAL swarmed social media, insisting that Kavanaugh had referred to all birth control as "abortion-inducing." "Kavanaugh referred to birth control -- something more than 95 percent of women use in their lifetime -- as an 'abortion-inducing drug,' which is not just flat-out wrong, but is anti-woman, anti-science propaganda," said Planned Parenthood's Action Fund.

Of course, that's not what he said -- or meant. And while abortion groups will swear until their dying day that Plan B doesn't end a pregnancy, the facts are the facts. "Even Plan B's packaging warns that the drug may destroy a newly conceived human being: 'This product works mainly by preventing ovulation (egg release). It may also prevent fertilization of a released egg (joining of sperm and egg) or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus (implantation).'" So if anyone's spreading anti-science propaganda, it's the abortion industry.

Fortunately for everyone, the time is just about up on the Democrats' charade. And while the hearing has probably given Republicans a lot more footage for their "The Left Is Crazytown" ads, the lasting feeling from this week is one of profound disappointment. In an op-ed for Fox News, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (R) wondered if the Senate could ever recover. "It's a sad commentary that in retrospect, now-Justice Elena Kagan's confirmation in 2010 seems like something from a different era, when senators on both sides of the aisle took the vetting process for the highest court in the land seriously."

When then-Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Republicans to be fair, they were. So much so, Tillis points out that Kagan made a point of thanking them for "such a respectful and expeditious consideration." It's a shame Kavanaugh can't say the same.

For Ken Blackwell's take on this confirmation circus, check out his new Townhall column, "Kavanaugh Soars over Keystone Kop Democrats."


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


In This California District, Parents Do the Impossible

September 07, 2018

There's been something of an awakening happening in California recently. While the state's faith community led the charge in shutting down the latest attempt to curb the free speech and religious rights of certain counselors and ministries, concerned parents are standing against the implementation of sex education curricula in the state that introduces children, as young as 11, to sexually explicit content. The California legislature passed AB 329 in 2015, changing state law related to sexual health education to include LGBT issues, and sexual practices as part of statewide curriculum for K-12 graders in the state. The bill included a provision allowing parents to pull their child/children from their school's sexual education class. Parents are taking advantage of this provision now and asking their school boards to implement policies that help them do just that.

Yesterday, about 700 parents showed up at the Chino Valley Board of Education meeting to demand the school district allow parents to opt out of K-12 sex education curricula. Concerned parents from varied ethnicities and backgrounds held signs reading "Let Parents Decide" and "Support Parents' RIGHT TO DECIDE". Pastor Jack Hibbs with Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and about 40 other concerned citizens spoke in favor of a proposal to require the school district to notify parents when "comprehensive sexual education", HIV prevention education, family life education, and even instances which may imperil their child's physical/bodily privacy on school premises.

The proposal complies with state law by granting parents the right to exclude their children from classes that teach them inappropriate sexual activity and impose an LGBT agenda on children. Parents are right to be concerned about sexual "health" curriculum in their schools that encourage children to explore certain graphic sexual acts with one another as young as 7th grade. The proposed policy would give parents ample time to shield their child from "comprehensive sexual education". Let's hope the Board of Education listens to the hundreds of parents who showed up and enact this sensible policy.

Parents across the country need to be cognizant of how sexual and gender ideologues are co-opting school boards and sexual health curricula to change sexual and gender norms of future generations. Changes in sexual health curriculums should steer children away from risky sexual behavior, by encouraging them to abstain from sexual activity all together until they're married, not encourage them to explore sexual acts and identities. Sexual education programs, like California's, will only serve to perpetuate sexually-transmitted infections (which, according to the CDC, are already at record highs) and a "hook-up" culture that tells young men and women their self-worth comes from the number of sexual partners they have.

What's at stake is the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, not the state. When it comes to sensitive, controversial, or even inappropriate subject matter, parents -- not bureaucrats, teachers, or any other government official -- should have the final say in what their children will be exposed to. It's bad enough the state of California wants to implement objectionable sex education programs for young children, worse yet would be a failure of local school boards to allow parents to protect their children from harmful sex education programs.

Next month the Chino Valley Board of Education will have an opportunity to approve this common-sense measure. Let's pray they do the right thing by the parents of their school district and equip them with the ability to exclude their children from harmful "comprehensive sexual education."


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


A Life Worth Giving

September 07, 2018

There are few people who've been more instrumental in making Western Michigan what it is today than Richard and Helen DeVos. The co-founders of Amway, who spent the better part of their lives in Grand Rapids, were known for their business savvy but even more respected for what they did with it. Philanthropists to the core, Rich and Helen gave away money as fast as they made it -- building a children's hospital and performance halls, donating to schools, church, and programs near and dear to their hearts like Prison Fellowship. "I give," Rich once said, "because the Lord told me to give."

It's barely been a year since Helen died. And yesterday, the sad news broke that Rich is finally with her. At the age of 92 and suffering from complications to an infection, he went to be with the Lord he spent all of his life serving. And while he will be remembered for a lot of things, there is one in particular that is especially close to FRC's heart. In the late 1990s, he and Helen, along with the Prince Family, changed the history of our organization forever when they formed a foundation to build the FRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Our staff daily walks by the picture of Rich and Helen and Elsa (Prince) Broekhuizen breaking ground on the six story building we work in today. It's a daily reminder of the deep and profound generosity that makes our work possible.

As the family said in a statement, "He was a role model unlike any other. While we are saddened by his passing, our hearts are full as we celebrate the extraordinary life he led. We are comforted that he is reunited with Mom, and that together they are experiencing the joy of eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The entire FRC family offers our sincere prayers, sympathies, and appreciation for the life of Rich -- and the legacy he left behind.


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.


Previous Washington Update Articles »