Men of Honor, Beaches of Glory


Men of Honor, Beaches of Glory

June 06, 2019

"As one officer said, the only way to take a beach is to face it and keep going. It is costly... but it's the only way."

--War Correspondent Ernie Pyle, 1944

There were thousands of letters like Jack Lundberg's, scratched out hurriedly in whatever spare moments they had. "Dear Mom, Pop, and Family: Now that I am actually here, I see that the chances of my returning to all of you are quite slim... therefore I want to write this letter now while I am yet able. I want you to know how much I love you." He's sorry for adding to their grief if he dies, but insists with all of his heart, "We of the United States have something to fight for -- never more fully have I realized that. The USA is worth a sacrifice!" Including, his family would learn, his own.

Jack, like so many brave men in France, never came home. He was 25. Just another soldier doing, what one veteran says humbly, "we had to do." Today, the handful of survivors see Normandy through wrinkled eyes. Their stories are different, but the sentiment is the same: We are not heroes. The heroes, Doc Deibler insists forcefully, are all gone. "They are the ones that got killed." So, 75 years later, they came back -- more than 60 of them -- to pay their own tribute. Sitting together high above the beaches with canes and wheelchairs, they looked down on the place that bought the world its freedom.

Some Normandy veterans made the trip for the first time, emotional at the sight of a place where they'd lost so much. For others, like Tom Rice, who jumped out of a C-47 plane in the same drop zone as 1944, it was a proud moment when he stood up in his 101st Airborne cap, waving his fingers in a V. These were the men who weren't supposed to make it -- not then, and certainly not now. "When I attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings," Queen Elizabeth told the crowd, "some thought it might be the last such event. But the wartime generation -- my generation -- is resilient."

Donald Trump, who gave a beautiful speech that even his critics are calling the greatest of his presidency, shook the hands of the survivors, telling them, "To the men that sit behind me and to the boys that rest in the field before me, your example will never grow old. You legend will never die... You are the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic." We know what it is we owe you, President Emmanuel Macron of France said solemnly in a brief moment of English: "Our freedom."

Across Normandy, houses and chalets -- even farms -- are flying the American flag. When he was asked, the mayor of Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,388 of our soldiers are buried, said simply, "We are very thankful for the Americans who gave up their youth for our freedoms." They were young men, the president told the crowd, "with their entire lives before them. They were husbands who said goodbye to their young brides and took their duty as their fate. They were fathers who would never meet their infant sons and daughters because they had a job to do. And... they came, wave after wave, without question, without hesitation, and without complaint." All sustained, he acknowledged, by "praying to a righteous God."

Seventy-five years later, the tensions of the world are different. The battle for freedom isn't playing out on beaches or in French towns, but in courtrooms, government chambers, and diplomatic meetings. Jack Port, who landed on Utah beach as a 22-year-old, watches America try to navigate through these challenges and says wistfully, "...I hate leaving the world feeling this way." Like the rest of them, he probably wouldn't hesitate to put on his uniform and go right back to defending the ideals that make his nation great. In 1944, he remembers, "We didn't know what to expect and what was going to happen." They knew what we know now: America is on a "mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization." We will need "thy blessings," President Franklin Roosevelt prayed on the air and in homes across America, "for the enemy is strong."

It was a prayer so powerful, so timeless, that it rings throughout the generations. One day soon, Congress has vowed, it will make its way onto the chiseled marble of the World War II memorial. Until then, the righteousness of our cause -- of liberty -- lives on. As does our 75-year-old plea, "O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Thy will be done."


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


Trump Cancels Checks for Baby Body Parts

June 06, 2019

Planned Parenthood has spent years fighting late-term abortion bans -- and in 2015, we found out why. The earlier babies are aborted, the less profitable their parts are. That was just one of the nauseating revelations from the baby body parts scandal uncovered by the Center for Medical Progress. The other? That this organ harvesting ring had a startling buyer: the U.S. government.

Regardless of which side you're on, the idea of experimenting on aborted babies is gruesome. When a reporter uncovered the contracts, dozens of conservatives and Republican leaders implored the administration: stop writing checks for fetal tissue. This week -- thanks to President Trump -- it did. In an HHS announcement that has pro-lifers cheering, Secretary Alex Azar confirmed that the agency was canceling a $2 million-a-year contract with the University of California that had been in place since 2013.

"Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump's administration," HHS's statement reiterated. So is funding ethical and effective science, which fetal tissue research is not. Despite all the money researchers keep throwing at them, the remains of aborted babies haven't resulted in a single cure. There's absolutely no reason to finance these ghoulish experiments when moral alternatives exist -- and are helping patients!

Wednesday, after the news broke, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) joined me on "Washington Watch" to talk about the decision. For years he and his pro-life colleagues had been calling on HHS to distance taxpayers from these projects. And while there is still work to be done, he praised Donald Trump for addressing the issue head-on. Let's face it, he said, "This is the most pro-life president we have had in the history of our country, [and] today's decision is no exception. He is a champion. He's not just an advocate. He's been a champion for pro-life [causes]. And all of the pro-life community should be applauding, because this was a tough, tough decision. He went against a whole lot of the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. to actually make sure that this happened."

This shouldn't be, he pointed out, a partisan issue.

"I think the thing that bothered me the most and even bothered a lot of people who are not pro-life... [is] when you start seeing dollar amounts attached to baby parts -- a liver or a lung or a brain -- and you get different prices based on how long they've been in the mother's womb and when they were aborted, it just is disgusting. It is not something that a humane society and a civil society should ever do."

Like us, he's been thrilled to see the administration funneling money to groundbreaking alternatives instead. Just yesterday, the administration announced that $20 million had already been put into ethical research, which should challenge the ridiculous notion that this president is "anti-science." How can anyone be anti-science when they're pouring money into real cures? It's time to invest in something with greater promise -- and taxpayers everywhere are grateful this White House has the courage to try.


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


Americans Aren't Game for Transgender Sports

June 06, 2019

There are a lot of issues race organizers have to deal with in a 100-mile endurance run. "Sponsors, weather, permits, volunteers." But gender? In 28 years, John Medinger has never had to think about it, he told the New York Times. Until now.

From June 29-30, runners will tackle one of the most grueling challenges in the sport: the Western States Challenge. Three hundred sixty-eight competitors who plan to be there don't pose a problem. One does: Grace Fisher, who happens to be a biological man. Now that he's been selected through the lottery to participate, Medinger's crew watched the debate about transgender sports land right at their front door. Like a lot of race and match organizers, one board member explained, "We felt that this was not something we should ignore. If it turned out that [he] finished in the top 10, it would be better for [him] and everyone that we had a policy in place."

The folks at the 100% Powerlifting Federation understand. They found themselves in the middle of this raging controversy when a biological male smashed four world records earlier this spring. He "put down female," the head of the federation explained. "Clearly, she's not a female. Not biologically anyway." Days after the headlines broke, they stripped Mary of his titles. "In our rules, we go by biological," the federation insisted. "According to the rules, she can only lift in the men's division... I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but I have to follow the rules."

Last week, in the women's NCAA track championship, fans were outraged when a biological male -- Franklin Pierce University senior Cece Telfer -- placed first, roiling the sports world. The NCAA ignored the uproar, arguing that "the assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women's team would have a competitive advantage... is not supported by evidence."

Now, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dropping the requirement for gender reassignment surgery, level-headed people on both sides of the aisle wonder: Will women's sports survive? House Democrats are doing they part to ensure they don't, overwhelmingly voting for an Equality Act that would destroy competition for girls the world over.

Meanwhile, athletes like former Brazilian volleyball player Ana Paula Henkel can't believe how quickly radicalism is hijacking her sport. In an open letter to the IOC, she complained, "This rushed and heedless decision to include biological men, born and built with testosterone, with their height, their strength and aerobic capacity of men, is beyond the sphere of tolerance," Henkel wrote. "It represses, embarrasses, humiliates and excludes women."

Turns out, the vast majority of Americans agree. A new Rasmussen Report spells trouble for liberals rushing head-long into this makeover of women's sports. Only 28 percent of U.S. adults support the idea of letting students participate on the sports team of the gender they identify with. Fifty-four percent oppose, and 18 percent are undecided.

"Believe it or not," Amelia Koehn wrote in the Federalist, "there was a time women's sports teams did not exist. Women had to strive and earn the right to have leagues of their own. They had the desire to compete, and they wanted to be treated fairly." Now, political correctness is forcing them to fight again -- and this time, there's no guarantee they'll win.


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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