Sweepless in Seattle
April 13, 2012 - Friday
Imagine a stranger knocking on the door and handing you a receipt. She's decided to abort her baby and wants you to pay for it. Under the President's policy, refusal is not an option. If you're enrolled in a health care plan that includes abortion--you'll be paying for the procedure whether you want to or not. How can it be "pro-choice" when there is no choice for people who object? Good question. One that more leaders are starting to ask. In the last few months, several states have rushed legislation to the floor to stop the administration's abortion premium from coming to their borders. At least 15 of them have passed (and another 12 have introduced) bills that protect insurance companies that don't want to offer abortion coverage from being required to.
Washington State, on the other hand, was headed in the opposite direction. There, the House pushed a measure, which, like the federal government's new rules, would have ordered insurance plans to pick up the tab for abortions. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) was one of the bill's many opponents. In a letter to President Obama, she warned that the policy had "far reaching and alarming consequences" for the "unborn lives of the next generation." "The state of Washington," she wrote, "or any state... that receives federal funds is prohibited from mandating that insurance plans cover abortion..."
After squeaking through the Washington House 52-46, the debate shifted to Olympia's state senate, where leaders felt pressure from pro-life voters to kill the bill. This week, they managed to do exactly that. After a long and drawn out budget battle, the state senate abruptly adjourned--but not before Republicans and three Democrats blocked the bill from hitting the floor. For the President, almost three thousand miles away, the defeat should sting. Even in a Left of center state, voters reject his abortion-as-health-care mentality. In a predominately liberal state like Washington, one of the four that legalized abortion before Roe v. Wade, the President's policy should have been a slam dunk. But John Geis, who, along with the rest of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, helped dash the Left's agenda, said that people understood what was at stake. "It violates the constitutional rights of citizens to freely practice their religion and their freedom of conscience."
There's Something about MARRI...
Until recently, the world of Christian counseling has been anything but controversial. That all changed after cases like Julea Ward's, when religious freedom was put on a collision course with homosexual activists. As a graduate student, Julea tried to refer a patient who struggled with his sexuality because it conflicted with her strong Christian beliefs. Instead of affirming her decision to find the best care possible with another counselor for this man, administrators kicked her out of the program! Then there was Marcus Bachmann's practice, which came under incredible scrutiny when his wife, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann ran for President. Even now, homosexuals are trying to discredit his Christian based counseling clinic for using faith as a tool to free people from same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior. The liberal group Americans United for Separation of Church and State went so far as to say that Bible-believing Christians who want to be counselors "simply chose the wrong line of work."
I think they're wrong. And today, during a speech to the American Association of Christian Counselors' marriage conference, I explained why. The union of a man and woman is a profoundly social institution--and God's design for that relationship can have a major impact on the spiritual, emotional, and economic well-being of our country. Christian counselors have a stake in that process. They have the potential to restore and strengthen marriages that will one day restore and strengthen society.
At FRC's Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), study after study shows the importance of investing in marriage. As Dr. Pat Fagan will tell you, "It is the intact married family with children that creates a larger share of revenue for government; it is that same configuration of family, more than any other that creates the most capital that can be used to grow our economy... The future strength of our nation depends on good marriages to yield strong revenues, good health, low crime, high education, and high human capital."
Right now, America is on a path to material poverty and emotional rejection. It's up to us--and by "us," I mean Christians who work in the areas where the transformation of the family is at the heart of what we do: the counseling room, the pastor's study, the policymaker's office, the community outreach center. I'm talking about men and women who are working to share the love of Christ in the midst of brokenness and, through it, to bring hope and healing to the many, many wounded all around us. To them, and to everyone who's called to minister to our nation's families, there is eternal significance.
You Deserve a Brake Today!
One place there isn't an "enthusiasm problem," is in response to our Values Bus in Ohio. Buckeyes who want to be more engaged in this year's election have swarmed the FRC Action team at churches, schools, and even tea party rallies. During yesterday's visit at Middletown Christian School, we registered more students to vote than any other stop so far. Even the rally that relocated to Cornerstone Church of God at the last minute was a huge success, despite the venue that forced us to move after protests from the Left. While we spoke to the church crowd, local homosexuals held a "candlelight vigil" at the location where we were originally scheduled to appear. When a reporter told FRC Action's Tom McClusky about it, he said "Vigil? For what-the death of free speech?"
To hear more about the "Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote" Tour, you can watch some of the local TV coverage below. Tonight, the Bus heads to Findlay, Ohio for a 5:30 p.m. rally at Angels and Butterfly Park. If you're in the Toledo area, catch the FRC Action-Heritage Foundation team at Saturday's Perrysburg Tea Party event at 11:00 a.m. or the Sunday services in Westlake, Ohio's Church on the Rise. For all the details, check out the website.
Don't Miss Santorum's First Post-Race Interview...
Days after ending his campaign for President, Senator Rick Santorum will join us to talk about where he--and the Republican field--go from here. Later, I'll be joined by James Loomer, Pastor of Milford Christian Church in Connecticut (and FRC Watchmen partner), who will talk about his efforts to stop a "Day of Silence" event in his town. For more information or to find a radio station near you, visit FRCRadio.org.