Friday, July 27, 2007

Now that liberals have learned god-talk can we start applying biblical principles to the common good?

By Chuck Darrell

At the height of last years gay marriage debate, religious leaders rallied at the capitol to voice their support for and against the marriage amendment. I recall being interviewed by several capitol reporters regarding my thoughts on this so-called contradiction.

From the bottom of my heart I answered that I welcomed the debate. The addition of "progressive" religious voices legitimized the need for a faith-based dynamic in the public square. It also gave hope for the acceptence of religious voices within the Democratic Party. I could think of nothing better than a biblical worldview affecting our leaders across the entire political spectrum.

You could hear a pin drop.

Predictably, my remarks never aired. The reporters wanted controversy, not inclusion. Their bias against faith in the public square caused them to spike the story.

That’s all going to change because the left is getting religion. A recent Time magazine article, "How the Democrats Got Religion," chronicles the revival of god-talk on the left. Although this phenomenon seems a bit disingenuous I welcome the inclusion of biblical principles to the liberal lexicon. Especially when local voices (like MOAPPP) are asking the press to ignore traditional positions on marriage, sex education and abortion.

Ironically, Hillary, Barack and John are making it acceptable to mix faith with politics. Hopefully, this signals the end of mean-spirited secularism that defines separation of church and state as the cleansing of all faith from the public square. Conversely, the more liberals talk about God the more acceptable it is to discuss political issues within our places of worship.

Have we seen the end of the self-righteous secularist frothing about violation of the establishment clause? I doubt it, but it will be fun to watch the gnawing of teeth after quoting "St. Hillary" on abortion or global warming.

It was only a matter of time before the left found religion. Frankly, a biblical worldview can’t be limited to a single party or a single issue. It affects everything. The renewal of a faith-based dialogue creates unity and minimizes divisiveness. A shared set of values fosters consensus and knows no racial boundaries.

Religion is a sticky commodity that cuts both ways. It holds politicians to a higher standard because people don't forget their faith like they do political promises. Faith based voters are less likely to tolerate politicians who don’t walk the talk - and sit out an election. Hopefully the secularists disconnect between the private and public life will loose credibility as well.

The soul of our democracy depends upon the iron sharpens iron relationship between church and state. Now that we all have religion we can begin the real work of applying biblical principles to the common good.

Learning to speak the same language is not a threat - it’s a victory.

It was never about politics anyway.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Would Jesus Discriminate?

By Tom Prichard

Maybe you've seen billboards and yard signs saying, "Would Jesus Discriminate?" When I first saw a yard sign a few months ago, I thought it must be a religious based effort to promote acceptance of homosexuality. It turns out I was right. (Nobody talks about discrimination more than homosexual activists.) Then a few weeks ago I received in the mail a personal invitation to attend a Town Hall meeting sponsored All God’s Children Church, the local church associated with national homosexual network of churches, Metropolitan Community Church. So I took them up on their offer and attended last Saturday night. The event was advertised as an "open dialogue around homosexuaity and Christianity". I treated respectfully and politely by the, I would guess, 150 to 250 people in attendance.

It was clear that we have opposite views regarding the biblical teaching on homosexuality. I think they've rationalized away some some very clear biblical texts on homosexual behavior by saying the passages aren't applicable today or they don't mean with they say.

When question during the forum on whether Jesus does discriminate, when he says things like, "I am the Way the Truth and the Life and nobody goes to the Father but by me" they had a hard time saying no He doesn’t discriminate. And frankly, they weren't willing to say they would forego discriminating when somebody asked them whether they would invite an evangelical pastor who believes homosexual behavior is sin to speak from their pulpit. Nice inclusive idea, but no, they weren’t too keen on that.

So, while their campaign slogan "Would Jesus Discriminate?" is intended to suggest He wouldn't. A closer examination of the issue shows it just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Energetic Debate"

By Tom Prichard

Over the weekend I engaged in an "energetic debate" with Neal Levine who is spokesperson for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care (MCC) on the Taxpayers' League's radio show. MCC seeks to legalize the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes in Minnesota. We've opposed their initiative because smoked marijuana is a dangerous drug and attempts to legalize it for medical purposes is bad medicine and really an incremental step towards broader legalization. In other states where smoked marijuana is legal for medical purposes, efforts to legalize it generally have followed not too long thereafter.

Neal, while working for medical marijuana legalization in Minnesota in 2007, worked in 2006 for broader legalization of marijuana in Nevada. (They already allowed use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes.) Neal is also the director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, a principle national organization pushing to legalize smoked marijuana. A couple of the monied folks behind marijuana legalization include George Soros and Peter Lewis. Soros spent nearly $20 million promoting the candidacy of John Kerry. Lewis gave $340,000 to MPP in 2004 and is also a major contributor to the ACLU. Lewis also gave a total of $50,000 to both the DFL House and Senate caucuses in 2006.

Science should be the guiding force behind drug approval not political action. Yet well funded political efforts is what's driving efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blinded by an unhealthy ideology

By Chuck Darrell

One of the organizations touted at the showing of "Sex Ed and the State" was the Birds & the Bees project. As reported here and at, Birds & Bees teaches children how to perform anal-oral sex with a dental dam.

I doubt MOAPP will be able to convince many liberal legislators they'll have "cover" supporting unhealthy sex activities like rimming - even if they wear a dental dam.

This is another example of how ideology drives comprehensive sex education. The vast majority of Minnesotan's find it far too comprehensive.

Ideology 101: "Kids are going to do it anyway."

By Tom Prichard

Last session, Rep. Mindy Greiling and others tried to mandate that all Minnesota public schools teach a pro-contraceptive message to kids ages 12 to 17. They have accepted the ideology that kids are going to have sex whatever we say, so they better be prepared. Is this accurate or more ideology?

When I talked with several state legislators about our opposition on condom promotion in sex education courses, they invariably came back with "Well, I think abstinence is important but kids are going to have sex whatever you tell them so we better teach them how to use a condom."

This ideology invariably does our children a serious disservice. For one, it sends them mixed a message; abstinence is good, but if you have sex use a condom. It’s like telling kids not to smoke but if they do use filtered cigarettes.

It also gives kids a false sense of security. They can have safe sex by using a condom. They’ll be protected from diseases. In fact, there are sexually transmitted diseases which are spread through non-sexual intercourse contact. And condoms often fail. Some studies show condom failure rates for pregnancy prevention are 15%.

But beyond the physical risks of pregnancy and disease, they fail to tell kids there is an unhealthy emotional cost to sex outside of marriage. Low self esteem and guilt are too often accompanied by depression, suicidal thoughts, and engagement in other destructive behaviors like smoking, drinking and drugs.

Not surprisingly, most kids regret not waiting. One survey found two thirds of teens wished they’d waited to have sex.

Unfortunately, too many adults fail our kids when they advocate a pro-condom ideology to kids.

Comprehensive sex ed and abstinence message

By Tom Prichard

The 2007 legislative push to mandate comprehensive sex education for all Minnesota public middle and high schools was really a Trojan horse for promotion of condoms and aberrant sexual lifestyles. Thankfully, Gov. Pawlenty's veto threat caused the unhealthy legislation to be dropped from the E-12 Omnibus bill.

Liberal legislators realize the public likes abstinence so they couch comprehensive sex ed in terms of abstinence. They say schools should take an abstinence-first approach to delaying initiation of sexual activity while also including education about the use of protection and contraception.

Yet that’s what pro-contraceptive advocates have done for years. They say, "Oh we’re for abstinence but kids should get information on contraceptives as well." Interestingly, a Heritage Foundation study of nine comprehensive sex ed curricula and nine true abstinence curricula came up with some interesting results. They found that comprehensive sex ed programs spent less than 5% of their time on abstinence and zero on marriage but 28% of their time on condom promotion. True abstinence curriculum spent over 50% of their time on abstinence and 17% on marriage.

For kids considering whether to have sex or wait until marriage, the comprehensive sex ed approach is tantamount to telling kids not to smoke but then spending the bulk of the time promoting filtered cigarettes. Or telling kids not to drink but then discussing lite beer.

It sends a mixed message which doesn’t work for cigarettes and alcohol and it won’t work for teen sexual activity. Legislators who want to mandate a condom message for our public schools are simply fuel on the fire. The ones who will get burned are our kids.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The fact is, comp sex education is all about ideology

By Chuck Darrell

Last night I attended Jim Winkle's documentary "Sex Ed and the State" at the Oak St. Theater. After the Q & A I spoke with Jim about "ideology" vs. "data", a common theme during the evening. Most of you know the argument; abstinence is based upon ideology and comp sex education is based upon scientific data. Science trumps ideology. Case closed.

However, for those of you that are open minded enough to think outside the box, I encourage you to follow the "facts" to their source. I think the facts will lead you to ideology. In other words, the rise in STDs, teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are the result of a progressive ideology towards sexual behavior.

The fact is, "Sex Ed and the State" failed to recognize the cause and effect between the ideology of sexual progressives and the negative outcomes comp sex education is designed to combat.

And, trying to reduce STDs or abortions without addressing the underlying ideology is like trying to reduce casualties in Iraq while refusing to acknowledge the war.

This requires some twisted logic - and a red herring. When abortion rates go up - blame abstinence. Report a rise in Chlamydia, blame abstinence. Increase in STIs and STDs - must be abstinence. (Al Gore blames global warming however.)

"Facts" based comp sex education is a denial mechanism designed to hide the failure of a sexual revolution that swapped abstinence-based values for the more "enlightened" partner of free sex. And now our kids are paying the price.

Think I'm wrong? Jim's documentary discussed a Clinton administration surgeon general report calling for comp sex education. However, the report was spiked because of the President's oral office shenanigans. The Oak St. audience found this to be humorous. Do you see the denial? The dysfunction?

How about the ideology?