Monday, December 27, 2010

Biden says gay "marriage" inevitable in America. Evidence suggests otherwise.

With the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", Vice President Biden and gay activists are spinning it to suggest gay "marriage" is inevitable. I wouldn't be so quick to draw that conclusion.

The precedential removal of three Iowa Supreme Court justices for judicially imposing gay "marriage" on Iowans, efforts in other state's to repeal gay "marriage" laws and the potential for passing state marriage amendments in other states would suggest momentum is in other direction.

Frankly, the more the issue is debated and discussed the better. People will realize the nature and purpose of marriage. It's more than a "loving relationship" between two people. Instead it's profoundly connected to procreation, the raising of children, and the unique, complementary relationship of a man and a woman.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reagan's 1981 Christmas Address to the Nation

Here's a powerful address to the nation given by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. It 's a simple but touching message on the true meaning of Christmas. It's easy to be sentimental for the days of his moral leadership of our nation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Public education is in trouble and change is coming. Whether teachers' union likes it or not.

Here's an interesting article in Newsweek, that bastion of conservatism by the outgoing chancellor of public schools in DC, Michelle Rhee, who was known for trying to reform public education and lost her job because the teacher's union defeated her boss, the mayor, in his bid for re-election.

She points out what she did and the battles she faced improving the quality of education in the district.

When I started as chancellor in 2007, I never had any illusions about how tough it would be to turn around a failing system like D.C.’s; the city had gone through seven chancellors in the 10 years before me. While I had to make many structural changes—overhauling the system for
evaluating teachers and principals, adopting new reading and math programs, making sure textbooks got delivered on time—I believed the hardest thing would be changing the culture. We had to raise the expectations that people had about what was possible for our kids.

I quickly announced a plan to close almost two dozen schools, which provoked community outrage. We cut the central office administration in half. And I also proposed a new contract for teachers that would increase their salaries dramatically if they abandoned the tenure system and agreed to be paid based on their effectiveness.

Though all of these actions caused turmoil in the district, they were long overdue and reaped benefits quickly. In my first two years in office, the D.C. schools went from being the worst performing on the National Assessment of Educational Progress examination, the national test, to leading the nation in gains at both the fourth and eighth grade in reading as well as math. By this school year we reversed a trend of declining enrollment and increased the number of families choosing District schools for the first time in 41 years.

She talks about the state of public education in America, which isn't very good compared to the rest of the world.
After stepping down, I had a chance to reflect on the challenges facing our schools today and the possible solutions. The truth is that despite a handful of successful reforms, the state of American education is pitiful, and getting worse. Spending on schools has more than doubled in the last three decades, but the increased resources haven’t produced better results. The U.S. is currently 21st, 23rd, and 25th among 30 developed nations in science, reading, and math, respectively. The children in our schools today will be the first generation of Americans who will be less educated than the previous generation.

And finally she says the major impediment to reform is the teacher's union which believes it has a vested interest in the status quo.

Education is no different. We have textbook manufacturers, teachers’ unions, and even food vendors that work hard to dictate and determine policy. The public-employee unions in D.C., including the teachers’ union, spent huge sums of money to defeat Fenty. In fact, the new chapter president has said his No. 1 priority is job security for teachers, but there is no big organized interest group that defends and promotes the interests of children.

You can see the impact of this dynamic playing out every day. Policymakers, school-district administrators, and school boards who are beholden to special interests have created a bureaucracy that is focused on the adults instead of the students. Go to any public-school-board meeting in the country and you’ll rarely hear the words “children,” “students,” or “kids” uttered.

Instead, the focus remains on what jobs, contracts, and departments are getting which cuts, additions, or changes. The rationale for the decisions mostly rests on which grown-ups will be affected, instead of what will benefit or harm children.

The teachers’ unions get the blame for much of this. Elected officials, parents, and administrators implore them to “embrace change” and “accept reform.” But I don’t think the unions can or should change. The purpose of the teachers’ union is to protect the privileges, priorities, and pay of their members. And they’re doing a great job of that.

What that means is that the reform community has to exert influence as well. That’s why I’ve decided to start StudentsFirst, a national movement to transform public education in our country. We need a new voice to change the balance of power in public education. Our mission is to defend and promote the interests of children so that America has the best education system
in the world.

I think change is in the air. For one, we, as society, don't have the money to keep throwing at public education. In Minnesota, K-12 education constitutes roughly 40% of our state budget. When facing a $6 billion deficit, changes will be demanded in public education. I also think technological changes will force to public schools to change. The online revolution is and will continue to dramatically change how education is done.

I compare it to the state controlled economy of the Soviet Union. On the surface, it seemed to be doing fine. But inside the system was rotten and ready to collapse. Same is true with our current public education model. It's unsustainable as it currently stands.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A rebuttal to repealing, "Don't ask, Don't Tell"

Here's a clip on the head of the military testifying on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". It presents a different picture from what we generally hear in the media about the issue. They don't think it's a good idea.

And here's a good rebuttal, by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, for those who think, gays in the military works fine for Britian, why not the US.

Americans may have defeated the British, but there are still people who think we should take our cues from Her Majesty's Forces. On yesterday's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" on ABC, a panel of mostly liberal guests argued that the U.K.'s military is more effective for allowing homosexuals to serve openly. In a video package about Britian's policy, a voice claims, "When the ban was lifted in 2000, nothing happened: nothing, no resignations, no impairment of fighting ability, and almost no incidents of harassments... Some homophobic politicians and service chiefs played up and exaggerated their likely dire consequences of allowing gays to serve, but their fears did not materialize...." FRC's Bob Maginnis begged to differ. "The U.S. military," he said, "is about 18 times larger than the Brits'... [T]o compare them to... us is like comparing an M1A1 tank to a Roman chariot." But they both have the same issues, another guest interrupted. "No," Maginnis fired back, "the issues are fundamentally about privacy, about unit cohesion, about trust and confidence, about readiness... retention... recruitment. You look at all those. Unfortunately, Christiane, the report that the Pentagon came out with--based on a flawed survey--doesn't support that..."

In that report, which FRC fully read, the Defense Department makes a point of comparing the American military to its counterparts in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. But those nations are radically different than the United States in two key areas. Their militaries, while sophisticated, are not nearly as large--or as advanced--as ours. Secondly, those countries are much farther down the path of secularization than America. Each one lacks a moral restraint that is still very much a vibrant part of our nation.

While some British officers make sweeping statements about the success of open homosexuals in their military, there is absolutely no empirical data to base them on. By their own admission, there has been no systematic review of the effects of open homosexuality on retention, HIV rates, and sexual assault over the last 10 years. Nor do I think the British model of "recruiting at gay pride parades" is worth replicating. According to U.K. officials, that's where they've been forced to shop for new enlistments. (I don't know if you've had the misfortune of seeing a gay pride parade, but it's not exactly a scene from A Few Good Men.) The United States military is the best in the world. Sure, other countries may sprinkle a few drag queens in its units and call it "progress," but as the leader of the free world we don't have the luxury of using our military for social experimentation.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Should religion be taught in public schools? Yes and it already is.

I came across an interesting opinion piece on the religion and education which asks the question, should religion be taught in the public schools.

Charles Haynes discusses the thesis of a book by Warren Nord entitled, "Does God Make a Difference." In the book, Nord says "American education proceeds on the assumptiion that God is either dead or irrelevant." Strong language yet I would say accurate.

Haynes goes on to describe Nord's argument:

Conventional wisdom in public schools and universities, Nord claims, is that students “can learn everything they need to know about any subject (other than history and literature) without learning anything about religion.” Students are uncritically taught to make sense of the world in
“exclusively secular categories.” And that makes public education “superficial, illiberal, and unconstitutional.”
Haynes asks:

Is Nord right? On the charges of “superficial and illiberal,” I would agree. Ignoring the role of religion in history and society — and, more deeply, ignoring religious ways of understanding the world — deprives students of what used to be called a broad or liberal education.

Education, Nord rightly argues, should address the “big questions” about meaning and morality — questions that cannot be properly considered without giving religion a place at the curriculum table.

A religion-free education may be wrongheaded, but is it unconstitutional? Here Nord goes beyond where most legal scholars are willing to go by boldly asserting that public schools and universities violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause by failing to be religiously neutral.

According to Nord, teaching about religion in public schools is not only permissible under
the First Amendment (a point the U.S. Supreme Court has made many times); but it is also required by the Court’s past rulings about the constitutional necessity of government neutrality between religion and non-religion. There is nothing “neutral,” he argues, about teaching all subjects through a secular lens without exposing students to religious alternatives.

I don't know that I'd agree that the courts should mandate particular religions be taught in the schools but it would do well to require "truth in advertising" about what what is currently being taught in the schools under the guise of neutrality. The courts could make the public aware that the reigning orthodoxy in many of public schools is secularism which is a faith just as much as Christianity or Judaism.

Haynes concludes by restating a critical problem with our current education system.

As Nord reminds us: “An educational system that ignores the great existential questions — political, moral, spiritual, religious — is not worthy of respect, indeed, it shouldn’t count as educational at all.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

State facing structural deficit of $6.2 billion. Time to reduce the size and scope of government.

The state is facing a projected budget deficit of $6.2 billion over the next two years. That's bad enough but an added problem is it's a structural deficit, meaning that even with strong economic growth, we're spending more than we're due to take in via tax receipts.

As Tom Stinson, the state's economist, said in a recent interview with Capitol Report, we're coming out of the worst recession since World War II, plus we're facing an ongoing structural deficit in our state finances.

This was the worst recession since World War II. We’re coming out of it, and everybody would like us to come out of it as quickly as possible, and we are coming out of it, but it’s going to take some time.

The good news, from the Minnesota point of view, is that we seem to be coming out of it faster than the national economy. But, to put it in perspective before we pat ourselves on the back too much, you’ve got to remember that California is part of the U.S. economy and the situation there is much worse than it is in Minnesota, so we better be doing better than the U.S. average....

We have a $6.2 billion structural shortfall. The revenue forecast for 2012-2013 went down by about $900 million [in November] because of some economic changes….

But I think the important thing to know is even if it went up twice - if we gained back that $900 million and then the economy improved enough so that we actually added another $900 million - we’d still have $4.4 billion worth of problem to deal with.

That means on an ongoing basis we're spending more than we have been taking in. The funding shifts and delay of payments used in the past to balance the budget aren't available. That means tough decisions about cutting spending and tax increases will have to be faced now.

I believe government is too big and needs to be cut back rather reverting to raising taxes. That will be very painful for those who have come to expect government to do more and more but in the long run expanding government isn't in the best interest of society or the family. Growing government has meant government taking over more and more family responsibilities which not only costs lots of money but also means people are becoming more dependent on the government for those services.

This dependency on the government hasn't improved the condition of the family, rather it's contributed to its decline. We can see government's ineffectualness by looking to results of anti-poverty programs. Despite spending trillions and trillions of dollars since the 1960s, poverty rates haven't decreased. Instead the health and well-being of the American family has declined dramatically. I believe the government has played a significant, though not the exclusive, role in that decline.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Homosexual parenting leads to more homosexual kids? Common sense and research suggests as much. Implications for gay adoption and gay "marriage".

The debate over homosexual "marriage" invariably implicates the impact of homosexual couples on the children they raise. While there's debate over the exact origins of homosexual attractions and orientations, it's generally viewed as resulting from a complex interaction of biological and environmental factors. Even gay researchers like Simon LaVay acknowledge as much.

It shouldn't be surprising then when kids raised by homosexual parents have a greater propensity for developing same sex inclinations. That's what Dr. Walter Schumm, professor of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University found in his research. Here's what he said in an interview on the topic.
For decades it was politically correct to argue that parental sexual orientation had nothing to do with a child's sexual orientation. However, about 1995 or so, a few scholars began to admit that, at least in theory, parental values would be expected to influence children's values, including sexual orientation preferences. Nevertheless, it was argued that even such an expected result had little empirical support. I decided to tackle this difficult problem from three perspectives, in a report in press with the
Cambridge journal, Journal of Biosocial Science.

First, I reviewed ten books concerning over 250 children of gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents and evaluated the children's own stories about their sexual orientations. I used a 10% baseline for a simulated comparison group of heterosexual families. It was clear that the children of GLB parents were more likely to either have
identified as GLB or to have at least experimented with nonheterosexual behavior. The more I controlled for age (using older children) and availability of data (using only those children who specifically described their sexual orientations), the stronger the results became. Gender was an interesting and strong factor in that the daughters of lesbian mothers were most likely to reject a heterosexual orientation whereas sons of gay fathers were least likely to do so.

I then compiled data from 26 studies about GLB parenting and found that children of GLB parents were more likely to report a nonheterosexual orientation than were children of heterosexual parents in those studies, an effect that was strongest for mothers.

Third, I studied reports from a number of cultures from around the world and found that the less strongly those cultures condemned homosexuality, the less rare was its actual (open) practice.

Thus, all three sources of data indicate that sexual orientation, at least in terms of its open expression, is subject to the influence of social and cultural factors, including family background. While not surprising in terms of what social science theory might predict, the results differ greatly from the testimony of many experts at a host of previous court cases concerning gay or lesbian parenting.

Furthermore, my analysis of previous data, some of which has seldom been mentioned, showed that gay or lesbian parents were less likely to want their children to grow up to be heterosexual than were heterosexual parents. Gay and lesbian parents also seemed less likely to expect that their children would grow up to be heterosexual. Thus, both parental expectations and aspirations tend to pressure children to model their parent's own sexual orientation, providing a clear pathway for parental sexual orientation to influence a child's sexual orientation.

Some gay activists want to discredit Professor Schumm and his research though one has to ask why if there are no problems with homosexuality. The problem for gay activists is the public is uncomfortable with the promotion of homosexuality and the resulting behavior. And that uncomfortable is reasonable in light of the negative health consequences of the behavior.

Such research has significant implications for the gay adoption and homosexual "marriage" debates.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The new elites in America. Out of touch with people they govern and influence.

Here's an interesting article by Charles Murray from the Washington Post last month which talks about the new elites and how out of touch they are with the average American. It shows up not only in the politics but also their lifestyles and values.

We know, for one thing, that the New Elite clusters in a comparatively small number of cities and in selected neighborhoods in those cities. This concentration isn't limited to the elite neighborhoods of Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. It extends to university cities with ancillary high-tech jobs, such as Austin and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle.

With geographical clustering goes cultural clustering. Get into a conversation about television with members of the New Elite, and they can probably talk about a few trendy shows -- "Mad Men" now, "The Sopranos" a few years ago. But they haven't any idea who replaced Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right." They know who Oprah is, but they've never watched one of her shows from beginning to end.

Talk to them about sports, and you may get an animated discussion of yoga, pilates, skiing or mountain biking, but they are unlikely to know who Jimmie Johnson is (the really famous Jimmie Johnson, not the former Dallas Cowboys coach), and the acronym MMA means nothing to them.

They can talk about books endlessly, but they've never read a "Left Behind" novel (65 million copies sold) or a Harlequin romance (part of a genre with a core readership of 29 million Americans).

They take interesting vacations and can tell you all about a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada or an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor, but they wouldn't be caught dead in an RV or on a cruise ship (unless it was a small one going to the Galapagos). They have never heard of Branson, Mo.

There are so many quintessentially American things that few members of the New Elite have experienced. They probably haven't ever attended a meeting of a
Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club, or lived for at least a year in a small town (college doesn't count) or in an urban neighborhood in which most of their neighbors did not have college degrees (gentrifying neighborhoods don't count). They are unlikely to have spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line (graduate school doesn't count) or to have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian. They are unlikely to have even visited a factory floor, let alone worked on one.

Taken individually, members of the New Elite are isolated from mainstream America as a result of lifestyle choices that are nobody's business but their own. But add them all up, and they mean that the New Elite lives in a world that doesn't intersect with mainstream America in many important ways. When the tea party says the New Elite doesn't get America, there is some truth in the accusation.

Part of the isolation is political. In that Harvard survey I mentioned, 72 percent of Harvard seniors said their beliefs were to the left of the nation as a whole, compared with 10 percent who said theirs were to the right of it. The political preferences of academics and journalists among the New Elite also conform to the suspicions of the tea party.

But the politics of the New Elite are not the main point. When it comes to the schools where they were educated, the degrees they hold, the Zip codes where they reside and the television shows they watch, I doubt if there is much to differentiate the staff of the conservative Weekly Standard from that of the liberal New Republic, or the scholars at the American Enterprise Institute from those of the Brookings Institution, or Republican senators from Democratic ones.

The bubble that encases the New Elite crosses ideological lines and includes far too many of the people who have influence, great or small, on the course of the nation. They are not defective in their patriotism or lacking a generous spirit toward their fellow citizens. They are merely isolated and ignorant. The members of the New Elite may love America, but, increasingly, they are not of it.

I saw this last summer when a CNN producer talked with me about the Minnesota Family Council's views and their connection to religion and what not. I could tell I was someone she hadn't encountered very often or at all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pope Benedict, condoms and misquoting by the media.

"The Pope endorses condoms for male prostitutes to stop HIV." That's the gist of media reports over comments the Pope allegedly made about condoms and HIV prevention. I was surprised and to a degreee skeptical. Was it more nuanced that? But as more media reported it I wondered what was going on. Turns out it wasn't a nuanced endorsement of condoms but a blatant distortion of what he had actually said and a bad translation to top it off.

The moral of the story? Maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when the mainstream media deals with controversial social issues. They often don't report and/or misrepresent significant parts of the story.

Here's a good explanation of what actually happened and what was said.

This past weekend, in a particularly embarrassing journalistic feeding frenzy, the mainstream media fell all over itself to see who could most egregiously misquote Pope Benedict XVI.

For those who are unaware of the “controversy”: On Saturday the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published an excerpt from an upcoming book, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times. The book, which is slated to be released in English by Ignatius Press tomorrow, is essentially a long interview with Pope Benedict by journalist Peter Seewald. In it, Seewald engages Benedict in a discussion of the Church's take on condom use, particularly in Africa.

Violation of journalistic ethics.
The editors at the usually reliable L'Osservatore Romano made two critical errors. First, they decided that they would be the only major news source in the world to violate the book's strict press embargo, releasing Italian-language excerpts from the book before the official launch date.

Secondly, they inexplicably decided that they would only publish a tiny segment of Benedict's statements on condom usage, without any context whatsoever.

What Pope Benedict actually said.

Here is the quote that has drawn so much attention:

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

This paragraph doesn't strike me as at all ambiguous. Benedict is merely pointing out that when people like prostitutes use a condom, it can be seen as a faint glimmer of responsibility, a tiny baby step on the road to moral recovery. And he goes on to explicitly rule out condoms as a solution to HIV/AIDS, pointing out that the epidemic will only end when human sexuality is understood in its proper context of faithful and responsible human love.

Of course, for those who delight in mischaracterizing the Church's position, this was all the opening they needed. The internet was instantly ablaze with headlines like “Popesays condoms acceptable 'in certain cases',” and “Pope Endorses Condoms for Male Prostitutes For AIDS Prevention”. Our personal favorite is this story from Britain's The Telegraph, which claims, impossibly, that “after decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the pontiff will end the Catholic Church's absolute ban on the use of condoms.” What?

Fortunately, The Catholic World Report released its own excerpt of Benedict's remarks with the surrounding context (and a proper translation), which makes the Pope's original meaning abundantly clear:

People can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man's being.

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

There is little mistaking the Pope's meaning in this quote (be sure to read the entire excerpt). He points out that condoms can't possibly be halting the spread of HIV, since the disease is rampant where condoms are widely available. He notes that even secular sources agree that a condom-only solution is no solution at all, and points to the “banalization of sexuality” as the primary culprit for the spread of AIDS.

But what is truly unacceptable here is the fact that L'Osservatore Romano omitted the clarifying follow-up question, where Benedict assures Seewald that condoms are not “a real or moral solution,” and reiterates that their usage is often just a “first step” toward a truer morality. If that quote had been released along with the more ambiguous preceding one, this entire firestorm might have been avoided.

At any rate, this entire controversy appears to be yet another media frenzy about … nothing. Once again, the Pope made some highly intelligent, nuanced remarks about a controversial subject, remarks that ham-fisted reporters across the globe proved completely incapable of processing.

But don't expect any retractions from the media anytime soon. It labors under the delusion that the Church stands in the way if a modern, evidence-based solution to the AIDS epidemic. The reality is that it is the international AIDS Establishment, with its billions of dollars of funding and its rigid sex-at-all-costs ideology, that has not only failed to stop the epidemic, but has actually encouraged its spread.

The Pope and his Church view Man as a creature, only a little lower than the angels, who is capable of sacrificial love and sexual self-control. The AIDS Establishment (along with the population controllers and the pro-abortion groups) view Man as nothing more than an intelligent ape, subject to the same selfish behavior and uncontrollable ruts as his lower brethren.

The media, unfortunately, is firmly on the side of the apes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The truly big crisis facing America...and it's not the state of the economy.

Time magazine and the Pew Research Center commissioned a survey of American attitudes and behaviors as they relate to marriage. The article is entitled, "Who Needs Marriage: How an American Institution is Changing." The article starts with juxtaposing the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles which ended in disaster and the engagement of her eldest son Prince William and talks about how attitudes have changed.

In fact, statistically speaking, a young man of William's age — if not his royal English heritage — might be just as likely not to get married, yet. In 1960, the year before Princess Diana, William's mother, was born, nearly 70% of American adults were married; now only about half are. Eight times as many children are born out of wedlock. Back then, two-thirds of 20-somethings were married; in 2008 just 26% were. And college graduates are now far more likely to marry (64%) than those with no higher education (48%).

Their conclusion?
What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or
symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used
to be. Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or
professional success or respect or even children — yet marriage remains revered
and desired.

If nothing else the story highlights the moral confusion which exists in our society and prevalence of moral relativism. The damage done to a society and individuals when marriages break up is well documented. We think we can do without it but we can't. And we actually realize that deep down. We have an innate desire for it even when we don't embrace it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taxes, gay "marriage", comp sex ed, abortion funding, medical marijuana, etc. all up in the air after election.

It's only starting to sink in how big a shift this election was in terms of make up of the Minnesota state legislature and its orientation on social and family issues. If Dayton wins and we have a DFL governor and a legislature controlled by Republicans, we'll continue to see gridlock on many issues. The governor has a lot of power to control what ultimately gets passed into law. (DFLers in the legislature know this only too well despite having overwhelming majorities in both Houses the past 4 years.)

But the governor doesn't have the power to pass things. And that's what is key from our standpoint. Many of the issues we're concerned about were in danger of getting passed into law with a DFL-controlled legislature and liberal governor. Now with the seismic shift in the political center of the legislature, the governor isn't even necessary to stop things.

Take for instance, gay "marriage". Whereas its proponents were looking to pass it in 2011 if the DFL controlled both Houses and the governor's office, now there's no chance it could even get close to passage in either the state House or Senate. The same is true with many other social issues. The political center has shifted dramatically in the legislature. The state Senate in the past session was often for a particular social issue by a 10 to 15 margin. That's now flipped. In the House, there's probably a 20 vote shift on many issues.

Remarkably, the Senate is now more conservative than the state House, which has never been the case in the 22 years I've been around the legislature. I'm sure liberals in the Senate will be gunning to recapture control in 2012, but I think that's going to be tough though certainly not impossible. I wonder if many incumbent DFL senators won't run again. They're at the age where they were thinking about retiring anyway and being in the minority for even two years will only give them added impetus to step aside. Will they want to take the risk of running for re-election, not capturing the majority, and being stuck in the minority for another four years, not just two years.

With President Obama in the White House and possibly a liberal, DFL governor in St. Paul, I don't think the public will be in a mood to do a reverse political tsunami in 2012. It maybe status quo at the legislative or even some conservative pick-ups which means Republicans will keep control of the state Senate and maybe gain a seat or two. Similar in the House.

There is also an interesting dynamic at play with a possible liberal governor and conservative legislature which is different from the reverse scenario in play while Pawlenty was governor. Liberals want to pass things and raise taxes but they can't, even with the governorship, if the legislature doesn't want to pass those things. That's different from the previous scenario where the conservative governor acted as a goalie and stopped liberal initiatives. This is a recipe for gridlock and gridlock is preferable to lots new spending and programs.

The current scenario clearly opens the door for a marriage amendment, something which the public supports and pro-marriage supporters are much more passionate about than gay "marriage" supporters. That's what our polling done in 2005 and this past summer showed us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Every vote counts. Just look at Minnesota House. If 343 voters had switched votes to Democrat House candidates, DFL would control House outright.

I always tell people every vote counts and usually reference the example of Minnesota House races where 100 votes or less can decide a race.

That was definitely the case in the 2010 elections, particularly for the Minnesota House. As of today, the Republicans control the House by a margin of 72 to 62.

An analysis of the
election returns from the Secretary of State's office finds that a switch of 174 votes in five House races would have given the DFL joint control of the state House with House Republicans. 67 to 67. With another 169 voters switching from Republican to Democrat in another district, Democrats would have had out right control. Another way of looking at it -- if 679 more people had voted for the losing candidates in six races it would have switched outright control in the House to the DFL.
  • In 1B, long time representative DFLer Bernie Lieder from Crookston lost by 131 votes out of 12,932 total votes cast.
  • In 15B, an open seat in St. Cloud, the Republican King Banaian is ahead by 10 votes out of 10,971 votes cast.
  • In 25A, another open seat, Republican Glen Gruenhagen won by 336 votes out of 16,262 votes cast.
  • In 25B, a Northfield seat, the incumbent DFLer David Bly is behind by 31 votes out of 17,783 votes cast.
  • In 27A, the incumbent DFLer Robin Brown from Albert Lea area is behind by 58 votes out of 14,973 votes cast.
  • And in 42A, DFLer Maria Ruud from Minnetonka lost by 107 votes out of 17,281 votes cast.

And it's not just DFLers who lost narrowly. Incumbent DFLers' Denise Dittrich in 47A won by 264 votes out of 13,905 votes cast. In 26B, Patti Fritz won by 151 votes out of 13,085 votes cast. And in 20B, Lyle Koenen won by 165 votes cast out of 16,634 votes cast.

Every vote counts just ask George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pro-marriage efforts boosted by Minn. GOP takeover

Gay marriage foes boosted by Minn. GOP takeover
Star Tribune
PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Gay rights activists in Minnesota thought 2012 would be the year they could finally make a serious push for gay marriage in the state, but a surprise Republican takeover of the Legislature has them back on the defensive instead.

Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, said Thursday his group will push for a statewide vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage and civil unions in Minnesota's Constitution. Previous efforts to do so in 2004, 2005 and 2006 met a firewall in the strongly Democratic state Senate, but that liberal majority crumbled in Tuesday night's election.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We are having problems sending emails today. So, here is a press release.

Minnesota Family Council

For Immediate Release Contact: Tom Prichard 612.600.3136

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Political tidal wave hits Minnesota.

Minnesota state House and Senate move dramatically in pro-life, pro-marriage direction.

MINNEAPOLIS - "The tidal wave came to Minnesota yesterday with both the state House and Senate shifting control to conservatives. This is certainly the biggest change I've witnessed in over 20 years working at the state legislature. The Minnesota legislature is now decidedly more pro-life and pro-marriage."

"We look forward to working with the new legislature on pro-life, pro-marriage legislation in the future," said Prichard.

“MFC would like to thank the tens of thousands of social conservatives who headed our calls, emails and mailings to vote their pro-life, pro-marriage values," said Chuck Darrell, Director of Communications. "MFC/MFI made approximately 500,000 calls across Minnesota encouraging voters to vote their biblical values and protect marriage. MFC also distributed 250,000 Voters’ Guides, almost half of which were distributed to 1,200 churches.

“This dramatic change in both houses stops efforts to legalize gay marriage dead in it's tracks," said Darrell. "Recently, backers of gay marriage have been boasting that Minnesota is on the 'verge' of legalizing gay marriage. Apparently not, as the people have responded by electing pro-life, pro-marriage majorities in both the house and the senate,” said Darrell.

Minnesota Family Council is the state’s largest non-partisan pro-family organization. Its mission is to strengthen the families of Minnesota by advancing biblical principles in the public arena.

Minnesota Family Council, 2855 Anthony Lane S, Suite 150,Minneapolis, MN 55418

Copyright © 2010, Minnesota Family Council

Homosexual marriage judges ousted in Iowa

Des Moines Register

"Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Vote totals from 96 percent of Iowa's 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench.

Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted."


A stunner. GOP wins both house and senate.

A stunner: State GOP wins both house and senate.

Some races are still very close, however it looks like the GOP has captured both houses of the Minnesota legislature for the first time in more than a generation.

From the Star Tribune

"In a stunning victory, Republicans swept into the majority in the Minnesota Senate for the first time in more than a generation and by early Wednesday had followed that by also taking control of the House. The dual victories left many of the state's top DFLers speechless, and erased months of optimistic projections that the party would buck a nationwide trend toward Republicans. Even Republicans, who gained confidence with each passing hour as key races broke their way, said the results exceeded even their giddiest predictions."


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ferment on the Left.

Even before the polls have closed the political left is already engaging in the introspection which normally comes after a bad election. One interesting column by Michael Lind at Salon points out that center left, social democrat parties in Europe are losing big time.

The setbacks Democrats are poised to suffer in the midterm election have to be viewed in a trans-Atlantic context. The backlash against Barack Obama and the contemporary Democratic Party is part of a global wave of popular disapproval of social democratic parties that abandoned their traditional working-class constituents in order to woo bankers and professionals.

Parties or coalitions of the left hang on to control in Norway, Spain and Austria. But every major country in Europe -- Britain, France, Germany and Italy -- is now ruled by the center-right. From the Baltic to the Mediterranean, social democratic parties are crumbling.

For most of the 20th century, Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats were the model for center-left parties elsewhere. In September’s election, the Swedish Social Democrats received only 30.9 percent of the vote, their worst showing since 1914. Earlier in 2009, Germany’s Social Democratic Party suffered its worst electoral defeat since World War II, winning only 23 percent of the vote. In Sweden, Germany and elsewhere, Social Democrats are losing voters to populist parties of the right, Greens and hard-left parties.

I question whether they're crumbling because they've moved too far to the right. Based on his analysis, these voters would be going to ever more left wing parties. I don't know that that is happening. I wonder it's rather a case of realism. The welfare state is unsustainable and they're open to moving away from it.

His last paragraph seems to fit the make up of modern Democrat Party in the US. It's more concerned with ideological goals rather the traditional bread and butter issues of the middle class.
...In the U.S., as in Europe, the upper-middle-class activists and intellectuals of the center-left devote far less energy to traditional social democratic issues like social insurance and the minimum wage than to non-economic causes like renewable energy, mass transit, the new urbanism, gay marriage, identity politics and promotion of amnesty for illegal immigrants. On both continents, conservatism is becoming more downscale while progressives are increasingly upmarket.

As I've said elsewhere, the middle class is moving towards the Republicans while the Democrats are made up, increasingly, of the very poor who are dependent on the government to a large degree and, as Lind describes them, "upper-middle-class activists and intellectuals of the center-left." A closer look at much of what they advocate for will only scare off more middle class folks.

Distortion and misrepresentation of my writings by Birkey opened door to national audience.

The liberal bias of the mainstream media is well documented. Whenever I'm interviewed, the story is usually slanted in a liberal direction. I've come to expect that.

What I've generally found though is the writer or reporter usually fairly quotes or represents what I said even if the overall story has a liberal slant. But such was not the case recently with Andy Birkey of Minnesota Independent, a
left/liberal, pro-gay, alternative media newsblog and his reporting of the bullying controversy in the Anoka Hennepin school district.

In this instance, Birkety distorted and misrepresented what I had actually wrote in a blog post.

First, Birkey wrote that I said, "... the students are dead because they adopted an 'unhealthy lifestyle.'" If you look my blog post, I said no such thing about the tragic teen suicides in Anoka Hennepin.

Second, Birkey wrote: "Prichard asserts that the suicide death of 15-year-old Justin Aaberg was not due to anti-LGBT bullying." Again, I never wrote or asserted that. What I did say, which he actually quoted later in his article, was “Whatever the exact reason for Justin’s suicide it’s an enormous tragedy..."

And finally, he quoted me as saying, " that “homosexual activists” share in the blame when LGBT students commit suicide because “they’ve embraced an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle.”
"Again, I never said that in my blog post.

Certainly Andy is free to vehemently disagree with me and write the kind of news story he wants, but he crosses an ethical line and damages his own credibility as a reporter when he distorts and misrepresents what a person actually says or writes.

I remember dealing with a reporter from the now defunct homosexual newspaper "Equal Times". Though the reporter, I'm sure, disagreed with me on most things, I found her a fair journalist. She quoted me accurately and I respected her for that.

An interesting side note to Andy's distortion of my blog post comments was it ironically opened the door for me get my views out on the bullying controversy nationally on CNN's Anderson Cooper's 360 program.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rasmussen: Election is referendum on Democrats more than vote for Republicans.

I found an interesting column by pollster Scott Rasmussen who says the election is more a vote against Democrats than for Republicans.

Rasmussen writes:

Voters today want hope and change every bit as much as in 2008. But most have come to recognize that if we have to rely on politicians for the change, there is no hope. At the same time, Americans instinctively understand that if we can unleash the collective wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.

In this environment, it would be wise for all Republicans to remember that their team didn't win, the other team lost. Heading into 2012, voters will remain ready to vote against the party in power unless they are given a reason not to do so.

Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves.

I think Rasmussen has a point. Voters haven't gotten the change they expected from Obama. Though ideology or philosophy is what guides individuals and in this instance political parties. If Republicans stand for less government I'm not sure how they can leave that ideology behind. The key question is: Will Republicans stand their ground rather than continuing the expansion of government but just more slowly than the Democrats?

Friday, October 29, 2010

DFL uses God's name to mock pastors.

DFL uses God's name to mock pastors.
Make sure to vote your biblical values on November 2.

Will last minute attack on catholics and evangelicals by DFL Party and Melendez cost DFLers' elections?

This not so subtle attack on Catholics and evangelicals by the DFL party through a series of post cards mailed out in a local state Senate district may cost DFL'ers in the elections Tuesday. The problem was only compounded by DFL party chair Brian Melendez who didn't apologize for the postcards but, in fact, defended them saying they were good ads.

His response evidences not only arrogance and an anti-Catholic and evangelical Christian bias but political tone deafness.

It's reported that DFL Catholic elected officials are livid by their party's actions. They are facing tight, tough local, legislative races which could turn on a controversy ad like this.

The fact that Dayton and his family have given $900,000 to the DFL Party and Tom Emmer who is Catholic could mean the controversy could spill over to the tight governor's race.

I came across this interview with Jeff Blodgett who talked about the impact last minute political blunders can have. Blodgett was the campaign manager for Paul Wellstone in 1990 when Rudy Boschwitz sent out a letter to Jewish leaders calling for their support over the less observant Paul Wellstone. It upset many non-Jewish voters. Some say it impacted the outcome of the election. Here's what Blodgett said about last minute blunders.
"Rule No. 1 in politics," said Blodgett, "is don't do something that becomes an issue itself."

If it's so basic, why does the rule seem to be violated so frequently?

"In a campaign, you have to be careful because you can end up losing perspective," said Blodgett.

At some point in a campaign, politics gets personal, and the personal gets emotional. Your candidate is good. The other candidate is evil.

"It's a big mistake when one campaign ends up hating the other campaign," Blodgett said.
We'll see what the political impact of this attack on catholics and evangelicals is Tuesday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minnesota is on the verge of passing marriage "equality"

This post card from Outfront Minnesota validates MFC's warning that "Minnesota is on the verge of passing [homosexual] marriage...". And, that a vote for Mark Dayton is the way to do it.

Emmer is the only candidate that believes the people of Minnesota should be able to vote on marriage. Mark Dayton and Tom Horner are opposed to allowing you to vote.

Who said this election isn't about social issues?

Go to to get a voter guide. Share it with your friends and neighbors.

WCCO ignores Catholic Defense League call for apology

WCCO spins story about DFL mailing depicting Catholic imagery. WCCO says GOP is demanding an apology. Interesting how they ignore the Catholic Defense Leagues demand for an apology. CDF President Dick Houck says the DFL is attacking Archbishop Nienstedt for mailing DVD's on marraige.

Further, allegations against Dan Hall are dubious as it attacks Hall for allegedly not saying anything on health care.

Strange that the DFL would attack Catholics because a Protestant pastor was mum on healthcare.

DFL Chair Melendez support and defense of anti-catholic political ad only digs him a deeper hole and doesn't pass straight face test.

The political offensive ad used against Republican senatorial candidate Dan Hall by the state DFL party and its subsequent endorsement by DFL party chair Brian Melendez only deepens the controversy and outrage over a blatantly, bigoted political attack ad on Catholics specifically and Christians in general.

In the DFL ad attacking Hall, they show a picture of a man in a clerical collar wearing a button saying, "Ignore the Poor". Melendez supports the ad and says the depicted collar is worn "by just about every major christian denomination." I'd like to know where he's seen the depicted collar worn outside the Catholic Church. It shows his ignorance of Christian practices in Minnesota.

The other pictures used, an altar and stain glass window, are also very strong Catholic imagery. As for Hall, who's a nondenominational pastor, those scenes are not found in nondenominational churches.

In the ad, the DFL accuses Hall of ignoring the poor, because he didn't oppose Governor Pawlenty's reductions in health care expenditure increases. Such an assertion is ridiculous.

To suggest that one doesn't care about the poor, because one thinks the government should live within its means and doesn't have a responsibility to everybody with health care is a sham and a distortion of Christian beliefs. (The demand that government must provide health care for everyone is called socialism. And socialism is in fact inconsistent with Christian principles.) And to say Hall doesn't care about the poor and vulnerable is outrageous. He's been a chaplain for years helping those in great need; I suspect far more than the perpetrators of the vicious attack ad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why attack the Catholic church because a protestant pastor was mum on health care?

Things that make you go hmmm.

Why would the DFL attack the Catholic church because Dan Hall, a protestant pastor was allegedly silent on health care?

Catholic Defense League President, Dick Houck believes the DFL has singled out the Catholic church because all three post cards use Catholic imagery and because Dan Hall has never worn a collar.

Houck also accused the DFL of attacking Archbishop Nienstedt because of the recent marriage DVD sent t0 Catholic homes. Houck believes the DFL is trying to diminish the influence of the Catholic church in the community.
The DFL is going for the tri-fecta with three mailings, all using Catholic imagery.

Do you think these are "good ads"?

DFL chair Brian Melendez does.

Daily Caller calls on DNC to dennounce mailing by DFL

Catholics are calling on DNC chairman Tim Kaine to condemn a campaign flyer paid for by Minnesota Democrats depicting a priest in a collar wearing a button that says, “ignore the poor.”

One group, the St. Michael Society, said the flyer is an “anti-Catholic slur,” and posted contact information for the DNC on its website and Facebook page, asking members to demand that Kaine denounce it.

Read more:

DFL insults Catholics and Protestants with offensive mailing

DFL insults Catholics and Protestants with mailing.

"Despicable," said Dick Houck, president of Catholic Defense League at a press conference earlier today.

Houck was referring to a post card mailed by the DFL into Senate Dist 40 that depicted a "Catholic priest in a Roman collar wearing a large button the read 'Ignore the Poor.'"

"The DFL is hopelessly out of touch with people of faith," said Chuck Darrell of the Minnesota Family Council. "With one postcard the DFL insulted both Protestants and Catholics. The copy slanders Pastor Dan Hall while using the image of a Catholic Priest with a button that says 'Ignore the Poor'. Dan Hall says he has never worn a collar."

"I can't help but feel this was the DFL's way of trying to sling mud at the Church in response to the marriage DVD," said Houck.

Hall Piece 1

Who's the big money, elite political party? Democrats.

Traditionally, the Democrat party was viewed as the party of the little guy. The average person on the street. The Republicans were the money party with lots of money coming from business and the well to do.

The facts are different today. While business generally leans to the Republican side, many in big business try to buy influence and favor with whoever is in power. The big money is now on the Democrat side. According to Politico,

So far, the latest figures show that the Democratic Party machinery has outraised its Republican counterpart in this campaign cycle by almost $270 million.

And even when outside spending on television advertising and direct mail is added to the mix, Republicans still haven’t closed the gap.

The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries, based on figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

I think the complexion of the parties has also changed. Generally speaking, the Democrat party is the party of government. The very poor who are dependent on government and the liberal wealthy and elites who believe government is the answer are key constituents. The Republicans really are more the party of the working, middle class who don't see the government as the answer to all of society's problems.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DFL attacks Catholic Church

A new mailing by the DFL attacks the Catholic Church.

California marijuana initiative in trouble. Overreach by proponents?

A poll out on California Prop 19 initiative, legalizing marijuana in California, is behind in the polls. 51% oppose legalizing pot and 39% support it. Previously, polls were much closer.
According to a USC/Los Angeles Times Poll, 51 percent of likely voters said they would vote against Proposition 19, which would allow people 21 years-old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters said they support the measure....

Proponents of Prop 19 say it would generate much needed revenue and cut drug enforcement costs. The California Attorney General's office estimated that the measure has the potential to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxes and fees, while saving the state tens of millions of dollars annually on costs related to incarceration and supervision of marijuana offenders.

But opponents, including the U.S. Justice Department and former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, say the measure violates federal law and endangers public safety. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that the Justice Department will continue to enforce federal law regardless of the outcome of the ballot initiative. Federal law prohibits individuals and organizations from possessing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana for recreational use.

I think Californians realize the problems with marijuana more than any other state. They have the most lenient medical marijuana laws in the country. It's become a mess. If pot legalization goes down big time in California it isn't bode well for similar efforts elsewhere in the country.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Duluth Tribune endorses Cravaack

October 24, 2010 Duluth News Tribune endorses Cravaack, looking past Oberstar for first time

The Duluth News Tribune editorial board has endorsed Republican Chip Cravaack in the 8th Congressional District. It was the first time the paper has not endorsed 18-term Democrat Rep. Jim Oberstar during his 30-year political career. Oberstar says the decision was made by the paper’s ownership in Fargo and questioned the process.

KSTP Video - Oberstar Cravaack go toe-to-toe in 8th Dist Debate

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oberstar in race for Congressional Seat. More he says more out of touch he appears.

The political climate has made things even tough for Jim Oberstar in the supposedly safe 8th Congressional seat. By the looks of his recent debate, which he didn't want to do, it only further those frustrated with upset with the current state of affairs. He comes off as condescending and arrogant. He lectures and name calls those who disagree with him.

Here's a video clip of his support for cap and trade which would significant hurt the economy through tax increases and regulations.

In the Duluth News Tribune story on a debate between Oberstar and his opponent Chip Cravaack, a raucous crowd was probably made even more raucous by Oberstar's comments. He aggressively defended the stimulus bill, health care bill and cap and trade. And then charged those who disagreed with him of being members of the "Flat Earth Society.

Not a way to make friends and influence people.

When asked what their first priority would be if elected to Congress, Republican Cravaack said he would "get rid of Obamacare" to shouts of glee and applause from his supporters.

"I want to make sure that never happens," DFLer Oberstar snapped back, adding that he would work to protect health-care reform. He said his top priority would be to pass a federal transportation funding bill to put construction workers back to work rebuilding the nation’s highways, rails and airports.

The differences on health care reform were stark.

"It’s going to be a job killer," Cravaack said. "It’s going to put a bureaucrat between us and our doctor."

But Oberstar said the health-reform package "that I proudly voted for" will guarantee coverage despite pre-existing conditions, guarantee coverage won’t be cut off, end caps on benefits and, eventually, reduce the cost of health insurance while covering more people....

The candidates also were at opposite ends on whether the federal economic stimulus efforts have paid off.

Cravaack said no, that the increased federal spending has put the nation farther into debt with little to show. Democrats vowed the stimulus would keep unemployment at 8 percent or lower, Cravaack noted, but it now stands at 10 percent "and it’s 13 percent in Brainerd (Minn.)."

The stimulus has increased the federal debt that future generations "will be paying for for the rest of their lives.

"Did the stimulus bill work? No," Cravaack said. "The United States government does not create jobs."

Cravaack said the government would create more jobs by cutting business taxes.

"Get rid of the regulations and restrictions," Cravaack said, adding that "I trust you with your money. He (Oberstar) trusts government with your money."....

Oberstar also noted that much of the stimulus spending actually went to cut tax bills on paychecks.

"The stimulus bill included a tax break for everyone in America... that put money back in the pockets of people to spend," Oberstar said. "And it put people back to work."

On cap-and-trade legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions, which Oberstar voted for before the bill failed to advance, Cravaack said the nation can’t afford higher energy costs. He claimed increased costs for electricity from the carbon-cutting effort could kill Minnesota’s taconite industry...

"It’s changing our way of life. We have to deal with this issue" of climate change, Oberstar said to boos and cat calls from Cravaack supporters. Oberstar said the claims carbon-cutting legislation will put "our industry out of work is fundamentally wrong."

When the heckling on climate change grew louder, Oberstar accused the Cravaack supporters of being in the "Flat Earth Society." When he tried to rattle off statistics on warming trends, he was shouted down again with calls of "liar."

Our liberties are a gift of God

If a politician said "Our {America's] liberties are a gift of God" would that be a violation of the separation of church and state?

Michael Gerson’s article in today’s Star Tribune makes an important point that is ignored by some and misunderstood by others. Gerson states, “The Founders were not secularists. They assumed that people would bring their deepest moral motivations to political life -- motivations often informed by religious belief. But they firmly rejected sectarianism. America was designed to be a nation where all faiths are welcomed, not where one faith is favored. This was and is the American genius.”

In other words, the Founders never intended to silence motivations informed by religious belief in the public square. That means, people of all faiths are welcome to bring their religious convictions into politics and use them to inform our laws and legislation.

In fact, when some people say that America is a Christian nation, they mean that our politic and laws have been influenced primarily by Christian “motivations.”

Gerson concurs, “Religious faith remains one of the main foundations for belief in human equality and dignity -- as it was in the Declaration of Independence.”

Too many people erroneously label this motivation as being “in violation of separation of church and state.”

Some of these people are victims of historical revisionism. Others are more like thought police, viciously cleansing the public square of any and all religious motivations.

I like Jefferson's comment, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rush hits the nail on the head over the "separation of church and state" debate

The debate over whether the US Constitution contains the "separation of church and state" concept was clarified by none other than Rush Limbaugh during a recent radio monologue. What the left and liberals understand by the term is much different from what conservatives and the founding father mean by the the phrase.

Basically the term, like many, has been co-opted by the left to mean the public square should be a religion free zone. That of course would have been anathema to the founders. They understood it mean the separation of religious and governmental institutions not exclusion of faith grounded beliefs and values from the public square. (Frankly, what public views aren't ultimately grounded in faith, faith in God, faith in evolution, faith in materialism, etc. But that's worthy of discussion another time.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where does the Constitution say that Christians can't bring their values into the public square?

Separation of church and state is becoming an issue in the elections.

It’s painfully obvious that neither side is listening.

However, let me give some advice to those who make the technical argument that the “separation of church and state doesn’t exist in the First Amendment.”

Reframe the debate. Ask your opponent, “Where does the First Amendment say that Christians can’t bring their values into the public square?”

Or, “Are you saying the Constitution (First Amendment) prohibits people of faith from expressing their religious views in the public square?"

Keep repeating the question.

Why won't the IRS prosecute pastors that endorse political candidates from the pulpit?

Why won’t the IRS prosecute pastors that endorse candidates from the pulpit?

“American United has filed more than 100 of these complain[t]s this year alone. The IRS has dropped all of them, but has not said why,” concludes WCCO’s Reg Chapman in this story about Hastings Pastor Brad Brandon.

Pastor Brandon came under attack by Americans United for Separation of Church and State for endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

Good question Reg!

MFC suggests the reason the IRS has dropped all the complaints is because they know the restrictions on pastors’ speech are unconstitutional and that they would lose in court.

Behind the scenes, the Alliance Defense Fund is encouraging pastors across the country to speak out from the pulpit on the political issues of the day. If a complaint is filed, they will defend the pastor all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Imagine the backlash if the IRS tried to prosecute 100 churches for exercising free speech.

WCCO reports that the “’11 candidates he endorsed are listed on the church's website. The list includes Republican Tom Emmer for Governor, eight other republicans, an independent and a constitution candidate.’”

In response, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. “They want the IRS to take away the church's tax-exempt status,” reports Chapman. “’Pastor Brandon has pulled his tax-exempt church into partisan politics in blatant violation fo federal law,’ said American United’s executive director.”

That “federal law” was quietly slipped into a bill sponsored by then Sen. Lyndon Johnson in 1954 who wanted to silence critics of his campaign in Texas. Prior to that, pastors could and did speak out on election related issues and candidates.

Brandon wants the law overturned – and so does MFC. Encourage your pastor to speak out and defend free speech in the pulpit. "I'd love to see the IRS do something. I'd love to fight this in court and I would love to see a judge look me in the eye and say that the Johnson Amendment is constitutional," said Brandon.

CLICK HERE to see the broadcast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minnesota's most liberal Congressional representative per their district? Without a doubt Tim Walz in the 1st Cong. District.

Without a doubt the liberal representative in relation to his or her district is Rep. Tim Walz in the 1st Congressional District which runs along the southern border of Minnesota. I've noticed that on our last two voter's guides, he's in lock step with Ellison and McCollum in terms of votes taken on issues.

He voted for federal health care takeover.
He voted for government subsidy of abortion.
He voted for cap and trade.
He voted to fund abortion promoting organizations like Planned Parenthood.
He voted for repealing "Don't ask, don't tell".
He voted for the massively expensive "stimulus' bill.
He voted to expand hate crimes to give special status to sexual orientation.
He voted to federal fund the destruction of human embryos.
He voted to give special employment protections to homosexuals.
He voted against making the tax cuts permanent.

You get the picture. Whether it's abortion, taxes, family, cap and trade, government spending, Walz votes on the left side of the spectrum. The American Conservative Union gives him a lifetime score of 8% through 2009.

Walz got elected in 2006, a strong anti-incumbent year. With voters again aroused, they're no doubt paying closer attention to his liberal voting record which is far, far out of touch with his district. The more scrutiny his record receives the more problems he'll have.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pastor Bob Battle links Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one man, one woman marriage.

There has been a lot of rhetoric surrounding the use of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a recent television ad about the right to vote on marriage in Minnesota by NOM and MFC.

Here is a clip of Pastor Bob Battle of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) speaking at a NOM rally for traditional marriage in St. Paul last July. Pastor Battle links Dr. Kings legacy to one man, one woman marriage.

Complete text of Tom Prichards editorial concerning bullying

The following is the complete text of the editorial printed in the Star Tribune by Tom Prichard on Oct. 14th.

Clarification: MFC is aware that some readers have concluded that MFC is calling on the victims to stand up to the bullies by themselves. This is a misconception. MFC is calling on students who are not being bullied to stand up for the ones who are being bullied - including bullied students who identify as GLBT. Students can do this by using humor, alerting a school official, leading the bullied student away from the bully, or by telling the bully to knock it off. One study showed that when peers intervened, bullying stopped within 10 seconds 57% of the time.

Complete text of editorial
There has been a lot written about the tragic suicide of an Anoka-Hennepin district student and how best to protect students. Rather than bringing people together to produce real solutions, it has generated more controversy and driven people further apart. MFC is calling on all people of good will to find common ground, even with those we might disagree with, so we can stand together against the bullying of children in our

The loss of a child to suicide is excruciatingly painful. When bullying plays a role it must seem unbearable. Our hearts and prayers go out to the bereaved parents, friends and loved ones of Justin Aaberg and all families that have suffered the same tragic loss.

MFC is strongly opposed to all kinds of bullying – and that includes students who identify themselves as GLBT students. The bullying of students, because of their skin color, their looks, appearance, beliefs or because they identify themselves as GLBT, should never be tolerated. Current state law requires that each school district have a bullying policy. MFC strongly supports these policies and believes they should be vigorously enforced.

As teachers and school officials can’t be everywhere, MFC is calling on parents and students to join with their school officials and stand up to the bullies in their schools. An excellent example is Jesus who stood up for the woman who was about to be stoned. He didn’t agree with her behavior but confronted those attempting to bully her.

Imagine the impact of dozens of students in every school district standing up to the bullies! Studies show that when peers intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds, 57% of the time. this is a highly effective response to bullying. We believe Jesus’ example, and the bringing together of parents, students, teachers and school officials would have an immediate impact on putting an end to the bullying and the tragic suicides.

Some are calling for the Anoka-Hennepin school district to adopt highly controversial “homophobia” curricula, which has ignited division amongst parents, students and teachers in school districts across the state. MFC does not support “homophobia” curricula as it crosses the line from addressing bullying words and behavior to targeting the values and beliefs of students and undermining the authority of parents regarding homosexuality, homosexual “marriage”, and same sex relationships.

An example of “homophobia” curricula is “Welcoming Schools” developed by the nations largest homosexual lobbying group, the Human Rights Campaign Fund.

In 2008, MFC examined “Welcoming Schools” when it was introduced in a handful of Minneapolis elementary schools under the guise of anti-bullying. MFC found it had very little to do with stopping bullying and more to do with changing children’s beliefs, values and attitudes towards homosexual “marriage”, relationships, and behavior.

“Welcoming Schools” immediately ignited enormous controversy, and vicious attacks on a diverse group of parents who peacefully objected to its content and methods. Lessons included reading controversial books like “The King and King”, and “Both of My Moms’ Names are Judy”, to elementary school children. It included a video, “It’s Elementary” that showed an eight-year-old girl receiving praise from her teacher for saying people who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality are “stupid.” This video and others were so clearly geared towards homosexual advocacy that significant portions of the curricula were pulled by the Minneapolis school district because the parental outcry was so great.

Concerned parents told the Minneapolis School Board that “Welcoming Schools” encouraged children to “question the moral authority of their parents and created conflict between child and teacher, child and parent, and parent and teacher.” We are concerned that efforts to introduce “homophobia” curricula in Anoka-Hennepin and other districts will do the same while not addressing the concern of bullying.

Instead of forcing one-sided “homophobia” curricula on students and parents, MFC recommends examining more fair and objective alternatives that focus on the wrong behavior of the bullies and are inclusive of all children who are at high risk of being bullied such as children with allergies, disabilities and obesity, etc..

Let’s stop focusing on what divides us and start fighting the bullies by joining together in condemning the bullying of all children – including “GLBT” students. MFC urges parents and children to join their school district and stand up to the bullies – just like Jesus did.