NEWS OF INTEREST
AFA Journal, April, 2002 edition
Chrysler ad winks at adultery
A new ad from Chrysler has pro-family groups up in arms over its enthusiastic celebration of adultery, as the company compares the passion of infidelity to the excitement of driving its full line of vehicles.
The three-page ad, which appears in the March issue of Southern Living, opens with a single photo of a man placing what appears to be a wedding band on the well-manicured hand of a woman. The following double-page advertisement for Chrysler vehicles uses the tag line: “The security of a marriage. The fire of an affair.”
AFA President Don Wildmon said Chrysler seemed intent on including sexual content in all its advertising. (See related story on page one.) “This is a horrendous ad, and a dreadful advertising concept for Chrysler,” he said. “Likening their car products to adultery? I hope no one takes Chrysler’s advice – on relationships or cars.”
Wildmon said that the car company had apparently bought into the Hollywood version of sex. “Chrysler executives must be watching too much network television. Studies have shown that married couples enjoy more satisfying sexual relationships than either cohabiting couples or those who dally in adulterous relationships,” he said.
In contrast, Wildmon noted, “Adultery is destructive to relationships, to families, and to society. People who commit adultery invariably regret it – the fire not only burns everyone involved, but it eventually burns out, leaving lives in ruins. When Chrysler says its cars resemble ‘the fire of an affair,’ maybe they shouldn’t brag about that.”
Mr. James Kenyon, Director
Sales & Marketing Communications
P.O. Box 21-8004
Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8004
Secretary of State Powell promotes condom use
In statements that shocked pro-family groups, U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told a global forum of young people on MTV to ignore their religious instructions and their parents’ values when it comes to sex.
The secretary’s comments came in February as Powell, in a U.S. studio filled with young people, responded to questions from youth in studios from around the U.S. and six other countries – Brazil, Egypt, England, India, Italy and Russia. The questions dealt with issues that ranged from the September 11 terrorist attacks to the Middle East crisis and race relations in America.
The controversy erupted, however, when a young Italian woman asked Powell what he thought about the Catholic Church’s continued resistance to condom use as a way to fight sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.
Powell said that, although he respected the views of the Pope and the Catholic Church, “in my judgment, condoms are a way to prevent infection, and therefore I encourage their use among young people who are sexually active….”
He added, “It is important that the whole international community come together, speak candidly about it, forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas with respect to what you should tell young people. It’s the lives of young people that are put at risk by unsafe sex. And, therefore, protect yourself.”
Powell said nothing about teaching abstinence to young people.
CitizenLink, 2/14/02; USA Today, 2/15/02
Poll: Relativism’s choke hold on America growing
Two national surveys conducted by Barna found that 64% of adults and 83% of teenagers believe truth is always relative to the person and his situation.
The study indicated that 60% of those age 36 and older and 75% of adults 18 to 35 embrace moral relativism.
Among born again Christians, only 32% of adults and 9% of teens believe in moral absolutes, the study said.
Homosexuality gets NEA support in public schools
The National Education Association (NEA) Board of Directors has approved a set of recommendations that call for the normalization of homosexuality within the public school system. The NEA is the largest teacher’s union in the nation.
The NEA plan, announced in a February press release, is meant to “create an environment in schools where everyone in the community … respect[s] each other. Ultimately, when we respect each other, schools will be safe and hospitable for all,” according to the union’s president, Bob Chase.
Those words echo the call of “gay” activists, who for the last decade have been trying to push the homosexual agenda into schools under the guise of safety and respect. Activists insist that unless homosexuality is normalized, “gay” and lesbian students won’t be respected, but instead persecuted. Students, they say, can’t learn when they don’t feel safe.
The way to do that, according to activists, is to expunge from public schools all ideas which do not hold to homosexual orthodoxy – that homosexuality is normal, natural and healthy.
Chase said, “Education is the key to understanding and respect, and education is our best weapon against fear and discrimination.”
“When Bob Chase talks about ‘fear and discrimination,’ he’s talking about Christian beliefs,” said AFA President Don Wildmon. “And when he talks about using education as a ‘weapon,’ he means brainwashing our children. Christians and other moral traditionalists within the public school systems across America had better buckle their seatbelts.”
Physician group approves homosexual adoption
In a new report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has used its clout to insist that new laws be passed allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.
The AAP said in a press release that “there is a considerable body of professional literature that suggests children with parents who are homosexual” grow up no differently than those with heterosexual parents. As a result of its report, the AAP called for “legal and legislative efforts that provide for the possibility of adoption of…children by the second parent or coparent in same-sex relationships.”
However, the AAP apparently ignored evidence to the contrary – including a report issued last July by University of Southern California sociology professors Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, published in the American Sociological Review.
While careful to say they believe that homosexuals suffer discrimination, Stacey and Biblarz also said political considerations led researchers to downplay the fact that the sexual orientation of parents who were “gay” or lesbian does make a difference for children raised in such homes.
In reexamining these tainted studies, Stacey and Biblarz found the research actually indicates that young people raised in lesbian homes are much more likely to have had same-sex experiences; young girls raised by lesbian “mothers” are more likely to be sexually adventurous; and the boys raised by lesbians are less likely to behave in typically masculine ways.
Other studies show the same thing. Drs. Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai, partners in a social science research consulting firm, examined 49 of the studies most commonly used to defend same-sex parenting and adoption. In their report, No Basis: What the Studies Don’t Tell Us About Same-sex Parenting, issued in January 2001, the pair “found at least one fatal flaw in all 49 studies,” indicating that “no generalizations can reliably be made based on any of these studies. For these reasons the studies are no basis for good science or good public policy.”
Alabama court decision brings ‘gay’ actisists’ ire
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is being targeted by homosexual activists after writing a court opinion calling homosexuality a “a crime against nature.”
In February Alabama’s high court unanimously upheld a lower court decision that denied child custody rights to a woman because she is a lesbian. Moore, already well known for his refusal to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom when he was a district judge, wrote a strongly-worded consenting opinion. He said homosexuality was “an inherent evil against which children must be protected.”
Reaction to Moore’s opinion was swift. State Representative Alvin Holmes said he would file a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, calling for the removal of Moore from his position in the state Supreme Court.
The central Alabama group Equality Begins at Home, a homosexual activist group, also blasted Moore, calling for his resignation. The group said the justice could not be relied upon to preside fairly in cases involving homosexuals, and also said Moore’s comments might incite violence against “gays” and lesbians.
“The ruthlessness with which the homosexual lobby and its allies attack anyone who stands against them is plainly demonstrated by these broadsides against Justice Moore,” said CLP’s Steve Crampton. “Traditionally, a judge cannot be disciplined for conduct taken as a judge – even for what some claim is a ‘wrong’ opinion. Homosexuals, however, will simply not stand for dissent on this issue being spoken in public.”
NPR offers no apology for inappropriate story
National Public Radio officials have yet to apologize to a Christian group over a baseless story suggesting the group was involved in last fall’s anthrax scare. Instead,
NPR simply says the story was “inappropriate.”
NPR reporter David Kestenbaum reported January 22 that “two of the anthrax letters were sent to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, both Democrats. One group who had a gripe with Daschle and Leahy is the Traditional Values Coalition, which, before the attacks, had issued a press release criticizing the senators for trying to remove the phrase ‘so help me God’ from the oath [of office].”
After a firestorm of protest, federally-funded NPR responded on January 29 that, “It was inappropriate to name [Traditional Values Coalition] on the air” because there was no evidence against the group.
“‘Inappropriate?’” retorted Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell. “NPR’s response was inappropriate. This is an outrageous, vicious and baseless smear by a reporter, partially paid by American taxpayers, against an organization with no links to any crime, much less last fall’s anthrax attacks on members of our government. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Nothing less than an apology is owed, and nothing less will do.”
Media Research Center, 1/31/02
Unborn now eligible for health insurance
A decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January has caused quite a stir among pro-life and pro-choice advocates alike.
HSS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced that health insurance benefits will be extended to pregnant women, thereby designating fetuses as “unborn children.” Under this new classification, pregnant women will be able to receive care under their state’s version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, originally intended for “born” children only.
Much has been written on both sides of this issue, with pro-life supporters expressing pleasure at the government’s action, while abortion proponents bristle. A Fox News article quotes Laurie Rubiner of the National Partnership for Women and Families as saying, “I just have to believe their hidden agenda is to extend personhood to a fetus.”
Secretary Thompson, in a USA Today article, answered the criticisms by stating that “federal policy has previously expressly allowed welfare and Medicaid coverage for not-yet-born children.”
USA Today, 2/6/02;
Students learn New Age techniques in school
Students in the buckle of the Bible Belt can’t participate in school-sanctioned prayer, but when it comes to New Age activities, officials at one school happily gave a big thumbs up.
At South Park Elementary in Vicksburg, Mississippi, children in the school’s gifted class are being taught yoga with the full knowledge and permission of the administration.
Mike Corley, co-owner of Vicksburg radio station WQBC, said the controversy over the practice has stirred a stink. Corley and the station’s other owner, Jerry Rushing, both host a morning radio call-in talk show that has been following the story.
In an interview with AFA Journal, Corley said it was hard to gauge how much New Age stuff was going on in Vicksburg public schools. “As this came out front,” he said, “we started getting calls from teachers and parents who are saying, ‘Hey, there’s something like that going on [at our school].’”
Corley said the reports he’s been getting indicate that at least a few teachers are instructing kids in visualization and other New Age mind techniques. He said he found out through another teacher that the music teacher at their school was turning out the lights and “teaching the children to leave their bodies and visualize themselves as a unicorn, prancing through a quiet meadow.”
However, Phyllis Neumann, who teaches the yoga class at South Park Elementary, told The Vicksburg Post that the instruction was helpful to kids. “Yoga is not a religion and it’s not a philosophy, it’s a science.” She said that, since September, all that the children had been learning was basic breathing techniques and postures.
AFA Center for Law & Policy Chief Counsel Stephen M. Crampton said, “The sad truth is that public schools often willingly ignore yoga’s connection to New Age religious practices, but when it comes to Christian prayer or even a moment of silence, they’re ever diligent to keep it out.”
The Vicksburg Post, 1/30/02; www.gospelcom.net, 2/18/02
Christian hospice care to be national model
Nancy Collins and Carol Elliot, both registered nurses, have long recognized the need for inpatient hospice care in rural areas such as Northeast Mississippi where they live. They have set out to provide just such a service for their 17-county area.
“Because of larger populations, urban areas are better able to meet this need,” says Collins. “But in rural areas, the terminally ill who cannot stay at home and thus need inpatient hospice care usually have only two options – a hospital or a nursing home. These options provide excellent care, but they cannot provide the home-like setting for comprehensive physical, spiritual, and emotional care for patients and their families.”
Collins and Elliot have established a non-profit corporation and named their project Sanctuary Hospice House. The home will have 12 private rooms plus family sitting rooms and a chapel.
“We are doing this because it is a calling from God,” Collins said, “and this is reflected in our mission statement – ‘The Sanctuary seeks to provide compassionate care to the dying in response to God’s call to serve one another.’” Collins said federal legislation is needed so other rural areas may replicate this model.
Congressman Roger Wicker (R-MS) has introduced HR3270, the Rural Communities Hospice Care Access Improvement Act, and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) has introduced S1840, a companion bill in the Senate.
Both the American Medical Association and the National Oncology Nursing Society have endorsed the bill. Some for-profit urban agencies have opposed it.
Collins said, “We feel if they take time to consider the heart of our endeavor, they will realize this is the best way to increase hospice access for all persons.”
Congressional telephone switchboard: U.S. Representatives 1-202-225-3121; U.S. Senators 1-202-224-3121.