STOP the War on Children

June 12, 2011

June, No Longer the Month of Brides?

Dr. Karen Gushta

The month of June used to be associated with brides and weddings. Now President Obama has proclaimed it “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.”

 

Obama is not the first president to make such a proclamation. In 1999 and 2000, President Clinton marked June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” Ten years later, more categories of “proud” gender types have been added.   

President George W. Bush declined to bow to pressure from homosexual activists to make similar declarations. His Justice Department also barred a group of federal employees from celebrating the month with this appellation.

Why designate June as “LGBT Pride Month?” As The Daily Caller points out, “June was chosen in honor of the 1969 Greenwich Village riots at the Stonewall Inn where gay rights advocates clashed with New York City police over alleged discrimination.”

It was more than a “clash.” At one point police barricaded themselves inside the bar while the angry mob outside tried to set the bar on fire and used a parking meter as a battering ram in an effort to break down the door to get at the policemen inside.

 

The event, which took place in the early hours of June 28, 1969, is marked as the beginning of the “gay rights” movement. Soon after, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. The GLF was short-lived, but it introduced the term “gay” to Americans, most of whom would not imagine calling the homosexual lifestyle “gay.”

For 20 years, homosexual activists made modest impact on American culture at large. Then, in 1989, two Harvard homosexual intellectuals, Hunter Madsen and Marshall Kirk, teamed up to write After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s.   

 

Jonathan Kirsch wrote at the time in The Los Angeles Times that “the essential message of the book is an urgent demand for a fundamental change in the very nature of gay activism. The gay community, Kirk and Madsen argue, has resorted to the wrong arguments, the wrong symbols, and the wrong acts of protest. And the authors of ‘After the Ball’ think that they have a better idea.”

Their “better idea” was to exchange the tools of violent protests and barricades exemplified by the Stonewall Riots for “the story boards and 30-second spots of Madison Avenue, a kind of sanitized upscale media radicalism that finds mass demonstrations to be ‘ghastly freak shows’ and prefers highway billboards that ‘earnestly propound appealing truisms, the safer and more platitudinous, the better.’”

Kirk and Madsen said it themselves, “We’re talking about propaganda.”

Rather than protesting with “all the screamers, stompers, gender-benders, sadomasochists, and pederasts, and confirm America’s worst fears and hates” Kirk and Madsen advocated a “continuous flood of gay-related advertising.” Such advertising would depict gays “in the least offensive fashion possible.” And, more significantly, it would make “homo-hating beliefs and actions look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from them.”

As Kirsch observes, “This is pure propaganda, of course, but it is propaganda on the highest levels of insight and calculation.”

It is also propaganda that in a large part succeeded during the 1990s in changing the thinking of many Americans. In his June 1999 proclamation, President Clinton claimed that “gay and lesbian Americans” were serving “openly and proudly” in the federal government. In his 2000 proclamation, he bragged that “more openly gay and lesbian individuals serve in senior posts throughout the Federal Government than during any other Administration.”

President Obama’s proclamation tried to best Clinton’s record by listing all of his administration’s activities, such as the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and the appointment of openly homosexual individuals to executive branch and judicial positions.  

 

According to one commentator, efforts like these could qualify President Obama to be called “the first gay president.” Writing in TheVoiceMagazine.com, Brian Burke observed that in this administration we’re seeing more being done “to promote the gay agenda than in any other American presidency in the history of the United States of America.”  

 

Burke concludes, “Christians should never forget that homosexuality is sinful behavior …. it doesn’t matter what law is passed or what proclamation is made, sin can’t be legalized either, no matter how many people agree. Throughout the Bible Scripture is clear that homosexuality will always be a sin. The President … is wrong to celebrate the lifestyle as if that’s OK.”

 

Nevertheless, celebration of the homosexual lifestyle was part of the U.S. Department of Education’s first LGBT Youth Summit held in Washington D.C. on June 6 and 7.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius addressed the group, telling them that they have a “strong voice” and the Obama administration is hearing it. “I want to tell you, you have a friend in this administration who will stand beside you each and every step along the way,” Sebelius said.

 

The administration’s friendship was affirmed by a reporter for the homosexual activist Human Rights Campaign who wrote that “In addition to Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings and many of his DOE staff members, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Department of Justice, and other federal agencies were well represented.  Many of the federal agency representatives ‘came out’ as LGBT while speaking at the two-day meeting.”

 

But how is the example of government employees “coming out” going to help homosexual youth who, according to conference presenters, “are more prone to exhibit high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, and running away from home?”

 

Conferences sponsored by the Education Department and proclamations that encourage “pride” in their homosexual lifestyles will not help these youth. Christians must “graciously yet urgently speak the truth in love to young people who are hurting themselves with the ‘LGBT’ lifestyle,” as a recent Family Research Council prayer letter urged.

 

Those who believe in the power of Jesus Christ to forgive, heal, and restore must determine to stand together in opposition to our government’s efforts to promote harmful and sinful sexual practices among our youth. Let our proclamation be of Jesus Christ and His willingness to receive all who would come to Him.

 

And then, maybe we can get back to June as the month of brides.

 

~~

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

February 21, 2011

States Laws Needed to Defend Life

By Dr. Karen Gushta
The ghastly horrors revealed at the “clinic” in Philadelphia run by abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell should remind us of the role that state and local agencies play in regulating abortion. Ironically, Americans United for Life just named Pennsylvania on its Life List as one of the top five states in defending life. Yet the grand jury which brought the indictment against Gosnell stated that for more than two decades, “government health and licensing officials had received repeated reports about Gosnell’s dangerous practices. No action was taken, even after the agencies learned that women had died during routine abortions under Gosnell’s care.”
Although Pennsylvania has laws that mandate minimum health and safety standards for abortion clinics, including the requirement of a “patient safety plan and reporting of ‘serious’ incidents,” these requirements were not enforced by Pennsylvania state evaluators. The grand jury report showed that when Gosnell’s clinic was inspected and deficiencies were found, “each time state evaluators reapproved the clinic without requiring or verifying corrective actions.”
Pro-life groups have pointed to the need for stricter oversight of abortion facilities for decades. As the Family Research Council stated, “If we cannot accept sub-standard care that would jeopardize women’s health in other areas, such as post-natal care, we cannot accept it from abortion clinics.”
The Gosnell case gives further evidence of the long-standing double standard that allows the abortion industry to go unregulated, while laws and ordinances are introduced (most recently by the New York City Council), to hinder the work of crisis pregnancy centers.
In Pennsylvania, the grand jury report alleges, the state department of health abandoned abortion clinic inspections “for political reasons.” When pro-choice Republican Tom Ridge took office as governor in 1995, replacing pro-life Democrat Bob Casey, “officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions,” according to the grand jury.
The National Centers for Disease Control, which was mandated to oversee the status of health issues across the nation, does not require states to submit data on abortions within the state. All data collected is given voluntarily by the states. California, New Hampshire, and West Virginia do not report the number of abortions, and Florida doesn’t report the age of the individual. The CDC does not require states to report the types of facilities (i.e., whether hospital-based, Planned Parenthood facility, or private provider) that are performing abortions, nor the instances of adverse events at these facilities. Thus, there is virtually no federal oversight of the abortion industry, unlike the tight regulations which now prevail in every other segment of business and industry in America.

States can circumvent even the few federal restrictions on abortion that now exist if there is not a strong pro-life culture in the state. For example, in 1976 Congress first passed the Hyde Amendment, limiting federal funding through Medicaid from covering abortion. It was modified in 1993 to cover abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Some states, however, have passed legislation that allows state public funding to cover cases of “life endangerment and physical health damage to the woman.”

Currently, according to the National Abortion Federation, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia all allow state funding to be used for Medicaid recipients to cover abortions in “all or most health circumstances.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost one-half (45%) of poor unmarried women have Medicaid. In New York City, where state funds can be used for abortion, 41 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. Among non-Hispanic blacks, the number is 59.8 percent.
California, along with New Jersey, Vermont, Hawaii, and Washington all share the distinction of having the fewest laws defending life. It’s not surprising therefore, that one in four mothers in California aborts her baby, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s figures for 2008. Nationwide, the number is closer to one in five. The Sacramento Bee reports that, “About 95,000 of California’s abortions were publicly funded; about half of the nation’s publicly-funded abortions that year occurred in California.”
In an effort to encourage states to do more to protect life, Americans United for Life (AUL), which lobbies and litigates for the unborn, keeps track of legislation and regulations at the state level, where much of the real difference is being made. Its just-released Life List, ranks states based on a survey of their laws—identifying those that support abortion and those that suppress it. Laws on abortion clinic regulations (notably unenforced in the Philadelphia case), laws requiring informed consent and  parental involvement, limitations on funding for abortion, and support of abortion alternatives are all critical for promoting sanctity of human life at the state level.
AUL also reviews the states’ laws to protect unborn victims of violence, laws related to biotechnologies (human cloning, stem-cell research, uses of prenatal and genetic testing), and assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization. Laws impacting the end of life are also under close scrutiny, as well as the critically important laws protecting the freedom of conscience of health care providers, institutions, and payers.
As the AUL Life List demonstrates, much can be done at the state level to defend human life and promote a culture of the sanctity of life. Let’s hope that the giant shift at the state level to Republican control of legislatures will result in closer scrutiny of these laws. Pro-life state legislators would do well to take a close look at the Life List to see where their state stands in defending the sanctity of life and human dignity. States can and should take the lead in defending the inalienable right to life—for the unborn—for us all.

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

Blog at WordPress.com.