Monday, July 02, 2007

Support for Gay Marriage Decreases

A new study out by the respected Pew Research Center indicates more American's are frowning upon the idea of allowing homosexuals to marry. The report states: "Currently, a clear majority (57%) of the public opposes allowing gays and lesbians to marry, up from 51% in March of 2006..."

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger:

This is good news for’s Florida's Marriage Protection Amendment. The amendment will be on the general election ballot in November of 2008 after the collection of just 18,000 more signatures. In every state that has passed a marriage amendment, the final vote has been 6-8% greater than the polls. The new law now requires a 60% popular vote to pass any new amendments. No other state in the nation has a hurdle this high. While this is not a Florida specific poll, it, along with the polling variance history from other states, demonstrates that the Florida Marriage Amendment is viable and well within the reach of Florida’s citizens.

While the poll is an encouraging development for supporters of natural marriage, it is no basis for its supporters to rest easy by any means. This effort will require mounting the biggest, most well funded and robust effort ever undertaken in any state’s marriage amendment history. The opponents of the amendment think Florida is low hanging fruit for a same-sex marriage victory. They will surely bring every homosexual activist group in the country to Florida. The only question is, are the supporters of natural marriage up for the fight? You tell us ladies and gentlemen. Game On? Click on “Comments” below and share your thoughts.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

To read a story about the findings in The Christian Post, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dispute Over Value of Partial Birth Abortion Ban

After the partial birth abortion decision by the US Supreme Court, we are witnessing the most visible and unpleasant dispute in the pro life movement I have seen in my lifetime. Much of the heat is coming from our brothers and sisters on the front line of the pro life movement.

Those who are called by God to be pro-life side walk counselors and rescuers are a lot like Emergency Room doctors. Absolutely essential.

But all ER docs see, all day long is the direct and ugly bloodiness of catastrophic injury and death.

The number of patients may be dropping, the need for the ER services may be lessened, the public may be in large numbers getting wiser and making safer choices, other doctors maybe working effectively to prevent the need for ER visits, the seat belt and helmet laws may be reducing the need for ER visits, the lines waiting for ER services might become less than they were in previous years, people’s attitudes could be changing about public safety, laws could be making products safer----all of which may be evidence that we are gradually make steps toward winning the fight against catastrophic injury and making our world safer.

But--- The ER doctors only continue to see catastrophic injury and bloodshed all day, every day. And so as a result ER doctors can become myopic, subjective and unwilling to be convinced that any progress is being made in the wider area of public safety. ER doctors can also become unknowingly arrogant and self righteous thinking that their work is THE most important work of all in the whole medical community. There is a lot we can learn from ER doctors because they are on the front line of emergency medicine, one of the most vital links in modern medicine. But ER doctors also can become so close to the problem that they become emotional crusaders who are unable to accurately evaluate the wider picture of health and the overall public opinion on safety or percentage of catastrophic injuries in the community.

Let’s pray for our ER doctors. And let’s also pray for our sidewalk counselors and pro life rescuers to have the humility and wisdom to be more effective and discerning in valuing and embracing of all parts of the Body of Christ in the pro-life movement that God has raised up to protect the unborn.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

David Brooks: Conservative Success Depends on Adopting Liberal Policies?

An editorial that ran in the April 29th New York Times and many other papers makes the claim that conservatives have not had political success in recent elections because they did not adopt liberal policies.

Gary Schneeberger, senior media director of government and public policy for Focus on the Family Action, has written the following response that was sent to all the papers that carried by David Brooks editorial.

To the editor,
David Brooks says all the GOP needs to cure what ails it is something or someone “unorthodox” enough to ignite the public’s interest, in an April 29 editorial in The New York Times. He then claims my boss, Focus on the Family Action’s Dr. James Dobson, limits the free exercise of unorthodoxy in social policy by “whacking” anyone who proposes it.

Balderdash. What cost Republicans the last election was running away from issues their base cares about. Brooks may consider it stiflingly "orthodox" to protect the preborn, preserve traditional marriage and rein in out-of-control courts, but those “Values Voters” everyone was talking about four years ago certainly don’t. They’re still out there, looking for someone "orthodox" enough (from either party) to advance the issues that matter to them – and if they don’t find him, they may stay home in ’08 like many did in ’06.

As for this "whacking" business: If that’s how Brooks wants to define the way Dr. Dobson alerts families to policy matters that affect them, using a platform he’s earned from 30 years of helping Americans raise their kids and keep their marriages together, I suppose it’s his right. It just seems an awfully unorthodox interpretation – and not in a good way.

Gary Schneeberger
Senior Media Director
Focus on the Family Action

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The Case for Continuing our Focus on the Family in Matters of Public Policy

By John Stemberger

Today's evangelicals are at a crossroads. There is a movement afoot among more moderate evangelicals advocating that conservative Christians adjust our policy focus away from traditional pro-family issues including abortion and same sex marriage to "compassion issues" such as global warming, poverty and AIDS. On the other side of the ideological spectrum, the "leave me alone" coalition of libertarian and fiscal conservatives assert that the new core issues on our agenda should include immigration, taxes and tort reform. Both of these two movements are calling for change in the scope and substance of our agenda after three decades of Christian activism. What, then, should be our response? The answer is found in returning to the first principles of why we are social conservatives, and to again affirm the primacy of family in matters of public policy.

What is a Social Conservative?
The hallmark of a social conservative in the American political context is a primary commitment to protecting traditional marriage, family and moral structures in culture and public policy. Social conservatives are willing to draw a line in the political "sand" over certain core issues - those that so fundamental to a civilized society that we disqualify public officials if they do not support these basic human values. It is clear that life and marriage have been two such disqualification issues. But are there other fundamental issues our agenda should include?

God Plan for Social Order
As Christians, we should be about comprehensively discerning God's social order for all areas of life. In many matters of ethics and policy the scripture speaks with clarity. Yet other issues leave us debating incremental judgments about issues of prudence; stewardship; necessary boundaries in granting rights; regulating behavior; punishing crime; paying restitution; public funding; legal protection; or due process. While all issues are moral issues, we can not speak with the same moral strength on abortion and marriage as we do on how to fund hurricane relief or immigration policy.

Why Focus on the Family?
As with any movement, effectiveness requires sustained focus. If we attempt to be experts on every issue and fight every battle, we will loose the cohesiveness of our constituency and weaken our prophetic voice. We will also be less effective in the final result. Effective strategy requires well protected priorities. The issues surrounding marriage, family and life itself must remain the primary focus of our movement as social conservatives. But why continue to limit the focus primarily to family issues? There are at least five good reasons.

1. Families are the First and Most Basic Form of Government
Theologian Abraham Kyper was the first to communicate the Biblical concept of "Sphere Sovereignty." Within society there are various institutions, all of which have their own authority, limitations and purpose. The three primary spheres are family, church and civil government. Of the three, family is clearly the most important sphere. Families were established in creation as the foundational institution for ordering human behavior and were the first and most basic form of government given by God. Families shape and develop character, values and traditions - and they socialize the little human beings we call children. Most importantly, family is the primary sphere in which personal responsibility or "self-government" is learned.

2. Our Opposition Seeks to Redefine the Human Experience Itself
Our opposition does not have mere marginal disagreement with us on certain domestic policies. Many are seeking to redefine the human experience itself. What was morally unthinkable just a generation ago is now not only socially acceptable but is, in many cases, also protected by the full force of law and newly discovered rights created by judicial fiat. Their worldview is deeply rooted in personal autonomy, moral relativism, Social Darwinism, homosexualizing culture, secularizing the public square and escaping from all social norms. This unbiblical thinking barely resembles any vision of human civilization we have historically known and the implications to the family are far reaching and devastating.

3. Family Breakdown Contributes to Every Other Domestic Policy Problem
It is hard to imagine a domestic policy issue which is not directly affected by problems associated with the breakdown of families. Poverty, crime, welfare, abortion, education, health care, social security, STDs and elder affairs are all drastically effected by the strength or weakness of our families. Consider the consequences of divorce, absentee moms and dads, moral relativism, a void of character training, lacking male role models, gambling and a host of other maladies on our society. When we work toward keeping families first in our public policy focus, we are simultaneously getting to the root of numerous other social ills which plague our society.

4. The Direct Relationship Between Family Breakdown and Government Growth
It appears we have lost Reagan's battle against big government. One of the primary reasons for the massive growth of government in the past 50 years has been the failure of the family to function in its proper role. It is easy to demonstrate the direct and corresponding relationship between the brokenness of families and the growth of taxation and government regulation. The family is God's original department of health and human services. When families fail, the government steps in to save what's decaying. This "state sponsored salvation" requires greater taxation and a growing bureaucracy to sustain this massive social safety net. We must work for cultural, policy and legal structures that create incentives for families -- and, by extension, churches and communities -- to embrace their rightful place as the decentralized and personal caretakers for those in need.

5. Who We Are is More Important than How Much We Get
Economics, welfare, taxes, disaster relief and insurance are all important issues that must be vigorously debated. But these issues will always be with us. Public policy must be about more than "who" gets "what." Social conservatives understand that moral, social and cultural issues transcend economics. Social and moral issues define us a people. Nothing is more important to the destiny of a people than its cultural heritage. The very social fabric of our culture is preserved by focusing on the family in matters of policy. One of the chief objections William Wilberforce faced in parliament to ending the slave trade was that "ending the trade would damage the economy." Doing the right things in life is always more important than getting the right things in life.

National Security: The New Pro-Family Issue
Leading conservative evangelicals are now arguing that national security should become a new core issue for pro-family social conservatives. Simply put, if an Al-Qaeda dirty bomb takes out an entire major American city, what good is advocacy for the unborn in view of such an attack? The fact of the matter is this: we must recognize that we now have enemies, both foreign and domestic, who must be taken seriously. If we limit ourselves to consensus issues like radical Islam and the war on terror, I fully agree. National security must become a new core issue for social conservatives in light of this now clear and present danger.

Finally, What if We Succeed?
After a lecture, I was talking with a noted theologian recently who posed this question: "If we ended abortion in this country and protected marriage in all 50 states, would God then be concerned about other issues like the poor, the economy, the environment and other justice issues?" It was an interesting question. But there is an assumption in his question that cannot be overlooked. Are we even close to ending the ongoing battle against abortion? Are marriage and family structures adequately protected from radical redefinition? Has the onslaught of obscenity and secularism in our culture subsided? Until we can answer yes, we should stay the course and continue to focus on the family in matters of public policy.

John Stemberger is a lawyer in Orlando, Florida who serves as the President and General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council. The mission of the FFPC is to strengthen Florida's families through public policy research, issues research, and grassroots advocacy. The FFPC is associated with Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The First Really Bad Idea of 2007

On their best day, the so called "pro-choice" advocates say they want to make abortions "safe, rare and legal". But the latest bad idea they have come up with is Exhibit "A" as to why they are not pro-choice at all, but pro-abortion. The "award winning" license plate design is a half way honest but creepy depiction of a blood-red mother star with her patriotic blue star baby apparently floating upward into the sky after being aborted-- all against a pure snow white background. I supposed you have to think long and hard about how to come up with a user friendly way to depict the grizzly surgical procedure of an abortion.

Read full article...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Amniotic Fluid offers new Stem Cell Hope

There is an ongoing national debate over the best way to approach scientific research using stem cells. The debate has centered around those who want to destroy human embryos for the purpose of obtaining stem cells for experiments verses those who want to pursue the more promising and ethical adult stem cell research.

Now, new research is revealing that there may be another option. A study just released finds that stem cells can be obtains from amniotic fluid.

The LA Times reported today:

Researchers have found that some stem cells in human amniotic fluid appear
to have many of the key therapeutic benefits of embryonic stem cells while
avoiding their knottiest ethical, medical and logistical drawbacks, according to
a study published Sunday.

The stem cells — easy to harvest from the fluid left over from amniocentesis tests given to many pregnant women — were used to create bone, heart muscle, blood vessels, fat, and nerve and liver tissues, the study said.

"So far, we've been successful with every cell type we've attempted to produce from these stem cells," said study senior author Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The report was published online by the journal Nature Biotechnology.

CLICK HERE to read the full article

CLICK HERE to view a TV News report on this new discovery