Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pro-Life Still Preeminent Issue

Joel Belz wrote this compelling piece in WORLD Magazine that urges evangelicals to continue to focus on the sanctity of human life and marriage as core issues- worthy of being lifted above other important issues.

Stop Apologizing
It's not always wrong to be a "single-issue" advocate
WORLD Magazine
July 12, 2008

It's become an increasingly frequent reminder to us evangelical Christians not to let our cultural identity be framed by "single issues."

It was a reminder implicitly included in the "Evangelical Manifesto," a document whose basic content we at WORLD have applauded but whose political direction I questioned in our last issue. Why are the Manifesto's backers so ready to join the cultural left in suggesting a guilt trip for those evangelicals who have been preoccupied with the evils of abortion and same-sex marriage?

And if some argue that the rising generation of younger evangelicals is a bit embarrassed by what they think is an out-of-balance focus by their elders, and thinks it's time to get equally exercised over issues like racism, economic justice, and the environment—well, if that's the case with our twentysomethings and our teenagers, then maybe we need to go to work and do a better job of explaining to them why we've put the emphasis where we have for the last generation and why we believe that it's time not to lower our voices.

Evangelicals shouldn't be embarrassed to say boldly and clearly: Abortion and same-sex marriage are uniquely heinous sins. They rattle the foundations of a civilized society. They take a culture in a dreadful direction. We haven't been wrong to say so. We aren't fanatics.

And I'm not referring here so much to the young women caught in the anguish of an unexpected pregnancy or folks bewildered by their sexual identity. I'm talking mostly about a society that goes all out to tell such people that what they're doing is just fine. There's forgiveness for individual sinners. There's judgment for societies that lead them astray.

It's true that we evangelicals sometimes haven't been as zealous as we ought in fighting racism, abuse of the environment, and poverty. But on all those fronts and more, we're at least facing the right direction. We're sometimes slow.

But here's the difference: What evangelical do you know who says insensitivity to the poor should be promoted? What evangelical leader is calling for more racism? Who advocates the uncontrolled plundering of the environment?

That is exactly the kind of cheerleading that is going on for abortion and same-sex marriage. Whole movements and organizations devote themselves to telling us how good abortion and same-sex marriage are for society. It now is expected that Barack Obama feature on his speaking schedule, as he did on June 26, a New York fundraising dinner for the Democratic Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—where the news account reports casually that Obama helped the homosexual lobby raise $1 million in just one evening.

But here's the core of the matter. To be robustly and consistently anti-abortion is at the very same time to cast your vote for environmental sensitivity, against racism, and for economic justice. These are not independent, isolated packages.

It's hard to see how anyone can claim to be a protector of the environment and not put a high priority on the preservation of human babies. To defend a focus on the future of polar bears and whales, while asking evangelicals to get less noisy about infant humans, is an embarrassing

Similarly, keep in mind that abortion is one of the most racist of all social causes in history. Minorities don't just happen incidentally to be targeted by the practice of abortion. The history of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations is racist to the core—as is their current practice.
And no economist can look at the loss of 50 million American babies over the last 45 years and not wince at the impact of such a drain on the economic vitality of our society. Today's poor Americans are poorer than they would have been if we'd taken care to preserve enough consumers—and workers—to fill a state one-and-a-half times as big as California. Tomorrow's elderly will worry about Social Security more than they would have with 50 million more contributors to the system.

So stop apologizing for having focused on a single issue. Don't let the "Evangelical Manifesto" or anyone else shame you into an overly narrow self-image. It's the folks promoting causes like abortion and same-sex marriage who are the real "single issue" fanatics, falsely teaching that you can mess with just one or two aspects of life without upsetting the balance God so wondrously installed in His creation order. We need to expose that lie for the tragic falsehood that it is—and to teach the next generation what a very bad bargain they have been asked to accept.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Anti-slots campaign targets Jan. 29 vote

From the Miami Herald:

A new anti-casinos group that includes greyhound advocates, mothers against gambling and conservative Christian organizations declared Wednesday that ''Miami is not for sale'' as it announced plans to fight the Jan. 29 slot machine referendum.

Miami-Dade County voters will decide at the end of the month whether to allow the county's horse track, dog track and jai-alai fronton to install Class III, Las Vegas-style slot machines like those already operating at parimutuel facilities in Broward County.

The new group, which calls itself No Casinos Miami, includes a broad array of social and religious causes. In a news release, it defines itself as a ``left-right bipartisan group.''

With only 20 days left before the election, organizers acknowledged at a news conference that they come in at a disadvantage. A pro-slots group organized months ago.

''It's our people against their money and muscle,'' said Tom Grey, field director of the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion.

Proponents of the referendum insisted Wednesday that slot machines will bring economic stimulus for local residents and pump millions into the local and state coffers through taxes.
''This referendum is bringing new opportunities through job creation, millions of dollars to local governments and over $200 million to the state education fund,'' said Christian Ulvert, press secretary for the pro-slots political committee, Yes for a Greater Miami-Dade.

The new anti-casinos group includes representatives of the Florida Family Policy Council, the Christian Coalition of South Florida, Grey2K USA, Focus on the Family and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. Others attending included a University of Miami student, Chris Hill, and a Miami mother of five. Both said they are planning to organize groups to oppose the referendum.

No Casinos Miami is not the same as a previous political committee, called No Casinos, that was created to fight earlier casino efforts, including a 2005 referendum when Broward County approved slot machines at parimutuels but Miami-Dade narrowly rejected the idea with 52 percent of the vote.

If the referendum passes this time, it will allow slot machines at Calder Race Course, Flagler Dog Track and Sports Entertainment Center and Miami Jai-Alai. Slot machines already spin at three Broward ''racinos'' and a fourth casino has yet to be built.

Adding heat to the debate: the announcement this week that the Seminole Tribe's gambling agreement with Gov. Charlie Crist has received federal approval, allowing the tribe to install Las Vegas-style slots and card games such as blackjack at its seven Florida casinos. The agreement is still being disputed in the Florida Supreme Court.

Another group, United for Family Values, has previously announced its opposition to the referendum, and House Speaker Marco Rubio has promised to campaign against it as well.
Chad Hills, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, said the new group opposes gambling because it adversely affects families.

''Addiction, bankruptcy and crime -- we call it the A-B-Cs of gambling,'' he said. ``You're either pro-family or you're pro-gambling. You're not both.''

No Casinos Miami will hold an organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Residence Inn, 1212 NW 82nd Ave.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Accomplishments in 2007

The Florida Family Policy Council is grateful for the support we receive from people all over the state. We wanted to share a brief summary of what you have helped us to accomplish during 2007.

CLICK HERE to read about our work in the Florida legislature, news coverage we have received in the media and other accomplishments across the state.