Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is Retiring

June 27, 2018 | Posted in Current Events | By

Today U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he is retiring from the court at the end of July.

Justice Kennedy has long been considered a pivotal swing vote on the court.

In 2015 he authored the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion that abolished state marriage amendments like Arkansas’, but he also was instrumental just this week in striking down a California law that targeted pro-life pregnancy resource centers.

Justice Kennedy’s retirement means President Trump and the U.S. Senate soon will take up the task of nominating and confirming a justice to fill the vacancy he leaves behind. President’s Trump has indicated that the process of finding a new Supreme Court Justice will begin right away.

Justice Kennedy’s replacement could drastically change the direction of the court — shifting the U.S. Supreme Court farther to the right or to the left.

This is an opportunity to replace a swing vote on the court with a conservative vote. Needless to say, a lot is at stake.

Americans Trying to Redefine Morality

May 16, 2018 | Posted in Current Events | By

In April the American Culture and Faith Institute released a study regarding Americans’ attitudes about morality. The study shows the nation’s adults have radically redefined moral behavior related to family matters.

Most respondents said there was nothing morally objectionable about divorce, premarital sex, out-of-wedlock birth, or using pornography.

Additionally, 28% said polygamy was not objectionable, either.

The study also found born again Christians were much less likely to approve of divorce, premarital sex, and the other behaviors the survey covered. However, many Christians still considered these behaviors acceptable.

People may try to change morality, but they cannot change reality. The moral principles found in scripture still produce the best results.

As Charisse Dean recently outlined in a video, the best way to avoid poverty is to finish high school; then get married; then have children; and then stay married. Following those steps in that order virtually guarantees a family never will live in poverty. Premarital sex, divorce, and out-of-wedlock birth increase the risk of poverty.

There’s a reason some states have classified pornography as a public health crisis. Psychologist Dr. James Dobson writes, “Pornography is a social toxin that destroys relationships, steals innocence, erodes compassion, breeds violence, and kills love.” Simply saying a poison is harmless doesn’t make it harmless.

The same goes for polygamy. Women have never been respected, much less treated equally, in cultures where polygamy is practiced, and scripture makes it clear polygamy is not part of God’s plan for marriage (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:6-9; Titus 1:6; 1 Timothy 3:2). Shrugging at polygamy won’t change the harm it causes.

Bottom line: Redefining morality is dangerous business, and it carries serious consequences. You can read more about the ACFI study here.

NY Times Gets Abstinence Education Wrong

May 11, 2018 | Posted in Current Events | By

Last weekend The New York Times published an opinion-editorial that managed to cram a remarkable amount of misinformation into a short column.

The editors lamented the federal government’s efforts to promote abstinence-only sex education, calling it “an anti-science agenda” that “defies all common sense,” and writing, “There is no good evidence that abstinence-only education prevents or delays young people from having sex, leads them to have fewer sexual partners or reduces rates of teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. And given that almost all Americans engage in premarital sex, this vision of an abstinent-outside-of-marriage world is simply at odds with reality.”

Our friends at Family Research Council summed it up very well:

Did the Times fire all of its fact-checkers? The CDC blew that myth to bits in 2016, explaining that not only does the abstinence message work — it positively affects every area of kids’ lives. “High school students who are virgins rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually active peers.” That includes everything from “bike helmet and seat belt use to substance abuse, diet, doctor’s visits, exercise, and even tanning bed use.” Abstinence education is like one-stop shopping for healthier behavior.

Among other things, The New York Times editorial criticized the Trump Administration for ending the Obama-era Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

As we wrote last year, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program began in 2010. Its goal was to provide federal grant money for evidence-based programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Unfortunately, these “evidence-based” programs generally did not focus on abstinence. If anything, abstinence got a passing mention while the bulk of the programs focused on contraceptive use.

From 2010 – 2017, organizations — including Planned Parenthood — received federal funds to facilitate these teen pregnancy prevention programs across the U.S.

The result?

In some cases students who went through the “evidence-based” pregnancy prevention program actually had higher pregnancy rates than students who did not.

For example, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest received $4 million in grant money to conduct a teen pregnancy prevention program. An official evaluation concluded,

After offering the program over nine months to middle and high school students during or after school, [youth who went through the program] were as likely as youth offered a four-hour alternative program, to report causing a pregnancy or becoming pregnant, having sexual intercourse, or having recent sexual intercourse without an effective method of birth control both immediately following the conclusion of the program, as well as in an assessment occurring 12 months later. . . . Immediately after the program, . . . females reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.

In other words, the federal government gave millions of dollars to an abortion provider for a teen pregnancy prevention program that actually increased teen pregnancies. And apparently the editors at The New York Times believe that was a good use of taxpayer funds.

Family Council has supported abstinence education in Arkansas since the 1990’s. We need to address teen pregnancy in America, but handing out federal tax dollars to groups like Planned Parenthood simply is not the way to do it.

Photo Credit: By Haxorjoe [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons