COURTING JUSTICE: George Soros wants to control who serves on state courts. Page 15
Walking Out Their Faith “When we contend and pray for things that are having an effect on women in our generation [like abortion], that’s when we’re most effective.”
by Julie Smyth, Page 4
— Laura Z. Allred
PLUS Honoring the Humanity of Mother and Child. Page 20
2 CITIZEN | January 2012
Walking Out Their Faith
Thirty-nine young women, all impacted by the devastating affects of abortion, are going the extra mile to save their peers from walking down the same road they’ve traveled.
Billionaire George Soros wants liberal trial lawyers — not voters — to control who serves on state courts.
Honoring the Humanity of Mother and Child
Pregnancy resource centers are so successful, they are saving lives by offering women the most powerful reasons to choose life: love, hope and joy.
A Cause Greater Than Themselves
Cultural forces today promote “diversity” and “equality,” causing division and dissension. But the nation’s Founders called people to unity under Judeo-Christian principles.
Regulatory ‘Red Tape’
The U.S. Congress may have grinded to a halt, but that doesn’t mean the government isn’t finding ways to gain revenue — and control.
IN EVERY ISSUE
January 2012 Vol. 26, No. 1 ISSN 1084-6832 Editor: Tom Minnery Managing Editor: Catherine O. Snow Political Editor: John Paulton Contributing Editor: Matt Kaufman Copy Editor: Scott DeNicola Publishing Editor: Kevin Shirin Production: Dan Collins Circulation: Helen Mills Design: Pixel Dance, Inc. Branding: CSK President: Jim Daly Focus on the Family Citizen is published 10 times a year (combined issues in June/July and August/September) by Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization recognized for tax-deductible giving by the federal government, and CitizenLink, a 501(c)(4) organization. Focus on the Family Citizen is a registered trademark of Focus on the Family. Copyright © 2011 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. INTERNET: Referral to websites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content. IMPORTANT NOTICE: By submitting letters, comments or stories, you agree: 1. you are at least 18 years of age; 2. the submission becomes the property of Focus on the Family Citizen magazine and Focus on the Family and will not be returned; and 3. Focus on the Family, its assigns and licensees, are granted the non-exclusive right to use, adapt and/or reproduce the submission in any manner for any purpose. Our agreement is made in Colorado and controlled by Colorado law. citizen subscriptions: A one-year subscription to Focus on the Family Citizen magazine is available for $24. Write Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80995-7450. To use your credit card, call 800-A-FAMILY. Current subscribers also can call that number to renew. Discounted rates available for group subscriptions of five or more delivered to one location. For group information only, call 800-232-6459 or email email@example.com Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Focus on the Family’s acceptance of advertisements for publication in this magazine does not necessarily imply a complete endorsement of the goods or services advertised.
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3 January 2012 | CITIZEN
Thirty-nine women (one for each year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973) will walk from the nation’s largest abortion mill, located in Houston, to Dallas, where the infamous court case was born.
Walking Out Their Faith Thirty-nine young women, all impacted by the devastating affects of abortion, are going the extra mile to save their peers from walking down the same road they’ve traveled. by Julie Smyth
girl in her preteens sat journaling among thousands of tiny white crosses on the lawn of Herman Park in Houston during the mid-1980s. The girl had come to visit this Cemetery of the Innocents with her Sunday school teacher and one other girl. Although she already believed in the sanctity of human life, that day the call to battle abortion be-
came a personal burden for her. The young girl confided in her journal about the grief she felt. Millions of lives had been lost since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 ruled that preborn children could be aborted during any point of pregnancy. Were friends missing from her life because of Roe v. Wade? Two things were certain when she left the park that day: She was passionate to protect the
sanctity of human life and frustrated that she didn’t know what to do about it. Fast-forward 25 years. Laura Zavala Allred, now age 37, knows exactly what she’s doing about abortion, and she’s calling the young women of her generation to join her in speaking out against it. Allred, the founder and director of Standard Bearers International and Captured, is organizing the Back to Life Movement (BLM), a young women’s prayer walk across Texas: From
4 CITIZEN | January 2012
COVER AND ABOVE: COURTESY OF LAURA Z. ALLRED
cover story the nation’s largest abortion center in Houston to the steps of the Earle Cabell Courthouse in Dallas, where Roe v. Wade was born. “[That day in the park] was a pivotal, monumental time in my life,” Allred said. “I really feel that was the beginning of this [Back to Life Movement].” The BLM walk will consist of 39 women who will walk the 250-plus miles between Houston and Dallas in just 21 days. During their journey, each woman will share her story via a live webfeed on the Movement’s website. The walk will begin on March 17 and end on April 6, Good Friday. The prayer walk will end with communion and an
“So many women from so many walks of life are coming together to cry out to the heart of God and speak out to the nation. It will bring young and old together in healing and restoration, uniting all women and every ethnic group [to fight abortion].” Dr. Alveda King, Priests for Life
all-women’s version of The Call, a prayer event co-sponsored by Lou Engle, on the steps of the Earle Cabell Courthouse. “It’s almost like a preemptive strike before the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” Allred said, recognizing that the anniversary of the Supreme Court case will be a major milestone for both pro-life and pro-choice advocates. The BLM has three basic purpos-
es: to bring attention to the injustice of abortion and its impact on young women; to better represent the pro-life voice of minorities; and to cry out to the heart of God through prayer. Allred hopes that the movement will also capture the attention — and the heart — of the nation, and turn it in favor
of protecting the sanctity of human life. With a 2009 Gallup poll showing that more Americans now consider themselves pro-life than pro-choice, her goal seems closer than ever before. “An extended prayer journey like this has never happened,” Allred told Citizen. “[And we know that] when we contend and
Angela: Proclaiming Freedom for the Captives Angela Ford, age 23, is a postabortive participant in the Back to Life Movement. At the tender age of 14, Ford discovered that she was pregnant. The moment she shared the news, her prochoice father informed her that she was getting an abortion and told her mother to schedule an appointment. Ford’s older sister, Crystal, had just given birth to a baby girl, McKenzie, because she failed to follow through on her own abortion. Ford, afraid of creating further shame for her father, followed his wishes and allowed her mother to drive her to the appointment for an abortion. The waiting room was dark, except for a few rays of sunshine through the windows. An upbeat, local Houston radio station, Sunny 99.1, was playing in the background, something Ford found offensive, as she felt emotionally torn and anything but sunny. She stared down at the cars passing by on the freeway below, wondering if there was a God. Would He ever forgive her for what she was about to do? After the abortion, Ford suffered from deep depression, selfhatred, flashbacks, fits of rage, weeping episodes and suicidal
tendencies. She soon turned to marijuana and alcohol to help her drown out the guilt and grief she was feeling. When she became pregnant again in her sophomore and junior years of high school, Ford quietly sought two more abortions without her father’s knowledge. In 2006, as a high school senior, Ford had what she calls “an encounter with God,” which brought about her conversion to the Christian faith. Ford soon moved to Dallas where she led Bound for Life prayer meetings in front of abortion centers and on the steps of the Earle Cabelle Courthouse. She has since been able to lead her parents to faith in Jesus Christ and to share her testimony before the U.N. “For me, it’s prophetic with the Back to Life Movement. I [had] the abortions in Houston and, then [when] God saved me, He sent me to Dallas,” Ford said. “I feel like it is my Trail of Tears and that I’m representing the babies in heaven, my own and others. “I’m also representing a whole generation’s tears and their pain.” — Julie Smyth
5 January 2012 | CITIZEN
Star: ‘She Chose to Keep Me’ to Life Movement she will be able to inspire others to pray for the end of abortion in America. Williams, a 30-year-old minister with Life Enrichment Ministries, teaches abstinence and purity to youth and young adults.
Star Williams agrees that prayer is a powerful weapon and hopes that by participating in the Back
William’s strong pro-life convictions started early, when at the age of 6 her mother revealed that she had received an abortion four years before Williams was born. Two years later, Williams and her mother attended a memorial service held by her Tulsa, Okla., church for victims of abortion. Hundreds of other post-abortive mothers also attended.
“[My mom] could have easily … aborted me as well, but she didn’t,” Williams said. “She choose to keep me. So I have a point in my life where I thanked her for keeping me.” As an African American, Williams has a particular passion for reaching her community with a message of hope: Teaching abstinence until marriage first, as a means of prevention, then alternatives for women considering abortion, and finally forgiveness and restoration for post-abortive women. — Julie Smyth
pray for things that are having an effect on women in our generation, that’s when we’re most effective.”
The Road Ahead
Each of the women committed to participating in the Back to Life Movement is already preparing physically, emotionally and spiritually for the road ahead. At least 25 women began training as early as October. Their exercise schedule includes weight training and slowly working up to three and a half hours of walking per day. Although most of the participants are single, a few of the women are married and some are married with children. Many of the women have special Scriptures to take with them as they walk, and all of them are partaking in what they call an “Esther Preparation” — a fast for three days — at the beginning of each month. During that time, they abstain from some particular food or pleasure and take the 6 CITIZEN | January 2012
Laura Z. Allred stands in front of the Earle Cabell federal courthouse in Dallas, where the infamous Roe v. Wade court case was launched.
ABOVE: COURTESY OF STAR WILLIAMS BELOW: COURTESY OF LAURA Z. ALLRED
“When we contend and pray for things that are having an effect on women in our generation [like abortion], that’s when we’re most effective.” Laura Z. Allred
time to seek God’s heart before their 29-day journey begins on March 17. “I’m so excited about the Back to Life Movement,” said Dr. Alveda King, the niece of slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. “So many women from so many walks of life are coming together to cry out to the heart of God and speak out to the nation. It will bring young and old together in healing and restoration, uniting all women and every ethnic group [to fight abortion].”
King, who works with Priests for Life in speaking against abortion, said she is looking forward to supporting and partnering with the Back to Life Movement in any way she can. King hopes that by reaching the younger generations, abortion might eventually be outlawed. “Young people want to know, and when they do, they will speak out,” King said. “If we don’t inform the generations that follow us, history will keep repeating itself.”
Marcella: Breaking The Silence Marcella Garcia, age 28, is one of several post-abortive women participating in the Back to Life Movement. In 2003, at the age of 20, Garcia found out that she was pregnant. Garcia’s family practitioner quickly suggested that she “didn’t have to do this right now,” and encouraged her to seek an abortion. Afraid of hurting her parents and facing rejection as an unwed mother, Garcia listened to her doctor and opted for an abortion seven weeks into her pregnancy. She phoned the university she attended and asked for a list of nearby abortion clinics, looking for something more hidden than the local Planned Parenthood. Garcia wept through the night before her abortion, unable to sleep, praying for God to forgive what she was about to do. Garcia’s boyfriend drove her to the appointment at an abortion center secluded in a residential neighborhood. Inside the clinic, a counselor explained that Garcia would be put under anesthesia and, when she woke up, she
would be all right. A clinic worker led her to a cold white room where an ultrasound specialist, as required by law, offered her a sonogram. Garcia refused, not wanting to see her baby. “When I woke up, I had no symptoms. I just felt dead. I started to cry a lot,” Garcia said. “[I told the counselor], ‘This really hurts. It hurts to know that I did this.‘ ” The clinic worker told Garcia her reaction was normal and referred her to a counselor. Garcia refused the offer and insisted that her secret should die with her. She immediately began building up an emotional wall and rejecting the love of others. Garcia and her boyfriend broke up a year later, in part because of her inability to talk to him about topics other than her abortion. Garcia later reclaimed the Christian faith she had abandoned at the age of 12, and three years after the abortion, God opened the door for her to tell her parents. Although her
confession deeply hurt them, especially her pastor father, it ultimately drew the family closer together. Garcia now speaks openly to Hispanic women about her experience, despite a cultural tradition of silence on such topics. And she’s discovered the painful imprint abortion has left on the women in her community. “In the younger generation I see a lot of shame and insecurity, but they are so willing to talk about it,” Garcia told Citizen. “[In] the older generation there’s so much fear ... [and] pain that when they do speak about it, these women are weeping and sometimes even trembling.” It is for this very reason that she chose to participate in the BLM walk across Texas — not only to be a voice for Hispanic women, but also to seek the healing and spiritual restoration of her entire community. — Julie Smyth
7 January 2012 | CITIZEN
8 CITIZEN | January 2012
The Jefferson Memorial, located on the bank of the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., displays five quotations taken from Thomas Jefferson’s writings — the most famous being the Declaration of Independence.
A Cause Greater Than Themselves Cultural forces today promote “diversity” and “equality,” causing division and dissension. But the nation’s Founders called people to unity under Judeo-Christian principles. by AWR Hawkins
merica’s Founding Fathers were diverse, but not in the way in we think or talk of being diverse today. While they differed in matters of religion and in their views on states’ rights, they were very much united in others — which proved to be crucial to our nation’s successful emergence onto the world stage. For example, while some were Christian and others weren’t or some were Federalists and others weren’t, all alike adhered to Judeo-Christian principles. And all alike harbored a love for the young Republic which outweighed their personal passions and inclinations. Theirs was a true university in which many diverse
men united for one cause and, to borrow from Thomas Jefferson, pledged “[their] Lives, [their] Fortunes, and [their] sacred Honor.” This was possible because the Founders lived in light of things greater than themselves.
Consider Jefferson’s opening words in the Declaration of Independence: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Although Jefferson was not a Christian, he aligned himself with the Judeo-Christian underpinnings so integral to Western Civilization and he understood that the Laws of Nature (e.g., common law; inherent by virtue of human reason) were reflections of Nature’s God. He recognized that natural law derives its force from the divine, and that man-made law and various forms of government could be judged valid or invalid based on how well they, in turn, harmonized with the Law of Nature, thereby comporting with the demands of Nature’s God. His first two sentences in the 9
© www.istockphoto.com / Montes-Bradley
January 2012 | CITIZEN
briefing second paragraph of the Declaration were profound beyond measure: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Keep in mind, Jefferson was an anti-Federalist of the highest rank. When the American Revolution ended in 1783, he would emerge as one whose views on the strength of a proposed central government differed greatly from those held by George Washington, James Madison and others. Yet in the Declaration, it was all for one and one for all. Thus he wrote “we hold these truths. …” rather than “I hold these truths. …” In other words, the whole of the Founding Fathers held to a body of self-evident truths that included the equality of all men in birth, the dignity afforded those men via the rights endowed in them by their Creator, and the strong example of those rights displayed particularly in “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Context is King
It is crucial for 21st-century readers to pay attention to the order of Jefferson’s words. For ours is a time wherein Leftists use egalitarian phrases like “social justice” with such frequency that we tend to put “equality” before all else. However, Jefferson’s point is invaluable — our equality rests in the fact that we were created, and our rights flow from the God who did the creating. In a word, to deny the fact that we were created is to deny our ba10 CITIZEN | January 2012
sis for freedom. In so doing, we turn away from the Creator and place our trust in men — or even worse, in government. When James Madison was trying to convince his fellow colonists to ratify the U. S. Constitution, he made it clear that such a trust in either men or government would be foolish. As a matter of fact, in Federalist No. 51 Madison argued that the government, though constituted by flawed men, was necessary precisely because men were
government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
For ours is a time wherein Leftists use egalitarian phrases like “social justice” with such frequency that we tend to put “equality” before all else. However, Jefferson’s point is invaluable — our equality rests in the fact that we were created, and our rights flow from the God who did the creating.
flawed and needed checks on their behavior and external inducements to obey laws and ordinances. Wrote Madison: What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the
As an aside: Although our form of government is a necessary check on the evils of men and far preferable to the tyranny of King George III — not only preferable but superior — yet we must remember that even this government has no intrinsic power, but only such as it derives “from the consent of the governed.” (Declaration of Independence) In other words, power resides in the people, and the government only has such powers as the people delegate to it. The Constitution Madison wrote and for which he contended — along with the Bill of Rights he came to support as well — explain what powers the people will delegate to the government and what powers they will keep for themselves. Through it all, our having been created by a Creator who endowed us with certain inalienable rights reminds us that our rights, our very freedom, comes from God rather than man or government. Yet we ought to be grateful for our country and our form of government and should jealously defend both, along with the Constitution that undergirds them. This was precisely the advice George Washington delivered in his farewell speech as he anticipated the end of his second term as president. He asked that “heaven” would continue to grant America “the choicest tokens of its beneficence,” and that Americans would continue to love and honor the country heaven so richly blessed. Then he expressed his desire that the union and brotherly affection of those early Americans might be perpetual:
[So] that the free Constitution, which [was] the work of [their] hands, [might] be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department [might] be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of [those] States, under the auspices of liberty, [might] be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of [the] blessing as [would] acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which [was] yet a stranger to it.
I’m a Citizen.
In other words, Washington said the Constitution was the fruit of the labor of those early Americans. And because the country had been so blessed by heaven, he hoped the people would maintain it in such a way as to make it the envy of the world and “of every nation which [was] yet a stranger to it.”
Call to Unity
And because Washington knew his words fell on the ears of Americans attached to different regions in the country, many of whom had come from many different places in the world, he called them to choose university over diversity by putting their country first: [You are] citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, [and] that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. When we focus on the Founders, it’s readily apparent that much of what Jefferson, Madison and Washington expressed then still needs to be expressed now. And the country they called the early Americans to love at its formation is a country we need to love again now. We are a free people, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights which government can neither bestow nor lawfully take away. Our government is necessary because we are flawed, yet it is simultaneously the best government a flawed people can have. The name of American belongs to us, and we ought to “exalt the just pride of patriotism” even now. AWR Hawkins is senior opinion editor and writer for the Alliance Defense Fund (telladf.org) and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010). He has a Ph.D. in military history from Texas Tech University.
“AsaChristianandanAmerican,I havearesponsibilitytobeinvolvedin mycommunity.SoIspeakupformy values,Istayeducatedontheissues thataffectmyfamilyandIlookfor waystoliveoutmyfaith.That’swhat beingacitizenmeanstome.”
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Renew Citizen today. Scan this QR code with your smart phone, visit CitizenMagazine.com/renew or call 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). 11 January 2012 | CITIZEN
in every issue
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by Matt Kaufman
What if They Occupy Hollywood?
t didn’t take Occupy Wall Street long to morph into Occupy Everywhere. So why not occupy Hollywood — home of the richest of the rich? A few liberal outlets, like the webzines Salon and The Huffington Post, want to do just that. They’re upset over the incomes of celebrities like Johnny Depp, who made $50 million in a recent 12-month period. (Said Depp: “If they’re going to pay me stupid money right now, I’m going to take it.”) “It’s time to quit paying Johnny Depp stupid money,” Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in Salon. “It’s
time to Occupy Hollywood.” Well, that would be ironic. Many celebs share the worldview of the Occupy crowd. But for just that reason, they’re not likely to be targeted by many protesters. We could be wrong, of course. But why occupy Hollywood when it’s already been occupied?
In Search of Family TV
“ s Family-Friendly TV Going Extinct?” The Los Angeles Times answers its own headline: Almost. “Gone are the days in primetime TV when shows like “The Cosby Show,” “Home Improvement,” “7th Heaven” or “The Bernie Mac Show” unabashedly courted a family audience,” the paper says. On broadcast networks now, there’s “The Middle” and “Terra Nova,” and that’s about it. There are other shows about families, but they’re not for families — e.g., “Modern Family.” As Bill Cosby puts it, “It’s like someone put red pepper flakes in the Jell-O pudding.” The Times offers several
explanations for the trend, but the biggest may be the “creative community’s” urge to produce “darker, edgier” shows like those on cable. They don’t make shows for families because they don’t want to. Our hunch, though, is that viewers do still want them. Put
on a “Cosby”-caliber show and watch them flock to it. Memo to the networks: America hasn’t rejected family TV. You’ve just stopped offering it.
By the way, did you hear that Depp — who’s been known to sport Che Guevara T-shirts — just moved back to the U.S. after years of living in France? The reason: French taxes were too high. “France wanted a piece of me,” he grumbled. “They just want … dough. Money.” Just thought we’d mention it.
O Holiday Christmas Tree
or 70 years, the Capitol Christmas tree appeared in Wisconsin’s Capitol Rotunda in Madison. That changed in 1985, when the state renamed it a “holiday tree,” whatever that’s supposed to be. But this year, it’s a Christmas tree again. The change was done casually, without fanfare: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker put out a press release inviting the state’s kids to make ornaments for the Christmas tree, never mentioning the name change. Of course, this brought yelps of protest from the usual suspects. The Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, blasted Walker, claiming “he intends that to be a slight and a snub to non-Christians.” Walker spokesman Cullen Werwei, however, shrugged it all off. “It’s a Christmas tree,” he said. “In all honesty, I don’t know what more to say about it.” We can think of one more thing to say: Thanks, Gov.
12 CITIZEN | January 2012
above: dave clegg
below: travis foster
in every issue
In Hollywood, the only truly serious sexual disease is virginity. Brent Bozell, on the TV show “Glee’s” episode celebrating two teenage couples — one straight, one gay — losing their virginity. Newsbusters. org, Nov. 12, 2011
Verbicide must precede homicide. Columnist Paul Greenberg, on how abortion-rights supporters distort language to hide the humanity of unborn children. National Review Online, Oct. 31, 2011
How can I apologize for something I don’t want to apologize for?
Canadian sportscaster Damian Goddard, fired because he supported “traditional and true” marriage on his personal Twitter account. NOMblog. com, Nov. 15, 2011
It’s not so much to do with them, it’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for. Des Moines, Iowa baker Victoria Childress, on why she declined to do a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. KCCI.com, Nov. 12, 2011
I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing. Elena Kagan, in a 2010 email to a White House colleague, hailing news that the health-care overhaul would pass Congress. Now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, she will help the Court rule on the law. At press time, she has not recused herself. CNSnews.com, Nov. 10, 2011 Above: creators syndicate / gary varvel / the indianapolis Star below: Creators Syndicate / Michael Ramirez
Heritage Corner I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world. John Adams
13 January 2012 | CITIZEN
14 CITIZEN | January 2012
Now that his wealth has apparently infiltrated and shaped the media and the government, the mega-billionaire philanthropist has turned his sights to reshaping the U.S. judiciary.
Courting Justice Billionaire George Soros wants liberal trial lawyers — not voters — to control who serves on state courts. by Matt Kaufman
eorge Soros wants to shake up the world, and he’s in a position to do it. A hedge-fund tycoon (Forbes estimated net worth: $22 billion) who’s shaken the economies of entire nations, Soros also is wellknown for shaking up American politics and culture. To that end, he’s poured hundreds of millions
of dollars over the last decade into various causes, including abortion rights, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and drug legalization. Of course, these causes are passionately opposed by many Americans, especially at the grassroots level. So it’s not surprising that when his pet causes are put to voters, they often lose handily. That may be why Soros is also
pouring millions more into a campaign aimed at reshaping the courts — liberals’ go-to branch of government when they want to push an agenda that won’t fly at the ballot box. At the heart of this campaign is a drive for what’s called the “merit selection” of judges — actually taking away the public’s power to vote on judges and putting it in the hands of unelected, unaccountable commissions of legal elites. It’s slyly billed as a way to take “politics” and “big money” out of the state courts, which handle 95 percent of the nation’s civil cases. But critics say it’s closer to the opposite — removing the politics from public view, and concentrating power with trial lawyers and others who lean heavily to the Left. “The political intent … is readily apparent to anyone with eyes to see,” attorney Colleen Pero wrote in her report Justice Hijacked, issued by the American Justice Partnership. “Since they have been unsuccessful at persuading the public to elect judges who share their partisan ideological proclivities, they are determined to take the public out of the equation.”
Justice at Stake
By Pero’s count, Soros spent at least $45 million between 2000 and 2008 on efforts to reshape America’s judiciary. The money was spread around to dozens of political and legal groups, coordinated by an umbrella organization, the Justice at Stake Campaign, whose largest single donor has long been the Soros-controlled Open Society Institute (recently renamed Open Society Foundations). Justice at Stake (JAS) proclaims its mission as furthering “fair and impartial justice” on multiple fronts — among them, fighting “partisanship over judicial appointments,” stopping “special-interest money flooding state court elections” 15
ap / wide world photos
January 2012 | CITIZEN
The Verdict: No Merit in ‘Missouri Plan’ Dan Pero, president of American Justice Partnership, says the recent appointment of a former president of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys to the state’s Supreme Court proves that the Missouri Plan, one of the major “merit selection” models used by some states” is an abject failure: There is an “insidious relationship between the Missouri trial bar and the commission that controls judicial appointments in the state. As (The Wall Street) Journal points out, the commission’s most recent slate of Supreme Court nominees reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Missouri trial lawyers — hardly a surprise considering the commission itself is stacked
and promoting “diversity” on the courts, including more “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons.” Although JAS wants to be known as a good-government group, not as a liberal advocacy outfit, that image doesn’t stand on closer inspection. As Colleen Pero pointed out, most of the staff have backgrounds in far-Left politics, especially presidential campaigns — those of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. There’s a similar flavor to the 57 “partner” groups listed on the JAS website (JusticeAtStake.org). From Common Cause — chaired by Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich — to the gay-activist group Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, most of them share a similar political bent. “Actually, Lambda Legal generally and its Fair Courts Project specifi16 CITIZEN | January 2012
with trial bar bigwigs. A judicial selection system originally intended to remove politics from the process ‘has instead handed disproportionate power to trial lawyers and state bar associations,’ the Journal writes, resulting in a system that ‘elevates nominating-commission cronies.’ “Of course, the multi-million dollar, George Soros-funded ‘merit’ selection machine wants us all to believe it’s just pure coincidence that trial lawyerdominated commissions keep nominating trial lawyer-connected judges. No wonder they fight so hard to keep ‘merit’ commission deliberations behind closed doors, outside of public scrutiny.” — Source: “WSJ Lifts the Rock in Missouri,” American Courthouse, Sept. 15, 2011
cally are themselves beneficiaries of ‘generous support’ from the Open Society octopus — to the tune of over $1 million between 2003 and 2009, including $260,000 to underwrite the Fair Courts Project,” Dan Pero, president of the American Justice Partnership, wrote on American Courthouse. Until recently, JAS also counted some of the Left’s best-known groups among its partners. According to the September 2010 report, the umbrella group included the likes of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, People for the American Way Foundation, the ACLU of New York and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Since the report came out, those high-profile groups have vanished from the website. It’s hard not to connect the dots, according to Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the
Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal-issues group in Washington, D.C. “Justice at Stake styles itself ‘neutral,’ but, in fact, is just another liberal interest group,” Severino told Citizen. “Look at what they support and who they partner with; it’s the same old liberal litany. “I admire the optimism — if not the good sense — of anyone who thinks George Soros is just a disinterested do-gooder on the American political scene.”
’A Well-Developed Playbook’
Though Justice at Stake and its allies are active on multiple fronts, their most important initiative to date may just be the drive for “merit selection” of judges. They’ve already campaigned (though not yet successfully) to change laws and constitutions in several states — Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin and Minnesota — with more to come. And some patterns have emerged. “The campaign unfolds according to a well-developed playbook,” Colleen Pero explained, “with JAS as the quarterback.” First, they finance a poll purporting to show that people in the state think campaign donations influence judges’ rulings; then they get cooperative media to cover the poll; then they recruit others to join them in denouncing “big money” and “politics” in the courts. Finally, they go for the goal — laws that take away the people’s ability to vote on judges, and place power in the hands of special commissions, either to effectively pick judges or to select the handful of judges whom politicians can appoint. Along the way, they’ve found some heavyweight — albeit surprising — allies. The most famous may be retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor,
feature who’s launched a formal nationwide campaign, the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative. “In order for judges to dispense law without prejudice,” O’Connor told a Michigan audience last year, “they need to be certain they won’t suffer political retribution.”
So what’s wrong with what merit selection supporters are asking? Two main things: (1) The problem they’re complaining about isn’t all that bad, and (2) the proposed solution would make things worse. “There’s no systemic evidence showing that judges are influenced by campaign contributions,” Severino said. “In suggesting that judges are being bought, Justice O’Connor is in fact impugning honest public servants who are, with rare exceptions, applying the law faithfully.” An extensive study published in August 2007 backs up Severino’s point. Three law professors — Stephen Choi of New York University, G. Mitu Gilati of Duke University and Eric Posner of the University of Chicago — reviewed nearly 30,000 opinions by 408 judges, rating the judges on effort, skill and independence. Their finding: Elected judges may actually make better judges. “Conventional wisdom holds that appointed judges are superior to elected judges because appointed judges are less vulnerable to political pressure,” the professors wrote. “However, there is little empirical evidence for this view.” Instead, “judges subject to partisan election have the highest independence.” The authors went on to note that there’s no evidence or reason to believe that special committees will pick judges on the basis of legal ability. In practice, “cronyism is very common.”
Who Judges the Judges?
And that brings us to the second
problem with merit selection: Just who are these people who pick the judges? Vanderbilt law professor Brian Fitzpatrick — who’s studied states that already use merit selection — can help answer that question. “The lawyers who serve on merit commissions are not just any lawyers,” Fitzpatrick wrote in The Missouri Law Review. “They are usually lawyers selected by bar associations.” And the bar associations tend to be very liberal. That’s reflected in the American Bar Association itself, whose long march leftward — in-
“These systems produce liberal judiciaries, which is just what Soros and his allies want. ... So for Soros, this is a good investment.” Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network
cluding abortion advocacy, which drove thousands of its members to quit the organization — was documented in Citizen more than a decade ago (“Lowering the Bar,” August 2000 Citizen, pp. 6-8). Fitzpatrick found that in meritselection states where the number of Republicans and Democratic voters were virtually evenly split, the judges tilted heavily to one party. In Tennessee, 67 percent of appellate court nominees voted in Democratic primaries, only 33 percent in Republican ones. In Missouri, among nominees for whom donation data was available, 87 percent gave primarily to Democrats; 13 percent, to Republicans. Measured in dollar amounts, the breakdown was 93 percent Democrat, 7 percent Republican. Thus, Fitzpatrick concluded,
merit selection doesn’t remove politics from the process of picking judges. “Rather, merit selection may simply move the politics of judicial selection into closer alignment with the ideological preferences of the bar.” Others have seen the same thing close up. Colleen Pero cites a letter from Tennessee Judge Dale Workman to a state legislator describing the judge-picking process as “the most partisan politics in the history of the state.” “This has never been ‘merit selection,’ ” Workman wrote. “There is less politics in almost any other method. The commission on one occasion submitted three names, one of which had never tried a lawsuit but had the ‘right’ politics and left off an applicant nationally recognized for her qualifications.” Severino isn’t surprised. “These systems produce liberal judiciaries, which is just what Soros and his allies want,” she said. “It’s much easier — and cheaper — for liberal interest groups to win over a few seats on a state-bar-dominated judicial commission than it is for them to convince thousands of voters to win elections. So, for Soros, this is a good investment.”
Reining in the Rogues
Some states that already use those systems, however, are rethinking them. At press time, Kansas appears likely to eliminate the role of judicial-selection commissions for appellate-court judges, letting the governor and Senate make the picks. And in January, Tennessee legislators will debate whether to continue using selection commissions, which are scheduled to be eliminated on June 30, 2012, unless reauthorized by the General Assembly. If they don’t renew the existing system, they’ll decide whether to replace it with elections or appointments by elected officials. 17 January 2012 | CITIZEN
Liberals Push to ‘Diversify’ Federal Courts A senior member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is on a mission to recruit more selfidentified gay judges. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told the leading homosexual publication The Advocate that it’s all part of his push for “diversity.” “My goal is to make the bench look more like America,” he told the magazine. “The senator acknowledged he relied on a gay grapevine of sorts several years ago when he first found out there were no openly gay men on the federal bench,” Julie Bolcer wrote in an Oct. 26 Advocate story. “He said he ‘sent out word’ in the gay community” seeking judicial candidates. After Schumer’s first pick, Daniel Alter, failed to clear the Senate, two others were confirmed earlier this year with lifetime appointments: J. Paul Oetken in July and Alison Nathan in
Colleen Pero hopes that most states continue to embrace a strong role for voters. “No one wants judicial candidates handing out promises on how they would vote in specific cases,” she wrote. “But voters are entitled to know what principles and philosophy a judicial candidate will bring to the bench.” They’re also entitled to throw out those who use the judicial office to impose their policy preferences — as in Iowa, where last year voters removed three state Supreme Court justices who had forced the state to adopt same-sex marriage. University of Pittsburgh political science professor Chris Bonneau, 18 CITIZEN | January 2012
October. Both have histories of gay activism. Oetken co-authored a friend-of-the-court brief in Lawrence v. Texas, which legalized sodomy. He also worked in the Clinton administration for four years and is still a member of the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project and the Human Rights Campaign, among others. Nathan, who received a low rating from the liberal leaning American Bar Association due to her lack of courtroom trial experience, has been praised by liberal activists for what they hope will be her “‘internalization’ of international human rights law arguments into Supreme Court decisionmaking on constitutional issues.” Furthermore, Nathan has done pro bono work for a number of gay-activist groups. Their histories didn’t deter Schumer — one of the Senate’s
co-author of the book In Defense of Judicial Elections, thinks voters must remain free to make those judgments. “It is important to remember that efforts to maximize judicial ‘independence’ from the electorate can also maximize independence from the law and the Constitution,” Bonneau wrote in The Washington Post last May. “Without a mechanism for effectively holding judges accountable, judges are free to ‘go rogue’ and make decisions based solely on their political views. Is that better than a campaign season every now and then?” Dan Pero contends, “The real an-
most liberal members — from claiming that his nominees are not only high-quality judges but models of “moderation” who are “not too far right or too far left.” At press time, at least five self-identified gay judges have been confirmed, and more are on the way. Fitzgerald also has a history of gay activism, including working as a volunteer opposing Proposition 8, in which California voters upheld the legal definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. That number doesn’t include the federal judge who overturned Prop 8, Vaughn Walker, who retired earlier this year, then revealed that he’d been in a 10-year homosexual relationship. Walker’s conduct of the case drew criticism for shoddy reasoning and blatant bias.
— Matt Kaufman
swer is to put the people themselves back in charge of picking judges, through fair and open elections. No secret deliberations. No conflicts of interest. No worries about reprisals from powerful judges.” Matt Kaufman is a contributing editor to Citizen. FOR MORE INFORMATION Colleen Pero’s report Justice Hijacked can be downloaded at AmericanJusticePartnership.com/ hijacked. Citizen’s August 2000 report on the politics of the American Bar Association, “Lowering the Bar,” can be found at CitizenLink. com/?p=33781.
& Soros Foundations Network
American Constitution Society for Law & Policy Georgetown University - Office of Sponsored Programs Justice at Stake (DC) Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, Inc. Community Rights Council ABA Fund for Justice & Education William J. Brennan Center for Justice, Inc. People for the American Way Foundation National Center for State Courts League of Women Voters Education Fund National Womenâ€™s Law Center Committee for Economic Development Alliance for Justice National Partnership for Women & Families, Inc. National Institute for Money in State Politics (MT) Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. Center for Investigative Reporting, Inc. ACLU (NY) American Judicature Society Equal Justice Society Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Communications Consortium Media Center Human Rights Campaign Foundation Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts Illinois Campaign for Political Reform National Congress of American Indians Fund Wired on Wheels (National Coalition for the Disabled)(DC) American Forum Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law Center for Political Accountability The Constitution Project Planned Parenthood Federation of America The Reform Institute Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Public Action Foundation Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund Appleseed Foundation, Inc. Fordham University School of Law North Carolina Center for Voter Education League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund Center for Public Democracy The Public Justice Foundation of Texas Southern Center for Human Rights George Mason University National Institute for Money in State Politics (OR) Protestants for the Common Good
$5,852,000 $4,510,000 $2,815,000 $2,615,000 $2,300,000 $2,235,000 $2,225,000 $2,100,000 $1,829,000 $1,723,000 $1,350,000 $1,285,000 $1,275,000 $1,220,000 $998,000 $940,000 $880,000 $862,000 $794,000 $750,000 $653,000 $625,000 $600,000 $591,000 $570,000 $500,000 $498,000 $462,000 $328,000 $320,000 $270,000 $200,000 $150,000 $150,000 $145,000 $140,000 $118,000 $115,000 $100,000 $80,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $49,000 $25,000 $10,000
19 courtesy OF AMERICAN JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP
January 2012 | CITIZEN
Lisa and her son, Derrick, were served by the Beltway 8 South Crisis Pregnancy Center in Houston, Texas.
Honoring the Humanity of Mother and Child Pregnancy resource centers are so successful, they now outnumber abortion providers, and are saving lives by offering women the most powerful reasons to choose life: love, hope and joy. by Ann Austin
rica was like most women facing an unplanned pregnancy — she felt scared and vulnerable. She was 17 when she went to a Planned Parenthood center for a pregnancy test. When it came back positive, she wanted comfort and counsel. She got neither.
Scowling, the nurse handed her pamphlets and began talking about abortion. When Erica said she didn’t think abortion was an option for her, the nurse didn’t offer any information about adoption or rearing the baby on her own, but told Erica her only “choice” was abortion because
she was young and still needed to finish school. Erica left the clinic feeling overwhelmed and all alone in the world.
Redeemed By Love, Surprised By Joy
Fortunately, help is never very far away for anyone in Erica’s situation because, thanks to the financial support of pro-life friends in communities across the nation,
20 CITIZEN | January 2012
Don Carico, Lakewood Photography, LLC
feature life-affirming pregnancy resource centers and pregnancy medical clinics can be found in every state, often right next door or across the street from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Erica moved in with her father and stepmother, who’d heard about a Care Net center and suggested Erica go. When she arrived, she found a place that offered more than just options about her pregnancy. “They gave me hope and welcomed me with open arms,” she
“They made my pregnancy what it was supposed to be — a joyous and happy occasion; a great time in my life where I was welcoming a new life into the world.” Erica, speaking of the prayer, counsel, encouragement and material she received from the Care Net center staff and volunteers.
said. “Instead of treating me like some pregnant teenager, they treated me like a person with feelings and desires and needs — a person who was visibly lost.” Care Net didn’t try to pressure or rush Erica into making a decision as they do at abortion centers, but set her up with a counselor who listened without judgment. “They talked to me about Jesus,” she says, and “I cried and cried and cried.” Erica hadn’t wanted to have an abortion, but women who do also find — if given a chance — that all they really needed was someone to talk to who cared about
them. Suzanne had shown up at Planned Parenthood for a scheduled abortion, but the receptionist said there was no record of an appointment. Suzanne thought abortion was her only choice, considering her history of drug abuse, but prayed and asked for God to show her what to do. She ended up at a pregnancy medical clinic where “they cared about me individually and not just as another pregnant girl,” like Planned Parenthood did. After they gave her counseling and support, she chose to have her baby — a perfectly healthy boy — and got off drugs. Love had set her free. “I could feel the love and compassion as soon as I walked through the door of the Care Net Center,” Angela said, a victim of sexual abuse who’d grown up in and out of juvenile detention and then prison. She was pregnant for the fifth time, but said she felt like it was the first time someone really listened and understood. She accepted Christ, had her baby and is now an author, mentor and motivational speaker who’s dedicated her life to the pro-life movement. Erica had also chosen to have her baby, even though she believed she’d be doing it on her own, but her story has a happy ending, too. The staff and volunteers continued to walk beside her every step of the way, providing prayer, counsel, encouragement and material support. “They made my pregnancy what it was supposed to be,” Erica said, “a joyous and happy occasion; a great time in my life where I was welcoming a new life into the world.”
lucky. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court created the “right” to have an abortion on demand in all 50 states, thereby denying the innate humanity of the preborn child and its legal right to life. When Hannah got pregnant and refused to have an abortion at her family’s insistence, she spent her entire pregnancy, hospital stay and the first few years of motherhood completely alone and without any support. “My mother made the right choice,” said her daughter, Abigail, now a young adult who is a strong Christian and life advocate, “but doing it all alone made it almost unbearably hard for her. It would have been so easy for her family to ease the burden with moral support, but they didn’t, and I think she still bears the wounds in her heart. She tells me her only regret is that she was so stressed all the time she missed out on most of the joy she should have had.” Having other options besides abortion — and hope that she won’t be alone if she chooses
Hope For A New Life
Women who wanted to have the child from an unexpected pregnancy in the ‘70s, when pregnancy resource centers were all but nonexistent, weren’t so
Angela Stanton was served by Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Atlanta, Ga.
21 COURTESY OF PHOTOGRAPHER RON HILL
January 2012 | CITIZEN
Some Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words — Others Leave You Speechless For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. … I am fearfully and wonderfully made. … My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. — Psalm 139:13 -16 A program using advanced ultrasound technology that enables abortion-minded women to see their children in the womb has changed the hearts of tens of thousands of mothers, and may completely transform the debate about abortion. This month marks the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and, as scientific technology reveals the truth about the humanity of preborn children, abortion advocates are panicked. For nearly 40 years, since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that preborn children could be aborted during any point of pregnancy — based on a “right to privacy” that isn’t in the Constitution, but is implied in various amendments — proponents of abortion have been free to perpetrate unspeakable crimes against the preborn, young girls and
to give birth — often makes the difference in a woman’s choice. Norma McCorvey, who was “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, said when she was pregnant, she was so depressed she believed that she was unemployable and with no op22 CITIZEN | January 2012
women. But now the truth is coming into full view — literally. Ultrasound Technology: Opening The Eyes Of The Blind Life-affirming pregnancy medical clinics (PMCs) and pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) throughout the country already outnumber abortion centers, according to Robyn Chambers, director for Focus on the Family’s Operation Ultrasound Program. This indicates an increasing number of women with unplanned pregnancies are seeking options other than abortion. One of the reasons for the shift may be an initiative Focus launched in 2004, Option UltrasoundTM. Qualifying PMCs receive grants covering 80 percent of the cost of an ultrasound machine or sonography training for up to three nurses. Focus has provided grants to PMCs in all 50 states, and is announcing, for the first time this month, that 120,000 lives are estimated to have been saved as a result of counseling and ultrasound services. Focus has also funded an ultrasound machine in Bucharest, Romania.
tions. She now calls herself, “the former ‘poster girl’ for abortion who jumped off of the poster and into the arms of Christ,” and now devotes her life to the support of crisis pregnancy solutions. Nearly 40 years after Roe v.
Clinics offering ultrasound services in their community must be a medical facility operating under the direction of a licensed physician and complying with city, state and local laws, as well as national standards set by the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine. Seeing What God Sees In the age of the Internet and space travel, people may forget that before ultrasound technology only God could see into the darkness of a woman’s womb and watch the living child within. For thousands of years, no human or generation shared this privilege until now. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Guttmacher Institute indicate more than 1 million abortions are performed each year in the U.S. and, based on abortion rates, three in 10 women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Focus on the Family and other life advocate leaders believe sonogram technology can be one of the movement’s greatest tools in reducing those numbers. The technology serves as a two-edged sword: Not only does it expose the
Wade, women around the country from every age, situation, ethnicity and socioeconomic background are finding options — and hope for their futures — when they come to a pregnancy care center. There, where they
fallacy that preborn children are just “reproductive matter,” but it also reveals the truth — that the child was made in the image of God. Abortionists currently use sonograms “to seek and destroy” the preborn baby, Chambers said, “but they’re so afraid the woman will see her child on the screen and change her mind about abortion that they turn the screen away from her.” Abortion advocates also vigorously oppose any legislation requiring women to receive an ultrasound, along with other educational information from a qualified medical professional before having an abortion. In November, two PRCs in North Carolina filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit, regarding the North Carolina Women’s Right to Know Act. Opponents of similar legislation that passed in Texas worked vehemently to prevent it, accusing lawmakers and life advocates of trying to manipulate the emotions of vulnerable women. “When a woman is given the opportunity to see for herself the baby developing in her womb and is provided with compassionate counseling and support,” Chambers
are valued for the same God-given humanity that is reflected in the face of their preborn child, they often choose life. The success stories at these lifeaffirming centers may be why they now are starting to outnumber
said, “it gives her hope and a perspective she didn’t have before.” Women like Dixie, who said she was so determined to have an abortion when she walked into a PMC near Dallas, Texas, that she made an appointment for an abortion at Planned Parenthood for the following day. Yet when the nurse at the PMC showed her a sonogram of her preborn child and she saw the beating heart, she knew she could never go through with it. “It was life-changing,” she said, tears streaming down her face. Stephanie, another young woman considering an abortion, was also transformed. “As soon as I heard the heartbeat,” she said, “there was no turning back. It just made things real. When I looked at him, I now understood how God loves us.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION To learn more about Option Ultrasound and watch touching videos of women who chose life for their babies, please visit HeartLink.org — Ann Austin
abortion centers in America, according to Betsy Powell, a program director with the Sanctity of Human Life division of Focus on the Family. The Guttmacher Institute reports 1,793 abortion providers in the U.S., while Powell
said there are more than 2,000 pro-life centers and clinics, which provide free pregnancy tests, nonjudgmental counseling, practical resources and, ever increasingly, ultrasound services. For the last 20 years, Focus has come alongside and has provided millions of dollars
“As soon as I heard the heartbeat, there was no turning back. It just made things real. When I looked at him, I now understood how God loves us.” Stephanie, an abortion-minded woman who was transformed thanks to ultrasound technology.
worth of benevolent counseling resources to these centers. “The reason we need these pregnancy centers and medical clinics that organizations like Focus support,” says Abigail, “is because anyone seeking an abortion is desperate in some way and just wants a way out of her crisis. If she doesn’t have support from friends and family, she can go there and they’re not going to judge her, they’re going to help her. And they’re not just going to get her through it — they’re going to make it a joyful experience.” FOR MORE INFORMATION Do you know a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy? A woman dealing with a past abortion? A pregnant woman considering an adoption plan? Find immediate help and long-term hope with resources from TroubledWith.com. Find a pregnancy resource center in your area by visiting OptionOnline. org or calling 800-395-4357. 23 January 2012 | CITIZEN
Sanctity of Human Life Initiative 2012 “Be A Voice” For the Child in the Womb (January – March) most prominent members of the life movement, reminding Christians that the humanity of every person is conferred by God and Christians are called to defend the cause of the weak and needy, including the preborn child. “All of us are created in the image of God,” said Betsy Powell, a program director for the Sanctity of Human Life (SOHL) division of Focus on the Family, “but if life has no intrinsic value, whoever is in power gets to decide who lives and who dies. “When we threaten the value of life at any age, we threaten the value of life at every stage.”
“When I saw the ultrasound,” Tiffany said, “abortion was no longer an option for me. I was so glad that somebody was there to give me the encouragement and information that I needed to make the right choice.” Tiffany was served by Hope Women’s Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Rescue those being led away to death. … — Proverbs 24:11 Thirty-nine years ago, only two Justices spoke up for the rights of preborn children when the majority voted to strip away their legal protections. One was William Rehnquist; the other, Justice Byron White. White chastised his colleagues for indulging in “an exercise of raw judicial power” in making a decision that it “perhaps has authority to do,” but “is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution
extends to this Court” and that he was unable to find anything in the “language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment.” That day, the most powerful men in the land crushed the legal standing of the most helpless members of society, and leading the late theologian Francis Schaeffer to warn Christians that if life is devalued through killing the preborn human, disregard for the lives of other vulnerable members of society will follow. During the decade following the passage of Roe v. Wade, Schaeffer, C. Everett Koop and James Dobson were among the
The SOHL initiative has been one of the pillars of Focus since its founding in 1977. And, for the last seven years, the “Be a Voice Campaign” has existed to equip people to “be a voice” for life — all of it, from beginning to end, from the preborn child to the orphan, and from those with special needs to the elderly. SOHL is focusing on a different aspect of life every quarter this year. The first quarter, January to March, will call people of faith “to be a voice” for the child in the womb.
FOR MORE INFORMATION To access a free downloadable SOHL Guide for 2012, along with a variety of other “Be a Voice” resources for church, campus and community outreach, please visit BeaVOICE.net. — Ann Austin
24 CITIZEN | January 2012
COURTESY OF HOPE WOMEN’S CENTER, FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA.
25 January 2012 | CITIZEN
While businesses are getting bogged down with more governmental “red tape,” taxpayers are paying a high price.
Regulatory ‘Red Tape’
taxpayers an annual cost of $38 billion dollars more than in 2008. That’s roughly $126 dollars “extra” for every man, woman and child in the nation. Fifteen of those major regulations came in 2011, and cost $12.3 billion dollars in implementation costs. If your head is spinning just hold on, because the study estimates that the total cost to enforce all federal regulations levied against the American experience is $1,750,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) — every year. That’s roughly $5,833 per year, per person just to employ these regulators to enforce the regulations. So, in my family’s case, we’re responsible for $23,333. Impossible? Hardly. James Gattuseo, senior research fellow in regulatory policy for The Heritage Foundation, said, “In total, 1,827 rulemaking proceedings were completed during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2011 (between Oct. 1 and March 31, 2011). Of these, 37 were classified as “significant/substantive” or “major,” meaning they each had an expected economic impact of at least $100 million per year.” So, in just six months, more than 1,800 regulations were completed. That means federal regulators added by about 100 regulations per calendar day. (I’m fairly certain they took weekends off.)
Congress may have grinded to a halt, but Any Other Means The Economist reported in January that doesn’t mean the government isn’t 2011, that the criticism leveled at finding ways to gain revenue — and control. the federal government for pushing by Kevin McCullough
id you know that since 2009, the government has found 75 new ways to regulate a piece of the average American’s life? While that may not sound like
a lot, it could cost every taxpayer an arm and a leg.
A Taxing Issue
According to new estimates, these regulations will exact from
such heavy regulation is welldeserved. The article reported that the U.S. government is ignoring the business community’s biggest grievance: stifling new rules — from health care and finance to oildrilling and greenhouse gases.” It also reported, “The regulatory workforce has grown 16 per-
26 CITIZEN | January 2012
© www. istockphoto.com / danwilton
briefing cent in just the past three years, to 276,429, while private employment has fallen.” And with a divided Congress, it appears the march towards massive regulatory “reform” is now being processed through federal agency directives, avoiding the Congressional conflict all together. By creating the appearance that it is helping to restrain businesses from taking “dangerous risks” or “cutting negligent corners,” the government is increasingly taking hold of issues — such as banking and financial services. And this strategy appears to be continuing unhindered.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If the government is successful,
its because the American people often fail to realize a very simple but fundamental truth: The more government regulates private businesses, the more the taxpayer suffers. Why? Regulations means more business taxes. More taxes on private business means more out of the pockets of consumers. That’s why the adage goes, “Businesses never pay taxes. Only you do.” Sure, businesses fill out the forms and send in the tax payments to the state and federal governments based on the percentage required, but ultimately it is never a cost that is born by the corporation itself. The cost is passed on to you, the consumer. How? You simply pay more for the product or service the com-
pany provides. This is what James Gattuso and Diane Katz refer to in their blockbuster report, Red Tape Rising, as a “hidden tax”: “The costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices. Basic items, such as toilets, showerheads, light bulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets and bicycles, all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling and performance standards that go well beyond safety — as well as hundreds of millions of hours of testing and paperwork to document compliance.”
The rush to regulate appears to be on an upward trajectory — and negatively impacting jobs and wallets along the way.
27 COURTESY OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
January 2012 | CITIZEN
Tales of the Red Tape #22: A Real Waste of Regulatory Energy If you’re concerned that the Solyndra scandal is hampering other energy initiatives, worry not. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is moving right along with its review of urinal efficiency.
furnaces, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, ovens and ranges, pool heaters, television sets, light bulbs, and anything else the Energy Secretary deems as electrically profligate.
Not urologically speaking, of course, but in terms of the ceramic catch of nature’s call.
(Just FYI — urinals also are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which requires at least one urinal for every 40 workers at a construction site for companies with less than 200 employees and one for every 50 workers where more than 200 are employed. The Americans with Disabilities Act also delineates the proper dimensions and placement of bowls.)
The federal plumbing police last codified water efficiency standards for urinals back in 1998. According to statute, the DOE must allow states to toughen such requirements if the feds don’t do so within five years. Having thus waived pre-emption, the agency is now seeking information and comment on the status of urinals across the land to evaluate whether a new federal standard is warranted. All of which is spelled out in excruciating detail in the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, which also regulates the efficiency of toilets, faucets and showers. And refrigerators and freezers, air conditioners, water heaters,
Companies also may be forced to downsize their workforce to compensate for the regulatory burdens. And that means less jobs and increased unemployment.
Federal regulation thwarts small business development, punishes tax-payers and ultimately prevents jobs from being created. 28 CITIZEN | January 2012
A request to DOE for more information failed to garner a response. Could it be that the bathroom bureaucrats are a tad reluctant to discuss urinal policy? In any case, what we do know makes us want to wash our hands of Washington. — Diane Katz Reprinted with permission from The Heritage Foundation
And as hard as it may be to believe, that isn’t a political or partisan statement. It’s merely the truth. Maybe the American people see an upside to 75 full-scale regulations being on the books. Maybe people desire 1,800 new regulatory instructions to be “completed” and implemented into every aspect of everyday life. My hunch tells me differently.
“The costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices.” James Gattuso and Diane Katz, describing “hidden taxes” in their blockbuster report, Red Tape Rising.
In an over-regulated environment — with more than 100 new rules per day — few people and businesses have the energy to rise to the challenge. Yet hope still remains. When times have appeared the bleakest, men and women of faith, courage and conviction have stepped forward and changed their communities, the culture and even the world. Remember: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16 Without question the economy in the days ahead faces a number of great challenges, and entrepreneurs want to be — and can be — part of the solution. Inventive people, using creative means to solve problems and provide a higher standard of living is something we can all agree needs to happen. Kevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of “The Kevin McCullough Show” weekdays and “Baldwin/McCullough *LIVE*” Saturdays (9-11pm EST) on 297 stations.
Advisories Good News: California Supreme Court: Marriage Can Be Defended After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 18, stating that the Alliance Defense Fund, the legal team for ProtectMarriage. com, would be allowed to defend the voterapproved Proposition 8. Over 7 million voters helped to pass the ballot measure, which restored the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. ”It is essential to the integrity of the initiative process,” wrote Chief Justice Tani CantilSakauye, “that there be someone to assert the state’s interest in an initiative’s validity on behalf of the people when the public officials who normally assert that interest decline to do so. ... Neither the governor, the attorney general, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters.” (For more information, visit ADFMedia.org/News/PRDetail/3618)
N.J. Hospital Defies Court Order, Bullies 12 Pro-Life Nurses The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a motion for an emergency court order on Nov. 18, against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The hospital, in violation of an existing court order, “is threatening to impose discriminatory transfers and changes in the employment conditions for these nurses,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.”These pro-life nurses shouldn’t be bullied into employment discrimination that is forbidden both by federal law and a court order.” (For more information, go to ADFMedia.org/News/prdetail/5176)
29 January 2012 | CITIZEN
Doing the Right Thing
magine that Penn State University has a philosophy department typical of large public universities. Relativism abounds, with vigorous interchange about “my truth” versus “your truth” and, above all, “tolerance” for everyone and every view. The shocking sexual harassment scandal that unfolded there recently has had at least one unintended effect — it shows once again that the doughy and pliable contours of morality defined in modern philosophy classes simply do not work in real life. Penn State football coach Joe Paterno avoided a grand jury indictment because he did the legal thing. He lost his job because he didn’t do the right thing. The legal thing was to report an allegation of sexual abuse by his assistant coach up the line to his superior. The right thing would have been to dial 9-1-1. Why is it that in this age of sexual promiscuity and tolerance so many people in authority at Penn State were even able to recognize the right thing? I believe that it is because most people still resonate from the soul with a sense that boundaries exist in sexual relationships, and that Coach Sandusky violated those boundaries. People label that inner guidance system any number of things: common sense, conscience, natural law or biblical values. It all points back to the same truth: There is right and there is wrong. One cannot escape that fact even by hiding behind the cloistered walls of academia, where they pretend such truths don’t exist until it becomes all too evident that they do indeed exist. One can deny the existence of God — but one cannot escape His moral fingerprint on our lives. Much of modern liberalism is about the task of hiding itself from the truth. Where once we had Christmas, we now have “winter holiday.” Where we once had problems, we now have “issues.” Liberals rarely speak the word abortion anymore; now it is “reproductive freedom.” When certain scientists discerned a dangerous future for the weather they called
it “global warming.” Then it became evident that some of them were cheating on their measurements to disguise the fact that perhaps the globe wasn’t warming dangerously. Not to worry though, because we now have simply “climate change” to convince us all that either direction the thermometer chooses to travel portends disaster. Most such euphemisms are only pesky and frustrating. More sinister is the pinning upon one’s opponent a dehumanizing label in order to remove altogether the necessity of taking him seriously. Thus, people who stand for marriage are “hateful.” And those who uphold moral principles generally are “ultra-right,” “far right” or “fringe.” These are people who would “impose their values on all of us,” say the liberal activists, even though these “imposed” values are held by most of us. As often as I can, I like to remind reporters that the institution of marriage was not invented by Jerry Falwell late one night and forced onto an unsuspecting populace. In Pennsylvania, the politicians these days are busy passing a law to legally require all people in authority, people such as Joe Paterno, to report instances of sexual abuse to the police, and not merely pass them up the chain of command. If the politicians can make it the legal thing to do, then the academics don’t have to worry about whether it is the right thing to do. My prayer is that people will still, for a long time to come, recognize it as the obvious thing to do. Tom Minnery is the executive director of CitizenLink and editor of Citizen. Do you know someone who’s bravely done the right thing in your community? Send your stories to citizeneditor@ family.org.
30 CITIZEN | January 2012