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Posted by thelamp on August 18, 2007
Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007
May marks the beginning of graduation season. On college and university campuses across America, a new crop of young adults will grip their degrees, toss their hats in the air and hope to land a job. A poignant Washington Post article explains that within the first year of entering the real world, female grads will learn precisely what separates them from their male counterparts in the workforce: their pay (“Her Pay Gap Begins Right After Graduation”).
The article is based on “Behind the Pay Gap,” a study released April 23 by the American Association of University Women.
“One year out of college, women working full time earn only 80 percent as much as their male colleagues earn,” the report states. “Ten years after graduation, women fall farther behind, earning only 69 percent as much as men earn.”
Although individuals can make choices that enhance their earning potential, it’s clear that society has yet to value women for what they are truly worth. So what can be done to rectify this social injustice? The American Association of University Women suggests that publicly recognizing the disparity as a problem is the place to begin.
Unfortunately, too often both men and women dismiss the pay gap as merely a matter of different choices. In reality, though, even women who make the same occupational choices that men make won’t bring home the same paycheck.
In education, a field dominated primarily by females, women earn 95 percent of what men earn. By contrast, in biological sciences where more men are in the mix, women earn only 75 percent of their male peers.
Despite the progress women have made over the past three decades, equity in pay remains an issue. Gender pay discrimination is difficult to document, and typically is discovered only after other possible explanations have been eliminated.
“These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which remains a serious problem for women in the work force,” the women’s association study concluded.
“I’m not looking for an America that just gets a little better from here,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “I’m not just looking for an end to the empires of pornography that objectify women; I’m looking for a society that revolts against the idea of a woman only earning 80 cents compared to every dollar a man makes doing the same job.”
It’s possible that some bosses subconsciously make discriminatory decisions about pay based on personal beliefs about gender roles. So Christian employers and managers with responsibility for setting wages have a duty to take notice of such inequities and become agents for change.
The American Association of University Women notes that leadership is critical to changing attitudes and policies within an organization. Without a concerted commitment at the top, pay-equity policies are unlikely to be taken seriously.
Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007
The current federal minimum wage is insufficient to keep hard-working men and women out of poverty. So when the new Democrat-controlled Congress announced plans to increase pay at the bottom of the scale from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, America’s workers logically assumed they would be getting a raise. Now, it seems that what the congressional leadership really meant was that hourly workers would get a raise if U.S. troops pull out of Iraq.
Inflation has eroded the value of the minimum wage over the past decade to the point where it is worth less today, in real terms, than at any time since 1955. Putting more money in laborers’ pockets is important – so important that five months ago House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed the matter would be addressed within the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress. Although Congress has debated the raise Americans need and deserve, lawmakers haven’t exactly delivered on their promise.
Instead of pushing the pay hike on its merits through the House and Senate, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tethered the minimum-wage provisions to the contentious $100-billion Iraq war spending bill. What a dirty trick to pull on people who work for a living, because President Bush has made it clear he will veto the war bill.
“This isn’t about getting a minimum wage increase done, it’s another political stunt that only further delays action,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.
If President Bush does in fact veto the legislation, lawmakers who support a minimum wage increase will have to go back to the drawing board. This is a needless detour.
On the wage issue alone, Democrats and Republicans had reached a compromise. Democrats want an increase in the federal minimum wage so the nation’s lowest paid workers don’t have to live like paupers. Republicans oppose an increase in the minimum wage because it could hurt the small businesses that employ those workers. Nevertheless, the president has said he will sign a bill with a minimum wage increase if it includes tax cuts for businesses.
Last week, House and Senate negotiators had crafted a deal. The lawmakers agreed to a package of $4.8 billion in tax breaks for businesses to accompany the minimum wage increase.
Unfortunately, finding common ground regarding the war in Iraq isn’t as cut and dried. Whether to fund the war – and any accompanying timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq – is a passionate issue on all sides.
Consequently, it is completely inappropriate for legislators to attach any other bills to it – particularly the proposed pay increase for minimum-wage employees.
Click here to urge Congress to give workers the minimum wage increase they were promised.
Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007
When an expectant mother casts her eyes on an image of the thumb-sucking bairn nestled in her womb, it’s difficult to deny the truth – the bundle in her belly is a living, breathing baby. Knowing this, protectors of the preborn are pushing to make it easier for any woman considering an abortion to first look at an ultrasound picture of the little one whose life depends on her mercy.
According to statistical research, a woman is 80 percent more likely to change her mind about an abortion if she has information that encourages her to reflect on the procedure ahead of time. For this reason, the Center for Moral Clarity supports the Informed Choice Act, H.R. 223, which would authorize the federal secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to nonprofit organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment.
Passing this bill would enable clinics nationwide to provide free examinations to pregnant women – and give them a peek through the window to the womb.
Along with funding grants for purchasing ultrasound equipment, the Informed Choice Act would:
- Require clinics to show the visual image of the fetus from the ultrasound examination to each pregnant woman with a general anatomical and physiological description of the fetus;
- Give each pregnant woman the approximate age of the embryo or fetus;
- Provide information on abortion and alternatives to abortion, such as childbirth and adoption, and information concerning public and private agencies that will assist in those alternatives.
“If we are to regain our equilibrium as a society, if we are to rescue our children from a downward spiral of violence, then we must recover our founding ideals,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “We must resensitize ourselves to the dignity, integrity and sanctity of life by upholding it at every opportunity and in every situation. People matter.”
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in April upholding a federal ban on ghastly partial-birth abortions has invigorated people who love and revere the sanctity of human life. In addition to the Informed Choice Act pending in Congress, a variety of state legislation seeks to include ultrasounds as a prerequisite before a mother could kill her developing offspring.
South Carolina, which is the only state in the nation to recognize a fetus as a person, also could become the only state to require a woman to view an ultrasound before getting an abortion. Several other states are considering laws that would make ultrasounds available but would not make looking at them mandatory.
Of course, as much as the partial-birth ruling has motivated Bible-believing Christians, it has provoked abortion proponents. So it was no surprise that Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., wasted no time in reintroducing the Freedom of Choice Act, a measure to put a woman’s right to have an abortion in federal law.
In order to protect and preserve any rights, courageous leaders – in the press, in medicine, in law, in politics and in the church – have always recognized that they had to protect the fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Contemporary Christians can do no less.
Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007
Americans are an eclectic lot. Although rich diversity is among the nation’s tremendous assets, it also contributes to factions that unnecessarily alienate and divide the citizenry. The National Day of Prayer is an ideal opportunity to set those differences aside and come together with a collective, unified voice.
The 56th Annual National Day of Prayer took place Thursday, May 3. The theme for this year, “America, Unite in Prayer,” was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, which states: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
“A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge,” President George W. Bush said in the this year’s proclamation from the White House. “On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God’s grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our nation.”
Although the National Day of Prayer was established in 1952, when President Harry Truman signed it into law, the first request for such a day pre-dates the nation itself. In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. Roughly a century later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, too, called for a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.
The National Day of Prayer has great significance for the United States as a nation. It enables contemporary generations to recall and to teach the way in which America’s founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. National Day of Prayer stands as a call for everyone – across all walks of life – to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for the leaders and His grace upon the citizens as a people.
Furthermore, the unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning. This year’s “Prayer for Our Nation” was written by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll.
2007 Prayer for Our Nation
Almighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this.
In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able to protect;
In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading us aright;
In the unprecedented events we’re facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.
Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial
. . . our need for Your forgiveness is constant
. . . our gratitude for Your grace is profound
. . . our love for You is deep.
We ask that You guard and guide our President
and all who serve the people of these United States.
May uncompromising integrity mark their lives.
We also ask that You unite us as truly “one nation,
under God.” May genuine humility return to our ranks.
And may that blend of integrity and humility
heal our land.
In our Lord’s name we pray,
Posted in abraham lincoln, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, CMC, congress, constitution, continental congress, day of prayer, freedom, Freedom of Religion, God, harry truman, national day of prayer, pray, prayer, reagan | Leave a Comment »