The Lamp

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Archive for February, 2007

If Not Enforced, Life-preserving Law is Useless

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

A newspaper columnist in South Dakota suggested last week that it’s time to end the debate over abortion. The writer said she was “bone tired” of the endless discussion of such issues as the right to life and moral imperatives. This is precisely the result abortion advocates hope to achieve.

Christians must not grow weary; the battle for life is far from over. As Bible-believers pursue policies that cultivate a culture of life, they also must follow up and make certain the laws enacted are, in fact, enforced.

Click here to support CMC’s campaign to uphold and enforce the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

It’s a national disgrace that abortion kills more than a million babies a year in America, and that clinics and hospitals defy the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act – allowing innocent abortion survivors to die. President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law in 2002, mandating medical assistance for any child born alive, even if that birth occurs during an abortion procedure.

Five years later, battle-fatigued Christians must be vigilant to make sure every baby benefits from the provisions of this law. A situation reported last week in Florida reveals how easy it is simply to look the other way, ignoring the inhumanity.

On Feb. 9, when a man came to the back door of an abortion clinic carrying the body of a baby in a bag, a pro-life activist contacted police. The Good Samaritan was concerned that the baby had been born alive, then deprived of medical treatment, in violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Police refused to investigate, noting that as a policy they didn’t get involved in the abortion industry.

What purpose is served by a law that’s not enforced? The law requires that if an infant is born alive, life-sustaining treatment must be provided to that child. These innocent victims can’t speak for themselves. Advocates for the sanctity of all human life must stand up and be heard on their behalf.

Please be a voice for righteousness by adding your name to CMC’s petition, which asks federal authorities to assure that clinics follow the law.

Click here to support CMC’s campaign to uphold and enforce the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.


Posted in Anti-Abortion, Anti-Christian attitudes, babies, Center for Moral Clarity, Children, Christianity, CMC, death, moral, moral values, Partial Birth Abortion, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | 1 Comment »

FCC Wants to Regulate TV Violence

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Finally, the Federal Communications Commission is acknowledging what Christian parents have been telling the broadcast industry for years: TV violence may have an impact on children’s behavior.

The revelation came last week as Kevin Martin, the FCC’s chairman, asked Congress to create a law that would let the agency regulate violent programming. Such oversight is long overdue.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Federal Communications Commission, urging members to seek regulation of TV violence.

A bipartisan group of 39 House members first suggested the report three years ago. The request asked for a definition of violent programming that is harmful to children. The FCC also asked whether or not the agency could regulate programming without violating the U.S. Constitution’s free speech protections.
Certainly, Hollywood producers and industry lobbyists will do all they can to block any more FCC regulations. They’ll call it censorship.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that the FCC could regulate indecency on broadcast TV and radio, but the court has never ruled on regulation of violence. Consequently, broadcasters are suing the FCC because they contend that the commission’s tougher indecency policies since 2004 are arbitrary and unconstitutional.

According to the new report, though, Congress could craft a law that would let the FCC regulate violent programming much like it regulates sexual content and profanity – by barring it from being aired during hours when children may be watching, for example.

Broadcasters and cable companies want to put the onus on parents to take responsibility for what their children watch. Their advocates point to technology like the V-chip as a way to block or control access. Broadcasters also claim their shows must become edgier to keep up with increasingly violent programs on cable networks.

“Everyone else is doing it” is hardly a convincing argument to justify unbridled gratuitous bloodshed, death, destruction and gore as acceptable entertainment for impressionable children. Entertainment violence is polluting the minds of our children. The FCC’s findings substantiate and underscore claims made by Christian organizations, including CMC, which have lobbied both Congress and the FCC to limit violence in television programming.

Basically, the commission’s report said there is strong evidence that violent media can have an impact on children’s behavior and there are some things that can be done about it. Giving the FCC authority to control what is – and isn’t – broadcast is the first step.

U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W. Va., has said he plans to reintroduce legislation he unsuccessfully pushed in 2005 to give the FCC authority to regulate violent shows. Backing from the FCC would give this legislation some momentum.

The commission could vote on the report at any time. Three votes are necessary to win approval. CMC is urging members not to let this opportunity pass. Please contact the FCC today, and let commissioners know how important it is to move forward with controlling TV violence. Then, forward this e-mail to three friends, relatives or church members, and ask them to write the FCC, too.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Federal Communications Commission, urging members to seek regulation of TV violence.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

Biblical Marriage Wins a Round in Clash of Cultures

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Advocates of biblical marriage scored a noteworthy victory in America’s raging culture war. This particular battle was fought in the Michigan Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Feb. 2 that the state’s marriage amendment trumps domestic partner legislation.

The decision, which sets a precedent for other states wrestling with the marriage question, prohibits the state’s municipal governments and public universities from providing health insurance to partners of homosexual employees. Such a benefit ought to be reserved for the employee’s legal spouse and dependents, and that was the express purpose of amending the state constitution.

In 2004, Michigan joined 10 other states in a national movement to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. With the amendment, Christians in Michigan effectively closed a troubling loophole that circumvented Scripture: recognizing domestic partners as a way of treating same-gender couples as if they had been united in holy matrimony.

Although the supremacy of biblical marriage is a moral triumph, it also will have a significant financial impact. Tax dollars contribute to salaries and employment benefits for the men and women who work in state jobs. Bible-believing Christians, who also are taxpayers, are correct in refusing to subsidize immoral lifestyles that directly oppose Christ’s instruction for family life.

It was the prophet of old, Elijah, who stood amid a generation much like contemporary society and challenged the people to choose their position on either side of the social line, commanding them to wave not between two opinions. Similarly, America is a nation divided against itself.

“The timeless principles on which this nation was built have become the ridicule of the age by a group of degenerate renegades and a band of Bible-hating moral outlaws,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “We must draw the line somewhere, making a firm decision on which side we are to stand.”

Since marriage is a coveted trophy in the 21st-century clash of cultures, it’s no surprise that the ACLU has vowed to take this case to federal court. Federal judges have been far more willing to forsake righteousness than jurists in state court systems. So, pray that this Michigan ruling stands. If it does, its effect of nullifying domestic partnership legislation will reverberate wherever marriage is protected by a constitutional amendment.

Speaking of marriage amendments, here’s the status of ongoing efforts to pass them:

A proposed constitutional amendment to affirm the definition of marriage advanced out of the Republican-controlled Illinois state Senate last week after little debate. The resolution passed 39-10 and is headed to the House, which Democrats control 51-49.

For the amendment to become official, it would have to pass the Illinois General Assembly this year or next without any changes, and then be approved in a statewide vote in the 2008 general election.

Gov. Charlie Crist dampened a controversial effort to make biblical marriage a part of the state constitution last week, saying that the Republican Party of Florida should not give money to help the effort.

The party gave $300,000 to to help get the ban on the statewide ballot last year, but the petition drive was unsuccessful. The GOP was the largest contributor to the group, which has collected about $430,000 as it now aims for the 2008 election.

New Jersey
Supporters of traditional marriage in New Jersey are organizing a petition drive calling for a referendum on whether marriage should be legally defined as a union between a man and a woman. The drive is led by the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage.

Despite the ballot initiative, civil union legislation takes effect in the state this week. Organizers of the marriage amendment effort want lawmakers to consider changing the New Jersey Constitution to formalize the definition of marriage and prevent civil union laws from being amended to become same-sex marriage legislation.

The state Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on a lawsuit by same-gender couples seeking the right to marry.

The issue of same-sex marriage is before the state Supreme Court and the legislature. Last week in Sacramento, several state lawmakers and gay activists reintroduced a bill in the general assembly that would allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislature passed a similar bill in 2005, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wisely vetoed it.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, Christianity and Homosexuality, CMC, Democrats, Democrats & The Left, Equal Rights, Family Matters, Gay, hate crimes, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage, Marriage, moral, moral values, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Republicans and Democrats, Rod Parsley | 1 Comment »

Slavery Isn’t a Relic of the Past

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

The 16,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA) has asked the Bush administration and its federal agencies to take part in a nationwide education campaign to help medical professionals better identify victims of human trafficking.

Since the training would increase the likelihood of treating people who have been tortured and sold, the Center for Moral Clarity endorses such educational campaigns as one more way of restoring value to human life.

Click Here to download and watch the latest CMC Moment, and hear Pastor Rod Parsley’s message on slavery.

Dr. Jeffrey Barrows, a CMA member, has been teaching other doctors about the existence of modern-day slavery and how to recognize the tell-tale signs of victimization by traffickers. According to the doctor, a recent study found that 28 percent of human trafficking victims were taken to see health-care professionals who did not realize the horrific trauma they had endured.

This finding, Barrows said, is evidence that the CMA training is needed. So the Christian physicians developed an online, continuing medical education program, which they hope the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of State will champion.

CMA’s emphasis on human trafficking is being advanced in conjunction with the soon-to-be-released movie “Amazing Grace,” a biographical film on abolitionist William Wilberforce. As a member of the British House of Commons, Wilberforce fought for 20 years to pass legislation banning the slave trade. On Feb. 23, 1807, Parliament banned buying and selling humans in the British Empire, but it was not until 1833 that the House of Commons voted to abolish slavery altogether.

The Feb. 23 release of “Amazing Grace” has been timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade in Britain. The abolition of slavery, however, remains an unfinished story. Two centuries years later, human trafficking still claims hundreds of thousands of victims. So Wilberforce’s legacy must serve as an inspiration to continue the fight for human life and dignity.

Click here to send an e-mail to your U.S. senator, asking him or her to pass Senate Resolution 84, which honors William Wilberforce and the end of the British slave trade.

For many Americans, slavery is an institution of a long-gone era, ending with the Civil War in 1865. The grim reality, though, is that slavery isn’t relegated to history, and the trade of human chattel has evolved into the trafficking of women and children. The U.S. State Department estimates that there are 27 million people worldwide who are living in slavery today.

Awareness is the first step toward change. The ongoing human rights violations in Sudan deserve America’s attention, but it’s insufficient to merely raise public awareness on the issue. Christians have a moral obligation to be a voice for the victims of human trafficking.

CMC members can use their voice to denounce the violence and killing associated with modern-day slavery. The Center for Moral Clarity also supports accountability, which can be achieved by pulling American investment dollars out of Sudan until the atrocities end.

Click here to send an e-mail to Congress asking your representatives to pass House Resolution 7, denouncing the genocide in Darfur.

Click here to send an e-mail to Congress asking your representatives to pass H.R. 180, the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, death, hate crimes, Martyrs, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley, Slavery | 1 Comment »

GINA Would Protect Patients’ Rights

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Increasingly, genetic history is being used in the diagnosis and treatment of many medical conditions, as well as in research to discover the fundamental genetic mechanisms of major diseases. The prevalence of such sensitive information, however, has raised fears that it will be used discriminatorily when medical or employment decisions are made.

Last week during a congressional hearing, the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representative, lawmakers were asked to consider a legislation that would prevent this from happening. If passed, the Genetics Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) would also prevent health plans from denying coverage or charging higher premiums using those same genetic tea leaves.

A person’s genetic profile is as natural and inseparable from who they are as any other physical trait or attribute. Consequently, it should be treated the same as other innate human characteristics, including one’s race or gender.

Genetic data or tests results are valuable tools used in health diagnosis and treatments. One practical reason genetic information should be controlled is that, in many instances, test results only suggest a risk of developing a disease. Surely employees should not lose their health insurance or their livelihood because they have a statistical chance of developing a medical disorder.

CMC agrees that such information can be – and should be – used to positive ends: enabling preventive lifestyle changes or tailoring medical regimes to reduce patients’ chances of developing any disease their genes might incline them toward. Some restrictions, however, should be put in place on how that information should be used.

Simply stated, a family history of diabetes should not be the reason a person is turned down for a job or health insurance. Likewise, no one should be fired for refusing to take a genetic test that could reveal a biological inclination toward such a condition. Given that the science of genotyping is still in its infancy, now is the ideal time to establish parameters.

Consider that genetic tests are now available for almost 1,000 diseases and hundreds more are under development. Personal genetic data is becoming more commonplace. The danger of not safeguarding information raises the potential for a person with a genetic predisposition toward one or more diseases to be denied healthcare insurance, lose their job or be denied employment altogether.

The proposed GINA legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Judy Biggert, R-Ill., would be limited to cases where an employer intentionally seeks out genetic information about a worker and misuses that information. The bill even carves out a so-called “water-cooler” exception to protect employers from liability under the law if they come across the sensitive data inadvertently.

Delaying a law that ensures patient privacy in genetic testing would also have a negative impact on the advancement of personalized medicine. If patients are too fretful about how their genetic information might be used, they’re bound to be less likely to submit to testing. Yet, if they don’t take part in clinical trials to test genetic-based therapies, they won’t be able to reap the benefits of the promising technology.

During last week’s hearing, legislators learned that typical Americans are quite reluctant to lend their genetic fingerprints to the birth of treatments that could potentially save lives. A doctor giving testimony referenced a recent poll, which showed 66 percent of people surveyed had concerns about how their genetic information would be used, and 85 percent thought companies would misuse the data without a law prohibiting discrimination.

The subcommittee also heard David Escher’s personal experience. Escher, a former railroad employee, testified that after undergoing multiple medical tests, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although his condition was determined to be work-related, Escher’s employer required him to have further testing. He later discovered the company had performed genetic tests on several vials of his blood without his knowledge or consent, presumably to show his condition was genetic-based and unrelated to his job.

Clearly, prohibitions against such use of genetic information are in order. Still, the broad benefits that could be realized through developing genetic testing warrant carefully designed guidelines. For example, a simple genetic test can now determine whether a cutting-edge but costly breast-cancer drug will work for a certain patient based on the patient’s genetic profile.

Technical advances must be balanced with ethics. Toward that end, CMC supports GINA as necessary prevention against misuse or abuse of genetic information.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, Embryonic Stem Cell, Health related, Health Sciences & Medicine, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »