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Category Archives: Ethics

Gourmet Craziness: The "Genderbread Person 2.0"

Gingerbread men are a staple in many households around the holidays, but (alas!) in our Brave New World this treasured holiday icon apparently could be taken as perpetuating old and outdated stereotypes about men and women. What is a discerning cultural gourmet to do? Have no fear! Meet The Genderbread Person 2.0!

File this under things you simply can't make up.

This "edugraphic" (read "indoctrination tool") is the product of "social justice advocate and ally" Sam Killerman, who runs a website centered around his one-man comedy show called It's Pronounced MetrosexualAccording to the site, "Sam travels the country and performs the show for students at colleges and universities." If you have a university student, you might want to ask whether their college student orientation included a staging of this production.

The content of the show is unclear to us, but judging from Sam's blog, one can imagine what sort of values it proposes. For instance, he has articles on "Examples of Christian Privilege" and "Examples of Cisgender Privilege" that implicitly paint Christians and "cisgender" persons as oblivious bullies.

What's a "cisgender" person, you ask? Sam explains that this "means having a biological sex that matches your gender identity and expression, resulting in other people accurately perceiving your gender."

Among the "privileges" of the cisgendered, Sam lists "being able to pretend that anatomy and gender are irrevocably entwined when having the “boy parts and girl parts” talk with children, instead of explaining the actual complexity of the issue."

Of course this "pretending" is meant to be exploded by The Genderbread Person 2.0, which demonstrates how "biological sex" actually contains "infinite... possible plot and label combos" on two parallel continua from "asex" to "female-ness" and "maleness" -- among which just some of the options are "male, female, intersex, female-self-identifying, and male-self-identifying."

In all, Sam's work seems to highlight for us the larger picture of which redefining marriage into a genderless institution is an integral part. A future with genderless marriage is the same future in which children would lack the right to privacy in using the bathroom of their biological sex and in which something as simple as a Christmas cookie may be construed as hearkening back to an oppressive and bigoted past.

Anderson: "The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage"

The first submission to this week's symposium at The Intercollegiate Review is a reprint of a great essay by What is Marriage? co-author and Heritage fellow Ryan T. Anderson, "The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage."

Married Couple HandsAnderson points out why the question of how we define marriage is a social issue which cuts across differences of religion or philosophy: it's just good common sense.

Whatever one thinks about the morality of sexually open marriages, multi-partner marriages, and by-design-temporary marriages, the social costs will run high. The marital norms of monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanency make a difference for society.

Concern about the direction of our society's norms about marriage as reflected in law are accessible to anyone who cares about the social welfare and about the role of government, Anderson explains, because "[a]fter all, law affects culture. Culture affects beliefs. Beliefs affect actions. The law teaches, and it will shape not just a handful of marriages but the public understanding of what marriage is."

Redefining marriage to say that men and women are interchangeable, that "monogamish" relationships work just as well as monogamous relationships, that "throuples" are the same as couples, and that "wedlease" is preferable to wedlock will only lead to more broken homes, more broken hearts, and more intrusive government.

Click here to read the rest.

Symposium on "Sex and the Polis" Hosted at the Intercollegiate Review

The indefatigable Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is hosting a symposium beginning this week at their online publication, The Intercollegiate Review, which our readers may want to follow.

Man Woman SculptureThe symposium is entitled "Sex and the Polis: Perspectives on Marriage, Family, and Sexual Ethics," and the Review's Associate Editor Christopher Fisher explains its "mission" is "to better understand what effect these cultural trends in sexual ethics have on relationships, families, and the pursuit of the common good."

Fisher elaborates:

Our culture’s understanding of sexual ethics is largely defined by a seismic shift in the modern conception of marriage and family. This includes a rising tendency to delay marriage and children until later in life (or not have children at all, as evidenced by our lowest-ever birthrates); an acceptance and even expectation of pornography as an appropriate means of sexual gratification outside and inside of marriage; an equal expectation that all "normal" young adults will engage in pre-marital sex; openness to homosexuality and gay marriage; and a secular, non-sacramental definition of marriage and reproduction.

[...]

Yet most teachers, school administrators, students, health "experts," pundits, and even parents fail to see what effect sexual standards have on our culture and behavior, or the vast array of costly social problems caused by this breakdown.

One of Fisher's most compelling points is that these social costs lead ineluctably to a growth in government: "Smart libertarians ought to pay attention to the many ways that libertinism encourages the breakneck growth of the state."

Read his entire essay here, and keep an eye on The Intercollegiate Review for future submissions, including the opener by none other than NOM's good friend Ryan Anderson.

"Privacy for All Students" Effort Continues to Gain Steam

PFAS

We've been keeping our readers informed about the ongoing efforts in California to overturn AB 1266, the "Co-ed Bathroom Law" - efforts which have brought together a broad coalition effort in the Privacy for All Students campaign, including NOM California and NOM's political consultant Frank Schubert.

In case you missed it, Frank was interviewed last Friday for National Review Online and explained to Alec Torres why he is optimistic about the initiative underway there:

Once people become aware of [the law], then they oppose it.... We’ve done a survey and what we’ve found is that only 35 percent of voters support this law, and 51 percent oppose it. When you [talk with individuals and] go through the pro and con arguments, we end up at over 60 percent opposition to the law.

A victorious repeal of the law is almost certain if the matter can be put on the ballot. That's what the Privacy for All Students coalition is busy working to do, gathering petition signatures to meet a November 8th deadline.

To find out how you can help, visit the coalition's website today.

When Do Commodified IVF Practices Turn Into Human Trafficking?

From redefining marriage to intentional single parenthood, we're seeing the prioritization of adult desires over the needs of children with increased frequency. The voices of children are silent, either because they're too young to articulate their own needs ...or they can't speak up about those needs at all.

As a society, how often do we consider the rights of donor-conceived people? The human beings who are literally 'manufactured' so that adults can end up with exactly what they want for themselves. Shouldn't birth be less about adults, and more about the life of the new person?

Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous Us

Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous Us

We’ve created a class of people who are manufactured, and treat them as less-than-fully human, demanding that they be grateful for whatever circumstances we give them. While fathers of traditionally conceived human beings are chased down and forced to make child support payments as a minimal standard of care, people conceived commercially are reprimanded when they question the anonymous voids that their biological fathers so “lovingly” left.

The crimes against the donor-conceived bend time and space. The adults that betray us do so before official personhood, which is the loophole through which this new form of human trafficking is made possible. Is gamete-selling all that different from baby-selling?

Today, human rights do not apply to the donor-conceived child because her humanity has been deconstructed and she is a product to please adults, a thing to service others and be consumed. She does not have a father like other people, nor a mother. She only has donors and “intended” parents. If she complains about the discrepancy, the world will ask her threateningly, would you rather not exist?

She fears what they’ll do if she answers honestly. -Alana S. Newman for MercatorNet

Today, IVF is even becoming a commodity in the stock market, which – by only a degree of separation – means in a very real way embryos are being monetized and commodified. Not much of a stretch to view many of these practices as legitimate human trafficking.

Christians Need Not Apply

Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, writes on the growing bias against people of faith in the public square:

If you don’t actually remember it, you’re certainly aware of the Cold War the United States was involved in with the USSR for forty-four years.  We were fighting, but everyone was being passive aggressive about it.

Cross NecklaceSomething similar has been happening culturally in the war on religious freedom.  For years the war has been undeclared and the damage to religious freedom has generally been classified as friendly fire. “I wasn’t shooting at you, I was trying to shoot hate and intolerance; so sorry about that.”

The victims have been numerous. ...around the country bakeries, doctors, counselors, court clerks, and wedding photographers have been victims of the war on intolerance; specifically because of their beliefs about sexuality and marriage.

All along the way, those tightening the noose around the neck of religious freedom have claimed to be allies all along.

That’s changing.  Now that they feel they have the upper hand, they no longer feel the need to be tolerant.

The City of San Antonio is making a move that would allow the city council to exclude from public office anyone who has “bias” that they don’t like. Here is the resolution:

“No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.” 

That’s right, folks.  If you are a person who has “demonstrated a bias, by word or deed” against people based on things such as religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, you are unfit for public office.

Finish reading this article by FPIW director  here.

Why Is It So Difficult to Discuss Marriage?

As a forward to the 2006 book "The Meaning of Marriage", prominent ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain, who passed away earlier this week, wrote this insightful piece on the marriage debate.

The Public Discourse:

One reason, of course, is that we all have a stake in the debate and its outcome. No one is left untouched by marriage, including those who never marry, because marriage is such a pervasive institution in our society. One recent estimate indicates that 88 percent of women and 82 percent of men will marry at some point.

Don't TalkGiven the importance of marriage as an institution for individuals and for society, the thoughtful citizen has every reason to expect, and even demand, a deep and thoughtful debate as the precondition for any change in how we understand marriage and encourage it to take shape. One need only reflect on previous alterations in the regulation of marriage in order to understand that changes in marriage law have consequences that intellectuals, politicians, and citizens alike should think through thoroughly before endorsing.

When one looks back on the debates that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s over changing the divorce laws of this country—leading to the wide-scale institutionalization of no-fault divorce—there was much debate about the rights of women stuck in unhappy marriages. There were few serious discussions about what effects no-fault divorce would have on the institution of marriage; how social perception of marriage as a normative institution would subsequently change; how its purpose in society might be altered; what historical and philosophical roots anchored the movement; what effect widespread no-fault divorce might have on how we raise children and prepare them to become responsible citizens. Certainly people did not consider the negative impact no-fault divorce would have on women themselves!

But we have now learned that divorce is strongly associated with the immiseration of women: studies indicate, for example, that between one-fifth and one-third of women fall into poverty in the wake of a divorce. At the time, there were a few who argued that no-fault divorce would have significant social repercussions, but the ensuing highly-charged debate, again narrowly cast in terms of individual rights, muted their voices. Any opposition was construed as anti-feminist, despite the fact that many of the concerns expressed were precisely about the well-being of women who faced divorce.

...Responsible social scientists and political theorists always caution that major social change—and same-sex marriage involves something more basic than no-fault divorce—always trails negative unintended consequences in its wake. It follows that this recognition, for which there is a mountain of compelling evidence, should caution us to move with great care if we aim to alter the fundamental human institution that has always been the groundwork of social life.

"Legal Chaos" Ensues After Rogue Pennsylvania County Ignores Law, Issues Marriage Licenses

The inevitable outcome after state officials take it upon themselves to break their own laws:

Montgomery County PA“There is no limit to the administrative and legal chaos that is likely to flow from the clerk’s unlawful practice of issuing marriage licenses to those who are not permitted under Pennsylvania law to marry,” the [Pennsylvania Department of Health's legal] brief reads. “One consequence of the clerk’s illegal conduct in issuing invalid marriage licenses is likely to be this: Same-sex couples who falsely believe (or merely contend erroneously) that they are married will apply for claim benefits or other treatment (both public and private) that is reserved for those who are lawfully married under Pennsylvania law.”

The state has repeatedly contended that Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphan’s Court D. Bruce Hanes violates the state marriage law every time he issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

“By his own acknowledgement, the clerk is repeatedly, continuously and notoriously acting in clear derogation of the marriage law inasmuch as he is issuing marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender,” the brief states. “The clerk’s actions are in direct defiance of the express policy of the commonwealth, that ‘marriage is between one man and one woman.’” -Daily Local News

After Being Fired for His Beliefs, Frank Turek Helps Other Marriage Supporters in Similar Positions

Remember Dr. Frank Turek? Dr. Turek is an award-winning author and leadership consultant who was abruptly fired from both Bank of America and Cisco Systems in 2011 after someone Googled his name and discovered that he had written a book entitled Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.

Keep in mind, Dr. Turek's political and religious views were never expressed or even mentioned during his work with either company! (Hear more of Dr. Turek's story in his own words on our Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance website.)

Now, he's helping to equip others who may find themselves in the same position:

Frank Turek's StoryFrank Turek is equipping Christians to look at moral issues confronting America and how to respond successfully from a Christian worldview at the 2013 20th Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, “Reasons for the Hope,” presented by Southern Evangelical Seminary and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. The conference is set for Oct. 11-12 at First Baptist Church Indian Trail near Charlotte, N.C.

In light of all that has taken place on the marriage front this summer, Turek’s story is of interest to many. How he handled himself in this setting, as you will see, is a perfect example of Christian apologetics in action.

Turek went about his job as a leadership consultant at Cisco Systems with commitment and passion. In fact, he got such high marks for a yearlong program he conducted in 2008 that he was asked back in 2010.

Another 10 sessions of leadership and team-building programming were scheduled, and Turek and his students were through the seventh session when a manager for Cisco who was enrolled in the class issued a complaint against Turek. And because of that complaint, the relationship between Cisco and Turek was terminated.

The student phoning in the complaint had never read the book but Googled Turek after class. In his complaint, the manager said that although Turek never discussed his views in class, his beliefs were inconsistent with Cisco’s tolerance policies and couldn’t be ... tolerated.

The manager then contacted an experienced human resources professional at Cisco who had Turek fired that day without ever speaking to him. The HR professional also commended the manager for “outing” Turek.

MADADo you have similar story? If you've been threatened, harassed, or made to feel afraid because you believe marriage is the union of husband and wife, you're not alone. And the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is here to help. Share your story.

(All communications with MarriageADA will be kept strictly confidential. You may share your story anonymously. Help us create an America in which no decent, loving, law-abiding citizen feels afraid to speak up for marriage!)

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice to Deceive: IRS Scandal Expands to Include FEC

Lois LernerLike the proverbial onion, the more layers you pull back the more you discover in the on-going investigation of the IRS and the woman at the center of the scandal: Lois Lerner.

Townhall.com reports on the exclusive news first broken by Eliana Johnson about Lerner’s collusion with an FEC attorney to unfairly target a pro-family group. It’s a formula for government abuse that sounds scarily similar to what IRS did when it illegally released NOM’s private donor information:

In the case of the American Future Fund, Lerner provided confidential information about the aspiring 501(c)(4)'s status—in violation of the law—thereby helping the FEC attorney with an (improper) investigation designed to convince the FEC commissioners to authorize the prosecution of the American Future Fund for violations of campaign finance law (namely, engaging in political activism without registering as a PAC). All this came in the wake of a complaint filed against the American Future Fund by the Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party. (Ultimately, the FEC elected not to pursue the case.)
The FEC attorney also sought confidential tax information about the American Issues Project, another conservative organization.

What is most ominous about this development? Hard to decide—but it's disturbingly clear that the lefties embedded in government had few scruples in abusing the public trust (and the public!) improperly to advance a political agenda designed to favor one group of Americans over another. Equally disturbing: They apparently had reason to believe that they could get away with it—or perhaps even be rewarded for it.

You can read more here the latest developments in this scandal here, and please take a moment sign our petition demanding Congress investigate and put an end to these Orwellian tactics.

American Thinker: A.G. Holder’s Department of Injustice

Scott Varland over at the American Thinker cites John Eastman’s recent House testimony as some of the strongest evidence yet that the IRS broke federal law:

eric-holderDr. John Eastman (Chairman of the Board, National Organization for Marriage) makes the most convincing argument for probable cause with regard to the release of tax returns. In his June 4, 2013, testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, he described in detail the criminal activity of IRS employees. On March 30, 2012, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) learned that its confidential 2008 Form 990 Schedule B, containing donors' names, had been published on websites. NOM removed the published document's redaction layer and discovered that the document had originated within the IRS itself. The unredacted original bore two IRS markings. Someone at the IRS had disseminated the unredacted original for publication. On April 11, 2012, NOM filed a written request for investigation with Attorney General Holder's Department of Justice and the Treasury. The latter assigned a complaint number, but Justice and Treasury have done nothing since.

You can read the whole story here.

Gay Sperm Donor Told to Pay for His Daughters

GayStarNews:

A British gay man lived a content life before he was contacted suddenly by the Child Support Agency (CSA), demanding he start paying £26 ($41, €32) a week for two children he technically fathered over a decade ago.

Mark Langridge, from Essex, helped a former lesbian couple who were desperate for children and ask him to donate his sperm so they could have children.

The 47-year-old had not seen the family he helped out of kindness create since 2004, he was not named on the birth certificates of the two children and played no role in their upbringing.

Matthew Franck on "The Vindication of Mark Regnerus"

Today on Public Discourse, Matt Franck discusses new analyses that confirm Mark Regnerus's findings. The second in a two-part series.

"Yesterday on Public Discourse, I described the controversy that followed the publication of the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), led by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus. During a summer of unusual abuse, Regnerus remained largely silent but with his head unbowed. As autumn arrived, he found himself vindicated as an honest scientist by his university, with continued support from the journal editor who published his research.

In the November 2012 issue of Social Science Research, Regnerus has published a new article: “Parental same-sex relationships, family instability, and subsequent life outcomes for adult children: Answering critics of the new family structures study with additional analyses.”... How many children were raised by two women staying together from the child’s first birthday to his or her eighteenth? Just two. And how many such cases were there in the FGR category—of children raised by two men together for their whole childhood? Zero. This, out of an initial population of 15,000.I recite these numbers to make a point of my own that fairly leaps off the pages of Regnerus’s work: that family instability is the characteristic experience of those whose parents have same-sex relationships. This is what Regnerus is getting at when he says that critics who want him to treat stability as a “control variable” are actually “controlling for the pathways.” To go on an endless search for a sizable random sample of long-term, stable same-sex couples raising children is to miss the social reality in front of us, namely that they are conspicuously missing from the lives of children whose parents have same-sex relationships..."

PMW: Pro R-74 (Gay Marriage) Camp Continues Using Discredited Mailer

Preserve Marriage Washington on more misleading mailers from our cash-flushed opponents in Washington:

"Even though a campaign mailer was criticized by the news media as “misleading” and failing the “political smell test” when it targeted senior citizens in western Washington, gay marriage activists have sent it to seniors in the eastern part of the state anyway. The flyer, which recently hit mailboxes in the Tri-Cities and Spokane areas, suggests that if R-74 is rejected “many seniors would lose hard-earned health care, military or pension benefits” or “have to pay higher taxes on their Social Security benefits.” That is not true. See the mailer here.

That mailer was called “misleading” by The Tacoma News Tribune and The Olympian, both of which indicated the ad failed the “political smell test.”

... “The news media blew the whistle on gay marriage activists when they tried this deceitful ploy in western Washington. Now, they are trying to pull one over on seniors in the eastern part of the state,” said Chip White, Preserve Marriage Washington Communications Director.

Calling this “a Pinocchio-style lie,” White added, “This is a scare tactic that stirs up fear on the part of seniors. Gay marriage supporters need to stop trying to trick senior citizens. Shame on them.”

MFM: "Minnesota Gay Marriage Advocates Mislead, Distort Facts"

Minnesota for Marriage pushes back on misleading claims by their opponents:

"The claim of marriage amendment opponents, most recently including some doctors, that 25 years of research supports the conclusion that there are “no differences” in outcomes between children raised in gay and lesbian households and kids raised in intact homes by their mother and father is false. As chronicled in the journal Social Science Research there is no scholarly rigorous body of scientific research that supports the idea that children raised in gay or lesbian households do as well as or better than children living in an intact home with their married mother and father.  In fact, the most recent, peer-reviewed research casts serious doubt on the “no differences” claim and suggests that there may in fact be significant differences

"The statements made by some doctors and gay marriage advocates that dedication and love is the primary factor in child well-being relies on the underlying premise that family structure does not matter—a claim which is both unsupported by significant data and an assault on common sense,” said Jason Adkins, Minnesota for Marriage vice chairman. “Men and women are not interchangeable parts or parents. We continue to ask gay marriage advocates which parent is insignificant or less important for a child, a mother or father, and they and their allies continue to ignore the question and move into the realm of agenda-driven politics."