WASHINGTON, D.C., January 29, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The annual State of the Union Address is a time for the president to unveil his political agenda for the coming year and ask Congress to pass it. But President Obama largely showed the nation how he would work around the institution through executive orders and regulations – boasting of his dedication to homosexuality and federally funded preschool, as he did last year.
At no point did he directly address abortion, something he avoided last year as well. He took the opportunity of the nation's most-watched political speech to say that ObamaCare is “fixing” the nation's health care sytem.
However, nestled in a paragraph about how First Lady Michelle Obama “sets a good example” for the country, Obama said, “Across the country, we’re partnering with mayors, governors, and state legislatures on issues from homelessness to marriage equality.”
“The point is, there are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments, and are moving this country forward,” he said.
Critics say the president's actions disregard the large percentage of Americans who reject redefining marriage and harm the nation as a whole.
“Tonight President Obama praised his administration's work to undermine the institution of marriage,” said Ryan T. Anderson, a marriage policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The federal government has no business redefining marriage. People (and their elected representatives), not the president or the courts, should make marriage policy in the states. And they should make policy that reflects the truth about marriage as a union of man and woman, husband and wife, so that children have a mother and a father.”
“The Obama Administration should instruct all agencies of the federal government to respect states’ authority over marriage and stop redefining marriage for a variety of federal purposes,” he said. “And government should not violate the rights of those who stand for marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”
The president said that supporting homosexuals is a part of the modern American identity. “We do these things because they help promote our long-term security,” he continued, and “because we believe in the inherent dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of race or religion, creed or sexual orientation.”
Obama followed that line with a reference to the upcoming Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia. The president and first-tier administration figures have boycotted the event, because Russia passed a popular law forbidding the spread of homosexual propaganda to children. Obama has instead appointed a delegation largely composed of homosexual athletes as his personal representatives.
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The president also revived his advocacy of federally funded preschool, something he mentioned in last year's State of the Union, saying he would “pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K they need.”
Studies show the results of Head Start, an $8 billion federal program, to be underwhelming, having no lasting effect on children who attend.
“In August 2013, Vanderbilt University released an evaluation demonstrating that children who went through Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K (TN-VPK) Program actually performed worse on cognitive tasks at the end of first grade than did the control group,” said Heritage Foundation expert Lindsey Burke.
Several people took exception more to what the president did not say than what he actually said.
“President Obama's remarks didn't address a key reason why our economy is just bumping along – the continued dissolution of the American family,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said. “An intact family is better off financially than one that is broken. Its children do better in school and graduate from college in greater numbers than those from broken homes.”
To some extent, the president – and his party's – policies bear responsibility for that, Perkins said, because they “penalize marriage and families, which are vital to economic fairness and success. It is unfair to penalize marriage in the tax code, and it doesn't make economic sense.”
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, who, in addition to being senior fellow at Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, acted as a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, said there was another problem: “He didn’t address religious liberty issues.”
“It was disconcerting for the president — who has seldom gone to church over the past five years and who has undermined religion in the public square — to mention people going to church and refer to pastors with faux respect,” she said.
Crouse said if Obama truly wants to “rebuild the trust of the people,” he “should apologize to the Hobby Lobby founders; entrepreneurs like them are the backbone of the American economy. He should express appreciation for people of faith and conviction like the Little Sisters of the Poor who have spent their lives helping others. He should give respect to the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and religious liberty for those who disagree with him, including GOP members of Congress.”