Thomas Peters

Media ok with Planned Parenthood government-funded political activity, but go after marriage group

Thomas Peters
By Thomas Peters

September 2, 2011 (LiveAction.org) - Last week the Associated Press breathlessly announced that federal grant money given to the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) may have helped support –gasp– political activity to protect the definition of marriage in Iowa state law.

While unable to find any smoking gun or direct evidence that what the Iowa Family Policy Center did with its award money was illegal, the AP author Ryan Foley goes on to detail how the money was used to do things like pay for employee salaries, rent, telephone and internet expenses.

Why is this a double standard? Because I can’t remember the Associated Press or the mainstream media ever seriously inquiring into how Planned Parenthood uses its federal money. The IFPC was given a $2.2 million grant from 2006-2010, the AP reports. But official sources cited by Americans United for Life show that Planned Parenthood receives tens of millions of federal dollars a year. How much money exactly? No one seems to know — not even the U.S. Government Accountability Office!

Double standard? You bet. The mainstream media doesn’t even seem to care that no one besides Planned Parenthood knows exactly how much money Planned Parenthood is getting from the federal government every year. All we know is that they got $363 million in 2009 from all government sources, which includes state, federal, and local. I think this calls for an official audit, and one way to get there is for the mainstream media to demand transparency and accountability from the nation’s largest abortion provider.

After all, the simple truth is that federal grants are fungible, i.e., they go to support and pay for more than what they are precisely designated for (the taxpayer money Planned Parenthood receives in payment for “services” rendered acts as income which they use to support their other activities). This is the bait-and-switch Planned Parenthood always employs to claim that federal money doesn’t pay for abortions, when at the very least that federal money pays for all the other things that go into providing abortions, right down to the electric bill.

Check out some quotes from the AP article describing the Iowa Family Policy Center — I’ve substituted “Planned Parenthood” for the IFPC and some other details as well:

The $2.2 million received by the [Planned Parenthood] between 2006 and 2010 helped hundreds of Iowans receive [birth control and check-ups], according to the documents. But it also paid for part of the salaries of five employees, rent, telephone, Internet and other expenses while it was fighting [pro-life legislation and pro-life politicians] in Iowa.

Or look at this modified paragraph:

In the final grant year that ended Sept. 30, the group used $192,000 of the money to pay part of the salaries and benefits of five employees, including President [Cecile Richards], an activist known for lobbying and campaigning for [abortion].

One more, just to drive home the point:

Jeff Angelo, a former state senator who founded Iowa Republicans for Freedom, which supports [abortion], said he believes at least some tax money was used to further a political cause. “If you are putting money to support offices, phone and Internet services and the salary of someone whose main job is partisan political work, you can’t just argue in a very nebulous way this money was used to save [babies],” he said. “This doesn’t pass the test.”

Notice I didn’t have to change much in that paragraph at all.

Now let’s take a look at what an attorney interviewed by the AP had to say, and again do our little substitution:

Randall Wilson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, said it’s important to analyze how the money was used since it is an example of President [Obama’s efforts to support the abortion industry], which helped [pro-abortion] groups receive government funding. His group has requested additional documents about the grant hoping to learn whether the money was used appropriately.

“The other thing is, during this grant time the group was working to promote an agenda that included their involvement in politics in terms of trying to defeat [pro-life legislation],” he said. “It becomes concerning, too, when federal money subsidizes or potentially could have been used to subsidize a political effort.”

Here’s the point: if the mainstream media and politicians are so worried about groups possibly misusing federal funds, when are they going to investigate Planned Parenthood? When are they going to publish an article on Planned Parenthood’s political activity?

While they continue to refuse to do that, I’m calling them out for being guilty of a pro-abortion double-standard.

This post originally appeared at LiveAction.org. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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