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Scouts sending up the white flag

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen
June 8, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – And now, the last words I’ll ever write about the Boy Scouts. 
  
 
Do you know, Scoutmasters, what you have done?  You were the last prominent public institution left standing that retained for yourselves some small shred of that forgotten but foundational freedom, the freedom of association. It should have been repugnant to a people loving liberty that anyone would hale you before any court in the land, much less the Supreme Court, to compel you to alter your standards for membership in the Scouts – standards that have gotten fairly lax at that. 
 
Instead, because we are no longer ruled by a Constitution delimiting organs of government and their relationship with one another, but by a cultural creed invented by an elite in positions of influence and power, and pretending to be our “Constitution,” you were sued, and you won your case, by the skin of your teeth. And our teeth, too – but you seem to have forgotten that.
    
 
You were also the last public institution whose mission was specifically directed to the moral, educational, and social health of boys. It is no surprise that when boys and girls are taught at home, the boys prove to be quite teachable; they do not fail, as they do in our schools. That is not because homeschooling is particularly beneficial to boys, but because our schools have become pernicious to them. 
 
Have you not read or heard of Professor Summers’ work, The War on Boys? Did it not occur to you that boys, aggressive by nature, often antsy and jumpy, sometimes ready at a signal to launch into rebellion, have their peculiar shortcomings that a feminized and bureaucratized school is ill-equipped to handle, and peculiar strengths, which those places cannot foster? 
 
Or choose not to foster: for it is hard to believe that even today’s crop of schoolteachers can be entirely ignorant of the nature of boys, so that when they starve them of the adventure stories they would enjoy, or starve them of examples of chivalrous manhood to which they might aspire, they do so knowing that they will languish. They either accept that as a necessary evil, or they wish it. 
 
For the boy, everywhere he turns, it is either get along with the feminist program, or get lost. 
    
 
Everywhere, that is, except for the Boy Scouts. Did that not occur to you? Did you really think you were hated even though you helped boys to grow into a healthy manhood?  When city councils were busy driving you out of your own lodgings while voting funds for Gay Pride parades and additional policemen to crack down on gangs, did you think that they were simply inattentive or inconsistent? Did you really think that they actually held the old ideals dear, but just wanted you to reach out to one or two sexually confused boys?
 
When they were condemning you for resisting the idea that men who are sexually attracted to boys should be in charge of troops of boys, did you not notice that they were also busy condemning Catholic bishops for hiding priests who had acted upon the very same attractions?  Did you think they were just incoherent? Did you not understand that they hated you for the virtues you still upheld, although now only sporadically and confusedly? 
    
 
You will say that you needed to concede some small territory to relieve the pressure of lawsuits, and to extend the goodness of Scouting to more boys. And that alone shows that you do not know what you have done. You now profess yourselves agnostic on the nature of boys – you do not know the plain facts of the case. You cannot bring yourselves to acknowledge that boys are for girls and girls are for boys; that a boy is to become a man, and if he finds a woman who will accept him, to become a husband and a father in his turn. 
 
That is not tactical retreat. It is total surrender. You have given up the flag. You have reneged on the very principle of your existence. You are like the hapless David Blankenhorn, who for many years waged a wearisome battle to remind people that children need fathers, and who was reviled for it almost everywhere he turned.  And now Mr. Blankenhorn has given up, and says that he supports the logical and biological impossibility of same-sex marriage; and he does not know that that renders his crusade for fatherhood meaningless. 
 
For if we ignore the biological fact that anybody can see, we surely are not going to pay attention to the less obvious anthropology. If sex does not matter for sex, it is not going to matter for anything else. 
    
 
Blankenhorn gave up the principle. You have done that too. You are a tree now dead at the core. You will continue to show signs of life, as such trees do. You will sprout some leaves, and provide some shade, but you are dead. 
 
You may be like the Young Men’s Christian Association, some years after the decision was made no longer to be Christian, and no longer to attend specifically to the physical, educational, vocational, and spiritual needs of young men. About the time, perhaps, when the Village People composed their jaunty and odious song about trawling for boys at the YMCA. 
    
 
Do not suppose that your enemies will be placated by your surrender. You will be pressured to accept openly homosexual scoutmasters, then “transgender” girls who say they are boys or the Prince of Wales or male aliens from Alpha Centauri 3, then girls generally for all your programs, as they’ve done in Canada, only to see their membership go the way of the Church of Canada, since no one will stand up for someone who stands for nothing. 
    
 
You have betrayed your friends to assuage your enemies. May they treat you more handsomely than you have treated us.
 
This column first appeared on The Catholic Thing.  Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
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March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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Only 3 Days Left!

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By John-Henry Westen

I can’t believe how quickly our annual Spring campaign has flown by. Now,with only 3 days remaining, we still have $96,000 left to raise to meet our absolute minimum goal.

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