Bend it Like Benham

The best bit of good news I have seen is this report from the Hollywood Reporter suggesting multiple other networks are considering picking up the series “Flip it Forward” that HGTV cancelled.

Since Carrie Prejean was hounded off the national stage for the crime of answering the question, should every state have gay marriage, with a polite “no,” Hollywood and the entertainment industry have made their point of view crystal clear: The glamour of television and movies is not for people who believe marriage is the union of a husband and a wife.  (The pageant judge who videotaped himself and posted the video calling Ms. Prejean the “c-word” was welcomed back to judge more young would-be beauty queens—what does that tell us? And when Carrie’s not atypical California teenager’s sexual/romantic history was exposed for the clear malicious purpose of “slut-shaming” her to retaliate for her refusal to recant on gay marriage, not a single progressive voice rushed to her defense.)

Duck Dynasty’s survival was the first crack in this new and quite literal McCarthyism, the one sign of hope that the new blacklist was not impenetrable, some could seep through.  True, the Robertson’s Duck Dynasty was a monster hit network-sustaining franchise player.  But when the family who would not recant faced down a network whose economic survival depended on this hit franchise, the entertainment industry and its LGBT allies relented: that show at least could go on.

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This Generation’s Roe v. Wade

Dear friend,

Next week, the Supreme Court will probably rule on two marriage cases. They will decide whether 7 million Californians who passed Prop 8 have the Constitutional right to vote to define marriage as one man and one woman, and whether Congress can so define marriage for the limited purpose of federal law.

Pundits are predicting a messy, hard-to-interpret decision, possibly refusing to issue any ruling on the substance on the grounds neither the House nor Prop 8 proponents have standing.

Pundits have also worked overtime the last few months to reassure the Court that it can rule for gay marriage without fear of creating another Roe v. Wade.

On June 10, for example, the Christian Science Monitor published an op ed by James Richardson, a self-described “conservative communication strategist” who worked for the RNC and Jon Huntsman, “Why Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling Won’t Be like Roe v. Wade.”

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Breakthrough News: How Two Moms Took Down the Common Core

Dear Friend,

Meet Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle.

You can see them just below with APP’s Emmett McGroarty (whom Heather calls “The General” of the movement to repeal the Common Core) at a historic bill-signing ceremony with Indiana Governor Mike Pence making Indiana the first state to “pause” the Common Core State Standards.


I know Emmett well and I’ve admired his thoughtfulness, his grit, and his determination to rollback what was essentially a secret plan between D.C. trade groups, the Gates Foundation, and the Obama administration to foist a set of untested standards on virtually every state in America.

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The Line Between Good and Evil

Dear friend,

Here is the question that lies so heavy on so many hearts:

What “radicalized” the brothers Tsarnaev?

How could these two young refugees, whom Americans welcomed with open arms, turn so viciously against us all?  What is it that turns young men into monsters?


The elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, seemed to fit our stereotypes of the Jihadist among us: friendless, failing, restless, a sudden turn to religious fervor, overseas travel. In the first few days, it was hard for the media to find any American who claimed to know and like Tamerlan.

What about Dzhokhar, the younger brother?  This 19 year old came over as a young child, grew up among us, an athlete, a good student, winner of a scholarship from Cambridge, one whose life abounded with American friends, all of whom testify he was a great guy, a normal kid, an American son.

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What Other Issue Has Experienced Such a Rapid Polling Shift as Marriage?

Over at Family Scholars, David Blankenhorn posted a graph of the shift in public opinion on gay marriage (in response to the question “legal or illegal?),  and suggests, “I can’t recall any issue on which U.S. opinion has changed this quickly“.
Here’s another recent example, from 1996 to 1998 “With respect to abortion do you consider yourself pro-life or prochoice?”

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Maggie: Will We Bridge the Gender Divide?

Back in the year 2000, in the old new marriage conversation, we said in The Marriage Movement: A Statement of Principles (a statement I helped to draft):

“Marriage is a universal human institution, the way in which every known society conspires to obtain for each child the love, attention and resources of a mother and father.”

This year, the Institute for American Values released a call for a new marriage conversation, which says instead:  “because marriage is the main institution governing the link between the spousal association and the parent-child association, marriage is society’s most pro-child institution.”

That is the difference gay marriage makes in how we converse about marriage.

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Will President Obama Draft Julia?

Is President Obama willing to draft Julia?

The Obama administration framed its decision to put women into combat as a matter of choice and fairness.

“Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier,” outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “but everyone is entitled to a chance.”

But there is little about war that is either about choice or fairness.

Here’s a big question President Obama ought to be made to face head on: Is he willing to draft Julia on an equal basis with John and if not, why not?

Because President Obama has just gutted the legal rationale for excluding women from registering for the draft.

Why aren’t women required to register for the draft?  Because they are excluded from combat, the Selective Service System succinctly reports:

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A Tale of Two Rabbis

My friend David Blankenhorn has been exploring the role of doubt in civil society:

“I am not saying that persons who are rarely troubled by doubt aren’t civil, or can’t be civil. I know from personal experience that this isn’t true.  Nor I am saying that doubtful people are always civil; again, I know that this is not true,” Blankenhorn writes.

“But for the doubting person . . . civility is like oxygen.  It’s personally necessary.  Why?  Because without it, I can’t get what I need.”

What does the doubting person need? “The wisdom of the other. . . As a doubting person, civility is more than being nice.  Civility is part of what allows me to eat what I must eat and drink what I must drink.”

Blankenhorn seems to be preoccupied primarily by the lack of doubt shown by opponents of gay marriage, not the lack of doubt demonstrated by gay marriage supporters.  For years though, David has fought the tendency of his fellow liberals to dismiss and demean the insights of conservatives. For years, he successfully crafted a movement for marriage that set political ideology to one side and allowed good people to think new thoughts about marriage together.

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Farewell Optimism; Hello Hope

In Illinois, a dramatic story is unfolding: the supposedly slam dunk case for gay marriage in the lame duck suddenly stalled-out and failed. The state senate was supposed to be in session on Friday, passing gay marriage. Instead, the senate suddenly adjourned.

The sponsor of the gay marriage bill was still saying late on Thursday she hoped the Senate would reconvene and vote to pass gay marriage on Tuesday.  Perhaps.

But according to Fox News’s political editor Mike Flannery, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman said that even though Democrats control the Senate currently, and will increase their margin when the new Senate opens up on January 9 to 40 to 19, “without Republican votes, they’re unable to get gay marriage” passed.

Illinois Review asks “Is it possible that Downstate Democrats end up defeating the Chicago Liberals’ plans?”

I do not know what will happen in Illinois; deep in blue states dominated by one party, the Democrats, its going to be extraordinary if we can succeed in blocking gay marriage. Well, extraordinary things happen every day.

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