NRO: 3 Things I Will Not Fear… And 3 Things I Still Do

We live in a world where we are urged to be in a constant state of fear. Through the Internet we are bombarded with horror stories, most of which are true, but most of which we and our loved ones will also never face. Some people want us to be afraid of this or that because they want to use our fear to elect the politicians they prefer. Managing fear rationally may be the cognitive and spiritual challenge of our times.

So for now, I’ve decided on four things about which I am not going to worry:

One: Unlike 46 percent of Americans, I am not very afraid of a terrorist attack on Americans on American soil. Yes, it could happen, and in fact has, whether it was September 11 or a lone Oklahoma beheader or a jihadist attack on Fort Hood. But I am personally tired of being afraid of a bunch of ugly fanatics gripped by a culture of death whose greatest weapon to date was the use of razor blades to turn our jets into bombs to be used against us. I fly a lot, and I may go down with a plane someday, but I do not choose to worry about this. Plain and simple: I refuse to be terrorized by this kind of stupid, low-tech, hateful, temporary, small, ugly triumph. Yes, we need to take terrorism seriously, but we also need to realize that this is just not the same level of threat as a worldwide Communist empire pointing massive armies and nuclear weapons at the West. Refuse to be terrorized.

Two: Unlike 36 percent of Americans, I am not very worried that someone is going to take away your daughters’ contraceptives. (I personally gave up the use of artificial contraception in favor of natural family planning when I married in the Catholic faith; but fear not, the worldwide Catholic Church has no plans to invade your bedrooms and prevent you from using contraceptives if you choose.) And don’t worry that your employer is going to take away your contraceptives either. Worst-case scenario from the Hobby Lobby case, if you work for a small, privately owned family firm whose owners object to funding abortion pills, they may tell the government they object to paying for such insurance coverage. The government will inform the insurance company, which will then provide the coverage for free, because paying for birth control and/or abortifacients is cheaper than paying for babies. Don’t worry, anxious moms, you can sleep easy at night about this one.

Read the Full Article at National Review Online

Newsmax: Maggie Gallagher on Mike Huckabee Threat to Leave GOP

Matt Towery, a GOP pollster and debate expert, said that Huckabee potentially bolting from the party would “be a huge issue for Republicans.”

“They can ill-afford a very credible conservative leader shearing away any of their vote in the general election, if he were to get on the ballot in some of the states where that is an issue of significance,” he said.

But Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the conservative American Principles Project, said that “many ordinary voters are going to be grateful” should Huckabee strike out on his own.

“He is the kind of man who speaks from the heart, not the pundits’ polling playbook,” she said. “For the last eight years, ‘professional Republicans’ in D.C. have urged GOP candidates to remain silent on some of the core moral issues of our time.”

Read the Full Article Here

Maggie Gallagher Quoted on Synod Agenda

The current crisis in marriage and family life arises from “a cult of momentary well-being,” stated Cardinal Peter Erdö, the relator general of the 2014 Synod of the Family. In his opening speech, one which traditionally sets the tone for the whole synod, the Cardinal emphasized that “many look upon their lives not as a life-long endeavour but a series of moments in which great value is placed on feeling good … . The future appears threatening, because it may happen that in the future we will feel worse.”

This view of the current marriage crisis is shared by Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage and the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. “Too many of us no longer believe it is possible to make a lifetime vow of love and live up to it,” so we become trapped in “alienation from our deepest longings,” she explained.

Read the Full Article at Aleteia

The Forgotten Freedom: Freedom of Association

Following a new ruling in California, religious clubs on campus cannot require their leaders to be religious. 

would prefer to be turning my gaze to a new subject, but reality keeps yanking me back.

In the last few weeks, the government of the State of California, acting through the California State University, has announced that Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and any other religious groups now have second-class status at public universities. All campus groups must permit any campus member into the leadership of their organizations. Jewish groups cannot require their leaders to be Jews. Christian groups cannot require that their leaders adhere to Christian beliefs.

The Supreme Court permitted public universities to declare this policy in the narrowly and wrongly decided Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which is a cancer upon our democracy and a disgrace to our democratic ideals.

Read the full article at the National Review Online

Daily Signal on Libertarian Panel at Values Voter Summit

Adding it’s voice to the Christian Post report on the panel, the Daily Signal also covered Maggie at the Values Voter Summit.

“All of the tensions that social conservatives and libertarians have comes from the perception that social issues are holding the Republican Party back,” said Maggie Gallagher, an author and conservative commentator. “But social issues are being scapegoated. The Republicans [in 2012] had a poor economic message.”

Read the full article at the Daily Signal

Christian Post: Panel Finds Religious Freedom Can Unite Libertarians and Social Conservatives

WASHINGTON — With conservative Christians and libertarians sharing common ideologies that stand against big government and federal overreaching, the two groups’ need to put aside their few differences and unite in order to defeat a Democratic agenda that “assaults” American liberties, a panel of prominent social conservatives agreed Saturday.

Speaking at a Family Research Council panel at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C.,a social conservative pollster, political commentator and campaign advisor for Sen. Rand Paul, R- Ky., discussed the importance of getting the two ideological groups on the same voting path to solidify their stances against issues like big-government overeaches and infringement on personal and religious liberties.

…”For me, the separation [of the two groups] has always been a little odd,” conservative commentator Maggie Gallagher said. “A lot of the tensions that we are experiencing between social conservatives and libertarians, some of it is specific to the issue of gay marriage. A lot of it comes from the perception by many libertarian donors that social issues is what is holding the Republican Party back.”

However, Conway added that libertarians and social conservatives mostly agree on their stance against abortion. While not all libertarians are pro-life, Stafford agreed with Conway by saying that more libertarians are pro-life than people realize.

Read the Full Article Here

National Review: Pew Reports Gay Marriage Support Falling, Below 50%

The Pew Forum just released a fascinating new poll on religion in public life. Among the headlines: 72 percent of Americans say the influence of religion on politics is declining, and the vast majority of these people say that’s a bad thing. Most Americans do not want churches to endorse candidates for office, though support for the idea is growing, rising from 24 percent in August 2010 to 32 percent today. By a wide margin, Americans are more likely to see the Republican party (47 percent) as friendly to religion than they are the Democrats (29 percent), but it is noteworthy that less than half of Americans see the GOP as religion friendly.

The proportion of Americans who perceive the Obama administration as “unfriendly” to religion has jumped from 17 percent in 2009 to 29 percent today. Among Americans who are Republican or lean Republican, the proportion who now view Obama’s administration as hostile to religion has jumped 22 points, from 32 percent to 54 percent. But even among Democrats there has been a 4-percentage-point increase in those who perceive hostility to religion, and among black Protestants the increase is 7 percentage points.

To me the most surprising news in the poll is that 36 percent of American voters actually list “Birth Control” as among their top concerns. Between a stagnant paycheck, rising debt, and the Islamic State, don’t we have enough things to terrify us without making stuff up?

But the poll was also remarkable for showing a rather dramatic drop in support for gay marriage in one year, after years of uninterrupted rises. Do you favor “allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally” is an imperfect question, but it does allow tracking across time. Overall support for gay marriage dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent.

Read the Full Article Here

NRO: No Wave for the GOP

Republicans need to fire the consultants who urge the party to mute social issues. 

The latest polls suggest the GOP now has only a 50–­50 chance of retaking the Senate.

There needs to be a mass layoff — of highly paid GOP consultants. Otherwise we risk a repeat of 2012, when overconfident Republicans in the middle of the worst economy since the 1970s became convinced that all they had to do to win was not be Obama. And they lost.

Romney’s strategy was simple. On the social issues, avoid, downplay, mute. On the economic issues, sound vague, promise to help job creators, and wait for the other team to self-destruct.

The RNC’s “autopsy” of the 2012 election reinforced the idea that doing more of what didn’t work would be the pathway to victory. If only we add more women and more diverse ethnicities to the GOP ticket while avoiding Akin-esque gaffes, we can win. “Don’t do stupid stuff,” while always good advice, is no more a winning strategy for the GOP than it is a foreign policy for a great nation.

It didn’t work then, and it is not working now.

In the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove acknowledged that despite the horrible environment for Democrats “a GOP senate majority is still in doubt.” Why? The Architect is convinced that his model is sound — donors just need to open their wallets to the consultants to script more TV ads.

While Democrats are out-spending Republicans, and GOP donors should take notice and correct this, the relatively narrow spending gap would not make the difference in a wave election.

Take Monica Wehby’s struggling campaign in Oregon. The state is an outlier for Republicans today, so a Wehby victory there would represent a profound rejection of Democrats. Perhaps that is not to be expected. But she is the perfect test case for the RNC “autopsy” strategy: an attractive professional single mom who is pro-choice, and now pro–gay marriage. The Koch brothers have spent $1.6 million in TV ads, and yet Wehby’s poll numbers show she is losing ground. I think economic ads like this one are part of the reason why:

Read the Full Article Here

Maggie at Public Forum On Marriage and the State Next Week

Sept. 23: Public Forum on “The State and Marriage: Understanding Two Perspectives,” 7 p.m., Thomas Harrison Middle School

The Community Dialogue Project is a structured dialogue to present the community with two different perspectives on the law and public policy concerning marriage. The traditional position – that the legal definition of marriage should be restricted to unions of one man and one woman – will be presented by Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow with the American Principles Project. The view that the state should not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual unions in defining marriage will be presented by James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. For more information, contact The Community Dialogue Project at CommunityDialogueProject@gmail.com.

Read the Original Post Here

Washington Times: “Women Problem” Not What the GOP Thinks

- – Monday, September 15, 2014

Two prominent GOP groups recently issued a report, based on eight focus groups and a poll of 800 registered female voters, on the GOP’s “women” problem. As usual, media accounts zeroed in like a laser on the question of abortion, and here, despite many strong points, the report suggests a variant of the so-called truce strategy. “Deal honestly with any disagreement,” the report recommends, “then move to other issues.”

In our critique of similar thinking by the Republican National Committee in its autopsy, “Building a Winning GOP Coalition,” we argued that this analysis of the abortion issue gets the political truth exactly backward: The more we run away from, or mute our voice on, the life issue, the less voters trust the GOP, the more Democrats are allowed to define the GOP brand on the life issue as “anti-woman,” and the fewer new voters we attract, especially among Hispanics and other new Americans.

As hard as it is to see from Washington, women’s problems with the GOP are not being driven by abortion. The May 2013 Gallup survey we cited in our report showed that when women were asked whether they favored making all or most abortions legal or illegal, the GOP’s overall position was preferred, 57 percent to 40 percent.

When we look at how women respond to the actual policy proposals that GOP candidates are making and defending on the campaign trail, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposal to limit abortions at 20 weeks, or after five months of pregnancy, based on the child’s ability to feel pain, women favor the GOP’s position by a margin of 2 to 1 or more.

In fact, women favor a 20-week, five-month limit by even larger margins than men do, as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake acknowledged in an article titled, “Guess Who Likes the GOP’s 20-Week Ban? Women.” Mr. Blake cites a Quinnipiac poll showing that 60 percent of women support the proposal, 10 points higher than men. Only 25 percent of women said they’d instead prefer a 24-week limit, giving the 20-week, five-month limit an incredible 35-point edge among women.

GOP candidates have a real opportunity to make the Democrats pay a political price for their increasing abortion extremism, positions that turn off women even more deeply than they do men.

So if it is not abortion, what is the GOP’s real problem with women?

A Crossroads GPS/American Action report takes steps to acknowledge what should be obvious — economic issues, not social issues — are driving women’s doubts about the GOP. When asked during the 2012 American National Election Survey whether the economy would be better if a Democrat or a Republican won, women picked Democrats 49 percent to 31 percent. Similar uncertainties about what electing Republicans would mean for their pocketbooks also drove the youth gap (51 percent to 27 percent) and the Hispanic vote (57 percent to 23 percent).

There are signs both Democrats and Republicans are now slowly beginning to understand that.

Read the Full Article Here