Fact-checking the Fact Checkers
John Adams famously quipped that, “Facts are stubborn things.” If only the media’s so-called “fact checkers” wouldn’t be so stubbornly biased, the facts might just get a fair hearing. After the House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) last week, The Washington Post fact checked Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), giving her 3 undeserved “Pinocchios,” for saying: “The president’s health-care law authorized massive subsidies to assist millions of Americans to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand… hard-earned taxpayer dollars are now being used to pay for elective abortions.”
FRC wrote last year about the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which revealed that taxpayer-funded subsidies helped pay for 1,036 ObamaCare plans which cover abortion on demand. Even The Washington Post conceded much of Rep. Foxx’s claim when they wrote, “abortion charges would range from 0.2 percent to 0.65 percent of an enrollee’s monthly bill.” The issue isn’t how much, but whether taxpayer subsidized plans cover elective abortion at all.
ObamaCare violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by subsidizing insurance plans that cover abortion. Since ObamaCare appropriated funds directly to health plans, the money is not subject to the Hyde Amendment. As to the ObamaCare shell game in which people pay an abortion surcharge which is supposed to be “separate” from federal funds, GAO found that insurers were not complying with the separate billing requirements. Even worse, the HHS proposed regulations in November on the “separate payment” but are only about how to bill it separately, not keep the money separate. Regardless, even if insurers did keep the abortion fees separate from federal funds, ObamaCare is still paying people to purchase plans with elective abortion coverage, which is the objection Rep. Foxx made in the first place.
The Post’s Fact Checker needs to get its facts straight. Rep. Virginia Foxx and pro-lifers were right to pass H.R. 7.
SPLC: Not an Honest Broker
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) touts itself as an honest broker, the cop on the beat, when it comes to assessing whether an organization is a “hate group.” It produces a list with different categories of offenders like Nazi and KKK affiliates. But, the SPLC also attacks groups, including FRC, that it labels as “anti-LGBT.” Most of these organizations like FRC appear to be merely Christian organizations that are defending the tenets of the orthodox faith on matters of sexuality and marriage.
Well, it turns out that the SPLC actions over the past weekend demonstrate clearly, if anyone needed more evidence, that the SPLC is not an honest broker when it comes to LGBT politics. Rather, it is an aggressive, partisan organization with a clear leftist political and social agenda.
Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade issued a ruling in Searcy v. Strange holding that Alabama’s marriage amendment was unconstitutional. Even though the SPLC did not represent the plaintiffs it issued a press release trumpeting the decision:
“This historic ruling is a giant step toward full equality for LGBT people in Alabama and does not harm anyone….”
It turns out that the SPLC is trying to overturn Alabama’s male-female definition of marriage in another case, Hard v. Bentley, in which it does represent the plaintiff.
The crucial point here is for the American news media. The SPLC should not be allowed to play in the game and then be the umpire behind home plate. Yet, the press has overlooked SPLC’s playing both roles in the same-sex marriage debate. The SPLC is clearly committed to a full-blown LGBT agenda. They have a right to do that. However, they should not then be permitted to defame their opponents for political advantage in an underhanded effort to fix, define, and destroy their opposition.
The press needs to wise up here and recognize the SPLC’s hate list for what it is – a political weapon designed to give them what the truth does not – an advantage.
Jindal Defends the Faith
Over the weekend, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal articulated what most Christians understand; at the heart of what ails America is not a political problem, but a spiritual one:
“We can’t just elect a candidate and fix what ails our country. We can’t just pass a law and fix what ails our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country.
"It is like God has given us the book of life. He doesn’t let us see the pages for today and tomorrow, he doesn’t promise us everything will go the way you want, but he does let you see the last page in the book of life. And on the last page, our God wins.”
The comments caught the attention of ABC News’ anchor George Stephanopoulos, who quizzed the Governor in an interview on Sunday. “I was struck by the final line, ‘our God wins,’” Stephanopoulos said. “How do you think that lands in a country of 320 million people, of many different kinds of spirituality, many different kinds of faith, many who believe in no god at all?” Governor Jindal responded that he is simply following a long tradition: “It is a time-honored tradition, going back to our nation’s founding, for our presidents, for our leaders to turn to God for guidance, for wisdom. George Washington did it, Abraham Lincoln did it, Harry Truman did it,” he said. “So, absolutely I think this idea of praying to God for wisdom and guidance is as old as our country.” Governor Jindal is exactly right. This is our nation’s history and even today, despite what some in the media would have you believe, the vast majority of Americans continue to recognize God. Three quarters identify as Christians in a recent Gallup survey and more than 9 in 10 “believe in God.”
Despite all the challenges facing America, we should have real hope that there are many people and leaders like Governor Jindal who are standing more boldly than ever before. They’re following the prescription of Scripture to humble themselves before the Lord and pray for the nation. May we be encouraged, as the Psalmist was, that “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.”
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.