Right Opinion

A Concert of Evil

Tony Perkins · Oct. 3, 2017

Nothing could have prepared Americans for the news many of them woke up to Monday morning. After so many horrible tragedies, Sunday night’s massacre was a sickening shock to a country that has seen far too many evils lately. This nightmare, though, seemed different. In an instant, 22,000 people were transported from a breezy performance to a bloody war zone that would change their lives forever.

It’s a horrific tragedy for too many families, whose sons and daughters will never come home again. It’s a tragedy for every single survivor, who will bear the scars of that night for the rest of their lives. And it’s tragic for America, a country that has felt the intensity and frequency of these attacks multiply faster than anyone could have imagined.

For now, there’s no comfort in the facts. The motive of gunman Stephen Paddock is as unknown today as it was last night. ISIS claimed responsibility for radicalizing Paddock, warning months ago that Las Vegas would be the site of an attack. Authorities say there’s no evidence to support that claim. What we do know is that this was an act of unthinkable evil, one that reminds us all of the worst — and, in stories of Sunday night’s heroism, best — of humankind.

Until more is known, here’s what we can expect. There will be calls for greater restrictions on guns and gun ownership. While the victims’ families try to pick up the pieces of their lives, the last thing they need is to be in the middle of a national gun rights debate. And is that really the solution anyway? The government can’t make us safer until it recognizes that the problem isn’t the instruments of violence but the culture of it. The heart of the matter, as Dr. Ben Carson once said, is the matter of the heart. Gun control is merely dealing with the symptom. What about the real problem — the fact that we’ve gotten to a point in our “civil” society where people are seen as disposable? What has brought our country to a place where we no longer value human beings created in the image of God? A God, I might add, that some Americans are punished for even invoking.

Maybe it’s time we stepped back, as a nation, and considered what’s happened since we removed the Judeo-Christian foundation that anchored this country from its cradle. That knowledge is what teaches us that human beings are intrinsically valuable because they carry the image of God. Without it, people’s understanding of the worth of life is dramatically reduced, especially when it’s replaced with a view that human beings are the product of chance. If anything, Sunday night should have shown more people what this survivor realized: There is a God, and finding Him is the most important thing we can do.

What happened at that outdoor festival should be an opportunity for earnest soul-searching in this nation. It’s time to recognize that the cure for violence isn’t in Washington. It’s in the hope and the healing offered through faith in God, the same faith that has sustained our nation for two and a half centuries of very dark days like this one.

Originally published here.

House of Pain: GOP Moves Bill to End Unborn Agony

These last few months, suffering seems to be everywhere we turn. It’s in thousands of miles of wreckage left behind from deadly hurricanes, an early-morning baseball practice turned violent, and now, a blood-stained concert floor. But there are also horrors that no American hears about — like the excruciating pain unborn children are experiencing every day.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may not be able to stop the hurting in places like Las Vegas or the devastation of the storms on the coast, but he and other pro-life leaders in Congress can do something to save thousands of other lives. Today, Leader McCarthy will put a bill on the floor that will help end the torture of countless babies in the womb. “The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, and the marginalized,” he said. “It will protect those children who science has proven can feel pain, and give them a chance to grow and live full and happy lives. We have an obligation to speak and defend for those who can’t speak for themselves. I welcome every member of the House and the Senate to unite together and say that when children can feel pain, when you can see their noses and ears, when you can hear their heartbeats and feel their movement — at the very least we can all agree these children should be protected.”

After two tries, the House finally has the chance to send this legislation to the desk of a president who wants to end America’s culture of killing. “Not only will passing this legislation keep a promise we made,” McCarthy explained, “but all the work is for the same goal: ending suffering and helping people live.” In a world as advanced as ours, there’s absolutely no excuse for subjecting innocent children to such barbaric treatment. The science is conclusive: Every baby whose life is ended by abortion after 18 weeks feels the agony of abortion. (Other studies argue it’s much earlier.) Either way, there is absolutely no excuse for allowing abortion past five months — which, apart from seven countries, every nation in the world agrees on.

Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, who 30 years ago became one of the first researchers of fetal pain, has testified that nerve endings in a developing child spread to all parts of the skin and tissues by the 20th week. Some scientists even believe that babies at this stage can feel pain more acutely than a full-term newborn. Why? Because they have the highest number of pain receptors per square inch at this stage, and the fibers that help moderate that pain don’t develop until the 32nd week. “If the fetus is beyond 20 weeks of gestation, I would assume that there will be pain caused to the fetus,” Dr. Anand explained. “And I believe it will be severe and excruciating pain.”

Unfortunately, the Left is so fiercely protective of America’s culture of killing and sex without concern of the consequences that it’s unwilling, even for a second, to consider the torture abortion inflicts on defenseless babies. When it comes to animals, liberals are all for humane treatment. But when it comes to actual children, they turn their backs. And that’s not just indefensible, it’s extreme. Six in 10 Americans want to stop abortion at the 20-week mark.

As divided as the country may be on abortion, there is plenty of agreement on the rights of suffering children. That’s why President Trump called the bill a “high priority.” In a world torn apart by so many tragedies, let’s end the suffering we can. Join us in calling on the House to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Originally published here.

Parents Win the Pronoun Showdown in Florida

At Canopy Oaks Elementary, school officials may be learning the most important lesson of all. After a teacher sent a letter home to parents encouraging gender-confusion in the classroom, the district became a nationwide headline. “One thing you should know about me,” she wrote in a memo that went viral, “is that I use gender-neutral terms. My prefix is Mx. (pronounced Mix). Additionally, my pronouns are ‘they, them, their’ instead of ‘he, his, she, hers.’ I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural, but in my experience, students catch on pretty quickly.”

Most parents weren’t about to let her radical agenda catch on quickly — or at all. Phone calls and emails started pouring into the Tallahassee school office, where the principal initially defended the idea. Insisting “Mx. Bressack” was within her rights only made families more determined. Last week, that determination paid off. “On Tuesday, the Leon County School District announced that Ms. Bressack would be transferred to an adult basic education program effective immediately.” With Bressack refusing to back down, Superintendent Rocky Hanna decided to take action. “Given the complexity of this issue, we both agreed a different environment would be best for Teacher Bressack’s educational career and for the young students at Canopy Oaks.”

It was a huge victory for parents, who, like most Americans, don’t think this is appropriate subject for schools to broach — let alone with kids as young as eight and nine! This should be a sign to families across the country that more moms and dads need to speak out. Every day, there’s another Canopy Oaks in the news, trying to force its dangerous ideology on students, and these are just the ones we hear about. We can either keep addressing the symptoms or we can treat the cause.

The society we all live in is being shaped by these institutions of liberal indoctrination. It’s time for more Christian parents to run for their local school boards — whether their kids are in the government schools or not. Today’s lesson plans that are in the headlines are tomorrow’s policies in government. The only way to stop headlines like this one is for moms and dads to get involved in local government today before bad decisions are made!

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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