Uncivil Rights: Group Demands Takedown of Video Supporting Sick Child
Harper Smith is a 4-year-old little girl battling an illness for which she has been hospitalized. Members of the Lake City, Michigan community gathered in a football field in a heartfelt demonstration of support for Harper’s family. Attendees called it a “family circle,” and a pastor had offered prayer. Harper’s father, Kyle Smith, is the head coach of the Lake City High School football team.
The football team livestreamed the gathering on its Facebook page. Their message: #harperstrong. It is the clarion call for what has become a community-wide movement to support a suffering child. A friend of the family said that even other football teams have marked their helmets with the message #harperstrong.
Under the looming threat of litigation, the school reluctantly took the video down after the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists cried foul and claimed that school property “has to remain free from religion.” Under this group’s logic, it is essentially unconstitutional to share a video on a public school’s Facebook page if it shows people gathering anywhere on or near government property.
We have seen this before. The threat of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in litigation is a common scare tactic used by groups who seek to eviscerate religion from the public square. Americans United for Separation of Church and State pulled the same stunt against a public school in Bossier County, Louisiana after the school contracted with a faith-based business to run an advertisement that displayed the business’s logo, a cross, and its name, which included the word “Christ.” Fortunately, that school fought back and ultimately voted to keep the advertisement on the football field.
The Constitution protects the people from the government establishment of religion. It does not protect anti-faith groups from viewing a gathering of community support and belief in a higher purpose. The remarkably uncivil civil rights group claims that the video “clearly” promotes religion. As noted above, the only message attached to the video is “#harperstrong.” Attendees called it a “family circle.” The only thing clear is that this school sought to support a family and their precious little girl in a time of need.
It is the latest faulty argument from a group that wants to prohibit any display of belief in the public square. Even if the group was successful in taking down the video, it cannot take away the outpouring of support from a community that is #harperstrong.
Originally published here.
Taxpayer-funded Study Pushes Dangerous Agenda
For progressive activists, nothing can stand in the way of their agenda — not even the health and well-being of children.
In a disturbing report from Breitbart, it was revealed that liberal activists embedded within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently carrying out a taxpayer-funded study to the tune of $5.7 million that is designed to result in a pre-determined conclusion: that children with gender dysphoria should be “affirmed” in their chosen gender identity through the use of puberty-blocking drugs and sterilizations.
A source with detailed knowledge of the as yet unreleased study which began in the Obama era said that it is:
…affirming gender change with family and environmental support in children as young as five years, and using puberty blockers and cross sex hormone treatment in children at the initial onset of puberty which could be as young age 8-9 years, and then following them for only five years.
In a blatantly obvious example of conflict of interest, the four researchers who are conducting the NIH study each run their own private practices that encourage “affirmation therapy” for children who are experiencing gender dysphoria. What’s more, the children who are participating in the study are the same ones who are receiving “therapy” from the four researchers!
The dangers of undergoing a “gender transition” have already been well documented by FRC and many other organizations. For children in particular, the physical effects of hormone blockers are heartbreaking, as confirmed by doctors at Johns Hopkins University:
“Puberty suppression hormones prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics, arrest bone growth, decrease bone accretion, prevent full organization and maturation of the brain, and inhibit fertility,” Hruz, Mayer, and McHugh write in a Supreme Court brief filed in the Gavin Grimm case. They go on to list other possible side effects of cross-gender hormones, oral estrogen, and testosterone, including sterility, coronary disease, cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure, and breast cancer.
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that if children who show signs of gender dysphoria are simply not injected with drugs, they will most likely grow out of it naturally. And, as endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw has said, the long-term health effects of taking puberty-blocking drugs is not known because, understandably, almost no studies have been done on the subject. “Children and adolescents who take puberty blockers cannot possibly provide informed consent for taking these medications and the resulting lifelong consequences, nor can their parents,” Laidlaw told Breitbart. As Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins has said, the use of puberty-blocking drugs to prevent the body’s natural development is “child abuse.”
The NIH affirmation therapy study is just the latest abuse of taxpayer dollars, on the heels of the FDA’s grisly excursion into baby body parts experimentation. NIH also continues to fund roughly $95 million on basic research using organs from aborted babies. With both of these agencies housed under the Department of Health and Human Services, it is time for HHS to fund alternatives as soon as possible, and stop the unethical use of taxpayer dollars.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.