Too Few Mothers

2014 | Week of May 5 – #1044

Maybe you’ve seen that silly commercial for a website that helps people find good prices on hotels. A man dressed like a military official shows up and makes absurdly obvious statements about the room a family is considering. Family members refer to him as “Captain Obvious.” Today as we open this commentary I am assuming that role.
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Pornography: A Wink or A Crackdown?

2014 | Week of April 21 – #1042

According to news reports, since January of this year, the Chinese government has been undertaking a “Cleaning the Web 2014” project, resulting in over 100 web sites and over 3300 accounts being shut down because of obscene material and over 200,000 items containing pornographic material being deleted. Unlike in America, pornography is illegal in China.
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Easter: A Time for Strengthening Families

2014 | Week of April 14 – #1041

All of life makes sense in light of what we commemorate this Friday and celebrate this Sunday. Do your children know that? Are you taking advantage of what this week offers to not only build and honor your family’s traditions but also to build your family’s faith? Are you purposefully using this week to help your children share their faith?
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Your Election Wake-Up Call

2014 | Week of March 24 – #1038

So, do you know who is on your ballot for the upcoming election? If that question takes you by surprise, please allow this commentary to be your wake-up call on this important issue.

While thankfully we don’t have never-ending elections like we did a couple of years ago, 2014 is an election year, meaning in Wisconsin we have both spring and fall elections. The election on Tuesday, April 1, is our annual Spring Nonpartisan General Election.

Rather than a being a yawner, this should be one of the most important elections each year. This is the election when we elect to office those whose decisions most directly affect our individual and family lives. On Tuesday, April 1, citizens across this state will be voting for such offices as city mayors, city council members, county board supervisors, town and village board members, and school board members. Some areas will see contested municipal judge races and a few will have contested circuit court judge races.

When we have big elections such as the one coming this November when we will be electing a governor and lieutenant governor, all of our state assembly, half of our state senate, a new attorney general and all of our congressional delegation, many people get at least a little interested and involved. Sad to say, it’s way too often a different story for these spring local elections.

But consider the decisions these local officials make. They determine the assessed value of your home and property which figures into how much you pay in property tax. They determine what you can and cannot do with your property. They determine when and how roads will be built and maintained. They make decisions about curriculum in your local public schools, about what surveys will be administered, and how much school employees will be paid—using your tax dollars. They set the rules for whether or not sexually oriented businesses can move into your community and how many liquor licenses will be issued. They’re the ones who establish contracts with organizations such as Planned Parenthood. They hire the people who make up police and fire departments in your community and those who make sure the water is safe to drink.

That’s an incomplete list, to be sure. But I hope it gives you the proof you need so you understand that truly local government is the level of government that most directly impacts you and your family—every day in a multitude of ways.

The election on Tuesday, April 1 is important. In these elections, we’re often voting for people we know. On the ballot in my community are 3 people from my church. In local elections we frequently vote for friends, acquaintances, fellow church members, family members, neighbors. This should be the most important, not the least important election for us.

To find out what races and candidates will be on your ballot on Tuesday, April 1, you can either call your municipal clerk or visit myvote.wi.gov online. Both sources will give you the information you need. Many local newspapers also print the ballots the Thursday or Friday before the Tuesday election.

Once you know who is on your ballot, you need to make sure you find out what they stand for. It’s not too late to do that. It’s not too late until the polls close on Tuesday, April 1—which, by the way, is 8 p.m. statewide.

You can learn about the candidates by calling them directly—at home—because most don’t have offices for local elections. Ask them questions about why they are running, ask about issues you are concerned about, find out about their view of government, their background. Most local candidates today have websites. Check them out. Read the newspaper. Listen to the radio. Watch your local cable channel. Go to forums. Read literature they may be mailed or dropped off at your house. Call friends whom you trust and who you know are following local politics. The bottom line is it’s up to us as citizens to get educated on the candidates so we can vote our values.

Do yourself, your family and your community a favor. Get Tuesday, April 1 plugged into your electronic calendar. Circle it on your refrigerator calendar. Call friends and family members and make sure they, too, are ready to vote on Tuesday, April 1—and to truly vote their values by voting for people who will represent them well right in their own communities. Ignorance is no excuse. Let’s all be the Christian citizen and example we should be.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

The Power of Deception

2014 | Week of March 17 – #1037

“Everyone knows that race and gender are social constructs.”  That’s what I was told recently in a discussion involving whether or not it should be legal in Wisconsin for same-sex couples to adopt children.  Following that statement was one indicating that people who didn’t believe that were intellectually deficient.

After I was told I wasn’t very bright, I was told that physiology had nothing to do with parenting.  That reducing parenting to genitalia was, well, stupid.  Of course, I had not reduced parenting simply to body parts. Rather, I had made statements such as “the magic in parenting and child-rearing isn’t the number two but rather the complementarity the genders—male and female—bring to the effort”; and “no matter how hard two women try, they cannot be a dad to a child; and no matter how hard two men try, they cannot be a mom to a child.” Simply put, this discussion was a powerful reminder about the power of deception.

People who refuse to accept the authority of Scripture are easy prey for any lie and any perversion.  There really is no stopping point—even to the point of people creating alternate realities in which they try to live.  Doing so forces them to deny the obvious, to reject the real world and the very real people that God has created.

How does the rejection of Scripture happen at a cultural level? The denial of the Bible as a legitimate authority in our society is no longer relegated to ivory towers on college campuses; it is now becoming alarmingly and dangerously pervasive.

It takes time for such a cultural shift to happen—and I’m quite sure there is no hard and fast beginning date.   Perhaps we can go to 1925 when the now infamous Scopes trial took place in Tennessee, where the teaching of evolution in that state’s public schools was deemed illegal and was challenged by the ACLU in a set-up lawsuit. While the Tennessee Supreme Court ultimately upheld the law that the state legislature had passed, the trial highlighted the growing controversy over the authority of the Bible on origins.  This issue culminated in 1968 when the US Supreme Court ruled that laws such as Tennessee’s were unconstitutional because their primary purpose was religious.

Perhaps it dates to the early 1960s, when the US Supreme Court ruled in landmark cases that “school-sponsored” Bible reading and prayer were unconstitutional. Moving forward, many schools also stopped displaying the Ten Commandments.

The decade of the 1960s tested much of the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our nation.  With the presence of the Bible and its teachings less prevalent, less obvious, especially in our schools where students were under compulsory attendance laws 6-7 hours a day, more and more students began to question what they were hearing at home and in their churches.  College professors were growing bolder; new teachers came to public school classrooms filled with “make love; not war” and “anti-establishment” ideas emblazoned in their thinking.

Soon divorce became as easy as declaring one’s unhappiness and walking away.  The family unit began fracturing.

The family, throughout history, has been the main means of the generational transmission of Christianity, the main way the Bible has been read and taught to the next generation.  When that family unit breaks down and life becomes much harder to do as a single parent, much of this transmission goes away.  And when very little to nothing of the Truth of Scripture is taught in the schools the kids attend, when the Bible and Christianity are mocked in the media and entertainment worlds, the influence of the authority of God’s Word becomes lost in a society.  Frankly, it becomes irrelevant, a joke, a myth believed only by those whose intellect is weak, and those who do believe it are targeted as hateful and bigoted.

Once you deny a Creator, it’s really not such a big leap to denying that there is distinctly male and female and that these two genders are solely responsible for the propagation of and care for the next generation of humans.  A fabricated, unreal world that sees both humans and all of the universe as being in the image and mind of man replaces the simple but profound truth expressed as “In the beginning God” and “in the image of God.”

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

The Real War on Women

2014 | Week of March 10 – #1036

I agree.  There is a war on women.  But it’s not being waged by conservatives who are trying to pass pro-life legislation. The very real war on women is being waged by liberals and progressives with policies that harm women.

For starters, let’s talk about the excessive regulations on businesses that liberal progressives love. Such policies send a clear signal to women in general—we don’t want you starting a new business.  It’s not easy for anyone to raise the capital necessary to start a new venture, but it can be especially hard for women.   When regulatory policies heap on, they raise the cost of doing business, make compliance and reporting a nightmare, and basically make it impossible for women to pursue their dream of owning their own company. This is the real war on women. (more…)

Strangers in a Strange Land

2014 | Week of March 3 – #1035

“Believers will always be strangers in a strange land – the question is how much freedom they will have to follow that belief in that land as they become all the more out of sync with the times, and how much we will deploy government to compel them to violate that belief. And that’s one more reason why the culture wars are just getting started.”

That’s what Ben Domenech wrote in an online publication just one day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed that state’s recently passed religious freedom bill. (more…)

Of Casinos and Promises

2014 | Week of February 24 – #1034

The proposed off-reservation casino in Kenosha.  Governor Walker’s three criteria that must be met before he approves a new casino in Wisconsin. Remember that issue?

To refresh your memory, after years of seeking permission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., those pushing for a new casino in Kenosha were finally given the ok late last year. All that is left for that casino to become a reality is for Governor Walker to approve it. (more…)

Creature v. Creator

2014 | Week of February 17 – #1033

“Male and female created He them.” That’s what God’s Holy and definitive Word says about gender in the book of beginnings, Genesis.

It’s pretty clear that God created and intended for there to be only two sexes. He didn’t allow for more, make exceptions for more, discuss more, create more or anything of that nature.  God’s divine standard for gender is two—male and female—each distinctly different from the other.  God is not, I repeat, He is not confused about gender. (more…)

ACLU: Attacking Marriage; Usurping the Process

2014 | Week of February 10 – #1032

The debate went something like this, Attorney one: “If the people of Wisconsin want to change the definition of marriage, they can do that if they want to. But right now they’ve made a decision, and it’s a wise decision to promote both sexes, the diversity of mothers and fathers in our families.  That’s not an unreasonable thing at all, recognizing that kids have mothers and fathers. That’s the decision they’ve made, and they’ve made since the beginning of their statehood; and the Supreme Court has affirmed that that is constitutional for them to do.” (more…)

Spring Elections: Are You Ready?

2014 | Week of February 3 – #1031

Do you have anything highlighted on your calendar for Tuesday, February 18? Did you know that Tuesday, February 18 is Spring Primary Election day in Wisconsin?  Do you know that low-voter-turnout elections mean every vote is especially important and can make a huge difference in the results of any given race? (more…)

National Marriage Week 2014

2014 | Week of January 27 – #1030
French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his book Democracy in America that “There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.”  De Tocqueville’s book was published in 1835 after he had spent nearly two years traveling throughout America observing our culture, our politics, our way of life. (more…)

A Millennial Takes on Liberal Lies

2014 | Week of January 20 – #1029

Generation gaps aren’t new. Every younger generation thinks, at some point, those ahead of them are out of touch and are unwilling to try anything new.  And I suppose every older generation at some point thinks the younger set is still wet behind the ears, unwilling to pay their dues, and think they’re entitled and more. (more…)

Putting a Price on the Life of a Baby

2014 | Week of January 13 – #1028

It’s January which means it is Sanctity of Human Life month.  Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is this coming Sunday.  On January 22 of this month it will be 41 years since the United States Supreme Court concocted pretty much out of thin air a “right to privacy” that made abortion legal across this country. (more…)

A Few Good Legislators

2013 | Week of December 30 – #1026

For years the Marines told us they were looking for a few good men.  Someone else has said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.”  Thinking about the next few months as we close out this current state legislative session, we might combine and paraphrase those two statements into, “We’re looking for a few good legislators because we know that our state will rise or fall on good leadership.” (more…)

On Purpose and for a Purpose

2013 | Week of December 23  – #1025

Among the myriad of excellent Christmas presentations I’ve attended this year, one phrase in one program has especially lingered with me. “Jesus Christ came on purpose and with a purpose.” That’s it. Just 9 words, and yet I find myself regularly sharing it with people and saying it in my prayers as an expression of truth and thankfulness. (more…)

Families: The Foundation of It All

2013 | Week of December 16 – #1024

Earlier this month, my pastor, Dr. Bob Loggans at Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown, preached a great message entitled simply, “Family Life.”  As a part of the introduction he mentioned a book published in 1947 by Carle Zimmerman that included a list of traits that happened to nations and cultures shortly before their demise.  Virtually all of the traits or “forms of behavior” deal with God’s plan for the family. (more…)

Thanksgiving: It’s About Families

2013 | Week of November 25 – #1021

I love Thanksgiving.  I always have. I’ve loved the history of and meaning of this American holiday since I can remember.  I love how we celebrated it with family and friends when I was growing up.  I love that I still celebrate it that way.  I love the traditions related to food choices, football, family games, and more.  And I don’t like to have Thanksgiving lost in the pre-Christmas crush. I want it kept separate and distinct and thoroughly enjoyed.  Ok…now you know I am especially sensitive to and protective of Thanksgiving. (more…)

Adoption: Whereas and Resolved

2013 | Week of November 11 – #1019

“Whereas, since 1995, American presidents have proclaimed each November as National Adoption Month and have asked the people of the United States to observe the month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need and by supporting the families that care for them; and

“Whereas, in Wisconsin in 2010, 1,159 foster children in Wisconsin were waiting to be adopted and these children risk reaching adulthood without permanent families of their own; and

“Whereas, foster care was intended to be temporary, but many Wisconsin children remain in foster homes for long periods, the average length of stay in foster care being more than three and a half years; and Whereas, older children in Wisconsin are less likely to be adopted than younger ones, the average age of adopted children being 6.2 years while the average age of children waiting to be adopted is 7.7 years; and

“Whereas, in 2010, 410 children in Wisconsin became too old to continue in foster care without having been adopted by a permanent, legal family; and

“Whereas, a permanent family plays an important role in helping young adults take their places in society; and

“Whereas, providing stable homes and an opportunity for happiness and success for children who have been displaced through no fault of their own is a commendable act that benefits not only those children and the adopting families but all of us; and

“Whereas, it is in the best interest of our state and its people to encourage and promote adoption; now, therefore, be it

“Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring,that the legislature proclaims November 2013 as Wisconsin Adoption Month, commends adoptive families past, present, and future, and celebrates successful adoptions throughout our state.”

I just quoted verbatim and in its entirety Assembly Joint Resolution 71, which was introduced in our state legislature on November 4, 2013. The lead sponsors of this resolution are Representative Debra Kolste and Senator Tim Cullen, both Democrats from Janesville.  I don’t very often get to commend the Democrats for their bills. However, in general I can commend them on this proposal—with one very important caveat:  we need to make sure we are defining family the same way.

When Wisconsin passes resolution later this week and we join the National Adoption Month and National Adoption Day observance, which is November 23, we must make it clear that we are celebrating children being adopted into “forever families” that are comprised of married moms and dads.  Unfortunately, I suspect that the lead authors of this proposed Adoption Month resolution would disagree with that assertion.  They will say adopting children into any kind of family is better than having them languish in or age out of foster care.

That’s tough for me to believe when the research repeatedly shows that what is best for children is to be brought up with their married mom and dad.  Anything less than that means, typically or normatively, children are likely to suffer a host of problems.

That said, I believe this push to celebrate, recognize and promote adoption in our state is a fantastic opportunity for Christians, married men and women, to consider adding another or even a first child to their family—to provide that “forever family.”  To be honest, it’s hard to hold the argument that children shouldn’t be adopted into single-parent homes or into same-sex homes, if Christians won’t step up on this issue.

Think about what a Christian family offers an adopted child.  A loving mother and a loving father.  The opportunity to see modeled in the parents what real Christianity looks like on a day-to-day basis.  The blessing of hearing the Gospel and the incredible salvation message, of being part of a church family, of learning about service and sacrifice for something much bigger than oneself. The joy of extended family, family traditions and so much more.

When all of the whereas’s and the-be-it-therefore-resolved’s are done on this Adoption Month Resolution, it should serve as a powerful reminder to us as Christians that children are a gift and that giving them a “forever family,” that reflects God’s divine plan for family, is one of the best gifts we can give them.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Veterans’ Day 2013

2013 | Week of November 4 – #1018

Is there a more mournful sound than “Taps”—the bugle call that is played at military funerals and memorials?  That haunting melody conjures mental images of bloody soldiers lying on war-torn fields in the aftermath of battle, of flag-draped caskets being escorted to final resting places by uniformed military personnel, of widows dressed in black watching tearfully as the caisson carrying the remains of their beloved soldier-boy passes by.  “Taps” is one of the most poignant reminders we have of the price our veterans have paid for our freedom.

Since August 1914, Europe had been wracked with war.  It was seemingly Germany against the world.  In April 1917, no longer able to remain neutral, the United States declared war on Germany, thus entering World War I, the “War to end all wars.”   “The Great War” cost America over $22 billion dollars, but more significantly, it cost us 126,000 American lives, with another 234,000 wounded.  Young men such as Clinton Rogers Dissmore, a young farm boy from Whitehall, Wisconsin, were, in Dissmore’s words, “caught in the draft to increase Uncle Sam’s Army and Navy.”

In late 1918, then-US President Woodrow Wilson finally gained agreement by all parties on the particulars of what came to be known as “The Armistice.”  Thus, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the war ended.  In the words of one Sergeant T Grady with the US Army, November 11, 1918, was   “Cold and raining. Runner in at 10.30 with order to cease firing at 11.000 a.m. Firing continued and we stood by. 306th Machine-Gun Company on my right lost twelve men at 10.55, when a high explosive landed in their position. At 11.00 sharp the shelling ceased on both sides and we don’t know what to say. Captain came up and told us the war was over. We were dumfounded and finally came to and cheered – and it went down the line like wildfire. I reported Jones’ death and marked his grave. Captain conducted a prayer and cried like a baby.”

Soon, our American soldiers began the long but happy trek home.  While America was ecstatic to have her surviving sons and husbands and fathers back, she was also sorrowing for those who had paid the supreme price in defense of freedom—an ideal whose price is always high.

And, so, began a national effort to remember the fallen soldiers of World War I.  In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, which has become the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans. Armistice Day was officially recognized by a Congressional resolution in 1926 and became a national holiday 12 years later.  Because the hope that World War I would indeed be the war to end all wars was dashed less than 25 years later with the onset of yet another bloody and costly war.

Americans wanted to expand Armistice Day–their day of remembrance for fallen veterans–to include those from all wars, and in 1954, President Eisenhower, himself a World War II veteran, signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

Yet another November 11 is close upon us.  We dare not forget the over 22 million veterans living today in the United States, of which over 1million served in World War II, about 2 million served in the Korean War, and more than 7 million served during the Vietnam era.  Another 6 million have served since August 1990, which includes Persian Gulf War veterans.  During this year alone, over 600,000 American veterans will die.  These too must be honored—lest we forget the price that has been paid to secure the freedom we enjoy today.   Thank you, veterans, for your part in making America the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

TAPS

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Gender Identity-Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

2013 | Week of October 28 – #1017

This is an alert: “gender identity and expression” is coming to a neighborhood near you—and the people advancing this newest perversion are seeking to make this yet another protected class just as they have done with sexual orientation.

It’s “gender identity and expression” that has been at the forefront of the so-called “bathroom laws” that have become more and more popular.  These are the laws that say public bathrooms are to be re-identified as unisex rather than be what they have been since time immemorial—sex specific and sex exclusive.  By making these public restrooms unisex, then people who have “gender identity and expression” issues won’t feel discriminated against say those pushing these laws.

If you delve into this issue much, you quickly find this is one of the newest frontline battles for the homosexual activists.  They are working hard to make sure the “T” in their acronym of LGBT is not ignored.  The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered.  The transgendered are those dealing with “gender identity and expression” issues.

Important to understand in this newest effort to force all of the rest of us to accept perversion as normal and natural is that according to those spearheading this push gender is no longer biologically determined.  Now according to those who want to redefine the entire human experience, gender is “assigned” at birth.

Really? So apparently when a baby is born, the doctor and those attending do an external examination and “assign” gender based on what they see.  People with “gender identity and expression” issues claim the gender they are “assigned” at birth doesn’t match with their own “internal sense of gender identity.”

I hate to burst the bubble of these people, but humans don’t assign gender at birth. God assigns gender at the moment of conception.  At that moment, we have either an XX chromosome makeup and we’re female or we have a XY chromosome pairing and we’re male.  Try as hard as someone can to change their chromosomes, they can’t.  It’s God-assigned and it’s unalterable.

However, because we live in a fallen, very sinful world, some people today assert that while their chromosomes may be XX or XY, they know for sure they are really supposed to be XY or XX—and so these women and men do everything they can to look and act more like the opposite sex, including sometimes hormonal and surgical treatments.

Since “gender identity and expression” are pretty much exclusively based on the feelings and perceptions of the person who says he is a she or she is a he, this is a very fluid issue.  One day, a boy wakes up and says, “I feel like I’m a girl today.” So he proceeds to dress like a girl, act like a girl.  When he gets to school, does he use the girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers?  Those pushing to have “gender identity and expression” added as a protected class say, “yes, he most certainly does.”  But what happens when two weeks or two months later the boy wakes up and says, “I feel like a boy today” and proceeds to dress and act like a boy?  And, no, I am not making any of this up.

Bringing this quite close to home, Fair Wisconsin, the state’s main pro-homosexual advocacy group, is now pushing for “gender identity and expression” to be added to the non-discrimination portion of housing ordinances for municipalities.  Appleton just added it last month.  Fond du Lac is preparing to vote on this issue in November. Who knows where it will be next?  From our perspective, wherever this issue comes up, it is about individual safety, privacy, and, yes, religious beliefs.

I will not gain popularity points for saying this but I believe it is time that we stop enshrining perversion in our laws and stop making it illegal for people to say “no” to those who are quite honestly perverting the image of God that has been stamped on each human being.  This does not mean we should be mean, ugly, or un-Christlike in our treatment of them individually.  We should always be willing to offer them hope for a life of complete and real identity in Christ.  However, when it comes to public safety and public accommodation, it is very important we draw the line in favor of the vast majority of citizens.

By being knowledgeable and prepared, you really can be part of the solution to an issue that is sadly coming soon to your neighborhood.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

October and the Pink Link

2013 | Week of October 21 – #1016

I love watching the Packers. But watching the Pack play in October is a bit difficult for me.  It’s about the pink hats, wrist bands, socks, cleats, shoes, towels, helmet decals, and a couple of weeks ago, even pink penalty flags that show up on the players and coaching staffs during the games in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We all need to know the truth about Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the sponsor of all this pink.

There’s hardly a person who will hear this commentary whose life has not in some way been touched by breast cancer.  We all want real cures and real preventions for this disease that is the leading cancer among women and ranks second in the number of cancer-related deaths among women.  But there must be a better way to raise awareness and money for a cure than by having an organization that has strong ties to Planned Parenthood leading the way.

A few years ago the money tie that binds Komen for the Cure Foundation to Planned Parenthood was in the news a great deal.  For a while last year, and because of public perception and pressure, Susan G. Komen stopped giving to Planned Parenthood. However, the organization soon recanted and reinstated the funding stream. The argument that the Komen Foundation makes for funding Planned Parenthood, in their own words, is that “In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care.”

Such an assertion bears looking into—and when you do, you might be surprised to find that first Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms.  They refer for mammograms, but they don’t actually offer the service.  Just how much money does it take for a Planned Parenthood affiliate to tell a woman where she can get a mammogram?

Ok, so maybe Planned Parenthood facilities provide other screenings or tests, but is Planned Parenthood really the “only local place” where “some women in some communities can receive breast health care”—especially low-income women?  Of course not.  Hospitals frequently offer free screenings, as do other clinics and organizations.

Well, then, is Planned Parenthood the “best” place for such treatments, education, screenings?  That, too, is highly doubtful.  Planned Parenthood Federation and its state level affiliates are not primarily medical clinics.  They are primarily abortion providers, even though they don’t agree with that characterization.  However, that’s where the nation’s leading abortion provider makes its money.

It’s hard to imagine that a place that focuses on preventing babies from being born by hawking contraceptives and further kills babies in utero, is the best place to go for treatments, education, and screenings for breast cancer.

Making the Komen/Planned Parenthood link even worse is that reliable studies continue to show a very real link between abortion and breast cancer.   In some groups, the risk of getting breast cancer increases twofold for women who have had abortions.  The attempt to cover up this information is staggering.  We have tried in the past to get this abortion-breast cancer link information included in Wisconsin’s Women’s Right to Know law—with no success.  However, the science is there, for those who want to—or are willing—to see it.  So, here’s a group that is supposed to be finding a cure for and prevention methods for breast cancer giving millions of dollars to an organization that is contributing to the problem.  Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Please consider the following. The Planned Parenthood-friendly Guttmacher Institute reports that abortion rates are 4 times higher for black women than white women.  Commensurately, the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of breast cancer from 2000-2009 has “increased significantly by 0.7% per year among black women,” while the incidence of breast cancer over the same period has “decreased significantly by 1.0% per year among white women.” Coincidence? Maybe. Just one factor in the breast cancer issue? Perhaps. However, add this information to the research that is being done on the abortion-breast-cancer link, and I think it’s time we paid attention. Women’s lives are at stake.

It’s likely very unrealistic for me to expect the Packers to stop wearing pink in October.  But, at a minimum you and I can and should be good stewards of our money and support organizations working to battle breast cancer but that don’t support Planned Parenthood. The “pink link” is becoming too obvious for us to ignore.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Wausau and the Multiplied Power of One

2013 | Week of October 14 – #1015

The multiplied power of one works.   Just ask citizens in Wausau.

A couple of weeks ago Wisconsin Family Council learned that the administration of the Wausau School District had pretty much unilaterally decided to make some changes to their music program.  The two most attention-getting changes were first that the district’s elementary schools would no longer have a winter or Christmas or holiday concert and second that music sung by the district’s choral groups, including the elite and extremely popular Master Singers, could not have as much religious music as it had had in the past.  The second decision resulted in a very popular, long-tenured, music faculty member and director of the Master Singers saying the options the district gave him for music selection were unacceptable and he immediately suspended rehearsals for the group.

The administration, led by District Superintendent Kathleen Williams, claims they sought legal counsel in making their decisions about the music selection.  What the administration did not do is consult with the school board, and they certainly did not consult with parents.

When news of these changes became public, the citizens and students quickly began letting each other know that they did not agree with the administration’s actions.  Facebook pages appeared, petitions began with signatures rapidly collected, all manner of media reports were sent out, phone calls were made to board members and the administration.

Originally, this matter was going to be taken up at the board’s regular meeting which was this Monday.  Soon after the public ramping up began, however, we heard the school board had decided to take up this matter at a special meeting devoted specifically and exclusively to this issue and they set the date for last Thursday evening.

The collective effort was truly a great example of “the multiplied power of one.” As one person reached out to another to explain, encourage support, enlist help, the numbers of people involved and willing to take action on this issue quickly multiplied.  In fact, the school board, realizing they had hit a nerve, decided not to have the meeting in their normal board room but rather to hold it in Wausau East High School’s auditorium, which seats well over 500 people.

Thursday night showed what happens when “the multiplied power of one” works.  By the time the meeting started at 6:30, the room was filled.  The media were there in full force. Everyone knew this was significant.

I was among the hundreds of people in that auditorium.  I saw high-school students, young parents, middle-aged parents, grandparents and even some great grandparents.  The crowd was truly a cross-section of Wausau School District.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, somewhere between 40 and 60 people spoke.  Out of all those who spoke, only two agreed with the administration’s decisions.  All the rest made their case for why the administration had made the wrong decisions.  One by one they came up to the microphone and added their single voice to the hundreds, and yes, thousands of concerned Wausau citizens.

Before the night was over, the board passed three resolutions related to this matter. They passed a resolution authorizing the individual elementary school principals to make their own decisions regarding having a concert in December.  They passed a resolution returning the music selection policy to what it had been before the administration took it upon itself to change it; and they called for the formation of a committee to do a thorough review of all related policies and make recommendations to the board.  The board also openly requested that a consideration regarding a performance review of the superintendent be added to the agenda for the next meeting.

In addition to these board decisions, the superintendent made it clear that she and others had met with the Master Singers director, and they had agreed that Master Singer rehearsals would resume effective the next Monday.

I firmly believe none of these resolutions or the wildly welcomed announcement about the resuming of the Master Singers would have happened without “the multiplied power of one.”  In this instance, the religious freedom of the students and parents was respected in the school board’s decisions.  But if the citizens had not individually cared enough to get involved to protect their religious freedom, the administration’s bad decisions would have carried the day.  Don’t ever, ever doubt the reality of and the importance of “the multiplied power of one.”

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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