Miranda Blue's blog

Arizona School Board Votes To Remove Pages Of Biology Textbook That Aren't Anti-Abortion Enough

In response to a complaint from the Religious Right group Alliance Defending Freedom, a school board in Arizona has voted to remove pages of an honors high school biology book that ADF contends don’t show “an affirmative preference to childbirth and adoption as options to abortion” in describing various forms of contraception.

ADF based its complaint to the Gilbert, Arizona, school board on a 2012 state law that bans schools from providing instruction “that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.” Although the school board’s lawyers and the state department of education both argued that the pages in question — one of which you can view here — didn’t violate the law, conservatives on the board went ahead with the page removal.

The textbook states that “Complete abstinence (avoiding intercourse) is the only totally effective method of birth control,” before launching into a straight-forward explanation of the workings of several methods of birth control, including emergency contraception.

One board member told Phoenix's 12 News that “by redacting, we are not censoring”:

Board member Julie Smith said the school district was breaking state law by using the book " Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections ."

The 2-year-old state law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, bars school districts and charter schools from making presentations or providing instructional materials to pupils "that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion."

Smith said she raised questions about the text in January after a comment from a constituent. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a faith-based legal organization that recently defended Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage, raised the issue in a letter to Gilbert Superintendent Christina Kishimoto in August.

The focus is two pages in the book, titled "Contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancy."

The text says, "Complete abstinence (avoiding intercourse) is the only totally effective method of birth control." It also describes how the "morning after pill" works as a contraception method.

Board member Lily Tram said the board's decision to remove pages from the book, which has been used by the district since 2006, amounted to censorship.

Smith disagreed. "By redacting, we are not censoring," she said. "This school district does offer sexual education classes. If we were censoring we would not offer anything on this topic whatsoever."

Board President Stacy Burk said some parents had said they were ready to help remove or redact the pages in the textbook.

Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation Leader: Church-State Separation 'The Death Knell For Our Nation'

In a radio interview this week, Lea Carawan, director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, warned that the separation of church and state is part of a liberal plan to “ruin America” and will be “the death knell for our nation.”

Carawan, whose group’s advisory board includes several members of Congress, told Arizona-based host Josh Bernstein this week that the American people and many churches have “bought into a very insidious lie, which is the misapplication, misinformation regarding that phrase, ‘the separation of church and state.’”

“That is the death knell for our nation,” she said. “If the church of God, if the Christians do not engage in the public square and do not see that as their responsibility, their right and responsibility, then those that do not believe like us will absolutely fill the void. And what people don’t understand is that every nation will reflect somebody’s values. And up until now, it’s reflected Judeo-Christian values because the Christians have held to it and they’ve protected it every single generation. But if we do not protect it in our generation, if we buy this lie and we back out of the public square like we have for a decade or several decades now, we will find that we no longer have a free Republic. The threat is very real.”

Later in the interview, Carawan alleged that church-state separation is part of a liberal plot to “take over” America.

“The folks that are funding this, that are behind this progressive movement for decades, they understand that they must remove God from the culture, from the conversation or break the connection, the nexus between God and our rights,” she said.

“That’s how you take over the country, that’s how you ruin America and take over, that’s power.”

Joseph Farah Worries People Are Using 'Out-Of-Context' Bible Verses…To Support Immigrants’ Rights

In a WorldNetDaily column today, the site’s editor Joseph Farah adds his voice to the popular right-wing field of using the Bible to justify harsh anti-immigrant laws.

Criticizing Christian immigrants’ rights supporters for “seizing on one or two out-of-context verses in the Bible” to support their positions (something that Farah would never do!), he contends that the Bible actually supports deporting all undocumented immigrants because God wanted to prevent “global government” and that’s what immigration reform supporters want.

It’s always good when people consider the moral implications of public policy. So the Bible is a good place to start exploring the right and wrong of immigration laws. But seizing on one or two out-of-context verses in the Bible does not make for the kind of comprehensive moral case you would expect of those urging “comprehensive immigration reform.”

The Bible actually has a lot of say about national borders, foreigners, citizenship and the law.

For starters, I challenge anyone to check an exhaustive online or offline concordance for the word “border” or “borders” to get an appreciation of how many times God’s Word references these terms. While not all of them are relevant to our discussion, I count 169 references, most of them making the point that God really cares about them. Is that surprising? He cares about boundaries between nations. In fact, it is God Himself who invented nation-states back in Genesis 11.

Why did He do it?

It seems He scattered the world’s population and created the diverse languages in an effort to subvert man’s efforts to unite in a global kingdom under a false universal religion. Keep in mind, this took place before God created the nation of Israel.

Interestingly, one of the prime motivations of those behind the promotion of borderless societies is this very same notion of regional government and global government and the breakdown of nationalism.

What was wrong at the time of the Tower of Babel remains wrong today. That should be clear to anyone and everyone whose standard of morality is the Bible.

If we want to be compassionate to the strangers and aliens of our world today, those law-abiding foreigners who desperately want to come to America and are patiently awaiting their turn, we need to be certain they don’t get squeezed out unfairly by those who break the law and push ahead of them in line. And we should expect them to fully assimilate into our national culture.

We shouldn’t be mean to those lawbreakers, either. We shouldn’t mistreat them. We should even forgive them. But they have to leave.

They haven’t been invited. They are not our guests. They are not just strangers; they are trespassers. They are victimizing others through their presence – namely American citizens and foreigners who are trying to immigrate to the U.S. legally. They need to go back home and get in line like others waiting to enter our country lawfully. They need to follow the rules.

Dinesh D'Souza: Obama Using Ebola To Act As 'President Of The World'

Conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza managed to avoid a prison sentence for campaign finance violations, so is now free to continue hawking his new book and spreading his wisdom on current affairs at right-wing outlets such as Newsmax.

Newsmax host Steve Malzberg invited D’Souza on his program today to discuss President Obama’s response to the Ebola epidemic, specifically the president’s comments criticizing the widely-panned decisions in several states to quarantine asymptomatic healthcare providers returning from West Africa.

D’Souza said that while he senses that “there’s something very strange that’s kind of going on here,” he thinks that Obama “probably” isn’t trying to exact “anti-colonial revenge” by starting an Ebola epidemic in America, despite reports to that effect that he had seen on the internet.

“On the other hand,” D’Souza said, “I would be willing to say that here’s a guy that seeks to view things from the global point of view and he doesn’t seem to recognize his special responsibility to American citizens.”

“We elected him, he took an oath to protect and defend our interests. So, enough of this ‘President of the World’ nonsense, it’s time to start protecting American interests, Mr. President!”

Robert Oscar Lopez: Gay Parents Put Kids At Risk By Encouraging Them To 'Dabble In That World'

In an interview with Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute last month, marriage equality opponent and author of gay erotica Robert Oscar Lopez said that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are “more likely to be bisexual” and “more likely to experiment,” leading them into “a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”

“I have to be realistic that when you enter into homosexual relationships, you’re entering into the gay culture, and that social setting has very high rates of eating disorders and suicidal tendencies, it has very high rates of addictions of all kinds, domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, steroid abuse, sexually transmitted diseases,” he said. “There’s a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”

“So I think to the extent that people can avoid it, I think it’s better if you’re not going to be gay over the longer course of your life then there’s really no reason to dabble in that world, because there are social consequences that might hurt you. So, there’s really no reason to experiment,” he said.

Dacus agreed, adding that children of gay and lesbian parents are victims of “this agenda that has now been thrust upon them and they just want to live normal lives.”

Earlier in the interview, Lopez noted with alarm that when he was growing up, most gay and lesbian couples who were raising children had been divorced from their previous spouses, whereas today he sees gay men intentionally breaking up marriages in order to get custody of children.

“There was a clear shift by the 2000s where now gay couples now wanted to go out and adopt or they wanted to get children through sperm banking or through surrogacy contracts,” he said. “And I did come across cases where I know with gay men, they intentionally broke up an existing marriage so they could get together with the husband and then sue for custody of the children.”

“Oh wow,” Dacus gasped.

Diana West: Military's Anti-Ebola Mission Shows 'Development Of A Totalitarian Government Structure'

Conservative columnist Diana West does not approve of the Obama administration’s decision to send U.S. troops to West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic at its source by building treatment centers and training medical personnel. In fact, West told Frank Gaffney on “Secure Freedom Radio” last week that the mission shows that the president does not have “an American agenda” and is instead embracing “a totalitarian government structure.”

Gaffney told West that the administration said it would not return service members to the U.S. for treatment if they were to contract the disease — a claim that seems to be based on a Brietbart headline that isn’t backed up by the source it references — while it might bring in some foreign patients for treatment.

“How could they possibly do that with some non-Americans and not enable American citizens in uniform to be returned here?” he asked.

“Well, I think this goes back to the original question which does have to do with the fact that we have leaders with a global agenda, not an American agenda, who have all the power at the moment and certainly act as if they do,” West said.

“It’s exactly this idea that there is nothing special about America or Americans,” she continued. “Another point to get to is the notion of a commander in chief with so little regard for his forces…that he sees them as pawns in a global game of ideological utopia.”

“This is where you start seeing the development of a totalitarian government structure,” she said.

William Gheen: Immigration Will 'Overthrow The American Republic'

William Gheen of the anti-immigrant Americans for Legal Immigration PAC appeared on Newsmax last week, where he declared that those who support immigration reform are either motivated by “simple greed” or want to “overthrow the American republic” by taking “the current stock of Americans” and replacing them with “a population that I guess is more agreeable to their political agendas or worldview.”

“You have an invasion that’s being conducted here by a lot of different actors who have a lot of different types of things to gain, from simple greed and increased profits for their companies and businesses, to others who see this as a way to overthrow the American republic, to take the current stock of Americans, throw us out of our jobs and homes and elections, and replace us with a population that I guess is more agreeable to their political agendas or worldview,” he said.

 

Phyllis Schlafly: Immigrants Are Destroying The American Family

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is out with a new book called “Who Killed The American Family?” the surprising answer to which is “not just the gays.”

In an interview with the Daily Caller this weekend, Schlafly pointed her finger at one culprit she sees in the death of the family: immigrants.

Immigrants from Latin America, Schlafly told the conservative outlet, “try to tell you they’re very pro-family, but they have a tremendously high illegitimacy rate,” which, she said, causes them to run to “Big Brother” government.

According to Schlafly, one of the most overlooked factors behind the death of the American family is mass immigration.

“I think it’s [immigration] enormous,” the conservative activist told The Daily Caller in reference to mass immigration’s impact on the family.

Schlafly has noticed a disturbing trend among immigrants from Latin American countries that further erodes the traditional family unit. “They try to tell you they’re very pro-family, but they have a tremendously high illegitimacy rate,” she said.

According to the author, this illegitimacy rate leads many to depend on the government for their needs, rather than the family. This makes for weak families in Schlafly’s opinion and diminishes the core values that underlie America.

“When a woman has children without a husband to provide for her, she runs to ‘Big Brother’ government to support her,” she insisted. “There are people who think that they will profit by giving us big government to run our lives. That’s not the American way. That’s not what we wanted. When we started out, we were a country of intact families and we expanded to build the greatest middle-class in the world — prosperous and happy.”

“That seems to be gone now.”

Brad Dacus: Gay Greeting Cards Could Lead Children To Make 'Potentially Deadly Decisions'

In his weekly radio broadcast earlier this month, the Pacific Justice Institute’s Brad Dacus interviewed Randy Sharp, who runs the American Family Association’s programs targeting retail stores and television shows that the group deems too pro-gay or insufficiently celebratory of Christmas.

The two were full of praise for Chick-fil-A and WalMart, but were not so happy with Target. In fact, Dacus told Sharp a harrowing story about a time when his family had been browsing greeting cards at Target and his children had encountered some cards designed for married gay and lesbian couples.

He then decided that he would no longer shop at the chain because he did not want to support this greeting card “propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.”

My wife and kids were in Target and they were looking for some birthday cards and they saw a category — at a very low level, so little kids could read them — cards that were, you know like “husband to wife,” but this was like “husband to husband,” “wife to wife.” Right there at the lower level. And you know, we complain, but they don’t do anything and they’re all about being PC and just assuming that people are going to continue to shop there.

And I told my wife, I said, you know what, let’s avoid Target. If this is their agenda, if this is what they’re going to push, then why am I going to give them my money to push and be a part of the propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.

James Dobson: God Will Destroy America For Legalizing 'Sexual Perversion'

In his October newsletter, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has a pretty clear message: Because of gay rights, America is at risk of joining Pompeii and Ancient Rome in the ranks of societies “so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them.”

“We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed,” Dobson warns, citing the Supreme Court’s decision striking down “sodomy” laws and subsequent lower court decisions preventing marriage discrimination.

“His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course,” Dobson declares.

Modernists, libertarians and atheists today recognize no condemnation of sexual perversion in the Bible. However, this historical account illustrates how God views it. The outrageous behavior of the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah sealed their doom. Fire and brimstone fell from the sky on both cities and utterly destroyed them. Henceforth, men who commit homosexual acts have been called “Sodomites,” although that term has become politically offensive since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized and protected sexual perversion.

The story of Abraham and Lot also illustrates how entire societies can become so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them, or they simply fade away. It happened to the people of Greece, Rome, Pompeii and other cities and cultures where wickedness became the order of the day. One thing is certain. God is the holy Sovereign Lord of all heaven and earth, and He will not be mocked. His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course.

Why have I chosen to recount this biblical story from so long ago? Because I am convinced that America and other Western Nations are sliding in the same direction. We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed. Judge Robert Bork, the brilliant jurist who was shamefully denied a seat on the Supreme Court, wrote a book about this danger 18 years ago. It was titled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. I think he had it right.

Many influential men and women of the judiciary are leading us toward perdition. One of them is Judge Richard Posner, a federal judge sitting on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He became a hero of the pro-gay marriage community by helping to “discover” a provision in the Constitution that laid the foundation for legalizing same-sex marriage. The American people in thirty-one states voted that their Constitutions would henceforth define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. Posner and other imperious judges and Justices had a better idea. They simply overrode the will of the people and issued “court made law.” Whatever happened to Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg in which he said this government is designed to be “Of the people, for the people, and by the people?” It’s no longer true.

I will tell you personally the preservation of the family is the Cause for which I was born. I knew it when I was 20 years old. Today, I have a continuing, unrelenting burden for today’s children and young adults who are being warped and twisted by those who would “fundamentally change” the world in which they are growing up. Everything we have known and valued is being swept away.

Dobson also quotes at length from the virulently anti-gay group Mass Resistance to warn parents of “LGBT propaganda” in schools: “Well, how about it, parents? Are you willing to send your children off to a public school that is required by law to teach LBGT propaganda to students? I pray not.”

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