Distract and Divide

Distract and Divide – Integrity and Using Cyrus

On Morals and Mulligans…

Tony Perkins, FRC

January 25, 2018

   If there’s one thing I’ve always said, it’s that Christians should never check their faith at the door when they enter the public square. So, let me start by practicing what I preach. Like you, I’ve heard all of the allegations about Donald Trump’s past, his years of baggage and personal failings. I don’t pretend to know what’s true and what isn’t — certainly not now, in an environment as toxic as ours. But there is a truth I do know: faith in Jesus Christ that calls us to live with moral clarity in everything we do. And that means calling sin — sin.

   Earlier this week, in a lengthy interview published by Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, I was asked about an accusation of infidelity that’s resurfaced against Donald Trump from 2006. I explained to Dovere what I’ve said before: if this were happening today, his evangelical support would not exist. Adultery was wrong then, and it’s wrong now. If the rumors turn out to be true, then that behavior is unconscionable. No question. Where wrongdoing is brought to light, it is exactly that: wrongdoing.

Donald Trump has denied this latest allegation through his attorney, and we can find some comfort in his openness about his past mistakes. “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not,” he told Americans before the election when a vulgar tape surfaced. “I’ve said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, know these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.”

As I said when that footage was released in October of 2016, his actions were inappropriate and disturbing. I did not then, and I will not now, try to rationalize or excuse this type of behavior. But let’s also be realistic: Americans can only hold President Donald Trump accountable for what he does in office. We can’t do anything about the past. Americans may not like it, find it distasteful, and wish it hadn’t happened — but it did. Like any of us, he needs to own his failings and take responsibility for his actions. And in some of these cases, I believe he did.

That’s why, in explaining how evangelicals could come to the point of supporting Mr. Trump, I told the reporter that we — of all people — understand new beginnings. So, our attitude toward Trump politically was, “You get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.” Some people interpreted that statement — incorrectly — as excusing, or worse, condoning Donald Trump’s past behaviors. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As I said again on CNN Tuesday night, I was not an early supporter of Mr. Trump because of his past personal conduct. But, after the candidate I was supporting dropped out of the race, it became a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. So, I began communicating what I thought it would take for Mr. Trump to gain evangelical support. You may recall that we said he would: 1) need to commit to appointing pro-life judges, 2) choose a conservative pro-life, pro-family running-mate with a solid record, and 3) agree not to undermine or dilute the conservative GOP platform. To my amazement (and several others’), he not only met — but exceeded — the high bar we had set. No other Republican nominee had ever pledged to nominate “pro-life” judges. Mr. Trump put it in writing and released it to the nation.

This is all the more remarkable because I’ve worked on the GOP platform since 2004. And every election, we’ve had to battle the Republican presidential campaign on many conservative planks. The Trump campaign not only didn’t fight us, they worked with us. As the GOP nominee, Donald Trump embraced the platform, which helped turn the election from a contrast of personalities into an election about policies. And what has he done since he earned our support? A lot of what he pledged to do. In fact, he’s done more than any recent president to advance the values and policies that are critical to making America a good and prosperous nation.

On CNN, I restated that our support of the president is conditional. If Donald Trump were to stop keeping his promises or revert to the behavior of his past, evangelicals would quickly exit his base of support — and I would lead the way. But the reality is, he has kept his promises, so why would we stop supporting him based on allegations of repugnant behavior from more than a decade ago? What’s changed since the election?

Does that mean we don’t wrestle with the president’s tone or cringe at some of his inartful tweets? Not at all. Character matters. Personal conduct matters. It’s up to us to use our influence to ensure that the president does his very best to live in a way that doesn’t dishonor his office or the American people. But let’s also be clear: evangelicals have never looked at Donald Trump as a role model. They’re looking at his record as president.

As Rev. Franklin Graham pointed out, “We certainly don’t hold him up as the pastor of this country, and he’s not. But I appreciate the fact that the president does have a concern for Christian values, he does have a concern to protect Christians — whether it’s here at home or around the world — and I appreciate the fact that he protects religious liberty and freedom.”

When Dovere asked me if I vouched for Trump as a moral leader, I made it clear that I vouched for his leadership in delivering his promises. To this point, he’s making positive change in our country that evangelicals can support and all Americans benefit from. I’m not saying his performance as president can buy him grace — only Christ can do that. And while evangelicals can give him a mulligan regarding their political support, only through repentance and God’s forgiveness can he have a totally new start.

I respect that there are some very frustrated conservatives out there, who the Left is seeking to distract and divide. But if we care about the future of our nation, we have to deal in the present. This isn’t blind allegiance on the part of evangelicals. This is reasoned support for a political leader who has made and kept his campaign promises.

More Lies and Deceptions Invading America

More Lies and Deceptions Invading America
    The lies related to evolution as the origin of the species contaminated the education system offering an excuse for the religions of humanism to reject immutable Law. Following that, the interpretation of the Constitution, itself based on that immutable Law, was altered and corrupted by the enemies of freedom and justice for all. True freedom is inextricably bound by Law beyond comprehension. Justice is defined by the Truth established by that Law.
    Now, rejecting true science and history, some of America’s enemies have focused their agenda on attacking the reality on which all human relationships exist. The following excerpt by Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. in The Daily Signal describes the errors of their false ideology.
    [Years ago], “Dr. Paul McHugh thought he had convinced the vast majority of medical professionals not to go along with bold claims about sex and gender being proffered by some of his colleagues. And as chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, McHugh put a stop to sex-reassignment surgery at Hopkins.
    Once the elite Johns Hopkins did this, many medical centers across the nation followed suit.
    But in recent years we have seen a resurgence of these drastic procedures — not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement. Such is our transgender movement.
    According to the best studies — the ones that even transgender activists themselves cite — 80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex.
    Never mind that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.
    These statistics should stop us in our tracks. Clearly, we must work to find ways to effectively prevent these suicides and address the underlying causes. We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition.”
    Many psychologists and psychiatrists think of gender dysphoria as similar to other dysphorias, or forms of discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia. The feelings of discomfort can lead to mistaken beliefs about oneself or about reality, and then to actions in accordance with those false beliefs.
    The most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible — changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings — but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.
    Operating in the background is a sound understanding of physical and mental health — proper function of one’s body and mind — and a sound understanding of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring health, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.
    For human beings to flourish, they need to feel comfortable in their own bodies, readily identify with their sex, and believe that they are who they actually are.”
    From the myths of global warming being able to be controlled by any human initiative, to proposing political actions contradicted and proven untenable by history, to promoting the false ideology of evolution, we are now confronted with the physical and psychological devastation of the transgender atrocity.
    Lacking any valid logically derived or scientific, i.e. proven, mechanism for evolution, its proponents opened the door to other false ideologies enabling the attack on America as seen in the political activism of the transgender movement.
    The original intention of the Constitution must be protected and defended in order to reclaim all that made America great.

History Provides Lessons To Be Learned – Good and Bad

History Provides Lessons To Be Learned – Good and Bad
    Constantly bound by immutable Law, reality evokes the ever failing inadequate responses accompanying the existential and humanistic attempts to alter or modify the indelible Order of creation.
    History and true science make us aware of reality. Motivated by false ideologies arising from human desires and imaginations, political movements ignoring or denying the lessons of history are an ever present reminder of unchanging potential for human error and failure.
    Recently seen in the anarchistic destruction of historical statues and the political arms of humanism’s removal of statues; where those monuments remind us of the past failures, errors, and injustices of individuals and institutions; is the repeated confirmation of our capacity to move beyond reason. Choosing to ignore a disease or cancer does not make it go away. Removing historical statues reminding of our past, rather than facing, addressing, and correcting what is wrong, unjust, or untrue, is the ongoing denial of reality calling for the service and sacrifice necessary to preserve freedom.

Alicia Ault

January 17, 2018

    The statue of gynecologic surgeon J. Marion Sims, MD — steeped in controversy over his experimental surgery on slaves — will be moved from New York City’s Central Park to Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where the physician is buried.

    The move was announced by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in response to recommendations from his Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers. The panel was assembled last fall to review options for a handful of what de Blasio said were controversial monuments in the city, including the statue of Dr Sims (1813-1883).

    In addition to moving the statue, which was the work of German sculptor Ferdinand von Miller, New York will add informational plaques to the statue and its existing pedestal “to explain the origin of the statue, commission new artwork with public input that reflects issues raised by Sims legacy, and partner with a community organization to promote in-depth public dialogues on the history of non-consensual medical experimentation of people of color, particularly women,” according to the mayor’s statement.

    In its January report, the mayoral advisory panel had recommended multiple options, including removal. Committee members “felt it was impossible to evaluate the monument separately from the practices of white doctors experimenting upon Black bodies without consent,” adding, “Sims had the power to make these experiments, gain fame from the process, and be venerated on a pedestal after he passed away.” But “the enslaved women he experimented upon had none of this power. Free consent to participate in the experiments was not obtainable from women who were not free. The Commission felt that it would be wrong to continue to overlook this distressing imbalance of power.”

    The panel also said that even though it is likely that Dr Sims was a contributor to medicine, “the extent of his medical advances with regard to treating the fistula remains under dispute.”

    No member of the public testified in support of keeping the statue in Central Park, according to the committee report.

A Figure Mired in Controversy

    Dr. Sims, dubbed the “father of modern gynecology,” was credited with  the first successful treatment for vesicovaginal fistula, the first gallbladder surgery, and introducing antiseptic principles in all areas of surgical treatment. The Sims position and Sims speculum, still used in gynecology today, are named after him.

    He has also been condemned for experimental vesicovaginal fistula surgeries on slave women — without their consent and without the use of anesthesia — conducted primarily during his years of practice in Alabama from 1835 to 1849.

    Dr. Sims then moved to New York City, where he helped establish the Woman’s Hospital, which was located in East Harlem. Shortly after his death, colleagues began collecting funds in the hopes of erecting a statue to honor a man they considered a pioneer in women’s health care. The New York Times reported in 1887 that those colleagues had collected some $7500 and had begun soliciting artists to create a bronze statue to be placed in Central Park. It was unveiled in 1894 — with crowdfunding from about 12,000 individuals — in Bryant Park, not Central Park.

    According to the Timesaccount of the unveiling, Dr. Sims was lauded for, among other qualities, his perseverance.  “His first operation was on a female slave and was unsuccessful. He operated again and again on the same subject, and finally, in his thirtieth trial, he was successful,” wrote the reporter. Indeed, records show  that he operated on one slave, Anarcha, 30 times.

    When Bryant Park underwent renovation decades later, the statue of Dr. Sims was put into storage. Dr. Sims’ admirers took the opportunity to lobby to move the statue to Central Park, where it would theoretically get more notice and be closer to the original and new locations of the Woman’s Hospital. They successfully had the statue moved to the park at Fifth Avenue and 103rd in 1934, where it has stood ever since.

    In August 2017, the activist group Black Youth Project 100 protested in front of the statue, according to media reports, with a group of women wearing hospital gowns splattered with red paint on the abdominal area. A Facebook post of that photo was shared more than 200,000 times. Later that month, according to the New York Daily News, a vandal spray-painted the statue with red paint and the word “racist.”

    A Medscape survey that same month found clinicians overwhelmingly against removal of monuments. Sixty-three percent of the 8200 physicians who responded said the statue of Dr. Sims should not be removed. If the statue were to be removed, survey respondents said, it should be placed in a museum or donated to a medical institution.

    When asked what type of behavior would warrant removing a monument or commemoration of a healthcare provider, about half of those surveyed cited all of these actions: conducting research without consent; knowingly harming subjects; withholding vital medical treatment during or after a study; and refusing to care for a patient based on ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.

Other Removals in the Works?

    Statues of Dr. Sims were also erected in Columbia, South Carolina, and on the Capitol grounds in Montgomery, Alabama. In December, the mayor of Columbia called for the removal of the statue, according to the Post and Courier.

    No further plans have been revealed, and nothing has been said about the fate of the Alabama statue.

    In 2006, the painting “Medical Giants of Alabama,” which depicted Dr. Sims and other white men standing over a partially clothed black patient, was removed from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Advanced Medical Studies in the wake of complaints that it was offensive, the Montgomery Advertiser reported at the time.

Physician Statue To Be Removed From NYC Park

Stephanie Cajigal

August 25, 2017

    It was probably only a matter of time before the Charlottesville-inspired movement to remove offensive statues would make its way to the world of medicine. From the Tuskegee Study to Henrietta Lacks, the history of the medical field includes more than a few examples of research done via questionable means.

    As the New York Daily News reported this week, protestors have urged the removal of a statue of a controversial physician in New York City’s Central Park. (There are two additional statues of this physician on state-owned property, one in Montgomery, Alabama, and another in Columbia, South Carolina.)

    The physician depicted in the statue, J. Marion Sims, MD (1813-1883), is considered the “father of modern gynecology” and is credited with such advances as conducting the first successful treatment for vesicovaginal fistula, the first gallbladder surgery, and introducing antiseptic principles in all areas of surgical treatment. The Sims position and Sims speculum, still used in gynecology today, are named after him. Marion Sims served as the inspiration for gynecologist Marion Stone in the popular book Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

    But critics of Dr. Sims say his legacy is marred by the fact that from 1845 to 1849, he conducted experimental vesicovaginal fistula surgeries on slave women without their consent and without the use of anesthesia. One of his subjects, as Durrenda Ojanuga describes in a 1993 article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, was forced to undergo an hour-long operation in a hands-and-knees position in front of an audience of 12 physicians. She nearly died from blood poisoning, the result of an experimental sponge used by Dr. Sims to drain urine from her bladder. And Dr. Sims reportedly operated on another slave woman 30 times.

    In a 2006 article published in the same journal, however, L. Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil, a Washington University professor of obstetrics and gynecology, claims that Dr. Sims’ subjects willingly allowed him to experiment on them in hopes that he’d cure their vesicovaginal fistulas, a devastating, life-altering condition that at the time had no other viable treatment. Dr. Wall’s article includes the following quote from a doctor speaking at the 1857 annual meeting of the Georgia State Medical Society, describing how some women with vesicovaginal fistulas are: “compelled to sit constantly on a chair, or stool, with a hole in the seat, through which the urine descends into a vessel beneath.” In addition, as Dr. Wall notes, during the time that Dr Sims was performing his experiments, anesthesia was not widely used, and a few of Dr. Sims’ published cases describe operating on white women without anesthesia.

Why We Are a Republic, Not a Democracy

Why We Are a Republic, Not a Democracy

Walter E. Williams

The Founding Fathers designed a system that places heavy checks on the power of the majority. (Photo: iStock Photos)

    Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, “What Happened.”

    Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the most dangerous institutions in American politics.

Why? They say the Electoral College system, as opposed to a simple majority vote, distorts the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes are not distributed according to population.

To back up their claim, they point out that the Electoral College gives, for example, Wyoming citizens disproportionate weight in a presidential election.

Put another way, Wyoming, a state with a population of about 600,000, has one member in the House of Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate, which gives the citizens of Wyoming three electoral votes, or one electoral vote per 200,000 people.

California, our most populous state, has more than 39 million people and 55 electoral votes, or approximately one vote per 715,000 people.

Comparatively, individuals in Wyoming have nearly four times the power in the Electoral College as Californians.

Many people whine that using the Electoral College instead of the popular vote and majority rule is undemocratic. I’d say that they are absolutely right. Not deciding who will be the president by majority rule is not democracy.

    But the Founding Fathers went to great lengths to ensure that we were a republic and not a democracy. In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or any other of our founding documents.    How about a few quotations expressed by the Founders about democracy?

In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wanted to prevent rule by majority faction, saying, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

John Adams warned in a letter, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”

Edmund Randolph said, “That in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.”

Then-Chief Justice John Marshall observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

The Founders expressed contempt for the tyranny of majority rule, and throughout our Constitution, they placed impediments to that tyranny. Two houses of Congress pose one obstacle to majority rule. That is, 51 senators can block the wishes of 435 representatives and 49 senators.

The president can veto the wishes of 535 members of Congress. It takes two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override a presidential veto.

To change the Constitution requires not a majority but a two-thirds vote of both houses, and if an amendment is approved, it requires ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Finally, the Electoral College is yet another measure that thwarts majority rule. It makes sure that the highly populated states—today, mainly 12 on the east and west coasts, cannot run roughshod over the rest of the nation. That forces a presidential candidate to take into consideration the wishes of the other 38 states.

Those Americans obsessed with rule by popular majorities might want to get rid of the Senate, where states, regardless of population, have two senators.

Should we change representation in the House of Representatives to a system of proportional representation and eliminate the guarantee that each state gets at least one representative?

Currently, seven states with populations of 1 million or fewer have one representative, thus giving them disproportionate influence in Congress.

While we’re at it, should we make all congressional acts by majority rule? When we’re finished with establishing majority rule in Congress, should we then move to change our court system, which requires unanimity in jury decisions, to a simple majority rule?

My question is: Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?

The answer. – Why We Use Electoral College, Not Popular Vote