When Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States on March 4, 1801, there was but a fleeting hint of warning in his Inaugural Address about dangers to the young Republic from distant forces abroad. America would pursue “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none,” he proclaimed. But he also asked for “that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the conflicting elements of a troubled world.”
Despite threats of an ACLU-driven lawsuit, seniors at Louisiana’s Bastrop High School continued a tradition of prayer at the school’s graduation ceremony. One of the graduates had demanded that the prayer be canceled, and the ACLU had followed up by contacting school officials to make sure the prayer was scratched from the commencement.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the abortion Goliath, has met its David — and her name is Lila Rose (picture at left). At age 15, Lila Rose founded Live Action, the organization whose undercover investigations have exposed PPFA's illegal and unethical operations and unleashed a political firestorm. Thanks in large measure to her efforts, Planned Parenthood's tap on the taxpayers is under assault all across the country.
The latest Gallup poll shows that more than half of all Americans are opposed to abortion in all or most cases. Overall, however, the latest poll is the first time since 2008 that more Americans have classified themselves as pro-choice than pro-life.
According to the poll, while 49 percent of the nation classifies itself as pro-choice, and 45 percent identify themselves as pro-life, 61 percent believe that abortion should be legal in limited or no circumstances, while 37 percent want it legal in all circumstances.
A New York City special education teacher has said that her faith and spirituality provoked harassment, teasing, and finally, wrongful termination last June. Though the school claims that Anita Wooten Francis was fired for grabbing a child, Francis insists that the school manufactured that story in order to hide the real reason for her termination: her Christian beliefs.
Despite the powerful influence of the teachers’ union in New York City, education officials in NYC are in the process of developing new standardized tests that will be administered to students and will be used to assess teacher performance.
Although the United States is generally recognized as having a free-market, capitalist economy, many services are provided by various levels of government, rather than by the private sector, which means that those services are delivered according to the socialist economic model. The American public school system provides a classic example of how that plays out. The so-called “central planners” determine what is to be taught and how it is to be taught, with virtually no input from consumers (parents and students). In fact, in the rare instances when said consumers attempt to make their preferences known, such as objecting to the use of a certain book in the curriculum, it is not at all uncommon for the teachers, administrators, and school board to “circle the wagons” and repel them.
On May 21 the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a proposed state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The House vote followed similar approval of the measure in the Senate on May 11, which means that the proposed amendment will be placed on the state ballot for Minnesota voters to decide in November 2012. If passed it will make Minnesota one of more than 30 states that have actively protected traditional marriage via their state constitutions.
Marriages in America are lasting longer and divorce is declining slightly, according to a recent Census Bureau report. The research, taken from a sampling of 55,497 individuals surveyed in 2009, found that more than half of couples currently married have been married for at least 15 years, 35 percent have been married for more than 25 years, and six percent have been married for more than 50 years. The latest numbers are all one to two percentage points higher than Census statistics in 1996.
The Department of Education released a proposal last month that dramatically alters the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which guarantees the privacy of student records. Critics of the proposal contend that it infringes upon student privacy and allows the government access to what should be private information.
The battle for marriage is heating up once more in New York, and with Governor Andrew Cuomo leading the drive to legalize same-sex marriage the issue has taken center stage in the state legislature. With the likely approval of a homosexual marriage bill by the state assembly, Cuomo has focused his attention on turning some key votes in the state Senate, which the Republican Party controls by a razor-thin 32-30 margin. He is getting some help in his campaign from former Republican and now liberal Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been pressuring some vulnerable GOP state Senators to support the measure.