AFA-IN: What happened in Court Today on Religious Freedom?

What Happened in Court Today?
 
            As you know from yesterday’s email, we were in the Hamilton County Superior Court to argue the constitutionality of the “RFRA fix” and several city “human rights” ordinances that can punish people of faith for their peaceably held views on marriage and sexual morality. 
 
            It is difficult for a non-attorney to explain what happened, but here are my quick observations.   
 
            The hearing began with 30 minutes of oral arguments.  Our attorney, Jim Bopp, Jr., who has argued more than a dozen times before the US Supreme Court on various free speech cases, did a very good job explaining our concerns.  He noted that the RFRA fix added to the original RFRA law one week after it was signed due to historic economic and media pressure, moved RFRA from a law that protected everyone, as a balancing test for religious freedom conflicts, to one that predetermined who would automatically lose or who could not use RFRA as a defense.  (That would be people of faith who hold to traditional values and teachings like the plaintiffs – AFA of Indiana and the Indiana Family Institute.)  Doing this violated the equal protections clause of the Indiana Constitution and raised several First Amendment problems. 
 
            He also noted how various city ordinances allowed for the government to discriminate against people of faith based solely upon our views.   
 
            He also explained how the defendant’s arguments largely rested upon a claim that we do not have standing, or a reason for a case, because we have not (yet) been punished by these laws.  He noted that those laws have had a chilling effect, limiting things we wanted to do or may do in the future in terms of events or programs in certain cities.  
 
            One note of importance is that one reason it took four years for us to have our day in court is because of those arguments on standing which we had to fight to even get to argue the merits of our concerns today.   This involved two court hearings at this level and the appellate level.  In both those, a trial and a higher review, the courts said we do have standing to proceed.  
            
            When it came to the time for the cities and the state to defend the RFRA fix and their city ordinances, each attorney was given 30 minutes.  This meant that it was a 30-minute verses a 3-hour debate.   That was difficult to endure because there were many things said which were not accurate about IFI, AFA-IN and our case in general.
 
            During their three hours, more than half of their time was spent rearguing standing claims that we should not have a case because we have not been punished by these ordinances.   (Bopp noted that one election can change the entire attitude of a government against us, or anyone.)   

           There were also arguments that several recent major cases in favor of religious freedom that we cited involving, for example, Catholic adoption agencies, wedding photographers, and Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker, were not applicable to our case. 

            When their time was done, the judge simply ended the hearing saying that he would review the documents and filings and hand down a ruling.  I certainly pray that he does look at the legal arguments made in this case affirming religious liberty and free speech, even though it is more than 300 pages. 
 
            My guess is that we will have a ruling on this in a month or two.  
 
            I want to thank all those who prayed for the hearing today, please continue to pray for the judge in this case and that the founding principles of freedom prevail in his opinion. 
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Alert: Political Correctness Invades IN Govt. 😡

Indiana Bureaucrats Bow to the gods of Political Correctness

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has once again proved that he is nobody’s puppet or doormat.   In a move that surely sent shock waves through dozens of cubicles in the state office building, AG Hill put the brakes on a politically correct effort to sneak through the creation of transgender or genderless driver’s licenses in Indiana.

In a major story that broke on Monday, Hill refused to sign off on a procedural matter that I’d suggest most political leaders in his position would have viewed as a mere formality.   Hill refused go along with a new rule proposed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to allow “Gender X” on Indiana’s driver licenses citing a lack of public input on the matter.   (This will surely cause his office to be the target of a lot of hate by the far left.)

Sources had told me that the BMV wanted this to go into effect without a lot of controversy.   They wanted it to be a done deal behind the scenes by the time the public found out about the formal change.   You may want to call the BMV state office at 888-692-6841 and politely let them know that this is bad policy.   (You can also email the BMV here: https://secure.in.gov/BMV/mybmv/Contact.aspx)

There is a good, well-balanced, news story about this written by Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette reporter Niki Kelly.  You can read it here:  https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/indiana/20190908/bmv-gender-rule-hits-roadblock

Here is one of my quotes from her article:

The entire discussion hasn’t sat well among socially conservative groups and lawmakers who believe a person should be required to keep the gender assigned at birth on official state documents.

“I think a person can appear as they choose, and freely live that lifestyle, but we need their true biological identity from birth on a driver’s license if that document is to have any credibility,” said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana.

“Otherwise, why can’t I claim the weight, height and eye color I’ve always wanted? What if a person floats between genders and may appear male one month or female another? I think their official ID should reveal their true biology from birth, not their mental beliefs.”

Another Study Finds Homosexuality is not Linked to Genes 

A massive new study conducted by Harvard and MIT scientists refutes the commonly held idea that homosexuals are “born that way.”   The study involved nearly half a million people in the US and UK.  Published in Science, the journal for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this is the largest study ever conducted on the subject.

An international team of scientists examined data from 477,522 people to see whether genetic markers in DNA could be linked to sexual behavior.  The researchers conducted a “genome-wide association study” involving anonymous subjects based upon responses to questions about sexual behaviors, sexual attraction, and sexual identity.

Andrea Ganna, the head of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Finland and an instructor at Harvard was the study’s lead author.  She concluded, “There is no gay gene that determines whether a person has same-sex partners.”

David Curtis, honorary professor at the UCL Genetics Institute at the University College in London, said, “This study clearly shows that there is no such thing as a ‘gay gene.’  There is no genetic variant in the population which has any substantial effect on sexual orientation.”

Another team member, Ben Neale, an associate professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital said, “There is no single gay gene . . . It’s effectively impossible to predict an individual’s sexual behavior from their genome.”

The study concluded that homosexual behavior is more strongly linked to outside environmental factors such as family life, friends, beliefs, and childhood development.

Two New Reports on Indiana School Performance 

Only 37% of Indiana’s students in grades 3-through-8 have passed the new statewide I-LEARN test’s math and English sections.  The I-LEARN test is the replacement for the I-STEP test given to Indiana public school students for more than two decades.  In the last year of the I-STEP nearly 60% of students passed the math section and nearly two-thirds passed the English section.

Many state education leaders had warned that test scores would likely drop with the transition to a new test, though I’d bet that many were surprised at such a large decline.

I served on the Governor’s Education Roundtable under Governors O’Bannon and Kernan, and on an I-Step review panel years ago. I believe that it is possible that there might be some problems with this new test.  If so, those problems will rise up through feedback from teachers and other testing and academic leaders.

Governor Holcomb and the Superintendent of Public Instruction have stated that these new test results will not be used to grade schools this year.

Perhaps a better overview came this week from one of the nation’s foremost school publications Education Week.  A national ranking called “Quality Counts 2019” is this publication’s 23rdannual ranking of state education systems.

The report looked at nearly two-dozen factors such as kindergarten enrollment, 4th grade reading tests, 8th grade math tests, high school graduation rates, school funding, parental employment and income.

Indiana ranked 22nd among the 50 states and DC. Indiana schools were given a C grade.  No state received above a B+ grade. Forty-four states had a C or lower.

         Education Week’s annual report card has been static for years.  They bemoan the overall difficulty of improving schools in their report.  Indiana looks fairly similar in most categories to the national average.  (Our 4th and 8th grade tests are actually higher than the national average at 40.7 vs 35.4 in 4thgrade reading and 37.8 vs 33.4 in 8th grade mathematics.)

In Their Own Words:

Without a firm moral foundation, freedom degenerates quickly into anarchy.  Then there will be freedom only for those who are stronger and more unscrupulous than the rank and file of the people.”  – President Harry Truman, April 3, 1951

Just the Facts:

AFA-IN Fact Sheet: Are People Born Gay?
Click here: https://tinyurl.com/y4prqdmg

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AFA-IN: Blaming Indiana; Polling Accuracy; New Dating Trends

More than Replacing the Landline Phone

Years ago, one might have assumed that new technology would simply replace the home telephone as a primary means of communication between the sexes.  For decades the stereotypical teenager spent hours on the family phone talking to a boyfriend or girlfriend while the parents worried about their phone bill or their own missed calls.

However, not only has technology changed communication, it has also changed how couples meet and date.

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Michael Rosenfeld, of Stanford University, compared the results of surveys conducted in 2009 and 2017, using them to track the ways people met their partners against the years in which the meetings took place.

The research found that online dating is going through the roof while the more traditional ways people meet are on the decline.

As the Institute for Family Studies observed, “It used to be that technology just helped us communicate more efficiently with our preexisting acquaintances, family, and coworkers. Now it helps us find and connect romantically with total strangers. In the 2017 survey, 90% of those who started their relationships online had no other connections to each other. Increasingly, it’s not our friends, siblings, and churches that serve as mediators between us and potential partners; apps and websites and their algorithms do.”

Research on this phenomenon is new and sparse and therefore may not yet be conclusive. However, a 2013 study, found that “marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.” A 2017 studysimilarly found that “meeting online does not predict couple breakup.”  It also found that marriages occur quicker through online dating services.

Blaming Us for Your Problems

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at Texas Senator Ted Cruz yesterday in a twitter fight after Cruz noted that twice as many people were shot in Chicago (41) over the weekend as in the mass shooting in Texas (22).   The Mayor blamed the city’s decades old crime problem on . . . (brace yourself) . . . Indiana!

“The windy city” has some of the strictest gun laws in America.  The mayor blamed Indiana because 20% of the illegal guns in her city come from Indiana. She blamed us because we, “do not have common sense gun laws” (as, I guess, Chicago does?)

Yet, if Mayor Lightfoot is correct, if it is a matter of gun laws, why doesn’t Indiana have the renowned crime problems that Chicago has had for so long? Between 2015 and 2017 there were 1,996 homicides in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people.  There were 1,325 homicides in the entire state of Indiana over those same three years. There are 6.6 million Hoosiers.

A Few Considerations Regarding Presidential Polling

You have probably heard that President Trump is losing in polling to nearly every major Democratic presidential candidate. Political polling a year ahead of the presidential election may have some momentary political implications, or derision against President Trump, but in reality, they are worthless as any kind of prediction tool.

In January of 1980, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan 62% to 33%.   Reagan won in November by 10 points.   In December of 1983, Ronald Reagan led Walter Mondale by only 1 point.  On Election Day, Reagan won by 18 points. In May of 1988 Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by 12 points.  On Election Day, Bush won by 6 points.   In March of 1992, George H.W. Bush led Bill Clinton by 19 points.  On Election Day he lost to Clinton by 6 points.  In March of 2004, John Kerry led George W. Bush by 6 points.  On Election Day, Kerry lost by 3 points.

Last week Reuters/Ipsos released a poll showing President Trump with a job approval of just 42%.  At first glance, this is not a bad number considering the media’s constant attacks on the President.

Reuters numbers are actually lower than the political reality.   The poll is made up of registered voters, but such polls are usually an under-representation.  “Likely voters” is a more accurate prediction of election outcomes.  Under those polling samples, Trump’s numbers tend to increase about 5%.

Reuters gave the Democrats 95 more survey responses than Republicans, weighting Democrats as 47% of the poll sample, compared to 38% Republicans.  This is a lopsided weighting in favor of the Democrats, giving them a 9-point advantage. In the most recent 2018 election, exit polls found that 37% of voters described themselves as Democrats and 33% as Republicans, which is only a 4-point advantage.

While President Trump could lose in the November 2020 election, any polling this far out is not a reliable predictor of this.

In Their Own Words:

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
  – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist.

Just the Facts

Next week I will add a new section to this weekly email called “Just the Facts” where I will pass along a web site link to one of our one-page “fact sheets” we have created on various issues over the years.

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AFA-IN: Was America Built on Slavery? Congressional Race Update

Media Effort Distorts True History of America

The New York Times has embarked on an effort to rewrite the history of the United States as a nation built upon slavery.  Calling it the “1619 Project,” the opening article is a whopping 7,600-word effort to look at 18th Century history through a liberal 21stcentury lens.  Joshua Lawson has written an excellent rebuttal to this effort in The Federalist.  Because much of the NYT’s ideology is already being inserted into the narrative of schools and universities, I wanted to pass along some portions of this important article for your consideration.

No, America Wasn’t Built On Slavery, But Faith That All Men Are Created Equal

The year 1619 was chosen for the Times’ “re-founding” to mark when the first slaves arrived in the English settlement of Jamestown.

Slavery was a heart-wrenching, obstacle during America’s birth, but by no objective analysis was it the central factor of the founding as the 1619 Project claims.

Slavery was and is an abomination. It is an evil part of America’s past—as well as that of nearly every nation on earth. The fact that slavery has a universal heritage does not absolve American slave owners, but it does provide a necessary historical context.

During the 17th century, slavery was, sadly, an accepted part of life throughout the world. By A.D. 1619, slavery had existed for more than 5000 years, dating back at least to Mesopotamia.

Written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the 7,600-word flagship essay of the 1619 Project asserts that “our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.”   Hannah-Jones claims, “white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for the hundreds of thousands of black people in their midst.” She provides no evidence or examples for this sweeping assertion. 

Jefferson’s original final draft of the Declaration explicitly referred to black slaves not as property but as men.    Letters written to John Jay show Alexander Hamilton hoping the Revolutionary War could lead to the emancipation of blacks and appraising them equal to whites in their abilities. Additional examples are plentiful.

The Founders were painfully aware of the cognitive dissonance of forming a nation under the proclamation that all were created equal while maintaining slavery. They also had to face the political reality that the 13 colonies could not be united in a new nation if they immediately abolished slavery.

With no other way to obtain the necessary support for unity and ratification, the Founders spitefully tolerated slavery’s existence, while also placing it on a path to extinction. Once the nation secured independence, American statesman of the Founding Era slashed away at slavery as quickly as prudence and political reality would allow.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the territory that would become the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1794, Congress barred American ships from engaging in the slave trade. Additional legislation in 1780 banned Americans from employment or investment in the international slave trade. Finally, the U.S. Congress officially banned the importation of slaves beginning on January 1, 1808, the earliest date allowed under the deal made to ratify the Constitution.

Far from the bastion of racism, hate and pro-slavery sentiment that the 1619 Project portrays, much of the United States was ahead of the world in ending the horror of slavery.  Shortly after the signing of the Declaration, northern states took the lead. By 1804, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had passed laws that immediately or gradually abolished slavery.

If the American Founding was grounded in slavery, and the Founders didn’t believe a word of the opening of the Declaration, how does one account for these actions?

According to Hannah-Jones, one of the “primary reasons” Americans declared independence was to preserve slavery, fearful of the “growing calls” to abolish the slave trade in London. However, a closer look shows the abolitionist movement didn’t have a truly organized presence in England until 1783 when the first petition was filed by Quakers. It wasn’t until 1787 that the influential Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded.

The 1619 Project is politically driven 2020 posturing dressed in the veneer of a historical “exposé.” By warping history, it hopes that dopamine hits of anger and injustice will prevent readers from engaging in objective analysis. Just in time to paint America as racist for the upcoming presidential election.

Leftists are banking that the outrage caused by the 1619 Project will provide them the political capital required to move to the next stage: a full reconfiguration of America into their image.

America does not need further tribal rhetoric tearing up what little societal cohesion remains. The nation certainly doesn’t benefit from Times writers conducting a growing chorus of anger and grievance.

Bryan Duncan In Concert

Dove and Grammy Award winning Christian artist, Bryan Duncan, is appearing in Noblesville on September 28that First Presbyterian Church.  As you may know, we have hosted Bryan for two Christmas concerts in Central and Northwest Indiana.  Proceeds of this concert go to help with addiction ministries in Hamilton County.

Bryan is an incredible talent, and a blessing to see in concert. His dozen #1 hits include: Love Me With Your Life, A Heart Like Mine, Step by Step, Love Takes Time, Traces of Heaven, You Don’t Leave Me Lonely, and Into My Heart.  You may want to learn more and purchase tickets here: https://www.fpc-noblesville.org

And Now There Are Three

Former State Representative Steve Braun has officially announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional district being vacated by Susan Brooks. Braun ran for Congress the last election cycle, but lost, many believe, due to a mail hit piece that foolishly used the term “arm and a leg” against then State Rep. Jim Baird, who lost his left arm in Viet Nam in 1971.  Baird is now the 4th District Congressman.

Braun is a formidable candidate if for no other reason than being the brother of US Senator Mike Braun and having the ability to self-fund a lot of his campaign.

Last night, a reported with WTHR tweeted that Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell will announce her entrance into the race.

Micah Beckwith, a small businessman and pastor at Northview Church is the only other candidate on the Republican side to have announced.  Beckwith recently had over 250 people at his kick-off announcement diner featuring former Congressman Marlin Stutzman. Other possible names include former State Sen Mike Delph, and State Sen. John Ruckelshaus.

In Their Own Words:

A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.” – G.K. Chesterton

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AFAIN: Dating in Church? & Local Govt. Alert

Protecting Faith-Based Organizations 

The Trump Administration is proposing a much-needed new rule through the U.S. Department of Labor that ensures that conscience and religious freedom are protected allowing groups that contract with the government to have employment policies that are consistent with their beliefs.   Liberals have wanted to force religious colleges, businesses, and charities that work with the government to embrace the LGBT agenda.  This proposed rule nixes that effort at the federal level.

No Datable Men in Churches

My wife and I met at a Christian ministry for singles hosted by a large church in Indianapolis.  One thing that we have noticed over the years is that after 20 years of marriage we still have several friends who are single.   I have found myself sometimes suggesting that they need to be in church to find a good wife.   After, all, it worked for me.  Yet, a new study finds that my assumptions may be wrong.  (There are, of course, many better reasons to go to church! )

We have all heard that there is a dearth of men in churches when it comes to male and female ratios.  Books have been written for ministry leaders about this problem.  However, a new paper from the Institute for Family Studies finds that, while there are ratio differences, when it comes to marriage availability, the problem is different.

If you Google statistics on men in the church, the main number you will find is that 61% of the people in church on a Sunday are female. But when that number is restricted to prime-age, unmarried people, it turns out that it’s more like 52-57% of people who identify as Christian are female, which is considerably less severe than the perception.

The real problem is not so much that there is a mismatch between the numbers of men and women.  The problem is that the portion of the church population of young unmarrieds is noticeably small. Churches are only useful places to meet a spouse if there are a lot of young people there.

The paper looks at various denominational types from conservative evangelicals, to Catholics, to mainlines, to historically black churches. To show the small demographics of young people, the average Mainline church has about 80 attendees on a Sunday. Of those, about 11 are likely to be under 50, not married, and not divorced. Of those 11, six or seven are likely to be women; let’s call it seven, as we stipulated that the scenario centers around a woman. That means there are seven eligible women and 4 eligible men.

This is not a functional dating pool. So, it’s no wonder the share of Americans who meet their partner at church has plummeted from 12% in 1940 to barely 4% today.

A Sad Public Incident

You may have read that State Representative Dan Forestal was arrested for drunk driving, resisting arrest and impersonating an officer, which is a felony allegation.   This week the case was referred to a special prosecutor because the Democrat lawmaker has made campaign donations to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and served in his campaign.

It is unknown at this point what may happen to the legislator.  Indiana law states that a felon cannot hold public office. Forestal allegedly used his firefighter badge to claim he was a police officer while looking for cocaine with some patrons at an Indianapolis bar.  If that charge is prosecuted and sentenced, it seems highly unlikely that he could hold on to his position in the legislature.

The Indianapolis Fire Department has suspended Forestal, who serves on the department.  His resume says he is a lieutenant, but IFD says he is only a private in the department. In 2007 Forestal was arrested on DUI and promised the department that “nothing like this will ever happen again.”

Rep. Forestal has been very hostile to religious freedom as a state legislator, but he could really use a lot a prayer at this time.

ALERT:  Protecting the City of Fort Wayne

Last week, I sat through a four-hour city council meeting in Fort Wayne.  Discussion surrounded two proposals dealing with sexually oriented businesses.  The council cast a tie vote on an ordinance banning live sex acts in businesses.  That proposal died.  They did move an update of their 2001 ordinance on adult book stores and strip clubs on for a final vote.

Over the last forty years there have been numerous studies, finding that sexually oriented businesses often lead to increased crime and lower property values.   These findings are so consistent that courts across the nation, including the US Supreme Court, have allowed local governments to pass regulations and zoning guidelines as a means of reducing the harmful secondary effects of such establishments.

The ordinance would help protect dancers from being groped by customers.  It would also reduce the possibility of prostitution and sex trafficking occurring inside these clubs.  The ordinance gives the city and law enforcement agencies better guidelines should any clubs violate certain basic standards of business operation.

Dozens of cities and counties in Indiana already have an ordinance like the one being considered in Fort Wayne.

If you live in Fort Wayne, the council members need to hear from you before their final vote on Ordinance: 19-07-35.

Please email the following Council members, simply asking them to vote “yes” for the sexually oriented businesses ordinance:

Jason Arp    jasonarpcitycouncil@gmail.com

Michael Barranda    michaelbarranda@gmail.com

Dr. John Crawford   jncrawfordmd@gmail.com

Thomas Didier    tdidiers5@frontier.com

Paul Ensley  paul@paulensley.com

Tom Friestoffer   freistrofferatlarge@gmail.com

Glynn Hines   glynnhines@aol.com

Russ Jehl    russ@russjehl.com

Geoffrey Paddock   geoffreypaddock@aol.com

In Their Own Words:

“Without virtue there can be no liberty.” – Dr. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration

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AFAIN: Lonely Millennials, Abortion Pill Risks, No Shaving

Do You Have Any Real Friends?

In light of the tragic shootings in Ohio and Texas, some observers have pointed to the isolation that seems to be a common trait in the young men who commit these horrible crimes.  (There is an excellent article on the likely connection between the breakdown of the family, divorce, and fatherlessness as a common thread in mass shooters that is well worth reading. We have posted it on our web site here:  https://www.afain.net/2019/08/guns-are-not-the-ultimate-cause-of-mass-killings/)

According to a new survey, millennials who are active social media users may be the loneliest generation that America has ever observed.  The poll of 1,254 adults aged 18 and older has found that a startling 27% of millennials have no close friends.  This contrasts with only 9% of Baby Boomers and 15% of GenXers report having no friends. (The study did not include the younger Gen Z.)

Not surprisingly a full third of young people ages 20-30 report feeling lonely “often” or “always.”   On the positive side, 49% of millennials said that they had between one and four “close friends” and 70% said that they have a best friend. However, based upon the other stats the researchers note that their best friend is possibly their only friend.  The survey found that across the board a third of all Americans feel making friends is difficult.

There are several studies which have found that a significant degree of social media use can increase both loneliness and depression.

New Study Finds Harm in Abortion Drugs

In recent years, abortion procedures have somewhat moved away from a surgical process to more women using pills to produce an abortion.   Testimony from women who have obtained chemical abortions tends to confirm that abortion-minded women believe that taking a pill is an easier route than an invasive procedure.

They may also have been led to believe that taking a pill has fewer side effects, but that is questionable.  One can see how a woman in crisis might believe that simply taking a few pills will make her “problem” go away. Yet, I have heard testimony from women at the Indiana statehouse describing what happened, which could only be termed as gruesome.

Now a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience provides additional evidence of the harmful biological and behavioral effects of drug-induced abortion.  Using rat subjects, the study “strongly suggest that pregnancy termination induces significant negative biological and behavioral changes in the rat.” The study found that drug-induced abortion presented more negative effects than a spontaneous abortion through miscarriage. The three-year study indicates that there are negative consequences such as depression, anxiety, loss of appetite and decreased self-care after terminating a viable pregnancy using mifepristone and misoprostol.

You may have the same question I did regarding a study using rats being connected to humans. Dr. Stephen Sammut, a neuroscientist and psychology professor who led the research, explained that rats are commonly used in these types of studies because of their similarities in physiology and neurophysiology to humans.

Swinging Single Advocate Admits to Being “Truly Alone”

The six-year TV series in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, called Sex in the City may have glamorized the lives of single women, but its originator has now admitted that the trailblazing legacy it promoted brought her deep loneliness in real life.

Candace Bushnell, who wrote the original 1997 novel that spawned the successful HBO series, recently told the Sunday Times magazine that she regrets not having a family.  Bushnell, now 60, said, “When I was in my 30’s and 40’s I didn’t think about it. . . then when I got divorced and I was in my 50’s, I started to see the impact of not having children and truly being alone. I see that people with children have an anchor in a way that people who have no kids don’t.”

Bushnell divorced in 2012 after 10 years of marriage. She is preparing to release a new book titled, “Is There Still Sex in the City?”  The book deals with what she describes as middle-aged sadness and other obstacles many single women face as they turn 50.

Her new novel follows a group of middle-aged New York City women who travel to the Hamptons for a fresh start, much like she has done in real life. “We’re all single women without children. And you think about, what are you going to do when you get old? If you don’t have kids, you realize, ‘Who is going to take care of me? Your girlfriends?’”

A Close Shave?  Not Hardly

One would have to question the financial wisdom a business leader who appears comfortable with offending customers, but that’s exactly the response the CFO of the Gillette shaving company had to some bad news.  After a string of offensive advertisements attacking manhood and promoting a leftist agenda with a commercial of a father showing his trans-daughter how to shave her face, Gillette has now lost over $8 billion in revenue.

The Procter & Gamble owned company claimed that this loss was not due to it’s political lurch, but rather to more men growing beards.  Externally, Gillette is ignoring groups like our national office, which called for people to buy something other than Gillette for their shaving needs.  It would seem that a huge number of Americans have left Gillette.

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In Their Own Words:

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

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Important Announcement from the Marion County Republican Chairman

Dear Indy Republicans,
On January 8th of this year I was fortunate to have been elected to serve as your Marion County GOP Chairman.  As you all know, the Marion County Republican Party is incredibly important to me.  The Marion County GOP brought me to Indianapolis – under former Chair Tom John in 2008.  Over more than a decade I have worked alongside you and we’ve built incredible relationships.

 

On that Tuesday night at Dallara, I envisioned my tenure with Marion County being measured in years, not months.  The lobby was filled with hundreds of passionate and dedicated volunteers who represent what is great about organizations – political or otherwise.  I was and remain humbled by the support shown by each of you and have always viewed that trust as a blessing.

 

Fast forward seven months and I am pleased with where we are.  We’ve built a strong and experienced team of candidates poised to reclaim the top offices in our county and return Indianapolis to a city of solutions, not just questions.  We have a terrific team of Township Chairmen focused on strengthening each township and supporting candidates at every level. Our new Executive Director brings great knowledge and relationships to our team and is committed to supporting candidates and volunteers.  We have incorporated new and more effective technologies to maximize the time of each and every volunteer.  Last but not least, we have the support of a generous and diverse donor network that sees the opportunities that lie ahead and believes in our mission and our plan.

 

As much as I value my role as Chairman, I’ve been presented with a professional opportunity that will demand more of my time, and will unfortunately leave me less time to focus on my duties to our party. Therefore, with a heavy heart, I will be resigning as Chairman of the Marion County Republican Central Committee effective July 30.

 

This is not a decision that has been made quickly or easily.  This decision does not change my belief in or my commitment to our Party.  I am confident that we will elect a new chair who will keep our commitment to strengthening our grassroots network, ensure our candidates represent the people of their districts and will deliver every technological and tactical advantage to our team.

 

We will be successful this November and will build upon that momentum in 2020.

Sincerely,
Bryce Carpenter
Chairman, Marion County GOP

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AFAIN: Alert Dangerous Bill in Senate; IN House Race Update

Let Indiana’s Senators Know that Religious Discrimination is Wrong

The US Senate may soon consider a misnamed bill called the “Equality Act.”  This dangerous legislation has already been passed by the US House.  It has 45 co-sponsors in the US Senate.  It only needs 51 votes to pass.

My national office has reviewed this legislation and warned that, “The deceptive Equality Act is a religious liberty wrecking ball.”

It would be hard to imagine a more anti-freedom bill than this one. This legislation would allow the government to discriminate against people of faith, ignoring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and forcing people to violate their consciences or face the full weight of government punishment.

Here are just a few of the many problems the “Equality Act” could cause if enacted:

  • It would force many faith-based organizations to pay for abortion in their health care plans by creating a right to demand abortion coverage from health care providers.

 

  •  It could force Christian schools, ministries, and churches to change employment policies that are currently aligned with traditional teachings on sex, gender, marriage and human sexuality.

 

  •  It would harm faith-based charities, such as adoption agencies, that believe in natural marriage and strive to place foster or adoptive children with a mother and father.

 

  •   It would embolden those in Indiana who have been attempting to harm our school voucher system by targeting Christian schools that have employment policies consistent with their religious beliefs on sexual morality.

 

  •  It could threaten the privacy and safety of women and children by forcing genderless bathrooms and showers upon sporting facilities, parks, rest areas and other public amenities.

 

  •   It could force schools to allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports if those males claim gender confusion or have a gender identity disorder.

Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun need to hear from you.   Ask them to protect religious freedom by voting “No” on the so-called “Equality Act.”

Senator Todd Young
(202) 224-5623
E-mail:  www.young.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mike Braun
(202) 224-4814
E-mail: www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike

Retirement Announcement Shakes Up Indiana Politics

As you probably know, 5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks has announced that she will not run for re-election next year.   This district covers northern Marion County and includes all of Hamilton, Tipton, Madison and Grant counties, and parts of Blackford, Howard and Boone Counties.

The district, long held by conservative leader Dan Burton, has shifted a lot with the changing demographics of Marion and Hamilton Counties.  In terms of voters, the district is about 75% urban or heavily suburban and 25% rural.  Rep. Brooks won this district with only 55% in her last run.  Democrat Joe Donnelly won this district, though not his race for Senate.   It is still a district that though perhaps not ranked “solid Republican” anymore, strongly leans Republican.

I almost never do this, but I am going to list names I have heard considering running, along with my comment, as a descriptor, not an endorsement for or against any candidate.  There may be other names yet to emerge and some I mention here may or may not ultimately run.  This will be an expensive and heated race.

The only name I have heard mentioned on the Democrat side is speculative.  It is former Indiana state representative Christina Hale.  She could potentially be a strong candidate for the Democrats.

On the Republican side there are many people reportedly considering a run.   In no particular order, here are some of those names.

Former State Senator, and soon to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, Mike Delph, has been a personal friend of mine for two decades going back to when he was Chief of Staff for Dan Burton.   Mike would likely have very strong support among the conservative base of the GOP.  Mike has state, congressional, and military experience that could appeal to many GOP voters throughout the district.

Current state Senator John Ruckleshaus is another name being mentioned.  I’ve known him for years in the legislature.   He would seem to have support among the establishment GOP.  I use that term in a positive way.  John is a standard, rank and file moderate Republican with what I would consider to be both good and bad votes cast.  For many politicians with this description, this would mean that neither the left nor the right would like him, but I don’t sense this with Ruckleshaus.  He is a very likeable person.  I am not sure how to assess his strengths.  It may depend upon how he is defined in this race by himself or by his opponents.

I met Micah Beckwith a few weeks ago, before Brooks’ announcement.  He was considering challenging Brooks due to a series of liberal votes she has accumulated. Micah is an energetic outsider who serves as a worship leader on staff at Northview Church, the largest Church in Hamilton County.  He may have the hardest path as a dark horse candidate without any political office in his resume, but he is certainly very capable of making an impact on this race.

Former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard would seemingly have a strong base in the Marion County portion of the district and name ID that stretches into Hamilton County. Also, if there is a Susan Collins or Jeff Flake wing of the GOP here, Ballard could own it.  The Republican candidates I have mentioned so far all pass the litmus test of being pro-life. Ballard may not meet that criteria. Ideologically, Ballard would seem to appeal to those uncomfortable with Trump and the more liberal wing of the GOP. . . but that doesn’t mean that he cannot win in a crowded field in the May primary.

Another name I have heard, but not seen in the news yet, is Kelly Mitchell.  She might have a big chunk of the structured party support given her position as the current Indiana State Treasurer.  Her position on issues before the US Congress are mostly unknown.

I have also heard that the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff is interested in running.  I believe that is still Megan Savage who has served Chief of Staff since 2015 and as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County prior to this position.  She would seem to naturally inherit some of Brooks base of support, if she runs.

In Their Own Words:

 “You can’t have a limited government if the family breaks down.”  – Former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum

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Help us Defend Faith, Family
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