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Protect The Divine Institution of Marriage: Yes on CA Prop 8

You will notice in the right hand column of my blog is a “Yes on California Proposition 8” widget. My reasons for supporting this constitutional amendment are both religious and political in nature. From a political perspective, please see my blog post from March 2007 entitled Why I Oppose Gay Marriage: Politically. From a religious perspective, which encompasses the current, future and eternal happiness of men, women and children, I’m sure I could not articulate the position better than in the LDS Church’s official statement on The Divine Institution of Marriage. This is a lengthy document, though, and I would like to highlight some of the more salient parts:

“Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults.”

“Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization.”

“A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people…Married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared.”

“Extensive studies have shown that in general a husband and wife united in a loving, committed marriage provide the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised.”

“The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development.”

“Gender differences increasingly are dismissed as trivial, irrelevant, or transient, thus undermining God’s purpose in creating both men and women.”

If Proposition 8 is passed, “The institution of marriage will be weakened, resulting in negative consequences for both adults and children. ”

The Church wishes to sustain and defend “the crucial role that traditional marriage has played and must continue to play in American society if children and families are to be protected and moral values propagated.”

“Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved.”

“Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not ‘tolerating’ transgression.”

“Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression.”

“Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to ‘sin no more.'”

“We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage.”

“Certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.”

“Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples.”

“If same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.”

“The experience of the few European countries that already have legalized same-sex marriage suggests that any dilution of the traditional definition of marriage will further erode the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally.”

“Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide.”

“Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment.”

“When the state says that same-sex unions are equivalent to heterosexual marriages, the curriculum of public schools will have to support this claim…These developments will create serious clashes between the agenda of the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children traditional standards of morality.”

“The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the
sometimes overreaching powers of government…The consequences of crossing this line are many and unpredictable, but likely would include an increase in the power and reach of the state toward whatever ends it seeks to pursue.”

“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” from The Family:A Proclamation to the World

The Race for President: Mike Huckabee Analyzed

Next in this exercise of analyzing the presidential candidates we have Republican Mike Huckabee, who has been surging in popularity of late, though still a long-shot to win the nomination.

About the candidate: Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas, having served from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Prior to his political career, Huckabee was pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991 and as president of a religion-oriented television station.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family From Huckabee’s website
My faith is my life – it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.
From Wikipedia.org
-While Governor, Huckabee signed the “Covenant Marriage Act”, which compels the couple to seek counseling if problems develop during the marriage, provides limited grounds for divorce or separation, and restricts lawsuits against spouses. Huckabee said the law, “offers couples a chance to be held to a higher level of marital commitment.”
-Huckabee opposes abortions, same-sex marriages, and civil unions
From Right Wing News
-Huckabee has a superb record on right to life issues, and supports an amendment to protect marriage
A
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion From Huckabee’s website
I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned.
A
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
From Huckabee’s website
I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
A
2. Defending Our Country From Huckabee’s website
-Our Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee our God-given liberties. They wanted us to be able to defend ourselves, and that’s why they gave us the Second Amendment.
-A nation must provide its citizens freedom and security. A nation must be able to defend itself and feed itself. We have learned how disastrous it is to be dependent on other countries for our energy needs.
From Wikipedia.org
-Huckabee supported a 2005 bill to make some illegal aliens eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition
-Regarding his position to give public benefits to children of illegal immigrants, he said, “I have always said you don’t punish a child for the crime of a parent”
-Huckabee supports the War in Iraq, the troop surge and the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp
-He believes the United States’ number one priority should be to secure America’s borders. However, Huckabee supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
A
2A. Defeating Terrorists From Huckabee’s website
I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves.
A
2B. Protecting Our Borders From Huckabee’s website
My number one priority is to secure America’s border. I opposed the amnesty bill that was defeated by the Senate in June.
B
3. Free Market Economic Policy From Huckabee’s website
-I believe in free trade, but it has to be fair trade.
-Globalization, done right, done fairly, can be the equivalent of a big pay raise by allowing us to buy things more cheaply.
-We don’t need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes.
From Wikipedia.org
-As Governor, Huckabee signed into law a 3 cent per gallon increase in tax on gasoline
-He led a campaign to funnel 100 percent of the state’s tobacco settlement revenues into the health care system, rather than the general fund.
-He signed a tax on private nursing homes for $5.25 per day per non-Medicare patient
-He was named “Friend of a Taxpayer” by American for Tax Reform (ATR) for his cut in statewide spending
-Huckabee publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002

From Huckabee’s website

As Governor of Arkansas:
– I pushed through a $90 million tax relief package
– I doubled the standard deduction for taxpayers
-I eliminated the marriage penalty and capital gains tax on home sales
– I cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.
– When I left office, AR had a nearly $850 million state surplus
B
3A. Lower Taxes From Huckabee’s website
-I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes.
-I support the FairTax, a consumption tax, like the taxes on retail sales
B
3B. Smaller Government From Huckabee’s website
-To control spending, I believe the President should have the line-item veto.
-Government deficits are is not due to Americans’ being under-taxed, but to the government’s over-spending.
B

Mike Huckabee’s grade point average comes out to 3.56 on a 4 point scale, which is lower than I expected. I was surprised at Huckabee’s poor economic record relating to his support for tax increases. Also hurting Huckabee was his weak stance on illegal immigration. On the plus side, Huckabee is the first candidate I have examined to get a perfect score on the Strengthening the Family category.

The Race for President: Mitt Romney Analyzed

I thought I would start my analysis of presidential candidates with an in-depth look at my current preferred candidate, Mitt Romney. As you can see below, I have analyzed what the candidate has said on the issues (his stance) and what he has done (his record). I really enjoyed this exercise (a sign of a true political junkie) and look forward to going through this exercise for the other major candidates.

About the candidate: Mitt Romney (Republican) is the former governor of Massachusetts (serving 2003 through 2007). He is a former CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and the co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. He also served as president and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family “America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home.” Gov Romney, Feb 26, 2005
From Wikipedia.org
-Faced with the dilemma of choosing between same-sex marriage or civil unions after the MA Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriages, Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage but still allowing civil unions
-Romney endorsed a petition effort led by the Coalition for Marriage & Family that would have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil unions

From OnTheIssues.org
-Romney vetoed legislation to expand stem cell research because it allowed the cloning of human embryos for use in stem cell experiments–a practice Romney said amounts to creating life in order to destroy it.
-Romney vetoed legislation that would have made the Abortion pill available without a prescription

A
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion Though running as pro-choice in a 1994 senate race, Romney has more recently said, “I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother… I believe that the states… should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.” Gov Romney, Boston Globe, July 26, 2005
B
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
“We respect hard work … We are self reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people… We are a purpose-driven people founded on the family unit. I think every child deserves to have a mother and a father.” Gov Romney, March 19, 2006
A
2. Defending Our Country “We need to increase our investment in national defense. This means adding at least 100,000 troops and making a long-overdue investment in equipment, armament, weapons systems, and strategic defense…We are going to need at least an additional $30-$40 billion annually over the next several years to modernize our military, fill gaps in troop levels, ease the strain on our National Guard and Reserves.” (Gov Romney, “Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges,” July/August 2007)
From a Mitt Romney Press Release
-In December 2006, Romney signed a memorandum of agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputizing state troopers to enforce immigration laws.
-Romney vetoed a Massachusetts bill to provide in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

According to Tim Cruz of National Review Online
-Romney provided an influx of $700,000 in state aid to faith-based and community groups working to solve the crime problem
-He established an $11 million statewide gang prevention program in 2005
-Under Romney’s leadership, the total number of MA State Police grew by nearly 200 Troopers to the highest in the agency’s history.
-He championed “Melanie’s Law,” the toughest drunk driving law in the state’s history

A
2A. Defeating Terrorists “Today, as we stare at the face of radical violent Jihad and at the prospect of nuclear epidemic, our military might should not be subject to the whims of ever-changing political agendas. The best ally of peace is a strong America.” Gov Romney, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07
A
2B. Protecting Our Borders “We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants — for citizens — and less attractive for illegal immigrants. I want to see more immigration in our country, but more legal immigration and less illegal immigration.” Gov Romney, June 23, 2006
A
3. Free Market Economic Policy CNBC’s Larry Kudlow: “I think [Romney’s] a real capitalist. I think he’s a free market capitalist. I think he’s a supply-sider. He talked to me a lot about keeping the Bush tax cuts in place and lowering the corporate income tax” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 8/30/07)
From Wikipedia.org
-Upon entering office in 2003, Romney faced a $1.2 billion deficit

-Through spending cuts and lower taxes, and removal of tax loopholes the State had a $700 million surplus by 2006

-Romney increased the state gasoline tax by 2 cents per gallon

-The state legislature with Romney’s support also cut spending by $1.6 billion

-Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as Massachusetts governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget.

A
3A. Lower Taxes “I want to lower taxes. I want to lower marginal rates across the board. I want to lower taxes for corporations – we’re high relative to our competition around the world.” (CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company,” 8/28/07)
B
3B. Smaller Government Gov. Romney “imposed some much-needed fiscal discipline on a very liberal Massachusetts legislature.” (The Club For Growth, Press Release, 8/21/07)

“I don’t want to add entitlements. I want to find ways to reform our entitlement programs.” Gov Romney, Boston Globe, Jan 27, 2006

A

Romney’s grade point average, therefore, comes out to be 3.78 on a 4 point scale. He got a perfect score in 7 of the 9 categories. The two issues on which he was penalized were Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion (for his pro-choice stance in the 1990s) and Lower Taxes (for supporting a gasoline tax increase). Overall, not a bad showing for Romney.

Columbia University: Applauds Terrorist Dictators, Appalled by Conservatives

Last Month, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran (an official state sponsor of terror according to the US government), visited and spoke at Columbia University in New York. Ahmadinejad was greeted with enthusiasm by many students there. “After sitting through Bollinger’s rebuke (the university president listed many of Iran’s human right atrocities), Ahmadinejad rose to applause, and after a religious invocation, opened his remarks by objecting to the scolding, saying it was insulting to be spoken about that way.” (FoxNews story) I was shocked that such a clearly evil man was given such a warm welcome at one of our nation’s universities.

Fast forward about a month and this past weekend students at Columbia University held a very vocal protest of “a speech by conservative author David Horowitz…The rally was held to show disapproval over Horowitz’s visit” (Students Hold Rally Against Pundit’s Speech). Horowitz had come to the university “to talk about extremist Islam.”

Now I had heard Horowitz’s name before, but I wasn’t exactly sure who he was. So I decided to do some research to see if I could figure out why he was welcomed by protesters while Ahmadinejad was welcomed by thunderous applause. In the chart below I have summarized information I found regarding Horowitz and contrasted that with information on Ahmadinejad.

David Horowitz Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“an American conservative writer and activist.”
“He is the editor of the conservative website FrontPage Magazine”
“He founded the activist group Students for Academic Freedom”
“He occasionally appears on the Fox News Channel as an analyst.”
“an opponent of affirmative action policies, as well as reparations for slavery”
“strongly supportive of the war on terror and the war in Iraq”
“Horowitz has rejected what he sees as the intolerance of some Christian conservatives towards homosexuals. While Horowitz disagrees with gay marriage, he believes homosexuals have a fundamental right to privacy”
“did a study titled “Political Bias in the Administrations and Faculties of 32 Elite Colleges and Universities.” The overall ratio of Democrats to Republicans they were able to identify at the 32 schools was more than 10 to 1 (1,397 Democrats, 134 Republicans, 1891 unidentified).”
Source Wikipedia
“sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“became president on 6 August 2005”
“an outspoken critic of the George W. Bush Administration”
“He was condemned, internationally, for calling for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map.'”
“He has said Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and has refused to end enrichment despite United Nations Security Council resolutions”
“He has also been condemned for describing the Holocaust as a myth to make ‘the innocent nation of Palestine pay'”
“the Canadian government listed Iran as one of the thirteen worst abusers of human rights in 2006”
“According to Amnesty International, dissidents who oppose the government non-violently face harassment, torture and execution”
on a good note, though, “On 24 April 2006, Ahmadinejad announced that a ruling which prevented women from watching men playing sports in stadiums would soon be reversed”
Source Wikipedia

It’s too bad that the liberal professors and students at Columbia have more tolerance for a murderous dictator than a good, honest man of a different political viewpoint.

In all fairness, there were reports that “the speech generated predominately positive responses from the audience.” And “while the rally included some graduate and undergraduate students, the crowd consisted largely of local residents and activists from the off-campus liberal nonprofit organization The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out The Bush Regime.”