The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Archive for June 2008

An Interesting Question….

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Posed by Tony Perkins from FRC Action:

The Family Policy Council of WV links to this video to highlight the important issue of life. It is not intended to endorse or oppose any candidate for office or political party.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 27, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Life

Toward a New Stereotype

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Today is West Virginia day and to celebrate our state’s history, a group of bloggers from around the state are trying to “define West Virginia from the inside out.”  It is, in short, and opportunity for individuals and businesses to share their vision for West Virginia, with the hope that, in some small way, those beyond the borders of the Mountain State will get a more clear picture about this unique land.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has a very simple vision.  The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is prepared to advocate for policies that will support your family and strengthen our communities.  Our mision is to advocate for policies that embrace the sanctity of human life, enrich marriage, and safeguard religious freedom.  Our work will equip families in our churches, encourage our leaders to be family-first in their leadership, and defend the family in our courts against those special interests groups that may attempt to undermine the family in West Virginia.

We will know we have accomplished our mission when:

  • West Virginians treat life as preciously as the God who created it does.
  • One man and one woman live in the bonds of marriage for life, at the center of a strong and growing family.
  • West Virginia families freely worship without encumbrance or interference by their government.

In short, the future that the Family Policy Council of West Virginia sees is one where the family is the first priority for our leaders; not an afterthought.  It is one where, while the necessary discussions about jobs, economic growth, and the rest center around what is most important for our children’s future.

To that end, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia is committed to developing programs that will encourage the family, equipping volunteers with the knowledge to impact their communities for the family, and shaping the political debate at every level of our state on behalf of the family.

Happy West Virginia Day!

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 20, 2008 at 11:04 am

Just Stand

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In the midst of all the concerns over the redefinition of marriage, Stoplight Video Commentary reminds us of a very, very simple truth: things change, “If You Take A Stand.”

Take 1 minute to watch this video.  You’ll be glad you did.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 19, 2008 at 3:20 pm

More Coverage…

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…on the homosexual “marriage” debate.

From, WOWK Charleston/Huntington – the Top Story.

Glen Lavy from allied ministry, the Alliance Defense Fund: Why hold the marriages before voters have their say?

The implications for flyover country – what CA does inflicts potential legal chaos nationwide.

Two stories from NPR, featuring Jordan Lorence from the Alliance Defense Fund. (1) Gay Rights, Religious Liberties: a Three Act Story. (2) The audio update, Gay Rights Law Faces Legal, Religious Challenges. (If you have the time, the latter is very interesting listening – especially if you are a pastor or run a parachurch ministry.)

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 18, 2008 at 9:06 pm

The Homosexual “Marriage” Debate

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Today, I (Jeremy Dys) was a guest on “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval.” Debating the issue of homosexual “marriage” with me was Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, a group dedicated to highlighting “equality” for LGBTQ headed families.

If you did not hear the debate, MetroNews has it covered on their website and, if you hurry, you can download most of the debate on your computer, by clicking here.

I wanted to elaborate on two issues raised by Ms. Chrisler in the debate:

1. Chrisler called illegitimate the nonpartisan, social science research I quoted from that demonstrates that children raised outside of a home with their married parents. You are welcome to review that research for yourself imapp.org (link opens PDF) or by going to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP.org), and Child Trends (childtrends.org).

Though Chrisler cited “30 years” of social science research that supports homosexual marriage, the reality is much different. In fact, there are no long term studies available in support of homosexual marriages. Thus, to get them we essentially place our children in the midst of a social science experiment. What studies we do have, are either ones that compare homosexual couples with divorced households or have been forced through by a committee of a few. The only long-term, nonpartisan, social science research that exists says that the best environment to raise children is within a home where children benefit from the presence of their married parents. Thus, government should not promote, nor should courts impose, policies and systems that deprive children of a mom and a dad.

2. The crux of Ms. Chrisler’s argument today was that, “love is enough to raise a family.” Unfortunately, while love is vital to marriage, any who have been married know it takes much, much more than that to sustain a marriage – especially when life gets unloving. I was struck by a quote from noted theologian John Stott on the subject of love. Commentating on Romans, Stott explains:

For love is not the blind sentiment it is traditionally said to be. On the contrary, it is discerning. It is so passionately devoted to the beloved object that it hates every evil which is incompatible with his or her highest welfare.

In reality, what Ms. Chrisler’s argument is about is self-love, or love of self. That is incompatible with the “highest welfare” of the right object of love: the family. What you hear time and again from those who seek to redefine marriage is that doing so allow adults to experience an emotional benefit in their lives. This issue is bigger than a “pesonal relationship.” How can we justify hurting millions of children for the possible emotional benefits of a very small number of adults?

Forget the vast amount of nonpartisan research, commonsense tells us that children need a mom and a dad.

Ms. Chrisler is wrong in terms of research and of “good-feelings.” And, she is yet to answer the ultimate question: which parent doesn’t matter – mom or dad? Every time government has cheapened marriage, the impact on children has been disastrous.

For West Virginians, to only proactive way to affirmatively defend marriage in West Virginia is to amend our constitution. Our children in West Virginia must not be subject to a government that knowingly deprives them of the benefit of a mom and a dad.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Marriage

In Defense of Democracy and Marriage

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The Gazette’s characterization of the democratic process in action as, “a clever ploy: using prejudice against gays to reap . . . votes” (Gazette, “Storm” 6/13/08) insults democracy.

Efforts in the United States to defend marriage against those who would seek its redefinition is democracy in action, as opposed to the contempt therefore that we have witnessed in California-style judicial activism.

There, not only has the court ignored the will of the people, and imposed a redefinition of marriage on Californians, it has inflicted years of legal chaos quite possibly on the entire country.

What is more, those who seek to circumvent their own state’s laws on marriage, are manipulating the democratic process and partnering with the most egregious example of judicial activism in modern history.

But there is a deeper prejudice entirely ignored by the Gazette: the battle to redefine marriage is essentially one that has as its ultimate outcome the belittling of gender.

In other words, in California, the Supreme Court has effectively said that at least one of the genders does not matter in a marriage. The question that must then be asked of the opponents of marriage must be, “Which one?”

Which gender is not important? Is the female gender in a marriage more important than the male? In matters of public accommodation, is the male gender to be given more privacy and protection over the female? To the children that will be affected by the decisions of judges and governors, will the opponents of marriage kindly identify whether a mother or father is more important?

Ultimately, the redefinition of marriage strikes at every single person, if for no other reason than they must answer that simple question, “Does gender matter?” Those who support marriage do so because they answer that question with a resounding, “YES!”

Men have something to contribute that, biologically and otherwise, women do not. Women are blessed with that certain something that cannot be described that men are not given. Those gender differences are vital in the development of our marriages, our children, families, and societies – and have been throughout time.

The next time someone tries to convince you that marriage should be redefined in the name of “tolerance,” with love and grace, ask them, “Which gender does not matter?”

That, of course, is a question best left to be answered by those who consent to be governed.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Marriage

The Victimless Victims of Secular Religious Freedom

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The opening graf of this WorldNet Daily story, ought to make pastors everywhere run to their nearest Alliance Defense Fund attorney and give them a hug:

A Canadian human rights tribunal ordered a Christian pastor to renounce his faith and never again express moral opposition to homosexuality, according to a new report.

Apparently, a couple of years ago, Pastor Stephen Boisson wrote a letter to the editor calling homosexual activism, “wicked,” reserving particularly strong criticism for “homosexual and pro-homosexual educators” who have “psychologically abused and brainwashed” young children.

Since penning his letter, Pastor Boisson has been embroiled in a legal probe before the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. At issue is whether or not he his words have violated the Canadian prohibition on hate speech. (For those of us on this side of our neighbors to the north, that law is akin to the myriad of laws in the US like ENDA, “hate crimes,” and other nondiscrimination ordinances (N.O.’s) like Colorado’s that permits the gender confused to use the public restroom facilities reserved for use by the opposite gender.)

Here’s the pay-dirt paragraph from the May 30 decision of the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal:

Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. . . . Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current Web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.,” the lawyer opined.

That, plus the Tribunal’s pronouncement of Boissoin as “guilty” and an order to pay $5,000 in fines (plus an unknown amount that has been spent in nearly 7 years of legal fees), is what a pastor gets in Canada for “inciting hate speech.”

Oh wait, there’s more. One would think that such extreme actions as deeming one “guilty,” fining them multiple thousands of dollars, wrangling them through the legal mill, and forbidding a pastor from what amounts to speaking his sincerely held religious beliefs would be based upon the great harm that person caused to all of society or, at least, one person in particular. Quoth the Tribunal:

In this case there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward.

N.O.’s, and laws giving similar special rights, punish individuals who do no more than simply abide by their religious beliefs. Exercising your First Amendment is not a crime…..YET! The government has no right to harrass someone for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights in public.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Religious Freedom