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Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

“Gifted Hands” Kindly Rebuffs President Obama

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Ever since the pep rally that was the white coat ceremony in the backyard of the White House, I’ve been waiting to see what the doctors who I hold in highest regard have to say on the issue of health reform.

Then this came to my attention. It is the strong, yet characteristically kind, words of Dr. Ben Carson. And, he appears to be more in the mainstream of physicians than not:

[W]ith credibility and acclaim the world over for the pioneering surgeries he has and his personal story of overcoming hardship, recently ripped the dominant health care legislation before Congress in a critique similar to that of conservatives and libertarians. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Md., and recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, criticized in a recent interview the approach of the current bills for their mandate, creation of a “public option,” and lack of malpractice liability reform.

“My biggest problem is I feel it’s going in the wrong direction,” Carson told reporters at TV station WLOS in Asheville, N.C. (Video here.)“It’s giving us more government and less autonomy. And I think we should be going in exactly the opposite direction. We should be having more autonomy and less government. And that is the kind of thing that brings the prices down.”

Considered one of the best neurosurgeons in the world, Carson gained acclaim in the ’80s and ‘90s for his pioneering operations separating conjoined twins joined at the head and other procedures that have saved children from epilepsy and brain cancer. But Carson is also celebrated for his personal story of overcoming poverty and prejudice. An African-American, Carson grew up in a single-parent home Detroit ghetto, but his mother pushed him and his brother to achieve excellence. He is the author of the popular autobiography “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” which was made into a TV movie this year with Cuba Gooding Jr. portraying Carson. And he does much philanthropic work through charities such as his “Carson Scholars” fund.

via Big Government » Blog Archive » “Gifted Hands” Surgeon Rips Into Obamacare.

I included that last paragraph because I wanted to give kudos to Cuba Gooding’s potrayal of Dr. Carson – you really ought to watch it sometime. Dr. Carson’s story is among the most inspiring in our nation’s history.

But I digress, or do I? You see, what Dr. Carson is reacting to is the force medical paternalism that squelches the freedom to succeed, to exceed, and to advance medical breakthroughs and life-saving, life-affirming techniques for which he is renown. Imagine the conjoined twins he separated receiving the “gifted hands” of Dr. Ben Carson under health reform. Weighing the costs and benefits, wouldn’t it be more likely that these unique creations would have had their resources allocated elsewhere?

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Written by Jeremy Dys

October 15, 2009 at 11:25 am

Change is in the air….10.19.09

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We are grateful for the thousands of readers that have made the Engage Family Blog the best pro-family, policy blog in West Virginia.  In just two years, the Engage Family Blog has nearly quadrupled in readership.

Because it has become so popular, we are putting the final touches on a new blog that we hope will be bigger and better.  Some changes we have planned include a new domain, integrating with, and a new podcast link with iTunes.

When we make the change, you’ll want to update your bookmark and/or change the RSS feed to which you’ve subscribed.  But don’t worry, we’ll let you know when to make the adjustments.

Stay tuned – the change you’ve hoped for comes on Monday.

Written by Jeremy Dys

October 14, 2009 at 11:23 am

What is Culture?

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From Jesse Wisnewski at Reformed and Reforming, What is Culture?

If you were to scan the entirety of the Bible front-to-back you would not find a word or definition of culture.  With this being the case we need to begin with the English word “culture” and see if this concept matches anything the Bible teaches so that we can see what exactly the Bible says about culture.

Culture Defined

The English word culture is originally derived from the Latin word “colere.”  Colere is an agricultural word that means to “tend, guard, cultivate, and till.”  From this point culture evolved into different figurative meanings.  For instance, it is used in a figurative sense to refer to “cultivation through education,” the “collective customs and achievements of a people,” to the medical usage as “The act or process of growing living material.”

Irrespective of its usage throughout time, the term culture carries within it a sense of growing and making – both tangible and intangible things.  From growing corn to building buildings, to growing living material in a Petri dish to developing complex mathematical equations, culture encompasses all of these facets.

Now that we have an idea of what exactly culture is, let’s take a look in the Bible to see if there is any concept

Culture by the Book

After creating mankind in His image and after His likeness, the act of culture begins with God’s blessing of humanity:

“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1.28).

In addition to the tasks encapsulated within this mandate we observe further responsibilities in Genesis 2.15, which says,

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

There is a lot to be said at this point, but I would like to draw our attention to two observations

Creation vs. Culture

The first thing we observe from these passages is the difference between creation and culture.  Simply put, creation is what God makes and culture is what we make.  During his lectures at Pensacola Theological Seminary on Christ and Culture, John Frame said,

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Written by Jesse Wisnewski

October 14, 2009 at 10:33 am

Posted in Religious Freedom

Tagged with

The Engage Family Minute – October 13

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Written by Jeremy Dys

October 13, 2009 at 8:37 am

The Threat to Religious Freedom: What Politico Didn’t Print

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Candi Cushman at Focus on the Family Action’s Drive Thru Blog writes the following after being quoted in Politico regarding her and Focus Action’s objection to (1) the President’s address to the Human Rights Campaign, (2) the nomination of Chai Feldblum, and (3) the continued rule of Safe and Drug Free Schools czar, Kevin Jennings.

Candi tells the rest of the story:

Let’s take the three events one at a time:

President Obama’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign. Among other things, President Obama pledged to eradicate a federal law defending traditional marriage. We need only look to Massachusetts, the first state to legalize full-fledged gay marriage, to understand the threat this poses to both parental rights and religious freedoms. Parents in that state are now being told they can’t exempt their 2nd graders from lessons about same-sex marriage—even if it conflicts with their most deeply held religious convictions.

The intolerance of same-sex marriage advocates was on display for all to see during the debate over California’s Prop. 8, which added wording to the state constitution defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Prop. 8 supporters were subjected to vehement blackballing and even physical attacks. Church buildings were defaced and some people lost their jobs because of their stance.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

October 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Gingrich Documentary Highlights America’s Religious Heritage

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While others seek to destroy the link between faith and the founders, former Speaker of the House shines a light on it.

By Nathan A. Cherry

Martinsburg, W.V. – Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has a message that is sure to be unpopular with some, but will find a resounding ring of national patriotism with others. At a time when America’s religious heritage is being attacked from inside its borders, Mr. Gingrich is preparing to release a documentary highlighting the historic bond between God, religion, and the United States of America.

Gingrich said, in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, “When you look at efforts to drive the cross off of public lands, efforts to drive [out] Nativity scenes. . . there are a number of places in America now where there is a great bias in favor of teaching children about Islam than there is about Christianity. You actually have schools today that will have a class on Islam but refuse to have a class on Christianity. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a bias.”

Some highlights of the DVD include:

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Written by Nathan Cherry

October 6, 2009 at 9:31 am

Washington Times: ‘Serious questions about Jennings keep piling up’

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From today’s Washington Times about Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools czar, Keving Jennings of fame:

The Obama administration isn’t adequately vetting important presidential appointees. When it was exposed that former “green jobs czar” Van Jones believed in crazy conspiracies about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it was questionable whether anyone had even bothered to Google individuals before they received presidential appointments. In that case, the White House strategy was to refuse to answer questions and hope interest faded away. That approach worked for most of the media, which carried water for President Obama’s scandal-plagued pick. Stonewalling scandal is not what Americans were expecting from an administration that promised to usher in an “unprecedented level of openness in government.” Instead, a pattern of presidential obfuscation is developing.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

October 5, 2009 at 11:17 am

Trends Favor Traditional Values

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The following is an interesting graph from a recent Gallup poll:

Dan Gilgoff from U.S. News and World Reports’ God & Country Blog notes:   Read the rest of this entry »

Jennings On a Mission

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Czar of Safe and Drug Free Schools, Kevin Jennings, explains his mission in life while at GLSEN:

“I can envision a day when straight people say, ‘So what if you’re promoting homosexuality? . . . That is our mission from this day forward.

More at

Written by Jeremy Dys

September 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Sen. Rockefeller’s Silence Guarantees Expansion of Abortion

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Junior Senator says only “No” twice during hearing to prevent taxpayer subsidies for elective abortions, extend conscience protections.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, Sen. Rockefeller ignored calls from West Virginians, led by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, to protect innocent human life and current conscience protections in the, “America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009.”

“Senator Rockefeller’s silence at today’s hearing speaks volumes for his support of abortion on demand,” said Jeremy Dys, president and general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.  “For the pre-born and for medical professionals of conscience, Senator Rockefeller’s vote was anything but, ‘family friendly.’”

The proposed legislation explicitly includes elective abortion and would subsidize health plans that cover all elective abortions. It would also undermine current conscience protections by not protecting health plans from being forced to cover elective abortions.

“Senator Rockefeller has helped the powerful abortion lobby to create a backdoor way around current Federal prohibitions to stick taxpayers with the bill to subsidize abortion services,” said Dys.  “What may be worse, this legislation now allows for medical professionals to be coerced into performing such services – even against their own conscience.”

Today’s votes continue the trend by those in Congress to vote against the inclusion of life and conscience protections in health care reform.  So far, every pro-life amendment proposed to the health care reform measure has been defeated.

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The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is a servant organization advocating for policies that embrace the sanctity of human life, enrich marriage, and safeguard religious freedom.  On the web at

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Written by Jeremy Dys

September 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm