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Entries in Cornerstone Action (5)

Tuesday
Apr012014

CACR 17 - Pushing Constitutional Protection For Sexual Preference 

by Bryan McCormack, Executive Director Cornerstone Action

Freedom and equality under the law for all.  In New Hampshire, we sometimes take this for granted. But our state constitution says that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied to anyone on account of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. 

Yet twenty-three New Hampshire senators seemingly want to pick and choose who gets freedom and equal treatment, and who doesn’t.  Two weeks ago, they voted to add the novel legal concept of “sexual orientation” to the state constitution via CACR 17.) The proposed constitutional amendment will soon go to the New Hampshire House and—if it receives the necessary three-fifths majority--will go on the ballot statewide this November.

This intrusive restructuring of our state constitution would be a first-in-the-nation. No other state has attempted to place in a document that is supposed to protect everyone special protections for some, and coercion for others.  No other state has attempted to create victims of discrimination in such a fashion, nor attempted to compromise and unjustifiably burden First Amendment freedoms that should rightly be enjoyed by every citizen.  

New Hampshire legislators should recall that freedom is for all Americans.  Indeed, their first responsibility as lawmakers is to protect and uphold our constitutionally-protected freedoms, not pass and enact laws that guarantee specials safeguards for some, but bully and punish others. 

We are all currently protected under the New Hampshire constitution. So why the change? Why aren’t our lawmakers preserving freedom for everyone—something that is good for our economy, the business community, and our state.  No one should have to beg the state to exercise their constitutionally-protected freedoms.  Yet, that is exactly what this proposed constitutional amendment would do.  

Notably, only the prime sponsor, Sen. David Pierce (D-Lebanon) testified in support of this change.  But no senator questioned the detrimental impact of such a bill.  No senator questioned how adding such a malleable legal construct into the law would impact the economy and businesses.  Not a single senator asked about the religious liberty implications of such a constitutional amendment, or how it would impact those individuals and businesses that adhere to traditional views on sexuality and marriage. What will it mean for an adoption agency, for example, that seeks to place children in homes with both a mom and a dad? 

The day the CACR passed the full Senate, Sen. Pierce stated: "It’s a momentous day for me, personally, but it’s not about me. It’s a momentous day, I think, for the state that we’re committed to equality . . .” 

But this proposed constitutional amendment would enact the opposite of equality.  If would enact inequality under the law, allowing the selective selection of who gets freedom and who doesn’t—even punishing some New Hampshire citizens for simply exercising their freedoms. Such divisive treatment runs afoul of the nobility and diversity of our state.  Freedom is not negotiable and our lawmakers shouldn’t compromise our freedom.  

Everyone in New Hampshire, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves protection under the state constitution and enjoys such protection with its current language. New Hampshire lawmakers should be safeguarding these freedoms and not promoting unjust and coercive constitutional amendments under the façade of “equality.”  

Passage of CACR 17, however, would suppress these freedoms, and citizens of this great state will likely face lawsuits for simply trying to exercise their freedoms.  

Our state motto is “Live Free or Die.”  Let’s not enact a measure that would change that motto to “Live free and be sued.”  Legislators should oppose CACR 17 because freedom is not negotiable and sexual preference and behavior should never trump our fundamental freedoms.


Thursday
Nov152012

Shannon McGinley - Republicans will only win when they fully embrace their platform

By Shannon McGinley, acting executive director, Cornerstone

In today’s technology driven election climate, it’s not enough for Cornerstone to promote pro-family candidates among issue advocates to make sure a conservative agenda resonates with voters. If Republicans want to win, the Republican Party and its top-ticket candidates must develop recognizable pro-family concepts in their campaigns and fully embrace the conservative cause.

Cornerstone can preach to the choir all it wants, but without a modern political party machine to research, target and reach out to new voters and then get them to the polls armed with conservative facts, the choir just won’t add up to a winning tally. The Democrats understood this dynamic, which is why they won, despite their underlying extremism. Republicans denied they were under attack as the enemy overcame them. They assumed voters would pretend social issues aren’t part of modern politics at the same time that Democrats defined Republican positions on these issues for them.

It didn’t help matters that taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood spent between $5 million and $7 million on the election, joining Democrats in their misinformation campaign that alleged Republicans want to take away women’s birth control options. According to The Hill, the abortion business saw a 98 to 99 percent return on its election spending investment. This type of spending is certainly a formidable enemy for Republicans who, in large part, simply want to reduce the number of abortions and make sure taxpayers aren’t paying for men and women’s contraceptives against their will.

All it would have taken to set the record straight was some defensive Republican messaging explaining Republican positions on these issues and an offensive strike explaining the Democratic lies and their underlying extremism. Yes, Republicans are at a monetary disadvantage because they don’t rely on taxpayers to fund their campaigns and they use private donations instead. But Republicans have to prove their more frugal approach will work in government by making it work electing conservatives to office.

The Democratic Party just removed the last quasi pro-family issue from their platform; namely, that “abortion should be safe … and rare.” To add insult to injury, Democrats included a new provision that promotes taxpayer-funded abortions. President Obama has consistently defended barbaric procedures such as partial-birth abortion and leaving an infant out to die of starvation when an abortion procedure fails. If the new Democratic platform becomes reality, people who morally object to abortion would be forced to pay for these procedures against their will.

These are easy pickings for Republicans. According to Gallup polls this year (here and here), most Americans are pro-life, and the great majority of those who think abortion should be legal would restrict the procedure to rare circumstances. In other words, voters prefer the Republican platform, and if they knew about it, they would find the Democratic platform outrageous.

When Democrats said Republicans were at war with women, Republicans remained silent on the issues and let themselves be defined that way. When Democrats said Republicans planned to eliminate access to contraceptives, Republicans didn’t explain that they simply believe men and women should pay for their own birth control, vasectomies or condoms. When Democrats said Republicans wanted to stifle immigration reform or end public support for higher education, Republicans didn’t approach single-issue voters with their actual positions. Republicans let single-issue voters believe the fabrications and exaggerations of Democrats across the board, and those voters responded accordingly.

Likewise, Democrats exclaimed that Republicans planned to take away Medicare from seniors. Yet, it was the president himself, in his infamous Obamacare bill, who took away millions of dollars from successful free market elements of the program and devoted them to the failing Medicaid system, instead. He added millions of Americans to Medicaid at a time when doctors are fleeing the program or their practice altogether because the numbers don’t add up for them. Republicans didn’t explain that the president was making Medicare less accessible for seniors; they didn’t explain that Democrats were making it harder for lower income families to get good medical care. These were easy targets for Republicans, but they let Democrats define the issues instead. Seniors and lower-income families came out and voted Democrat because of it.

If the Republican Party has any hope of returning to power, Republicans must embrace their party’s platform and reach out to voters with it. Republicans can’t rely on their old sources of information about voters, they have to get out in the world and find new voters who believe in the same things but just don’t know it. In short, Republicans have to ask for votes and explain why their way is better, or they just simply won’t win elections.

Wednesday
Oct032012

Shannon McGinley - True feminism will end the war on women

By Shannon McGinley, acting executive director of Cornerstone Action

The Declaration of Independence led to America’s freedom from Great Britain and reminded the world that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are God-given rights enjoyed by every person equally on the day of his or her creation. But in the 236 years since the Declaration, our country has faced a constant internal struggle to resolve the paradox that so many people are still not free.

It was only 150 years ago that feminists fought along with other abolitionists to liberate African slaves from bondage in “this land of liberty.” And then many of these same women, considered property themselves at the time, fought successfully to unfetter themselves from their own shackles.

Yet here we are, so many years later, with some women choosing to subjugate themselves to the whims of men by becoming sterile beings just so they can go to school and work without fear of reprisal for their “fertility problems.” Larry Lader, an advocate for population control who co-opted the feminist movement for his own purposes, used that fear of lost opportunities to promote contraception and abortion as the great equalizers for women.

But fertility isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed before women can be equal with men. In fact, fertility ensures the very survival of our species, and consequently, pregnancy and birth bring some of the greatest joys in our lives. A true feminist celebrates her fertility and doesn’t let her employer, college professor or lover push her aside because she gets pregnant. She walks boldly into that “man’s world,” belly first, and goes about her business. And she certainly doesn’t give the man in her life a pass on fatherhood at the expense of her body and the life of her unborn child.

One of the feminist movement’s founding mothers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, said in 1848 that “when we consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” The mother of all feminists, Mary Wollstonecraft, in 1792 condemned those who would “either destroy the embryo in the womb or cast it off when born” as violating the very nature of things.

Because of Lader’s co-option of the authentic feminist movement, however, many women have remade themselves in man’s image to unnaturally fit into what both still perceive to be his world. All the while, these modern “feminists” imagine they are free by presenting a superficial and sexually permissive pretense of femininity as they pursue their degrees and careers. Yet, their true feminism is lost, because they have rejected the fertile ground on which their womanhood is built.

Today’s fast-track mentality that encourages contraception and abortion is more than degrading to women, it is a war on the very nature of women and their unborn children. This is the very opposite of feminism, it is subjugation.

No woman with the resources and independence to be herself could be convinced that she should kill the child growing naturally inside her. The physical and emotional scars abortion leaves behind do permanent damage to a woman’s body and mind.

No feminist would purposefully distort the natural hormonal balance of her body with birth control to offset her God-given fertility. Only ignorance, fear or oppression could lead a woman to poison herself with too much estrogen, which besides preventing pregnancy can lead to the growth of cancer cells or blood clots and an early death.

Clearly, the women who choose to put themselves in situations where they think they need contraceptives or abortions do not believe they have a choice in the matter. To purveyors of sexual liberation theory who have confined women to this fate, contraception is the first choice, and if that “fails,” abortion is the final choice. But is abortion truly liberating women if our innate gift to create new life is now viewed as the burdensome side effect of casual pleasure?

True feminists should consider all of their choices as they come to terms with their fertility, as should the men they choose to associate with. Pregnancy does not have to be planned, but it should always be respected. Women will truly be free when the men in their lives accept their fertility, which sometimes results in pregnancy and birth. This very natural and essential process should never isolate a woman from the respect of her family, her peers or her employment, and she shouldn’t let it.

What kind of society are we accepting if the joy and miracle of bringing a new life into the world becomes a burden? It certainly is not one that will last.

 

Tuesday
Aug212012

Shannon McGinley - Religious Liberty is Literally Under Attack

By Shannon McGinley, acting executive director of Cornerstone Action

When President Obama visited Rochester, N.H., last week, he asked the Sisters of the St. Charles Children Home to sit behind him; an offer they declined. And when the president’s staffers said they’d be using the home as a backdrop for the president’s rally, Sister Mary Agnes covered the organization’s sign with a new message: “Pray for Religious Freedom.”

As I join the Sisters in prayer for our inalienable natural right to religious liberty, which is protected by both our state and federal constitutions, I thought the Sisters’ statement deserved a bit of public meditation to clarify exactly how severely this right has come under attack by this president and those who agree with him.

It is with great sorrow that I can so easily point to the shooting last week at the Family Research Council in Washington as an example. On Wednesday, bigot Floyd Lee Corkins II opened fire in the council lobby, stating, “I don’t like your politics.” He injured the building’s security guard, who stopped what could have easily become a massacre. Reportedly, the homosexual-rights activist also had the address for the Traditional Values Coalition on his person, along with a full box of ammunition. Both organizations defend religious liberty and advocate for traditional marriage as the bedrock of society, which it is.

If only this were an isolated incident. My counterpart at the Family Institute of Connecticut Action, Peter Wolfgang, said he has been receiving death threats from a homosexual activist, who has finally been charged and will appear in court this week. It’s really sad commentary that we have to wait for tragedy before anyone takes people’s hateful threats seriously. It would be even more tragic, however, if these attacks silenced the political debate about religious freedom that led to these attacks.

In a sense, these actual attacks symbolize the problem facing religious liberty in today’s America. Whether it’s a leftist lunatic with a gun or the government with its laws and regulations, liberals are now using coercion in an attempt to drive faith out of the lives of citizens and business owners. It is not politically correct, or physically safe for that matter, for citizens to openly express their deeply held religious beliefs, unless of course they are practicing secular humanism, which is now the well-established religion of our government.

Thanks to the president and his Obamacare law, the government is now forcing business owners to violate their deepest held beliefs just to make a living. This isn’t about access to contraception or abortion pills; two medical treatments that are available to people who want to pay for them. This is about government inventing a right to force religious people to pay for that contraception or those abortion pills even if they morally object. This is about government declaring by fiat that the fake right it now recognizes supersedes the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Rights of Conscience clause in the N.H. Constitution.

To fully grasp the significance of this stance, consider for a moment whether you would think it’s OK for government to force a Quaker manufacturing company to produce weapons that will be used in the war on terror. Should government force the owner of an animal-rights conscious cosmetics-supply company to pay for torturous experiments using chimpanzees and kittens? Should government force a state prison employee to administer an execution drug to a convicted capital felon even though the employee has a conscientious objection to the death penalty?

Are these scenarios really any different than the government forcing a photographer who disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle to photograph a homosexual “commitment ceremony”? The New Mexico Human Rights Commission did just that when it fined Elane Photography more than $6,000 for refusing to participate in a gay ceremony. The government also tried to force Bill Newland at his Denver-based Hercules Industries to pay for his employees’ abortion pills. And Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chick Fil-A it wasn’t welcome because of the owner’s open statements that homosexual “marriage” should not take place.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what ethical issue is at stake. Government should not be able to force people to do something that violates their freedom of conscience. Government should not be able to fine people or prohibit people from earning a living simply because they choose to exercise their religious liberty. These concepts are dangerous in a free society, and could ultimately lead to the end of freedom itself.

All Americans, whether acting as individuals or business owners, should be able to express and live out their religious beliefs in their public life without sacrificing their hard-earned dollars or their freedom. And it is for this type of religious liberty that we all need to pray.

Monday
Aug132012

Shannon McGinley - Abortion is at the center of Planned Parenthood’s business model

By Shannon McGinley, acting executive director of Cornerstone Action

It is impossible to ensure that taxpayer dollars directed to Planned Parenthood for so-called family-planning services don’t also pay for abortions, and it is for that reason alone that it was appropriate for the New Hampshire Executive Council to reject the abortion business’s state contract for family-planning services last year.

Under the N.H. Constitution’s protection of the Right of Conscience, it’s unconstitutional and illegal to force taxpayers to fund an organization specializing in these immoral practices, whether pharmaceutical or surgical, which end innocent human life. The Executive Council stood up for women’s health at the same time it rejected Planned Parenthood’s contract by approving 10 family-planning contracts with other organizations that do not perform abortions.

Because Planned Parenthood does not have a contract with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to perform family-planning services, it does not qualify for a state license to dispense prescription drugs, such as the medical abortion pill RU-486, which can be taken up to nine weeks after conception to end human life. Despite the clear letter of the law spelled out in RSA 318:42 that prohibits it, Planned Parenthood recently applied for a license claiming that the state and federal departments of health and human services are interchangeable. The board decides Wednesday, August 15, and should be held accountable if it doesn’t make the only choice it has, which is to apply the law to Planned Parenthood as it would apply it to any other organization seeking to dispense drugs without a pharmacist.

As a conservative woman of childbearing age, I would be remiss to ignore the leftist assault on women that has played out in the public debate surrounding the Executive Council’s decision. The nation’s top abortion business and its liberal supporters want you to believe that the decision limits women’s access to birth control or contraceptives, or worse, stands in the way of affordable women’s health. But the council’s decision to approve contracts for 10 family planning organizations discredits half of that argument. Secondly, while Planned Parenthood says the pill costs $15-$50 a month, Wal-Mart sells the pill for as little as $9 a month, discrediting the other half. Furthermore, fertility is not a disease that needs to be managed with medical treatment, and we know the exact behavioral cause of pregnancy. With the price of birth control so low, no rational person would involve government in this situation where men and women should bear the full responsibility.

The disingenuous nature of the liberal attacks on the Executive Council and our pro-life Legislature highlights the most troubling aspect of this whole situation. Is it so important for Planned Parenthood to perform abortions in New Hampshire that the organization is willing to risk its family planning grant and ability to dispense pharmaceuticals? Sadly, based on the recent statements of several women who previously worked at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country and the work of groups such as Live Action and Expose Planned Parenthood—which videotaped Planned Parenthood employees in several facilities showing a willingness to aid and abet apparent pimps by arranging abortions for their under-aged sex slaves—it is increasingly apparent that abortion, both surgical and pharmaceutical, is what sustains Planned Parenthood’s business.

Planned Parenthood preys on vulnerable women to drive profits. The numbers in Planned Parenthood’s own annual report reveals the organization’s focus on abortion and that taxpayers are funding it. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the organization received $487 million in taxpayer funding, 46 percent of its annual revenue. In the same period, the organization performed 329,445 abortions, 91 percent of its pregnancy services.

Abby Johnson, former clinic director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas, said she was directed to double the number of abortions performed at her clinic to drive up revenue. She also noted Planned Parenthood’s recent directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013, which led one affiliate, also in Texas, to leave the organization.

Often, this extreme focus to boost profit is at the expense of women’s health. Sue Thayer said she was fired from her Iowa Planned Parenthood position because she expressed a concern about the indignity of so-called “telemed” abortions, which involve a doctor pressing a button from a remote location to open a drawer containing RU-486. The drug is then given to a pregnant woman who is immediately sent home. Thayer said her superiors celebrated the reduction of “overhead costs,” such as the specialized equipment, staff and traveling physician required for a surgical abortion.

Women sent home with these drugs aren’t told about the innocent life inside of them that will starve to death as she goes into labor, has contractions and bleeds out her dead child. Some women even suffer from hemorrhaging and even death after taking this drug. This is the true War on Women.