Monday, April 21, 2014
Franklin Graham: ‘At Every Turn, the Gay and Lesbian Agenda is Being Pushed by This Administration’
President Barack Obama, his administration, and many people in Congress are pushing “a gay and lesbian agenda” and, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, our Congress “needs to do more in protecting our nation’s children” from exploitation, said Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham.
Graham added that gays and lesbians biologically cannot have children but they can “recruit,” and he believes in “protecting children, okay, from exploitation, all exploitations.”
Reverend Graham, who heads the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, made his remarks during a recent interview with reporter Tim Funk at the Charlotte Observer.
“Gays and lesbians cannot have children. Biologically, it’s impossible,” said Graham. The reporter then said, “Right, they can adopt,” and Graham answered, “Yes, they can recruit.”
When asked the difference between recruit and adopt, Rev. Graham said, “Well, you can adopt a child into a marriage but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children, okay, from exploitation, all exploitations. So that’s all this is about.”
Graham then referred to actions taken by the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin last year to outlaw the “propaganda” or promotion of homosexuality to children.
“I think I agreed with Putin, I think protecting his nation’s children I think was probably a pretty smart thing to do,” said Graham. “I was very clear, I supported Putin in his decision to protect his nation’s children, and I think our Congress needs to do more in protecting our nation’s children.”
Graham continued, “Our Congress, our president, and others are going forward with an agenda – a gay and lesbian agenda and many in the Congress are following them.”
When asked what that agenda entails, Graham said, “Well, just look at where we are today. At every turn, the gay and lesbian agenda is being pushed by this administration.”
Asked whether he meant “on marriage, for example,” and Graham said: “Sure, of course it is.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign and his first three years in the White House, President Obama said he opposed gay “marriage,” but he changed his position in May 2012. His administration pushed to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. military, opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, and made it an official element of U.S. foreign policy to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.
There is a White House website dedicated to promoting the gay and lesbian agenda. It is called “President Obama and the LGBT Community” and can be viewed here. As it states, “This site is a tool for you to learn about how President Obama and his team are working to win the future for LGBT Americans.”
In his interview with the Charlotte Observer, Rev. Graham also said, “As far as persecution, I’m attacked all the time because of my religious beliefs, what I believe, what I say. There are people who are very quick to demonize you if you disagree with them: the left, the gay-lesbian movement.”
“If I disagree with a gay person, then I’m a ‘homophobic,’ I’m ‘intolerant,’” said Graham. “It’s not that I’m a homophobe, I’m not afraid of them. I’m not intolerant. I just have a different opinion, a different view. And it’s the same thing with anybody that disagrees with them. They demonize you.”
British civil servants sent on course telling them how to 'do God': Many don't know basics of Christianity
Civil servants are being given lessons on religion amid fears that many have no understanding of Christianity and other faiths.
In a sign of the increasing secularisation of our public services, employees across Whitehall have been urged to attend ‘How should governments “do” God’ seminars.
The events are designed to help officials ensure policies meet the needs of religious people.
Faith groups said it was astonishing that the civil service is so packed with metropolitan atheists that they have to be reminded to take into account the views of millions who are members of a major religion.
The seminars, which have been advertised across government departments, are being arranged by the faith team at the Department of Communities and Local Government.
They are designed to combat the sort of ‘biblical illiteracy’ which saw an Oxford Council official refuse permission for a traditional Good Friday Passion play.
As reported in yesterday’s Daily Mail, the official did not know what a Passion play was and thought it might be a sex show, rather than a traditional Easter performance depicting the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus.
A flyer for the ‘How should governments “do” God?’ seminars, seen by the Mail, urges civil servants to sign up for them in order to ‘tailor your policy making to ensure it is responsive to the needs and perspectives of people of faith’.
It says: ‘The seminar is designed to boost what we are calling “religious literacy” among civil servants. Ministers have stressed the importance of government establishing productive working relationships with faith communities in policy development and implementation, in the UK and overseas.
‘Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, has been clear that she sees it as part of the role of Government to set the conditions to be able to enable people of faith to manifest their religious beliefs openly and contribute to society.
‘This seminar... will focus on the drivers, obstacles to and benefits of departments “doing God” well.’ It adds that the idea is to improve ‘religious literacy’ across Whitehall and in the public sector in general.
David Cameron spoke this week of his own faith, saying that Britain should be unashamedly evangelical about its Christianity and let religion play a greater role in society.
Writing in the Church Times, the Anglican newspaper, he said he had experienced the ‘healing power’ of religion and Christianity could transform the ‘spiritual, physical, and moral’ state of the country.
However, his government has been accused by Christian groups of ignoring their concerns on issues such as gay marriage.
Gormless Labour council bans Good Friday Passion play fearing it's a sex show
Last night a source close to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘The Labour government adopted an attitude of secular intolerance towards religion.
'By contrast, this Government strongly supports faith in public life. A little more education and training will help Whitehall recognise the important role than all faiths, including Christianity, play in our nation.’
Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: ‘I am daily dumbfounded by the depths of biblical illiteracy displayed by Britain’s chattering classes and especially by many in Parliament and our major institutions.
'Many members of this new liberal elite are simply intelligent barbarians; university graduates who know less about the basic tenets of Christianity than the three-year-olds in my wife’s Sunday school class.’
Half of foreign doctors are below British standards
More than 88,000 foreign-trained doctors are registered to work in Britain, including 22,758 from Europe
Half of all foreign doctors in Britain do not have the necessary skills to work here but can practise because the competency exam is too easy, a major study finds.
The majority of the 88,000 foreign doctors in the health service would fail exams if they were held to the same standard as their British colleagues, according to the research.
The disclosure will add to concerns over the reliance of the NHS on foreign doctors. The language ability of some has been questioned in recent years. The research potentially shows more wide-ranging inadequacies. Around 1,300 foreign physicians are licensed each year by the General Medical Council after passing an exam which assesses clinical and language skills.
But the study, by University College London, found that around half would fail to reach the standards expected of British doctors. Its authors have called for the pass rate of the competency exam to be raised from 63 to 76 per cent to “ensure patient safety”.
Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at UCL, said: “There is no real mechanism for checking that doctors coming from outside Britain have been trained to the same level as British doctors. We wanted to find out what level overseas doctors would have to reach if they were to be as competent as British graduates. I think it’s inevitable that the bar will need to be set higher.
“The fact that you already have overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings is indicative of the problem. Many are simply not trained to the same standards.”
More than 88,000 foreign-trained doctors are registered to work in Britain, including 22,758 from Europe. They make up almost a third of all NHS doctors but account for approximately two thirds of those struck off each year. The Professional and Linguistics Assessments Board, the exam they must pass to practise in Britain, is designed to ensure the same skill level as a British graduate a year after completing medical school.
But UCL discovered there was “no formal mechanism” to ensure the exam was as tough as assessments taken by British doctors. When researchers compared results they found that foreign doctors were consistently performing less well.
Around half of doctors trained abroad would not pass the most comparable British test, the report authors said.
“It may be that some overseas doctors have had poor training and when they come to Britain they will catch up quickly and thrive in a better environment,” said Prof McManus. “But alternatively some may feel completely overwhelmed, particularly with new technology that they have not yet come across. And that is of concern.”
Figures from 2012 showed that of 669 doctors who were struck off or suspended in the previous five years, 420 had trained abroad.
The country with the largest number of doctors removed or suspended from the medical register is India, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.
In 2011 the GMC set up a working party to review whether the competency exam needed to be updated and asked UCL to compile research. The working party is due to report later this year but UCL’s findings have been made public after they were used to defend an allegation that the GMC was racist in marking the exams of foreign doctors.
The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin launched a judicial review claiming the GMC failed too many doctors from overseas in GP tests. But a High Court judge ruled against them this month after seeing UCL’s report.
Prof McManus said: “We’ve been through the figures with a fine-toothed comb and there is simply nothing to show that examiners are being racist.”
The Indian physicians’ association (BAPIO) said it was dismayed by the findings. It has called for a common test for all doctors. Dr Ramesh Mehta, its president, said: “We must drive standards up, but we need objective evidence and fair processes. We are foremost NHS doctors and want the NHS to be the best; this blame game is not helpful.”
The GMC said the research raised important questions and agreed that changes were “vital” for patient safety.
“We are determined to do what we can to maintain high standards of medical practice in the UK, regardless of where doctors receive their training,” said Niall Dickson, the chief executive of the GMC.
“That is why we are reviewing the way in which we assess the knowledge and skills of those seeking to practise here … This review, along with our decision to increase the score we require in our assessment of English language skills, will help us ensure that high standards of practice are maintained.”
The study, which is published in the British Medical Journal, also showed that doctors from within the EU fall short.
In 2008, David Gray, a pensioner, died after a doctor trained in Germany, Daniel Ubani, gave him ten times the recommended dose of pain relief while working his first shift as a locum GP.
Tougher language checks for European doctors come into force this summer.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “In the interests of patient safety and fairness to international medical graduates, we recommend that the current Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board standard setting process is reviewed as a matter of urgency.”
The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad
Are dads dispensable? A lot of scholars and writers weighing in on fatherhood these days have come to the conclusion that they are. As Jennifer Aniston, for example, once put the point in the high-profile context of a press conference: "Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child."
Her perspective has a lot of intuitive appeal in an era where millions of women have children outside of marriage, serve as breadwinner moms to their families, or are raising children on their own. Dads certainly seem dispensable in today's world.
What this view overlooks, however, is a growing body of research suggesting that men bring much more to the parenting enterprise than money, especially today, when many fathers are highly involved in the warp and woof of childrearing. As Yale psychiatrist Kyle Pruett put it in Salon: "fathers don't mother."
Why Do So Many Father-Daughter Movies = Feisty Kid + Bumbling Dad?
Pruett's argument is that fathers often engage their children in ways that differ from the ways in which mothers engage their children. Yes, there are exceptions, and, yes, parents also engage their children in ways that are not specifically gendered. But there are at least four ways, spelled out in my new book, Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (co-edited with Kathleen Kovner Kline), that today's dads tend to make distinctive contributions to their children's lives:
The Power of Play: "In infants and toddlers, fathers' hallmark style of interaction is physical play that is characterized by arousal, excitement, and unpredictability," writes psychologist Ross Parke, who has conducted dozens of studies on fatherhood, including a study of 390 families that asked mothers and fathers to describe in detail how they played with their children. By contrast, mothers are "more modulated and less arousing" in their approach to play. From a Saturday morning spent roughhousing with a four-year-old son to a weekday afternoon spent coaching middle-school football, fathers typically spend more of their time engaged in vigorous play than do mothers, and play a uniquely physical role in teaching their sons and daughters how to handle their bodies and their emotions on and off the field. Psychologist John Snarey put it this way in his book, How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: "children who roughhouse with their fathers... quickly learn that biting, kicking, and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable."
Encouraging risk: In their approach to childrearing, fathers are more likely to encourage their children to take risks, embrace challenges, and be independent, whereas mothers are more likely to focus on their children's safety and emotional well-being. "[F]athers play a particularly important role in the development of children's openness to the world," writes psychologist Daniel Paquette. "[T]hey also tend to encourage children to take risks, while at the same time ensuring the latter's safety and security, thus permitting children to learn to be braver in unfamiliar situations, as well as to stand up for themselves." In his review of scholarly research on fatherhood, he notes that scholars generally find that dads are more likely to have their children talk to strangers, to overcome obstacles, and even to have their toddlers put out into the deep during swim lessons. The swim-lesson study, for instance, which focused on a small sample of parents teaching their kids to swim, found that "fathers tend to stand behind their children so the children face their social environment, whereas mothers tend to position themselves in front of their children, seeking to establish visual contact with the children."
Protecting his own: Fathers play an important role in protecting their children from threats in the larger environment. For instance, fathers who are engaged in their children's lives can better monitor their children's comings and goings, as well as the peers and adults in their children's lives, compared to disengaged or absent fathers. Of course, mothers can do this, to an extent. But fathers, by dint of their size, strength, or aggressive public presence, appear to be more successful in keeping predators and bad peer influences away from their sons and daughters. As psychologist Rob Palkovitz notes in our book, "paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls."
Dad's discipline: Although mothers typically discipline their children more often than do fathers, dads' disciplinary style is distinctive. In surveying the research on gender and parenthood for our book, Palkovitz observes that fathers tend to be firmer with their children, compared to mothers. Based on their extensive clinical experience, and a longitudinal study of 17 stay-at-home fathers, Kyle Pruett and psychologist Marsha Kline Pruett agree. In Partnership Parenting they write, "Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority." By contrast, mothers are more likely to reason with their children, to be flexible in disciplinary situations, and to rely on their emotional ties to a child to encourage her to behave. In their view, mothers and fathers working together as co-parents offer a diverse yet balanced approach to discipline.
The Difference Good Dads Make
The contributions that fathers make to their children's lives can be seen in three areas: teenage delinquency, pregnancy, and depression. Here, to illustrate the connection between fatherhood and child well-being, I compare adolescent boys and girls who fall into one of four categories: those living in an intact, married family with a high-quality relationship with their father (top third), or an average-quality relationship with their father (middle third), or a low-quality relationship with him (bottom third), or living in a single-mother family. Relationship quality was measured by a scale of three items tapping a child's assessment of his father's warmth, communication skill, and overall relationship quality.
Delinquency: Boys who enjoy average and especially high-quality relationships with their fathers in an intact family are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior. For instance, boys who enjoy high-quality relationships with their fathers are about half as likely to be delinquent, compared to boys being raised by single mothers or by fathers in intact families who only have low-quality relationships with them.
Teenage Pregnancy: Dads also seem to matter for daughters. Here, teenage girls living with their father in an intact family and enjoying at least an average-quality relationship with him are about half as likely to become pregnant as teenagers, compared to girls living with a single mother, or who only have a low-quality relationship with their father in an intact family.
Depression: And for both boys and girls, a high-quality relationship with dad is associated with less depression. Such teenagers are less than half as likely to end up depressed, compared to their peers in single-mother households, or intact homes where dad only has a low-quality relationship with them. (Note also that most of these associations remain statistically significant after controlling for maternal education, household income, race/ethnicity, and respondent's age.)
The story told by this data, then, suggests that there is a case to make against the fathers who fail to have good-enough relationships with their children. At least on these outcomes, single mothers do about as well for their children, compared to dads who have poor-quality relationships with their children. By contrast, great, and even good-enough dads, appear to make a real difference in their children's lives.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.