Connecticut In the Crosshairs
ABSTINENCE CONFERENCE IN HARTFORD MAY 5-6
[by Peter Wolfgang]
"Wait Training" is a company
presenting "dynamic training workshops that will equip and empower you
to mobilize your community and teach your teens the skills to avoid
drugs, alcohol, early sexual debut and other high risk behaviors." The
workshops will be held Friday, May 5 and Saturday May 6 from 8:30 AM to
4:30 PM at Gengras Auditorium, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Those
who sign up now will pay a reduced fee of $99. To register call
720-488-8888 or click here.
For more information click on the web site linked to in the previous
sentence or contact local abstinence activist Lori Blackburn at
Posted at 1:20 PM
ATTEND THE "LOVE AND RESPECT" MARRIAGE CONFERENCE MAY 12-13
[by Brian Brown]
FIC is proud to partner
with the New Canaan Society, the New Canaan Women's Fellowship and
other area churches and Christian organizations in sponsoring the most
important marriage event to come to Fairfield County. Dr. Emerson
Eggerichs, author of the award-winning book Love and Respect, and his
wife Sarah will be giving their two-day seminar on marriage,
relationships and male/female communication (this is not just for
married couples and it definitely is not just for marriages in crisis).
The Eggerichs's highly entertaining presentation and unique message is
being praised by men and women across the country and regularly draws
audiences of 2,000-3,000 people.
Click here for more information and to register for the Love and
Respect Conference at the Westin Hotel in Stamford, May 12-13.
As a Conference Partner, FIC's members are entitled to a significantly
reduced conference price of $50.00 per person/$100 per couple. Use the Conference Partner Code NCSFIC when registering.
FIC also will be providing a limited number of free tickets to the
event for pastors and church leaders to build marriage programs
throughout the state. Please contact us at if you are a pastor or
church leader at email@example.com if you are interested.
Posted at 11:16 AM
DANBURY RALLY A SUCCESS
[by Peter Wolfgang]
A rally celebrating the Founders' true understanding of church/state
relations--and decrying secularist distortions of that
understanding--went off without a hitch Tuesday:
[John] Gedney [of
Christian Motorcycles Association] was one of more than 100 people who
attended a rally Tuesday organized by Minutemen United, an Ohio-based
Christian group that promotes religious liberties and believes that the
nation's founding fathers intended to keep religious principles in
Most of the people who
attended stayed for the duration of the two-hour event, sitting on the
grass and blocking their eyes from the springtime evening sun. They
also munched on hot dogs and chips that were for sale by a local
Minutemen United brought
preachers, teachers and historians from across the country to tell
people why the wall that separates church and state must come down.
Best-selling author Bill
Federer of Amerisearch said the only religion that receives tolerance
is secularism. Greg Thompson of the America Asleep Know More group said
the public school system is filled with moral decay. And the Rev. Bob
Schenck of the National Clergy Council said Christians need to be more
aggressive to get public policy changed.
The rally was nearly derailed last week by a liberal opponent posing as a neo-Nazi supporter. Hat City Blog, a liberal Danbury blogger who opposes the rally's support for religion in the public square, nonetheless raises some important questions about the News-Times' role in the hoax. FIC members may also wish to click on the News-Times article in order to post their own comments in the online conversation over the issues raised by the rally.
Posted at 3:30 PM
ETHICS CONCERN SLOWS CLONE-AND-KILL EFFORT
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The ethics office has said that those responsible for disbursing 100
million taxpayer dollars to clone-and-kill human embryos should not
have a conflict of interest:
Connecticut stem cell
scientists eager to apply for $20 million in state funding will have to
wait - at least until the state legislature addresses ethical concerns
about the makeup of the committee that will award the money.
The state Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee authorized to dole out
the funds has postponed its meetings until concerns raised by the
Office of State Ethics about the makeup of the committee are addressed,
a spokesman for the state public health department said Tuesday.
A majority of the
committee's members have either direct or indirect affiliations with
the University of Connecticut or Yale University. Researchers from
those schools are expected to get the lion's share of the $100 million
in funds that the state legislature approved last year for stem cell
research over the next 10 years...
The delay worried
scientists who were poised to start stem cell research projects -
including human embryonic stem cell research ineligible for federal
Disgraced South Korean
scientist Hwang Woo-suk has demonstrated the level of fraud that can
occur in the name of embryonic stem cell research. The ethics office is
right to prevent incentives for similar scandals to occur here. Now we
just need it to dawn on our legislators that the act of cloning and
killing human embryos is itself unethical!
Posted at 2:14 PM
COURANT FLIP-FLOPS ON FREEDOM
[by Peter Wolfgang]
It was nice of the Courant
to run a few positive items about faith on Easter Sunday. But it would
have had more meaning if the paper had not editorialized in favor of
the destruction of religious freedom in Connecticut the next day.
On Feb. 23, the Courant's editors had this to say about legislative efforts to force Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions:
It is neither necessary
nor fair to force these church-based institutions to go against their
fundamental beliefs. In 80 percent of Connecticut hospitals, a woman
will be offered emergency contraception, according to rape crisis
experts. The Catholic hospitals say it is their policy to inform rape
victims where they can receive emergency contraception.
But here is what they say today:
We had hoped Roman
Catholic hospitals would find a way to provide emergency contraception
known as Plan B to rape victims without being forced to do so by the
Really? Since when? What
happened to "it is neither necessary nor fair" to force Catholic
hospitals "to go against their fundamental beliefs"?
Now, all of the sudden, the Courant
is saying that because Catholic hospitals get public funds they must
provide rape victims the full "emergency care." But on Feb. 23 the Courant thought
the Catholic hospitals were doing that by informing the victims where
among those 80 percent of other Connecticut hospitals they can go to
get "emergency contraception." Why is a policy that was good enough for
the Courant's editors on Feb. 23 suddenly not good enough for them on April 17?
The Courant is now
claiming that the "Plan B" issue "was provoked by the church itself"
for updating its policy to require a determination that the woman is
not ovulating before being given the potentially abortifacient drug.
The Church "provoked" the issue by requiring fidelity to its teachings?
What happened to the Courant's Feb. 23 concern that the Church not be coerced into violating its "fundamental beliefs"? Do the Courant
editors think that giving an abortifacient to a pregnant woman violates
the Church's "fundamental beliefs" but providing it where there is only
the chance of a fertilized human egg being destroyed somehow does not?
When did the paper get into the business of distinguishing
Catholicism's fundamental beliefs from its non-fundamental beliefs?
The last paragraph in the
editorial notes "horror stories from...rape victims" and says "medical
treatment should be the decision of a woman and her doctor." But the
pro-abortion activists pushing this issue never produced a single
victim who said she had been denied the drug at a Catholic hospital. As
late as last week, at a meeting of the Victim Advocate's advisory
council, they said they were still collecting data regarding the
hospitals. Even legislators in favor of the original bill were pushing
the activists to produce data they apparently never had. As James
Papillo noted in his testimony, this was a solution in search of a
problem, an exploitation of rape victims for the purpose of attacking
And why did the Courant
go from saying on Feb. 23 that "[i]t is neither necessary nor fair to
force these church-based institutions to go against their fundamental
beliefs" to simply asserting on Apr. 17 that "medical treatment should
be the decision of a woman and her doctor"? Why did the editors think
that religious freedom deserved some respect within the woman/doctor
relationship on Feb. 23 but not on Apr. 17?
On Feb. 23 in this space I blogged:
Whatever our other differences with the Courant's editors, the paper has consistently opposed efforts to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
That is apparently no longer the case, making Apr. 17 yet another dark day for religious freedom in Connecticut.
Posted at 3:13 PM
ATTEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RALLY IN DANBURY TOMORROW!
[by Brian Brown]
A group of faithful
Christians organizing a rally for religious freedom in Danbury were the
victims of a vicious hoax last week perpetrated by a liberal secularist
who was opposed to the rally. The event, which was nearly derailed by
one man's lies, is back on for tomorrow, April 18. We invite every
pro-family citizen in Connecticut to support religious freedom--and
even our right to speak in support of religious freedom--by attending
In Connecticut and
elsewhere, the religious freedom and free speech rights of people of
traditional faith have lately come under increasing attack by the
self-professed proponents of "tolerance." Tomorrow's rally provides an
excellent opportunity to respond.
Just in the last few
months in Connecticut we have seen such attacks on religious freedom as
a complaint of bias filed against a Christian hospital for refusing to
accept same-sex unions, a legislative attempt to force Christian
hospitals to provide chemical abortions and Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan's
call for the resignation of state Victim Advocate James Papillo, an
ordained clergyman, for committing the thought crimes of being a
faithful Christian who opposes abortion and same-sex "marriage."
We know how the
self-professed champions of "tolerance" react when pro-family citizens
speak out against these injustices: they attack our right to speak.
Since 2004, a significant number of pro-family churches around the
state have been vandalized because they displayed FIC's "Defend
Marriage Now!" banners. In 2005, a pro same-sex "marriage" activist was
arrested for making a death threat against Connecticut Catholic
lobbyist Marie Hilliard.
Last week, a man called the Danbury News-Times
claiming to be a neo-Nazi and said that he was bringing three busloads
of white supremacists to the April 18 religious freedom rally. The
paper ran a "Nazis coming to Danbury" headline above a picture of the
Christian organizers and the city responded by pulling the rally's
permit to meet on public property. But it was a lie, a hoax perpetrated by a secularist who opposed the rally's support for religion in the public square:
DANBURY - There are no Grey Wolves. The man who claimed to be the Wolves' spokesman is, by his own admission, "an idiot."
"I'm a fool," the man said Friday. "I apologize to the people of Danbury."...
The man described himself as "a liberal, a Democrat and a Christian."...
After reading about the rally, he said, he became incensed.
"I'm sick of people
mixing politics with Christianity and Christianity with politics," he
said. "I have very strong convictions about the separation of church
and state. These people want to create a theocracy."
With this man's lies exposed, the city's permit has been restored, the News-Times has admitted its error
and the rally is back on. This is a victory for free speech and
religious freedom in Connecticut. But that these things occurred at all
is further evidence of how much our rights are under attack.
The time to stand up to
these attacks and defend our freedom is now! We encourage every
pro-family citizen in Connecticut to stand up for religious freedom by
attending tomorrow's rally! Here is the schedule:
APRIL 18 SCHEDULED EVENTS
12:00 Noon - 2 pm - Ministry Leader/Pastor Luncheon - Stony Hill Inn, Rte 6, Bethel, CT. (off Exit 8, Rte 84). Please reserve luncheon seats by calling (203) 778-2672.
2:30 pm - Solemn Ceremony and Prayer Vigil
- Site of the Foundation of the Old Baptist Church. Due to limited
space and access, please call (203)778-2672 to reserve a place.
4 pm - 5 pm - Pre-Rally Speakers and Music. City Center Green in Downtown Danbury.
5 pm - 7 pm - Celebration of Freedom Rally, City Center Green in Downtown Danbury. (Follow the signs for the Downtown Dining District off Exit 5 of I-84).
Food will be available.
Parking will be available at the Patriot Garage next to the
Green. ALL EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
You can learn more about tomorrow's events by clicking here.
For more information, contact Richard Kendall, Media and Publicity
Coordinator for Minutemen United's New England Division, at
Posted at 1:28 PM
BREAKING...NAZI APPEARANCE IN DANBURY A LIBERAL HOAX
[by Peter Wolfgang]
A story in yesterday's News-Times
claiming that three busloads of neo-Nazis were planning to crash a
religious rally in Danbury provoked the usual anti-Christian smears
from liberals. But there was one problem: it was a liberal hoax.
The paper ran the headline "Neo-Nazis say they're coming to Danbury"
right above a picture of our friend Rich Kendall and other organizers
of a rally protesting secularist distortions of the First Amendment's
A rally calling for an
end to the separation of church and state is expected to draw hundreds
to downtown Danbury on Tuesday, including members of a neo-Nazi group
who plan to wear swastikas on their black jackets...
The Grey Wolves, a
Northeast-based white supremacist group loosely affiliated with the
Christian Identity Movement, will bring three busloads of people to the
rally, Rick Renage, Grey Wolves spokesman, said Wednesday.
Renage read about the
rally at NewsTimesLive.com, The News-Times' Web site, which posted
information Wednesday afternoon about the event.
"We just want to show our solidarity with the churches who are sponsoring this activity," Renage said...
"I, personally, am not
looking for any confrontations, but if we are provoked, we will react
very strongly," he said in an e-mail to The News-Times.
The city responded by denying a permit for the rally to meet on public property. And at least three local left-wing blogs went bonkers, smearing conservative Christians with the same brush as Nazis and highlighting alleged connections between Catholics and--of all things!--the Ku Klux Klan.
But the whole thing was
a hoax whose apparent motivation was opposition to the rally's
viewpoint that the Constitution acknowledges a more vigorous public
role for religion than "wall of separation" absolutists will allow:
Danbury police said
Friday that the man who claimed to be a member of the Grey Wolves
neo-Nazi group made up the entire story. Police said there is no such
group as the Grey Wolves, and the man apologized for his behavior...
"I apologize to the city of Danbury, said the man, who refused to give his name to the News-Times. "I'm a fool. I'm an idiot."
The man, who said he lived in Fairfield County, said he made up the name Grey Wolves because of his indignation over the rally.
"I'm a strong supporter of church and state," he said.
But what he thought was a prank soon proved to be disruptive.
"I'm trying to reach the ministers and apologize to them too," the man said.
So--like the vandalism of
FIC banners hanging on pro-family churches and the death threat against
local Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard--another liberal attempt to
suppress the free speech of those with whom liberals disagree has
failed. How the Left can still claim to be the champions of tolerance,
diversity and freedom of expression, only God knows.
Posted at 7:40 PM
HOLY WEEK, 2006
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Every Christmas the
secularists tell us not to mention "Christmas" in public and every
Easter they tell us our beliefs are lies. Lent, 2006 has been no
different. This year's attack began a few weeks ago with the
climatologist who claimed that Jesus did not walk on water but on a
block of ice. Then the Courant ran that silly front page story on the supposed significance of a text of the Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic work rejected by the Church in the second century. And, of course, there was the Courant editorial lecturing Christian critics of "The DaVinci Code" to get over it.
In fact, Christian reaction to the book has been rather mild when
compared with the anti-Christian hysteria over Mel Gibson's "The
Passion of the Christ," but I don't recall any similar Courant editorial advising anti-Passion secularists to calm down.
Why do the media do this every Easter? Columnist Cal Thomas' observations in his Apr. 11 piece offers a partial answer:
What is responsible for
this flood of skepticism, heresy and outright denial of the biblical
record? Why is there not a similar cultural onslaught against other
faiths? Only the suicidal would treat Islam in this way. The skeptics
sound like those disclaimers for certain drugs sold on TV: Side effects
may include vomiting, hair loss, bleeding, dizziness and
disorientation. The side effects of believing in Jesus may include loss
of friends, disrespect by the academic and journalistic communities and
damage to one's career, not to mention a complete change in the life to
which one has become comfortably accustomed.
Posted at 4:25 PM
JUSTICE SCALIA COMES TO CONNECTICUT
[by Peter Wolfgang]
My pro-family quote in an Apr. 1 Courant story provoked a letter-to-the-editor today by someone claiming the U.S. Constitution requires same-sex "marriage." Justice Scalia dismissed such nonsense in his UConn Law appearance yesterday:
Touching on some of the
most recent controversial Supreme Court cases, the 70-year-old jurist
expanded on his view that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted
only by what the nation's forefathers wrote in the document, rather
than seeing the Constitution through the evolving standards of time.
Brian and I attended
Justice Scalia's address to the Federalist Society on Tuesday. The man
was every bit as brilliant, witty and approachable as this week's media
stories are reporting.
Most of his Tuesday speech was similar to the UConn lecture described in the New Haven Register:
The early-20th century
was a period in which the public looked to political appointees as
"experts" on a range of topics, Scalia told audience members. Now the
public looks to judges for wisdom on whether abortion, execution and
other practices should be allowed, he said.
"I am questioning the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having a
value-laden decision made for the entire society by unelected judges,"
he said. "There are no scientifically demonstrable right answers to
these questions, as opposed to answers that a particular society
Even if there were right answers, Scalia said, a lawyer or judge is no
better equipped to answer them than a medical doctor, engineer,
ethicist "or even the famed Joe Six-Pack."
But he did stay long at
his Tuesday appearance and took many questions from the audience. When
asked about what the future holds for the originalist understanding of
the Constitution he noted the addition of three strict constructionist
thinkers to the faculty of Harvard Law School, something that would
have been unheard of only a few years earlier.
"I used to feel like Frodo
in the Lord of the Rings," he said. "We're doing the right thing, but
we are doomed, doomed!" And now?
"I am cautiously optimistic."
Posted at 11:17 AM
CONNECTICUT AND THE TOTALITARIAN IMPULSE
Why do pro-abortion
legislators keep trying to force Catholic hospitals to provide chemical
abortions and what is truly at stake in this battle? The answer involves more than abortion and religious freedom, as Chris Powell notes in his April 8 JI column:
The big question is the
degree of state control that should come with state licensing in all
respects. That is, the big question here is the scope of government.
Since these days the government licenses nearly everything, advocates
of the pill legislation are arguing for a much more pervasive
government and thereby are yielding to the totalitarian impulse that
the government should control everything not because of necessity but
because of OPPORTUNITY, because government CAN control everything.
By contrast, while they may not recognize it, opponents of the pill
legislation are defending not just religious freedom but the entire
private sphere, the right of individuals and institutions to be
This is yet another
instance where the loudest proponents of "tolerance" and "diversity"
actually threaten the very things they claim to uphold.
Posted at 1:42 PM
PRO-FAMILY HISPANIC CHURCH ALLIANCE FORMS IN HARTFORD
[by Brian Brown]
Congratulations to the Latin Ministerial Alliance of Greater Hartford, which held its first gathering last weekend:
Seeking a higher profile
and a greater public voice, more than 20 ministers representing the
Hartford area's Hispanic churches have formed an alliance to work on
educational and social issues that affect their parishioners.
A unity service Friday evening at House of Restoration Church drew several hundred people from the city and surrounding areas...
The alliance includes Pentecostal, Evangelical and Baptist churches.
The list of those joining
the alliance--which reads like a "who's who" of prominent Hispanic
ministers in the local area--include many pastors whom FIC has been
privileged to work with over the years. And their commitment to the
protection of marriage is as strong as ever:
The alliance will give Hispanic pastors a voice on social issues such as gay marriage, [Bishop Jeremiah] Torres added.
"It's our right to speak out on those kinds of issues, the moral issues affecting society," he said.
Posted at 9:58 AM
COURANT DOWNPLAYS CATHOLIC CONCERNS DAY
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Yesterday's eighth annual
Catholic Concerns Day was perhaps the most highly-charged,
confrontational one yet. But despite the presence of the Courant's
religion reporter at the event, our local paper of record limited its
coverage to one photo with a vague caption noting the Archbishop's
concern about "ominous threats" to the Church "in the form of some
proposed state legislation."
What occasioned the
Archbishop's concern was the effort at extortion--the Archbishop's
word--by anti-Catholic legislators who want to withhold millions of
dollars of emergency energy funding from Catholic hospitals unless
those hospitals provide chemical abortions. The Republican-American has the story that the Courant missed or chose not to print:
HARTFORD -- The state's
Catholic bishops worry there is an anti-Catholic bias at work in the
legislature, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of the Archdiocese of Hartford
"You hear from increasing
number of people, both Catholic and otherwise, that we have had enough
Catholic bashing, and it seems to be on the increase," Mansell said.
The attempts to legislate
that Catholic hospitals offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims
against church tenets have inflamed Catholic suspicions of bias. No
other issue has caused so much uproar this session...
There was also a sense
among Catholics that the legislation on emergency contraception
reflected hostility in the legislature toward the church.
The Associated Press also had good coverage:
Connecticut's three Roman
Catholic bishops said Wednesday that they believe their church is under
fire in the state legislature, where there have been efforts to require
Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception for rape victims.
Hartford Archbishop Henry
J. Mansell, speaking to more than 500 followers who attended Catholic
Day at the Capitol, did not accuse specific legislators of being
anti-Catholic. But the archbishop said he does believe "Catholic
bashing" is on the increase and there is an abortion rights agenda
behind the emergency contraception bill.
House Speaker James Amann (D-Milford), who is in a position to know, confirmed in the Rep-Am piece that some of his colleagues are motivated by anti-Catholicism:
While Mansell would not say so, Amann said there are House members who are anti-Catholic. He did not name any names.
"There are certain people
in this chamber that have those feelings. There is no doubt about it.
... If anybody in this chamber who thinks there aren't people in this
room that are anti-Catholic, that is not being honest," Amann said.
And there was this in the AP piece:
State Victim Advocate
James Papillo, an ordained deacon who drew criticism for testifying
against the legislation, said he is not surprised that advocates are
still trying to find ways to get the bill passed this year.
"Some people are coming at it with a vengeance. They want to see the Catholic Church harmed in some way," he said.
The AP noted the Archbishop's "extortion" remark and the Connecticut Post
captured aspects of the event that were not reported elsewhere, such as
Bishop Lori's strong remarks and the cheering that the bishops'
speeches received from the hundreds who had marched through a snowstorm
to be there at the state capitol.
But I think you had to be
there--and to have been at previous Catholic Concerns Days--to
appreciate how unusual yesterday's event was. No report noted the anger
in the Archbishop's eyes when discussing the "extortion" and how the $5
million at issue is "a fraction of a fraction" of the 100 million or so
dollars that the Catholic hospitals save the state every year. The
Archbishop noted that St. Mary's Hospital is the state's second largest
recipient of patients with Medicaid--which only covers 65% of the
costs--and that the Church covers the difference. He spoke about the
low dropout rate among the nearly 40,000 Catholic school children in
our state and drew attention to the cities and neighborhoods where the
drop-out problem has contributed to societal ills. There was no
mistaking his implication that the State gains far more from the Church
than it gives back. And there was no mistaking the disappointment in
Bishop Lori's voice--bordering on disgust--as he noted how a member of
the Appropriations Committee filibustered an amendment to protect the
religious freedom of Catholic hospitals by reading the story of the
Good Samaritan and then claiming that, by refusing to provide chemical
abortions, the Church is not being a Good Samaritan.
FIC has been proud to
count Connecticut's Catholic Bishops among our strongest pro-family
allies. And in all the years that we have been working with them and
encountering them at public events, I have never seen them as angry as
they were yesterday.
It was an anger mixed with
hurt by bishops who could not understand why their Church was under
constant attack by legislators of a State for whom that Church has
performed so many good works.
The bishops have drawn a
line in the sand in defense of religious liberty in Connecticut. It now
falls to us, the faithful of many different denominations, to stand
Posted at 12:06 PM
ANTI-CATHOLIC DEMOCRATS' ABUSE OF POWER CONTINUES
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The attempt to withhold millions of dollars from Catholic hospitals for
refusing to provide chemical abortions began with an underhanded
[Rep. Denise] Merrill
[D-Mansfield] confirmed Tuesday that she never told [House Speaker
James] Amann in advance about her plans to resurrect the issue in
Section 33 in the back of the budget. The issue was placed so deep that
Republicans and insiders spent hours reading more than 250 pages of
documents without noticing the one-sentence provision.
And it continued yesterday with a full-blown abuse of power:
HARTFORD -- Democrats
filibustered on Tuesday to thwart a committee vote on the issue of
emergency contraception for rape victims.
Democrats on the
Appropriations Committee talked the clock out on a Republican amendment
to remove a restriction that excludes hospitals that do not provide
emergency contraception from a $5 million state aid program.
The committee's 5 p.m.
bill deadline passed as Rep. Deborah Heinrich, D-Madison, a supporter
of emergency contraception, was recounting the New Testament parable of
the Good Samaritan. As a result, there was no vote on the Republican
Afterwards, Sen. Judith
G. Freedman, R-Westport, accused majority Democrats of an abuse of
power. She said they misinterpreted legislative rules to prevent
committee votes on Republican amendments.
"Clearly voting our ideas down is not good enough," Freedman said.
We recommend reading the full Republican-American
piece, which reveals how filibustering was just one of several
parliamentary tricks employed by pro-abortion Democrats to keep the
anti-Catholic provision in the budget.
The Courant piece
notes the displeasure of Speaker Amann--and even Senate President Pro
Tem Donald Williams (D-Brooklyn)--over the Appropriations Committee's
inappropriate attempt to revive a controversial measure that had
already died in another committee. But because of the abuse of power by
Committee Democrats yesterday, we may not know if religious freedom in
Connecticut will survive the year until the legislature's May 3
Posted at 9:19 AM
SUSAN CAMPBELL IS PRAYING FOR ME
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The Courant quoted FIC three days in a row over the weekend. On Friday, it was on our response to the Massachusetts ruling:
In Connecticut, opponents
of same-sex marriage applauded the ruling, which they viewed as a
significant retreat from the court's earlier decision.
"It shows a chastened court," said Peter Wolfgang of the Family
Institute of Connecticut. The 2003 ruling "caused a reaction they never
expected. Now they're stepping back and being a little more cautious."
On Saturday, it was the 6-month anniversary of the legalization of same-sex unions:
Peter Wolfgang of the
Family Institute of Connecticut said it was a pity to toss aside
thousands of years of tradition for the benefit of a small group.
Civil unions "disrupt the common understanding of what marriage is,"
said Wolfgang, who views such unions as marriage in everything but
name. "For such a small number you're going to completely change the
definition of what marriage is for all of Connecticut?"
On Sunday, Courant columnist Susan Campbell quoted this blog:
...but then I wrote about
the sin of gay-bashing, and ended up on a blog with the plea: "We
should keep Susan Campbell in our prayers." I appreciate that. I
promise to pray for all bloggers, as well.
Campbell would have her
readers believe that we are praying for her because she opposes
gay-bashing. In fact, what raised our concern was her false accusation
that we support, or are responsible for, violence--a calumny she
essentially repeats in yesterday's column. Here is the full context of
the statement she quotes, from my Mar. 13 blog:
But because we dare to
oppose the pro same-sex "marriage" agenda, Campbell says, any violence
against homosexuals is still our fault. Ironically, the pro same-sex
"marriage" activist Campbell quotes to support this fallacy once wrote
on a website that acts of vandalism against pro-family churches were
akin to "justice actions." And, of course, there is still no mention in
the Courant of the man who was convicted of making a death
threat against Connecticut Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard because of
Marie's opposition to same-sex civil unions.
We should keep Susan
Campbell in our prayers--not in the same spirit in which she says she
prays for conservatives (see my Aug. 15 blog), but for real. Despite
all her vitriol, Campbell comes across as--in Flannery O'Connor's
wonderful phrase--"Christ haunted," and there is reason to hope that
her theological journey will bring her to a destination that she did
Posted at 12:25 PM
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN CT ATTACKED...AND DEFENDED
Democrats in the General
Assembly's Appropriations Committee last week launched a sneak attack
on religious institutions by inserting a measure into the budget that
would withhold millions of dollars from hospitals that refuse to
provide chemical abortions. Reactions have rightly been fast and furious:
"This is war," declared
the state Senate's top GOP leader, Sen. Louis C. DeLuca of Woodbury.
"It's a shameless assault on Catholic hospitals and the Catholic
Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell condemned the Democrats' attempt to use
the budget to push through a controversial non-fiscal policy "a slap in
the face to the process of the General Assembly."
"We've never done that before," insisted Rell.
State House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, labeled
the Democratic maneuver "a total misuse of the legislative process."
"Frankly, I think it shows an anti-Catholic bias to do it in this way," said Ward...
"I was not pleased to see
that resurrected," [Speaker of the House Rep. James] Amann said Friday.
"It was never run by me ... It should not have happened."
Amann said he plans to talk with the House chair of the appropriations
committee, state Rep. Denise Merrill, D-Mansfield, to ask, "How did
this happen, why did this happen."
"This should have been a budget debate, not a debate about contraception ...not a debate about abortion issues," said Amann...
Ward said he's seen a
"distinct move among a new group of (General Assembly) Democratic
leaders... to follow the federal method of doing things in a sort of
partisan and sneaky manner."
More from the Republican-American:
DeLuca vowed to fight to
remove the Democratic provision from final budget. He also said the
debate kindled a spiritual reawakening in himself.
"I have been a Catholic
all my life, and I probably have not been one of those rah-rah
Catholics. My wife is very religious. I haven't been, but this has
reaffirmed my faith, and made me stronger in my faith, because I'll be
damned if I am going to stand here and allow those people to brush this
aside as if the Catholic Church is inconsequential, whatever they
believe in is not important," DeLuca said.
The paper's editorial page takes apart the argument put forward by one proponent of the sneak attack and concludes with this:
Under these circumstances, Rep. Merrill's proclamation that Catholic hospitals are not a target sounds hollow.
Finally, Rep. Merrill
needs to be aware she is jousting with the First Amendment, which
provides for the "free exercise" of religion. The Catholic stand on
abortion is centuries old and well known. The preservation of life in
the womb is a major point of church dogma that she evidently wants to
circumscribe with a tricky mandate.
If the Catholic hospitals
mount a court challenge to this attempt to force them to dispense Plan
B, how do Rep. Merrill and her Appropriations Committee colleagues
expect to deny that the provision is nothing but government intrusion
in the free exercise of religion?
Defenders of religious freedom rallied in front of the state's four Catholic hospitals yesterday:
WATERBURY -- More than
100 abortion opponents gathered in front of Saint Mary's Hospital on
Sunday afternoon to protest Democratic legislators' inclusion of an
emergency contraception clause in the state budget...
Dennis Odle attended the Saint Mary's rally and denounced the
legislators for including the section in the budget.
"The cause is important,
but how this happened is also important," Odle said. "It was an
under-the-table, unethical, dirty ploy that shouldn't happen in any
FIC has said all along
that the pro-abortion attack on religious hospitals is just one of a
number of attacks on religious freedom in Connecticut to occur just in
the last few months. Now, in addition to the renewed attack on the
hospitals, there is the potential for another front in the war on faith
in Connecticut: the confirmation of Peter Zarella as Chief Justice of
the state Supreme Court. We hope that will not be the case, but we do note these items buried in an article on why the nominee "rattles some:"
Paindiris said Zarella
has a strong Catholic and family background. "That's part of what makes
him conservative," he noted. "Because of his strong character, he's
going to convince people to go his way."...
[Zarella] also joined
Sullivan, another devout Catholic, in dissenting in a ruling that paves
the way for public access to reams of files in the mammoth Bridgeport
diocese sex scandal case.
Will Justice Zarella's
Catholicism be a point of contention in his confirmation hearings?
Watch this space and your in-boxes for information on what you can do
to counter the current attacks on religious freedom. Should new attacks
appear, we will be responding to those as well.
Posted at 9:36 AM
FIGHT NEW PRO-ABORTION ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!
[by Peter Wolfgang]
On Mar. 22 the AP quoted my reaction to the apparent death of the bill
forcing religious hospitals to provide chemical abortions:
"The pro-abortion lobbyists are so hot for this bill," Wolfgang said. "We expect them to bring it up for an amendment."
A measure that would
require all hospitals to provide emergency contraceptives to rape
victims got a second chance at life when Democrats slipped it into a
catch-all state budget approved by a key legislative committee
In its latest
incarnation, buried deep in the thick budget under Section 33,
hospitals would have to provide Plan B if they wish to share in $5
million set aside to help hospitals cover spiraling energy costs...
Republicans were outraged and said they had been blindsided...
"This is unbelievable,"
said Senate Republican leader Louis DeLuca. "If the lights were out, it
would be a midnight assault on the Catholic Church."
We invite all our members
to attend the rallies being held by CT Right to Life in front of the
state's four Catholic hospitals this Sunday, April 2:
STAND UP FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!
RALLY TO DEFEND CONNECTICUT'S CATHOLIC HOSPITALS!!!
SUNDAY - APRIL 2 3:00 - 4:00 PM
BRIDGEPORT - ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL
HARTFORD - ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL
NEW HAVEN - ST. RAPHAEL'S HOSPITAL
WATERBURY - ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL
KEEP CATHOLIC HOSPITALS CATHOLIC !!!!
On Sunday, April 2, there will be rallies at each of
the state's four Catholic hospitals starting at 3:00
PM and ending at 4:00 PM. Come to the Catholic
Hospital nearest you to stand up for religious
A bill in the state legislature would force Catholic
Hospitals to submit to state policies rather than to
follow Catholic moral principles in health care. If
the legislature can force Catholic hospitals to
violate their moral principles in one area, what
prevents the state from forcing them to violate any
other moral principles the state orders them to?...
Religious freedom is in our federal and state
Constitutions! But it must be defended!!!
Our nation was founded by people seeking religious
freedom - millions of Americans have died for it - now
it's our turn to stand and be counted!
SUNDAY, APRIL 2 3:00 - 4:00PM
BRIDGEPORT HARTFORD NEW HAVEN WATERBURY
For more information, call: Connecticut Right to
Life Corporation 203-757-5213
Posted at 1:54 PM
"TOLERANCE" HYPOCRITES STRIKE AGAIN
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The Courant reports today on yet another United Church of Christ television ad designed to promote the UCC by smearing other churches:
The 30-second spot shows
a traditional middle-class family at church looking skeptically at
worshippers in the next pew who appear to be gay, African American,
elderly or Middle Eastern. Suddenly, ejector seats blast those
worshippers out of the church one by one.
"God doesn't reject people," the voiceover says, "and neither do we."
The hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed "tolerant" is nothing new to our members, as this letter in today's New London Day demonstrates:
were quoted in the terrific article titled "Family Institute focused on
issue of religious freedom," published March 23, which discussed the
state forcing Catholic hospitals to dispense what is considered to be
an abortion pill.
The article made scant
reference to our opposition to homosexual civil unions, but that was
enough for one reader. At 10 that night, a male made a nice call to our
house, saying, "My husband and I can't wait for you to get the hell out
of Connecticut." I'd like to offer The Day staff some questions for its
next interview with homosexuals who demand tolerance:
You want Connecticut
citizens who disagree with you to leave. Last week in San Francisco,
the city's board of governors condemned a gathering of Christian teens,
calling them "disgusting" and stating they "should get out of San
Francisco." Is segregation a goal among homosexuals? How does that
comport with your demand for tolerance?
You, a male, stated you
have a husband. But homosexual marriage is not legal in Connecticut, so
how can he be your husband? Can I consider a friend to be my father?
If someone called you
late at night and wanted you to get out of Connecticut, would you
consider that a hate crime? Would you call the police? Or would you
consider the caller immature and irrelevant? How would you recommend
the Sweeneys handle this (besides following your wishes)?
Do you see how
bush-league and silly you look, demanding tolerance and offering
discrimination in return? Do you see you've failed to silence the
Sweeneys and that, with the wonders of the Internet, you'll continue to
read letters to the editor from them, even though they've gotten out of
John A. Sweeney
Posted at 3:58 PM
BREAKING...PRO SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" ATTACK FAILS
[by Brian Brown]
In a further sign that pro same-sex "marriage" judges are beginning to
grasp the havoc their arrogance has reaped on our nation's politics,
the same court that legalized same-sex "marriage" in Mass. has ruled
against extending that decision to out-of-state couples:
The court that made
Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Thursday
that same-sex couples from other states cannot marry here.
The Supreme Judicial
Court ruled in a challenge to a 1913 state law that forbids
nonresidents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not
be recognized in their home state.
"The laws of this
commonwealth have not endowed nonresidents with an unfettered right to
marry," the court wrote in its 38-page opinion. "Only nonresident
couples who come to Massachusetts to marry and intend to reside in this
commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license without
consideration of any impediments to marriage that existed in their
former home states."
Eight gay couples from
surrounding states, including two from Connecticut, challenged the law
after they were denied marriage licenses in Massachusetts when they
tried to wed after the state became the first to allow same-sex
marriages in May 2004.
[Update: Peter Wolfgang
will be appearing on channel 30 at 5:30 and Fox 61's News At 10 to
discuss the Mass.
Posted at 10:46 AM
THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD
[by Peter Wolfgang]
S.B. 46, an FIC-supported
bill that would stop unsolicited sexually-oriented electronic messages
targeting children, made it out of committee yesterday. In other good
news, S.B. 699, a bill that would push Connecticut closer to the
legalization of same-sex "marriage," died in committee. Thank you to
all of you who e-mailed your legislators on these bills. Watch for
future updates on what more you can do to help pass S.B. 46 during this
year's "short" legislative session.
Unfortunately, H.B. 5597,
the "transgender rights" bill, made it out of the Judiciary Committee
by a wide margin. During the debate Rep. Arthur O'Neill asked why
"sexual orientation" was added to a bill focused on "transgender
rights." Rep. Lawlor conceded Rep. O'Neill's point before quickly
changing the subject.
H.B. 5597 is another attempt to strengthen the hand of the plaintiffs in the same-sex "marriage" Kerrigan
case. The statute that this bill would amend (CSG 46a-58) only
references classes protected by the Connecticut Constitution and does
not include sexual orientation. If this bill passes it will
increase the pressure on our state courts to force those courts to
impose same-sex "marriage" by judicial fiat.
In other bad news, the pro-abortion attacks on religious freedom may not be over for this session:
The Plan B bill in Connecticut died in committee last week, but proponents are hoping to resurrect it later this session.
The same article notes Lt.
Gov. Kevin Sullivan's anti-Catholic demand for the resignation of James
Papillo without mentioning his semi-retraction on the Brad Davis
program. The omission bolsters our concern that the lieutenant governor
is saying one thing to pro-lifers and another thing to his
anti-religious base (his website, which prominently displays the call for resignation, still makes no mention of Sullivan's retraction).
FIC members, watch your
in-boxes for further information on what you can do to stop H.B. 5597
and any renewed assaults on religious freedom during the remainder of
Posted at 2:30 PM
PRO-ABORTION BULLIES FAIL TO COERCE CHURCH, AIM SIGHTS ON WAL-MART
[by Peter Wolfgang]
My thanks to all of you
who commented so kindly on my appearance yesterday on Fox 61's "Beyond
the Headlines." I was a panelist during the segment on the "Plan B"
bill, which would have forced Catholic hospitals to provide chemical
abortions. Some of the best commentary on the death of that bill can be found, as usual, on the Republican-American's editorial page:
Right decision, wrong
motivation. State lawmakers appear to have abandoned their quest to
compel Roman Catholic Church-affiliated hospitals to dispense Plan B, a
drug the church considers an abortifacient. Activists argued a rape or
incest victim might be unable to get this morning-after contraceptive
but have failed to produce an example. This really was about forcing
religious organizations to toe the secularist line.
The clock ran out on the
bill Monday afternoon. The Public Health Committee had to vote by 5
p.m. for the bill to move forward, but the measure was still being
debated when the deadline arrived...
But the bill should not
have failed because its timing conflicted with Sen. Murphy's electoral
prospects. It should have failed because it sought unconstitutionally
to bully a religious organization without materially benefiting anyone.
It assuredly will be back during next year's session, when lawmakers
will not have to concern themselves with getting re-elected. Voters
should force candidates to declare themselves on this issue during the
Having failed--for now--in their efforts to coerce the Church,
pro-abortion bullies are now taking aim at a conscience policy for
The state comptroller is once again threatening to exclude Wal-Mart pharmacies
from the state insurance network if the retailing giant does not ensure
distribution of the Plan B emergency contraceptive...
But a Wal-Mart spokesman said
the chain would maintain its "conscientious objection" policy, which
allows Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacists who do not feel comfortable
dispensing a prescription to refer customers to another pharmacist or
pharmacy. The policy conforms to guidelines of the American
Pharmaceutical Association and is similar to the policies of several
other major pharmacy chains...
A Wal-Mart spokesman said
Thursday that the company could comply with the state's requirements by
referring the customer to a nearby pharmacy, or by having the
customer's doctor phone the prescription in somewhere else. But
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said that sending patients to
another pharmacy is not acceptable. "They have to make the drug
available at the pharmacy where the patient goes," Blumenthal said.
"Patients can't be shuttled from one pharmacy to another."
Bullying pro-family citizens
under the guise of "fighting discrimination" does appear to be a top
priority for Connecticut's dictatorship of relativism this year. There
was a hearing on a "transgender rights" bill on Friday. A Mar. 16 New Haven Advocate
article describes "transgendered" people as "a group that includes
transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens, hermaphrodites and others
who defy gender norms." The article also notes that "powerful gay and
lesbian advocates"--who previously avoided the "trans movement" because
it contradicted the "we're just like you" pro same-sex "marriage"
campaign--are now helping to pass this bill.
The Associated Press carried FIC's response to the bill:
The Family Institute of Connecticut, a conservative group, opposes the bill.
"If this bill passes, it would
prevent school systems from disciplining or declining to hire
cross-dressing teachers," said Peter Wolfgang, a spokesman for the
group. "People ought to have the right to be able to send their
children to public schools where they won't be exposed to this sort of
That bill, and several others, must be voted on today or they will "die in committee." To contact your legislators to ask them to vote pro-family on these bills, click here.
Posted at 11:39 AM
A RIPPLE EFFECT
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Yesterday's FIC Rally for Religious Freedom was a success, turning out
a good number of people on a chilly weekday morning and earning some
fair media coverage:
About 50 supporters of the
Family Institute of Connecticut rallied on the steps of the state
Capitol on Wednesday, vowing to keep the pressure on state legislators
to protect religious liberty.
Though encouraged that a bill that would have required Catholic
hospitals to prescribe Plan B or "morning-after" contraception to rape
victims died in committee on Monday, Brian Brown, the group's executive
director, said the fight was not over.
"We had a great victory on
Monday: This bill died in committee because of your phone calls,
because of your e-mails, because of your action," Brown said, to cheers
and applause. "I don't want to ever hear you say it doesn't matter what
we do. Monday showed that it does matter what we do."
The New London Day's Bethe Defresne also did some fair and balanced reporting:
When the Family Institute of
Connecticut rallied Wednesday against abortion and same-sex unions at
the state Capitol in Hartford, there was nothing new or different about
its mission. There was a change, however, in its rallying cry.
This time the key words weren't traditional family values; they were religious freedom.
"It's all part of a seamless
whole," said Peter Wolfgang, the institute's director of public policy,
prior to the rally. But he acknowledged that there has been a shift in
emphasis to religious freedom, necessitated, he said, by two recent
events. One was proposed legislation, shelved on Monday, that would
require the state's four private Catholic hospitals to offer rape
victims Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill, which prevents
pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. The Catholic Church
considers it a chemical form of abortion.
The other was a complaint lodged
with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by a doctor
at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, who was denied benefits by the
hospital for his same-sex partner even though they were legally joined
in a civil union.
Be sure not to miss the outstanding contributions of John and Wendy Sweeney in the Day piece. And there was this observation from the CT head of the pro-abortion group NARAL:
But challenges to abortion
rights in South Dakota and Mississippi already may have had a ripple
effect here [Connecticut], she said, judging by the "hostility" to
proposed legislation requiring that Plan B be offered to rape victims,
legislation she said should have been "a no-brainer."
FIC is pushing ahead on religious freedom, the Kerrigan case and several other fronts. And you can tell we are making progress by the up-tick in the Left's FIC scorn-o-meter:
More than that, [FIC's] arguments aren't very well grounded in religion, either. What does motivate them is politics...
If Brian Brown was a good Christian, he'd be spending his energy bringing CT together, and fighting for the less rich and the less powerful. Instead, Brian is a tool,
fighting false battles for the benefit of those who care most about
money-- and not about the average people who were the subject of
BTW - Family
Institute's "rally" on the capitol steps was about as well attended as
a Banks Committee meeting. The gay monks in baby blue with Jesus
Hoppers were there though...
A post on a website devoted to
politics accuses us of--gasp!--politics, gay rights advocates insult
our supporters by calling them gay and, of course, there is the free
religious advice. There was a time when liberals made serious
contributions to the national dialogue. Now they're just funny.
Posted at 10:22 AM
RALLY FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TODAY
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The AP already has a story up on our rally, which is set to begin in less than an hour:
Religious conservatives are
hoping for more victories in this year's legislative session, following
the death of a bill this week that would have required Catholic
hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
The Family Institute of
Connecticut, which fought the "morning after pill" legislation and last
year's civil unions law, is now focused on defeating bills that would
recognize same-sex marriages from Massachusetts and expand
anti-discrimination protections for transgendered individuals.
They're banking on lawmakers
being politically squeamish about having to vote on socially
contentious topics as they face re-election in November.
"I think 2006 is going to be
better than 2005 because it's an election year," said Peter Wolfgang,
director of public policy for the institute.
The article quotes yesterday's
FIC alert about not being lulled into complacency by our victory
against the pro-abortion pill bill and then proves our point by quoting
proponents of the bill:
"Just because a religion owns a
particular hospital doesn't mean they get to set all the rules," said
state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven.
Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal said his office is researching the issue to determine if a
new law is even needed to require the hospitals to prescribe Plan B.
"We haven't reached a conclusion
that current law already covers it," he said. "I think there's a good
argument (with) the involvement of these hospitals in the state
Blumenthal said no state
official has yet asked his office to provide a formal opinion on what
triggers the Catholic hospitals to be legally obligated to prescribe
How is it that those who hail
legislative outcomes as an expression of democracy when it means the
legalization of same-sex unions are the same people who try to do an
end-run around the legislature when it kills a pro-abortion attack on
Why, the same way those supposed champions of democracy could file a
suit asking a court to impose same-sex "marriage" on Connecticut by
judicial fiat, of course. The same AG who is researching new ways
to attack religious freedom in Connecticut is also responsible for
defending the state's marriage laws in that case. But he is not talking
about the most important issue in the case:
The Family Institute of
Connecticut, a group that opposes gay marriage, has asked to intervene
in the case, claiming the attorney general's office is not vigorously
defending Connecticut's marriage laws. The state Supreme Court has not
yet ruled on whether the group can become part of the case.
Family Institute Executive
Director Brian Brown, who was in court Tuesday, said his group believes
the attorney general's office should be arguing about the effect of gay
marriage on children.
"I'm very worried about how this is going to turn out," he said.
Posted at 9:31 AM
YOUR HELP NEEDED TO KEEP THE VICTORIES GOING
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Despite the avalanche of pro-abortion propaganda in the Sunday Courant (see Don Pesci's must-read blog)
the bill forcing religious hospitals to provide chemical abortions
"died in committee" yesterday, sparing pro-abortion lawmakers the
embarrassment of a losing vote. While the death of that bill is a
significant victory for pro-family and religious freedom advocates, a
number of threats still loom before the close of this legislative
We cannot be lulled into a false sense of complacency by yesterday's victory!
Before the end of this week there could be public hearings on a bill to
force Connecticut to recognize out-of-state same-sex "marriages" and a
bill for "transgender (those who have had sex-change operations)
rights" that would prevent school systems from disciplining or
declining to hire cross-dressing teachers. The bill forcing religious
hospitals to provide chemical abortions could also resurface as an
amendment to another bill before this legislative session is over.
This is why it is so important
to attend FIC's Rally for Religious Freedom tomorrow, Wednesday, March
22 at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of the state capitol. Forward this blog
posting to as many pro-family people as you can, especially your church
At tomorrow's rally, Brian Brown
and other speakers will address the threats against religious liberty
in our state and what those present can do to stop those threats.
Following the rally, FIC Action will provide information and guidance
to rally attendees as they lobby their legislators for the protection
of our religious freedom.
We urge every pro-family state
resident who reads this message to attend tomorrow's rally and to bring
as many people as you can. The threats to our freedom are real--and
growing. The time to stand up and make our voices heard is now.
Posted at 11:54 AM
BREAKING...PRO SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" BILL AT LEGISLATURE
[by Peter Wolfgang]
A bill designed to open the door
for the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in Connecticut was referred
to the Judiciary Committee this morning. S.B. 699, An Act Concerning Recognition of Foreign Contracts,
would change state law to make same-sex "marriages" from foreign
jurisdictions (Massachusetts, other countries) "not less than" the
equivalent of same-sex civil unions in Connecticut. Current state law
does not recognize same-sex "marriage" and our civil union law
explicitly defines marriage as occurring between a man and a woman.
Indeed, that definition is the true target of this bill. With the same-sex "marriage" Kerrigan
case pending in our courts, pro same-sex "marriage" activists are
looking for any opportunity to pressure the courts to rule in their
favor. If this bill were to pass it would weaken the legal definition
of marriage, providing further ammunition to the plaintiffs in Kerrigan
and setting the legislature up for still further legislation designed
to push the courts toward a judicial imposition of same-sex "marriage."
FIC members should watch this
space and their e-mail inboxes for information on what they can do to
stop this latest assault on the sanctity of marriage in Connecticut.
Posted at 12:02 PM
RALLY FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 IN HARTFORD!
[by Brian Brown]
You've seen the headlines over this past month:
A complaint of bias was filed
against St. Mary's Hospital simply because it will not recognize
same-sex unions. A bill at our state legislature would force religious
hospitals to provide an abortion-inducing drug.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan has
called for the resignation of Victim Advocate James Papillo for
testifying against the pro-abortion bill and for committing the
"thought crimes" of being a faithful Christian who opposes abortion and
Catholic Charities in
Massachusetts has been forced to stop adoption services because the
state law demanding they place children with same-sex couples has no
conscience clause exemption for religious organizations.
With the legalization of same-sex
unions in Connecticut-and same-sex "marriage" in
Massachusetts-anti-religious attacks on religious freedom have greatly
increased. THE TIME TO STAND UP FOR OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS NOW!
We must stand together. The
anti-religious attacks on our freedom are not aimed at any one
denomination, but at every person of faith who believes in traditional
morality. If we do not stand up now, all our houses of worship will,
sooner or later, come under attack. The Family Institute of
Connecticut will be holding the Rally for Religious Freedom on
Wednesday, March 22nd at 10:00 am on the steps of the state capitol in
Hartford. We invite all our members to attend and to bring as many
people with you as you can. Forward this message to every pro-family
person you know!
Following the rally, we will lobby our lawmakers to stand up for our freedom. (Call
ahead for an appointment with your legislators at these numbers: Senate
Democrats: 1-800-842-1420; Senate Republicans: 1-800-842-1421; House
Democrats: 1-800-842-1902; House Republicans: 1-800-842-1423. FIC's
Brian Brown and Peter Wolfgang will be present at the state capitol to
assist in your advocacy.)
If we do not stand up to these attacks on religious freedom now, the
threats to our most basic liberties will only grow worse. Please join
us at the state capitol on Wednesday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m.
to defend our religious freedom.
Posted at 3:59 PM
KIDS TAKE BACK SEAT TO GAY AGENDA
[by Peter Wolfgang]
No wonder so many of you have forwarded Jeff Jacoby's Mar. 15 Boston Globe column to me: his wisdom regarding Massachusetts is directly on-point with everything we are fighting in Connecticut:
On March 10, Catholic Charities
of Boston had announced that it was being forced to shut down its
highly regarded adoption services, since it could not in good
conscience comply with the government's demand that it place children
for adoption with homosexual couples. Caught between the rock of
Catholic teaching, which regards such adoptions as ''gravely immoral,"
and Massachusetts regulations, which bar adoption agencies from
discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, the Boston
Archdiocese had hoped to obtain a waiver on religious-freedom grounds.
But when legislative leaders refused to consider the request, the
archdiocese was left with no option but to end a ministry it had been
performing for a century.
Whereupon the Human Rights
Campaign issued its news release. It was headlined ''Boston Catholic
Charities Puts Ugly Political Agenda Before Child Welfare," and a more
perfect illustration of psychological projection would be hard to
For the political agenda driving
this affair is the one favored by the Human Rights Campaign and its
many allies in the media and state government: the normalization of
homosexual adoption. So important is that agenda to its supporters that
they will allow nothing to stand in its way -- not even the well-being
of children in dire need of safe and loving families. Catholic
Charities excels at arranging adoptions for children in foster care,
particularly those who are older or handicapped, or who bear the scars
of abuse or addiction. Yet the Human Rights Campaign and its friends
would rather see this invaluable work come to an end than allow
Catholic Charities to decline gay adoptions...
''As much as one may wish to
live and let live," Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote in
2004, during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts, ''the
experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements
[same-sex "marriage"] become law, there will be no live-and-let-live
policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language
of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of
their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and
discrimination . . . Every person and every religion that disagrees
will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax
will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go
along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse
to compromise their principles."
The events of the last month
indicate that the post same-sex unions "era of intolerance and
discrimination" has now arrived here in Connecticut. Watch this space
later today for an announcement on what you can do about it.
Posted at 1:01 PM
REGIONAL PRAYER MEETINGS AND YOUTH 2000
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The Connecticut House of Prayer
will be facilitating a number of prayer events around the state in
preparation for the Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost, June 4th. For a listing of dates and venues, see the Pray Connecticut blog.
The Catholic Church will be
holding Youth 2000: New England, a Lenten Retreat for High School and
College students, March 31-April 2 at East Catholic High School in
Manchester. To see previews and videos of previous Youth 2000 retreats click here and to attend the retreat at East Catholic High School contact Daniel Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 10:37 AM
PROGRESS ON CHILD PROTECTION BILL AND RIGHT TO HOMESCHOOL
S.B. 46--a bill that would stop
unsolicited sexually oriented messages targeted at children's e-mail,
cellphones, pagers and faxes--was reported out of the Legislative
Commissioner's Office today. But if the Judiciary Committee does not
vote on it by their "JF" date, Mar. 27th, the bill will likely die. You can help pass the bill by clicking here to e-mail members of the Committee and your own Senator and Representative.
We are also happy to report that
a threat to the right to homeschool in Connecticut appears to be dead.
We received this alert today from NHELD:
After waiting seven hours to
testify at the legislature's Education Committee on March 13, 2006,
homeschoolers informed the committee of the serious consequences to
homeschool families of committee bill SB634, which proposed changing
the current language of section 10-184 from "parents and THOSE who have
the care of children" to "parents and legal guardians". Changing
the language effectively would have made it illegal for relatives such
as grandparents to homeschool their grandchildren.
Education Committee Chairman
Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, who opposed homeschoolers last session in
their attempt to adopt a bill allowing parents to withdraw their
children unconditionally from public school, this time, following the
testimony, stated on the record that "he was convinced" and that "as
far as he was concerned the entire bill was dead". Fleischmann added
that some members of the committee may want to preserve the changes to
a second portion of the bill that deals with residency requirements for
children attending public school, but he added that it is likely the
entire bill will be killed.
However, the fight to protect homeschooling may not be over for this session:
We still need volunteers to
continue to keep the pressure on legislators to let them know that Rep.
Arthur O'Neill will be proposing an amendment later in the session that
will allow parents to withdraw their children from public school
We will keep our members up-to-date on what they can do to help.
Posted at 3:22 PM
PAPILLO AND THE PILL: THE LEFT OVERREACHES
[by Peter Wolfgang]
It was a battlefield carefully
chosen by Connecticut's pro-abortion establishment. But they did not
count on a profile in courage, Victim Advocate James Papillo, offering
public testimony exposing their effort to force Catholic hospitals to
provide the "Plan B" pill for the pro-abortion attack on religious
freedom that it is.
Pro-abortion activists are now discovering to their dismay that they
have inadvertently energized the state's pro-life movement:
Still, the intensity of the
recent Connecticut debate over the availability of Plan B took even
some longtime veterans of the abortion wars by surprise.
Leslie Gabel-Brett, executive director of the Permanent Commission on
the Status of Women, told lawmakers there would be little opposition to
the hospital access bill because "it seemed so fair."
"I didn't think it would erupt into this huge controversy," she said.
Was it the Left's gradual awareness that it picked the wrong fight that led the Courant not to post today's anti-Papillo editorial online? Either way, it didn't stop Connecticut blogger Don Pesci from noting the errors in the Courant's logic.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Sullivan has claimed that Dr. Papillo has backed off his testimony. Not quite:
But Papillo didn't seem at all
contrite. He said he has "no regrets" and that he was just doing his
job to protect all crime victims. If the political winds continue to
howl around this issue, Papillo could find that his $97,850-a-year
state job has become an early storm victim.
Journal Inquirer columnist Chris Powell notes that the pill bill has no rationale:
Despite the indignation affected
by its advocates, there is no necessity for the legislation. None of
Connecticut's four Catholic hospitals -- in Hartford, New Haven,
Bridgeport, and Waterbury -- is more than a few minutes from a
non-sectarian hospital that happily provides contraceptive drugs.
And he shows why the argument made in the Englehart cartoon in Friday's Courant
and elsewhere--that the state should cease to provide money to Catholic
hospitals because of those hospitals' opposition to this bill--was so
But this argument is bogus. For
state government's reimbursements to hospitals for treating the poor
are hugely inadequate, always totaling much less than the cost actually
incurred... So it would be a thrill to see the Catholic hospitals, at
the direction of their bishops, respond to the legislation on emergency
contraception by clarifying the whole situation -- by withdrawing from
those reimbursement programs or even closing (if only temporarily) and
thus shifting the social welfare burden entirely to the non-sectarian
hospitals, which would be instantly bankrupted.
Posted at 4:04 PM
WEEKEND ROUNDUP: ROMNEY, SHAYS, CAMPBELL AND MCGIVNEY
[by Peter Wolfgang]
FIC members should note a few items that appeared over the weekend.
In another sign of the secularist assault on faith in New England,
Catholic Charities in Boston has voted to discontinue its adoption
services rather than be forced by law to place children with homosexual
Calling it an issue of
"religious liberty," Governor Mitt Romney today said he plans to file
legislation to permit religious institutions to perform adoptions
without violating the tenets of their faith.
Today, the board of Catholic
Charities voted to stop doing adoptions because of state law which
requires that gays be given equal consideration for the placement of
children. Because of the Church's teaching, Catholic agencies may not
provide adoptions to gay parents.
"This is a sad day for neglected
and abandoned children. In this case, it's a mistake for our laws to
put the rights of adults over the needs of children. While I respect
the board's decision to stay true to their principles, I find the
current state of the law deeply disturbing and a threat to religious
freedom," said Romney.
is just now telling its readers about Congressman Chris Shays' Planned
Parenthood-funded trip to Africa, which we discussed on this blog on
[Planned Parenthood state head
Susan] Yolen said that although Planned Parenthood groups get federal
money - the Connecticut branch expects to get about $1.5 million this
year - the Shays trip had nothing to do with a bid for more dollars.
Sure it did. The trip keeps the
dollars rolling in by keeping a powerful congressman on board as a
mouthpiece for the agenda of the nation's largest abortion provider:
When Shays returned from his
Africa trip, he wrote in an op-ed piece in the Stamford Advocate that
"although it plays a role, the U.S.-encouraged policy of abstinence
does not do nearly enough to address the widespread needs of women's
reproductive health, or to slow the growth of HIV/AIDS."
The Sunday Courant ran
articles demonstrating the heights it can reach when it reports
respectfully on the state's religious conservatives and the depths that
it too often sinks to when it treats us with disdain.
Susan Campbell, an ex-fundamentalist who is still, after all these
years, using her column to work out issues from her childhood, gives an
example of the latter:
Certainly not even the most
rabid member of Family Institute of Connecticut - or the local branch
of Concerned Women for America - would call on violence as a means of
solving the question of civil rights for homosexuals.
But because we dare to oppose the
pro same-sex "marriage" agenda, Campbell says, any violence against
homosexuals is still our fault. Ironically, the pro same-sex "marriage"
activist Campbell quotes to support this fallacy once wrote on a
website that acts of vandalism against pro-family churches were akin to
"justice actions." And, of course, there is still no mention in the Courant of
the man who was convicted of making a death threat against Connecticut
Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard because of Marie's opposition to
same-sex civil unions.
We should keep Susan Campbell in
our prayers--not in the same spirit in which she says she prays for
conservatives (see my Aug. 15 blog), but for real. Despite all her
vitriol, Campbell comes across as--in Flannery O'Connor's wonderful
phrase--"Christ haunted," and there is reason to hope that her
theological journey will bring her to a destination that she did not
Speaking of theological matters, the Courant's
Sunday magazine ran an outstanding cover story profiling Fr. Michael
McGivney, who may be on his way to becoming Connecticut's first
canonized Catholic saint:
population is about 1.3 million, making it proportionately the fifth
most-Catholic state. McGivney is largely a stranger even to many of
them. But from a simple secular point of view, McGivney's potential
sainthood amounts to this: Connecticut would have produced the nation's
first male saint. His story would be the story of a local boy who made
good - very, very good.
Joel Lang's article is an example of what the Courant
can accomplish when it puts aside the liberal agenda and does serious
reporting on the things that matter most in the lives of its readers.
May there be many more like it.
Posted at 12:21 pm
JAMES PAPILLO AND THE ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Reactions in defense of
James Papillo have been coming in fast and furious over the last 24
hours or so. FIC sent an action alert yesterday inviting our members to
e-mail their thanks to Dr. Papillo. Hundreds have already done so and you can too by clicking here.
Annie Banno, Connecticut state leader of Silent No More and a blogger on the remarkable After Abortion web site, provides data which raises questions about the morning-after pill itself while noting the anti-Catholicism behind the effort to push the pill on Catholic hospitals and the attack on Dr. Papillo.
Today's Courant cartoon by Bob Englehart
raises further concerns about anti-religious bigotry. Mr. Englehart
thinks the financial benefits of church/state relations only run one
way. If all our Catholic hospitals closed tomorrow and the taxpayers
were suddenly forced to pay the bill for all the uninsured folks that
those hospitals provide for, he would discover how wrong-headed his
Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan has been
telling Brad Davis' radio audience, and some of our members who have
e-mailed him, that he is no longer calling for Dr. Papillo's
resignation because Dr. Papillo has supposedly acknowledged that he was
wrong. But there is nothing on Sullivan's website retracting his demand for resignation--and the original demand,
which is even more obnoxious the most unflattering media reports of the
Lieutenant Governor's press conference, is still featured prominently.
Lt. Gov. Sullivan is telling his anti-religious constituency one thing
while saying something different to religious voters who have expressed
their unhappiness to him.
Noting that the abortion-inducing
"contraception" pill bill would require religious hospitals "to act in
direct contravention of their faith's tenets," it is the Waterbury Republican-American that, as usual, hits the mark regarding this week's events:
For any who believe in choice,
that should be a telling point. Requiring Catholic physicians and
pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill would be akin to
requiring a kosher delicatessen to serve ham salad, or adding a public
school requirement that all students pass a physical-education course
in modern dance with no exemption for Protestant pupils who believe
dancing is a sin.
However, on Tuesday, instead of
respecting Mr. Papillo's choices, Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan called for
Mr. Papillo to resign. Lt. Gov. Sullivan "accused Papillo of advocating
for his personal beliefs and failing to fulfill the mission of his
office," The Associated Press reported. Lt. Gov. Sullivan didn't cite
specific rape victims who had wanted the pill in question but had been
thwarted by a Catholic hospital. Might that not be because there aren't
On the morning-after-pill issue,
Mr. Papillo made and explained a choice. But it wasn't Lt. Gov.
Sullivan's choice. And, all too typical of all too many "pro-choice"
partisans like Lt. Gov. Sullivan, daring to make a choice other than
theirs simply could not be tolerated.
Posted at 2:36 pm
CHILD PROTECTION BILL MAKES PROGRESS; MORE E-MAILS NEEDED
[by Peter Wolfgang]
S.B. 46--a bill that would create
a child protection registry to help parents and schools stop
unsolicited sexually oriented messages targeted at children's e-mail,
cellphones, pagers and faxes--was referred favorably to the Judiciary
Committee yesterday. The phone calls and e-mails of FIC members helped
secure the support of Public Health, the committee where the bill first
appeared and where hearings were held.
The pornography industry is furious about the progress of this bill.
In an "Open Letter to CT Lawmakers" dripping with vitriol, one former
online direct marketer tells our state lawmakers that they are "stupid"
if they do not vote his way.
If [Unspam CEO Matthew] Prince gets his way, all legal, adult-oriented content will be priced out of e-mail.
As FIC members have already
proved in the Public Health Committee, the voices of parents who want
to protect their children hold more weight than what direct marketers
hawking pornography and other "adult" products have to say.
You can add your voice to those parents by clicking here to send an
e-mail to Judiciary Committee members and your own state representative
and senator asking them to vote "yes" on S.B. 46.
Posted at 10:52 AM
THE NEW CONNECTICUT: NO CATHOLICS NEED APPLY?
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Proponents of the bill to force
Catholic hospitals to provide a pill that can induce abortions have
claimed that it is about helping the victims of crimes, not a
pro-abortion attack on religious freedom.
Their pretenses have now been blown away by Lt. Gov. Sullivan's clumsy,
over-the-top call for Victim Advocate James Papillo to resign:
HARTFORD - Lt. Gov. Kevin B.
Sullivan and a top Democratic lawmaker called for the state's victim
advocate to resign or be fired Tuesday, charging he is using his office
to promote his personal religious beliefs...Sullivan said Papillo, who
is also a Roman Catholic deacon, "crossed the line when he expressed
his personal religious point of view" in testifying against the bill at
a legislative hearing...
Sullivan also charged that
Papillo has in private been "a vocal opponent of reproductive freedom
and non-discrimination against people who are homosexual." According to
Sullivan, Papillo's private views were the subject of newspaper
articles, but Sullivan's staff was unable to provide any documentation
of his allegations Tuesday.Papillo vehemently denied that he has ever
used his office to oppose anyone's reproductive rights, and denied that
he has ever advocated discrimination against homosexuals.
According to Papillo, he has given homilies in his West Hartford church
in his capacity as a Catholic deacon that may have included mention of
his personal opposition to abortion. He also said one of his homilies
included a reference that some Catholic universities "are allowing
organizations that promote homosexuality to exist on campus ... and I
mentioned that it was against Catholic teaching."
Lt. Gov. Sullivan is essentially
arguing that being a Catholic is a disqualification for public office.
Religious tests for public office are unconstitutional, but our
lieutenant governor is not about to let the Constitution get in the way
of a good witch hunt.
In fact, the statements made by Lt. Gov. Sullivan in his call for Mr.
Papillo's resignation call to mind an equally disgraceful incident that
occurred in Europe in 2004:
These questions came to a head
last fall when Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's representative to the EU, was
rejected as its commissioner for justice...Buttiglione's offense in the
eyes of the EU is that he is a Catholic who agrees with the Church on
disputed questions such as men having sex with men. No matter that at
his hearings he made a clear distinction between what is immoral and
what should be criminal; the dogma of the EU allows for no deviation,
even privately, from the regnant secularism.
Substitute "James Papillo" for "Rocco Buttiglione" and "Connecticut" for "Europe" and George Weigel's observations in The New Europe: No Catholics Need Apply hold special relevance for our state in the wake of Lt. Gov. Sullivan's press conference:
What kind of polity is it that
doesn't want a man like Rocco Buttiglione looking after the
administration of justice and the protection of human rights?
A polity in which too many people believe that the God of the Bible is the enemy of human freedom.
A polity in which too many people believe that freedom is license.
A polity in which
"anti-discrimination" has become the excuse for active discrimination
against Catholics and others whose moral convictions ill-fit the
relativist-secularist opinion mainstream.
A polity, in other words, like
the new Europe. The demographers tell us that Europe is dying,
physically. The Buttiglione affair tells us that Europe is now on
life-support, morally and culturally.
Posted at 5:15 PM
PRO-FAMILY VICTORY IN HARTFORD
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Pro-family Rep. Minnie Gonzalez
(D-Hartford) defeated an effort yesterday by pro same-sex unions Mayor
Eddie Perez to purge her from the legislature's Democratic caucus. Today's Courant
reports that Rep. Gonzalez's supporters bested Mayor Perez's supporters
in the primary elections for Democratic Town Committee, which almost
guarantees her re-election in November:
A brazen caravan of honking cars
- some bearing photos of state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, one carrying
Gonzalez herself - wound down Park Street Tuesday night to deliver,
through cheers and the waving of Puerto Rican flags, a message to
Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez: You lost....
The 3rd District race, and its
results, have highlighted the acrimony between Gonzalez and Perez and,
judging from the Gonzalez camp's victory, is a sign of Latino
opposition to Perez as he seeks re-election next year.
Mayor Perez faces Latino opposition because he forgot the wisdom of his own Nov. 4, 2004 Courant
op-ed, "Kerry Lost the Values Vote," in which the Mayor warned that "to
regain status as the national majority party, [Democrats] must be
willing to embrace those for whom faith in God is a key component of
civic participation." Rather than following his own advice, Mayor Perez
sided with pro same-sex "marriage" activists who told Rep. Gonzalez
after her vote against civil unions that "we'll be sure that you're
out" at the next election.
But instead of her defeat,
yesterday's election provided a big victory for Rep. Gonzalez and a
hint of potential trouble for the Mayor's own re-election efforts in
The elections in Hartford
yesterday provide several lessons. It reminds those, like Mayor Perez,
who fail to consider the pro-family values of Latino voters that they
do so at their own peril. And it shows what can be accomplished when
pro-family voters rally to pro-family leaders like Rep. Gonzalez.
Posted at 3:13 PM
CONNECTICUT'S MARRIAGE CRISIS
[by Brian Brown]
Amid all the other battles raging
for the future of the family in Connecticut, new information continues
to emerge demonstrating why same-sex "marriage"/civil unions will be
bad for marriage in Connecticut. Stanley Kurtz's careful rebutting of his critics helps to lay out the connections:
So Scandinavia leads the world
in parental cohabitation and the legal equalization of cohabitation and
marriage. Amazingly, even as he claims to defend marriage, Eskridge
actually endorses this system. Meanwhile, Sweden has seen the birth of
a political drive to abolish marriage and recognize polyamory. That
doesn't look like "nordic bliss" to me. Also, Eskridge has absolutely
nothing to say about the continued decline of marriage in Norway, the
actual center of my Scandinavian case. And today we've learned that the
effect of introducing same-sex partnerships to Sweden in 1987 unravels
Eskridge's already weak statistical case there. Combine these
Scandinavian examples with the Dutch experience, and it's clear that
gay marriage weakens marriage itself.
As FIC and others have repeatedly
noted, it is only in a society where the institution of marriage was
already weakened that same-sex "marriage" could even become thinkable. So
it is not a surprise to learn that Connecticut, which legalized
same-sex unions in 2005, had the lowest marriage rate in the nation in
According to the National
Marriage Project at Rutgers University, the Nutmeg State had the
nation's lowest marriage rate in 2004, at just 24.2 betrothals per
1,000 single women over the age of 15. The runners-up were also blue
states: After Connecticut, the top marriage-phobic states are
California (26.4 weddings per 1,000 single women), Pennsylvania (27.4),
New Jersey (30.4), Massachusetts (30.4) and New York (30.6).
The author of the op-ed on marriage in Connecticut believes that the "paucity of weddings" in our state is not a problem. Maggie Gallagher explains why it is:
In a fascinating recent study,
Lesthaeghe and a colleague looked for evidence of the Second
Demographic Transition [skyrocketing out-of-wedlock births and
collapsing fertility, leading, if present trends continue, to massive
depopulation] in America. What states are leading indicators of SDT, as
measured by postponement of marriage and children? California,
Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and (the most extreme
outlier of all) Massachusetts. Recognize this list? Except for Rhode
Island, they are among the first states gay marriage advocates chose to
pursue court-created gay marriage. What instinct led them to suppose
that legal elites would be particularly open to the argument?
Stanley Kurtz recently argued
that the explosion in Dutch illegitimacy is directly connected to a
campaign for gay registered partnerships and gay marriage in the
mid-1990s. It's a hard case to prove in the middle of a marital
collapse of historic proportions all over Europe.
But I do think it is fair to say
these two trends go hand in hand in this sense: Cultures deeply
committed to "generativity" -- to the importance of men and women
getting married and having children as a social norm -- tend to find
the idea of gay marriage deeply disturbing, if not incomprehensible.
Conversely, societies in the midst of devaluing the norms that sustain
the generative family (in the name of attractive alternative values
such as increasing expressive individualism and moral autonomy) will
find gay marriage a natural fit, an idea that both expresses and
reinforces their deepest moral preferences.
Gay marriage advocates here and
abroad can expect to happily reap the benefits of the Second
Demographic Transition. But as the consequences for Europe painfully
suggest, maybe not for long.
Posted at 10:27 AM
BISHOP LEROY BAILEY, JR., PRO-FAMILY HERO
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The front page of yesterday's Courant profiled one of the most important pro-family leaders in our state: Bishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr. of First Cathedral in Bloomfield. An excerpt:
Sunday's service was the first in a month of weekly tributes to mark Bailey's 35th pastoral anniversary...
First Cathedral - one of the
largest, if not the largest, mega-church in New England - has grown
from a congregation of about 5,000 in 1999 to about 11,000 in 2005.
Hundreds of cars fill the parking lot on a typical Sunday, and several
buses bring members in from Hartford. The expansive sanctuary has a
state-of-the-art sound system and seats 3,000 in plush theater-style
seats. Television screens throughout the hall project images of the
altar and pulpit...
Bishop Edward Stephens Jr. says
he has followed in Bailey's footsteps since the day he first heard him
preach at a revival more than a decade ago.
"I was just enamored by his charisma, his ability," said Stephens, who
is among a half-dozen pastors who are scheduled to visit and preach at
First Cathedral this month in Bailey's honor. "Everything is an
extension of him, and his vision."
FIC congratulates Bishop Bailey as he celebrates 35 years of faithful service to God and the people of Connecticut.
Posted at 3:09 PM
BREAKING...PRO-ABORTION LT. GOV. SULLIVAN WANTS PAPILLO'S RESIGNATION
[by Peter Wolfgang]
That didn't take long. Just a few
minutes ago I posted an item noting that Victim Advocate Papillo's job
is probably in jeopardy for being so forthright and truthful in the
politically correct atmosphere of our state capitol. Now I discover this story, which broke a little over an hour ago:
Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan called
Tuesday for the resignation of the state's victim advocate over
comments he made at a legislative hearing on emergency contraception...
Sullivan said James Papillo
crossed the line when he spoke in opposition Monday to a bill requiring
all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to offer rape victims
access to the morning-after pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Pro-family citizens will resist
efforts to oust Victim Advocate Papillo for having committed the
thought crime of defending religious freedom at our state capitol.
Posted at 2:39 PM
JAMES PAPILLO, PRO-LIFE HERO
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Too rare for our state officials is the sort of courage displayed by
Victim Advocate James Papillo in his public testimony yesterday:
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- State
Victim Advocate James F. Papillo called on lawmakers Monday to oppose a
bill requiring Connecticut hospitals, including Catholic institutions,
to provide the "morning after pill" to rape victims.
Papillo, an ordained deacon in
the Roman Catholic Church, also accused private victims' rights groups
of attacking the church and religious freedoms.
He questioned any need for the
bill and told the legislature's Public Health Committee that he has
never received a complaint from a rape victim who was denied the pill
from a Catholic hospital. Papillo has held the job for more than six
"What's being proposed here is a
solution in search of a problem. Victims are not being denied
services," he said, adding that Catholic hospitals refer victims to
places where they can obtain the pills.
Papillo, who told legislators he
was speaking as the victim advocate and not as a deacon, accused
private advocacy organizations of using crime victims to further an
"I see this for what it is. It
is not a victims' rights issue. It is not a victims' services issue,"
Papillo said. "Victims here are being used as a hook to further an
agenda they are hiding ... The issue is an attack on the Catholic
Activists for the bill are quoted
questioning the "motivation" of Papillo's testimony and the AP responds
by noting that he is a gubernatorial appointee, when his term expires
and what his salary is. We can likely expect future pro-abortion
efforts to remove from office this man who has so bravely spoken the
politically incorrect truth in a place where such forthrightness is
Posted at 2:18 PM
PRO-LIFERS RALLY IN WATERBURY
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Sunday's rally for religious freedom in front of St. Mary's hospital received good coverage in the Republican-American:
About 85 people, most belonging
to Catholic or anti-abortion groups, waved signs outside Saint Mary's
Hospital Sunday afternoon in protest of the bill, which was drafted by
the state Public Health Committee last month and which was scheduled to
be discussed this morning.
The protesters maintained that
the bill, if passed, would encourage abortion and violate their freedom
to practice their religion.
"Every year the General Assembly
attacks Catholic religious freedom," Maryalyce Lee, president of
Connecticut Catholic Alliance, said at the demonstration. "It's time
for them to let us practice our religion like the First Amendment
allows us to."...
[William] O'Brien [president of
Connecticut Right to Life] also criticized Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal's recent request that all Wal-Mart pharmacies carry
emergency contraceptives. Blumenthal said last week that state
employees will only deal with pharmacies that carry emergency
Sen. Louis C. DeLuca of
Woodbury, the Senate Republican leader, attended the demonstration and
criticized Blumenthal for his comments. The government, he said, is
trying to tell Wal-Mart how to do its business.
"What Richard Blumenthal is doing is extortion," DeLuca said. "If you and I did it, we would get arrested."
Posted at 1:35 PM
DO NOT BE COWED BY THE BIGOTRY AND NAME-CALLING OF THE LEFT
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The reaction from local pro
same-sex "marriage" bloggers to an e-mail alert from FIC Action
Committee (a separate entity) endorsing pro-family candidates in
today's elections in Hartford helps to illustrate who are the true
"haters" in this debate (see here and here).
Here are just some examples of the fury expressed by liberal bloggers
at the thought of pro-family voters in Hartford "meddling" in the
politics of their own community:
Brian Brown deserves to burn in hell...
homophobic campaign that is being run in the Hartford Democratic Town
Committee primary is a disgrace. The corrupt crowd of Minnie Gonzalez
et al. have teamed up with these radical intolerant creeps...Kudos to
Perez, Mantilla and others for standing strong against these lowest of
the low...Don't let these slimeballs get away with this smut.
And that is what the pro same-sex
"marriage" elites think of you if you exercise your right as a Hartford
resident to vote in today's election.
Posted at 11:48 AM
RALLY FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ON SUNDAY, MARCH 5
[by Peter Wolfgang]
Connecticut Right to Life will
hold a rally tomorrow, March 5, at 3:00 p.m. in front of St. Mary's
Hospital, 56 Franklin Street in Waterbury, to protest efforts by
pro-abortion politicians to force Catholic hospitals to provide an
As I warned in yesterday's blog,
Gov. Rell appears to be following the same script that she used when
she flip-flopped on same-sex unions. Yesterday's news story had her saying the "Plan B" bill was unnecessary, but in today's story there is this:
Despite her opinion, Rell said, she would not rule out signing the legislation, if passed.
In a related development,
Wal-Mart has caved into pro-abortion pressure and now says it will
carry the morning-after pill. But the company did say that it would
continue a conscientious objection policy for pharmacy employees who do
now wish to provide the pill.
Despite the fact that the employee will refer the customer to another
pharmacist or pharmacy and that this policy is consistent with the
tenets of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Wal-Mart's respect
for conscience was too much for Atty. Gen. Blumenthal, who had this to
"I remain significantly
concerned by their statement that the prescription may be declined
under some circumstances. We will immediately ask Wal-Mart to clarify
that it will dispense this covered drug to every woman with a
And this is the same man whom we
are supposed to trust to defend Connecticut's marriage laws in the
same-sex "marriage" lawsuit? He cannot even be counted on to defend
religious liberty or freedom of conscience.
Pray that FIC's motion to intervene in the Kerrigan case is granted. And if you are able to, please do attend tomorrow's protest.
Posted at 10:28 PM
IMPORTANT MEETING FOR STATE HOMESCHOOLERS ON MARCH 8
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The co-chairmen of the Education
Committee, Sen. Thomas Gaffney and Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, have
effectively killed the freedom-to-homeschool bill that we mentioned in
our Feb. 20th blog. Efforts are already afoot to bring it back later in
the session. We encourage all those who recognize the rights of parents
to be the primary educators of their children to attend the meeting
ISSUE MEETING SET FOR MARCH 8, 2006
A joint meeting of NHELD, CHN,
and TEACH is being held on March 8, 2006 at the Wethersfield Police
Station Community Room 250 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield from
7:00p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The purpose of this meeting is
to discuss legislation that will be proposed in the current session of
the General Assembly that will codify the right of parents to withdraw their children from school unconditionally
and to homeschool them freely. This is important even if you have
a child you are already home educating or if you are not homeschooling
at this time.
Other education bills currently before the legislature will also be discussed.
The "withdrawal" bill will be
proposed as an amendment during this session. It is necessary to
garner support for this bill as one means of preventing the State
Department of Education and school districts from their covert attack
on homeschooling by making withdrawal conditional. This will
eventually affect every parent because if they can make withdrawal conditional for homeschoolers, as they are doing now, then anyone who
wishes to leave public school later on down the line will
be subject to conditions they will have to meet in order to
disenroll. The Department is sanctioning school district threats
of truancy and DCF investigations resulting in questioning of children
on academics, review of curricular materials, and forced signing of
affidavits swearing the parents will instruct their children
Please join us for this important meeting. It is free and open to anyone interested. Your assistance is greatly needed and appreciated.
If you need directions, please
search online map services or call the police station at (860)
571-2900. There is parking in front of the police station, but
not in back. There is additional parking next door to the police
station at a shopping center. If you need more information,
please contact Deborah Stevenson at email@example.com or call 860-354-3590.
Posted at 2:35 PM
GOV. RELL SORT OF SUPPORTS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
[by Peter Wolfgang]
We are pleased that Gov. Rell is "siding with" Catholic hospitals'
efforts not to be forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs, but we
note with trepidation that her comments are eerily reminiscent of her
initial opposition to same-sex civil unions before she flip-flopped on
When asked if the proposed new
law [forcing Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after pill] is
unnecessary, Rell said, "I don't think it's necessary, but I'd wait to
see what the legislature decides to do on that bill."
The same article reported on a new development in the effort to force Wal-Mart to carry the morning-after pill:
In a related matter, Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal issued a legal opinion Thursday that all
pharmacies in Connecticut that want to do business with people covered
by state insurance plans will have to carry the emergency
contraceptive, known as Plan B. Those insurance plans cover about
188,000 state employees, retirees and dependents.
I will be on the Electric Drum
radio program tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. (94.3 WYBC) to discuss state
efforts to force Plan B on Catholic hospitals and Wal-Mart, as well as
the South Dakota law banning abortions.
Posted at 12:53 PM
ADOPTION BILL COULD INCREASE ABORTIONS IN CT
[by Peter Wolfgang]
The Select Committee on Children in the General Assembly is considering S.B.4, "AN ACT PROVIDING ADULT ADOPTED PERSONS WITH ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES"
and will vote on the bill in committee on March 9. As written, this
legislation would give adult adopted persons the right to obtain
birthparents' confidential identifying information without
birthparent knowledge or consent. Enacting this one-size-fits-all,
mandatory-openness policy would disregard the promises of
confidentiality made to birthparents when they placed for adoption by
retroactively violating birthparents' rights to privacy.
Further, S.B. 4 could have
a destructive impact on the institution of adoption by eliminating the
option of confidential adoption for all Connecticut women, without
regard to personal circumstances or desires. If a woman in
Connecticut is facing unplanned pregnancy and either needs or wishes to
maintain her privacy, she will be able to obtain a confidential
abortion, but not a confidential adoption. According to
national adoption data collected by the National Council For Adoption,
there were only 15 infant adoptions for every 1,000 abortions in the
state of Connecticut in 2002.
Encourage legislators to protect birthparent rights and preserve the option of confidentiality in adoption in Connecticut when considering S.B. 4.
Posted at 12:11 PM
STOP ASSAULT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN CONNECTICUT!
[by Brian Brown]
Senate Bill 445, "An Act
Concerning Emergency Health Care for Sexual Assault Victims," is one of
the most direct assaults on religious liberty to be attempted by our
state legislators in years. If S.B. 445 becomes law, it would force
Connecticut's Catholic hospitals to violate their religious beliefs by
mandating that those hospitals provide a drug that can induce abortions.
The Family Institute of
Connecticut deplores the willingness of pro-abortion advocates to
exploit sexual assault victims in order to further their own agenda. As
a recent Waterbury Republican-American editorial noted, "This
is a battleground carefully chosen by abortion-rights advocates, not an
effort to guarantee access to a contraceptive that is already easy to
get...If they can shame Connecticut lawmakers into forcing Catholic
hospitals to provide Plan B [the "morning after" pill] by invoking
victims of rape and incest, they will have achieved their goal of
placing religious institutions on a slippery slope to acceptance of the
This attack on religious freedom
in Connecticut--like the complaint of bias recently filed against St.
Mary's hospital for refusing to provide benefits for the same-sex civil
union partner of one of their employees--is an assault not just against
the Catholic Church, but against the liberty of every pro-family
religious institution in our state.
If we do not oppose these efforts
to coerce us into violating our consciences, we can expect even greater
attacks in the future. The time to stand up for our freedom is now, while we still can!
The Public Health Committee has
scheduled a public hearing on S.B. 445 for Monday, March 6 at 10:00 am,
room 1D in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Beginning at
9:00 am on Monday, you can also sign up to speak at the hearing
(speeches are limited to three minutes). Even if you choose not to
speak, please come to the hearing to show your support for religious
freedom in Connecticut.
FIC members, watch your in-boxes
for an e-mail alert on what more you can do to stop this outrageous
attack on religious liberty in our state.
Posted at 3:54 PM
FIC TESTIFIES ON CHILDREN'S PROTECTION REGISTRY
[by Peter Wolfgang]
I testified yesterday before the
Select Committee on Children in favor of S.B. 46, An Act Establishing
An Electronic Message Children's Protection Registry. The state
Commissioner of Consumer Protection and Matthew Prince, CEO of Unspam,
also testified for the bill. Trevor Hughes, executive director of the
E-Mail Sender and Provider Coalition, testified against it and someone
for CBIA said the group generally supports the bill but wanted to alter
some of its language.
FIC has a key role to play in
this fight. Congress has already acted by passing CANSPAM, a law
setting a floor for a basic level of protection from inappropriate
electronic messages. But it is the states that have traditionally
exercised the power to regulate local standards of obscenity, morals
and education. Connecticut should not abdicate that role in the case of
the internet and other electronic media. Just as our state was a leader
in passing "do not call list" laws, we must be a leader in protecting
our children from those who would use electronic technology to prey on
The most disturbing part of
yesterday's hearing was when the co-chairman, Rep. Michael Cardin
(D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington), noted that "in the last 48 hours"
committee members' in-boxes had been stuffed with e-mails about this
bill, mostly in opposition to the bill and from out-of-state!
The members of the Select Committee on Children need to hear from state
voters asking them to protect children by passing S.B. 46! Click here to send a pre-written message to them and to your own Senator and Representative.
Here is my testimony:
Good morning Chairman Meyers,
Chairman Cardin and members of the committee. My name is Peter Wolfgang
and I am the Director of Public Policy for the Family Institute of
Connecticut, an organization whose mission is "to encourage and
strengthen the family as the foundation of society and to promote
sound, ethical and moral values in our culture and government." I am
here today to ask you to support S.B. 46, An Act Establishing An
Electronic Message Children's Protection Registry.
This legislation will create a
communication protection service that would allow parents and schools
to register electronic contact points such as e-mail addresses, mobile
phone numbers or instant messenger addresses to be off-limits to
advertising for adult advertising products (i.e. pornography, gambling,
alcohol and tobacco).
The percentage of children who
receive inappropriate e-mail on a daily basis, according to Symantec
Corp, is 80%. The percentage of sexual solicitations of children
received over instant messenger or chat rooms, according to Pew
Research, is 89%. Given these numbers it is not surprising to learn
that 93% of parents believe spammers should face enhanced penalties for
sending inappropriate content to children. Clearly, there is a need for
That need was met in a
bipartisan fashion in states where similar legislation was proposed. A
registry bill was recently passed out of Georgia's Senate unanimously.
In Utah and Michigan, the registry bill was passed into law unanimously.
To be sure, some objections have
been raised. The pornography industry, for instance, has called the
legislation unconstitutional. But there is a precedent for creating
such a registry. In a 1970 case, Rowan v. U.S. Post Office, the
U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutional rights of
parents with children in their household who are under the age of 19 to
register with the U.S. Post Office to prevent the delivery of adult
matter to their mailbox. What Georgia's and Michigan's registry laws
do--and what S.B. 46 would do for Connecticut--is simply extend that
ruling to the online world.
It has also been said that the
proposed registry would be too difficult to establish, too risky to
maintain and too hard to enforce. But the same arguments were once
raised against the do-not-call-lists that are now law. S.B. 46 will not
conclusively solve the problem of spam or replace parents as the
primary moral educators of their children, but it will give parents and
schools a powerful tool for making the world safer for those children.
The Family Institute of
Connecticut asks that you help those charged with protecting the
innocence of Connecticut's children by passing S.B. 46. Thank you.
Posted at 1:32 PM