SBC Life Articles

ETC: Ethics, Trends, and Culture


Religious Liberty Threatened by Gay Marriage

Religious Liberty Threatened by Gay Marriage

Doctors in California who were sued for refusing to perform artificial insemination on a woman in a homosexual relationship exemplify the religious liberty threat created by the legalization of gay marriage, the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson writes in National Review.

Other religious liberty infringements in recent years include a New Mexico photographer who was prosecuted by the state's Human Rights Commission for declining to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, Illinois bed-and-breakfast owners who were sued for refusing to rent their facility for a gay civil union ceremony, and a Georgia wellness counselor who was fired for referring someone in a homosexual relationship to another counselor.

"We must insist that government not discriminate against those who hold to the historic definition of marriage," Anderson writes. "Policy should prohibit the government or anyone who receives taxpayers' dollars from discriminating in employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting against those who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman."

Fox TV Continues to Assault Viewers

Fox TV Continues to Assault Viewers

Fox television is "upping the ante on graphic content," the Parents Television Council reported. Fox's ADHD (Animation Domination, High-Def), modeled on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming, features "horrifically graphic, ultra-violent, sexually explicit, and profanity-laden" cartoons that already are available on the Internet.

PTC's Christopher Gildemeister observed that while it is legal for Fox to show this programming in the late evening time slot, "the fact that Fox would choose to show such programming at all over the airwaves owned by the American people (and not a premium pay-TV channel)—and the fact that Fox's own chairman has admitted he wants to someday show such content in prime time, in front of children—serves as a perfect example of why laws against broadcast indecency must be maintained."

Americans Who Consider Same-Sex Sexual Relationships to be Morally Acceptable

Practicing Protestant12%15%
Practicing Catholic19%37%
Other faith41%50%
No faith55%71%
All Americans30%37%
All Americans under 4041%47%
All Americans over 4023%30%

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, noted that evangelicals are "countercultural against a rising tide of public opinion" on the issue of same-sex relationships. "If the sands have shifted under evangelicals' feet in the last ten years," he added, "it will seem the ground has completely opened beneath them during the next ten . . . because the very belief that same-sex relationships are morally wrong is deemed by many to be discriminatory and bigoted."

Documentary Features Gosnell Victims

3801 Lancaster

Kermit Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison without parole in May, but the women who survived appointments at his abortion clinic at 3801 Lancaster Street in Philadelphia are enduring their own personal torment. An online documentary series titled 3801 Lancaster will tell their stories.

Gosnell was convicted in the deaths of one woman and of three infants who were born alive during attempted abortions. The producers of 3801 Lancaster will "give Gosnell's victims an outlet to tell their stories" and "help find and shut down clinics that continue to operate in the same manner as the Women's Medical Society," according to the film's website, 3801lancaster.com.

Boyce Professor on the Royal Baby

Boyce Professor on the Royal Baby

As the world awaited the birth of the heir to the British throne, Boyce College Professor Owen Strachan pondered the media's use of the term "royal baby" in an article for The Atlantic, "When Is a Royal Baby a Fetus?" Strachan notes that in contrast to mainstream media references to aborted babies as fetuses during the gruesome Kermit Gosnell trial, "there were no pre-birth headlines from serious journalistic sources like 'Royal Clump of Cells Eagerly Anticipated' or 'Imperial Seed Soon to Sprout.'"

Strachan wonders if "a few folks will recognize the ironic nature of the media's coverage" and shares some thoughts for people on both sides of the abortion debate. For pro-lifers: "This event can serve as a reminder that human development is a process," and it "speaks to the happiness of bringing a child into a secure home." And for pro-choicers: "If the royal baby was not a clump of cells, then neither is anyone else's baby" and "independence and location are not and cannot be the markers of personhood."

Body and Soul For Sale?

Body and Soul for Sale?

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana faced criticism this summer after vetoing a bill that would have set legal parameters around hiring surrogate mothers in his state. The bill was authored by a popular state legislator who, along with his wife, has two children borne by surrogate mothers in California and Nevada. While the bill's backers felt they had covered all the issues faith-based groups might find troubling, Jindal objected because the legislation would have a "profound impact on the traditional beginnings of the family."

States with legalized surrogacy could eventually have a culture like India's, where there is "a shameful industry in surrogate motherhood, in which desperate destitute women sell their gestational capacities," lawyer and author Wesley J. Smith said, according to the Washington Post. The Post reported that one Indian woman who normally earns $54 a month gluing glitter on T-shirts was paid $8,000 to deliver two "very beautiful, fair-skinned, black-haired babies" for an American couple.

American surrogacy laws and enforcement vary widely from state to state, and there have been some messy, public battles between surrogate mothers and the people who hired them.


    About the Author

  • SBC Staff