Wednesday, 03 October 2012 14:44
by David Perrin, News Weekly, September 2012. The same siren voices calling for the legalising of illicit drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy have started again. This time they have used a front organisation calling itself Australia 21 and are even promoting their views in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Their tired arguments revolve around the myth that the war on drugs is lost. Australia has one of the highest drug-using cultures in the world, and cannabis is the most commonly used drug in our country.
Our current permissive drug policy of harm minimisation is leading to even more drug use in Australia, particularly among our youth. The magnitude of the problem has been highlighted by the latest annual report on illicit drugs produce by the Australian government’s national criminal intelligence and investigation agency, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).
Its report highlights the involvement of organised criminals in smuggling drugs into Australia for distribution here.
The drug trade is a multi-billion-dollar industry with powerful criminals having ready access to the latest technology and benefiting from advice from high-priced lawyers and financiers.
The report highlights that most illicit drugs are easy to get and that demand for them is high. Illicit drug use is five times higher in Australia than in most other countries of the world.
As a result of this huge trade in drugs, Australia is an obvious target for international criminals.
Those people pushing for the legalisation of drugs incorrectly claim that other countries, notably Portugal, are doing better than Australia. However, medical professionals in Portugal dispute the inaccurate figures that are often quoted to support this argument. They point out that, ever since Portugal liberalised its drug laws in 2001:
• the number of people who have used illicit drugs has gone up by 50 per cent;
• drug-related homicides have gone up by 40 per cent; and
• drug deaths are among the highest in the world.
Both the United States President’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United Nations have highlighted the worsening trend in Portugal.
Clearly, when countries relax their drug laws, the proportion of the population using drugs goes up, and we in Australia already have a disturbingly high level of drug use. We must beware of adopting policies that will lead to even greater drug use.
1) Australia needs to scrap its current permissive drugs policy, misleadingly called “harm minimisation”, and follow the example of other countries that have succeeded in reducing drug use in their populations.
2) We must cut off the flow of money to the international and local criminals who are behind the drug industry. This can most effectively be done by reducing the number of Australian drug-users. Sweden has shown how this can be done through court-ordered and supervised drug rehabilitation.
3) The scientific research on the many harmful consequences of illicit drug use must be widely publicised in order to dissuade young Australians from ever using or experimenting with illicit drugs.
4) We must close the drug-injecting centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross as it is only simulating demand for drugs and helping fund these criminal gangs. No Australian state or territory, apart from New South Wales, has ever set up injecting centres like this because it has been well established that they do not work.
5) Once drug-users are identified by local police using drug-driving campaigns, they should be diverted into drug rehabilitation to get them off drugs. Governments should fund effective drug rehabilitation in order to reduce massively the number of users. Such rehabilitation is far more effective than trying to intercept shipments into Australia or picking up the pieces of shattered lives at our hospitals and mental health institutions.
6) Australia should set national annual targets for progressively reducing illicit drug use until it is the lowest in the world. We need to undertake national surveys of young Australians every year to compare our drug use with that of countries such as Sweden which exemplify world’s best practice in reducing drug use. Politicians should take a far greater interest in monitoring how we are progressing.
7) Current drug advisory bodies, almost all of which subscribe to the failed harm minimisation model, should be abolished and replaced with agencies committed to pursuing world’s best practice in meeting drug-reduction targets.
8) We must have a federal minister with responsibility for reduction of drug use in Australia and for informing parliament of the heavy costs to the community of the mental health consequences resulting from drug use.
9) Australia must recommit itself to the United Nations international agreements for reducing the demand for illicit drugs and for the protection of children.
Until these initiatives are undertaken, Australia will continue to have a high drug-use culture, and we will all end up paying for the costs of border protection, drug-related crimes, road carnage, mental health problems and family breakdown — all of which are caused by drugs.
Monday, 13 August 2012 19:23
by Shane Varcoe May 2012 The most effective ‘drug pushing’ measure ever - permission. There is a maxim that remains constant in our consumerist culture and that is ‘availability, accessibility and of course the key component permissibility all increase consumption’.
I was speaking with a close friend who spent years in the horse racing industry and he told me the story about the advent of TAB betting outlets and the reason why such measures were introduced. One of the key motivators was the desire to diminish, if not eradicate the underground ‘S.P (Starting Price) bookies’ who would ‘assist’ punters who couldn’t get to the race track to make a wager on the ponies!
The strategy was to set up government controlled facilities that would enable people to gamble on the horse races in a more ‘scrutinized’ and accountable manner. Sounds fair? So to introduce state sponsored gambling they most certainly had to have ‘safe-guards’ in place; the following are just some of the caveats that must be adhered to in the setting up of government licensed TAB’s
Must not be within 200 metres of a hotel
Must not be within 200 metres of a church
Automatic Teller Machines or other money distribution mechanisms not permitted at race tracks.
Sounds wise, reasonable, especially to ensure some modicum of ‘harm minimisation’ was in place. For those at all familiar with this race betting industry, you will have no doubt raised your eyebrows to the clear fact that all of these ‘harm minimising’ measures have long since fallen by the wayside. Consumer demand insisted on it, didn’t it? The thin end of the wedge went deep and went fast!
Now we see….
Rows of ATM’s at racetracks
Gambling facilities and hotels merged into an indistinguishable melting pot of ‘alcohol enhanced’ entertainment
Churches… sorry what about them?
Now in this scenario, permission to gamble already existed, but it was access and availability that changed to increase its incidence.
Let’s turn this axiomatic formula to the legal drug of tobacco. Certainly more than permission for use of this substance has existed for over a century. More than permission was a sociable ‘insist-ability’ to partake - it was high fashion. At one point some medical doctors were prescribing cigarette smoking as a stress management tool, as mind-boggling as that is to contemplate in today’s social climate.
The growing and relentless assault against tobacco via the QUIT campaign in Australia is something only ‘mushrooms’ would know little of. This vital and effective demand-reduction and education ‘crusade’ that is raging against tobacco has been clear from its inception, and has continued to burgeon, evermore aggressively to the veritable ‘war’ we now see today.
The message is at the very least unambiguous, at times, bombastic! There is no guessing what the outcome of this assault on this ‘legal’ drug is to be. The message and mandate, at least in Australia, is not ‘slow down’, it is not ‘moderate’ it is QUIT. The end game is the only game. Sure, there are no illusions about the time it may take for many to reach that goal, but that goal is the only target to aim at and as a consequence measures and outcomes are effective - more and more Australians are quitting!
In 1945 approximately 72% of Australian men smoked. The rate has been dropping ever since then. In 2007 only 18% of Australian males were daily smokers. In 1945 26% of Australian women smoked…In 2007 women were smoking at a lower rate than men with 15.2% still smoking daily. 1
• increases in getting help to quit smoking, especially use of the Quitline (2% to 4%) and nicotine replacement therapy (7% to 10%);
• increase in one year quit rate from 8% to 11% among smokers and recent quitters;
• a statistically significant reduction of about 1.5% in the estimated adult prevalence of smoking. 2
However, as successful as this message has been, the fight is not over yet, as the following excerpt so irrefutably affirms…
“ANTI-SMOKING campaigners have far from finished their battle with the tobacco industry, with some pushing for a ''license to smoke'' and many predicting that cigarettes could be outlawed within a decade.” 3 (emphasis added)
Well, so was the bold opening statement in recent article ‘Now butt out: new push seeks to outlaw cigarettes’ in The Age Newspaper.
Fascinating! Outlawing cigarettes, even though around 17% of Australians are still smoking - outrageous! The article went on to note that if such a ban were to take place the government would stand to lose around $6 billion dollars in tax revenue, but save an estimated $31 billion dollars currently spent per annum on smoking related health problems.
No doubt to everyone who is not a smoker this makes good health and fiscal sense - maybe even to some smokers too?
So how is that we have managed to convince a society that a ban could actually be possible on a legal drug - tobacco, that in its boom era (during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s) was a key social accessory? A quick inventory of the processes engaged may give us some insight:
A clear and uncompromising acknowledgement from health, government and fiscal sectors that cigarette smoking was damaging our community.
The ensuing resolve that this must change for both fiscal, but more importantly, health reasons.
The continuing single voice of disapproval of cigarettes from academics, politicians and health professionals. (Stopped the propaganda of the pro-smoking academics/doctors and started the recognition of the undeniable facts that ‘every cigarette is doing you damage’.)
The sustained political will to create and implement policies to bring about change, including increased taxation, total advertising ‘blackouts’ and bans – that’s right, ‘prohibition’ on smoking in defined places.
These have been followed by the creation and implementation of Demand Reduction strategies that only grow in number and intensity; including health warnings and plain packaging on cigarette packets; and the relentless public education campaign on the dangers of smoking.
It would appear from both anecdotal and empirical data that such resolute policies work, even with a once widely accepted and socially palatable ‘legal drug’ like tobacco.
But I’m confused! How can such a relentlessness, ‘war’ on this ‘legal’ drug – tobacco, of which some 17% of Australians still use, be not only waged, but affirmed; while at the same time an apparent ‘war’ on illicit drugs be waged, declared ‘lost’ by noisy protagonists and discounted as no longer a worthy strategy? Especially when statistically only 6% of the world’s 16-65 y.o. olds have tried or may be using some illicit drug intermittently, why would one give up on changing that statistic?
Why is a ‘war’ being fought so assiduously against tobacco and given up on against illicit drugs and the human cost they incur? Wouldn’t a war to reduce that 6% statistic be worth fighting to do all it can to prevent it increasing? Yet instead we hear, from a very small, but noisy minority, a call to not only stop the all but non-existent war on drugs and instead let them off the leash through decriminalisation or legalisation.
You, the reader, must understand something here and make no mistake; this call is a key component to the greatest drug pushing measure to ever be foisted on a culture - the push of permission! And timing for such a push is everything.
If you are an architect of such a blatant drug ‘push’ exercise, you must…
Cultivate the message that drug use is ‘normal’, everybody is trying it!
Cultivate a notion that some drugs are harmless and drug use is manageable, no different to alcohol or cigarettes.
Set up the ‘couch of credibility’ for some drugs by declaring them ‘medicine’. For example push the following specious logic; Cannabis can be used for some medical purposes, therefore marijuana is medicine, therefore marijuana is healthy, therefore marijuana is ok to use!
Have ‘celebrities’ and ‘doctors’ come out with claims of functional drug use giving credibility to the ‘product’.
However, the real key, if these elements are going to get real traction, is you must have an easily to manipulate demographic. To do that you have to ‘set people up’, particularly the young who have never really been taught how to think in any anthropological context of sustainable ‘why’ on life, rather only being told that what they think they want to right and good or bad, right or wrong, no longer come into it.
In our current confused culture, the plumbline for right and wrong has been ostensibly removed. There is no one unified ‘moral code’ to keep other than ‘one’s own’. It is Generation Y and the emerging generation who are best set up for this manipulation. Add to that the attentive issues of a ‘fun focused’ pop-culture, ruled by and ever distracting technocracy and you have a demographic easy to ‘play’ in a well-pitched market scenario.
When ‘selfist’ relativism erodes all sense of the ‘common’ good and any version of collective morality banned. When anchorless, rudderless and directionless ‘ethics’ are wielded by the manipulative apologists of chaos, thinly cloaked in ‘progressive spin’, we are left with only one vehicle by which to somewhat order society and prevent descent into anarchy, that vehicle is the rule of law.
The prominent Statesman Edmund Burke made this clear…
“Human Beings are qualified for liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites... Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
Of course then comes the next question; what law and who gets to make it? This now becomes the arena of debate.
I want to present a couple key scenarios in this brief treatise that leave us little ‘wiggle-room’ for the idea of abandoning criminal sanctions on drug use, let alone the unthinkable society wide and ultimate ‘drug pushing’ scenario of legalisation.
A basic principle of good democratic and functional communities is to do with foundational governance issues. When it comes to legislation, what principle/s should it be founded on, or at least informed by?
Gus Jaspert the Deputy Director of UK Home Office speaking at the 3rd World Forum Against Drugs, declared…
Governments should aim to…
Protect their citizens from harm.
Provide environments that enable its citizens to reach their full productive potential.
Any legislation must be filtered through these two foundational principles and the tough questions asked of any proposed introductions or amendments that may breach these principles.
So follow the questions…
Does illicit drug use cause harm to citizens?
Does illicit drug use impede/diminish the productive potential of a nation’s citizens?
Subsequent to these basic questions one then must also ask…
Will widening illicit drug accessibility, permissibility and availability, improve the safety, amenity and wellbeing of any or all of a nations’ citizens?
Will widening illicit drug accessibility, permissibility and availability, improve familial and community functionality, harmony and cohesiveness?
Will widening illicit drug use improve or put greater burden on the physical, emotional and mental health of our community?
And last, but by no means least, will widening illicit drug accessibility, permissibility and availability improve or diminish the well-being and safety of our nation’s children?
These last two of these questions are most important to answer, not only on their own merit, but also within the context of other social justice and social responsibility charters, being a) Good professional health care/management and b) nothing less than the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of the Child.
A précised, but lucid look at professional health management strategies of functional societies reveals that all measures and means be taken to maximise community health for one primary reason (other than well-being of its citizens) and that is good fiscal policy. Healthy people not only save any society immense amounts of money, but contribute more productively to its growth and improvement.
In answering above questions a) and b) just the following pieces of data is evidence enough for governments to move against illicit drugs to protect its citizens against such harms:
‘‘Illicit drug use shaves approximately 13 million years off the world’s collective drug users lives.” 4
“Americans spend approximately $65 billion per year on illicit drugs,5 but the costs to society from drug consumption far exceed this amount. Illegal drugs cost the U.S. economy $98.5 billion in lost earnings, $12.9 billion in health care costs, and $32.1 billion in other costs, including social welfare costs and the cost of goods and services lost to crime.”6
“Principle 16 - Research-based prevention programs can be cost-effective. Similar to earlier research, recent research shows that for each dollar invested in prevention, a savings of up to $10 in treatment for alcohol or other substance abuse can be seen (Aos et al. 2001; Hawkins et al. 1999; Pentz 1998; Spoth et al. 2002a; Jones et al. 2008; Foster et al. 2007; Miller and Hendrie 2009).”7
“The success of demand reduction in the US is reflected in long-term decreases in rates of illegal drug use. The percentage of persons aged 12 and older in the US who used an illegal drug in the past 30 days has decreased 38% from its peak in 1979 (14.1%)to 2009 (8.7%). Equally impressive are statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which has documented a greater than 80% reduction in annual opioid use over the past century!”8,9,10
Yet, there is more to professional health management strategies than economic rationalism. Disease control is a primary goal of good health management policy/strategies. Eradication of any disease is the ultimate goal, but in the interim, management practices can be used with an attempt to alleviate symptoms and to improve health status, enabling best opportunities to work toward recovery and wellness. When there is any option for recovery/wholeness then that becomes the goal.
No good health professional will refuse or omit such options when they are available.
For instance, when it comes to the epidemiology of a disease, treating physicians look to a number of factors, including the agent of contagion. They look to manage, negate and prevent these agents from spreading.
Illicit drug use dependency has now been widely touted as a ‘disease’ and as such the term ‘disease’ has an ever morphing definition in various diagnostic manuals. Regardless of the definition, treatment principles still remain the same – the containment, cessation and future prevention of this disease. Two key factors must be addressed if any sort of positive health outcome is going to be achieved…
Susceptibility factors of the patient
Exposure factors to the patient
So in treating the disease of drug dependency/addiction one must address both of these factors to have best hope of the drug user becoming healthy again – The health that a) saves money b) keeps you from harm c) enables your full productive potential d) adds to your and the communities general well-being.
The question we now have to ask of any measure that will increase accessibility, permissibility and availability of illicit drugs is, will it exacerbate or alleviate a) susceptibility factors and b) exposure factors? If it does the former, then we have breached good, professional and fiscally responsible health care practice. Any action/method/process that enables the increase or worsening of these two factors is at best reprehensible and at worse culpable and worthy of malpractice suites and license revocation.
When it comes to the mental, physical and emotional health of society’s citizens and particularly its children, any measure that increases the exposure or susceptibility to a disease must be, if not eradicated, utterly contained. To do less is to collapse the very core of what good governance and good health care strategy is for a nation.
When the already available, well managed and effectively deployed ‘exposure’ preventing tool of criminality is employed, we are half way to achieving best potential for full recovery. Removing this proactively used mechanism will only see the opposite be true in a community.
In summary, when it comes to the notion of drug decriminalisation or legislation and the key issues that we have looked briefly at here, we need to ask…
Will decriminalisation/legalisation of currently illicit drugs increase the harms to citizens, the children and their productivity/potential?
Will decriminalisation/legalisation of currently illicit drugs make for better health care policy/practice and outcomes?
Can criminal sanctions be used effectively, not as a punitive sanction, but as a collaborative vehicle to enable both unwitting causalities or even recalcitrant purveyors of drug disease to not only diminish harms to the wider society and themselves, but more importantly to discover the potential and productivity that both functional society and good government endeavour to promote?
It is clear that when societal expectations and conventions of protection, safety, productivity, health and wellbeing are breached by its citizens, then sanctions are not only expected, but demanded. However, the caring use of these sanctions and prohibitions is not about what is ‘put down’, but much more about what can be ‘taken up’. Why remove a mechanism (criminality) that has the proven potential (when used proactively for care i.e. diversion/rehabilitation) to provide safety, promote recovery and more importantly promote wholeness?
I think it is time we stopped the ‘war’ on good drug policy and start to take up the fight for a better society for all our citizens and not just the one dimensional demands of disease promulgating and society damaging minority; the careless minority who seek to avoid, not only the consequences of their bad choices, but more callously, demand the rest of the community to pay for their ongoing bad choices.
I will conclude with a quote from one of the ‘fathers’ of modern libertine ideology, John Stuart Mills; A caveat even the most self-absorbed, ‘rights’ demanding drug user cannot easily dismiss…
No person is an entirely isolated being; it is impossible for a person to do anything seriously or permanently hurtful to himself without mischief reaching at least to his near connections, and often far beyond them…If he deteriorates his bodily or mental faculties, he not only brings evil upon all who depended upon him for any portion of their happiness, but disqualifies himself for rendering the services which he owes to his fellow creatures generally, perhaps becomes a burden on their affection or benevolence; and if such conduct were very frequent hardly any offense that is committed would detract more from the general sum of good.
Mr. Shane W. Varcoe – Executive Director, Dalgarno Institute May 2012
2CHANGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE NATIONAL TOBACCO CAMPAIGN PRE AND POST CAMPAIGN SURVEYS COMPAREDby Melanie Wakefield http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-publicat-document-metadata-tobccamp.htm/$FILE/tobccamp_c.pdf
3 Stark , Jill The Age, 22.5. 2011 http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/now-butt-out-new-push-seeks-to-outlaw-cigarettes-20110521-1ey2s.html#ixzz1OBTg5SRQ
5Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy. What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs. December 2001.
6 Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992-1998. September 2001.
8Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1999). National household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings, 1997 (Office of Applied Sciences). Rockville, MD.
9Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Volume I. Summary of National Findings (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-38A,HHS Publication No. SMA 10-4856Findings). Rockville, MD.
10United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2007). World Drug Report 2008. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved June 23, 2011 from http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR_2008_eng_web.pdf
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 20:23
by Bill Muehlenberg 12/6/12 What incredibly bizarre times we live in, to even have to state such an overwhelmingly obvious truth. I might as well have penned an article with the title, “People Do Better Eating” or “Children Fare Best When They Breathe”. Of course children need a mother and father, and of course anything less than that will be less ideal.
And fifty years of social science research amply bears this out. Yet the homosexual militants want to convince us that family structure doesn’t mean beans, and any combination of adults will do just fine thanks. So to promote their destructive agenda, they have to ignore the research and attack anyone who points to these thousands of studies.
And these findings keep affirming the same thing: there is no better setting for children than to be raised by their own two biological parents, preferably cemented by marriage. Two brand new research studies have once again confirmed this.
And they demonstrate quite clearly that children raised by homosexuals do not fare as well as do children raised by their own parents. Common sense of course tells us this, but here is more research confirming what everyone except the radical ideologues already know.
Several in-depth write-ups about this have already appeared, so it is worth quoting some of those reports instead of re-inventing the wheel here. The first article says this: “The oft-cited assertion that there are ‘no differences’ in outcomes between children of same-sex parent households and those of intact biological families may not be accurate, according to a new study published today in the journal Social Science Research.
“Adult children of parents who have been in same-sex relationships are different than children raised in intact biological families on a number of social, emotional and relationship measures, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin. Among other things, they reported lower income levels, poorer mental and physical health and more troubled current romantic relationships. The study found 25 differences across 40 measures.”
The research was undertaken by Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at University of Texas Austin’s Population Research Center. The article continues, “Regnerus used data from the New Family Structure Study (NFSS) to see how adults ages 18 to 39 who were raised by same-sex parents do on various outcomes compared to those raised by married biological parents, co-habiting adults, a single parent, step-parents or adoptive parents, among others. NFSS has data from more than 3,000 adults, including 175 who said their mother had a same-sex romantic relationship and 73 who said their father did.
“Regnerus said his findings were more valid on lesbian-mom households than gay-father households because they included more families and also because those studied were far less likely to have actually lived in gay-dad households. A cursory look might lead some to conclude incorrectly the study found gay dads were better parents than lesbian moms. The sample wasn’t large enough to draw strong conclusions about the men….
“He eliminated socioeconomics, age, politics, gender, geography, race and bullying as explanations for the gaps he found between family structure types. Is it the stigma the parents felt? He doesn’t know. ‘We didn’t talk to parents, and I can’t measure stigma.’ Single-parent and step-families have, much like same-sex parents, ‘a higher degree of instability’ compared to intact biological families, he said. It’s probably not just having a man and woman, either, since step-families have those and the kids don’t fare as well.”
And in the same journal that the Regnerus study appears, there is a second piece confirming his findings: “A separate analysis in the same journal edition by Loren Marks, associate professor at Louisiana State University, more directly challenges previous same-sex parenting studies as inadequate, biased and unreliable. He lists seven concerns with the science, including the fact that ‘well-educated, relatively wealthy lesbian couples have been repeatedly compared to single-parent heterosexual families instead of two-parent marriage-based families.’
“Single-parent families typically have poorer child outcomes across several measures, so it’s easier to look better against them, he said. W. Bradford Wilcox of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia said biological married families are the gold standard for better outcomes for children.”
The Washington Times also had a report on this new research, and it adds a few other details worth noting: “Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married, mother-father parents. ‘The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,’ Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in his study in Social Science Research.
“Using a new, ‘gold standard’ data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes. He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.
“Findings such as these do not support claims that there are ‘no differences’ between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university. Instead, ‘children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,’ he wrote.
“Mr. Regnerus’ study of 2,988 persons ages 18 to 39 — including 175 adults raised by lesbian mothers and 73 adults raised by gay fathers — marks the first research from the new dataset, which initially included some 15,000 persons. . . . Mr. Regnerus cautioned that his study does not attempt to ‘undermine or affirm arguments’ about gay rights or link poor adult outcomes solely to gay parenting.
“However, it should raise the bar for research on gay parenting, especially since it is does not rely on ‘snowball samples,’ in which gay parents are recruited in the same places as their gay friends and colleagues, said Patrick Fagan, a family and marriage scholar at the Family Research Council.
“The Regnerus study is a ‘gold standard,’ Mr. Fagan said. And if ‘you can’t draw conclusions from it’ about causality, ‘there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell you can draw conclusions from those other [gay parenting] studies,’ he said.”
In my new book I also feature plenty of research on the issues of same-sex parenting, and the many shortcomings to the studies which suggest that children do quite alright in homosexual-headed households. This new data adds to this, and further confirms what all cultures have known: children have the right to be raised by their own biological parents, and not be treated as guinea pigs by the radical social engineers.
Monday, 04 June 2012 12:43
by Bill Muehlenberg 2/6/12 Pornography is a social tsunami destroying our societies, ruining our marriages, busting up our families, enslaving our men, and killing our kids. I wish I could say this was just happening outside of the churches. But sadly the Christian world is being just as decimated by this problem as anyone else.
It is vital that all Christians take this challenge seriously, and seek to do all they can to keep free of this addictive smut, and help others to do the same. Fortunately there are many good resources out there to help us with this. There are both Christian and non-Christian books and videos available which we all need to make use of.
The following are some of the better resources out there which discuss the porn plague, document its nefarious effects, and provide practical help on getting free and staying free.
Alcorn, Randy, Christians in the Wake of the Sexual Revolution. IVP, 1985.
Anderson, Neil, A Way of Escape. Monarch, 1994.
Arterburn, Stephen and Fred Stoeker, Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time. WaterBrook Press, 2009.
Challies, Tim, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn. CreateSpace, 2010.
Chester, Tim, Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free. IVP, 2010.
Court, John, Law, Light and Liberty. Adelaide: Lutheran Publishing House, 1975.
Court, John, Pornography: A Christian Critique. IVP, 1980.
Dixon, Patrick, The Rising Price of Love: The True Cost of the Sexual Revolution. Hodder & Stoughton, 1995.
Hall, Laurie, An Affair of the Mind. Focus on the Family, 1996.
Harris, Joshua, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World. Multnomah, 2005.
Heath, Graham, The Illusory Freedom: The Intellectual Origins and Social Consequences of the Sexual Revolution. William Heinemann, 1978.
Kirk, Randy, A Generation Betrayed: It’s Time To End the Sexual Revolution. Huntington House, 1993.
Laaser, Mark, The Secret Sin: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction. Zondervan, 1992.
Lubben, Shelley, Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn: The Greatest Illusion on Earth. Createspace, 2010.
Marshner, Connie, Decent Exposure: How to Teach Your Children About Sex. Legacy Communications, 1988, 1994.
Minnery, Tom, ed., Pornography: A Human Tragedy. Tyndale House, 1986.
Reisman, Judith, Sexual Sabotage. WND Books, 2010.
Reisman, Judith, “Soft Porn” Plays Hardball. Huntington House Publishers, 1991.
Schaumburg, Harry, False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction. NavPress, 1992, 1997.
Schlafly, Phyllis, ed., Pornography’s Victims. Pere Marquette Press, 1987.
Struthers, William, Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. IVP, 2010.
White, John, Eros Defiled. IVP, 1977.
White, John, Eros Redeemed. IVP, 1993.
Williams, Nigel, False Images: Telling the Truth About Pornography. Kingsway Publications, 1991.
Wilson-Thomas, Claire and Nigel Williams, Laid Bare: A Path Through the Pornography Maze. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996.
Dobson, James, Fatal Addiction. Focus on the Family, 1989. 56 minutes.
Dobson, James, Pornography: Addictive, Progressive and Deadly. Focus on the Family, 1994. 47 minutes.
Dines, Gail, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality. Beacon Press, 2010.
Layden, Mary Anne, The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations. The Witherspoon Institute, 2010.
Lederer, Laura, ed., Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography. William Morrow, 1980.
Levy, Ariel, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Free Press, 2005.
Paul, Pamela, Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. Times Books, 2005.
Russell, Diana, Dangerous Relationships: Pornography, Misogyny and Rape. Sage Publishing, 1998.
Shapiro, Ben, Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future. Regnery Publishing, 2005.
Tankard Reist, Melinda and Abigail Bray, eds., Big Porn Inc. Spinifex, 2011.
Also there are ministries devoted to helping those who want to be set free from this. Consider some of the following organisations and their resources:
We need each other to overcome this, and other addictions we struggle with. Get into an accountability group now if you have not already done so. And check out this great Promise Keepers site for more info on accountability groups, and the sorts of questions you should be asking each other:
Friday, 30 March 2012 13:25
By Bill Muehlenberg 29/3/12. It may seem like it is all bad news when it comes to the relentless homosexual juggernaut, with their never-ending list of demands to radically remake society into their own image. And the activists would like us to think that there is an inevitability about their destructive crusade.
But that is not the case, and often we see some terrific pro-family victories. Of course, given how the mainstream media is almost entirely in bed with the homosexual activists, it is very rare that you will find any of their defeats mentioned.
Instead one only hears about the seemingly unstoppable homosexual steamroller crushing everything in its path. Thus as usual, one has to look to the alternative media to learn about what is really happening in the world. And interestingly, the homosexual militants are not having everything go their own way.
While the MSM barely uttered a peep, there were in fact three recent wins which we can all take heart in. All occurred overseas, and all demonstrate that there are still plenty of folks around who have not been conned by the militants’ propaganda, and are willing to stand up and fight for what is right.
And these wins for common sense and decency occurred in rather unexpected places as well. The first case took place in Europe, and was some very good news indeed. The story goes this way: “The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the prohibition of adoption to non-married couples is not discriminatory, because it applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples equally.
“It has also ruled that homosexual ‘marriage’ is not a right under the European Convention on Human Rights. The decision effectively confirms the liceity under the same Convention of French law, which does not award the status of ‘marriage’ to homosexual couples, and does not permit non-married couples to adopt children.
“The ruling was announced yesterday in a suit by a French lesbian couple, Valérie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, who have been in a Pact of Civil Solidarity (PACS) since 2002. A PACS is a loose contractual arrangement made available to both heterosexual and homosexual couples in France, in contrast with stronger ‘civil union’ arrangements and homosexual ‘marriages’ available in some other countries.
“Dubois conceived a child by artificial insemination through an anonymous donor in 2000, and the couple have been raising the child together. Gas has sought to adopt the child by recourse to various courts, and was ultimately turned down by the country’s highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation. The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed the French court’s decisions.
“The Court also ruled that that there is no ‘indirect discrimination founded (…) on the impossibility of marriage,’ because article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights ‘does not impose on the governments of the state parties the obligation to open marriage to a homosexual couple,’ adding that governments ‘enjoy a certain leeway in determining the exact nature’ of legal recognitions of homosexual unions’.”
Finally, a bit of sense and sensibility from a European ruling body. It may be rare, coming from that crumbling continent, but when it does come, it sure is nice to see. Let us hope that more good news will be forthcoming from Europe.
The second win comes from Slovenia and also has to do with homosexual marriage. Consider this nifty headline: “Slovenia says no to same-sex marriage.” Here is how the story has been reported: “Yesterday, Slovenia held a post-legislative referendum on the new Family Code that was adopted in the Slovenian parliament in June 2011.
“In a popular vote, 55% of voters rejected the new Family Code and 45% supported the law. Turnout was 30% on a sunny Sunday. ‘The people of Slovenia expressed their belief that motherhood and fatherhood are both unique and represent a fundamental value; for the good of a child,’ said Aleš Primc, head of the Civil Initiative that proposed the referendum.”
Hey those Slovenians seem to have a lot more sense and morality than many other so-called civilised nations. Way to go Slovenia. The final case actually comes from Russia. It seems some mental and moral firmness has found its way there, resulting in a head-on collision with a sleazy, aging, US pop star.
The story goes this way: “Pop singer Madonna Ciccone’s recent promise to ‘speak up’ for the ‘gay community’ in St. Petersburg, Russia, at an upcoming performance there, has been met by a city representative who says she will be fined if she violates a city ordinance against homosexual propaganda aimed at minors.
“The singer, whose risqué, hypersexualized performances are supported by a large homosexual fan base, made the promise after being asked by a Russian-American lesbian activist to cancel her August concert in St. Petersburg in protest of the law, which was recently instituted by the city’s government.”
One American pro-family commentator said this about the victory. The Russians are “trying to learn from America’s out-of-control pro-homosexual activism and the fact that our family law structure, our legal structure is being changed to accommodate perversion, and Christian religious speech is now suffering at the hands of this ever-expanding homosexual activism. And who could blame the Russians for trying to learn from America?
“We have a gay rights monster in our midst that continues to make escalating demands, that has seemingly no concern for religious liberty, for traditional values. Who could blame these peoples not only in Russia but throughout the world for looking to America, looking to the West and saying ‘how can we prevent this?’ And my advice to them would be: don’t let the genie out of the bottle, because another lesson from the west is that once you grant so called ‘rights’ it’s almost impossible to take them away.”
Quite so. It certainly is reassuring to know that not everyone has lost their marbles and decided to roll over and play dead before the advancing homosexual blitzkrieg. Many individuals, many groups, and even many nations are holding their nerve and resisting the social revolutionaries.
More power to them.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:53
by Bill Muehlenberg 9/3/12 There are many things pro-lifers can do to help stem the tide of our abortion holocaust. Many creative ideas have already been utilised, and we can always use some more. Just as various means and methods were employed by the abolitions to help turn the tide of public opinion on slavery, so too here, we need to use every available strategy and option possible.
One important component in all this is dispelling the myth that the mother is simply carrying a blob of tissues or a clump of cells. If most women actually knew about the developing new life in their womb, they might have a rethink about killing the baby.
Thus different tactics are being used in various places to help ensure that women are really given all their choices, and in fact have real informed consent. In the US there are now a number of states which have passed ultrasound laws. These laws compel women seeking an abortion to first look at an ultrasound of the baby in their own womb.
Virginia has been the latest state to pass such a law. One article discusses this as follows: “Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church, applauds a new Virginia law that requires pregnant women to view an abdominal ultrasound image of their unborn baby before undergoing an abortion procedure.” He said this:
“Yesterday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law a state bill that would require pregnant women to view an abdominal ultrasound image of their unborn baby before undergoing an abortion procedure. The purpose of the bill is information, giving women the ability to have a firsthand look at the fetal image of their baby before making such a fateful decision.
“I believe this is important legislation because some women, once they see the image of the baby in their womb, will choose to give the baby life. And that is always a cause for celebration. This bill (HB 462) notes that ‘at its heart’ is ‘a woman’s right to know medically relevant information before making a life-altering decision.’ Advocates for the statute say the ultrasound image gives a woman the ‘right to know’ about her unborn child’s development.
“Medical technology gives us a wonderful ability to illustrate to women the life that is growing within them, and I believe this bill wisely compels them to have an understanding of that life. I think it truly should be the right of women to have a keen awareness of their baby’s physicality before making such a critical, life-altering decision.”
Cal Thomas discusses this here: “The debate in Virginia and elsewhere over ultrasound legislation should include the voices of women who favor ultrasound laws. The media speak of ‘women’ as a monolithic group who consistently subscribe to the liberal-secular line. But there are many women – I have met a few – whose voices are rarely, if ever, heard. These women either decided to give birth after seeing an ultrasound image, or regretted having had an abortion and would testify that if they had seen an ultrasound image before the procedure they would have made a different choice. Does not seeing an ultrasound image change the reality of abortion?
“There are several websites featuring testimonies from some of these pro-ultrasound women.
One is: www.projectultrasound.org/testimonies.html.
“Why would anyone want to deprive women of the joy they experience after seeing a picture of their baby and deciding to preserve their baby’s life? Why would anyone not want to protect these women from the pain many have experienced from not seeing a picture and going forward with the abortion, only to later regret it?”
A very similar sort of action which is proving to be real effective is a small pro-life group in Texas led by 23-year-old David Pomerantz. He brings the ultrasound to where the action is at: just outside an abortion clinic. His van has all that is needed for women to see what they are really aborting.
One write-up about this story says this: “He hails from Philadelphia, but he was attending Word of Life, a two-year Bible institute in New York, when he met Chris Slattery and Julie Beyel of EMC (Expectant Mother Care), a Manhattan pregnancy resource center. He was astonished to find that EMC had formulated a ‘new model’ for approaching women outside abortion clinics.
“EMC had a bus equipped with a sonogram machine. By approaching women outside the clinic with the offer of free help, with no mention of a pro-life ideology, they were able to see a staggering success rate. In fact, by their estimate, about 70% of women who got on the bus for a sonogram decided not to abort. In one day, they saw nine women decide on life for their children.
“They did some simple math, and realized that if this success continued, 15 to 25 women a week, or about 800 a year, would choose life. Excited by the possibilities inherent in this new approach, Dave contacted his friend and mentor Joe Baker, who flew in from Philly to see the results firsthand. Equally impressed, the two began to ferment the idea that would become Save the Storks.
“Dave was already planning on attending Southwestern Theological Seminary in Dallas, so he headed down south. With Joe Baker developing the art and marketing, and the generous help of Dallas-based organization Get Involved for Life and other private donors to bring to life a sleeker, smaller, more mobile ultrasound vehicle, they were off and running.
“Save the Storks was born. Or, if you prefer, flown in through the window. ‘We don’t want to intimidate anyone. We don’t want to force anyone. We just want to serve’.”
The article continues, “The Save the Storks bus is slick, recognizable, welcoming, and – horror of horrors – it sits in between a mother and the abortion clinic doors. With a simple offer of no-strings-attached help – ‘Would you like a free ultrasound?’ – and a bright, comforting image, it appeals to the desperate woman before she reaches the clinic.
“She is not confronted. She is offered help. And while I firmly believe that virtually all sidewalk counselors and activists outside clinic are there for no other reason than to help women, the Storks are able to present help first. That is the key. The average clinic sidewalk approach is, of necessity, ‘Please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why. And here’s help.’ Because they have their awesome bus, Save the Storks are able to say, ‘Here’s help. Now please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why.’
“Because they don’t have to lead with agenda, there are no warning bells for a desperate and defensive mother. There is only a friendly face. This new model will absolutely revolutionize the front lines of pro-life activism. What is the battle cry of the pro-abortion movement? ‘Choice!’ It is their mantra. What do you constantly hear from abortion advocates? ‘These desperate women feel like they are out of options.’
“Right here, on four wheels, parked in front of the clinic, is another choice – one they might not even know they have. Inside that bus is an image of their baby waiting to be seen. Connected to that bus is a support system – in short, options. Dave and the team have high hopes, and they should. The approach is breathtakingly simple and, if early tests are any indication, profoundly effective.”
Now that is a creative and winsome approach. I am not saying it is the only one, nor am I saying it should replace previous methods. It is just one more helpful idea and tactic in the fight for life. And it seems to be working. May its tent increase.