LifeSiteNews.com – Monday August 10, 2009
* Communities Organize Against Health Care, While Professional Protestors Organize at White House Behest
* Knights Condemn Porn Industry and Reaffirm Fight to Defend Natural Marriage
* Faith Groups Declare Victory as Virginia Jail Backs off Religious Material Ban in Prisoners’ Mail
* New Study Measures Benefits of More Involved Fathers
* Feds Accuse Catholic Belmont Abbey College of Sexual Discrimination for Not Covering Contraception
* Why Delay Marriage and Invite Sexual Sin and Loneliness say Some US Evangelicals and Catholics
* Little Recognition Given To Study of Sexual Reorientation Therapy at APA Convention
* New Study Shows Homeschoolers Excel Academically
* Pro-Family Man Chosen for Library Board, Despite Protest by Homosexual Groups
* Letters to the Editor
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Communities Organize Against Health Care, While Professional Protestors Organize at White House Behest
By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a series of humiliating town-hall meetings suffered by Congressional Democrats, the White House has called out professional “community organizers” and labor unions to fight-back against a vigorous grassroots movement protesting President Barack Obama health-care reform. But opponents of the Democrats health-care plans, many of whom are concerned about the potential for involuntary euthanasia and abortion coverage, are gaining momentum and show no signs of backing down, even in the face of union violence.
“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard!” Jim Messina, the White House Deputy Chief of staff, told Senate Democrats in a meeting to prepare them to respond to constituent protests according to staffers. In a similar vein, labor union bosses, such as the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), sent out memos urging their members to turn out in force and “drown out” opponents’ voices.
Violence erupted at one Missouri town-hall meeting when several thugs from the (SEIU) attacked a conservative African-American man passing out yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags outside the event. Three men wearing SEIU shirts and another unidentified woman assaulted Kenneth Gladney, 38, punching him in the face, and then kicking him in the head and back as they swore racially-charged epithets at him outside of Rep. Russ Carnahan’s (D-MO) town hall meeting in Melville, Missouri. Police made six arrests.
The local “Tea Party” group organized a protest on Saturday outside of SEIU’s headquarters in St. Louis to demand justice for Gladney, who had to be admitted to the emergency room for his injuries. Gladney appeared in a wheel-chair, and signed similar flags, and other signs that said, “Don’t Tread on Kenny.”
In Tampa Bay, over 1,500 protestors showed up to a town-hall featuring Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) that was equipped to seat just 250 people and cameras. The vast majority assembled were opposed to Obama’s health care plan. SEIU members, on the other hand, were admitted through a side-door, instead of the main entrance, and shoved a number of opponents, including seniors, outside to close the doors on the meeting.
In Michigan, one town-hall had an explosive confrontation between Michigander Mike Sola, who wheeled his 36-year-old son, Scott, who suffers with cerebral palsy, and demanded of Rep. John D. Dingell why his son would not be covered under the health-insurance plan. Sola could be heard making references to statements by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s health policy advisor, that real cost-cutting would be made only by rationing health-care treatment away from the elderly and disabled to the more physically fit, and that anything else was “‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change.”
Sola was ushered away by the police, but not before denouncing Dingell, the main author of HR 3200, as a “fraud.” In a Fox News interview after the event Sola explained his position and the information he had contradicting Dingell’s answer to his question. He also claimed that he and his family were threatened in the middle of the night after his protest.
Although Dingell insisted that HR 3200 did not provide abortion coverage, many in the audience did not buy it according to the Detroit Free Press. Pro-life advocates have attacked the bill, because abortion-coverage could be mandated at any time on all insurers – public and private – by the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” which would fall under the oversight of the Executive Branch, not Congress.
“The government wants to control my body, my health care decisions and the doctors I see,” said Christine Wofford, 56, who brought and distributed literature from the Liberty Counsel, a Christian civil liberties legal defense firm.
Some Democrats have chosen to retreat from the town-hall forum rather than face a testy reception from voters, in favor of telephone town-hall meetings or one-on-one meetings with constituents.
Meanwhile, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, communicating through postings on her Facebook page, has urged Americans to continue to make their voices heard, but to make sure that passion over the health-care debate does not lead to charges of “intimidation or harassment.” Palin also joined her voice in condemnation of the bill.
“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care,” said Palin. “Such a system is downright evil.”
Congressional Democratic leadership and the White House have engaged in a public relations campaign to discredit town-hall protests as an “astro-turf” grassroots organized by Republicans and operatives from private health insurers, instead of a genuine expression of civil discontent at Obama’s proposed reforms.
“I think they’re AstroTurf, you be the judge,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle. “They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”
However, the only pictures available show protestors holding signs with the Nazi (National Socialist) imagery crossed out and as a reference to what many of those protestors perceive as President Barack Obama’s subtle attempt to nationalize the health-care industry.
Also in contrast to the citizens protesting the potential for rationing, abortion-coverage, or involuntary euthanasia under health-care reform, Craig’s List is now featuring listings of full or part-time positions for paid activists to push Obama’s health-care agenda. One ad offers between $400-600 per week at a rate of $10-15 per hour.
Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have also accused opponents massing at town-halls of being “un-American.”
“These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American,” the two Democrat leaders wrote in an op-ed for USAToday.
Yet the latest polls, not just the overwhelming turnout at town hall meetings, reveal that a majority of Americans now oppose Obama’s proposals for health-care reform.
According to Rasmussen polls, 51 percent of the nation’s voters fear the federal government more than private insurance companies, while 41 percent fear private insurers over the federal government.
76 percent of Democrats favor the proposal, while 76 percent of Republicans are opposed. But among independent voters, only 35 percent favor Obama’s plan, while 60 percent are opposed with 47 percent strongly opposed.
An August 6 Quinnipiac poll found Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent, a sign that the President is now bleeding supporters. Voters disapproved of his health care proposals by a margin of 52 percent to 39 percent.
Knights Condemn Porn Industry and Reaffirm Fight to Defend Natural Marriage
Note porn link to organised crime and porn a major contributor to societal disintegration
By Hilary White
August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A set of resolutions adopted by the 127th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus condemns the pornography industry and reaffirm the Knights’ commitment to defending natural marriage. The Knights also voted to establish a fund for projects aimed to help restore “a common respect for the sanctity of human life” in the culture as a whole.
In their resolution opposing pornography, the Knights said, “modern society” is “saturated” with sexually explicit and violent content in films and TV, video games and “especially” the internet, citing the 4 million websites, approximately 35 per cent of the ‘net’s content, dedicated to porn.
The resolution stated that the pornography industry, worth US$12 billion a year, is linked to organised crime and is a major contributor to societal disintegration, including infidelity, broken marriages, harm to children and “a general breakdown of moral standards”. The Knights called upon law enforcement to “vigorously investigate and prosecute criminal conduct” surrounding the pornography industry, especially in child pornography.
In another resolution the Knights opposed trendy theories on marriage, saying, “marriage is not a chance sociological or historical construction” but one that is a “natural institution” that predates religious and legal institutions.
Marriage, they said, is “based on the natural biological complementarity of man and woman,” for support of spouses, the raising and protecting of children and “is woven into the social and religious fabric of every major culture and society”.
They pledged themselves to join with the bishops in the struggle to “achieve legal and constitutional protection” for marriage at all levels, as “the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.
A third resolution agreed to establish the Knights of Columbus Culture of Life Fund, acknowledging that the steady erosion of the legal protections for human life are part of a broad anti-life cultural picture, the combating of which “will be much more demanding than enacting individual pieces of legislation”. The fund, to come from an annual assessment of $2 per member, will be dedicated, to the “much larger goal of moving public opinion toward respecting the dignity of the human person and the fundamental right to life”.
Established in 1882, the 1.78 million member Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal and philanthropic organisation covering the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, the Philippines, Guam, Saipan, Japan, Cuba, and Poland. In 2007, Knights donated US $144,911,781 directly to charity, with a total of 1.1 billion in charitable contributions over the last 10 years.
Read the full text of the Knights’ Resolutions: On life, On marriage, on Decency
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Knights of Columbus Reaffirm Ban on Invites and Honors for Abortion Supporters
Faith Groups Declare Victory as Virginia Jail Backs off Religious Material Ban in Prisoners’ Mail
STAFFORD, Virginia, August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After being contacted by a coalition of concerned civil liberties and religious organizations, officials at the Rappahannock Regional Jail have agreed to amend their policy on materials downloaded from the internet in order to put an end to their practice of censoring religious material sent to detainees.
The Rutherford Institute, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Virginia, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Prison Fellowship, the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, had sent a letter to the Rappahannock Regional Jail demanding that officials immediately cease censoring religious material sent to detainees.
“It is good that Rappahannock officials have come to their senses,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Sadly, however, prison officials across the nation routinely deny religious materials to prisoners. This is a gross violation of the First Amendment and should be resisted at every turn.
“If anything, spiritual nourishment is what many prisoners need and want, and it should be protected.”
The coalition’s letter was prompted by a complaint brought by Anna Williams, a devout Christian whose son was detained at the Rappahannock Regional Jail beginning in June of 2008 until his transfer earlier this year. Williams wanted to send her son religious material, including passages from the Bible, to support him spiritually during his confinement.
But rather than deliver Williams’ letters to her son in full, jail officials removed any and all religious material, destroying the religious messages Williams sought to convey to her son.
For example, after jail officials excised biblical passages, a three-page letter sent by Williams to her son was reduced to nothing more than the salutation, the first paragraph of the letter and the closing, “Love, Mom.”
Jail officials banned additional material from other letters Williams attempted to send her son, including passages from the Book of Proverbs, the Book of James, the Book of Matthew and an article that contained Christian perspectives on confronting isolation while in jail. Jail officials have variously cited prohibitions on “Internet pages” and “religious material sent from home” as reasons for the censorship.
The coalition’s letter also asked jail officials to revise the jail’s inmate mail policy to state that letters will not be censored merely because they contain material printed from the Internet or copied from the Internet and inserted into a letter using a word processor’s “cut and paste” feature.
In amending their policy, jail officials have applied the change not only to religious material but to other inoffensive information copied from the internet that is sent to detainees at the jail.
New Study Measures Benefits of More Involved Fathers
Children face greater risk when agencies focus only on moms, overlook dads
August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Family service agencies are missing huge opportunities to help children by focusing only on mothers and ignoring fathers, according to a groundbreaking study by some top U.S. family and child development researchers.
The scientific study, which is being published today in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, found that when mothers and fathers enrolled together in 16-week sessions to work on their relationships as parents and partners, their children were much less likely to show signs of depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.
“The vast majority of family services — from parenting classes to home visits — are really aimed at mothers, while fathers are almost completely overlooked,” explained Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and a co-author of the study. “The research is clear that the best way to create a healthy environment for children is to engage dads and moms together.”
An executive summary of the research and the full research paper are available for the public.
According to the most recent census statistics, one in three children grow up without fathers. For low-income families, that percentage is even greater. Previous research has found that kids with absent fathers are more likely to suffer from psychological problems, drug addiction or incarceration in their lifetime. The new study is especially relevant at a time when President Obama is calling on fathers to take more responsibility and when economic distress is expected to put more pressure on young fathers and their families.
The Supporting Father Involvement study represents the first randomized, controlled clinical trial focused on encouraging father involvement in low- and middle-income families.
The study compared father-only and father-mother interventions with each other, and against a control group, and evaluated the impacts on parents and children. Highlights from the research include:
- The behavioral and psychological involvement of fathers significantly increased when fathers were given the tools to be more effective parents alone or with the mothers.
- Parenting stress decreased when fathers and mothers participated in the groups together.
- While distress in couple relationships grew predictably in both the control and fathers-only groups, when fathers and mothers went through the groups together, the quality of their relationships as couples remained stable for more than a year after the groups ended.
- Children of fathers who went through the program alone or with the mothers were much less aggressive, hyperactive, depressed or socially withdrawn than children of fathers in the control group.
The research was funded by the California Department of Social Services Office of Child Abuse Prevention, with additional support from The Stewart Foundation, and gathered evidence from family resource centers in five California counties: Yuba, Tulare, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo. The researchers note in their paper that the factors that contribute to more violent behavior in the home are exacerbated when families experience greater economic stress, as they do today, making this research especially timely and relevant.
“The transformation that some of the men went through because we gave them the tools and encouragement to be involved as parents is amazing,” said Roy Martin, a director of the Supporting Fatherhood Program in Yuba County. “Some of the couples have been so enthusiastic about supporting each other that they continue to meet as a group, even after their participation in the program concluded.”
“Public and private agencies would get more bang for their buck if their programs that already focus on mothers were retooled to include fathers as well,” said Richard S. Atlas, founder of the Atlas Family Foundation, which focuses on early child development and parent education. “Essentially, what we need is a First Five for Fathers, or, better yet, a First Five for both parents.”
Visit the Supporting Father Involvement website.
Feds Accuse Catholic Belmont Abbey College of Sexual Discrimination for Not Covering Contraception
By Kathleen Gilbert
BELMONT, North Carolina, August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accused Belmont Abbey College of discriminating against its female employees by not covering contraceptives in its health insurance plan.
The EEOC stepped in after eight teachers filed a complaint over what they considered a discriminatory health insurance policy, and what Belmont Abbey says is simply faithfulness to basic Church teaching.
In December 2007 Belmont Abbey, a conservative Catholic campus in North Carolina, stopped offering abortion, contraception, and sterilization coverage that had been accidentally included as part of its employee health insurance packages.
“As a Roman Catholic institution, Belmont Abbey College is not able to and will not offer nor subsidize medical services that contradict the clear teaching of the Catholic Church,” said Belmont Abbey President William Thierfelder. “There was no other course of action possible if we were to operate in fidelity to our mission and to our identity as a Catholic college.”
After faculty members filed complaints with the EEOC and the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Belmont Abbey says the EEOC told the school in March 2009 that it would close the file on the discrimination charge, as it had not found the school’s decision in violation of its statutes. But the agency later reversed itself, and issued a determination letter to the school on August 5 affirming that the ban amounted to gender discrimination, because it pertains only to women.
“By denying prescription contraception drugs, Respondent (the college) is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives,” wrote Reuben Daniels Jr., the EEOC Charlotte District Office Director in the determination. “By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women.”
Belmont Abbey College has been directed by the EEOC to reach an agreeable resolution with faculty. If this does not happen, Daniels will advise the parties of available enforceable court alternatives.
BAC president Dr. William K. Thierfelder said he was surprised at hte EEOC’s reversal, and called their decision “disappointing.”
“We are disappointed that this matter has taken this very unusual twist, but we remain committed to ensuring that all of the College’s policies and practices follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, which includes valuing all life and treating individuals with dignity and respect, and providing equal opportunities for all,” said Thierfelder in a statement on behalf of the school.
“The College is confident that its actions ultimately will be found to be in compliance with all federal and state laws and with the U.S. Constitution,” said the statement. “Accordingly, the College will be asking the EEOC to reconsider each of the current determinations it has made in connection with the charges filed against the College.”
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), who has included Belmont Abbey in its list of top conservative Catholic campuses in the U.S., told EEOC acting chairman Stuart Ishimaru in a letter today that “It is ironic that the federal agency responsible for protecting against discrimination has so blatantly engaged in an inexcusable violation of religious liberty in its Belmont Abbey ruling,”
CNS also is sending a letter to all Catholic bishops in the United States, informing them of the EEOC action against Belmont Abbey College, and highlighting the dangerous precedent this ruling sets to force Catholic employers to include contraceptive coverage in employee health plans.
“No Catholic college or other institution should be required by government to violate the Catholic Church’s clear moral teachings,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “The apparently increasing insensitivity to religious beliefs should frighten all employers and employees. We urge religious leaders to stand in defense of Belmont Abbey College.”
To respectfully express concerns:
Reuben Daniels, Jr.,
EEOC Charlotte District Office Director
129 West Trade Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Chairman, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M Street, NE
Washington, DC 20507
Phone: (202) 663-4900
TTY: (202) 663-4494
Why Delay Marriage and Invite Sexual Sin and Loneliness say Some US Evangelicals and Catholics
By Hilary White
August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Young people who, under the sway of raging hormones, simply cannot hold back from having sex should just get married say some US Evangelical leaders. An article in Christianity Today magazine, the flagship publication of the US Evangelical protestant world, titled, “The Case for Early Marriage” says that more “chastity training” will not work to keep young people from having sex before marriage.
Mark Regnerus, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas and author of the book “Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers“, wrote that while over 90 per cent of Americans have pre-marital sex, despite a strong official enthusiasm for chastity and virginity in the subculture, a majority, nearly 80 per cent, of conservative Christians in the US, do not wait until marriage.
Regnerus asserts that the emphasis on “discouraging” and “delaying” marriage among Americans, including Evangelicals, has damaged the institution. He says the community has to return to encouraging young people to marry, a daunting prospect, he says, given the hostility the suggestion garners among the general public.
“To esteem marriage in the public sphere today is to speak a foreign language: you invoke annoyance, confusion, or both,” he wrote. But, despite Christians making “much ado” about sex, they are becoming “slow and lax” about marriage.
In an April op-ed in the Washington Post, Regnerus blamed the parents of today’s 20-somethings, who focused on academia and career success, putting marriage on the backburner.
“Many of us got our MBAs, JDs, MDs and PhDs. Now we advise our children to complete their education before even contemplating marriage, to launch their careers and become financially independent,” he wrote.
It has been one of the most-recorded, but least talked-about statistical changes surrounding the family through the 20th century. In 1930 the median age for men to marry was 24.3 years; for women it was 21.3. This was higher than the ages between 1950 and 1960 when men married at about 22.8 years and women at about 20.3 years. Since 1960, however, the age range has steadily risen to 27.7 years for men and 26 for women by 2007.
Expecting young people to wait through a large portion of their reproductive years for sex is unrealistic and a case of “battling our creator’s reproductive designs”.
Fox News interviewed a number of young Evangelical Christians and quoted a young songwriter and guitarist, Jay Mkrtschjan who had planned to marry his sweetheart, Megan, at 20 but held off a year under parental pressure. He said, “By getting married young and dating for a shorter period of time, it leaves less room to sin sexually.”
“For me, it was really a trust issue,” Megan said. “Marrying right out of college was showing our friends, showing the people we were acquainted with, that we trusted our lives with God.”
In the Catholic Church, it was once common for clergy and parents to encourage their children to marry. But the culture of feminism and careerism has made advances in the Catholic community. Fr. Michael P. Orsi, a chaplain and research fellow in law & religion at the Ave Maria School of Law in Michigan, maintains that the trend for later marriage “or no marriage has been the cause of a great deal of our social deterioration”.
“While many sit wringing their hands over the seeming demise of marriage as an institution and the concomitant breakdown in sexual ethics, none are willing to state the most obvious reason-it is being delayed too long,” Fr. Orsi wrote in his 2001 essay “A Case for Earlier Marriage“. Orsi points to the high incidence of pre-marital sex, increasing rates of infertility and the growth of the abortion industry, the rise of homosexual activity, the widespread use of artificial birth control as symptoms of the trend.
An article in the November 4, 2005 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, tracked a shift in the demographics of childbearing. Americans delaying marriage are also having children later and less often. The number of first births per 1,000 women 35 to 39 years of age increased by 36 percent between 1991 and 2001, and the rate among women 40 to 44 years of age increased by 70 percent. This while most fertility specialists agree that the ideal age for child bearing remains the early 20s.
With the age of marriage getting steadily higher, the age at which young people first have sex is well below. According to the National Survey of Family Growth and the National Survey of Adolescent Males, the median ages of first intercourse are 16.9 years for boys and 17.4 years for girls.
Little Recognition Given To Study of Sexual Reorientation Therapy at APA Convention
Findings contradict the APA position that homosexuality is not changeable.
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
TORONTO, August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Stanton Jones and his research partner, Dr. Mark Yarhouse, were given the opportunity, on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m., to present their findings on a study of sexual reorientation therapy, at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA) in Toronto.
The paper titled, “Ex Gays? An Extended Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation,” was presented as a part of an APA symposium titled Sexual Orientation and Faith Tradition Symposium.
The six year study concluded that there is evidence that homosexual tendencies can be controlled and redirected toward normal sexual attraction.
The research was based on a study of 98 men and women who sought help from Exodus International, a Florida-based evangelical ministry that provides sexual-orientation conversion therapy and counseling. The group seeks to help individuals troubled by their sexual orientation to achieve “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”
Dr. Jones began his presentation by outlining the rejection of reorientation therapy for homosexuals by most professional mental health associations. Last week the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution urging mental health professionals to avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.
“I had met people in the religious community who claimed to have changed,” said Dr. Jones, a professor of psychology at Wheaton College, a Christian college in Illinois. “And at the same time I saw a growing momentum behind the view that change is impossible. As a scientist it is an empirically interesting question when you see a growing momentum behind a view but you feel that you also see exceptions to that view. So I thought it would be an interesting thing to study.”
Jones then noted an important limit and hypotheses of the study: “Our study addresses the generic questions of whether sexual orientation is changeable, and whether the attempt is intrinsically harmful, by focusing only on the religiously mediated approaches to change; this is not a study of professional psychotherapy.”
In light of the newly accepted convention that homosexuality is not a mental illness, the researchers stated that, “We hypothesized that sexual orientation is not changeable, and the attempt to change is likely harmful.”
However, the study found two forms of successful reorientation away from homosexuality in the study group.
Thirty percent of the study group categorized themselves as successful in chastity: “Subjects who reported change to be successful and who reported homosexual attraction to be present only incidentally or in a way that does not seem to bring about distress, allowing them to live contentedly without overt sexual activity.”
23% of the group reported a successful conversion to normal heterosexuality: “Subjects who reported change to be successful by experiencing substantial reductions in homosexual attraction and substantial conversion to heterosexual attraction and functioning.”
Drs. Jones and Yarhouse conclude that their findings contradict the APA position that homosexuality is not changeable.
“In conclusion, the findings of this study would appear to contradict the commonly expressed view of the mental health establishment that sexual orientation is not changeable and that the attempt to change is highly likely to produce harm for those who make such an attempt.”
The report also stressed the need to keep “a range of professional and ministry options open to clients who experience same?sex attraction, are distressed by this because of their moral or religious beliefs, and who may benefit from hearing about a number of intervention modalities.”
The full text of the paper presented by Dr. Jones yesterday at the APA convention is available here.
See previous LSN coverage:
New Study Shows Homeschoolers Excel Academically
Homeschoolers, on average, scored 37% above public school students on standardized achievement tests
PURCELLVILLE, Virginia, August 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) released a new study: the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics, conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, which surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students for the 2007-08 academic school year. The results were consistent with previous studies on homeschool academic achievement and showed that homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.
“These results validate the dedication of hundreds of thousands of homeschool parents who are giving their children the best education possible,” said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA.
The Progress Report drew homeschoolers from 15 independent testing services and is the most comprehensive study of homeschool academic achievement ever completed.
While the academic results are impressive, the study also showed that the achievement gaps common to public schools were not found in the homeschool community.
Homeschooled boys (87th percentile) and girls (88th percentile) scored equally well; the income level of parents did not appreciably affect the results (household income under $35,000: 85th percentile – household income over $70,000: 89th percentile); and while parent education level did have some impact, even children whose parents did not have college degrees scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average for public school students. Homeschooled children whose parents both had college degrees scored in the 90th percentile.
“Because of the one-on-one instruction homeschoolers receive, we are prepared academically to be productive and contributing members of today’s society,” said Smith.
The average public school spends nearly $10,000 per child per year whereas the Progress Report shows that the average homeschool parent spends about $500 per child per year.
“Homeschooling is a rapidly growing, thriving education movement that is challenging the conventional wisdom about the best way to raise and educate the next generation,” said Smith.
There are an estimated 2 million homeschooled children in the U.S. today, which is about 4% of the school-aged population, and homeschooling is growing at around 7% per year.
Pro-Family Man Chosen for Library Board, Despite Protest by Homosexual Groups
By Patrick B. Craine
EGANVILLE, Ontario, August 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite a 33-signature petition begun by homosexual groups, the North Algona Wilberforce Township Council appointed pro-family advocate Ken O’Day to the Board of the Bonnechere Union Public Library last Wednesday.
O’Day chose to apply for the Board position because he has been upset with the library’s offerings, including most notably a pornographic movie. “If nobody is going to take a leadership role, then somebody has to,” he told LifeSiteNews.com in July.
The library has replaced many of its older books, he told LSN today, and “the new books are very liberal, abundantly feminist and pro-Gore in environmentalism,” he said. They are “very one-sided.”
At the interview with the Council for the position, O’Day said, “I told them…that…if they wanted everything to run smooth…, without any complaints or any changes, then she [the other applicant] was certainly the one to get, but I said, if you take me, you’re going to have disagreement and some accountability. Even in spite of that, they took me.”
In his advocacy at the library, O’Day is not trying to limit the content of books, he says, but quite the opposite. “They think I want to restrict the books, but what I want to do is expand it to getting more alternate viewpoints,” he told LSN.
He expects his cause will be difficult, pointing out that five of the seven Board members are from another Council supporting the library, who are “very liberal.” Nevertheless, he says he will do his research at the library to prove his point, and will make sure his voice is heard.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Letters to the Editor
Re: Obama Health Care Reform
I would like to thank you and your writers for a fantastic job of covering the Healthcare Reform. I have been following it for almost 20 years. I hate to say it is in place, a done deal! School-based clinics were brought here to Phoenix with help on the diocese’s part in 1989. Sex-ed in the Catholic schools were the first because they did not come under state/fed laws. St. Joe’s delivering pregnant women for abortion to Maryvale and of course there were nurses who attended what was recorded as a D&C and it was abortion.
St Vincent De Paul with Dr. Baker working for the state with flyers with referral phone numbers for abortion. He told me he had to do that because he was serving everyone. Catholic Charities also supports abortion in TAPP and Teen Maze. The US Bishops have worked right along with SIECUS.
It is all talk and their pro-life smoke screen will not work anymore! I am fed-up with those who know these issues and just let it go like water on a duck. Now, the giant is so big people cannot stop it, for in my mind they were saying years ago, “So, what do you want me to do about it?” Now they cry! “Stop Obama.”
To the Editor,
We’ve always maintained, “Abortion and Euthanasia are two sides of the same coin.: When one state of human life is exterminated for convenience, all stages are jeopardized.
Pres. Obama’s proposed Universal Health Care Legislation illustrates our contention.
Hidden in this verbose, lengthy Bill is mandatory taxpayer coverage for abortion, with no provision for physicians “Conscientious Objection” to performing Abortions. Section 1233 requires Seniors to meet with physicians every five years, to discuss end-of-life issues, i.e. methods, “living wills,” “health proxies,” life-sustaining measures and “An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of “end-of-life” services and supports available.”
Implicit, is placing seniors in a position of choosing death, rather than burdening family or government. If the psychological approach fails, H.R. 3200 has “back up” provisions.
Regarding “level of treatment indicated,” an order signed by authorized physicians or practitioners, “may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all, or specified intervention,” which includes “the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.”
N.Y. Ex-Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey has read this legislation and concludes “it will reduce access to care, and pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely.”
Edwina and Gene Cosgriff
Staten Island Right to Life
Thank you for this story. We as Catholics need to know that our earthly leaders are united, trustworthy and seeking holiness. In the times we live in, being able to trust LifeSiteNews to tell us the truth brings us comfort. We pray for and support those who are still standing on the foundation of Christ. Leaders like Cardinal Ouellet deserve our overwhelming gratitude for bringing Christ’s love, joy and constancy to our troubled times.
Re: International Pro-Abortion Group Conspired With Hospital to Kill Unborn Twins in Famous Brazilian Case
I keep reading with interest all of the reports on LifeSite and I appreciate the coverage.
I would, however, like to state that I hope some effort goes into prayer and action that would assist other young girls inBrazil. I understand from the background of this case, that pre-teen pregnancy is not “all that rare” in Brazil. Well, that should raise a big red flag.
How can the Church in Brazil and elsewhere protect these girls from having sex imposed on them? Are there pro-life, or catechetical groups, or social action groups that are working with the men of Brazil to enlighten them, to save their souls? If so, I would like to donate to them. And they have my prayers.
Could we please have this type of background too. Until the men change, we will see this again…….and again…….and again. Outrage is one thing. Prevention is another.