Monday, July 25, 2016

Public Brings Amazing Grace Back to Alabama School

Elmore County School Superintendent, Dr. Andre Harrison, was quick to agree with a lone atheist that it's unconstitutional for the Holtville High School Marching Band in Deatsville, Alabama to play "Amazing Grace," but after his ban on the hymn caused a citizen revolt, Harrison was told by school counsel that it's OK to play Christian music at football games.
"I was reminded that, as a public school, we simply cannot endorse a religious message in our activities. I completely understand the frustration of some of our parents, but we have an obligation to follow the law, even when we don't want to."
-- Superintendent Andre Harrison's initial statement
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Mississippi Town Sings Hymns, Defies Atheists' Anti-Christian Demands

Wisconsin School Bans Christmas Music, Citizens Revolt

'God Bless America' Banned from Florida School

Atheists Help Liberal Schools in Oregon Ban Christmas Choirs

-- From "Superintendent reverses decision - 'Amazing Grace' will be played at Alabama school's halftime show" by Ivana Hrynkiw, The Birmingham News 7/24/16

Dr. Andre' Harrison said that the same person who complained to the district about the song also called the school's central office twice to say that the playing of "Amazing Grace" was unconstitutional.

"After word of my decision circulated, I heard from many concerned parents, and frankly I still had reservations about my initial decision. I asked counsel to do further research on this issue and present me with options that would keep the district in legal compliance, but permit performance of one of the most iconic songs in the history of our nation," Harrison said today.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "'Amazing Grace' pulled from Alabama high school band's football halftime show after complaint" By Erin Edgemon, The Huntsville Times 7/24/16

In a statement to the Elmore & Autauga News, the Elmore County Board of Education said legal counsel recommended that the religious-themed song be pulled from the band's repertoire following the complaint.

"Our Constitution prohibits us from promoting religion in our educational programs and activities," the statement read, in part. "While we understand the feelings of the parents who are unhappy about the decision, we have an obligation to comply with the law."

Superintendent Dr. Andre' Harrison also issued this statement to the website: "When the question was raised about the band playing Amazing Grace, a song we all grew up singing, my first reaction was this is a message that should be celebrated. But, after consulting with legal counsel, I was reminded that, as a public school, we simply cannot endorse a religious message in our activities. I completely understand the frustration of some of our parents, but we have an obligation to follow the law, even when we don't want to."

School officials didn't say who issued the complaint, but it appeared to have come by telephone.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheists' Complaints Motivate Christmas Fervor Across America

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dead Baby Parts Have NEVER Cured Disease: Congress

While Planned Parenthood insists that their baby-killing business furthers medical science, the Congressional Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has found no such benefits.
“Fetal tissue has been used in biomedical research for over 90 years. In this time, not a single medical cure has resulted from this research.”
-- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
UPDATE 8/27/16: Congressional Panel Finds Criminality — High Schoolers Dissected Aborted Baby Brains

For background, read Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Parts for Research

Also read Stem Cell Breakthrough: Embryos Needn't Be Killed

-- From "Congressional Report: ‘Fetal Tissue Has Not Been Directly Linked to a Single Medical Cure’" by Jeannette Richard, 7/19/16

“While it is commonly claimed that fetal tissue was used to produce the polio vaccine, this is largely false. The polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1955 using a monkey cell line, and is still produced using monkey cells.

“Some might object that while fetal tissue research has not directly resulted in medical cures, it has helped advance the overall body of scientific knowledge and thereby assisted in producing cures. It is impossible to determine whether this claim is true, and if so to what extent. Yet the fact is that no one can point to a single medical advancement that critically depended on the use of fetal tissue.”

“In fact, vaccines against eight diseases (Rabies, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Cholera, Plague, Tetanus, Pertussis and Bacille-Calmette-Guerin disease) were all developed in the 1800s and early 1900s, well before the first use of fetal tissue in research,” according to the report.

The panel examined the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of approved vaccines which prevent 26 different diseases, and found only three (Varicella, Hepatitis A, and Zoster) for which vaccines were developed using fetal tissue. However, these vaccines rely on fetal cell lines only for “economic, not scientific reasons,” the panel reported.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "How fetal tissue is used in medical research" by The Week Staff 10/24/15

How do scientists use fetal tissue?

It's used to find potential treatments for a wide range of common diseases and afflictions, including cancer, diabetes, birth defects, HIV, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and Alzheimer's. Unlike adult tissue cells, fetal tissue cells can be manipulated into almost any kind of tissue, are less likely to be rejected by a host, and have the capacity to replicate rapidly — making them perfect for analysis into how diseases work. They are also being tried as actual treatments for Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes, with researchers injecting fetal cells directly into organs in hopes of regenerating them. Fetal tissue was also a vital component in the development of vaccines for polio, chicken pox, rubella, and shingles. The polio vaccine alone saves 550,000 lives a year. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, says fetal tissue research has benefited "virtually every person in this country."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The Transfer of Fetal Tissue and Related Matters" a report to Select Investigative Panel of the U. S. House of Representatives 7/14/16

Fetal Cell Research is Outdated Technology - Beginning in the 1930s, viruses were propagated using fetal tissue and some laboratories continued to this method until the 1970s. During that time, scientists did not yet know how to work with more mature human cells, and fetal tissue was easier to grow in the laboratory. Science has now advanced beyond these earlier approaches. In short, human fetal tissue is outdated technology that is not necessary for modern vaccine research. For example, current vaccine research for HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Malaria and Ebola does not rely on fetal tissue.

Fetal Tissue is not Mainstream Science - In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available,200 NIH funded a total of 76,081 research grants, only 160 of which (less than 1%) involved the use of human fetal tissue. In contrast, in the same year, NIH funded 1,136 grants using adult stem cells. The fact that fetal research is such a tiny fraction of all scientific research calls into serious question the claim that fetal research is vital and that science will not advance without it. In reality, use of human fetal tissue is increasingly an outdated and unnecessary scientific technology, used only by a handful of scientists.

To read the entire report above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Mutant Human-pigs Created for Organs in U.S.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ex-lesbian Ex-wife, Now Man, Ruled De Facto Parent

Brittany Conover gave birth to her son Jaxon Conover in 2010, who was conceived by artificial insemination without a legal father, and thereafter "married" her lesbian lover Michelle Conover, from whom she is now divorced.  However, last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Michelle Conover, who now claims to be a transgender named Michael and is suing for visitation rights to Jaxon, is the child's "de facto" parent.
“Gays and lesbians are particularly 'ill-served by rigid definitions of parenthood'...When gay or lesbian relationships end, at least one member will find itself in a court system ill-prepared to recognize its existence and to formulate rules to resolve its disputes.”
-- Judge Sally D. Adkins wrote in the majority opinion
For background, read Judge Declares Deceased Lesbian Married to Lover

Also read Sperm Donor Must Support Lesbians' Child in Kansas

And read Creating Synthetic Humans: Secret Harvard Meeting

-- From "Maryland's highest court recognizes 'de facto' parents" by The Associated Press 7/9/16

Maryland's highest court has ruled an adult who is intimately connected to a child's upbringing is entitled to visitation and a share of custody, if the child's best interests are served.

The Court of Appeals decision overturns an eight-year-old ruling. In that decision, judges declined to grant de facto parental rights to unrelated individuals, unless they could prove exceptional circumstances.

The boy [Jaxon] was born six months before [the two women] married and 17 months before they divorced.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "In win for gay couples, Maryland high court recognizes ‘de facto’ parents’ rights" by Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post 7/8/16

De facto parents can include the partner of a lesbian who undergoes artificial insemination, a gay man whose partner adopts a child from a country that does not allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt, or a straight man who raises a child with a woman for years without formal adoption.

R. Martin Palmer Jr., an attorney for Brittany Conover, said the court usurped the role of lawmakers in defining a parent and may have created a situation in which stepfathers can take control of children from capable mothers.

“Seeking to serve the needs of the LGBT community has created a bad situation for traditional families and their children,” Palmer said.

Nancy Polikoff, a family-law professor at American University who studies LGBT issues, said the ruling does not address all issues nontraditional parents face, including what happens when parent split up before an artificially conceived child is born and whether the children of non-biological parents qualify for benefits after their death.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Maryland’s Highest Court Establishes ‘De Facto Parenthood’ in Lesbian Divorce and Custody Case" by Jeannette Richard, 7/12/16

In the decision, the court established de facto parenthood for a person who formed a “parent-like” relationship with the child that “the biological or adoptive parent consented to and fostered,” provided that “the petitioner and the child lived together in the same household, that the petitioner assumed obligations of parenthood by taking significant responsibility for the child’s care, education and development, including contributing towards the child’s support, without expectation of financial compensation, and that the petitioner has been in a parental role for a length of time sufficient to have established with the child a bonded, dependent relationship parental in nature.”

Michelle/Michael filed a court request for visitation rights claiming that she had standing as a parent under Maryland’s definition of “father” for children of unmarried parents. Michelle still identified as a woman at that time.

In 2013, the circuit court ruled that “[Michelle] is in fact a female, had not adopted the child, and in no way was related to the child, thus not sufficiently establishing that she could be the ‘father’ of the child.”

The lower court ruled that Michelle did not have parental standing, but as a third party, must first show that Brittany was an unfit parent or that exceptional circumstances existed in order to claim visitation rights.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The 'de facto' parent" an editorial by The Baltimore Sun 7/10/16

Since the issue of de facto parenting isn't addressed under existing statute, the court endorsed standards set forth under a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision: That the biological or adoptive parent consented to and fostered the third party's parent-like relationship, that they lived together in the same household, that the de facto parent took on significant responsibility for the child's care, education and development without expectation of financial reward, and the parental relationship lasted long enough for them to be bonded and the child to feel dependent.

Divorce and child custody decisions have always been a messy and difficult business with, as Judge Sally Adkins writes in the opinion, "grave implications for all parties." The case isn't resolved by the Court of Appeals ruling, only the legal standing of Michelle Conover who, according to a court filing, transitioned to living as a transgender man after the divorce. Now, the matter of visitation will be back in the hands of the lower court.

What constitutes a parent? Clearly, the answer to that question has evolved over time, and the law has failed to keep up with that social progress. . . .

To read the entire editorial above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Supreme Court Legalizes Sex With Animals in Canada