Thursday, January 26, 2006

Virginia to Vote on Gay Marriage Ban

My home state of Virginia is on track to hold a referendum this November on whether to amend the state's bill of rights to ban gay marriages:

The state Senate all but guaranteed on Wednesday that Virginia will hold a November referendum on whether to amend its 230-year-old Bill of Rights to bar same-sex marriages.

The Senate voted 28 to 11 to follow the House of Delegates in approving the amendment. Though each chamber still must pass the measure adopted by the other, their wording is identical and support among the senators and delegates is strong.

"The family is the foundation of our society, and it's been based on a union of a man and a woman since the inception of marriage," said Del. John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake). "A constitutional amendment . . . will protect that."

Although constitutional amendment referendums are common in Virginia, it will be only the second time since 1970 that the Bill of Rights has been subjected to amendment.

There will no doubt be very vocal opposition to this amendment. But unless they can get state leaders (and particularly Democratic Governor Tim Kaine) to come out against it they are unlikely to be successful in defeating the measure.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Washington Post Twists Reporting on Assisted Suicide

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld an Oregon assisted suicide law in its decision in the case of Gonzales vs. Oregon. The Washington Post tied to twist the decision into an endorsement by the Supreme Court of the practice and a slap at the Bush Administration. Here is how the article leads off:

The Supreme Court upheld Oregon's law on physician-assisted suicide yesterday, ruling that the Justice Department may not punish doctors who help terminally ill patients end their lives.

By a vote of 6 to 3, the court ruled that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft exceeded his legal authority in 2001 when he threatened to prohibit doctors from prescribing federally controlled drugs if they authorized lethal doses of the medications under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

The ruling struck down one of the administration's signature policies regarding what President Bush calls the "culture of life" and lifts the last legal cloud over the state's law, which is unique in the nation. It also frees other states to follow in Oregon's footsteps, unless Congress acts to the contrary.

However, it's not until the tenth paragraph that the truth of what the case was really about comes out:

Although frequently described as a "right to die" case, Gonzales v. Oregon , No. 04-623, was not, strictly speaking, about the constitutional right to end one's own life. The court has already ruled, in 1997, that there is no such right and did not revisit that holding yesterday.

Instead, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted in the majority opinion that the question was whether Ashcroft acted in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act when he issued an "interpretive rule" in 2001, declaring that assisting suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose" for which federally regulated drugs may lawfully be prescribed. Ashcroft's successor, Alberto R. Gonzales, has continued the policy.

The Post is engaging in reporting that is at the very least misleading. It's also another prine example of "agenda journalism" where stories are used to push an agenda regardless of whether the actual news supports the agenda which in this case is bashing President Bush. Is it any wonder that people don't trust big media anymore?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

An Interview with Larry the Cucumber

Stacy Harp of Mind and Media has just posted a 30 minute interview with Mike Nawrocki, the man behind Larry the Cucumber and co-creator of VeggieTales. We were honored to be able to submit some questions to Mike. Click here to listen to the interview.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pray for John Piper

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and author of many books (including God is the Gospel which I will be reviewing here soon) has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to John and his family. Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds has the text of the letter that was sent to his church announcing the diagnosis.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Carnival of Homeschooling

A new Carnival of Homeschooling is underway and has just offered it's first edition at Why Homeschool. Stop by and check out the great variety of articles on homeschooling. If you'd like to contribute to a future carnival, click here to find out more about how to participate.