First, kudos to Greg Patterson for catching this one and posting on EspressoPundit. (Glad to see you’re back posting on a regular basis.)
I admit, I don’t run to the Arizona Republic first thing in the morning to read what the left-of-center media is disseminating so I missed this horribly despicable cartoon by Steve Benson that ran on May 10th.
It’s probably a good thing that I’m no longer the Communications Director at the Arizona Republican Party because I would have had a hard time letting this one go until Benson and management both apologized AND Benson was summarily terminated.
For starters, Benson dragged politics into a horrifying criminal situation by showing just how insensitive the left can be injecting their political agenda into a criminal matter. By Benson’s logic, abortion should have been safe and accessible for Ariel Castro to continue covering up his evil crimes – “destroying the evidence.”
Secondly, Benson is so far removed from the real world of what happens among conservative people of faith who personally put their time, talent and treasure to work helping women in real-world crappy situations through crisis pregnancy centers, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, foster care, the list goes on. Benson, we really do put our money where our mouth is.
This type of trash by Steve Benson is wrong, beyond civility, insensitive and even evil. He needs to go away permanently where he can no longer pollute our political discourse.
A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.
I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.
My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.
By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.
We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.
(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)
Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.
Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.
And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?
Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.
My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.
This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).
If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.
Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2011
CONTACT: Rachel Semmel
Scottsdale, Ariz. – Congressman David Schweikert and his staff are now collecting toys for Scottsdale Healthcare Shea’s Pediatric Unit. The toys will be given as Christmas gifts to children who are hospitalized.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Donate new, unwrapped toys to stock the toy closet for Christmas.
WHERE: Drop off all donations at Rep. Schweikert’s Scottsdale office:
10603 North Hayden Rd, Suite 108
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
WHEN: Donations are due to Rep. Schweikert’s office by Monday, December 19th at 4:00 p.m. MT.
SUGGESTED DONATIONS: Dora the Explorer, Elmo, Polly Pocket, Spiderman, Sponge Bob, Transformers and other items
Puzzles (24-48 piece)
Remote control cars
Barbie and other dolls
Dress up clothes
Light up toys for infants
For teens: footballs, bath/shower gel, electronic handheld games, makeup, etc.
*NOTE: Stuffed animals MUST be new with tags attached.*
Congressman Schweikert will visit Scottsdale Healthcare Shea’s Pediatric Unit to hand out toys at a Christmas celebration on Tuesday, December 20th.
BACKGROUND: Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center has the Northeast Valley’s only hospital with a dedicated pediatric unit, pediatric intensive care and pediatric ER. The 28-bed pediatric inpatient unit offers care for children ages infant through 18.
2nd Annual Patriot Dinner Banquet with Bill Whittle, Tammy Bruce, Krista Branch, and Shane Krauser: Please Join Us!!
The Scottsdale Plaza Resort
7200 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Silent Auction/Cocktails/VIP Reception 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Dinner and Evening Program 6:30 – 9:00 pm
For more information about the banquet, our featured speakers , and to purchase tickets: http://arizonamainstreamproject.org/#q=Events
Premier seating, access to VIP Reception and photo opportunity, signed copy of Bill Whittle’s “What We Believe” DVD, signed copy of Tammy Bruce’s “The New Thought Police,” and signed copy of Krista Branch’s latest CD
$150 (Before Sept. 30th) $175 (After Sept. 30th)
$75 (Before Sept. 30th) $100 (After Sept. 30th)
STUDENT TICKETS ~ $50
Complimentary advertisement in event program for businesses, organizations, or campaigns with table purchases made by Oct. 8. Full 5 x 7 ad given for VIP table purchase, and a 1/2 page ad given for a reserved table purchase.
Washington VIP Table (10 guests)
Premier seating, access to VIP Reception and photo opportunity, signed copy of Bill Whittle’s “What We Believe” DVD, signed copy of Tammy Bruce’s book “The New Thought Police,” and signed copy of Krista Branch’s latest CD
$1200 (Before Sept. 30th) $1500 (After Sept. 30th)
Jefferson Reserved Table (10 guests)
Reserved seating for dinner and evening program
$600 (Before Sept. 30th) $750 (After Sept. 30th)
Madison Table (10 students) ~ $500
Sponsorships for speakers are available: Call Honey Marques, Executive Director, by phone at 808-283-3661 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or more information and to make contribution.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2011
CONTACT: Eric Johnson
Pearce Johnson Foundation to support Clean Water for Haiti
Phoenix, AZ – Taking a break from the political issues that usually keep them occupied, Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce and conservative activist Eric Johnson have begun a new charitable effort whose aim is to bring clean water to Haiti first, then other developing countries.
“The PearceJohnson Foundation is described as a nonprofit humanitarian aid and development organization that will promote and support the improvement of human health and living conditions worldwide.” said co-founder Eric Johnson, “But the simple way of describing us is that we are dedicated to bringing clean water to impoverished nations so that we can save lives.”
“It is impossible to see the needs and dire conditions in so many of these countries without responding and trying to do something about it.” said Russell Pearce, adding “Nothing is more fundamental and life-sustaining than clean water, so that is where our focus will be.”
While both Pearce and Johnson are known in political circles for their involvement in Arizona policy issues, each has been involved in their communities or with similar causes for a long time. Johnson worked as a Governmental Liaison Officer with the American Red Cross Disaster Services, and Pearce is a fifth-generation Arizonan whose family has been involved in building growing Arizona for more than 150 years.
To learn more about the Pearce Johnson Foundation, please visit www.PearceJohnson.com.
PHOENIX–Most Arizona families that receive welfare assistance have no one in the home working or training for a full-time job despite a federal mandate to do so, according to a new report from the Goldwater Institute.
In 1996, Congress passed a series of reforms commonly known as welfare-to-work, which reduced the number of people nationwide receiving direct welfare benefits from 4.4 million to 1.7 million by 2007. Welfare-to-work required states to motivate people on welfare to find at least part-time work or to enter job training to prepare for a new career.
Initially, Arizona had success with welfare-to-work. But once the state reduced its welfare enrollment by half, the federal government no longer held Arizona accountable for additional progress. In 2007, 9,662 Arizona families receiving welfare had at least one adult in the house who could work, but didn’t put in a single hour during the week. That made up 60 percent of all work-eligible welfare families.
In Making Welfare Work: Reforming Arizona’s Welfare System to Help Families and Save Money, Katherine K. Bradley, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, explains that other states continue to encourage welfare recipients to find work or job training with additional restrictions that go beyond the federal rules. “Arizona should consider reforms that would move more families into jobs and reduce the current welfare caseload in order to improve citizens’ independence and save millions of taxpayer dollars,” Ms. Bradley says.
Ms. Bradley suggests several steps that Arizona could take to move more people off of welfare, including:
· Set higher targets for getting welfare recipients into jobs or training. Hold staff at Department of Economic Security accountable for reaching those benchmarks.
· Require able-bodied recipients to immediately begin a four-week job search program. Recipients should report daily to a training site and log at least 30 hours a week of job search and training activity.
· Deny an entire welfare check the first time someone fails to report for work or job training.
· Require all parents of children receiving welfare payments to work. Illegal immigrants aren’t eligible for TANF checks, but their U.S.-born children are. U.S. citizens and immigrants alike should be required to work to support their children.
· Rely on private employers and community groups to manage work training and job placement.
Such requirements allowed Georgia to increase its work participation rate from 11 percent to 65 percent in three years, and Texas reduced its welfare enrollment by nearly half between 2003 and 2006.
Read Making Welfare Work: Reforming Arizona’s Welfare System to Help Families and Save Money online or call (602) 462-5000 to have a copy mailed to you.
The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 15, 2010
SCOTTSDALE BUSINESSMAN URGES HAITIAN RELIEF EFFORTS
Healing Hands for Haiti is on standby to assist
Critical support to Red Cross is urged and needed
A Scottsdale businessman, who has for years been involved in helping Haitian people rebuild their country and develop basic human services infrastructure, is now leading the charge to get vitally needed support for the hundreds of thousands of victims of Tuesday’s earthquake that has devastated this small island country.
Robert Graham, a board member of the nonprofit Healing Hands for Haiti, is calling for all his business associates and partners to help with monetary assistance for those suffering and in great need in Haiti. Graham is calling for crucial support to aid groups – especially the Red Cross – as help is desperately needed.
Healing Hands for Haiti (www.healinghandsforhaiti.org) is a non-governmental institution with no religious or political ties who work with government and local organizations to help the Haitian people overcome extreme challenges. In the past, these efforts have focused on rehabilitation education, clinical treatment, disability prevention and increasing public awareness of disabilities and rehabilitation.
Now, 100 percent of the focus is on saving lives and getting support to Haiti. “This is a desperate situation and I am asking everyone in my circle of influence – friends, family business associates – for help,” said Graham.
Graham is compiling a video of the people and lives Healing Hands for Haiti has helped over the years to educate and personalize the current reality. The video will be distributed to everyone Graham knows with the hopes that by paying it forward he can help when help is so critically needed. U.S. contingents from Healing Hands are on standby to be deployed as soon as possible – communications with onsite staff in Port-au-Prince have been unsuccessful and their status is unknown.