Month: October 2013

Prolife advocates should support crisis pregnancy centers

Molly Anne Dutton's remarkable story of survival has inspired the prolife movement across the nation, and the newly crowned Auburn University homecoming queen serves as a powerful reminder that all unborn children have a right to life – regardless of how their lives began. In the early 1990s, Dutton's birth mother, then married and living in California, was sexually assaulted and became pregnant. Rather than love and support, her husband offered an ultimatum: abort the baby or get a divorce. In an incredible display of courage, she refused. The woman eventually found the counsel, care and resources she needed from Lifeline Children's Services in Birmingham. She moved to Alabama and gave birth to Dutton, who was adopted by a local family. "Because that resource was made available to my mother, she decided to give birth to me," Dutton says in a video for the "Light up LIFE" campaign that helped elect her Auburn's 100th homecoming queen. "And here I am talking to you guys 22 years later." Stories like this vindicate the prolife movement's efforts on behalf of the unborn, and Dutton's message should motivate us to increase our support for organizations like Lifeline. Prayer, votes and marches are all needed – but so is cash. "With free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with diapers, parenting classes and even temporary housing, pregnancy centers are playing and increasingly influential role in the anti-abortion movement," wrote Pam Belluck earlier this year in the New York Times. She added that there are about…

Stick with the Gipper’s game plan: Conservatives don’t need a third party (J. Pepper Bryars)

Ronald Reagan.jpgRonald Reagan By J. Pepper Bryars The grassroots frustration with how the Republican Party's national leadership treats its conservative wing has again fueled talk of a third party by some prominent leaders on the right, including conservative talk show host Sean Hannity. "I don't think this country is going to survive with half-measures," Hannity recently said on his nationally syndicated radio program. "Is it a third party we need? I've often argued no. I'm not so sure anymore. It may be time for a new conservative party in America. I'm sick of these guys." Hannity isn't alone. Many conservative activists are appalled by the Grand Old Party's attempts to undermine its rising stars. Rep. Peter King of New York recently called Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas a "fraud," and earlier this year Sen. John McCain of Arizona infamously called Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky a "wacko bird." "The establishment has been out there trashing principled conservatives for keeping their principles and for keeping their commitment and their promises to their constituents," Hannity said. Hannity, who began his radio career at WVNN near Huntsville, is correct about the establishment. They've never won anything of national consequence and aren't the future of the conservative movement. But do their actions warrant the creation of a third party? Nationally, it appears that most American conservatives would welcome the development. Gallup recently released a poll showing that 52-percent of self-identified Republicans said they see a need for a third major U.S. political party, up…

Bill O’Reilly’s “historical” account of Jesus falls short of the truth (Opinion from Pepper Bryars)

Political pundit Bill O'Reilly's current New York Times bestselling book about Jesus Christ has again stirred the perpetual debate about the historical accuracy and interpretations of the events recounted in the Gospels. His book, "Killing Jesus," was co-written with author Martin Dugard and continues their "Killing" series that includes bestselling books about the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. O'Reilly said he used outside historical documents and scientific probabilities – not just the Bible – when judging what content to include. "It's not a religious book," O'Reilly recently said on CBS's 60 Minutes when asked why his book didn't reference Jesus as the Son of God. "There's no religion in the book, nothing. It's all about history." And that's why the book is fatally flawed. While the arguments about historical inaccuracy are centuries old, they're falling on new ears with each utterance. The popularity of O'Reilly's "Killing" series ensures that many people will read his book and may come to view Jesus as merely an interesting historical figure rather than the Son of God. Christians should be prepared to answer questions that arise from readers. For instance, O'Reilly questions the medical probability of certain passages in the Gospels. He didn't include the words Christ spoke from the cross in his narrative account of the crucifixion, such as "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." When asked why, O'Reilly said he and his co-author didn't, "put in things that we don't think happened," explaining that…

Alabama municipalities shouldn’t be chicken about backyard hens (Opinion from Pepper Bryars)

File photo During a month when the government clumsily rolled out Obamacare, it's important to remember that our government used to promote the American ideals of individual freedom and self reliance. If you were capable, then you were encouraged to, taught to, and even expected to handle monumental goals like saving for your nest egg and even getting the actual eggs for your breakfast. "Uncle Sam expects you to keep hens and raise chickens," read a public service poster circulated in 1918 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It had a black and white drawing of a little boy in overalls hammering nails into a wooden chicken coop while his pigtailed sister tossed feed to their flock. "Two hens in the back yard for each person in the house will keep a family in fresh eggs." Ah, the good old days, back when citizens were allowed reasonable use and enjoyment of their own private property. Fast-forward nearly a century later and cities are planted thick with ordinances against having even a couple of hens in the backyard. This is causing friction with the national "urban chicken" trend fueled by people wanting affordable and nutritious eggs. "These days, people have to fight and petition and beg and plead in many municipalities to get their government to let them keep a few backyard hens," wrote Robin Mather in Mother Earth News, a magazine covering sustainable and self-reliant living. "And even when city leaders permit it, they lay out complicated rules about how…