Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 3 - February 25, 2012

Fresh from my annual trek to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, I have plenty of memories and observations about God at work through various forms of broadcasting. NRB, in fact, attracts thousands of Christian communicators each year, and is easily our number 1 story of the week. Also, in this edition of "The 3", conflict between the Federal government and state governments, as a number of states have challenged the White House's authority in a number of areas. And, a major Christian relief organization sponsored a major event took place this weekend, in which students went hungry to help the hungry.

3 - The War Between the States vs. the Federal Government heats up

History tells us that the War Between the States was fought in the 1860's, but we are currently in the midst of what could be termed a War Between the States and the Federal Government, and more flashpoints emerged this week.

In Texas, the state Attorney General, Greg Abbott, is standing strong against threats of Federal money being pulled from the Texas Women's Health Program, all because the Texas Legislature had voted to keep money from the program from going to health providers that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood. This week, the AG's office made it official, and while states have the flexibility under the Medicaid program to set their own criteria, the Federal government is attempting to force Texas to comply with its pro-abortion agenda. This is the third state, in addition to Indiana and New Hampshire, that has faced the termination of Medicaid funds for women's health programs just because they will not allocate funds to abortion providers.

Meanwhile, the Attorneys General of 7 states have filed suit against the Obama Administration, saying that the mandate for religious institutions to provide free contraception in their health care plans is unconstitutional because it infringes on the religious liberties of the entities involved. Eric Baxter of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty was quoted in CitizenLink:
The concern is that if the government can come and say you have to do something despite protections in the First Amendment, it raises a lot of questions about liberty in general and religious liberty in particular.
In addition to these 7 AG's filing suit against the contraception mandate, there are 27 states whose Attorneys General have challenged the overall health care plan, saying that the individual mandate to provide health care coverage is unconstitutional, because the Federal government does not have the right to tell private citizens to buy a product.

And, more Christian colleges announced this week they would be going to court against the contraception mandate.

In a related note, from Washington state, some good news for conscience protection - a Federal court ruled this week that pharmacists there have a right to refuse to dispense “emergency contraception” drugs, which could result in an abortion. This reverses a 2007 law that says that Washington pharmacists who do not dispense these drugs would lose their job. Pharmacists who object for religious or moral reasons now have the right to refer customers to other pharmacies.

2 - Students worldwide engage in "30 Hour Famine" for World Vision

Each year, the Christian relief agency World Vision conducts its "30 Hour Famine", which encourages students to fast for 30 hours over a weekend to experience hunger, learn about the hungry, and take practical steps to give of their resources to feed the hungry. This weekend's event was one of two planned for 2012.

World Vision offers these facts about hunger:

A child dies from hunger-related causes every 8 to 12 seconds.
That’s as many as 11,000 children younger than 5 — killed every day. According to UN estimates, hunger is a direct or contributing cause in one-third to one-half of preventable child deaths.

Globally, 925 million people are hungry.
That’s roughly 3 times the population of the U.S. going to bed hungry every night.

The poor spend most of their money trying not to starve.
Around 2.6 billion people live on less than two dollars a day. The poor are often forced to make difficult decisions.

World Vision believes there is enough food in the world. But there’s also injustice, because that food is not equally available — even when people work hard for it. World Vision estimates some 200,000 teens will have gone hungry this year as part of the 30 Hour Famine to raise funds and hunger awareness. Since 1992, 30 Hour Famine has raised more than $150 million to fight world hunger. 30 Hour Famine has close to 30,000 Facebook friends.

1 - Christian broadcasters convene in Nashville to learn, grow, and connect

Again this year, members of the team at Faith Radio traveled to Nashville to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention. For us, there is a great opportunity to meet and fellowship with others in Christian broadcasting, including programmers who are heard on the stations of Faith Radio. From the Faith Radio/Meeting House booth in the exhibit hall, I had the opportunity to interview a number of Christian leaders, ministry representatives, and authors. You can check out my NRB coverage at and click on the Media Center.

Speakers throughout the convention included Jim Daly of Focus on the Family (which received NRB's "Radio Program of the Year" award), as well as Chip Ingram, Jack Graham, Miles McPherson, Michael Youssef, Max Lucado, and Greg Laurie.

In the opening session, Dr. Frank Wright, President & CEO of NRB, echoed some of the ongoing concerns of broadcasters in the expansive hall, and restated NRB's commitment to protect their freedom of speech despite some of the challenges to religious liberties that have emerged.

One of the enlightening aspects of the NRB Convention is to hear how God is working in and through his people around the world - even though the "N" in NRB stands for National, there is truly an international flavor of the gathering, and the work of Christian broadcasters in radio, TV, and the Internet, is playing a critical role in fulfilling the Great Commission. I am thankful for a vantage point from which I am able to talk with people and find out about how they are being used by God in this way.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The 3 - February 18, 2012

This edition of the blog comes your way from Nashville, where just a few hours ago, the annual event known as National Religious Broadcasters commenced. The event brings together representatives of a variety of media, including radio, television, Internet, church media, and more, and will continue through Tuesday. NRB will no doubt be one of the top 3 stories affecting the Christian community for next week's edition. For this week, the contraception controversy is not going away, and there are new developments there. And, the action forcing churches out of school buildings in New York City has been put on hold. Plus, gay marriage has passed Legislatures in 2 states, and the governors of those states have taken different action.

3 - New developments in contraception controversy

The Obama Administration mandate that proposes to force a number of religious institutions to pay for contraception in their health care plans is continuing to attract a response in a number of sectors. This week, at least 12 state Attorneys General announced that they will take legal action in order to keep the Federal government from mandating that religious organizations pay for free contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their health care plans.

It's also been pointed out that the language of the original mandate did not change after the so-called "compromise" was announced last week.

Also, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House to repeal the mandate. And, a hearing was held before a House committee regarding the implications of this directive by the White House. The hearing was criticized by some as saying that certain committee members wanted to deny women these reproductive services, and the contentiousness of the hearing prompted Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., to address it directly:

“I’ve heard this hearing is about trying to prevent women from getting
contraceptives and women’s health. That’s a twisting off, to try to say this is
about some barbaric group trying to limit women’s access to health,” he said.
“I’ve had the implication this hearing is about the fact that government
is more compassionate than the church, that they care more about people than the
church does, that there are obvious needs here and the church is so out of step
with culture that they don’t know the issues of medication,” he said.

“But today, this hearing is about can this administration, or any
administration, say, ‘I know your doctrine, but I have a different doctrine, and
you will change your doctrine to my doctrine, or I will fine you.’ That’s what
today is about. Can any administration step into a church and say that?”

Indeed, religious liberty is on of the 3 principal issues at work here. Also, one has to be concerned that the government is telling insurance companies that they must provide free contraceptive services. And, another issue that has emerged is the negative social implications of free contraception. It has been pointed out that if you provide free birth control, especially to unmarried teenage girls and young women, that it increases the chance they will have sexual relations, which leads to a moral decline - and perhaps they can still become pregnant or infected with disease. If there are seemingly no physical consequences to immoral and unwise behavior, then people will engage in that type of activity to a greater degree.

2 - New York City churches get repreive on renting public school buildings

Last Sunday was the final day for churches in New York City to meet in public school buildings - they were renting space from the city for the space. But, a court order was issued this week that allows 10 extra days before the ban goes into effect. Alliance Defense Fund is involved in the case, and it reports that the court issued the order because “the Plaintiffs have demonstrated irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits of their Free Exercise and Establishment Clause claims….”

Jordon Lorence of ADF testified before the court on Tuesday, and had these comments after the court's decision:

“The court’s order is a message of hope for fundamental freedoms in New York
City because it means that, for the time being, the city must welcome churches
as it does other groups. ADF will continue to fight this battle relentlessly
until the city no longer unconstitutionally prohibits activity for purely
religious reasons.”

The New York state Legislature has a bill before it that would provide relief for the churches and enable them to continue meeting in these school buildings. The Senate has already passed it, and it is awaiting action before the state Assembly.

This is a policy unique in the nation, but because of the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to take up the court case involving the rights of churches to meet in school buildings, it could lead to other municipalities attempting to put the same sort of policy in place. So, I would imagine that this situation is being carefully watched.

1 - Governors in Washington state, New Jersey take opposite actions on gay marriage

This past week, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington state signed into law the new bill legalizing same-sex marriage there. Opponents of gay marriage have already begun to mobilize, and are attempting to garner the requisite number of signatures on a petition that would allow a referendum vote, and presumably keep the law from going into effect.

On this opposite coast, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed the state Legislature's latest attempt ot legalize gay marriage in that state. He said that because of the magnitude of the issue, that the voters of the state should have the right to weigh in on the issue. According to The Christian Post, Christie said:

...the legislature should trust the people of the state and seek their input
by "allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly
significant societal change." That, he stressed, is "the best way to resolve the
issue of same-sex marriage in our state."

Christie also said that he had been "just as adamant that same-sex couples in
a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married
couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits.

The Maryland House has passed a bill legalizing gay marriage, and the governor there has promised to sign it once it makes it through the other chamber of the legislature. So far, whenever the issue of defining marriage as one man and one woman has been put before the voters, they have affirmed traditional marriage, which is encouraging and indicates the still-strong support for marriage, consistent with the Biblical definition.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The 3 - February 12, 2012

On this edition of "The 3", we find a host of churches and Christian organizations promoting marriage in the week leading up to Valentine's Day. And, a U.S. appeals court said that the name "marriage" cannot be limited to just man-women marriage in California. Plus, the top story involved the escalating tension between the White House and people of faith over the issue of contraception.

3 - Christians, faith-based organizations promote marriage during week leading up to Valentine's day

This Tuesday is Valentine's Day, and Christian organizations are seizing the opportunity to promote marriage in this week leading up to the day of romance. In fact, National Marriage Week kicked off this past Tuesday, an effort that is being observed in some 16 countries. Some of the efforts that help to reinforce the institution of marriage include: Family Research Council's release of a new report on 162 reasons to marry. According to The Christian Post, the report points out that fewer than half of children in the United States are now reaching the end of childhood in an intact married family. With that, FRC believes "it will be good for all adolescents to learn again and again that an intact married life is a great good to aim for. If they are clear on the goal, they may be motivated to reach it."

Furthermore, according to FRC, those raised in stable married families are more likely to practice sexual chastity, to worship more regularly, and to expect and attain more from their education, according to the study. They are less likely to experience poverty as children or to experience or commit violence.

Other churches and organizations are participating in events that help to promote marriage leading up to Valentine's Day. Focus on the Family has initiated its "Date Night Challenge", a two-hour event featuring comedian Jeff Allen, singer/songwriter Michael O'Brien and bestselling authors Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley via a pre-recorded webcast, designed to be shown during the next 2 months. During the event, the Smalleys explain the power of dating your mate and encourage couples to take the "Date Night Challenge": go on three dates in three weeks. This is part of a national "date night movement" where the goal is for 5 million dates to take place across the country during the month of February.

Dr. Gary Chapman's organization has announced the "Love Language Challenge", beginning this Tuesday, in which couples are challenged to love their spouse according to their love language for 5 weeks. And, Liberty Counsel is promoting stronger marriages by encouraging teens to stay pure until they are wed - the "Day of Purity" is Tuesday, as young people are being challenged to make a public declaration of their intent to stay pure.

God has ordained the institution of marriage - it's a demonstration of His love to the church and is beneficial to couples who enter into that lasting covenant relationship. And, marriage is foundational to a stable society.

2 - 9th Circuit say that gay marriage is OK - in California

But there are those who would say that marriage, rather than one man for one woman, as the Bible lays out in Genesis 2, can be any committed relationship, including between members of the same sex. So, we see attempts to redefine marriage to include homosexual relationships. Just this week, in fact, the legislature in the state of Washington voted to legalize same-sex marriage there. And, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the California constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man for one woman is unconstitutional.

But, the decision does not address whether or not there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage - it just says that gay marriage is legal in California - only. According to CitizenLink:
The judges did not address the constitutionality of same-sex marriage per se, but rather the circumstances under which the amendment defining it was passed in California: In 2008, the state Supreme Court unilaterally declared gay marriage legal, despite the fact that a ballot measure banning it had been passed in 2000. The Prop. 8 petition drive was nearly complete when the state Supreme Court made its decision — ignoring requests from family advocates to wait until the people had had a chance to speak on the issue.
The majority wrote that because the state Supreme Court had granted a “right” that was later removed, Prop. 8 violates both the California and U.S. constitutions.

“We’re disappointed in today’s decision, but it was not entirely unexpected, given the record of the 9th Circuit,” said CitizenLink Judicial Issues Analyst Bruce Hausknecht, noting that the 9th is the most often-overturned federal appellate court in the nation. “Opponents of Prop. 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father.

In its response, Liberty Counsel said:

The court was clearly wrong in finding that there are no rational arguments to support limiting the name “marriage” to opposite-sex couples. Even though the ruling is narrow in scope, it is rulings like these that undermine the legitimacy of the judicial system.

The California state legislature passed the nation’s broadest “domestic partnership” law that essentially afforded all the rights, benefits, privileges, and obligations to same-sex couples as are afforded to opposite-sex couples in a marriage.

So, while the decision was narrow, pertaining to the unique legal issues in California, the Federal appeals court did negate the decision of more than 7 million residents of the state, and went against the citizens of some 31 states across the U.S., which have defined marriages in their states as one man for one woman.

1 - Christian organizations still forced to pay for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs under Obama Administration "compromise"

With scores of Christians of a variety of faith perspectives joining the Catholic Church in protesting the edict by the Department of Health and Human Services mandating that religious institutions must provide free contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their health insurance plans, the Obama Administration took action - not to reverse its mandate, as someone might expect, but to expand it, according to its statement on Friday. The President announced that it would be the insurance companies themselves, not the religious organizations, who would be forced to provide free contraception. But, the net effect is that the religious institutions still have to pay for these items, which violates the deeply-held beliefs of many people of faith - the Catholic Church teaches against birth control, and other faiths do not wish to offer abortion services in their health care plans.

Leaders from organizations across the faith spectrum cried foul about the new so-called "compromise", which they contend is not a compromise at all. Here is an excerpt from a piece in Baptist Press:
"It is an attempt to deal with a matter of religious conviction with an accounting gimmick," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press.

Land and others said that an insurance company's money is fungible, and that a religious employer would still be providing the funding to pay for an employees' abortion-inducing drugs.
O.S. Hawkins, President of GuideStone Financial Resources, providing health insurance coverage to some 60,000 people, including pastors and missionaries, is quoted in the article as saying that the President's decision... an insulting affront illustrating a basic lack of understanding that this issue will not be solved by sleight-of-hand word games. It is a fundamental matter of religious liberty that threatens the very coverage of those dedicated persons who serve our churches and affiliated organizations. GuideStone will never depart from the core convictions it has held dear for decades regarding the sanctity of life."
What is at stake here is the subversion of religious freedom by a government that apparently views other so-called "rights" as more important than the right of someone to practice his or her faith according to the dictates of his or her conscience. This announcement, coupled with today's deadline for churches in New York City who meet in school buildings to find other places to meet, are two extremely devastating instances where lack of respect for religious liberty is evident.

So far, over 60,000 people have signed a petition calling on the President to reverse his policy forcing religious institutions to pay for health coverage that contradicts their faith. To access it, you can go to the Manhattan Declaration website.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The 3 - February 4, 2012

It's Super Sunday, and as this edition of "The 3" looks in the rear-view mirror at the past week of events affecting the Christian community, we're reminded that the Super Bowl is a great venue for the expression of faith, as we can see throughout the events leading up to the big game. That's one of the stories of this past week, in addition to the National Prayer Breakfast and the comments of keynote speaker Eric Metaxas and President Obama. The top story: the largest abortion provider in America got some of its funding cut this week, and maybe restored - or not.

3 - Faith element woven through pre-Super Bowl XLVI activities

Super Bowl XLVI (that's 46, for those playing at home) will be kicking off in Indianapolis not long after I complete this blog, and already during Super Bowl week, there has been a faith element injected into the mix. Christian players, such as David Carr and Chris Canty of the New York Giants or Marcus Cannon of the New England Patriots, wove their faith story into their interview material, as you can see on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

And, Saturday morning, the Bart Starr Award was presented by Athletes in Action, voted on by NFL players, recognizing one of their own for outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community. This year, Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was the recipient. Other finalists were Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

Fletcher started the London's Bridge Foundation in 2003 to help underprivileged children in his hometown of Cleveland and other cities, including Washington. He is also involved in other charitable projects. On the Campus Crusade for Christ website, you can read London's testimony. Having accepted Christ in 2004, he says:
I was tired of living the life that I was living. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I felt a fulfillment inside that I had been searching for...
I spent years chasing things I thought would bring me everlasting joy and happiness: chasing Super Bowl rings [I was fortunate to be a part of a Super Bowl with St. Louis in my 2nd year] or a multi-million dollar contract; or a new house, cars and jewelry.

None of those things did for me what Christ did in an instant.

I grew up in a home where my grandmother had us in church. It was more of a routine to go.

I would hear people talk about how Christ changes you, but I was skeptical. Then I felt that on the inside, it was a tremendous thing. I was living in the darkness for so long.

When I accepted Christ, my eyes were open; I wanted to shout and tell the world. I called and told my best friend -- all the friends that I knew -- that I had received Christ. I wanted them to really experience the joy that I felt.
London's testimony and the presentation of the Bart Starr Award can serve to remind us of the platform that Christian athletes have for sharing what Christ has done in their lives, and also remind us to pray for them, because of the enormous pressure that athletes are under.

Also, prior to the Super Bowl, the 13th Annual NFL Super Bowl Gospel Celebration was held. It has been named by USA Today as "One of the Best Three Super Bowl Events to Attend." The event features NFL players and top gospel, contemporary Christian, and mainstream artists together for uplifting music and inspirational messages. The event was hosted by Rev. Run (also known as "Run DMC") and CeCe Winans. Performances included Natalie Grant, Donnie McClurkin, Fantasia, and Hezekiah Walker, as well as the NFL Choir (what's that?), which includes current and former players. Also performing was Verizon's How Sweet the Sound 2011 Overall Winning Choir, from Salvation and Deliverance Church, and surprise guests.

It's a major sporting event, and these events point out that faith is a big part of the life of NFL players, as well as some in the entertainment culture. And, I would not be surprised to see and hear players of both teams give glory to God after the game. (And, you probably will hear more than a passing mention of Tim Tebow in the coverage today.)

2 - National Prayer Breakfast features Bonhoeffer biographer and advocate for life, as well as President using Scripture-laced policy pronouncements

This past Thursday, the Washington Hilton was the site of the annual National Prayer Breakfast in the nation's capital, which brings together thousands in political and religious leadership for a time of prayer and exhortation. The President generally attends and speaks, and this year was no exception. There is also a keynote speaker, and this year, noted author Eric Metaxas, who has written biographies of such notable faith leaders as William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Emily Belz of WORLD Magazine, who has been a guest several times on my radio show, wrote an excellent account of the day's proceedings, including this:

At one point, Metaxas led those in attendance in the singing of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” and the president joined in. The author attacked “phony religiosity,” which he struggled through as an agnostic studying at Yale before he became a Christian...“Jesus was and is the enemy of dead religion,” Metaxas said. “He came to deliver us from that.” Prayer emanates from “real faith in God,” he said, adding that faith in Jesus leads to courageous acts like those of Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce.

He also raised the issue of abortion, in the presence of someone regarded as the most pro-abortion President in history. He noted that the Germans saw some people as less than human and today some see the unborn as less than human. Metaxas said, “Apart from God we cannot see that they are persons as well...Love those that do not yet see that.”

While Eric's speech may not have received a great deal of press coverage, the President's remarks have generated quite a bit of discussion. In it, he attempted to present a Scriptural basis for some of his policy pronouncements. In attempting to justify a tax increase for the wealthiest among us, he said:

"...when I talk about shared responsibility, it's because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it's hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I'm willing to give something up as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that's going to make economic sense.

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.' It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who've been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others."

He had already introduced the point that presumably redistribution of wealth is somehow related to the Golden Rule, as he said that "...I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God's command to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.' I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs -- from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato."

He attempted to reinforce what he sees as government's responsibility to care for the poor:

"I succeed because others succeed with me. And when I decide to stand up for foreign aid, or prevent atrocities in places like Uganda, or take on issues like human trafficking, it's not just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or projecting American leadership around the world, although it does all those things and it will make us safer and more secure. It's also about the biblical call to care for the least of these -- for the poor; for those at the margins of our society."

This is not an uncommon use of Scripture to somehow say that government is responsible to fulfill the Biblical mandate to care for the poor. As Carla Garrison wrote in the Washington Times,

Jesus did not teach that wealthy people should give more money to the government or charity than others should. God's covenant with the Hebrews was to give ten percent of all they received to the temple or church. The purpose for this giving to the church was to ensure that the church had the ability to care for widows, orphans and the poor. Jesus came along and preached that every person should give all they have freely to service, and trust that God will take care of their needs - not government.
I believe that the role of government as outlined in Romans 13 is narrowly characterized as keeping order and punishing evil. And, I believe that the role of the church is to care for the poor - historically, people were conditioned to go to the church when there were financial needs. But, as government has stepped in to provide a "safety net" for those less fortunate, it has created a counterculture of people that not only received temporary government assistance, but who ultimately became dependent on the government, and as that mentality became more common, the government started becoming an income source for many, and now we have a bloated bureaucracy of programs that are attempting to do what Jesus called the church to do.

The Scriptures that the President used were not directed at the government, but at the church - if Mr. Obama wants to demonstrate his compassion by giving directly to some of these organizations that he attempted to spotlight in his message or other charities that are better equipped to help the poor than some government agencies, well, great, but he should do it with his own money, not the money of the taxpayers. That's where politicians go wrong - they believe that money for which they are responsible is theirs, to use to fund their pet project or further their own political ideology - that is blatantly incorrect and dangerous for our future. We, as Christians, should be and are commanded to be concerned for the poor among us, but our activity should be according to how God directs us, not mandated by the government through the confiscation of our resources through increased taxation.

1 - Komen Foundation withdraws funding from Planned Parenthood, then appears to reinstate it

This week, it was announced that the Susan G. Komen Foundation had decided to no longer use its grants to fund the work of Planned Parenthood. There were 2 principal reasons given for this decision - one was that Komen's policies prevented it from donating to organizations under investigation. The other was that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms, but rather it refers to other facilities. Komen, as an organization devoted to the prevention and cure for breast cancer, would presumably not be efficient in its allocation of funds if it were to continue to support Planned Parenthood, which is the nation's largest abortion provider. However, while the move was laudable, it did not indicate to me that Komen had moved into a more pro-life posture.

Well, in a startling turn of events on Friday morning, Komen appeared to reverse its course. This comes on the heels of an enormous firestorm generated by Planned Parenthood and its supporters in Congress and the media. Here are some excerpts from Komen's statement:

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives."
I think that Komen's real apology should go to the numerous pro-life people who desired to affirm Komen's decision by sending them a donation. And what about the lives of pre-born children whose lives are routinely taken by Planned Parenthood centers across America?

The statement went on:
"Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair."
One of the reasons given for the withdrawal of funds was that organizations under investigation should not be considered. Planned Parenthood is under investigation on numerous fronts, as pointed out by pro-life blogger Jill Stanek:
“If Planned Parenthood is found guilty of criminal investigations, several of which are ongoing around the states (Medicaid fraud in Texas and California; fraudulent reporting and illegal abortions in Kansas, and yes, the federal Congressional investigation, etc.), Komen’s criteria will still disqualify Planned Parenthood from receiving grants, as it should...This is Komen’s attempt to get the abortion mafia off their backs. Planned Parenthood and its thugs have engaged in typical shakedown: Give us money or we will destroy you.”
Komen said that, "We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities." So if Planned Parenthood is considered to be eligible, but how will the requests be met? Can Komen justify sending money to an organization that admittedly does not do mammograms, the cornerstone of breast cancer prevention work? I think that Jill Stanek is right, and she has this on her blog.

I think this series of events shows the hostility that pro-abortion advocates can generate for those who dare to limit or eliminate their complicity with their efforts. Even though over half of Americans indicate that they are pro-life, that is certainly not the view espoused by the media and many in Congress, and their collective voices can be persuasive.

Whether it's a cutback in Federal government funding of abortion through its support of Planned Parenthood, which nears 1/2 of a billion dollars a year, or a reduction or elimination by state and municipal governments or private organizations like Komen, these activities remove the luster off the organization and have the potential to call greater scrutiny to a very suspect entity.