Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good News! Religious Liberty, Unity, and Family Friendly TV

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Does that sound familiar? Well it should—First Amendment, Bill of Rights, US Constitution. The early Americans believed strongly in the importance of protecting our religious freedoms, and reflected their beliefs in placing these protections in the 1st Amendment. Likewise in 1889, the framers of the ND Constitution included strong protections for our religious liberties.

Today these expressions of religious liberties are under attack daily, with most of the attacks coming as litigation through the courts. While the language in North Dakota’s constitution may have been adequate in 1889, there may be need to ascertain if additional constitutional language is necessary to reflect and restore the original intent. The Good News---those in Missouri are acting on the issue of protecting our religious liberties (below).

In the Declaration of Independence, we find “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable right, that among these is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. For these truths to be accomplished there is a need for unity. For in unity there is strength, and with strength there is success. This is Good News. (read below about the Mount Vernon Statement and Unity)

And then lastly read a story about two corporations understanding the need for ‘family friendly TV’. One of the most common complaints we hear is “there isn’t anything decent on television for us or our kids to watch”. It appears P&G & Wal-Mart are trying to address the issue. As reported in the FOTF article only 23% of parents are satisfied with present programming, and are asking for more appropriate options. In reality, why should we allow the media and its programming to influence our children and the culture, should not we influence the media? And the only way to do that is to restrict what we tune into on our television sets, or if necessary—just turning it off. The Good News—someone is responding to providing appropriate programming. (see the story below)

Missouri Lawmakers Back Religious Liberty Legislation
by Nima Reza, managing editor

Committee unanimously approves legislative measure.

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed legislation that protects religious freedoms.

The Committee on General Laws approved the resolution 5-0 last week. It was sponsored by Sen. Delbert Scott.

Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, said his group promoted Senate Joint Resolution 31, because groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, for example, are trying to convince public school officials that freedom of religious expression cannot be permitted in public settings.

"Our goal here in Missouri," he said, "is to clarify – in our constitution – the extent of the religious liberties that are enjoyed by our citizens and guaranteed by our bill of rights."

If the proposal passes this session, it would go on the August or November ballot.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst with Focus on the Family Action, said local school boards rarely have a complete understanding of the First Amendment.

"If they can read it in their own state constitution," he said, "it gives students and citizens of that state that much more chance of being protected."

Mount Vernon Statement: Unifying for the Challenges Ahead

This Wednesday, I will join more than 100 conservative leaders at a ceremony in Alexandria, Virginia to celebrate the release of the Mount Vernon Statement -- a document in which the conservative movement will reaffirm its commitment to Constitutional Conservatism and the principles of the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This will be a significant moment as social, fiscal, and national security conservatives come together to declare the importance of working together to defend our nation's founding principles.

The three-legged conservative coalition must remain unified behind these core beliefs to prepare for the challenges ahead and successfully confront a hostile Congress and Obama Administration. Signers include a broad number of prominent conservatives including former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist among others. Watch your inboxes for an email action alert on Wednesday to read a copy of the Mount Vernon Statement and add your name as a signatory.

Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart Sponsor Family-Friendly TV
by Nima Reza, managing editor

Two advertising heavyweights respond to research showing desire for wholesome programming.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Wal-Mart are collaborating to produce TV shows for the whole family.

The initial production is Secrets of the Mountain, a two-hour TV movie airing on NBC April 16. It’s about the struggles of a single mother and her three children who embark on an adventure.

Jeannie Tharrington, spokeswoman with Procter and Gamble Productions, called the program uplifting.

“At the end of the movie,” she said, “I think you take away this lesson that when times get tough, families run toward each other -- and not away from each other.”

She added that only 23 percent of parents P&G surveyed were satisfied with the amount of family-friendly options on TV.

“We saw that as a huge opportunity to go out and just be leaders in this space and create it ourselves,” she said.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Public Policy at Focus on the Family, said there’s a dire need for such programming.

“If people have not watched primetime network programming lately, they no idea have low it has sunk,” he said, “and how welcome this news is from Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart.”

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