FRC Action Blog

States Grapple with Whether Some Conscience Rights are More Equal Than Others

by Quena Gonzalez

October 9, 2015

The recent, intense debate over whether Kim Davis should go to jail or be a hero means that many Americans are considering conscience rights in light of the redefinition of marriage for the first time. We can learn a lot by looking at a case involving a state conscience claim, not on marriage but on the issue of when life begins.

Our friends at the Family Policy Institute of Washington summarize the case nicely:

[T]he Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [in July] that Washington State can force a pharmacy to sell Plan B despite their moral objections to doing so.

Plan B is a drug many object to because they believe it causes an early state abortion.

In 2007, the Washington State Board of Health created new rules stating that pharmacies must stock and sell Plan B. However, Ralph’s Thriftway challenged the rule and a judge ruled that the First Amendment protected their right to refer customers rather than sell a drug they objected to on moral grounds.

Did you catch that? Ralph’s Thriftway is being banned from referring customers to nearby pharmacies where abortifacient drugs are readily available. “With 33 pharmacies stocking the drug within five miles of our store,” said Kevin Stormans (the president of the company), “it is extremely disappointing that the court and the state demand that we violate our conscience or lose our family business.”

Part of the irony is the narrow ban on acting in accordance with a religious conviction. “The state allows pharmacies to refer for all kinds of reasons” including if a drug is not profitable, Stormans pointed out. “In practice, [the state] only bans religiously motivated referrals.”

Some pro-life views, however, are apparently more equal than others in state law. A recent article in U.S. News and World Report noted that the state’s physician-assisted suicide law “specifically carves out a health care provider’s right not to help terminally ill patients induce their own death.”

And earlier this year, leading pharmacist trade groups took steps to discourage their members from providing drugs that could be used in capital punishment, though states do not force pharmacies to do so.

Experts are watching to see if the Supreme Court will take the case and force Washington State to begin respecting the conscience rights of its citizens. But state legislators shouldn’t wait: They should protect conscience rights now, before civil servants like Kim Davis or private citizens like the owners of Ralph’s are sued.

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Tom Rose’s Remarks at Values Voter Summit 2015 Breakout Session

by FRCA Media Office

September 30, 2015

Below are the remarks that Tom Rose delivered during the Values Voter Summit Breakout Session, “Irreconcilable Differences: Can Anything Bridge the Interests of the United States, Israel and Iran?”


74 years ago this morning German military police occupying Kiev, then the 3rd largest city in the Soviet Union, posted an order issued by the unit commander of Einsatzgruppen Task Force C — It read “Jews of Kiev; You are to appear at the Melnitkova Street entrance to the Jewish cemetery with your possessions, money, valuables and warm clothing by 7:00 AM. Jews failing to appear will be shot.”

Most of the Jews still left in Kiev — more than 100,000 managed to flee — those who were either too old, too sick, or too young to escape the advancing German army — appeared as ordered on a delightfully warm, cloud free late September morning. They were marched 14 miles to a large ravine northwest of town known as “Babi Yar”. There, they were forced to undress, leaving their clothes and possessions in marked piles until completely naked.

At gun point, Nazi guards forced them to run to bottom of the ravine — there, three 12-man SS mobile killing squads were waiting.

It was there — Husbands with wives, brothers with sisters, mothers with daughters and fathers with sons — were forced to lie face down on top of the bodies shot before them, then they too were shot with a single bullet to back of the neck. Ukrainian auxiliaries combed through the pits with heavy shovels looking for survivors to bludgeon. To save bullets, infants and small children were thrown into the giant pit and buried alive together with the others.

Late the following afternoon, the Einstatzgruppen Task Force Commander Freideric Jeckeln reported to headquarters that his two-day “action” resulted in 33,771 Jews having been “successfully evacuated”.

75 years ago, the Jews of Europe faced annihilation — powerless, voiceless and friendless. They knew what was coming — they saw what was coming. Because they had no power, no voice and no friends to speak of, they had no way to alter what was coming.

Today, the Jewish state faces a threat of annihilation no less genocidal than the Jews of Europe faced — ponder this —

Hitler never openly proclaimed his goal of exterminating the Jewish people. Today’s enemy does.

Hitler never openly conducted mass terror attacks against Americans or American interests. Today’s enemy does and has for 35 years.

There were no Death to America rallies in Germany before the war. Today’s enemy holds them weekly.

75 years ago, Hitler was dismissed as the Jews problem, today, Iran is dismissed as Israel’s problem.

75 years ago, Nazi Germany sought to become the sole dominate power, first in Europe and then elsewhere. Today’s enemy seeks identical positions of dominance in the Middle East and Muslim world.

75 years ago, America and Britain defeated Hitler before he could get nuclear weapons — two months ago, those very same two nations, together with others, signed a deal insuring that today’s enemy gets those very weapons.

But that is where the similarities between 1940 and 2015 end:

Unlike 75 years ago, today, the Jewish people are not powerless. Unlike 75 years ago, today’s Jewish people are not voiceless and — as evidenced by this magnificent gathering; today’s Jewish people are not friendless. What does Israel mean to us? Israel means never again will the Jewish people be unable to defend ourselves; never again will be unable to speak for ourselves. Israel means our Jewish voices will be heard, no matter what others might think; no matter what others might say.

Israel means that we Jews are again a people of faith, not fate. That we are choosers, not victims; that together with the Almighty, we will be pursue our own destiny. Israel means never again will the Jewish people be swept or tempest tossed by the winds or whims of circumstance

No — Today’s threat will be met; today’s threat will be faced and today’s threat will be defeated. It will be defeated by a Jewish state confident enough, courageous enough and powerful enough to defend itself by itself.


Israel can not accept a nuclear Iran for the simple reason that if gets nuclear weapons, Iran will use nuclear weapons.

I’m afraid the only option remaining is a military one — and it comes with great peril, and great risk. Those who support the so called “deal” which guarantees the world’s most dangerous weapons to the world’s most dangerous regime have 3 main arguments — all defeatist and passive in substance — you’ve heard them all before — but here they are.

  • The Genie’s out of the bottle; “Iran has mastered the fuel cycle”, they say. “There’s no going back”. Perhaps. But knowing how to fly a plane doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a plane. It has taken Iran decades to build its nuclear infrastructure — it does not have the resources nor capacity to rapidly reassemble that capability.
  • A military strike will only set Iran back a few years — this point is probably true — but misses the point. In a battle for survival, time is everything. If it appears that Iran is subsequently able to reconstitute its industrial scale nuclear capacity in one, three or five years, they will just have to be hit again in one, three, or five years.
  • It’s not possible to denuclearize without war — again, the apologists are probably right — but again, they miss the point. While war of some kind is now almost a certainty, it isn’t because peacefully de-nuclearizing a radical regime is impossible — it is not impossible. It has been done — in the Middle East; not just once — but at least five times since 1981.
  • Iraq 1981 Israel took out the Osirak reactor near Baghdad
  • Iraq 1991 US forces destroyed Saddam’s rebuilt nuclear program following the first Gulf War.
  • Libya 2003 Muamar Gaddafi voluntarily relinquished his surprisingly advanced nuclear program in exchange for recognition and cooperation with the US
  • Believe it or not, Iran itself — in 2003 suspended its own weaponization and weapons design programs — albeit not its enrichment activities — after it noticed 150,000 of America’s finest stationed right next door in Iraq.
  • Syria 2007 Israel struck and destroyed a secret nuclear reactor built and operated by North Korea against the strong warnings of the United States and President Bush

Many friends of Israel ask, ‘can Israel go it alone?’ Good question. The answer is yes, of course Israel can go it alone, and if forced to, it will go it alone. Israel has two choices, one of which is no choice at all. Israel can either act to prevent a nuclear Iran or be destroyed by a nuclear Iran.

Israel’s only real dilemmas are timing and tactics.

  • If Israel can’t destroy Iran’s program outright, it can disable above ground conversion facilities at Isfahan, Natanz and the heavy water reactor at Arak.

While we don’t know with certainty what Iran’s response will be, we do know with certainty there will be a response. A heavy one. Many people will die. Many of us, and many more of them. But Israel will be ready — and so my friends — must we be.

Mark Twain said “all things are mortal but the Jew”. “The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; made a vast noise, but they too are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high, but it burned out. The Jew somehow survived them all. All other forces pass, but the Jew remains.”

Today, Israel has a powerful army, a powerful voice and we have you. Good, powerful friends. Never before have the Jewish people had so many good friends. We are used to having enemies. It’s the friends that throw us for a loop. We’ve never had them before. Ever.

I know of no greater friend, no more loyal, reliable, tireless defender and protector of liberty at home and the State of Israel than your very own Gary Bauer. Will you please join with me in thanking this Lion of Judah who has earned the eternal gratitude and a permanent place in the memory of God’s eternal people.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, “let us be strong and of good courage. Let us fight bravely and May the Lord do what is good in his sight.”

Together we can defeat this peril, secure our future and protect liberty for generations to come.

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Mona Charen’s Remarks at the VVS 2015 Breakout Sessions

by FRCA Media Office

September 28, 2015

Below are the remarks that Mona Charen delivered during the Values Voter Summit Breakout Session, “Irreconcilable Differences: Can Anything Bridge the Interests of the United States, Israel and Iran?”


No one in this audience needs to be convinced that we are in a profoundly troubling moment in American history. This is particularly true with respect to foreign policy. This administration’s goal has been to diminish and subdue not the terrorists or tyrants of the world, but the United States of America. It reminds me of Robert Frost’s reflection that “A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.”

As someone who wrote a book called “Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First,” I cannot claim to be completely surprised.

The Democratic Party has been weak-minded on defense for decades, but with the Iran capitulation, they’ve achieved a new threshold of cowardice and treachery.

Only a handful of Democrats have resisted the President’s pressure to sign a miserable agreement with Iran, the overwhelming majority have chosen to go over the cliff with a President who never met an enemy he didn’t wish to conciliate or an ally he didn’t seek to betray.

Democrats have long tended toward appeasement of aggressors. Throughout the Cold War, they scared themselves (and everyone else) silly conjuring specters of nuclear holocaust. Then-Senator John Kerry was one of many prominent Democrats who endorsed the “nuclear freeze.” It wasn’t America’s enemies that we should fear, the Democrats argued, but the weapons themselves.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 26, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Senator Lindsey Graham

Speaker:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC),

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Time: 9:52 p.m. EDT

Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Applause.)

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Good morning. (Applause.) Good morning. How are you doing?

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Good.

SEN. GRAHAM: If we keep (padding ?) the military, we’re going to need that guy. (Laughter.) Don’t go away.

I’m from South Carolina. Anybody been there? (Cheers, applause.) Yeah. Come back, spend money. (Laughter.)

So a little bit about me. My dad owned a liquor store — (laughs) — a restaurant, and a pool room. This is why I would be a good president. (Laughter.) I ran the pool room as a kid, and I know liars when I see ‘em. That’s why I know the ayatollah is lying. (Laughter.) Yeah, he is lying.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 25, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Speaker:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R),

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Time: 4:08 p.m. EDT

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Applause.)

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL (R): Thank you all very, very much. Thanks for that very warm reception. Thanks for that generous introduction.

You know, the strangest thing just happened backstage. I know Donald Trump was here earlier, and I guess he brought a copy of the Bible he was given as a child. But he left it backstage. (Laughter.) Now, one of the — knowing how close I am to Donald Trump, one of the organizers gave it to me and asked me to get it back to him, and so I was taking a look at it. You know, this is very different from my Bible. I’m not sure what translation — I don’t know what translation you use. This is a very different — my Bible, it doesn’t say “The Art of the Deal” on the front cover. (Laughter.) It doesn’t have a picture of Donald Trump on the front cover. (Laughter.) So we’ll have to make sure to get that back to Donald. (Laughter.)

You know, I want to talk — and I know you all have heard the news today that Speaker Boehner decided to step down. (Cheers, applause.) A reporter asked me what I thought about that. I said, well, that’s good — that’s one down, that’s 434 more to go before we’re done. (Applause.)

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Dr. Ben Carson’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 25, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Dr. Ben Carson

Speaker:

Ben Carson, M.D.,

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

 

Time: 3:14 p.m. EDT

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Cheers, applause.)

DR. BEN CARSON: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) I love enthusiastic crowds, you know? It makes up for my low energy. (Laughter.) You know, I got to tell you something about America. You know, I’ve visited at least 57 different countries. (Laughter.) And I am always so pleased when I get back here because America has been so good to me. You know, I was born in pretty dire circumstances, grew up very poor, had a bad temper. I was a terrible student — and the things that probably would have precluded success in most other places. But here in America, the opportunities were there.

Even if you didn’t have a silver spoon in your mouth you could go to the library and it didn’t cost you anything to go there, unless you turned your book in late. So — (laughs) — you know, those are the kind of opportunities that I want to preserve for other people. And I really get irritated when people complain about America and they say that we are a terrible place and we are the source of all evil in the world. If we were so bad, why is everybody trying to get in here and nobody’s trying to escape? You know, that’s craziness. (Cheers, applause.)

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Former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 25, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Speaker:

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R),

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Time: 2:52 p.m. EDT

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Cheers, applause.)

MIKE HUCKABEE: Thank you very, very much. It is a delight to be here at the Values Voter Summit, although I realized that my appearance is not the big news of the day. Boy, talking about getting upstaged. So, John Boehner has a private meeting yesterday with Pope Francis. And all the reports are that somehow the result of that meeting, he decides he’s quitting. (Cheers, applause.) Now, here’s what occurs to me. I wonder if we could get scheduled — (laughter) — a meeting with Pope Francis and the president, just the two of them, for a little while. (Cheers, applause.)

Some other news this day, one of the political magazines reports that the absolutely hideous, unacceptable, and untenable deal with Iran — that should have been a treaty; should never have been an executive agreement — but this horrible agreement, crafted by John Kerry, Energy Secretary Moniz and the Special Envoy Wendy Sherman — they were so excited about what they were doing that they sat around in Vienna talking about if a Hollywood movie was made about this process who would play each of them. And it was decided that — and I’m not making this up. This is not a joke. Ted Danson was going to play John Kerry. (Laughter.) Javier Bardem was going to play Secretary Moniz. And Meryl Streep would be playing the part of Wendy Sherman. I felt they have it terribly miscast. Given the agreement, they should have Larry, Curly and Moe. (Laughter, cheers, applause.)

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 25, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Former Senator Rick Santorum

Speaker:

Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA),

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Time: 11:12 a.m. EDT

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Cheers, applause.)

RICK SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much, Gill. Thank you so much for being here. You know, I’ve been here to every single Value Voter Summit. (Cheers, applause.) And, you know, one of the things — I was in Iowa the other day, in Osceola, Iowa. Of course, all of you have been there, right? And I was introduced by Chuck Grassley. And Chuck got up and sort of hemmed and hawed a little bit about what to say. And he said, well, let me just say this: The one thing I can say about Rick Santorum is I’ve known him for 20 years and he hasn’t changed a bit. (Laughter.) You know, I think that’s about as high a compliment as you can get in this town of Washington, D.C., right? (Cheers, applause.)

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Donald Trump’s Remarks at VVS 2015

by FRCA Media Office

September 25, 2015

Family Research Council

10th Annual Values Voter Summit

Remarks by Donald Trump

Speaker:

Donald Trump,

Republican Candidate for President

Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Time: 12:01 p.m. EDT

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Transcript By

Superior Transcriptions LLC

www.superiortranscriptions.com

(Cheers, applause.)

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much. I see these beautiful teleprompters. Believe me, I’m not using them. (Laughter.) You know I said if you run for president you should not be allowed to use teleprompters. Get these things out of here. (Laughter.)

I was watching Hillary making a speech and it was outside. And they were dead, dark, big. They weren’t even like this. These are clears. I can almost see right through them, but — which really is disturbing. Is that disturbing to the audience, wouldn’t you think? But hers, because it was outside, were black, and they were twice the size. I said what kind of a speech is that? That’s not a speech.

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See FRCA's new ad on the Texas Privacy Act
by FRC Action (Aug. 10, 2017)

Family Research Council Action (FRC Action) launched a video ad campaign across Texas that exposes the hypocrisy of corporations that are opposing the special session legislation that protects the privacy ...

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