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Alfie Evans and the ever-encroaching overreach of the state, diminishment of parental rights


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ALFIE EVANS, SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE, AND LACK OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, a few months back, we did a story on a young toddler in England named Charlie Gard. If you remember, this young man had a terminal illness. His parents were told they could not seek further help and they were denied the right to bring the young boy over to America for treatment.

Harry, unfortunately, this same type of situation has happened again, this time, in Liverpool, England. The toddler’s name is Alfie Evans. His parents, Tom Evans and Katie James, have been denied the opportunity by the British government to take their young son over to Italy where the Vatican has offered help and where the Italian government has offered citizenship for the young boy.

Harry, obviously, a number of people look at this and say, “What extreme overreach by the government.”

DR. REEDER: The Charlie Gard situation identified the horrific nature of the overreach of the government in Great Britain and noted how it was very much related to cost saving and socialist healthcare as well as denial of the supremacy of parental rights, even to the point of keeping the child from an immigration status when everybody was willing to pay for it but they determined — “for the sake of the child,” we’re going to put the child to death.

Now we’ve got another situation with a child. The Pope has intervened with his plea and the Vatican has intervened by approaching the Italian government, which has offered to make the child a citizen of Italy and take full responsibility for the child. And the famous Bambino Roman Catholic Children’s Hospital has already secured treatment for the child in an effort to save the child’s life.

DESPITE OFFERS OF TREATMENT AND IMMIGRATION, GREAT BRITAIN REFUSED TO LET CHILD GO

Not only have the authorities in Great Britain decided that the parents must end the life support systems on the child, but they are not allowed because, for the sake of the child, if you do this, you are going to cause the child unnecessary suffering. Therefore, we are going to intervene and say — no, we’re going to pull the life support system.

And, by the way, you’ve got the child making a vote — they took the life support systems and the doctors said, “He’ll only last a few moments,” and, as of the moment that we are recording this program, he is still breathing. Clearly, he wants to live and has far outstripped their prognostications that he would die in minutes or hours. (Editor’s Note: Alfie Evans passed away last week.)

What you have here is the erosion of something that is foundational to any humane society and for the functioning of any society, not only marriage and family — as defined as one man, one woman, one life — with parental responsibility for children that have been entrusted to them by the Creator.

THE STATE IS NOW REDEFINING PARENTAL ABUSE

And we have always affirmed the supremacy of parental rights. Now, we know we’re in a fallen world so the state has certain responsibilities if parents use their rights for the destruction of the child’s well-being, physically, emotionally, etc. And if that happens, then we have a system of court appeals in order to appropriately intervene on behalf of the child when parental rights are used for the outright physical, mental or emotional abuse of the child and we have always used that in western civilization in those extraordinary moments.

But, of course, the tenuous thing is what do you declare as abusive? Well, now we have a state declaring parents are abusive by trying to get the treatment that would give their child an extended life, maybe even a cure in life or comfort in the thing that the child is facing through the expertise of a renowned hospital.

And England has said — no, we have decided your efforts are actually abusive of the child and, therefore, we strip you of your rights and affirm the supremacy of the ever-encroaching power of the state over the children in families.

In other words, the state is now declaring its supremacy over a child’s nurturing. The state has declared reputable medical institutions and means to treat the child as injurious to the child, removing life support from the child for the death of the child.

What we see is an ever-encroaching overreach of the state and diminishing of the family and, specifically, the erosion of parental rights in the caring of children and now children are seen as children of the state, not children of a family with rights that are to be protected by the state.

IS THIS HAPPENING IN AMERICA?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, lest anyone thinks, “Well, that’s over in Great Britain; that wouldn’t happen here,” Rhode Island has recently enacted a law stripping parents of their right to object to providing treatment for gender transition to children who show signs of gender dysphoria. The law also prohibited medical professionals from refusing to provide or refer for gender transition services.

Out in California, they recently passed the “California Healthy Youth Act.” That bill deals with teaching young people in their schools what many would call perversions of a Biblical sexual lifestyle. In Orange County, the school district superintendent, Ronald Wenkart, says parents do not have the right to opt out their children from this sexual education, which in part they use materials from Planned Parenthood.

DR. REEDER: Tom, even on this program, as I said to you when we were talking about producing this program, the curriculum that parents do not have the right to remove their children from in Orange County, California is curriculum that, on this program, you and I cannot read the paragraphs and I said to you — and you, of course, agreed — “We cannot put this on the air.”

The curriculum that is describing unnatural sex that is more than unnatural, and distasteful and beyond perversion and parents who are aware of the content produced by Planned Parenthood that exalts, extolls, explains and commends perverse acts of unnatural sex are now not allowed to opt their children out.

And here’s what the educator says: You cannot take them out simply because you want them to; we are going to teach them about this breadth of sexual experiences. You are free to oppose it with your teaching in your home and your church.

And now the state has assumed moments where they are now going to put their stamp of approval upon parents having the right to teach their children not to engage in the destructive activities of unnatural and perverse sexuality. And, by the way, your churches and your homes, if you want to oppose this, you can in your homes.

THE GOVERNMENT NOW ASSUMES FALSE POSITION OF AUTHORITY

Look how gracious our government has become that they will allow us to actually speak about it, but they won’t allow us to protect our children from this vile curriculum. I am amazed at the overreach of the government through the educational system and control of our children here in America.

Therefore, when you look at England and the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans case, just look right here. Look at Rhode Island, where medical personnel are declared that you must participate, recommend and refer children in gender dysphoria — a disorder of mind that we have addressed through processes of maturation in the past — you must commend and refer these children and participate in the recommendations of children to be mutilated chemically and surgically that will scar them for the rest of their life.

And parents who oppose their children’s request, that’s not a decision the state is going to allow you to make — this is a decision we are going to make and we will facilitate these therapies and mutilations of the child.

TOM LAMPRECHT: And Dr. Michelle Cretella, who is the president of The American College of Pediatricians, has come out very, very sternly and said, “This is child abuse.”

DR. REEDER: And it will lead to what we see in England, which is infanticide of children who cannot speak for themselves by not allowing their parents to speak for them and the state declaring its sovereignty and its definitions of lives worth saving and keeping.

TAKE NOTE THAT FREE HEALTHCARE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT FREE

This is another piece of evidence that people are finding out — what is declared as free healthcare is not very free. It not only costs you through the increasing taxes, but it also costs you in terms of your freedom to make decisions for healthcare in the life of your children.

What do you do now? Well, take full advantage of the opportunities you have to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, who has declared, “I will be a God to you and to your children after you.” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, “You shall be saved; you and your household. For the promises for you and your children and for all who are far off, even as many who shall call upon the Lord to be saved.”

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

13 hours ago

Geneva County Commission strips funding for school resource officer program

The Geneva County Commission has placed the Geneva County School system in a bind after it pulled funds committed to the school resource officer (SRO) program.

Per a Dothan Eagle report, the county commission voted in June to give $15,000 to the SRO program this year, including an additional $60,000 next year.

After commissioners found that the budget would not balance, they realized that the promised funding for the SRO program could not be provided.

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Fred Hamic, chairman of the Geneva County Commission, sent a letter informing Superintendent Becky Birdsong of the decision and included a $15,000 check.

Birdsong said she was “disappointed,” but assured she will work hard to ensure the SRO program remains in place.

“I am disappointed, but I am still committed to doing what’s right for our students,” Birdsong told Dothan Eagle. “We don’t want parents to be concerned that this is going to make our schools less safe. I’m not saying we have the money now, but I am going to work on this and try to secure funding for this.”

Birdsong said that she is working with parents to increase security on school campuses in the schools she oversees.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

13 hours ago

Steve Marshall talks liberal tech bias, joins select group of national officials tackling the issue

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday joined a select group of state attorneys general for “a productive dialogue” led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Department of Justice (DOJ) officials regarding perceived discrimination against conservatives by leading tech companies.

Per a DOJ release, “The discussion centered on ways the Department and state governments can most effectively safeguard consumers using online digital platforms. Each state attorney general’s office shared their views of the important issues for federal and state authorities to consider when addressing these evolving technologies. The discussion principally focused on consumer protection and data privacy issues, and the bipartisan group of attendees sought to identify areas of consensus.”

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Marshall – who joined the meeting by teleconference – made it clear that there was a long way to go before reaching a consensus on how to tackle the complicated issues of tech transparency and bias, saying, “To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

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“Today I participated in a bipartisan meeting of several state Attorneys General, hosted by Attorney General Sessions, to discuss consumer protection concerns related to the tech industry. The conversation covered many of the same concerns raised in recent Congressional hearings,” Marshall outlined.

He continued, “I appreciated the invitation to participate and was interested to hear the perspectives of the various states represented. To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

The DOJ, which was represented at the meeting by Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore and other senior staff, explained, “Many shared the view that it is essential for federal and state law enforcement authorities to work together to ensure that these challenges are addressed responsibly and effectively.”

Sessions’ DOJ will review the information and insights shared by the state attorneys general and expects the constructive dialogue will continue moving forward. Marshall, in an interview earlier Tuesday morning with Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, made it clear that he prefers a market-based solution as opposed to stifling government regulation.

“It is a field that I think we need to tread very lightly,” Marshall explained. “You look at the ability of government to regulate – I think we do the military well and everything else is a struggle. So I think we need to be very, very careful in how we tread in that regard.”

The argument from some is that social media platforms are like modern-day utilities.

“You hear it coming more from Democratic AG’s across the country … it’s why, I think, you have to be very careful, because the market itself has the ability to regulate and one of the things that we have to do from the government side is do not tread into the world of antitrust lightly,” Marshall outlined.

Alabama’s attorney general used Google as an example, saying consumers have multiple choices in search engines, free online email providers and the web browsers themselves (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, etc.).

“It is important, however, when you do hear the stories of internally that Google may be directing people for political purposes that otherwise is not disclosed. That is concerning,” Marshall said.

For Marshall, the questions of whether these tech companies should allow their left-leaning biases to affect consumers “need to be asked, whether or not government needs to get involved in that, however, is a different story.”

Marshall summarized that his overall view is the tech services need to be held accountable to being open and honest with what they are doing and then the market can effectively take care of the rest. If consumers do not like what the services are doing, competition, not the government, should be the counterbalance.

“To the extent that there is transparency, I think it’s a good thing. Across the spectrum, whether it be private business or in government, and in this field particularly, if they are able to respond to questions about how it is that they control content and what they do, then I think we all have knowledge and then can make decisions ourselves,” he advised.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

Strong like Samson, tough like Benaiah and wise like Solomon -Thomas Cox reveals his plan for himself and raising his kids

Finding the time to do everything in a day is tough, but Thomas Cox shared his secrets on “The Ford Faction.”

In this episode, Thomas Cox from Mealfit.co discussed where his parenting techniques come from and how he finds time to execute them. He breaks down the processes he does with each of his children.

First, he teaches them to be strong like Samson. He wants his kids to be strong in many ways: mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.

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Second, Thomas wants his kids to be tough like Benaiah.

He said, “Toughness is one of the biggest parts of our lives we have to get better at so we can adapt to what’s happening around us.”

Finally, you have to be wise like Solomon.

Thomas told host Ford Brown, “I think if you’re not spending a lot of your day on self-development, you are missing the boat.”

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Rep. Byrne: Breaking down Tax Reform 2.0

Since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year, the American economy is booming, and Alabama families have more money in their pockets. By lowering taxes and simplifying the tax code, we have unlocked our economic potential and made life better for hardworking Americans.

The economic numbers speak for themselves: higher wages, lower unemployment, more jobs, bigger paychecks, employee bonuses and much more. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the average family in Southwest Alabama will see their tax bill decrease by $2,187 a year.

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The good news is that we aren’t stopping here. This week, the House is expected to vote on additional changes and improvements to the tax code, something we are calling Tax Reform 2.0. Working with President Trump, we will continue to make the tax code even fairer and more competitive.

Tax Reform 2.0 includes three major pieces. Here’s a quick overview.

First, we want to make the tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families permanent. Due to Democrat obstruction and arcane rules in the Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was only able to lower taxes for ten years. Under Tax Reform 2.0, we will make the tax cuts permanent.

The non-partisan Tax Foundation found that making the middle-class and small business tax cuts permanent will create 1.5 million new jobs and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.2%. This further expands our economy and makes life even better for families and small businesses.

Making these changes permanent, will also lock-in the simpler tax filing process. As you may remember, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplified the tax code to the point where many Americans are now able to complete their taxes on a postcard-style form. A Tax Foundation study shows that this will save Americans between $3.1 to $5.4 billion in compliance costs. Instead of needing an accountant to navigate the complicated code, most Americans will be able to file on their own.

Second, Tax Reform 2.0 promotes family savings and helps more Americans plan for retirement. Currently, too many Americans have been unable to save for retirement or put money aside to cover unforeseen emergencies.

We want to help small businesses provide retirement plans to their workers by allowing small businesses to join together to create a 401(k) plan more affordable and by giving employers more time to put new retirement plans in place. Just as important, we will help more workers participate in retirement plans by exempting small retirement accounts from mandatory payouts and by eliminating the age limit on IRA contributions.

We don’t stop there. Tax Reform 2.0 will create and expand additional programs to help Americans save. For example, our plan creates a new savings account to offer a fully flexible savings tool that families can use at any time right for them, expands 529 education savings accounts, and creates a new baby savings program to help with the birth of a new child or an adoption.

Finally, Tax Reform 2.0 will help grow the economy by promoting start-up businesses and spurring innovation. We do this by allowing new businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs and by making it easier for start-ups to bring in new investors. America must lead the way on innovation.

As you can tell, Tax Reform 2.0 builds upon our efforts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure the American economy remains strong. We do that by allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. I fundamentally believe our country is the strongest when money is with the people instead of the government.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

15 hours ago

Ivey, Merrill celebrate National Voter Registration Day – ‘Easy to vote and hard to cheat’

Tuesday is recognized as National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), which Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Secretary of State John Merrill celebrated by encouraging all of the state’s eligible voters to register.

The annual occasion is the largest single-day drive to register voters of the year. Merrill joined hundreds of different partners around the nation to observe NVRD, with Merrill specifically encouraging a “voter refresh” effort to update state voter rolls with correct information about Alabama citizens.

“Since I became Secretary of State, we have registered more than a million new voters who have helped us shatter state records for voter registration and participation in our elections,” Merrill said in a release.

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“But we also want our voter rolls to be up-to-date, so we are urging everyone to take a moment to make sure their current address is correct in the state system. We are pleased to participate in this special day that encourages more participation in our electoral process. We continue to work daily to make sure every eligible U.S. citizen in our state is registered to vote and has a photo ID. We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill continued.

NVRD, held on every fourth Thursday of September since 2012, is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors. Since 2012, more than 1.4 million people around the nation have registered to vote or update their registration as part of this event alone. This year, libraries, schools and other partners will hold local voter registration drives.

Since Merrill took office, Alabama has registered 1,064,616 new voters, bringing the state’s total to 3,418,839 as of September 7. Yellowhammer State residents can update their voter registration information by downloading the “Vote for Alabama” app on a smartphone or visiting the Secretary of State website here.

“There is no freedom more integral to this Republic than the right to vote and participate in our democratic process,” Merrill emphasized. “I am so proud we are able to work with the partners involved with National Voter Registration Day to help make increased participation a reality here in the state of Alabama.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn