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


Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

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.

40 mins ago

Wetlands, crops can mitigate storm damage to coastal cities, study led by UAH finds

Coastal cities can be spared some wind destruction from intensifying hurricanes or tropical storm systems if they have functional wetland ecosystems and agricultural croplands in the area, according to new computer modeling research led by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

“Our study was about how changing land cover in coastal areas affects rain from tropical storms,” says Emily Foshee, co-author of the research and a research associate at UAH’s Earth System Science Center who analyzed the models. Dr. Eric Rappin from Western Kentucky University ran the numerical model experiments.

678

The paper was published in Scientific Reports in November. UAH teamed with Western Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Georgia, the University of Colorado Boulder, Purdue University, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to conduct the study.

Scientists used the model with a simulation of a flooding storm over Baton Rouge as a control and then modified the type of land the storm passed over to assess the effect. They modeled three land types: healthy coastal marshland, marshland that had become saturated or turned to open water and coastal land that had been converted mostly to agricultural use.

The ground moisture and vegetative buffering of healthy marsh impede storm intensification but increase rainfall in the model.

“If you want to keep the marsh ecology intact because you don’t want to lose all the other benefits of marshland such as preventing soil erosion and the wildlife and aquatic life benefits, and if you are concerned about how to have less damage from storm winds, then you must keep the wetlands,” says Dr. Udaysankar Nair, UAH associate professor of atmospheric science and the paper’s lead author, whose research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

“When you have a landfalling hurricane, if you have wetlands there, then there is a greater chance that the storm or hurricane will weaken,” Dr. Nair says.

Scientists modeled the effects on the Baton Rouge, La., region by using NASA land surface model data and data from an actual large flooding storm. Study findings, which support preservation and restoration of healthy marshes, may be especially important in Louisiana, which loses the equivalent of a football field of land to water every hour.

Agriculture continues to convert wetland in Louisiana to crop uses, and those practices tend to dry soils. Cut off from a source of water vapor, storms in the model that passed over cropland were less intense and windy. But there’s a tradeoff. Single crop agricultural lands don’t possess the erosion control and biodiversity benefits of marshland, Dr. Nair says.

The combined effect of healthy wetlands transitioning to cropland reduced storm intensity in the model no matter what soil moisture conditions were present.

The research says that if current trends continue, a substantial portion of Louisiana wetlands will transition to open water in coming decades, likely making the studied region even more vulnerable to heavy rain events from future tropical systems.

Marsh that has become super-saturated or has turned to open water, known as a brown ocean, produces the most damaging winds in the model, while at the same time spreading out rainfall. That’s because saturated wetlands or open water continue to feed energy into a hurricane’s system.

Air spirals in toward the eye of a hurricane, and as it does it has a tendency to cool, Dr. Nair says. While the storm is over warm open ocean, over open water resulting from conversion of wetlands, or over the brown ocean of a saturated marsh, the energy from the wet and warm surface offsets the cooling effect with warm humid air and the storm can continue to grow stronger.

“What happens when a hurricane comes ashore is that the land cuts off that source of energy,” Dr. Nair says. “Different forms of land cover affect the storm. What we found out is that it’s not just the water vapor that affects storms.”

The natural vegetation in healthy marsh has more buffering friction than if it has been converted to open water or agriculture, he says.

“If all these marsh regions are instead filled with water, essentially that is like the open ocean coming right to land,” Dr. Nair says. “Then you see more wind and more spread out rain, and more damage out of the storm. The storm will continue to intensify as it comes in.”

The work points to other areas for further study.

“If we do more of these kinds of studies,” Dr. Nair says, “then we can potentially be able to say something about how the patterns of land use change and land management affect landfall in hurricanes.”

(Courtesy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville)

2 hours ago

Watch: Bicentennial video tells the stories of Alabama’s great people

The finale of the ALABAMA 200 bicentennial celebration is on Saturday, with the public celebrating with elected officials, celebrities and dignitaries in the state’s capital.

However, even if you cannot make the festivities in person, you can still take time remotely to honor Alabama becoming a state 200 years ago to the day.

A video put together by WBRC and posted by Governor Kay Ivey is a great way to relive the state’s vibrant history.

Entitled, “Alabama Bicentennial: The Stories of Our People,” the approximately 50-minute special looks back on the state’s past 200 years, hearing from some of its most memorable voices in the process.

116

In an introduction to that video, Ivey says, “As we celebrate our state’s bicentennial, I want to recognize my fellow Alabamians. As governor, I’m proud to be from a state that has remained steadfast through good times and bad.”

“Our resiliency and southern spirit have allowed us to grow and become the great state we are today,” she continues. “To put it simply, Alabama is defined by its people, and we have some of the best. I look forward to the future generations of Alabamians who will help take us to even greater heights. Happy birthday, Alabama!”

Watch:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Alabama’s ‘white gold’ draws worldwide interest

Ruth Beaumont Cook’s latest book started 10 years ago as a brochure request from Sylacauga‘s B.B. Comer Memorial Library in advance of the city’s first marble festival.

“They asked me to put together a brochure about the history of the marble,” Cook said. “It was overwhelmingly successful, so the next year they asked to me write a book.”

831

New book celebrates Sylacauga’s marble legacy from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Nearly nine years and dozens of interviews later, Cook celebrates the natural resource that nurtures both the economy and the cultural heritage of Alabama’s “Marble City” in her new book, “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story.”

“Whenever you start working on a book, you have all of this information but you look for a story thread through it,” Cook said. “I had no clue when I started what that was going to be.”

Cook said the clues starting coming together as she started talking to people who grew up mining marble.

“There are so many people who grew up in Gantts Quarry,” Cook said. “Most people have good memories of growing up there and work they are proud of. Telling those stories was the most interesting part of it.”

Commercial marble quarries began in Sylacauga in the late 1800s. Cook said the marble was initially used by sculptors such as Giuseppe Moretti, the Italian who created the Vulcan statue on Red Mountain in Birmingham.

“His Vulcan won gold prize at the 1904 World’s Fair, but what most people don’t know is he also took another piece with him, ‘The Head of Christ,’ which he had carved from Sylacauga marble,” Cook said. “It won a silver medal.”

The notoriety caught the attention of construction managers around the world who were seeking dimension marble for their projects. By the 1930s, Sylacauga’s creamy white marble had been used in hundreds of buildings, including the U.S. Supreme Court building and the ceiling of the Lincoln Memorial.

“It was chosen for the Lincoln Memorial because it can be cut very thin and still be strong,” Cook said. “They cut it thin enough to be translucent and then rubbed it with beeswax and put it in the ceiling.”

Despite the marble’s beauty and strength, Cook said the demand for dimension marble in construction dropped dramatically by the 1950s.

“It became obvious that granite was much easier to withstand pollution than marble,” Cook said. “Marble is still great if it’s thick enough, but if you make a facade of it on a building, it’s probably not going to last because it deteriorates from the pollution.”

Instead of closing the mines and laying off employees, Cook said the Sylacauga marble companies survived and thrived thanks to a growing need for calcium extracted from marble deposits and used in hundreds of products, such as cosmetics, paints and glue.

“They turned to industry and began to grind up the marble into fine powder – called GCC, ground calcium carbonate – which industry had a strong demand for,” Cook said.

Cook said Sylacauga continues to be a rich marble resource more than 70 years later.

“I’ve been told there’s enough marble there for sculpture and industry for at least another 200 years,” Cook said. “The vein of marble is 35 miles long, a mile and a half wide and goes down quite a ways — 300 or 400 feet I believe. It’s a very valuable resource.”

Sylacauga Marble Festival

Since 2009, the city has celebrated its heritage through the Sylacauga Marble Festival, a 10-day event drawing sculptors from around the world to work alongside an Italian master sculptor. Visitors can watch, tour local quarries and purchase sculptures. Cook said the festival brings Sylacauga’s rich heritage full circle.

“It came from art, up through all of these others, and now you have this wonderful balance,” Cook said. “You still have major industry but you also have major art appreciation. It’s a great story.”

The 12th annual Marble Festival will be March 31 to April 11, 2020.

The 2019 Marble Festival, which was one of several events highlighted by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission as part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration, was sponsored by the Alabama Power FoundationAlabama State Council on the ArtsAlabama Tourism DepartmentAmerican Legion Post 45 SylacaugaArchitectural Stone ImportsB.B. Comer Memorial LibraryBlue Bell CreameriesBlue Horizon TravelCity of Sylacauga, Conn Equipment, Coosa Valley Medical CenterCurtis and Son Funeral HomeImerysIsabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts CenterJ. Craig Smith Community CenterMiller Lumber CompanyMorris Custom Marble & GraniteNemakOmya, Inc.Pizza & Pint, Representative Ron Johnson, SouthFirst BankSylacauga Arts CouncilSylacauga Chamber of CommerceSylacauga Housing Authority, Sylacauga Marble Quarry, Towne Inn, 21st Century Signs and Utilities Board of Sylacauga.

To learn more about “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story,” visit newsouthbooks.com/magicinstone.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Birmingham Business Alliance reveals new mission, economic development approach

The Birmingham Business Alliance revealed a new mission and a new approach to economic development as it heads into 2020.

The BBA’s 2019 Chairwoman’s Annual Meeting was at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham Dec. 11. Chairwoman Nancy Goedecke passed the gavel to Jim Gorrie, president and CEO of Brasfield & Gorrie.

Gone is Blueprint Birmingham, which guided the BBA through its first 10 years. In its place is a strategy that keys in life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology. Those are some of the main industries the Alabama Department of Commerce is expected to emphasize in its revision of Accelerate Alabama, the state’s economic development plan.

595

“Those are the three areas that we’re going to focus on,” said Fred McCallum, interim CEO of the BBA. “I will tell you that when you look at our state plan, there are a lot of similarities.”

Birmingham Business Alliance announces new direction from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A main component to Blueprint Birmingham was a set of metrics that measured Birmingham’s success against a cluster of peer cities. Doing so often looked too broadly, McCallum said.

“Blueprint was a good plan at the time,” he said. “It was very wide and in some ways it was successful and in other ways it wasn’t so successful. I think what we’ve come to now is a point in time where we’ve got to focus in on jobs and economic growth.”

There will be a new set of metrics created and benchmarked in a new BBA strategic plan, McCallum said.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin did highlight one comparison between Birmingham and other cities.

“Since the great recession around 2008, 60% of all jobs have only gone to 25 cities in America,” Woodfin said. “You need to know that Birmingham is not on that list.”

Woodfin feels Birmingham should measure itself against its own potential instead of comparing itself to others.

“We don’t have to be like Nashville or Chattanooga or Atlanta or Austin,” he said. “We need to be the best version of ourselves. But that is going to require us to shake off the way we’ve always done things.”

Woodfin said the companies and organizations that make up the BBA should be prepared to take greater risks and push boundaries.

“Being risk-averse at this time as we move into 2020 … will not work for us – as an organization or for our city,” he said. “So the question becomes when you walk out of this room, are we prepared to invest in our competitiveness? Do we want to compete? Do we want to set ourselves apart, not be like any other city in America?”

A primary goal for the BBA is to find a new CEO. McCallum has led the organization on an interim basis after former CEO Brian Hilson stepped down at the end of March. Hilson now works on rural economic development initiatives in the state.

Other changes will include aligning the BBA’s internal strategy to execute the new strategic plan, updating its governance structure to be more effective and efficient and aligning the funding model to support the BBA’s new strategic plan.

“I think the organization will be more focused on specific strategies and focused on doing what we do well,” McCallum said.

McCallum believes Birmingham leaders and economic developers can tell the region’s story more forcefully and proactively.

“We’re on a good trajectory. I feel good about where we are as a community,” McCallum said. “Our leadership is strong. Our public leadership is strong. Our private leadership is strong. I feel good about where the BBA is focused.”

This year’s annual meeting was more a call to action than the rah-rah sessions of the past.

“Usually I would get up here and give you all some stats about what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished,” Woodfin said. “I think it is fair to say that 2019 has been a good year for many of your organizations individually and collectively for our Birmingham Business Alliance.”

It was a good 2019 in the Birmingham metro area. Halfway through the year, the region reached and surpassed its pre-recession height of employment. There were 32 projects with 1,180 jobs and $492.2 million in capital investment announced in the region in 2019.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

The biggest birthday party in Alabama history is TODAY!

The biggest birthday party in Alabama’s history is taking place today, December 14, and you are invited! Join us in Montgomery for the grand finale celebration of our state’s 200th birthday.

Watch the parade, listen to concerts and performances, visit open houses and much more.

This is sure to be a day you don’t want to miss. The event is free to the public and lasts all day starting with an elaborate parade at 10:00 a.m. The parade will travel from Court Square Fountain in downtown Montgomery up Dexter Avenue to the State Capitol. There will be marching bands, city floats and unique displays of Alabama history on wheels, such as the USS Alabama and U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The parade is a great opportunity for families to enjoy the celebration together – and it’s only the beginning of a packed day. Following the parade, Governor Kay Ivey will dedicate Bicentennial Park. The afternoon will offer performances, exhibitions and open houses throughout downtown Montgomery. The day will conclude with a concert featuring popular musicians from Alabama and the history of Alabama presented in a never-before-seen way.

Visit Alabama 200 Finale for a complete rundown of the day’s events.

1