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Commercial Surrogacy: The objectification of child-bearing


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DOMINO EFFECT OF GAY MARRIAGE IS NOW COMMERCIAL SURROGACY

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you out of a story out of CNS News. On March 12th, the governor of Washington signed into law a bill amending the state’s Uniform Parentage Act. This act officially permits women to be paid for carrying someone else’s child — in other words, surrogacy. It legalizes commercial surrogacy.

Sponsors of the bill insist that the legislation is to reduce suffering of infertile couples, but its real-world result would be to further commodify human life and exploit desperate women.

A 2016 Chicago Tribune study of fertility clinics in several different cities found that 10 to 20 percent of donor eggs are actually going to gay men having babies via surrogacy and, in a lot of places, that number is up to 50 percent from just five years ago. These “suffering infertile couples” — well, of course they’re infertile because they’re homosexual couples.

Harry, how is it that this community has had so much leverage on an issue that is so controversial?

DR. REEDER: There’s a couple of things here, Tom. First of all, in terms of your direct question, the LGBTQ community, which has 3 percent of the population, has an outsized effect in the culture because it is able to tap into the heartbeat of a secular culture, which is propelled by what Romans 1 reveals.
If you want to read the death spiral of our culture, just read Romans 1:18 through the end of the chapter, in which a culture falls into the death spiral that then comes under the judgement of God and the judgement of God is for sexual promiscuity that pervades a society, and then sexual perversion that pervades a society and then the social approval of sexual promiscuity and sexual perversion.

However, what fuels it is rebellion against God. They know God but they will not acknowledge God and so, when a society sets its heart and its mind to being a godless society, which we have done under the rubric of secularism, then all ethical restraints eventually fall away until you have absolute chaos.

In other words, you have every man does what is right in his own eyes, therefore, there is no right or wrong because there’s only “my right” and “my wrong.” Therefore, now we’re told there are no boundaries for marriage — marriage can be whatever you want to as long as its two consenting adults.

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE?

If now, the sanctity of life and the bringing forward of life into this world, historically, it has been that we bring forth life biologically — a man and a woman in the context of marriage so that the child has parents and the child has the stability of a family.

Now, we have said, “No, we’re going to redefine family by redefining marriage.” If you’ll remember, we constantly said in the Obergefell decision that it is a fabrication of marriage — it isn’t marriage, it can’t be marriage — because marriage is a conjugal, procreative, monogamous, heterosexual relationship.

Well, it’s not heterosexual in same-sex marriage, it’s not conjugal in same-sex marriage and it can’t procreate so there is the perversity of the conjugal relationship and then there is the editing of what it means to be procreative.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THESE “MARRIAGES”?

And so now you cannot have a conjugal relationship and you can’t have a procreative -relationship, but we want to have “children” so what will we do? Well, we’ll hire out the sperm or we’ll hire out the egg and we will hire out — in the case of two men in a same-sex marriage — a womb so now we have commodified children. The mantra in the state of Washington is, “These are consenting people and, as long as the people are consenting, it doesn’t matter what we do.”

There was a program in magazine called “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in which they gave awards for astonishing achievements. Well, one of them every year, was somebody trying to break the record of how many dominoes they could put in place and then they would fall and, these amazingly architectural and intricate configurations where dominoes would be falling all the way around the room, well, that’s what we’re seeing in our culture — what’s the next domino to fall?

In the sexual revolution, the domino to fall because of the fact that sexual promiscuity is going to bring unwanted children, the domino to fall was the sanctity of life and abortion becomes the sacrament of the sexual revolution. And then comes the domino of the sanctity of marriage, and then the sanctity of family and now the sanctity of procreation.

WHAT WILL NEXT 20 YEARS BRING: TECHNOLOGICALLY AND SOCIALLY?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, just yesterday, we talked about the fact that abortion has brought in this death culture. Surrogacy — which, by the way is outlawed in the state of New York — what will be the outcome 20 years from now as we look at the issue of surrogacy and homosexual couples raising children?

DR. REEDER: One of the fundamental casualties of same-sex marriage is children growing up in a fatherless or motherless home and now, with this surrogacy industry, women are going to be further objectified. Childbearing is going to become objectified because it’ll become an industry that will require governmental regulation. What you also begin to see is the inevitable mandating of people’s participation in this industry of surrogacy and, eventually, governmental support and taxpayer support and all of those things.

Therefore, the destruction of the family is further, the destruction of marriage is further, the joy of childbearing is destroyed and, of course, the sense is destroyed that, when you look at a child, the husband and the wife are able to look at each other and they’re able to say, “Look what God has brought forth and there’s some of me and some of you and here it is in this child. Isn’t it amazing, the blessings of God?” Now, this child that we are invested in spiritually, martially, familial investment and our own personal being is invested as God has brought forth this life through us, now let’s invest in the life of this child. Whatever we do, we must not idolize this child but, whatever we do, we must now raise to adulthood a child that’s able to leave us and cleave to another.”

And that’s what takes place in a true marriage — leaving and cleaving. In the fabrication of same-sex marriage, there is no true leaving and there is no true cleaving and, therefore, there is no true propagation of a next generation. There is only the manipulation of technology, the objectivization of women and the process of having a child, and now the child will be raised as a commodity that was manufactured in the home, instead of a person who was brought forth through the instrumentality of a husband and a wife and the sacredness of a marriage bed.

CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES MUST STAY STRONG SHOW GOD’S WAY

Therefore, Tom, again, we’re back to Christians understanding what is taking place in the culture and bringing forth in the culture the witness and stability of not only a Christian world and life view, but a Christian world and lifestyle where our marriages are not only physically framed, male and female, but spiritually founded in the life and hope of Christ and joyfully presenting to the world the stability and the testimony of a Christian marriage, Christian family and covenant children raised in and for Christ in which the grace of God overcomes our sin and we’re able to show to the world that embracing God’s law by the power of God’s grace is joy in life while rebellion against God’s law simply brings deadness, despair, and destruction and ultimate destruction in life. Come to a better way and that way is Jesus, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

COMING UP WEDNESDAY: MORE BIBLE-SUPPORTING FINDS IN JERUSALEM

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story around an archeological dig in Jerusalem’s old city. Some interesting things have been discovered.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, there’s an interesting discipline that developed out of the 19th century and it’s called archeology and it’s been interesting to watch its impact in the affirmation and proclamation and propagation of Biblical Christianity. Another find has added to the affirmed veracity of God’s Word as truth.

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 transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

6 hours ago

The surprising link between Alabama seafood, timber and U.S. national security, and how Shelby is leading the way

There are plenty of areas of debate over exactly how and where the U.S. should spend its foreign aid dollars. But for Alabamians in particular — and the entire Gulf Coast region more broadly — the international assistance that flows into cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking is paying massive dividends, both economically and, perhaps more surprisingly, in terms of national security.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates Americans grossly overestimate the amount the federal government spends on foreign aid.  The average answer was foreign aid accounts for a whopping 31 percent of spending. Fifteen percent of respondents actually thought it represented over half of the U.S. budget.

In reality, according to the Congressional Research Service, it accounts for about 1 percent total when military, economic development and humanitarian efforts are combined.  And it is paying massive dividends for Alabama.

Here’s how:

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First, foreign aid dollars fund multi-nation efforts to combat illegal trade in timber and fish. These illicit practices cost U.S. foresters and fishers billions of dollars in lost revenue every single year by flooding the market and driving down prices.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, “Alabama has the second largest commercial timberland base in the U.S., with 23 million acres. Forestry is the state’s second largest manufacturing industry, producing an estimated $14.8 billion worth of products in 2013, the latest data available.” Alabama also ranked second in the country in fish production. By cracking down on the black-market trading of timber and fish, our foreign aid dollars are protecting Alabama jobs.

Second, foreign aid that flows into international conservation efforts, which has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, helps countries manage their natural resources sustainably. This prevents the scarcity of water, food or forests that often contributes to instability and sparks regional conflicts.

Third, cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking cuts off a major source of income for armed groups and organizations with terrorist ties throughout the world, many of which pose a direct threat to American interests.

A report by the United Nations and Interpol found that the “illegal wildlife trade worth up to $213 billion a year is funding organized crime, including global terror groups and militias.” Additionally, “the annual trade of up to $100 billion in illegal logging is helping line the pockets of mafia, Islamist extremists and rebel movements, including Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked terror group al-Shabaab.”

Fortunately, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently rose to the powerful post of Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has remained a staunch supporter of ensuring that resources continue to flow into efforts to combat the illegal trade in timber and fish.

“The Committee has worked together to strike the appropriate balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, national security, scientific advancement, and economic development,” Shelby said after announcing critical funding for Fiscal Year 2018. “Additionally, the measure includes necessary oversight provisions to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. This is a step forward in maintaining critical funding for core programs and addressing the needs of our nation while staying within our spending boundaries.”

The move did not go unnoticed by leaders in the seafood industry, a major source of economic activity in all Gulf States, including Alabama.

“We cannot thank Senator Shelby enough,” said Southern Shrimp Alliance Executive Director John Williams after fiscal year 2018 appropriation. “Their extraordinary efforts ensure the survival of the domestic shrimp fishery in the face of what has been an endless stream of illegal shrimp imports.”

Support for foreign assistance and international conservation is smart domestic policy. It protects our economy and cuts off the flow of cash to criminals and terrorists. Sen. Shelby and the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from whom he has helped rally support deserve recognition and praise for their leadership.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

 

 

6 hours ago

What’s wrong with Calhoun County’s economy?

Earlier this week, Zippia, one of the many job search websites out there, released its list of 2018’s 50 worst job markets in America. Only one in Alabama made the list: Anniston-Jacksonville, AL, which came in at number 43.

That’s not bad given what we’re told about Alabama and poverty. But it does raise one question: Why are Anniston and its surrounding areas struggling compared to other similar places in the state?

Although unemployment in Calhoun County is not nearly as high as counties in the Black Belt, compared to other quasi-urban areas of Alabama, Calhoun has the highest unemployment rate, coming in at 5.9 percent according to data posted recently on the Alabama Department of Labor’s website.

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That far exceeds the seasonally adjusted numbers for the state of Alabama, at 4.1 percent, and nationally, at 4 percent.

So, what gives? Why does Calhoun County struggle economically?

“It’s a good question,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said in response to that in an interview with Yellowhammer News back in April. “I saw those numbers come out for my congressional district and Calhoun County had the highest unemployment rate, still. It is better than it has been, but I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Rogers said part of the answer to that question may be tied to military spending during the Obama administration and its impact on the nearby Anniston Army Depot.

“[T]here was a real downsizing at the Depot,” he added. “They had had a couple more thousand employees than they have now at the height of the war and there had been a downsizing since the drawback from Iraq and Afghanistan. You don’t need to refurbish as much equipment. But now they’re trying to ramp back up as we try to rebuild our military.”

He credited the potential for a turnaround in that trend to President Donald Trump’s commitment to the military.

Beyond that, why isn’t Calhoun County booming? It seems like every other day, Gov. Kay Ivey is announcing a new addition or manufacturing facility in the Huntsville area that includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Let’s compare the Anniston-Oxford area to another economic hot spot in Rogers district, the Auburn-Opelika area.  Although Lee County isn’t quite enjoying the successes of Madison and Limestone Counties, it seems to be growing. Its unemployment rate is 4.7 percent – a little higher. But when you look around Auburn and Opelika, there are all kinds of new commercial and residential construction projects.

That doesn’t seem to be a trend in Anniston and Oxford.

Both Lee and Calhoun Counties have some similarities. Having Auburn University in Lee County is a big difference. Besides that, the two approximately the same distance from Atlanta and its international airport. The two are served by the Interstate Highway System – I-20 in Calhoun County and I-85 in Lee County.

If Lee County can make it work, then why not Calhoun County?

Getting to the bottom of determining what is ailing Calhoun County is not an easy chore. Although reading the pages of The Anniston Star is not quite the adventures of “Alice in Wonderland” it was when H. Brandt Ayers was in charge, under Josephine Ayers and Anthony Cook, it still tends to dwell in the politics outside of Calhoun County.

Addressing Calhoun County’s struggles is a politically worthwhile endeavor. While Kay Ivey is patting herself on the back for economic prosperity in north Alabama at plant-opening ceremony number 105, and Walt Maddox is championing his heroics in Tuscaloosa post-2011 tornado devastation, what about Anniston? What about Oxford? What about Jacksonville?

From an outsider’s perspective, there seems to be a presentable case for manufacturing to make Calhoun County a home given its infrastructure and proximities it Atlanta and Birmingham. But first, we need to determine what’s behind its current struggles.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

7 hours ago

Six vote difference: Republicans Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood in tight race for House District 38

Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood are in a tight race to become the Republican nominee for House District 38, where only six votes separate the two candidates. Wood has 2,165 votes to Rauch’s 2,159 votes.

The number is well within Rauch’s reach considering there are still votes to be counted.

A winner won’t be declared until at least next Tuesday, July 24, when provisional ballots are officially counted and even then, it could take longer for Secretary of State John Merrill to certify the results officially declaring a winner.

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“There’s never a winner until everything is certified,” Secretary of State John Merrill told Yellowhammer News.

Even in the case of such a wide margin as Attorney General Steve Marshall has over Troy King – 62 to 38 percent – there is still no official winner because it hasn’t been certified, Merrill said.

Provisional ballots are provided to those whose names do not appear on the voter roles when they show up to vote but who insist they belong, and still want to vote.

In order to have their votes counted, those who participate in the provisional process must prove to the board of registrar’s office that they ought to be on the roles.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

8 hours ago

Alabamians less likely to be understood by ‘Alexa’ and other ‘smart’ tech because of southern accents

The remarkable drawl that embodies Southern culture may be responsible for the frustration many Alabamians feel when trying to get their smart tech to answer a question. The repeated “Sorry, I didn’t get that” can lead people with accents to underutilize voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home that are rapidly growing in popularity.

study conducted by the Washington Post and two research groups revealed people with Southern accents were three percent less likely to get accurate responses from a Google Home device than those with Western accents.  Foreign accents face the largest challenge with 30 percent more inaccuracies.

But, help is on the way.

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According to the study, the artificial intelligence used in programming the technology is taught to comprehend different accents by processing data from a variety of voices.  The more it learns, the more accurate the programming will become.  Even though these tools may be more useful for some people at the moment, Amazon, the maker of the smart home product Alexa, says to keep trying.

“The more we hear voices that follow certain speech patterns or have certain accents, the easier we find it to understand them.  For Alexa, this no different,” Amazon said in a statement.  “As more people speak to Alexa, and with various accents, Alexa’s understanding will improve.”

Over 20 percent of U.S. households with WiFi utilize smart speakers, and the number of users is growing.  Hopefully, for the benefit of Alabamians, that growth will happen in the South.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

Learning from President Trump: Words matter

“I don’t see any reason why it would be”.

Those words, voiced by President Trump when asked whether he believed it was true that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, set off a media firestorm early this week.

Trump, of course, is used to media criticism, but this time was different. Joining the normal critics were a multitude of Fox News hosts including Neil Cavuto, Bret Baier, Brit Hume, Dana Perino, and even Brian Kilmeade of the oft-lauded by Trump Fox and Friends.

The morning after Trump’s press conference with President Putin, Kilmeade spoke in second person “you” language and pleaded for President Trump to clarify his statement and his belief in our intelligence agencies over Russians who, as Kilmeade said “hate democracy.”

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To his credit, Trump – who had previously agreed that Russian meddling existed – corrected his statement within twenty-four hours.

Regardless of whether his clarification was believable or timely, this episode reminds us that in politics and government – and in everyday life – words matter.

19thcentury German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche recognized the power of words. Nietzsche wrote, “All I need is a sheet of paper, and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down”.

Nietzsche’s statement wasn’t merely hypothetical. His declaration that “God is dead” shattered worldviews across western civilization into pieces that PureFlix (the movie company behind God’s Not Dead and its sequels) is still trying to pick up.

Even so, it seems that many have forgotten the power of words and have embraced the idea that simply being heard, regardless of content, is of utmost importance.

In NBC’s hit show The Office, Michael Scott tells viewers, “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” I think a lot of us are more like Michael Scott than we’d like to admit.

We might do well to envision more intentional dialogue from ourselves and from our elected officials, especially our state and local representatives.

In an environment where soundbites are everything, Trump’s statements in Helsinki and the backlash that ensued ought to prompt Alabama officials and candidates to rethink any “wing it” sympathies they may have towards public statements, press conferences, or tweets.

This is even more important in the post-primary period of our election cycle.

Now that the nominees are chosen, we must remind each of their responsibility as leaders to use words, strategies, and express differences in a way that is less divisive and more unifying, less bombastic and more genuine. Our officials and candidates should think twice before resorting to name-calling or vilifying their opponents, as doing so endorses that type of behavior and lowers the standard of Alabamians for those who represent them.

We should also expect, now that the in-fighting of our primary process is over, nominees to run thoughtful campaigns where issues, not personalities, are articulately debated.

Candidates and regular Alabamians alike must remember that words yield tremendous power. Therefore, as Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the BFG, and Matilda, suggests, “Don’t gobblefunk around with words”.

Parker Snider is Manager of Policy Relations for the Alabama Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families.