Friday, October 1, 2010

Two More RU-486 Infection Deaths Announced by CDC

Seriously, folks, isn't it time to stop using women.  Women, isn't it time to stop being used.  Isn't it time that women are not human guinea pigs for pharma and Planned Parenthood?   And, now, the FDA is about to release yet another abortion pill.   You know how it is when you (if you) ever take your first drag off a cigarette and you cough really hard.....your body is telling you something.  That smoke does not belong in there.  And, neither does a pill to cause an abortion.  It's an unnatural and dangerous substance to the body...both bodies, the woman's and the unborn child's.  Two new deaths from an FDA approved drug.....

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Two More RU-486 Infection Deaths Announced by CDC

by Chris Gacek
October 1, 2010
Almost ten years to the date after the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved the abortion drug, Mifeprex® (RU-486; mifepristone), two more medical abortion deaths have been announced by U.S. Centers for Disease Control Officials.
In a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine dated September 30, 2010, Dr. Elissa Meites et al., described two additional mifepristone-induced septic shock deaths.  Both deaths were caused by c. sordellii, the bacteria linked to a number of RU-486 deaths from 2000-2006.
One woman who died was 29; the other was 21.
Monty Patterson, the father of Holly Patterson – an eighteen-year-old who died after using the mifepristone regimen, released a statement with these three concluding paragraphs:
It has been proposed by medical professionals that the properties of the mifepristone abortion pill can seriously impair or alter a women’s immune system and predispose her to serious or fatal infections.
The 9 deaths from Clostridium sordellii can no longer be ignored, particularly at the regulatory level. The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health. They need to reevaluate the risk, safety and efficacy of the drug they approved 10 years ago.
Ultimately, women will have to make the final choice based on the most accurate information they can obtain. They need to question if the risks of medical abortion pills are really in the best interest of their health, safety and welfare. Women can make informed decisions when they have timely, reliable and truthful information.
Mr. Patterson is clearly correct, and FDA also needs to re-think its policies surrounding the release of its newest abortifacient and mifepristone-twin, Ella.

http://www.frcblog.com/2010/10/two-more-ru-486-infection-deaths-announced-by-cdc/

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Wait! I Don't Want To Die After All!"

On the heels of the tragic death of Trisha Duguay after no hydration or food for 58 days, I decided it's time to work on educating people of the truths scientifically and spiritually of euthanasia. Having "been there, done that" with my mom and dad under my full time care in my home, and with a hospice nurse later, I have learned a few things that some might benefit from. Just this evening, I came across this article, "Wait! I Don't Want To Die After All!" written by Jimmy Akin, published in the National Catholic Register. I wish to share this with you, followed by links to the story of Trisha Duguay.

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http://www.ncregister.com/blog/wait-i-dont-want-to-die-after-all/

"Wait! I Don't Want To Die After All!"

I’ve been thinking about writing a book to help people dealing with end-of-life situations. Between the deaths of my wife and my parents and other family members, I’ve been through enough of them that I’ve had to think hard about the spiritual, moral, and evangelistic aspects of these situations.

If I am able to write such a book, one aspect that I will definitely cover is the need for humility and caution in assessing the sick person’s will to live.

Very frequently these days people end up in situations where they cannot speak for themselves and clearly communicate what kind of care they want or whether they even want care. In such situations, family members are typically consulted, and this can cause a rift inside the family as they try to figure out what their loved one would want.

This is one of the most painful kinds of conversations for family members to have, and it if goes the wrong way, it can permanently injure relations in the family. “You killed Dad!” or “You wouldn’t let Mom die with dignity!” are things that can haunt families for years after the event, permanently turning people against each other. (I am very thankful to say, however, that my own family was able to get through the difficult days without such damage being done—and in spite of the fact that I’m the only Catholic in my immediate family.)

Sooner or later the “Do you want to pull the plug?” question is going to be presented to virtually every family, and it’s good to be prepared for it.

In some cases the patient may have left explicit instructions, but often not. Sometimes family members will remember (or think they remember) things the patient said in conversation about what they would want if something terrible happened. Other times they won’t have such memories and will simply rely on their feeling of what the loved one would want.

Regardless of which of these is the case, there is reason for great caution here. The stakes are, after all, life and death.

But there is another reason for caution: None of these things—from explicit written instructions to the vague feeling of what someone would want—is a good indicator of what they actually would want now that they are in the situation.

Certainly, pre-written instructions are a better indicator than a gut feeling assessed in a moment of crisis. If someone has taken the trouble to write instructions in advance then those instructions are more likely to reflect the settled views of person in question. But the thing is . . . views change. Particularly when we’re put in a dramatically different life situation.

There is also a danger of the loved ones, without fully realizing it, simply taking the easy way out—regardless of what that easy way is for them.

For some people the easy way would be for the loved one not to want to continue treatment. Under the pressure of watching a loved one dying they are emotionally worn out and in pain and they are ready for it to be over. It’s not that they want their loved one to die. But they can’t stand seeing the loved one suffer and want the mutual agony to be done with.

This is a human response.

But it poses a danger of leading the relative to believe what is convenient rather than what is true. In this case what is convenient would be for the loved one to want to discontinue treatment, and so the relative starts feeling certain that the loved one would never want to live this way. That would be preposterous. Of course they would just want to let go and die in peace.

And if there are a few dimly-remembered conversations that might support this view then they will be taken as proof positive. There even might be a little exaggeration used to help convince doubtful relatives who are also being consulted.

But even if that isn’t the case. Even if the person clearly expressed a preference, that preference may no longer apply.

A good illustration of that is the case of the British man in this news story from July:

Richard Rudd was paralyzed and brain damaged after being injured in a motorcycle accident last October and suffering subsequent medical complications. Treated in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England his family thought they knew he would not want to live.

“We said that knowing Richard, there was no way in a million years that he would want to live with his injuries,” his father told the Daily Telegraph. Rudd had told his daughter that if he suffered a severe injury in an accident like a car crash, he “wouldn’t want to go on,” Rudd’s father reported.

Rudd’s father gave permission for treatment to be withdrawn. As hospital staff gathered around Rudd’s bed, they noticed he was able to blink his eyes for the first time in several weeks.

The doctors asked Rudd three times whether he wanted to continue to live. He blinked “yes” in reply to each of their three questions.

Rudd was lucky, to say the least. No doubt there are vast numbers of people who aren’t.

But his case is illustrative of the fact that someone—when feeling able and healthy—could decide that they don’t want to live if it means the kind of existence Rudd is facing, yet when they’re actually in that situation they decide that they do want to live after all.

Rudd’s case is thus a valuable cautionary tale: We must recognize that past statements are not a good guide to what someone would actually want in this kind of situation. And especially we must not allow ourselves to believe what is convenient for us—the relatives— and what will help ease our own suffering.

This goes both ways, though.

Just as a person can change his mind about wanting to die, so he can change his mind about wanting to live.

There may be—and no doubt are—many people who when healthy and active think, “I’d want them to do everything to keep me alive, no matter what shape I’m in.” Yet, when they get down to the end of live, they may change their mind and say, “You know, I’m ready to go. I’m ready for this suffering to be over.”

In the same way, if they can’t speak for themselves, their relatives may make the same mistake of believing what is convenient rather than what is true. There are people—not as many as their used to be given our society’s growing death ethic—for whom the easy thing would be to keep the loved one alive as long as possible, for any number of reasons. They may find themselves thinking, “Of course this person would want to live! They would want everything done to keep them alive!” And perhaps the person even said this in the past, though now the person would say differently.

The point is that people’s minds can change and that we must cross examine our feelings when we are being asked these questions. We must make sure we are not just choosing what is easy and convenient for us to believer rather than focusing on what is true.

I’m afraid that I don’t have a magic solution, here. I wish I did!

Obviously, committing an immoral procedure—such as deliberately killing the patient or withholding nutrition and hydration that they would be capable of assimilating—is off the table. And, if the patient can’t speak for himself then previously written instructions are the best available guide, followed by clear memories of what the patient said, followed by fuzzy ones, followed by gut instincts. And the default should be in favor of preserving life.

But there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the question of when to end treatment. All too often a judgment call is involved.

The case of Mr. Rudd from England highlights the fact that people’s opinions can change and that we need to be cautious—and prayerful—in making these decisions.

What are your thoughts? (end of article)

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And now for links so that you may read about Trisha.

The first the world heard about Trisha came from the Atlanta Journal http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/update-bride-in-coma-596116.html

An update on Trisha http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/update-bride-in-coma-596116.html

Notice of her death http://networkedblogs.com/8j7BN

And the final episode http://www.ajc.com/news/bride-in-coma-27-620657.html

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Although painted by the Atlanta Journal as a romance novel, the facts are that there is no real dignity in starving to death or in dehydration. There is much to learn about this whole area and it behooves each and every one of us to know all the facts, not to run on emotion. This touches everyone's life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today's News & Views
November 23, 2009

The Day After the Day After the Senate Health Care Restructuring Vote
Part One of Three

By Dave Andrusko

Part Two looks at a man who was misdiagnosed for 23 years as being in a PVS. Part Three walks you through another rationing and euthanasia threat in the proposed Senate health care restructuring bill. Please send your comments on any part to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you'd like, follow me on http://twitter.com/daveha.

Let me begin Monday's TN&V with three illuminating quotes. The first two are from today's Rasmussen Reports.

"Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That's the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June."

"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13. For the first time in the Obama Administration, the Approval Index has been in negative double digits for nine straight days." [The Presidential Approval Index measures the difference between the percentage which strongly approve and those strongly disapprove of the President.]

"[President] Obama and [Senate Majority Leader] Reid wanted debate – so now they'll get debate, on their cloaked provisions that would cover abortion on demand in proposed new government-run and government-subsidized insurance plans."
-- From National Right to Life's Statement, following the Saturday vote. The statement is reproduced in its entirety at the end of this blog.

So, what do we know that we didn't know last Friday? Maybe I should phrase it differently, or at least begin by discussing what was confirmed when Harry Reid secured just enough votes to clear a procedural hurdle.

Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama

First, as the NRLC statement makes crystal clear, Obama and Reid and the rest of the pro-abortion Democratic leadership went to the mat to preserve what matters most to their pro-abortion allies: payment for any and all abortions through a huge new federal health insurance program, the "public option," and also to subsidize purchase of private plans that cover abortion on demand.

Second, as is par for the course for the entire 2,074-page bill, the public is supposed to willfully suspend disbelief and accept what is patently not true: that the bill is somehow "neutral" on abortion. The Stupak-Pitts language, adopted by the House, genuinely extends the principles of the Hyde Amendment that governs all of the current federal health programs. When Reid refused to include this language in his bill, it unmistakably signaling his real intent.

So why are all the smoke and mirrors necessary? Because Obama and Reid know (as the NRLC statement points out) that the "substance of these abortion-promoting policies is deeply unpopular, so they seek to conceal the reality with layers of contorted definitions and money-laundering schemes."

So, what else do we know? We heard some Democrats say they merely voted to go ahead with a debate over the bill--that their affirmative vote doesn't necessarily mean they will go along with the final measure.

What we do know for sure that there is a band of pro-life Democrats in the House who have minced no words: if the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is gutted or removed, they will oppose final approval of health care legislation.

Please read NRLC' s statement below and make sure that you use your social networks to forward this edition of TN&V to all your pro-life friends.

We know that Reid has said the debate on the substance of his bill begins next week. To keep up to date on how you can help NRLC stop inclusion of the Reid pro-abortion language, please go to http://nrlactioncenter.com.

National Right to Life to Obama and Reid: You wanted debate? Now you'll get debate – on government-funded abortion.

As National Right to Life has previously noted, Senator Reid's bill [on page 118] would authorize the federal government to pay for any and all abortions through a huge new federal health insurance program, the "public option," and also to subsidize purchase of private plans that cover abortion on demand. President Obama and Reid know that the substance of these abortion-promoting policies is deeply unpopular, so they seek to conceal the reality with layers of contorted definitions and money-laundering schemes.

Obama and Reid wanted debate – so now they'll get debate, on their cloaked provisions that would cover abortion on demand in proposed new government-run and government-subsidized insurance plans.

Obama and Reid are seeking to block enactment of the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts compromise, adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on November 7 by a vote of 240-194. This amendment would prevent government funding of elective abortion through the proposed "public option," and would also prevent federal subsidies from paying for private insurance plans that cover elective abortion.

During the weeks ahead, National Right to Life will continue to fight the efforts of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders to cover abortion on demand in two huge new federal health programs. The Senate bill faces additional 60-vote hurdles in the future. Moreover, a courageous group of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives will oppose final approval of health care legislation if the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is gutted or removed.

http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/Nov09/nv112309.html
Today's News & Views
November 23, 2009

Debate On Reid Senate Health Care Restructuring Bill to Begin After Thanksgiving
Part Three of Three

Editor’s note. Last week NRLC’s invaluable Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics blog began a series of posts to explain various concerns in the Reid Senate health care restructuring bill related to rationing and euthanasia. The measure cleared its first hurdle Saturday with a 60-39 cloture vote to begin debate. The party-line vote (Sen. Voinovich, R-Ohio, did not vote) allows the full Senate to begin debating the bill. The bill, with its numerous rationing concerns, will be debated after this week's Thanksgiving recess.

Price Controls (Medicare)

The Reid bill includes the House provision that would effectively allow the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to bar senior citizens from adding their own money, if they choose, to the government contribution in order to get private-fee-for-service Medicare Advantage plans that are less likely to ration life-saving treatment.

Medicare—the government program that provides health insurance to older people in the United States—faces grave fiscal problems as the baby boom generation ages. Medicare is financed by payroll taxes, which means that those now working are paying for the health care of those now retired. As the baby boom generation moves from middle into old age, the proportion of the retired population will increase, while the proportion of the working population will decrease. The consequence is that the amount of money available for each Medicare beneficiary, when adjusted for health care inflation, will shrink.

Three alternatives exist.

In theory, taxes could be increased dramatically to make up the shortfall – an unlikely and politically difficult proposition. The second alternative—to put it bluntly but accurately—is rationing. Less money available per senior citizen would mean less treatment, including less of the treatments necessary to prevent death. For want of treatment, many people whose lives could have been saved by medical treatment will perish against their will.

The third alternative is that, as the government contribution decreases, the shortfall could be made up by payments from older people themselves, so that their Medicare health insurance premium could voluntarily be financed partly by the government and partly from their own income and savings.

What most people do not realize is that, as a result of legislative changes in 1997 and 2003, supported by the National Right to Life Committee, this third alternative is now law. Under the title of “private fee-for-service plans,” there is an option in Medicare under which senior citizens can choose health insurance whose value is not limited by what the government may pay toward it. These plans can set premiums and reimbursement rates for providers without upward limits set by government regulation.

This means that such plans will not be forced to ration treatment, as long as senior citizens are allowed to choose to pay more for them. This option means that Medicare can operate in such a way that whatever the government provides will serve as the floor, not the ceiling, for what health care senior citizens can get. As government contributions sink, private fee-for-service plans can provide a way to escape rationing. (More on the background of this program can be found at www.nrlc.org/news/2007/NRL03/Rationing.html)

Medicare covers everyone of retirement age, regardless of income or assets. Yet, because of budget constraints, the Medicare reimbursement rates for health care providers tend to be below the cost of giving the care. This deficit that can only accelerate as cost pressures on Medicare increase with the retirement of the baby boomers.

This means that providers engage in “cost shifting” by using funds they receive in payment for treating insured working people to help make up for what the providers lose when treating retirees under Medicare. Thus, comparatively low-income workers often effectively subsidize higher-income retirees.

However, when middle-income retirees are free voluntarily to add their own money on top of the government contribution (through a private fee-for-service plan), they stop being the beneficiaries of cost-shifting and become contributors to it. However, this program faces elimination in the Reid bill.

Section 3209 indirectly amends the section in existing law that allows private fee-for-service plans to set their premiums without approval by Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services [CMS] by saying, “Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the Secretary to accept any or every bid submitted by an MA [Medicare Advantage] organization under this subsection.” [1]

This allows CMS to refuse to allow private-fee-for-service plans that charge what CMS regards as premiums that are too high – or, literally, allows CMS to refuse to allow private-fee-for-service plans (or any other Medicare Advantage plans) altogether, for any reason or no reason.

This dangerous provision in the Reid bill will eliminate the only way that seniors have to escape rationing--by taking away their right to spend their own money to save their own lives.

http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/Nov09/nv112309Part3.html
Today's News & Views
November 23, 2009

Man Misdiagnosed as Being in a "Persistent Vegetative State" for 23 Years
Part Two of Three

By Dave Andrusko

Earlier this morning I read about Rom Houben, misdiagnosed as being in a so-called "persistent vegetative state" for 23 years. Doctors discovered three years ago Houben, who was severely injured in a car crash in 1983, had been mentally alert all along, but unable to communicate. Only today did the news reach a wider audience.

But I was unable to post a TN&V until later because of a number of other things I had to get done. This is fortunate, because as the day progressed many very important details and clarifications came out.

Rom Houben

A lot of distinctions had been blurred in the accounts. For example, four very different conditions--coma, comatose, vegetative state, and persistent vegetative state--were used almost interchangeably. Even after reading a number of stories, it's difficult to know who thought what when. One of the later stories suggested doctors first thought Houben was in a coma and then lapsed into a "persistent vegetative state."

But whatever the diagnosis, it was wrong. Fortunately for Houben, a former martial arts enthusiast and engineering student, he was not starved to death.

"Mr Houben recalled the terrifying realisation after he came round from his accident when he knew that he had lost complete control of his body – but no one knew that he was fully conscious," The Times of London reported. Although he could hear every word his doctors were saying, Houben could not communicate with them. "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear," he told the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Initially, all the credit for the correct diagnosis seemed to belong to the medical team headed by Dr. Steven Laureys, a neurological researcher at the Liege University Hospital in Belgium, a man who clearly is on a mission. While they deserve plenty of kudos, there is a "rest of the story," as we shall see momentarily.

Dr. Steven Laureys

"Laureys, who is head of the coma science group and neurology department at Li├Ęge University hospital, concluded coma patients are diagnosed falsely 'on a disturbingly regular basis," The Guardian reported. "In around 40% of cases diagnosed as vegetative, more careful examination shows there is still some level of consciousness. He examined 44 patients believed to be in a vegetative state, and found that 18 of them responded to communication. 'Once someone is labelled as being without consciousness, it is very hard to get rid of that,' he told Spiegel magazine, calling for a systematic overhaul of the methods of diagnosis."

He told the Guardian that "patients who are not fully unconscious can often be treated and are capable of making considerable progress." Houben now communicates through a computer, and a special device above his bed makes it possible for him to read books

But how did Dr. Laurey even learn about Houben? His parents, who did not believe he was comatose or vegetative, according to the Associated Press. His mother, Fina Houben, talked with the AP by phone and said they had taken Rom to the United States five times for tests.

"More searching finally got her in touch with Laureys, who put Houben through a PET scan that indicated he was conscious," reports Raf Casert of the AP. "The family and doctors then began trying to establish communication. A breakthrough came when he was able to indicate yes or no by slightly moving his foot to push a computer device placed there by Laureys' team. Then came the spelling of words using his finger and a touch-screen attached to his wheelchair." It is not entirely clear why the case came to light at this particular moment; Laureys published his study in the journal BMC earlier this year, showing that some 40% of patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state were not.

Be that as it may, Houben is a very happy man. "I'll never forget the day that they discovered me, it was my second birth," he said. Now he says, "'I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead," according to the Daily Mail.

http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/Nov09/nv112309part2.html

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Join the Manhattan Declaration

http://manhattandeclaration.org/

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience
Nov 20, 2009
One hundred forty-eight Signatories

Preamble

Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians under Wilberforce’s leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible. And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes—from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.

Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a profound contribution to the public good.

Declaration

We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

Life

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Although public sentiment has moved in a pro-life direction, we note with sadness that pro-abortion ideology prevails today in our government. The present administration is led and staffed by those who want to make abortions legal at any stage of fetal development, and who want to provide abortions at taxpayer expense. Majorities in both houses of Congress hold pro-abortion views. The Supreme Court, whose infamous 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade stripped the unborn of legal protection, continues to treat elective abortion as a fundamental constitutional right, though it has upheld as constitutionally permissible some limited restrictions on abortion. The President says that he wants to reduce the “need” for abortion—a commendable goal. But he has also pledged to make abortion more easily and widely available by eliminating laws prohibiting government funding, requiring waiting periods for women seeking abortions, and parental notification for abortions performed on minors. The elimination of these important and effective pro-life laws cannot reasonably be expected to do other than significantly increase the number of elective abortions by which the lives of countless children are snuffed out prior to birth. Our commitment to the sanctity of life is not a matter of partisan loyalty, for we recognize that in the thirty-six years since Roe v. Wade, elected officials and appointees of both major political parties have been complicit in giving legal sanction to what Pope John Paul II described as “the culture of death.” We call on all officials in our country, elected and appointed, to protect and serve every member of our society, including the most marginalized, voiceless, and vulnerable among us.

A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable. As predicted by many prescient persons, the cheapening of life that began with abortion has now metastasized. For example, human embryo-destructive research and its public funding are promoted in the name of science and in the cause of developing treatments and cures for diseases and injuries. The President and many in Congress favor the expansion of embryo- research to include the taxpayer funding of so-called “therapeutic cloning.” This would result in the industrial mass production of human embryos to be killed for the purpose of producing genetically customized stem cell lines and tissues. At the other end of life, an increasingly powerful movement to promote assisted suicide and “voluntary” euthanasia threatens the lives of vulnerable elderly and disabled persons. Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”) were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-twentieth century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of “liberty,” “autonomy,” and “choice.”

We will be united and untiring in our efforts to roll back the license to kill that began with the abandonment of the unborn to abortion. We will work, as we have always worked, to bring assistance, comfort, and care to pregnant women in need and to those who have been victimized by abortion, even as we stand resolutely against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can somehow be in the best interests of women to submit to the deliberate killing of their unborn children. Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just, humane, and truly Christian answer to problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother and child alike.

A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make clear. We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition.

Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these travesties as flowing from the same loss of the sense of the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human cloning for biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and life for all humans in all circumstances.

Marriage

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:32-33 In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning achievement of God’s creation. In the transmission of life and the nurturing of children, men and women joined as spouses are given the great honor of being partners with God Himself. Marriage then, is the first institution of human society—indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation. In the Christian tradition we refer to marriage as “holy matrimony” to signal the fact that it is an institution ordained by God, and blessed by Christ in his participation at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In the Bible, God Himself blesses and holds marriage in the highest esteem.

Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves. Unfortunately, we have witnessed over the course of the past several decades a serious erosion of the marriage culture in our own country. Perhaps the most telling—and alarming—indicator is the out-of-wedlock birth rate. Less than fifty years ago, it was under 5 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. Our society—and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sectors, where the out-of-wedlock birth rate is much higher even than the national average—is paying a huge price in delinquency, drug abuse, crime, incarceration, hopelessness, and despair. Other indicators are widespread non-marital sexual cohabitation and a devastatingly high rate of divorce.

We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.

To strengthen families, we must stop glamorizing promiscuity and infidelity and restore among our people a sense of the profound beauty, mystery, and holiness of faithful marital love. We must reform ill-advised policies that contribute to the weakening of the institution of marriage, including the discredited idea of unilateral divorce. We must work in the legal, cultural, and religious domains to instill in young people a sound understanding of what marriage is, what it requires, and why it is worth the commitment and sacrifices that faithful spouses make.

The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil and religious law and in the philosophical tradition that contributed to shaping the law. Yet it is critical that the impulse be resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring a sound understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture. It would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about procreation and the unique character and value of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of life. In spousal communion and the rearing of children (who, as gifts of God, are the fruit of their parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons for and benefits of the marriage covenant.

We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct. We have compassion for those so disposed; we respect them as human beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity; and we pay tribute to the men and women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward. We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives. We, no less than they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love and forgiveness. We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it. Our rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become the rejection of sinners. For every sinner, regardless of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not our destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts. Jesus calls all who wander from the path of virtue to “a more excellent way.” As his disciples we will reach out in love to assist all who hear the call and wish to answer it.

We further acknowledge that there are sincere people who disagree with us, and with the teaching of the Bible and Christian tradition, on questions of sexual morality and the nature of marriage. Some who enter into same- sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their unions as truly marital. They fail to understand, however, that marriage is made possible by the sexual complementarity of man and woman, and that the comprehensive, multi-level sharing of life that marriage is includes bodily unity of the sort that unites husband and wife biologically as a reproductive unit. This is because the body is no mere extrinsic instrument of the human person, but truly part of the personal reality of the human being. Human beings are not merely centers of consciousness or emotion, or minds, or spirits, inhabiting non-personal bodies. The human person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit. Marriage is what one man and one woman establish when, forsaking all others and pledging lifelong commitment, they found a sharing of life at every level of being—the biological, the emotional, the dispositional, the rational, the spiritual—on a commitment that is sealed, completed and actualized by loving sexual intercourse in which the spouses become one flesh, not in some merely metaphorical sense, but by fulfilling together the behavioral conditions of procreation. That is why in the Christian tradition, and historically in Western law, consummated marriages are not dissoluble or annullable on the ground of infertility, even though the nature of the marital relationship is shaped and structured by its intrinsic orientation to the great good of procreation.

We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians, believe that the historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a denial of equality or civil rights. They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that asserts that no harm would be done to them or to anyone if the law of the community were to confer upon two men or two women who are living together in a sexual partnership the status of being “married.” It would not, after all, affect their own marriages, would it? On inspection, however, the argument that laws governing one kind of marriage will not affect another cannot stand. Were it to prove anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships. Should these, as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as lawful marriages, and would they have no effects on other relationships? No. The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the law may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and influential.

No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow. First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience is jeopardized. Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education programs in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding recognizes as “marriages” sexual partnerships that many parents believe are intrinsically non- marital and immoral. Third, the common good of civil society is damaged when the law itself, in its critical pedagogical function, becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage culture in any society vitally depends. Sadly, we are today far from having a thriving marriage culture. But if we are to begin the critically important process of reforming our laws and mores to rebuild such a culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to re-define marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what marriage is.

And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.

Religious Liberty

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21

The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long and arduous, but it is not a novel idea or recent development. The nature of religious liberty is grounded in the character of God Himself, the God who is most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Determined to follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early Christians appealed to the manner in which the Incarnation had taken place: “Did God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing fear and terror? Not so, but in gentleness and meekness..., for compulsion is no attribute of God” (Epistle to Diognetus 7.3-4). Thus the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the example of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human person created in the image of God—a dignity, as our founders proclaimed, inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise of right reason.

Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.

It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn, aged and disabled and also a right to engage in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have relationships integrated around these practices be recognized and blessed by law—such persons claiming these “rights” are very often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to express their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife.

We see this, for example, in the effort to weaken or eliminate conscience clauses, and therefore to compel pro- life institutions (including religiously affiliated hospitals and clinics), and pro-life physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other health care professionals, to refer for abortions and, in certain cases, even to perform or participate in abortions. We see it in the use of anti-discrimination statutes to force religious institutions, businesses, and service providers of various sorts to comply with activities they judge to be deeply immoral or go out of business. After the judicial imposition of “same-sex marriage” in Massachusetts, for example, Catholic Charities chose with great reluctance to end its century-long work of helping to place orphaned children in good homes rather than comply with a legal mandate that it place children in same-sex households in violation of Catholic moral teaching. In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions. In Canada and some European nations, Christian clergy have been prosecuted for preaching Biblical norms against the practice of homosexuality. New hate-crime laws in America raise the specter of the same practice here.

In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline in respect for religious values in the media, the academy and political leadership, resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of religion. We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat to the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her faith, but because the trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system of republican government is founded. Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people of one’s own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of.1 Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.

As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority. We believe in law and in the rule of law. We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral. The biblical purpose of law is to preserve order and serve justice and the common good; yet laws that are unjust—and especially laws that purport to compel citizens to do what is unjust—undermine the common good, rather than serve it.

Going back to the earliest days of the church, Christians have refused to compromise their proclamation of the gospel. In Acts 4, Peter and John were ordered to stop preaching. Their answer was, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Through the centuries, Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required. There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religious conscience than the one offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings. Inasmuch as they can claim no authority beyond sheer human will, they lack any power to bind in conscience. King’s willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Dr. Daniel Akin President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC)

Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Abika, Nigeria)

Randy Alcorn Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) (Sandy, OR)

Rt. Rev. David Anderson President and CEO, American Anglican Council (Atlanta, GA)

Leith Anderson President of National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, DC)

Charlotte K. Ardizzone TV Show Host and Speaker, INSP Television (Charlotte, NC)

Kay Arthur CEO and Co-founder, Precept Ministries International (Chattanooga, TN)

Dr. Mark L. Bailey President, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX)

His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop Basil Essey The Right Reverend Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Wichita, KS)

Joel Belz Founder, World Magazine (Asheville, NC)

Rev. Michael L. Beresford Managing Director of Church Relations, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn. (Charlotte, NC)

Ken Boa President, Reflections Ministries (Atlanta, GA)

Joseph Bottum Editor of First Things (New York, NY)

Pastor Randy & Sarah Brannon Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church (Madera, CA)

Steve Brown National radio broadcaster, Key Life (Maitland, FL)

Dr. Robert C. Cannada, Jr. Chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando, FL)

Galen Carey Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, DC)

Dr. Bryan Chapell President, Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO)

Scott Chapman Senior Pastor, The Chapel (Libertyville, IL)

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, CO

Timothy Clinton President, American Association of Christian Counselors (Forest, VA)

Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, VA)

Most Rev. Salvatore Joseph Cordileone Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, CA

Dr. Gary Culpepper Associate Professor, Providence College (Providence, RI)

Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, VA)

Rev. Daniel Delgado Board of Directors, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference & Pastor, Third Day Missions Church (Staten Island, NY)

Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Dr. David Dockery President, Union University (Jackson, TN)

Most Rev. Timothy Dolan Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, NY

Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York, NY)

Dr. James T. Draper, Jr. President Emeritus, LifeWay (Nashville, TN)

Dinesh D’Souza Writer & Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)

Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America (Ambridge, PA )

Joni Eareckson Tada Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, CA)

Dr. Michael Easley President Emeritus, Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, IL)

Dr. William Edgar Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia, PA)

Brett Elder Executive Director, Stewardship Council (Grand Rapids, MI)

Rev. Joel Elowsky Drew University ( Madison, NJ)

Stuart Epperson Co-Founder and Chariman of the Board, Salem Communications Corporation ( Camarillo, CA)

Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA)

William J. Federer President, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis, MO)

Fr. Joseph D. Fessio Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins, CO)

Carmen Fowler President & Executive Editor, Presbyterian Lay Committee (Lenoir, NC)

Maggie Gallagher President, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a co-author of The Case for Marriage (Manassas, VA)

Dr. Jim Garlow Senior Pastor, Skyline Church (La Mesa, CA)

Steven Garofalo Senior Consultant, Search and Assessment Services (Charlotte, NC)

Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Dr. Timothy George Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (Birmingham, AL)

Thomas Gilson Director of Strategic Processes, Campus Crusade for Christ International (Norfolk, VA)

Dr. Jack Graham Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, TX)

Dr. Wayne Grudem Research Professor of Theological and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary (Phoenix, AZ)

Dr. Cornell “Corkie” Haan National Facilitator of Spiritual Unity, The Mission America Coalition (Palm Desert, CA)

Fr. Chad Hatfield Chancellor, CEO. And Archpriest, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Yonkers, NY)

Dr. Dennis Hollinger President and Professor of Christian Ethics, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA)

Dr. Jeanette Hsieh Executive VP and Provost, Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL)

Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr. Senior Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (Newport Beach, CA) and Chairman of the Board, Christianity Today International (Carol Stream, IL)

Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, WA)

Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, MD)

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse President, American Orthodox Institute and Editor, OrthodoxyToday.org (Naples, FL)

Jerry Jenkins Chairman of the board of trustees for Moody Bible Institute (Black Forest, CO)

Camille Kampouris Publisher, Kairos Journal

Emmanuel A. Kampouris Editorial Board, Kairos Journal

Rev. Tim Keller Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY)

Dr. Peter Kreeft Professor of Philosophy, Boston College (MA) and at the Kings College (NY)

Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, KY

Jim Kushiner Editor, Touchstone (Chicago, IL)

Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, DC)

Jim Law Senior Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church (Woodstock, GA)

Dr. Matthew Levering Associate Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University (Naples, FL)

Dr. Peter Lillback President, The Providence Forum (West Conshohocken, PA)

Dr. Duane Litfin President, Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL)

Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA)

His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida Archbishop Emeritus, Roman Catholic Diocese of Detroit, MI

Most Rev. Richard J. Malone Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, ME

Rev. Francis Martin Professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary (Detroit, MI)

Dr. Joseph Mattera Bishop & Senior Pastor, Resurrection Church (Brooklyn, NY)

Phil Maxwell Pastor, Gateway Church (Bridgewater, NJ)

Josh McDowell Founder, Josh McDowell Ministries (Plano, TX)

Alex McFarland President, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte, NC)

Most Rev. George Dallas McKinney Bishop, & Founder and Pastor, St. Stephen’s Church of God in Christ (San Diego, CA)

Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns Missionary Bishop, Convocation of Anglicans of North America (Herndon, VA)

Dr. C. Ben Mitchell Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University (Jackson, TN)

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Dr. Russell D. Moore Senior VP for Academic Administration & Dean of the School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Most Rev. John J. Myers Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, NJ

Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, KS

David Neff Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today (Carol Stream, IL)

Tom Nelson Senior Pastor, Christ Community Evangelical Free Church (Leawood, KS)

Niel Nielson President, Covenant College (Lookout Mt., GA)

Most Rev. John Nienstedt Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Tom Oden Theologian, United Methodist Minister and Professor, Drew University (Madison, NJ)

Marvin Olasky Editor-in-Chief, World Magazine and provost, The Kings College (New York City, NY)

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, AZ

Rev. William Owens Chairman, Coalition of African-American Pastors (Memphis, TN)

Dr. J.I. Packer Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College (Canada)

Metr. Jonah Paffhausen Primate, Orthodox Church in America (Syosset, NY)

Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)

Eric M. Pillmore CEO, Pillmore Consulting LLC (Doylestown, PA)

Dr. Everett Piper President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (Bartlesville, OK)

Todd Pitner President, Rev Increase

Dr. Cornelius Plantinga President, Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, MI)

Dr. David Platt Pastor, Church at Brook Hills (Birmingham AL)

Rev. Jim Pocock Pastor, Trinitarian Congregational Church (Wayland, MA)

Fred Potter Executive Director & CEO, Christian Legal Society (Springfield, VA)

Dennis Rainey President, CEO, & Co-Founder, FamilyLife (Little Rock, AR)

Fr. Patrick Reardon Pastor, All Saints’ Antiochian Orthodox Church (Chicago, IL)

Bob Reccord Founder, Total Life Impact, Inc. (Suwanee, GA)

His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, PA

Frank Schubert President, Schubert Flint Public Affairs (Sacramento, CA)

David Schuringa President, Crossroads Bible Institute (Grand Rapids, MI)

Tricia Scribner Author (Harrisburg, NC)

Dr. Dave Seaford Senior Pastor, Community Fellowship Church (Matthews, NC)

Alan Sears President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ)

Randy Setzer Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church (Lincolnton, NC)

Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, CO

Dr. Ron Sider Director, Evangelicals for Social Action (Wynnewood, PA)

Fr. Robert Sirico Founder, Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, MI)

Dr. Robert Sloan President, Houston Baptist University (Houston, TX)

Charles Stetson Chairman of the Board, Bible Literacy Project (New York, NY)

Dr. David Stevens CEO, Christian Medical & Dental Association (Bristol, TN)

John Stonestreet Executive Director, Summit Ministries (Manitou Springs, CO)

Dr. Joseph Stowell President, Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI)

Dr. Sarah Sumner Professor of Theology and Ministry, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA)

Dr. Glenn Sunshine Chairman of the history department of Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT)

Luiz Tellez President, The Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, NJ)

Dr. Timothy C. Tennent Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA)

Michael Timmis Chairman, Prison Fellowship and Prison Fellowship International (Naples, FL)

Mark Tooley President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)

H. James Towey President, St. Vincent College (Latrobe, PA)

Juan Valdes Middle and High School Chaplain, Flordia Christian School (Miami, FL)

Todd Wagner Pastor, WaterMark Community Church (Dallas, TX)

Dr. Graham Walker President, Patrick Henry Univ. (Purcellville, VA)

Alexander F. C. Webster Archpriest, Orthodox Church in America and Associate Professorial Lecturer, The George Washington University (Ft. Belvoir, VA)

George Weigel Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)

David Welch Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Director, US Pastors Council (Houston, TX)

Dr. James White Founding and Senior Pastor, Mecklenberg Community Church (Charlotte, NC)

Dr. Hayes Wicker Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church (Naples, FL)

Mark Williamson Founder and President, Foundation Restoration Ministries/Federal Intercessors (Katy, TX)

Dr. Craig Williford President, Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL)

Dr. John Woodbridge Research professor of Church History & the History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL)

Don M. Woodside Performance Matters Associates (Matthews, NC)

Dr. Frank Wright President, National Religious Broadcasters (Manassas, VA)

Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Paul Young COO & Executive VP, Christian Research Institute (Charlotte, NC)

Dr. Michael Youssef President, Leading the Way (Atlanta, GA)

Ravi Zacharias Founder and Chairman of the board, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (Norcross, GA)

Most Rev. David A. Zubik Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA
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