Social issues and the Republican Party

“Don’t talk about social issues! Talking about social issues hurts Republicans. All that does is stir people up. We have to focus on the budget, and also on jobs and the economy.”

We hear this nonsense every election, and while I disagree with the Republicans who are terrified of these discussions regarding whether they are helpful are harmful politically, that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is that I simply do not care about the politics of social issues or whether debating social issues damages the Republican Party.

While there are a number of topics that could be considered “social issues” (including gun rights) one of the specific social issues that some Republicans (and especially the Republican establishment) want to suppress every election year is abortion rights. They just do not want to talk about it. But my interest in opposing abortion is not political – it is theological.

I have been involved in the pro-life movement for the last 16 years, back to when I was in college. I have picketed Planned Parenthood, lobbied city and county government not to fund Planned Parenthood, supported anti-abortion candidates, marched in the Fourth of July parade, volunteered at the county fair and helped organize the annual Rally for Life. This is not because I am a Republican. This is because I am a Christian.

I am commanded to “rescue those being led away to death” in Proverbs 24:11-12 and the Bible says that murdering babies is a terribly wicked thing. In Jeremiah 32:35, God says that the murder of babies by burning them to death is so evil that it never even entered into His mind. Leviticus 20 provides a sobering warning to our nation about allowing the slaughter of the little ones made in God’s image. Can anyone imagine Jesus Christ approving of the barbaric act of abortion?

Let’s assume for a minute that debating the social issues hurts Republicans. (Which, again, I do not agree with.) What is more important for a Christian – obeying God or winning elections? What good is it to win elections if you cannot implement policy to fight the most important issues of our day? Popularity itself isn’t something to be pursued, as Jesus warned in Luke 6:26.

Frankly, I am rapidly losing interest in debating whether or not we should debate social issues. I am simply going to do what is right, the political consequences be damned. I will not stand before my Father and say that I put the Republican party ahead of my loyalty to Him. The Republican Party will pass away, but God’s word and His truth are eternal.

Thoughts on John Gregg’s choice for his running mate

So John Gregg has picked Vi Simpson as his running mate. On his web site, Gregg claims to be a “pro-life Democrat.” Why, then, would Gregg pick someone who is so strongly in favor of abortion rights (and someone who has spoken at abortion-rights rallies) as his running mate? A liberal Democrat from Bloomington, Mr. Gregg? Really? What are you thinking? This certainly undermines Gregg’s claim to be “pro-life.”

This only helps Mike Pence, and this is looking like a very good year for Republicans.

This also helps Reid Dallas, who does not have to unseat an incumbent state senator.

It will be interesting to see who the Democrats pick to take Simpson’s spot on the ballot. Peggy Welch is likely to lose her seat to Peggy Mayfield in the newly-redrawn District 60, but the Democratic Party’s base in Bloomington has been unhappy with Welch for years for her votes against abortion and homosexual marriage. The base could revolt if Welch is moved up to the state senate race instead of reliable liberal Matt Pierce. Losing the incumbent in the heavily Democratic District 61 will not matter, and the Democrats will hold that seat regardless.

But for lieutenant governor, Welch would have been a better fit with the views Gregg claims to hold and would play better with conservative Hoosier voters. It is telling that Gregg picked Simpson instead of Welch. This sends a signal to Indiana voters that Gregg is out of the mainstream.

GOP attacks on Romney’s record

In his editorial on May 24, Eugene Robinson whines that when Democrats attack Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, “they’re accused of being Bolsheviks who want to destroy capitalism” and points out that Republicans did it first. The implication – that Republicans got away with it.

Except they didn’t. Rush Limbaugh and others were very critical of Republicans who attacked Romney’s economic record.

Wanetta Gibson is a rapist

This woman is evil. Pure, unmitigated evil. From the Associated Press:

In an initial meeting with him, she said she had lied; there had been no kidnap and no rape and she offered to help him clear his record, court records state.

But she refused to repeat the story to prosecutors because she feared she would have to return a $1.5 million payment from a civil suit brought by her mother against Long Beach schools.

Wanetta Gibson should serve the same prison sentence for rape her victim did, plus a maximum sentence for fraud and theft for the $1.5 million. Furthermore, all of her and her mother’s material possessions along with every penny they have should be confiscated and sold to start paying back the school. Their attorney should be disbarred, and the prosecutor should go to prison.

The front page – focusing on local vs. national news

A letter to the editor on May 18 criticized the Herald-Times because a national news story the author thought important was “buried” deep in the paper. Anyone who has followed this blog or my comments on knows I have been very critical of the H-T over the years, but I do not think this is a fair criticism.

Several years ago, the H-T decided to change its focus to concentrate first and foremost on local news, and to feature local news on the front page. (For some historical perspective on this issue, see comments from the H-T editor on this subject from November 29, 2003 and July 10, 2004.)

I disagreed at the time and was critical of the policy, but after several years of this policy I think it works. For the most part, the days of people getting the majority of their news from the local newspaper are over, and that trend was already in the process of being established when the H-T made its decision to highlight local news on the front page and move nation/world news to a later section.

If I have a criticism of the Herald-Times’ layout, it is that nation/world stories are often inside the sports section, rather than having nation/world news on the front of a section and having sports take a position inside the paper. While I recognize that a lot of people go directly to the sports section, nation/world news is more important in the impact that news has and should take a more prominent position.

The local focus, though, is the right decision for a paper covering a city of this size. You can get national and world news from dozens of news Web sites and 24/7 cable news channels, but the local news coverage the H-T offers you really cannot get anywhere else – or at least not in the volume the H-T provides.

Now, the quality of that local news is another debate entirely…

Facing reality on "party unity"

Here is a reminder of an important reality:

You cannot have party unity in a “big tent” party. If we are going to have a wide range of ideological perspectives in the GOP, then we have to expect there will be heated disagreements and debates about public policy. Sometimes, these debates will become bitter arguments. It is not realistic to expect people who have wide differences on public policy will not criticize each other and sometimes refuse to support candidates who have wildly different perspectives on public policy.

Social Services Funding Committee hears proposals

The Bloomington city council’s social services funding committee met last week for a couple hours to hear proposals from the various social service agencies seeking a grant from the Hopkins fund. As is always the case, the proposals for funding came to more than the city had budgeted for grants, so the city will have to deny some of the requests and not fully fund others. This, of course, is why Planned Parenthood should not be funded.

I found it interesting that there we a number of requests to cover salaries. The guidelines for funding state that the funding request should be for a one-time investment, rather than an ongoing expense. According to the document posted on the city’s website (download the PDF) “this restriction discourages agencies from relying on these funds from year to year and from using these funds to cover on-going (or operational) costs, particularly those relating to personnel.”

This is another reason PP’s request should be denied, because this is an ongoing program rather than a true one-time investment. This is not the purchase of an autoclave or a medical examining program (both of which have been purchased for PP by the city in the past) but a request for “help” for a sexual education program that will continue well into the future. Of course, PP does not need “help” for this program, as I have pointed out many times in the past. Planned Parenthood does not need the money. They are seeking a political endorsement, nothing more.

The focus of this program is Indiana University students, though the program is not limited to them. Councilor Andy Ruff asked if there would be a way to determine whether the students who are getting services from this program have a financial need for the program. The woman presenting for Planned Parenthood dodged the question, simply repeating an earlier statement that the program will focus on freshmen at IU.

Obviously, residents of Bloomington should not be paying for students to attend this program when they can easily pay for it themselves, and it is interesting that Planned Parenthood’s representative dodged the question. It is easy to give a direct answer to that question, even if that answer is “I don’t know and I will have to get back to you on that.” Why did PP not answer Ruff’s question directly? Sidestepping the question is a disservice to the taxpayers of Bloomington, and shows disrespect for those taxpayers and the city council.

I asked PP’s representative after the meeting if this would be limited to college students or whether it would reach younger ages. I was not surprised to find out that it reached into local high schools, but it should be a concern that PP is also reaching into middle schools down to the sixth grade. They will be going into the schools. I sent an e-mail to the MCCSC School Board to ask questions about what PP would actually be doing when they go into the schools.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Sex, love and the freshman 15

Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 06:34:21 -0700 (PDT)

From: Scott Tibbs <>


Dear School Board members,

Planned Parenthood is requesting a grant from city government for a sex education program that targets Indiana University students. PP’s representative told me last Tuesday after her presentation to the social services funding committee that the program will also seek to educate younger students, down to the sixth grade, and that they would be going into the schools to provide this education. I have a few questions about this.

  • Does Planned Parenthood already have times scheduled for this program?

  • Will parents be informed about this, and will parents’ permission be required for their children to participate?

  • How detailed will this program be? Specifically, what will be taught to these students?

  • Will Planned Parenthood also be offering STD testing to local middle and high school students?

Thank you for your time.

Scott Tibbs

See previous articles here:

♣  Don’t subsidize abortionists — June 1, 1999

♣  Don’t give tax money to abortionists — May 5, 2002

♣  There is no reason to force taxpayers to subsidize abortionists — June 18, 2002

♣  City Council gives money to Planned Parenthood — June 30, 2002

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death — May 28, 2003

♣  Don’t give tax money to Planned Parenthood — April 30, 2004

♣  Don’t give tax money to Planned Parenthood — May 8, 2004

♣  Sturbaum should recuse himself — May 23, 2004

♣  Planned Parenthood’s grant request represents cynical politics — June 8, 2004

♣  City Council gives $$ to Planned Parenthood — June 19, 2004

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death, part VII — May 10, 2005

♣  City Council gives $1500 to Planned Parenthood — June 16, 2005

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death, Part VIII — June 19, 2006

♣  City Council funds Planned Parenthood — June 22, 2006

♣  Planned Parenthood’s latest request for corporate welfare — May 1, 2007

♣  Planned Parenthood’s request for corporate welfare — June 18, 2007

♣  Time to end the city’s subsidies to Planned Parenthood — May 5, 2008

♣  Billion-dollar corporation gets corporate welfare from Bloomington City Council — June 20, 2008

♣  Monroe County Council funds Planned Parenthood — December 9, 2009

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death — April 26, 2010

♣  Follow-up on corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood — May 5, 2010

♣  Bloomington Democrats subsidize sexual abuse — June 22, 2010

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death — September 27, 2010

♣  Monroe County Council funds felonies with tax dollars — October 20, 2010

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death — May 10, 2011

♣  No corporate welfare for the merchants of death — June 15, 2011

♣  Planned Parenthood gets corporate welfare again — June 17, 2011