Category Archives: Marriage and Family

Issues impacting marriages and families

Report From Ohio Family Lobby Day

Every year in the spring, a coalition of Christian family policy groups come together to sponsor Ohio Family Lobby Day (OFLD). This year it took place on Wednesday April 25. More than 60 people participated in this year’s event including my wife and two of my three children. Sponsoring groups included The Institute For Principled Policy, Pro-Family Network, Ohio Christian Alliance, Family First, Homemakers For America, Citizens For Community Values, Center For Bio-Ethical Reform and many others.

The purpose of OFLD is really four-fold. First, the participants get practical experience in meeting and speaking with their elected representatives. This is absolutely necessary if Christians are to have influence in making state and national policy. Second, the participants learn the best way to be persuasive in speaking with lawmakers. It is imperative that Christians develop cordial working relationships with lawmakers coming from a variety of perspectives and political parties. Third, Christians learn the details of bills which impact their families, churches, jobs and lives. Being aware of what legislators are working on is necessary for all families, if they are to have the impact on the culture that the Christian faith mandates. Fourth, important information is returned to Christian policy groups regarding where representatives stand on legislation that they believe to be crucial to their efforts.

The OFLD participants were divided into teams of four or 5 members. Several teams had whole families as members. My own team consisted of my wife and youngest daughter, two delightful pro-life Christian activists and me. I was appointed a team leader. My oldest daughter was placed on another team. The OFLD organizers made appointments for each team with legislators. Registration began at 8:00 AM and the group opened with prayer slightly behind schedule, a little after 9:00 AM. Following this was a short instruction on lobbying followed by briefings on several bills that the group would be concentrating on.

Among the bills the group was working for were SB-16, the Community Defense Act (CDA) already passed by the Ohio Senate and now pending in the Ohio House, a continuation of abstinence education which Governor Strickland has stated he will not continue; SB-20, the Adoption Tax Credit Increase already passed by the Ohio Senate and now pending in the Ohio House; continuation of the Ed Choice Scholarship program in the budget process and charter schools, which Governor Strickland wants to end or seriously curtail; HB-47 and HB-123, two bills which would end the attempts to tax churches in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and prevent this from occurring in the future. The group also was instructed on opposition to HB-81, The Mandatory Gardasil Vaccination Bill, support for the Covenant Marriage Bill (not yet numbered), seeking co-sponsors for the Personhood bill and opposition to the Prevention First Act.

Our team met with two state Senators and had appointments with three state Representatives. Due to the State of the Judiciary speech followed immediately by House session, we met mostly with aides of the lawmakers and unfortunately, one of the representative’s aides was taken ill and so our team’s appointment was canceled. Appointments lasted about 15 minutes and each team leader tried to make sure that any team member who had something to contribute to the lobbying efforts was given the opportunity to speak. I have had some limited experience and did most of the talking, but all of my team-mates also made important contributions to the effort. Only my daughter Stephanie had very little to say, she’s only 12, but she did manage to charm her way into a tour of the Capitol and she was very attentive to what was being said and done by the adults.

A fine lunch was provided as part of the cost of registration. The lobbyists-in-training were treated by a talk from Representative Bill Batchelder who asked us to not let our lobbying efforts be a once-a-year event but that we continue our work throughout the legislative session. We also were treated to a surprise speaker- former Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell, who gave a very inspirational talk on our efforts to have an influence in policymaking.

Between meetings some team members took advantage of the opportunity to watch the legislative process in action from the galleries while others took the time to explore the Capitol’s many historical displays, or to study legislative talking points.

At the end of the day, the teams were asked to fill out a de-briefing form which asked important questions regarding how the lobbying efforts were received, what legislative efforts the lawmakers supported and which ones they opposed. Thus invaluable information was gathered about which representatives support or oppose important bills and give insight on their approachability on future efforts.

My family’s OFLD experience was very positive. As a homeschooling parent, we believe our children gained a priceless lesson on how policy-related things are done, they got to see their parents in action trying to make Ohio a better place to live and they got experience in how to do the job themselves in the future. My oldest daughter thinks she might like to work in the state legislature, something she had never thought about before. This was well worth the registration fee. Come join us next spring and bring the kids!

The Institute For Principled Policy Opposes HB 81- Mandatory Gardisil HPV Vaccination

Policy RadarThe Institute For Principled Policy is working to oppose HB 81. This bill will revise the Ohio Revised Code to require girls who will be entering the sixth grade to begin the three injection vaccination cycle with the Gardasil® vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Under the bill the cycle of injections would have to be completed before girls could enter the seventh grade.

  • While the Policy Institute applauds the research efforts that make it possible to be vaccinated against the HPV virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease, we must oppose the effort to make it a mandatory injection for very young girls. There are several reasons for our opposition. Among these are;

    • In light of Governor Ted Strickland’s recent decision to halt all abstinence education funding, it makes little sense to remove a strong behavioral barrier to STD’s like HPV and replace that barrier with a porous and temporary biochemical barrier.
    • Cervical cancer and genital warts are terrible diseases but a significant portion of the former and all of the latter can be prevented by avoiding exposure to HPV through sexual abstinence until marriage by both spouses. The argument that the contraction of HPV is due to accidental contact, like polio, smallpox, measles, etc. does not stand up under scrutiny. HPV is easily preventable without vaccination, just like all other STD’s.
    • Gardasil® advertising leaves the strong impression that it is a panacea against HPV caused cancers and genital warts. But the technical literature distributed by Merck, the sole manufacturer of the vaccine, indicates that it is effective only against 4 of about 30 strains of the HPV virus seen in humans. These 4 strains account for only about 70% of virus caused uterine cancers and about 90% of virus caused genital warts.
    • The Institute For Principled Policy stands for biblical economics and therefore encourages successful businesses ventures which include a healthy profit. That being said, we believe it is unethical to structure the cost of a vaccination ($120 for each of the three injections in the series, a total of $360) which is being touted as a barrier against a potentially deadly STD so that it offsets the costs of lawsuits stemming from bad business decisions based on poorly conducted safety studies for other drugs that Merck has marketed (Vioxx®).
    • Furthermore, we believe that it is unethical for a company to mount an expensive and massive lobbying effort on a state-by-state basis designed to co-opt state legislators in an effort to create a guaranteed market through mandatory vaccination on a product which has essentially been awarded a monopoly. This strategy could mean multiple tens of billions of dollars to Merck in the first year of such a program alone.
    • We also believe that it is unethical to attempt to gain a back door indemnity for a product which has no long-term safety data but is nonetheless being touted for children as young as nine. Merck’s attempts to make the vaccination mandatory are at least partly based on federal legislation protecting corporations from damages for death or illness from mandatory vaccinations. No data exists on the long term health effects of Gardasil® so it is impossible to know how it may effect fertility, immune function, carcinogenic activity, neurological effects, et.
    • There is no data on the length of time of the effectiveness of the vaccine. It is conceivable that a child of 16 vaccinated at nine or ten years-old and deprived of an education showing abstinence as the only fool-proof method of STD prevention could become sexually active and be left without even the already incomplete protection of Gardasil®.
    • One of the serious risks of any vaccination of this type is an increased risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a paralytic auto-immune disorder. It is caused by antibodies which have been tricked into recognizing nerve insulating myelin as a foreign invader, causing them to attack the myelin. Gardasil® is only different in that it may have a higher than normal incidence. According to some watchdog groups girls receiving Gardasil® have a higher than normal incidence of fainting and neurological complaints ranging from numbness and loss of sensation to Guillain-Barre syndrome.
    • While we applaud Merck’s decision to not use mercury (Thimerosal) as a preservative, we cannot do the same regarding their choice to use an amorphous aluminium phosphate adjuvant. Aluminium is an important part of the activity of many vaccinations but is also a neurotoxin and accumulates as a heavy-metal in the human body.

    We urge all Ohioans to contact your state Senators and Representatives and respectfully request that they oppose mandatory administration of Gardasil®. Please see the “Contact Your Representatives” page for links to the Ohio Senate and House

  • Sign Up For Ohio Family Lobby Day!

    OHIO FAMILY LOBBY DAY

    April 25, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio

    Decisions are being made for you, on your behalf many times without your knowledge. Meet with your elected officials and or their staff face to face. Discuss issues and legislation of interest to the Christian family that are pending or proposed to the Ohio General Assembly.

    Our civic responsibility does not end with our vote on Election Day. We hired these men and women to represent our families and us now we must hold them accountable.

    Issues and Legislation before the 127th Ohio General Assembly:

      Covenant Marriage
      Adoption Reform & Foster Parenting
      Personhood Legislation
      Community Defense Act
      Abstinence Funding, School Vouchers Plus many more

    Receive training and information about the issues that concern you and your family.

    Meet like-minded concerned Christian citizens who want to make a difference for such a time as this.

    Sponsored By Pro-Family Network, Ohio Christian Alliance, Citizens for Community Values, Family First and Institute for Principled Policy, Citizen-USA Newspaper

    Printable copy of a flyer that you can distribute.

    Printable copy of the application form. Please print one out, complete it and fax it to 614-386-9804 or mail it with a check to the address indicated on the form.

    Or you can pay your registration online! Click here to go to our store “Events” category. The Ohio Family Lobby Day choices are there. You can use your Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover Card or Pay Pal account to pay the fee. Then download a copy of the registration form and fax it to 614-386-9804. Indicate that your fees were paid online on the form. Then you’re registered. It’s easy.

    Ohio Family Lobby Day

    OHIO FAMILY LOBBY DAY
    April 25, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio

    Decisions are being made for you, on your behalf many times without your knowledge. Meet with your elected officials and or their staff face to face. Discuss issues and legislation of interest to the Christian family that are pending or proposed to the Ohio General Assembly.

    Our civic responsibility does not end with our vote on Election Day. We hired these men and women to represent our families and us now we must hold them accountable.

    Issues and Legislation before the 127th Ohio General Assembly:

      Covenant Marriage
      Banning Homosexual Adoption & Foster Parenting
      Total Abortion Ban
      Community Defense Act
      Abstinence Funding, School Vouchers Plus many more

    Receive training and information about the issues that concern you and your family.

    Meet like-minded concerned Christian citizens who want to make a difference for such a time as this.

    Sponsored By Pro-Family Network, Ohio Christian Alliance, Citizens for Community Values, Family First and Institute for Principled Policy, Citizen-USA Newspaper

    Click here to see a printable copy of a flyer that you can distribute

    Click here for a printable copy of the application form. Please print one out, complete it and fax it to 614-386-9804

    To pay your registration online click here to go to our store “Events” category. The Ohio Family Lobby Day choices are there. You can use your Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover Card or Pay Pal account to pay the fee. Then download a copy of the registration form and fax it to 614-386-9804. Indicate that your fees were paid online on the form. Then you’re registered. It’s easy.