In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama, once again, told us that “the state of the union is strong.” Our citizens know differently. Here’s what Obama didn’t tell you:
- The unemployment rate may be down, but the labor participation rate is a paltry 62.6 percent. It is still stuck at a 38 year low.
- The average hourly pay also is stuck, sliding one cent last month to $25.24. That left the growth of average pay at 2.5 percent for the year, well below the 3.5 percent economists consider healthy.
- The same goes for health care. The percentage of adults without coverage remains at around 12%. Meanwhile, Obamacare premiums skyrocketed an average of 7.5%.
- The Dow Jones industrial average, faded by 2.2 percent, its first down year since 2008.
Armed with this knowledge, I was much more interested in Monday night’s report on the “State of the Family” delivered by Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council than I was in listening to Obama drone on about how well off we are under his failed policies. After all, the family is the backbone of any successful society.
While Perkins reported on the sobering conditions here and abroad, here are some of the highlights from this country that occurred last year:
- The Supreme court dismissed the natural and universal meaning of marriage as a violation of the 14th Amendment.
- The national debt soared above $18 trillion. This translates into a personal debt of over $58,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
- Under Obamacare, millions of Americans are now dependent on government subsidies for their health care insurance. The president’s lack of faith in market-based reform has created more reliance on government among Americans who need opportunity, not another government-funded program. A majority of the state health care co-ops collapsed, saddled with unsustainable debt.
- The Obama Administration threatened to withhold federal funds if an Illinois high school did not open the girl’s locker room and sports teams to a boy who now believes he is a girl.
- And last month, Aaron and Melissa Klein were compelled to pay over $136,000 to two women for whom they could not in good conscience use their talent to create a wedding cake.
These things are disturbing, Mr. Perkins also highlighted some positive developments in 2015, as well as citizens who used their God-given and constitutionally-assured liberty to stand for faith, family and freedom. These should give us hope and courage, especially since this is an election year:
- Kim Davis, the Clerk of Court in Kentucky refused to sanction same-sex marriages by allowing her name to appear on marriage license. She received a religious accommodation from newly elected governor, Matt Bevin, who made religious liberty a central theme for his successful campaign for governor.
- Voters in Houston, who, at the end of an 18-month effort, defeated a measure that would have provided special rights to some based of their sexual behavior and identity at the expense of others when sixty-one percent voted in opposition.
- Hundreds of pastors in San Antonio banded together to fight a non-discrimination ordinance forbidding any who objected to the LGBT agenda from serving in city government or contractors from doing business with the city. Through their efforts a new mayor and city council members were elected. The new major now asks San Antonio’s pastors for their counsel and invites them to pray for her at monthly gatherings. In addition, the advance of Planned Parenthood in the city was stopped through zoning laws.
- The defeat of an ACLU effort in Bossier City, Louisiana, that attempted to stop the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from placing prayer boxes around the Airline High School.
- In 2015, America became a more pro-life nation. In fact, over the last five years, 280 pro-life bills have been enacted at the state level. For example, in North Carolina, a new law holds abortionists accountable to the state’s 20-week ban on abortions by requiring them to submit measurements and images, verifying the age of the children they abort.
As the president laid out his priorities for the coming year, so did FRC President Tony Perkins. At the top of the list is the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act. It would clarify the meaning of the First Amendment and would cement protection of the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions about marriage. So far, six presidential candidates have pledged to support it.
If the American family is to stay strong, marriage and religious liberty must be defended. Are you in?