Education | Government

Liberty and Family

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This issue of Family North Carolina is heading to the printer as we return to work after celebrating our great nation’s 236th birthday. The uniqueness of the success of the American experiment is really the story of the uniqueness of a people dedicated to the promotion and defense of “liberty and justice for all.”

As we look back at a very active last two months in North Carolina, beginning with the passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment in the May 8 primary, and concluding with the close of an historic legislative session on July 3, this editor is reminded of two admonitions from two great minds. Despite what may be popularly promoted as liberty today, Lord Acton emphasized that, in fact, “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.” And of more immediate importance to the work of the NCFPC, Pope Pius XI in his writings on marriage reminded us that, “The family is more sacred than the state.” Hopefully, you will notice in this issue of Family North Carolina that these two principles—true liberty and the importance of the family—guide us in our work to promote good public policy that is supportive of families across North Carolina.

Attorney Mary Summa focuses on one of the most difficult experiences married couples may face, and the supposedly harmless answers technology provides. In “Designer Babies,” Mary lays out the origins of the artificial reproductive technologies that are used today to separate babies from sex. Recognizing that not all progress is good progress, this powerful feature article examines the moral and societal costs that come from commodifying babies as a “right” to which adults are entitled, when and how they wish.

Pro-life advocates have long sought expanded conscience clause protections for medical professionals and organizations. Touted as a way to protect people or groups from being forced to participate in practices to which they have a moral, religious, or philosophical objection, Mary Summa reveals how the euthanasia movement has hijacked conscience clauses to advance “futile care theory,” which seeks to protect the “right” and “duty” to die.

Unmarried parenthood is on the rise in the United States today, with over half of unwed births occurring to cohabiting couples, and more children being raised in cohabiting families Alysse ElHage takes a look at the significant threat that cohabitation poses to the wellbeing of children in her spotlight “Cohabiting with Children.”

Legislative leaders stayed true to their word and adjourned the General Assembly in time for everyone to be back for their hometown fireworks shows celebrating July 4. Brittany Farrell takes a look back at some of the highlights and lowlights from this historic session that saw Republicans controlling both chambers, and the legislative agenda, for the first time in over 100 years.

Students across North Carolina and the nation may be forgiven for thinking that the First Amendment does not apply to them once they step onto a college campus. Attorney Sean O’Donnell provides some perspective on recent cases of college students being told to check their beliefs at the door, and outlines proactive policies the General Assembly can adopt to further protect the First Amendment rights of students.

Despite repeated attempts to outlaw dangerous and addictive gambling in North Carolina, this year the General Assembly took a turn for the worse in this arena. Campbell law student Margaret Brooks summarizes the one gambling expansion effort that garnered the support necessary to become law this year—the introduction of Las Vegas style casino gambling on the Cherokee Indian reservation in Western North Carolina.

Be sure to check out Bill Brooks’ moving interview with mom and author Amy Julia Becker, who discusses her powerful new book about the blessings her daughter Penny, who has Down syndrome, has brought to their family.

Thank you for reading Family North Carolina and for your support of the NCFPC. Be sure to take this issue with you as you venture to the pool, beach, mountains, or other vacation spots to cool down with family and friends. And, as long as you are all together, pass it around for all of them to enjoy, as well!

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