FRC Monthly Support Newletter
Family Research Council
Gary L. Bauer, President
January 10, 1995
I hope you don't mind reading over my shoulder this month. I want
to share with you my recent letter to the new Congress. There is
a special reason for this, since you are uniquely responsible for
the major pro-family victories we've seen in the composition of
this Congress. Even the press, which once derided critics of
Joycelyn Elders as "gnats," now says that the formidable pro-
family movement is composed of "lions and tigers." Of course, we
are neither. But it was always a mistake for Washington insiders
to underestimate the power of the people. And nothing energizes
Americans like a threat to their children's future.
The Family Research Council will not only _watch and record_ the
formation of policy on Capitol Hill, but will also actively
participate in discussions and debates. We have an historic
opportunity to help shape the most "family friendly" Congress in
history. Keep your copy of this letter. It will serve as a
yardstick to measure the accomplishment of the 104th Congress.
An Open Letter to the 104th Congress:
You have been elected to serve at an historic time. No one
can deny the power of the mandate issued by the electorate
on Nov. 8. You will serve in a Congress in which a majority
of members have been elected since 1990. Change is inevitable,
but change demands leadership. Your leadership is desperately
needed to make the tough decisions that will restore
confidence. We have elected you to clear away the roadblocks
that bar the way to the American dream. Never before have we
been so rich, and yet poverty is at an all-time high. While
we are free from major foreign enemies, our streets are
unsafe. Though we spend lavishly on education, our schools
are beset by academic and social failure. And well respected
polls clearly show most Americans believe our nation is "on
the wrong track."
Leadership is a double-edged sword. It is never easy, because
where much is given, much is expected.
The majority that elected this Congress was emphatic: no more
"Beltway solutions." The American people want positive change,
change they can feel.
I've prepared a list of urgent concerns that must be
addressed if we are to restore families to their rightful
place in national life. It isn't a list of political
"goodies," nor does it ask for a blank check drawn on the
public purse. It doesn't "wire" the legislative process to
benefit a select few. Some items on this list will be
particularly hard for some to accept, because they substitute
personal responsibility for government provision. Other items
will be hard for you to adopt, because they require Congress
to push away political power. And some items will be hard
because they ask you to do just the opposite: to assume
power and take responsibility for decisions that should be
made by duly elected officials, not by unelected judges and
Some commentators, like ABC's Peter Jennings, have disparaged
the voters' judgments. He called Nov. 8 a "temper tantrum" of
two-year olds. Others have turned up their noses at this new
Congress They have said that the '94 election was a serving
of humble pie for politicians. But I believe that this Congress
can be a great one if it stops micro-management of the
nations' affairs, rids itself of internal corruption, and ends
the rule of petty fiefdoms and back-door deals. We need to
trust the people, and they, in turn, will trust you.
Let's start at the beginning.
1. TAX FAIRNESS FOR THE FAMILY. Make strengthening the
family the cornerstone of public policy. The federal
government cannot make families, but it can break them.
Historically, laws governing marriage and parental rights
have been state and local responsibilities, but previous
over-reaching Congresses have weakened the family unit.
First, they have taxed the family unfairly. A typical
family of four paid only two percent of its income in
federal taxes in 1948. Today, that same family pays nearly
a quarter of its income into the federal coffers.
Families have children because they believe in the future.
Let's let them invest in that future! It's time Congress
granted dramatic pro-family tax relief by allowing
families to keep more of their own, hard earned dollars.
Second, past Congresses have funded and given moral
support to groups that invade the family unit. These groups
subvert the family's autonomy and damage its integrity.
George Will said it best: "The same government that has
trouble delivering the mail to our homes believes that it
is competent to deliver sex lessons to our children."
Parents have been thrust aside as federal bureaucrats and
their cohorts at Planned Parenthood subject our children
to value free sex education and "politically correct"
lessons on homosexuality. It's time for Congress to say
"hands off," once and for all.
You can start by cutting off public funds to any agency
that does not uphold the principle that love, sex and
marriage go hand in hand. You can go further. You can take
an idea from the Virginia-based group, Of the People. It
proposed a state constitutional amendment that says: "The
right of parents to direct the upbringing and education
of their children shall not be infringed." You can apply
this same principle to every piece of federal legislation
you adopt, with special emphasis on health and education.
Some individuals become synonymous with policy disasters.
Neville Chamberlain did so for diplomacy. Jimmy Carter
did so for national defense. And the recently ousted
Joycelyn Elders did so for public health. Her shameless
promotion of condom distribution in the schools, her
attacks on religious parents, her advocacy of unhealthy
and immoral lifestyles and her flirtation with drug
legalization clearly made her ineligible to hold that
honorable office. But it does no good to fire Elders if
we keep Elders' programs. The new U.S. Surgeon General
must respect the family and support parental rights.
2. END JUDICIAL TYRANNY. Americans don't respect
Congress when it lets unelected judges run roughshod
over peoples' freedom. Who makes the laws? Citizens
everywhere see signs of decay-- decay in ethical
standards, in young people's perceptions of right and
wrong, in the safety of our streets and schools. For over
30 years, courts have usurped the right of the people to
express their faith. They have hindered Americans' right
to raise their children as they see fit. They have
desecrated the sanctity of human life, while unleashing
dangerous criminals to prey on innocent victims. The courts
have refused to defend decency while coddling anti-social
Last year, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act in order to correct the Supreme Court's flawed
interpretation of the First Amendment. It is time for
Congress to show the same boldness in correcting the Supreme
Court's erroneous rulings in other areas. Laws enacted by
the states and Congress that have a rational basis and which
do not discriminate should routinely pass constitutional
muster. It goes without saying that no nominee for a federal
judgeship who believes in making, instead of interpreting,
the law should be confirmed by the Senate.
3. DEFUND THE NONSENSE. For years, so-called cultural
elites have treated federal arts agencies as their personal
piggy banks to fund gross and obscene garbage. While Congress
fulminates over the impact of violence on television, it has
done nothing effectively to limit the violent and offensive
"art" it funds directly through the national endowments and
You can help improve the condition of our nation's homes by
putting the government's house in order. While it is true
that the National Endowment for the Arts and other cultural
agencies have funded many worthy projects over the years, in
most cases, private donations would have supported the arts
that communities actually want. No community would have paid
to display the severed head taken from the corpse of a
homeless man! Yet, here in our nation's capital last year,
tax dollars were spent for this revolting display of "abject
art." It's time to stop funding those who want to destroy
culture rather than enhance it. Congress should abolish the
NEA. The same goes for the Public Broadcasting Service,
National Public Radio and the rest.
4. REFORM THE WELFARE MESS. Franklin Roosevelt acknowledged
that "welfare is a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human
spirit." Today, all subtlety about the destruction it brings
is gone. From the perspective of social conservatives,
Congress must enact genuine welfare reform. We don't want an
expansion of the failed job training programs that
masqueraded as welfare reform in 1988. Rather, we need to end
the government's subsidy of illegitimacy. And temporary
public assistance must no longer be allowed to degenerate into
permanent dependency. Federal funds should never be used to
encourage the creation of new households headed by single,
The goal of public policy must be the creation and maintenance
of intact and extended families. No assistance should be
available to single mothers who leave the family home, drop
out of school, and refuse to work. In its 1986 drive to
simplify the tax code, Congress eliminated the deductibility
of adoption expenses. This further biased the tax code against
children and marriage. The American Family Restoration Act
would reverse this serious mistake for a $5,000 tax credit for
adoption expenses. By passing these measures, Congress would
stop subsidizing illegitimacy and, instead, encourage pro-
5. TEACH AMERICAN VALUES WITHOUT APOLOGY. America's
education establishment has marched headlong into a swamp
of "political correctness." It breathes contempt for the
values of common men and women. Congress should defund any
federal program or project that trashes our American
heritage. The expansion of federal power over public
education has gone hand-in-hand with the collapse of high
academic standards and achievement by our youngsters. We
need to take the power from unelected bureaucrats, national
education boards and teachers union bosses and return it to
parents and accountable local school boards.
But don't stop there. The Clinton Education Department has
armed you with a major study that "proves" what most people
already know: parents are the key to their children's
educational achievement. Redouble your efforts to promote
parental choice in education. Empower those who can really
make a difference. Competition will make all of our
schools-- public and private-- better and more effective
centers for learning.
6. "GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE" MEANS GOVERNMENT CLOSE TO
THE PEOPLE. You were sent to Washington, in large part,
because Americans no longer want a government that is out
of touch, where judges hundreds of miles away order the
removal of The Ten Commandments from a classroom wall, and
where the feds ban the listing of religious names of
nursing homes in the yellow pages. The offenses Americans
have suffered in recent years make a tax on tea seem
trivial. Government removed from the people is inherently
despotic. Congress should end unfunded mandates. It should
give taxing authority back to state and local governments
and permit private citizens and the voluntary associations
they support to retain more of their own resources.
What we advocate for public policy, we support for your
family as well. Serving in Washington has taken a terrible
toll on the marriages and families of many able public
servants. Keeping "family hours" should be your personal
priority unless Congress is in emergency session. But we
believe this Congress is committed to something more. You
don't seek to be a career politician. Key leaders of this
Congress support term limits and other reforms to restore
the representative nature of the Congress. A majority of
you are not lawyers, but members of other professions.
You have more variety of experience than many of your
predecessors in office.
You have pledged to share power, not cling to it. You will
not impose laws on the people, while hypocritically
exempting yourself. Refreshingly, you are committed to
conduct yourself as a citizen who will soon return to
"civilian life." It is to the power of this promise that
you must hold fast, remaining constantly aware of the
consequences of the awesome daily decisions you must make
in the next two years.
I challenge you to make this Congress the greatest in our
history. Go forward with the heartfelt best wishes and
the high hopes of your fellow citizens. May God grant you
wisdom and discernment and may He bless you and your
family as you serve the land we love.
Gary L. Bauer
P.S. Well, that's it. If the new Congress takes the advice above,
we believe 1995 will be a great year for family, faith and
freedom. If they don't, the political revolt in our country will
continue. As always, you have our heartfelt thanks for your
dedication to the mission of the Family Research Council. These
are exciting times that offer real hope of family renewal in the
months and years to come. Without your friendship and help, none
of this would have been possible. Please continue to stand with
us with your prayers and financial support.
Family Research Council - 700 13th Street, N.W. - Suite 500 -
Washington, DC 20005 (202) 393-2100
FRC Monthly Support Newsletter provided by courtesy of Mark Conty.
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