By Christy Barritt
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Decency Standards
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Communication Commission can enforce decency standards on the airwaves, but they also threw out fines and sanctions imposed by the FCC for prior offenses.
The case, which has been going through the court system since 2004, began after the ABC show “NYPD Blue” aired an episode containing nudity and when Fox aired two obscenities on awards shows. The FCC fined the networks, but the networks complained that broadcast standards were too vague before the incidents.
“Because the FCC failed to give FOX or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent, the Commissions’ standards as applied to these broadcasts were vague,” the Supreme Court said in its opinion.
The court said the FCC is “free to modify its current indecency policy” in light of the ruling.
U.S. Military Celebrates Homosexuality
The U.S. Military held its first gay pride event at the Pentagon in June as a part of what they deemed “Gay Pride Month” for the armed forces.
The ceremony included a panel discussion on “The Value of Open Service and Diversity.” Panel participants were gay service members who spoke about how things had changed since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The keynote speaker was Jeh Johnson, general counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense and co-author of the report that led to the Obama administration’s allowance of those who were openly gay to serve.
In his address, Johnson said, “For those service members who are gay and lesbian, we lifted a real and personal burden from their shoulders. They no longer have to live a lie in the military.”
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, disagrees with his statement.
“There’s no evidence the kind of diversity being talked about there today will be helpful to the military,” Donnelly said. “If you have a faction that says, ‘It’s all about me, me, us, us,’ that’s inherently divisive.”
Conservative Teachers Protest NEA
The National Education Association ended its annual convention in Washington D.C. this summer amid protest.
Many conservative teachers protested the union’s liberal agenda. In fact, last year the NEA committed to spending up to $60 million of members’ dues to help reelect President Obama.
Bob Pawson, a New Jersey teacher, told Focus on the Family, “Many NEA members like myself across America have been disenchanted with the NEA leadership selling us out on social, moral, and political issues. They use our dues money and our name to advance their progressive, leftist agenda. We want them to stop. Don’t take our position. Just get out of all these issues completely.”
Pawson went on to say that the NEA leadership has gotten involved with issues including abortion, gun control, homosexual militancy, sex education, climate change, and even immigration.
Faith Leaders Protest Solitary Confinement
Leaders from varied faiths came together in June to fast in protest of the United States’ continued practice of solitary confinement in prisons.
The faith leaders, which included people from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths, are a part of the National Religious Campaign against Torture. They argued that the practice of solitary confinement is inhumane and often results in mental illness.
They partnered with Prison Fellowship/Justice Fellowship for the 23-hour fast on June 18 and 19. The number 23 was meant to signify the number of hours a prisoner spends in solitary confinement daily.
This event followed Congress’s first-ever hearing on the harmful effects of the practice, following a lawsuit in California.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.