Hefner and Moral Decline

Hefner and Moral Decline
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

John Adams, our nation’s second president, famously stated the need for something beyond the Constitution to preserve the American dream. He insisted: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Approximately one and a half centuries later, Founder Robert Welch of The John Birch Society warned, “War always results in more government and moral decline.” Both stressed the importance of morality and, as history shows, they were hardly alone in doing so.

Hugh Hefner. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Toglenn (CC BY-SA 3.0)(© Glenn Francis, http://www.PacificProDigital.com).

Which brings us to consider a man who spent his adult life undermining the moral principles surrounding the relationships between men and women. Hugh Hefner passed away on September 27th at age 91 after spending decades creating – and profiting handsomely from – a sexual revolution both in the U.S. and abroad. The advertised foe of what he and allies termed American priggishness and puritanism, Hefner persuaded millions to choose his “new moral maturity.” Boasting of his own libertine lifestyle, he estimated that he had slept with more than 1,000 women.

Hefner’s impact on the morals of Americans began in 1953 with the first issue of Playboy magazine featuring a semi-nude photo of actress Marilyn Monroe. While pornography of various types was available and was already negatively affecting some, it had a deserved stigma limiting its harm. Men might have submitted to its grasp but most knew that immersing themselves in pornography was wrong. Playboy accomplished lifting porn to a new status that made it popular and supposedly harmless, even “sophisticated.” By 1973, Playboy’s monthly circulation soared past the seven million mark. All across the land – and into other countries – readers wallowed in its photos of women in various stages of undress. It is hardly a stretch to note, as some have proposed, that the Hefner effect helped to increase family breakups and divorce.

The standard issue of Playboy included articles by and interviews of leftist crusaders, prominent actors, politicians, and even literary notables. Hefner delighted in having them lend their names to his endeavors. He defended those who claimed their choice of the magazine stemmed only from a preference for the articles. William F. Buckley, Jr. became one of Hefner’s favorites – both as a writer of articles and the subject of interviews. He once stated in his customary use of macabre witticisms: “I write for Playboy because it is the fastest way to communicate with my seventeen-year-old son.”

Hefner used some of millions he accumulated to fund such leftist groups as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Urban League. His enshrinement of pleasure as an end in itself led him to finance the Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws. He sent large donations to groups promoting abortion. Even though he had a disdain for the institution of marriage, many witnessed him marry thrice and divorce twice.

Not content with the financial success he gained with the magazine, he started Playboy Clubs in the 1960s. This initial foray into the restaurant business saw the debut of his “bunny waitresses” at the Chicago location and, before long, there were 20 other clubs, mostly in America with a few overseas. His hedonistic goals saw him seeking followers whose interests spanned the intellectual, entertainment, and erotic worlds.

In the late 1960s after Hefner’s influence and Playboy’s popularity had become dominant for millions, a representative of the magazine offered Robert Welch the then-princely sum of $5,000 for an interview. Without hesitation, Welch said he would not lend his name to a publication he abhorred. On the other hand, Birch Society nemesis William Buckley, a frequent contributor to Hefner’s hedonistic publication, enjoyed being paid handsomely. But the liberal world’s “favorite conservative” was himself damaging our nation’s moral fiber. If Buckley favored Playboy, said many, then Playboy was acceptable.

Frequently asked what he saw as the greatest problem facing America, the Birch Society’s Welch, who passed away in 1985, was expected to point to the United Nations, the Federal Reserve, the extremes of the Supreme Court, or rising national indebtedness. But his response never changed. “Moral decline is the greatest enemy we face,” he would insist.

In 1970, Mr. Welch wrote an essay to JBS members challenging them to stand tall in support of well-established moral codes and to set worthy examples in their personal lives. The Society has published this into an inexpensive booklet called “The John Birch Resolutions.”

Hugh Hefner’s contribution toward the destruction of the country has helped eat away at the nation’s morality. Let us each set a worthy example of morality to help stem and reverse the tide of immorality. Order and read “The John Birch Resolutions.” Be sure to order extra copies for others.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


From Normal to Abnormal

From Normal to Abnormal
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Early in 2016, President Obama appointed a transgender individual to serve on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships (ACFBNP). The Council traces its origin to an executive order issued in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The annual recipient of millions of taxpayer dollars, the group’s stated purpose is to combat discrimination and intolerance based on religious and cultural views.

Image by AnonMoos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

This relatively new federal agency serves as an attack on both religion and virtuous living. If you happen to hold traditional religious views or express yourself in favor of the cultural values that have always shaped our nation’s foundation, be prepared for an attack. Several of the ACFBNP appointees (each appointed for a year) are open homosexuals, promoters of abortion and same-sex marriage, and activists promoting the transgender subculture. The overall effect of such a group as ACFBNP is to force acceptance of what has always rightly been considered abnormal. In the name of tolerance, virtue is being made over into a forbidden, even reprehensible, oddity.

One organization decidedly opposed to all this is Project 21, a conservative policy group that identifies itself as “The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.” Critical of our nation’s “civil rights establishment,” group spokesman Emery McClendon insists that so-call “LGBT rights” are a misnomer and should never be included in the category of civil rights. Project 21 backs “entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family, and commitment to individual responsibility.” McClendon properly counters President Obama’s pro-LGBT agenda, especially the president’s contention that children have a so-called “right” to choose which gender they prefer. McClendon claims that such an unnatural choice won’t “elevate them … it will degrade them.”

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office released a directive from the city’s Commission on Human Rights announcing that it will henceforth be illegal to discriminate against anyone whose gender is male, female, “or something else entirely.” The document listed 31 genders that henceforth must be recognized. In our nation where everyone has been known as either male or female, this Human Rights outfit lists new genders including “drag queen,” “drag king,” “butch,” “gender fluid,” “gender blender,” “gender gifted,” and “femme person of transgender experience.”

The New York directive cautions business owners against making “assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation.” It adds: “If you don’t know what pronouns to use, ask. Be polite and respectful; if you use the wrong pronoun, apologize and move on.” Should someone in business refuse to address a transgender individual with a preferred pronoun, fines as high as $250,000 can be assessed.

This craziness should not be ignored. Unless sanity continues to prevail outside of New York, directives such as the one sent throughout New York City – completely consistent with policies promoted by the federal ACFBNP – will soon impact private organizations, public places, schools, churches, and more.

A few months ago, President Obama used the occasion of his annual White House gathering of Muslim-Americans to single out “LGBT Muslims” here in America. He ignored the fact that half of the nations where LGBT behavior is completely illegal are Islamic states. One can only conclude that our nation’s current leader favors what has always been rightly considered an abomination that should never be encouraged.

Acceptance of the transgender lifestyle amounts to challenging the fact that a person’s gender exists from the moment of conception in the womb. There is no choice involved, either at conception or at any other point in one’s life. Dignifying those who claim otherwise is a gross absurdity even if Barack Obama claims otherwise.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Gay Gene Doesn’t Exist

Gay Gene Doesn’t Exist
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Not always but frequently, history refers to a nation or a people by its prevailing culture. And by culture, we mean the dominant behavior and beliefs present in that nation or those people.

America’s culture has always centered on the importance of the family, the moral codes of history, and the praiseworthy behavior of its people. The fundamentally important place given the family, along with a peoples’ willingness to work, and a moral code springing from the “shalls” and “shall nots” of Holy Scripture formed the culture of America.

Past history of other lands and other peoples shows far different kinds of culture. Human sacrifice, glorification of sexuality, rampant crime, and the giving over to pleasure for its own sake (Hedonism) have indeed been known to exist in the past. Sad to say, America’s cultural foundation is currently under attack. But there remain many who are repulsed by departures from the old norms and attitudes. Some prestigious individuals have even weighed in with a restating of fundamental truths and morals.

Over the past few decades, the practice of homosexuality has burst out of its closet when in the past only a very few could be found succumbing to its questionable lures. Homosexual activists have taken to claiming they are “born that way.” The result has seen many more in America than one would have imagined a generation ago proclaiming themselves to be homosexual.  And government has contributed to the rise of such a departure from the fundamental attitudes about sex and gender by sanctioning gay marriage.  Fifty years ago, few would have speculated that such relationships might be accorded any inkling of legitimacy in the United States.

Anyone anxious to maintain our nation’s culture, however, will be pleased to know that two distinguished scholars at Johns Hopkins University have concluded that the homosexual claim of being “born that way,” and the insistence of many that they possess a “gay gene” cannot be supported. The work of Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D. and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, M.D. entitled Sexuality and Gender has been published in the Fall 2016 edition of the journal The New Atlantis.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality has summarized the 143-page report issued by these two scholars: “Homosexual activists have been desperate to try to say they’re ‘born that way’ believing that this absolves them of the moral responsibility for their sexual behavior.” LaBarbera explains that if the public believes some people are “born gay,” there will be widespread “accepting of homosexual activism.” There could hardly be a more devastating attack on the culture of a nation and a people.

Our own point of view is very simple. It is that a person’s gender (or sex if that term is preferred) exists from the moment of conception in the mother’s womb. Each of us is either male or female from that moment. Trying to change what nature has established, or seeking to excuse deviations from nature’s decision via processes leading to transgender status is more than absurd. It’s destructive of a very important ingredient in our nation’s culture.

We’re happy to acknowledge the work of Drs. Mayer and McHugh. And we look forward to their study helping to expose the dishonesty of claims that some people are “born that way” and have a “gay gene.” Such nonsense has already negatively impacted our nation’s culture and it needs to be countered and labeled a gross absurdity.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Importance of a Moral Foundation

The Importance of a Moral Foundation
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Yuri Bezmenov defected from Soviet Russia 40-plus years ago. A veteran of years of service in Moscow’s dreaded KGB, he eventually came to the West and then traveled through our country delivering his unique wake-up call. Members of The John Birch Society gathered most of his audiences. The warning he gave is needed even more today.

The Ten Commandments as seen at the Herring family cemetery on Hollow Bridge Road near Autryville, NC (Flickr photo from Gerry Dincher, some rights reserved).

Bezmenov (who adopted the name Tomas Shuman) would freely express his disappointment that so few Americans had any awareness of the steady undermining of their country’s basic foundations. He told all he could reach that America suffered not from espionage, which the KGB considered a minor undertaking, but from “ideological subversion.” What was occurring, he explained, could also be termed “psychological warfare.” Its result brings about a population unable “to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

“The process leading to destruction of the United States as a free and independent country,” said Bezmenov, “starts with demoralization, the turning away from foundational truths. In place of that foundation, Marxism-Leninism would be subtly but effectively introduced.” The undermining of America, he insisted, was being “done by Americans to Americans thanks to a lack of moral standards.” The fruit of this type of demoralization, he pointed out, is that a person becomes “unable to assess true information, and facts mean nothing to him even if he is showered with authentic information.”

Were Yuri Bezmenov alive today, he would point to the millions who supported Bernie Sanders during that self-identified socialist’s campaign to become U.S. president. He would point to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, who, though she is not an admitted socialist, differs with Sanders only marginally. In some ways, Mrs. Clinton is even more to be feared because of her attitude expressed openly to an assemblage of gay, transgender, and pro-abortion activists at the United Nations. She told her adoring crowd that America’s “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

There is much more that Bezmenov sought to explain to Americans. But his emphasis on the undermining of morality as the starting point in the campaign to destroy a nation deserves attention. Cleared of all its obfuscating wrappings, socialism is theft. Sad to say, many Americans have become captivated by its thievery in that they want a supposed free ride for things their parents worked for. And they want confiscation of wealth because they have been convinced that wealthy people are thieves. They know little or nothing about our nation’s foundations contained in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Nor do have any awareness of sound economic principles. Ask them about these fundamentals and expect to be told to cease referring to the “horse and buggy” days of the past.

About morality, John Adams once stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Government, in his view, should be a negative force, not a positive force for taking care of people who should take care of themselves. The people should guide their own conduct through such oldies as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.

And John Birch Society Founder Robert Welch frequently insisted: “Morality sees farther than intellect.” What good is there in the efforts of a very intelligent person, he explained, if that person has no moral base and uses his brilliance exclusively for self-aggrandizement?

Yuri Bezmenov hoped there could be some kind of strong national effort to educate people about the real spirit of patriotism.” Along with that, he urged a parallel campaign to explain “the real danger of a socialist, communist, welfare state, Big Brother government.” And he saw in The John Birch Society the kind of institution that could reverse the already widespread demoralization throughout America – if it became large enough. His message, given decades ago, is still very much needed today.

Learn what you can do to Choose Freedom — Support Morality at The John Birch Society’s action project page! 

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


White House Lit Up To Look Like a Rainbow Flag

White House Lit Up To Look Like a Rainbow Flag
by JBS President John F. McManus

The Supreme Court handed down its same-sex marriage decision by a vote of 5 to 4 on June 26th. President Obama obviously expected the result favored by homosexual activists because he had the White House electricians pre-arrange a light show that created a rainbow colored edifice.

The White House is lit with the colors of the rainbow in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, June 26, 2015. By White House Photographer (White House Press Office) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Social media immediately erupted into two opposing camps: for and against. Let us register in the “against” camp. We start by noting that the White House doesn’t belong to Mr. Obama; it belongs to the people of the United States, a property owned technically by the peoples’ National Park Service. It should not be used by any occupant to force a revolutionary view on the American people.

How did Mr. Obama respond when asked about the unusual lighting? He told a press conference “I did not have a chance to comment on how good the White House looked in rainbow colors.” He added: “That made it a good week – to see people gathered in an evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole and feel accepted and to feel that they had a right to love – that was pretty cool.”

Partisans for same-sex marriage will surely rebel at any protest over making the White House look like their flag. I can hear them now likening what was done by a succession of presidents with a Christmas tree or, in days gone by, a crèche. I respond: The White House wasn’t made to look like a Christmas Tree or a crèche. Those reminders of Christ’s birth were displayed on the White House grounds or inside the building while 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue stayed white. Celebrating homosexual activity in such a flagrant manner brings to mind what occurred more than two millennia ago, when fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah.

John Adams was the first president to occupy the White House. During his second day as its resident in 1800, he wrote to his wife, “I pray Heaven will bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it.” Franklin Roosevelt had the Adams prayer carved into the State Dining Room’s mantel. Blessings have indeed been granted America. But heaven might answer the Adams plea quite differently today.

The 5-4 decision favoring marriages of man-with-man or woman-with-woman was wrong and our country will pay for it in a manner that only God will decide. Two justices who had previously presided over homosexual “marriages” should never have heard the case. Many legal scholars claim that Justices Ginsburg and Kagan should have acted honorably and recused themselves. But they didn’t.

The United States of America is hurtling headlong down the slippery slope of immorality. The late Judge Robert Bork asked in his book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah,” “Are there enough who disagree with that undeniable development and are willing to register a protest sufficient to reverse this national descent?”

We hope so.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Challenge to Pornographic Book Gets NH Dad Arrested: What’s Being Taught at Your School?

Challenge to Pornographic Book Gets NH Dad Arrested: What’s Being Taught at Your School?
By JBS President John F. McManus

Gilford, New Hampshire, resident William Baer attended a school committee meeting May 5th and ended up being handcuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct.

The father of a 14-year-old girl, Baer objected after learning that his daughter and her ninth-grade classmates were required to read a book he deemed pornographic. The offensive passage he pointed to in “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult graphically described a sexual encounter between two teens. “It’s like the transcript for a triple-X-rated movie,” said one parent. Having read this passage myself, I concur that Ms. Picoult’s work is totally unsuitable for a school assignment, and should deservedly be described as pornographic.

Baer, an attorney and a fairly new resident of the Granite State, had taken the offending passage’s text to the editor of the regional Laconia Daily News. He was told by Editor Ed Engler that it could not be published in “99 percent, maybe 100 percent” of our nation’s newspapers. A spokesman at the state-wide Manchester Union Leader newspaper agreed.

At the meeting of the Gilford School Board, Baer protested the assignment given the ninth graders. Allowed only two minutes to speak, he did so and sat down. But when he interrupted another parent who was commenting favorably about the issue, he was told by a board official that he was out of order. A police officer intervened and Bear asked him, “You’re going to arrest me because I violated the two-minute rule? I guess you’re going to have to arrest me.” Baer was escorted from the room, shackled, and placed under arrest.

A school committee spokesman later apologized for not notifying parents ahead of time about the sexually explicit portion of the book, something that had been done every year beginning in 2007. She said the committee “forgot” to send notification this year. One can wonder why there were no parental objections in past years. Apparently, this school board official believes that the 2014 failure to notify parents should be the issue not the book’s controversial content. Gilford School Superintendent said the book was “thematically important.”

Reporter Ben Velderman of the Michigan-based Education Action Group Foundation recommended a “thorough housecleaning” of the school board. Commenting further, he stated:

The parent who exposed the district’s failure to warn families about the novel gets arrested for protesting too vigorously while all of the school district’s well-paid, highly trained employees who are responsible for the problem – from the superintendent down to the high school principal and English teachers – walk away scot free. If that’s not an outrage, then please tell us what is.

Incidents such as what happened in this small New Hampshire community occur repeatedly all over the nation. School officials respond to protests about course content by referencing freedom of speech, or the phony need for “separation of church and state,” or pointing to a need for majority rule. But all residents are taxed to support the schools, even those who have no children, or who avoid the public school system’s deficiencies by home schooling their youngsters. Compulsion in financing the schools should be an issue.

Contacted about the incident author and New Hampshire resident Jodi Picoult said she was “grateful for the support for the book” and claimed it was no more pornographic than what is shown repeatedly on television. She may be correct about that, but that isn’t the issue either. The issue is how far America’s moral compass has shifted in the last few decades. Do you know what is being taught in your local schools?


Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel

Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel
by JBS President John F. McManus

In 1974, a U.S. Senate panel issued a document entitled “Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and Its Impact on United States Security.” In 1979, New York University and the American Council on Marijuana sponsored a Conference entitled “Marijuana: Biomedical Effects and Social Implications.” Conclusions published in each of these reports strongly warn about the use of marijuana and should have been enough to keep anyone in America away from it.

Expert testimony given in these studies came from an array of highly qualified and widely dispersed scientists including Dr. Gabriel Nahas (Columbia University), W.D.M. Paton (Oxford University), Dr. Robert Heath (Tulane University), Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Julius Axelrod (National Institute of Mental Health), Dr. Alexander Jacubovic (University of British Columbia), Dr. Reese T. Jones (California Medical School), and several others who have studied what marijuana use does to human beings.

What they found includes the following:

1. Cell production harmed.
2. Damage to the brain.
3. Reproductive system impaired.
4. Diseases of throat and lungs prevalent.
5. Builds up in the body.
6. Impaired mental function.
7. Leads to use of even stronger drugs.

All of this has been confirmed in a report available on an undated Harvard University web site entitled “The Medical Uses of Marijuana.” It cites the work of Dr. Donald P. Taskin and discusses marijuana’s use causing various respiratory illnesses, mental impairment, learning deficiencies, and more. Regarding the medical use of marijuana, the report states that, while easing pain for some who are already ill, it “can and does have a very serious effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits resulting from AIDS” and “can accelerate the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS.” In addition, a 2012 statement issued by the American Lung Association claims: “Marijuana use is not only associated with adverse physical effects, but also mental, emotional and behavioral changes.”

Should we be nervous if the mechanic who services an airplane in which we are about to travel is a marijuana smoker? Or the pilot? How about a doctor who is about to operate on you? Or a school bus driver who picks up the children day after day? How many auto accidents can be traced to marijuana use? How many marijuana users have graduated to stronger and even more dangerous drugs and are finding themselves in a life of addiction and crime to support the more expensive habit?

A common argument favoring marijuana use is that it is no more dangerous than drinking alcoholic beverages. In a recent interview, President Obama made such a claim: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” That’s hogwash – dangerous hogwash. Without appearing to make a case for drinking, we believe the differences between imbibing booze and smoking pot are quite different. A heavy drinker will be incapacitated for a matter of hours while smoking “pot” stays with a user who will still be subject to its effects long after the telltale “high” is no longer noticeable. Sadly, many users of marijuana combine smoking it with drinking and become doubly dangerous behind the wheel.

Yet, we know that laws against marijuana use have never been very effective. The penalty for possession of marijuana has even become the equivalent of being given a parking ticket. And availability of the substance has been spurred by new laws that have legalized the sale and distribution of the substance in the states of Washington and Colorado. Users aren’t being told what they are doing to themselves – and potentially others. It isn’t very smart to go along with the trend. In fact, it’s not only stupid; it’s self- destructing.

Anyone indulging in marijuana needs to know what many doctors have concluded. Laws haven’t stopped the spread and probably never will. Self-preservation should stop and even reverse the trend.