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    LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

     

    AIRLINES SUE OVER DOMESTIC PARTNERS: The nation’s major airlines sued to block a San Francisco ordinance requiring them to offer health benefits to their employees’ domestic partners. The lawsuit filed by the Air Transport Association, which represents 22 domestic carriers, says it would be impossible for airlines to operate in hundreds of communities with different and possibly contradictory, local ordinances.

    POOR PENMANSHIP AND COMPUTER FEVER: American business is very unhappy over poor writing as it costs them $200 million because of mistaken stock purchases and checks cashed for the wrong amounts. The U.S. Postal service spends $4 million a year on deciphering scrawls on envelopes and packages. A local brokerage office manager said if a broker wrote an order that couldn’t be read, the firm would have to eat the loss — which could be devastating. Teachers complain that there is not enough time to teach penmanship because they are burdened with other activities. One teacher said that the students do a lot of creative writing but more emphasis is on content than on penmanship. (National Monitor of Education, June 1997)

    KNOW WHAT’S ON THE RADIO: There is no V-Chip, No Rating System for radio. Every day, what qualifies as pornography is broadcast openly on our radio airwaves by irresponsible broadcasters who know children are listening. Help Save our Children’s Innocence by calling ERASE Hotline 1-800-777-7036 whenever you hear subject matter on radio that is not appropriate for children. Volunteers are also needed.

    SEXUAL TRANSMITTED DISEASES OR THE SECRET EPIDEMIC: America has the highest rate of STD in the world but there is no national strategy to address the problem, says the Institute of Medicine. HIV is now the most recognized STD, and HIV prevention efforts are relatively well-funded. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, more than 10% of American adults can’t name a single STD; one in five think all STDs are curable; more than 50 percent are unaware that having an STD increases the risk of becoming infected with HIV.

    In 1994 the highest rate of STD was Chlamydia at 4 million cases, Aids was 80,000. For anatomical reasons, women and female adolescents are at higher risks for STD that lead to fertility problems and lowered life expectancy. Health officials are trying to move beyond the traditional, clinical approach to STD control by calling for more behavioral and community based interventions, said Helen D. Gayle, M.D., director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB. (SD Union/Tribune, 4-1-97)

    POLL FINDS AMERICANS WANT MORE RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE TO ADDRESS MORAL CONCERNS: The Luntz Research Companies, Arlington, VA, surveyed a nationwide sample of 900 people and they found that 45% said that involvement of religion in America was too little; 68% agreed to a Religious Freedom Amendment to the Constitution legalizing voluntary school prayer and the posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings; 84% agree that sex education classes in the schools should emphasize abstinence before marriage; and 89% agree that a TV ratings system that tell parents the specific content of the shows they are watching.

    When we allowed God to be kicked out of school, government, and free speech, we opened up a Pandora’s box and are paying the price in broken marriages, child and spousal abuse, gangs, destroyed lives and higher taxes. We will continue to pay the price until as individuals and corporately we confess the sins of our nation before God and ask for forgiveness and healing.

    Beverly Wyer of El Cajon is a Christian political activist.

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