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Republican Candidates Take on Tough Topics

The Republican Debate has been one of the most talked about events of today. I can’t really say I don’t understand all of the talk. I too, tuned in to the pre-debate of seven, and then again for the prime time debate of ten later that evening. For those who felt the night would be non-stop politics and boring legislative talk no one understands, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Planned Parenthood, same-sex marriage and pro-life as an amendment were hot topics, and as a Christian it was truly compelling to hear what tomorrow’s potential “leaders of our country” felt about the implications of their words at last night’s debate meant for the United States.

With Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal making the bold statement, “Planned Parenthood better hope Hillary Clinton gets elected,” the tone was set for how he felt, followed by his statement “Planned Parenthood was defunded in the state of Louisiana.” (Smith, 2015)  This powerful statement chased the floor the remainder of the time. It was followed talk about pro-life and pro-choice decisions. Some tried to side step these, and a few were never given an opportunity at all to discuss the topics.

The floor did give chase to Jindal’s comment that if elected president, “he would not only defund America’s largest abortion provider, but would also investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood has been criminally negotiating for-profit sale of fetal body parts.” (Smith, 2015)

This comment set the stage for what would follow with other candidates, taking that discussion and their scope, a bit further.

Also on the team of seven, was former New York Governor George Pataki who is listed as Pro-Choice. Pataki stated “he would also defund Planned Parenthood,” but as a devout Catholic, “he would work to overturn Roe V. Wade, and to make abortion illegal after 20 weeks of gestation.” (Smith, 2015)

Psalms 139:13-14 ~” For thou hast possessed my reins; thou has covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made me; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

The floor became “open for business” at that point, and other candidates made strong statements against Planned Parenthood, and in support of the pro-life stance, but how this does not mean they are against women’s healthcare. South Carolina Governor Lindsey Graham followed the other members speaking up in his Republican alliance of seven, and he advised, “I don’t think it is a war on women for all of us as Americans to stand up and stop harvesting organs from little babies. Let’s take the money that we would give to Planned Parenthood and put it into women’s health care without having to harvest their organs of the unborn.” Carly Fiorina followed with her own comment, “Every one of us is gifted by God. Whether it is those poor babies being picked over, or it’s someone whose life is tangled up in a web of dependence.” (Smith, 2015)

The subject did not rest there, when the debate of ten opened the floor, it wasn’t long before the topic became part of the agenda, once again. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee discussed the science of the fetus in the womb. Science now admits the fetus is a person at the time of conception. With science as his testimony, Huckabee stated, “I think it’s time to do something even more, bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception. This notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law. It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme-being and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children, instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.” (Smith, Huckabee Rubio Say Right to Life Already Inherent in the Contribution at GOP Debate, 2015)

Mark Rubio trumpeted Huckabee and he assured that he is pro-life in all instances and explained that a law should be passed that life is to be protected at all stages of development. “In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States, and I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not. Whether they can speak or not. Whether they can hire a lawyer or not. Whether they have a birth certificate or not.” (Smith, Huckabee Rubio Say Right to Life Already Inherent in the Contribution at GOP Debate, 2015)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush felt some resistance, as he had help fund Planned Parenthood through another organization, in which he claims he had no knowledge of who Planned Parenthood was, or what their position was through the company he was working in. Candidate Scott Walker took this opportunity to rival advising he had defunded Planned Parenthood, long before the videos came out. And Ted Cruz from Texas, advised one of his first duties if elected President would be to launch a Criminal Investigation into all activities of Planned Parenthood. Billionaire Donald Trump, who has changed his positions on supportive actions many times prior to becoming a candidate, even compared his changing stance to evolving, such as that of Ronald Reagan, saying “I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.” (Smith, Huckabee Rubio Say Right to Life Already Inherent in the Contribution at GOP Debate, 2015)

The topics quickly moved from Planned Parenthood, pro-life and pro-choice issues, Kentucky Governor Rand Paul stressed the need for Government to remain out of the affairs of the states all together, and same-sex marriage was weaved in between. Foreign Policy was discussed and active military, mostly by newcomer Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson also gave his weigh in on racial disparities, military and the concerns of the White House today. Dr. Carson’s statements elevated him in social media on many levels.

Although the topics flowed to Common-Core standards briefly, there were many topics which were not discussed. This is only the first of many debates, and there will be more to come. There certainly is a lot more needed to be said, and more information to be disseminated amongst the citizens before we make our decision on who will be the next leader. These were just the highpoints of this first Republican debate. One comment that still remains in the back of my mind, is the one made by Dr. Ben Carson, about us being the Divided States of America, and how we need to get back to being the United States of America. We have some strong candidates stepping up to lead us. We have yet to hear from the Democratic side, where we will listen for what can be offered in the best interest of our country there as well. We certainly have a lot of ground to cover. We need someone who has the strength and the courage to walk the distance with us, but we need someone willing to stop and take a knee for prayer, as well, and we need to be willing to understand his plight. Jude 1:3~ Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.v

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About Brenda Stapleton

Brenda Stapleton is a professional writer and social media enthusiast. She is the founding columnist of from the park bench, and continues blogging under the same headline today. She is a content writer, technical writer, communication and procedural consultant, who considers it both an honor, and a privilege to have worked with such a diverse group of subject matter experts throughout the years. She feels it is through collaboration and communication with professionals in other programs, where meaningful partnerships are formed and challenging projects are culminated which produce awareness, integration, and increased success in finding solutions to mutual problems.

Brenda is a former primary and secondary educator, with a Louisiana teaching certification from (ULM) University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is a former nurse tech and registered nurse working under the ULM-RN program. She certified through the (AFA) American Fitness Association as a personal trainer, and is a certified law enforcement professional under (POST) Police Officer Standards Training in the State of Louisiana. She is well-versed in the Arts and Sciences, holding a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Arts in the discipline of Criminal Justice with minors in Sociology and Psychology. She has credited graduate work in English and Integrated Learning through Technology and Communication, carried over from her Ph.D. work in Integrating Technology, Learning and Psychology from Grand Canyon University.

and More…personally
Brenda grew up in Columbia, Louisiana in the same house, where her parents still live, today. She began life literally, stumbling every day. She was fitted for her first set of braces on her legs, as a toddler. She would wear braces on her legs, until the age of four, and orthopedic shoes until the age of six. Thinking the past was behind her, she took the world in leaps and bounds, until at the peak of her career, she faced yet another set-back, only this one, left her with a neurological injury that was irreversible. Since then, she has strived continuously for a career, where her passion for creativity would be fueled by the fervor of chasing a sense of sobriety that did not leave her doubtful of a future. Armed with a sense of humor, a purpose in life, and a heart full of dreams, she took the road less traveled, compliments of Robert Frost, and she has learned many things along the way.
She has learned adaptability is her best characteristic, and humility is her worst. She has learned the day is scarier than the night, for in the day you will see the harm that befalls you. She has learned unconditional love is never stronger than in the very young, and as it is in the very old. She has learned no matter what emotion a person is experiencing, a cuddly puppy can make you re-evaluate it all. She has learned the only certainty in life, is death- be ready. She has learned the most experienced emotions are forgiveness, grief and hope, and she has learned that patience is the most taught virtue.
In her free time, Brenda can be found lost in the elements of nature. She enjoys cycling, golfing, swimming, and practicing yoga. Her favorite places to be in this world are at the edge of the sand, with the ocean waves kissing her toes, or chasing her footprints away; or riding a bike through the park under the trees full of multi-colored leaves in the fall, with the wind blowing gently at her face, and is deeply overwhelmed by nature. It’s the fleeting moments when she is caught in a rainstorm, or snowflakes begin to fall, and melt as soon as they touch the warmth of skin, or when watching over a cocoon, as it changes into a butterfly, or a rose bud into bloom, when she feels human, small and meek.
Brenda is a published author of articles and blogs. She is currently writing her first book, but acknowledges her two greatest accomplishments, as the two who call her momma. She is inspired by watching her daughters become individuals, face their giants, and grow in life, while each follows her dreams and searches for a place and a purpose to aspire and grow. With several years behind her, and her children growing into adults, Brenda has taken the time to focus on her purpose. In doing so, she has unpacked the dreams she had placed away for safe keeping, and with a bit of uncertainty of what lies ahead, she sets out on yet another road less traveled, and this time, she says she takes a pen and paper along the way.

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