Three men are paying $55 million each to fly on a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station. They constitute the first private space station crew in history.
However, they will not be the first private citizens to serve as astronauts. That honor will forever belong to Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire high school teacher who was chosen in 1985 to fly aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
On this day in 1986, she and six NASA astronauts lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Seventy-three seconds later, the shuttle broke up. There were no survivors.
President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation that evening with the pledge, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’”
What you need to know about the Equality Act
I remember vividly the tragedy and our nation’s unified response. Such unity is indispensable in facing crisis effectively. As President Biden stated in his inaugural address, “We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.”
This is why I am so deeply concerned about his administration’s commitment to the so-called Equality Act and its consequences for our nation.
The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, this is crucial: the Act forbids appeal to the 1993 Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) on the part of individuals or organizations.
Here’s what this means in practice:
- Faith-based hospitals and insurers could be forced to provide gender-transition therapies that violate their religious beliefs.
- Children could seek to change their gender without parental knowledge or consent.
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SOURCE: Denison Forum, Jim Denison