FRC Blog

NPR Thinks Conservative Christians Are Grappling With Whether Religious Freedom Includes Muslims

by Travis Weber

June 30, 2016

In a recent story, NPR raised the question of who religious freedom applies to, and what conservative Christians think about its application to Muslims. Unlike NPR, I refuse to use quote marks to describe religious freedom—itself a recent development that the news media obediently follow, along with everyone else who all of a sudden wants to question the legitimacy of a constitutional principle over two hundred years old.

Turning to NPR’s story, the answer is: Yes, religious freedom goes for all faiths. This is clear enough from the positions most conservative, Christian advocacy groups take on the issue, confirmed by their support for RFRA and Free Exercise rights (which by their legal methodology naturally apply to all faiths). Family Research Council recently made this very clear in articulating our actual position on religious liberty, instead of what it is often perceived to be. Sensible people understand that security needs do not justify (and are even impaired by) blanket religious discrimination. Indeed, as security expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka pointed out the other day at FRC, one can address security concerns intelligently and efficiently, while preserving the religious liberty we hold dear for all faiths.

The NPR story simply tries to rustle up more than is there. The pastor cited as in opposition to religious freedom for Muslims reportedly says “he believes the U.S. Constitution protects all religions, including Islam”—he just wishes advocates would channel their energies slightly differently. Sounds like he does believe religious freedom is for all. Can we expect the media to interview some Imams who would say the same thing?

The real story lies in the currents underlying the NPR story. The Muslims who stand for religious freedom are courageous and deserve our support. But there are many within the Muslim world—as Muslims define it—who don’t have any concept of civil liberties for people of all faiths, and are willing to die fighting against such a concept. Dr. Gorka referenced this war within Islam the other day at Family Research Council. The largest group of victims of Jihadists are other Muslims. Those within the world of Islam who refuse to support religious freedom for all need to be confronted, and the media who ignore them and give them a free pass deserve to be called out.

Instead of trying to create a sensation where none exists, perhaps the media can focus on the religious freedom story that does exist.

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Supreme Court Denies Hearing and Curtails Freedom in Stormans Case

by Travis Weber

June 30, 2016

Sadly, earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case of Stormans v. Wiesman.

In declining to hear this case, the Court missed an opportunity to shore up individual freedom and rebuke baseless government harassment of religious believers.

The Stormans owned a pharmacy and did not want to dispense certain drugs that can kill embryos due to their moral and religious beliefs, yet are happy to refer potential customers to other pharmacies who could dispense them. The drugs are carried by more than 30 other pharmacies within five miles of the Stormans’ pharmacy. It seems like there’s a way in this case for conscience to be honored, and the customer to receive their drugs.

Unfortunately, Washington State had put in place regulations barring pharmacies from referring customers elsewhere for religious or moral reasons, despite permitting them to do so for a host of secular reasons.

These regulations were challenged as a violation of the Free Exercise Clause due to their targeting of religious beliefs. The Supreme Court had an opportunity to hear the case, yet unfortunately declined. Justice Alito (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas) dissented from this denial of certiorari.

As Justice Alito observed in his dissent, “none of [the Stormans’] customers has ever been denied timely access to emergency contra­ceptives.” At the end of the day, the only reason for this law is to disparage the moral objections of those who think differently and force these unwilling pharmacists to play a part in the government’s imposed regime by steamrolling their individual freedom. And now, in permitting a lower court decision against the Stormans to stand, Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg apparently see no problem with letting the state of Washington squash religious freedom by barring referrals tied to religious reasons but permitting them for non-religious reasons.

Now, as Justice Alito put it, the price we must pay is the continued existence of “regulations [which] are improperly designed to stamp out religious objectors.” This price may be acceptable to some for now—at least until it is turned around and applied against them.

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Question of the Week - June 28, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 28, 2016

Question: I don’t understand how [The Supreme Court’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision] is an attack on women or children. It seems this ruling was intended to remove burdensome obstacles for women needing a safe and legal medical procedure. There seems to be a disconnect between what you find safe and legal and what the Supreme Court deemed safe and legal. Could someone tell me why admission rights make this procedure more safe? Thank you.

FRC: The law in question [Texas’ H.B. 2] that was struck down would have required abortion facilities to have the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (such as trained staff, corridors that could accommodate a stretcher in case of an emergency, up-to-date fire, sanitation, and safety codes) and for abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital not further than thirty miles from the abortion facility. This law would have helped to provide women protection from substandard medical care and in many cases criminal activity of abortion facilities. Over the last six years, “more than 150 abortion providers in at least 30 states and the District of Columbia have faced criminal charges, investigations, administrative complaints, and/or civil lawsuits” related to substandard practices or substandard operation of these abortion facilities. When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women’s lives are endangered. For example:

  • In 2011 alone, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications, and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. 
  • As Federal Judge Edith Jones noted in her opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on this case: “Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion.”

Further, abortionists with admitting privileges in hospitals could seamlessly assist their patients to a hospital in case of an emergency and no precious time would be lost that could cost the woman her life. Twenty-nine year old Jennifer Morbelli died at the hands of abortionist LeRoy Carhart following complications. After the abortion, Carhart released her to return to her hotel and he left town. Morbelli’s condition deteriorated, but Carhart could not be reached by family members or by hospital emergency room staff.

These are just a few of the reasons why the Supreme Court’s decision is so tragic for women. The pro-life movement is pro-woman and pro-child. We will continue our efforts to protect them both.

We will be releasing more information on this topic in the coming days.

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Abortion Distortion” at work in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

by Travis Weber

June 28, 2016

Once again, we saw the “abortion distortion” at work in our nation’s high court. The majority opinion first distorted the law governing whether a claim should be procedurally barred in order to let these claims against the Texas law proceed, then it distorted its own abortion jurisprudence governing whether there was actually an undue burden here to find one where one doesn’t exist. The majority went out of its way to support a lower court’s basis for striking down the law (and in doing so, tried to give courts authority to interfere where they shouldn’t), when it actually should have simply deferred to the legislature. The majority’s opinion leaves the state of abortion law more muddled than ever. As Justices Thomas and Alito (joined by Chief Justice Roberts) pointed out in dissents, there can be no doubt that our nation’s high court simply does not apply the law fairly and neutrally when it comes to the issue of abortion. This can only serve to discredit it as an institution.

Majority opinion

Justice Breyer wrote the majority, joined by Justices Kagan, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kennedy. In its opinion, the Court bent the typical rules governing claim preclusion to permit the claims against HB 2 to proceed, then even bent its abortion jurisprudence a fair bit to conclude they imposed an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional “right” to obtain an abortion.

Claims not procedurally barred

The first issue was whether any of the plaintiffs’ claims were procedurally barred under res judicata, a doctrine which prohibits raising the same claim if it has already been raised by the party to the case. The Court said they were not. The Court first held that the plaintiff’s admitted privileges claims were not barred because changed circumstances made the claims raised in this case different than those raised in an earlier case challenging the Texas statute (a dubious holding). It also held that the surgical center claims were not barred even though they were not raised in the earlier case because they were based on a different portion of the statute (also dubious).

Undue Burden

The Court began by laying out its standard: “We recognize that the ‘State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient.’ Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 150 (1973). But, we added, ‘a statute which, while furthering [a] valid state interest, has the effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice cannot be considered a permissible means of serving its legitimate ends.’ Casey, 505 U. S., at 877 (plurality opinion). Moreover, ‘[u]nnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right.’ Id., at 878.”

The justices held that neither the admitting-privileges nor surgical-center requirement “offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, Casey, supra, at 878 (plurality opinion),” and thus “each violates the Federal Constitution. Amdt. 14, §1.”

The Court of Appeals had held that (1) the courts should not consider and balance medical benefits against the burden when applying the undue burden standard (but rather just look at the burden issue), and (2) a standard of lower constitutional scrutiny should apply to abortion issues. The majority in Hellerstedt reversed the Court of Appeals on both these points.

Undue Burden – Admitting Privileges Requirement

The Court heavily deferred to the determinations of the district court (and affirmed the ability of courts in general to make such determinations) on these issues, and claimed that courts can resolve questions of medical uncertainty—not just legislatures. The Court held that courts can and should balance the medical benefits of a law against its burdens.

The Court found that the evidence in the record indicates that the admitting privileges requirement places a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice” (quoting Casey). The Court again deferred to district court findings that facilities were closing at the time the law began to be enforced, which meant women had to travel further to obtain abortions, and there were fewer doctors (doctors were also unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unconnected to their ability to perform medical procedures), longer wait times, and more crowded facilities. Taken together, and viewed in light of the absence of a health benefit, this list of effects causes an undue burden.

The Court also noted the statute here does not have legislative findings, which weighs in favor of a court having to scrutinize findings more carefully, and heavily deferred to the district court’s evaluation of the evidence—and concluded it found nothing in the record “that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health.”

The government argued facilities may have closed for reasons unrelated to this law, but the Court found that that the plaintiffs had “satisfied their burden to present evidence of causa­tion by presenting direct testimony as well as plausible inferences to be drawn from the timing of the clinic clo­sures.” When faced with the example of Gosnell, the Court said “there is no reason to believe that an extra layer of regulation would have affected that behavior. Determined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing stat­utes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations. Regardless, Gosnell’s deplorable crimes could escape detection only because his facility went uninspected for more than 15 years. Pre-existing Texas law already contained numerous detailed regulations covering abortion facilities, including a requirement that facilities be inspected at least annually.”

Undue Burden – Surgical Center Requirement

Again, the Court deferred to the district court and found that the health and safety concerns are not advanced by the surgical center requirement, especially in light of the existing regulation imposed by Texas. The Court credited evidence and deferred to an expert witness at the district court level, and found that many of the law’s requirements were not necessary to regulate abortion, and had the additional effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the face of a woman’s ability to obtain one by making them travel further and disrupting the medical care they would receive. In making these findings, the Court recognized it assumed that medical facilities operate at or near full capacity, and credited what it viewed as “commonsense inferences” by the district court. The court held that Texas had not shown that remaining facilities could accommodate many more women.

In essence, the Court nitpicked the evidence for ways Texas had not perfectly shown HB 2 would advance women’s health, and even when it had shown health benefits, claimed the burden outweighed these benefits (and the law was thus unconstitutional).

Other arguments

The Court rejected the argument that facial invalidation was precluded by the law’s severability clause. It also rejected Texas’ argument that the law did not impose a substantial obstacle because the number of women affected by the law is not a “large fraction” of Texan women of reproductive age. The Court finally rejected Texas’ argument, based on Simopoulos v. Virginia, that surgical center requirements could be applied to second-trimester abortions. The Court noted this was before Casey, which discarded the trimester framework.

Ginsburg Concurrence

Justice Ginsburg concurred, focusing on the claim that child-birth and other medical procedures are “far more dangerous” than abortion, and yet not subject to the requirements Texas attempts to impose here. “Given those realities, it is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.’ Planned Parenthood of Wis., 806 F. 3d, at 910. When a State se­verely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety. See Brief for Ten Pennsylvania Abortion Care Providers as Amici Curiae 17–22. So long as this Court adheres to Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws like H. B. 2 that ‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,’ Planned Parenthood of Wis., 806 F. 3d, at 921, cannot survive judicial inspection.”

Thomas Dissent

Justice Thomas criticized the majority for “perpetuat[ing] the Court’s habit of applying different rules to different constitutional rights—especially the putative right to abortion.”

Quoting Justice Scalia, he said this decision “exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency ‘to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.’ Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U. S. 914, 954 (2000) (Scalia, J., dissenting).”

Thomas continues, “[u]ltimately, this case shows why the Court never should have bent the rules for favored rights in the first place. Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predict­ability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.”

He criticizes third-party standing, which permits plaintiffs to sue on behalf of others (and which permitted the claims to be brought in this case in the first place). He observes the Court has made special exceptions for this doctrine in the case of abortion, noting: “There should be no surer sign that our jurisprudence has gone off the rails than this: After creating a constitutional right to abortion because it ‘involve[s] the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy,’ Casey, supra, at 851 (majority opinion), the Court has created special rules that cede its enforcement to others.”

Even under Casey, Justice Thomas notes that the majority alters the undue burden test here by (1) telling courts to balance burdens and benefits of the law instead of just assessing the burden, by (2) making their own medical assessments as opposed to deferring to the legislature, which is permitted to enact a law in the face of a debate within the medical community (Stenberg, supra, at 971 (KENNEDY, J., dissent­ing) (“the right of the legislature to resolve matters on which physicians disagreed” is “establish[ed] beyond doubt”), and by (3) scrutinizing laws for more than a reasonable relation to a legitimate state interest even when the law does not impose a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion (“Where [the State] has a rational basis to act and it does not impose an undue burden,” this Court previously held, “the State may use its regulatory power” to impose regulations “in furtherance of its legiti­mate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the un­born.” Gonzales, supra, at 158 (emphasis added)).”

Justice Thomas criticized the majority for writing an opinion without any clear standard, which will “mystify” lower courts trying to figure the matter out. The Court merely highlights certain parts of the record, and announces that there is an undue burden. In Justice Thomas’s view, this opinion looks like it’s applying the strict scrutiny standard that Casey had rejected.

He proceeds to criticize the Court’s seemingly ad-hoc application of different standards of review, based on the Court’s preference for the issue, which leads to unpredictability among other issues: “Likewise, it is now easier for the government to restrict judicial candidates’ campaign speech than for the Government to define mar­riage—even though the former is subject to strict scrutiny and the latter was supposedly subject to some form of rational-basis review. Compare Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, 575 U. S. ___, ___–___ (2015) (slip op., at 8–9), with United States v. Windsor, 570 U. S. ___, ___ (2013) (slipop., at 20)).”

Thus, “[t]he Court should abandon the pretense that anything other than policy preferences underlies its balancing of constitutional rights and inter­ests in any given case.”

Indeed, the Court’s preference for special rights and inconsistent application of its standards to cases based on the rights at issue poses significant problems for the Court as a judicial body—this case being only one example. “The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitu­tional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution … Unless the Court abides by one set of rules to adjudicate constitu­tional rights, it will continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear.”

He concludes: “Today’s decision will prompt some to claim victory, just as it will stiffen opponents’ will to object. But the entire Nation has lost something essential. The majority’s em­brace of a jurisprudence of rights-specific exceptions and balancing tests is ‘a regrettable concession of defeat—an acknowledgement that we have passed the point where ‘law,’ properly speaking, has any further application.’ Scalia, The Rule of Law as a Law of Rules, 56 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1175, 1182 (1989). I respectfully dissent.”

Alito Dissent

Justice Alito also dissented, with Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Thomas joining.

Claim is procedurally barred

Justice Alito first criticized the majority for bending the rules of res judicata to accommodate the claim at issue because it concerned abortion. “When we decide cases on particularly controversial issues, we should take special care to apply settled procedural rules in a neutral manner. The Court has not done that here.”

In essence, the majority’s basis for permitting the claims to proceed here is weak, has holes, and has insufficient supporting authority. “The Court awards a victory to petitioners on the very claim that they unsuccessfully pressed in the earlier case. The Court does this even though petitioners, undoubtedly realizing that a rematch would not be allowed, did not presume to include such a claim in their complaint. The Court favors petitioners with a victory that they did not have the audacity to seek.”

Justice Alito observed the majority failed to even address the many elements of res judicata, and in ruling that the claims here were not the same, even erred when it addressed that element!

In essence, the claims are bound together by the law’s impact on the present or future closure of facilities. The claim in this case therefore is the same, had already been raised by the plaintiffs, and therefore should be barred. It doesn’t matter that the plaintiffs have new and better evidence; this doesn’t get around the issue that the claims are the same. The new and old claims are based on the same acts and set of circumstances, and new evidence does not transform them into different claims. The authority cited by the majority—the Comment F to Section 24 of the Second Restatement of Judgments—says a claim may be a different claim, not that it always is. This leeway should be applied sparingly, in Justice Alito’s view, and the majority does not have the authority to conclude as it does. There are no new “acts” here by Texas which even could make these claims different, but only new consequences, if at all. The plaintiffs here knew what the effects of the law would be, and thus have no basis to assert their claims are now different.

The plaintiffs could have provided evidence in their first case to show that facilities would close, yet now “the Court attempts to argue that petitioners could not have shown at that time that a sufficient number of clinics had already closed. As I have explained, that is not what petitioners need to show or what they attempted to prove.”

Even if the Court thinks that petitioners’ evidence in the first case was insufficient, the Court does not claim that petitioners, with reasonable effort, could not have gathered sufficient evidence to show with some degree of accuracy what the effects of the admitting privileges requirement would be. As I have just explained, in their first trial petitioners introduced a survey of 27 abortion clinics indicating that 15 would close because of the admitting privileges requirement. The Court does not identify what additional evidence petitioners needed but were unable to gather. There is simply no reason why petitioners should be allowed to re-litigate their facial claim.”

In sum, the Court’s holding that petitioners’ second facial challenge to the admitting privileges requirement is not barred by claim preclusion is not supported by any of our cases or any body of lower court precedent; is contrary to the bedrock rule that a party cannot re-litigate a claim simply because the party has obtained new and better evidence; is contrary to the first Restatement of Judgments and the actual rules of the second Restatement of Judgment; and is purportedly based largely on a single comment in the second Restatement, but does not even represent a sensible reading of that comment. In a regular case, an attempt by petitioners to re-litigate their previously unsuccessful facial challenge to the admitting privileges requirement would have been rejected out of hand—indeed, might have resulted in the imposition of sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. No court would even think of reviving such a claim on its own. But in this abortion case, ordinary rules of law—and fairness—are suspended.”

The majority erroneously holds that these claims are separate based on weak and inapplicable authority. In reality, these claims are based on the same bill, both impose now requirements on facilities, both seek to protect women, both challenged as imposing the same kind of burden, and are treated by the plaintiffs as a package in terms of their claim that they are trying to “shut down” abortion facilities. There is no doubt they are part of the same litigation.

No Undue Burden

Even if the claims are not barred, there is no undue burden here.

Since plaintiffs assert rights on behalf of their patients, they must show an impact on a “large fraction” of impacted women to obtain facial relief. They fail to do that. They only show that certain facilities closed, but make “little effort” to show why they did.

Justice Alito noted that this law may impact facilities, which is understandable, and even desired in the aftermath of situations like the Gosnell matter. Indeed, “the Philadelphia grand jury that investigated the case recommended that the Commonwealth adopt a law requiring abortion facilities to comply with the same regulations as ASCs.”

However, facilities may have closed because of (1) H. B. 2’s restriction on medication abortion, (2) the withdrawal of Texas family planning funds, (3) the nationwide decline in abortion demand, and (4) physician retirement (or other localized factors).

The plaintiffs could have made precise findings regarding each facility in Texas, and had the burden of proof to do so, but didn’t.

In addition, the plaintiffs simply didn’t put on any evidence of actual facility capacity as it concerned facility access. The majority let them off the hook on this point, even though this was important to determine an undue burden.

Finally, the majority failed to recognize that under Casey, traveling 150 miles is not an undue burden, and a significant majority of Texas women didn’t have to travel that far.

Justice Alito also wrote that even if the claims were not precluded, in applying the severability clause here, the law’s requirements must be held in every city in which it does not impose an undue burden.

Sadly, the Court has to again apply the “abortion distortion” to argue that the severability clause does not apply here, and invalidate the entire statute. Indeed, many non-abortion related provisions of the law are now struck down too.

He concludes: “When we decide cases on particularly controversial issues, we should take special care to apply settled procedural rules in a neutral manner. The Court has not done that here.” The Court’s “patent refusal to apply well-established law in a neutral way is indefensible and will undermine public confidence in the Court as a fair and neutral arbiter.”

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Christians and Public Life: Politics, Culture, and Bearing the Light of the Gospel

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 23, 2016

Since our first parents fell from a pristine garden head-long into the morass of sin so long ago, the inability of their heirs to extricate themselves from the moral swamp that is our nature has been the salient characteristic of human history.

Yet redeemed in Christ, His followers are called by Him to live in a manner worthy of His Name, of His character and His commission. Among the ways we’re called to do so:

  • Demonstrating in our own lives that His way is good, and that those who know and follow Jesus have found grace and truth;
  • Defending the weak, healing the broken, welcoming those fractured by the dissolution of their families, and upholding our God-given right and mandate to live-out, without repression, the implications of our faith in His Son;
  • Proclaiming that His standards are here for both individual and social well-being, and that when followed, we gain “a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”
  • Affirming that His self-revelation in creation, our consciences, and our reason is sufficiently clear for us all, Christians and non-, to understand what’s morally right and wrong for us personally, in families, in civic life, and in the professions;
  • Creating and celebrating “the good, the true, and the beautiful” such that all aspects of our lives reflect the loveliness of our Creator; and
  • Sharing the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose from the grave, and is Lord of all, and that He offers new and eternal life to all who will trust in Him alone for forgiveness.

To the second bullet, no one is weaker than an unborn child, and no one more vulnerable to predation than her mother at a time of crisis. No one is broken like the person who has departed from God’s plan for human sexuality. No one is needier than a child needing a father or a woman deserted by her husband. And no one can fully realize the nature of his humanity, that of being an image-bearer of God, without the freedom not only to worship Him privately but also to obey Him publically.

Yet we know that complete victory is impossible: As long as sin remains man’s inherent lot, God’s Kingdom, something Jesus warned us is “not of this world” (John 18:36), can never be built on earth. If we say we can usher-in Revelation’s promised “new earth” (Revelation 21:1) without Jesus, we would do well to reflect on a place called Babel.

On the other hand, if all we want is a place of political ease, one in which cultural comfort is the norm, we follow a false god. While the broad affirmation of Judeo-Christian values is, in any culture, welcome, it is insufficient. Social serenity in a world whose prince is darkness itself should never be the disciple’s chief end. We deceive ourselves if we think that those who disagree with us will just slink away if Christian values become more well-received in our culture and reflected more closely in our laws.

What, then, do Christians want? We cannot achieve comprehensive transformation. We are obligated to do justice and stand for righteousness. We will never be without opposition, at least if we’re living as God wants. And as the foundations of American cultural and political life crumble, that opposition will become increasingly savage and uncompromising.

We need to seek to do good to all men, in matters private and public. We need to take into our homes the abused and discarded. We need to advance legislation that affirms human dignity, opportunity, and hope. Private acts, public law. Both.

We need to be obedient to God. This means being winsome and gracious, bold and truthful. These qualities are not mutually exclusive, especially since Jesus embodied them (Matthew 21:12, Mark 10:13-16, John 1:14).

Toward some, we must be respectfully but firmly confrontational (Proverbs 28:1). Toward others, we must be gentle and aim to persuade (Proverbs 15:1). In doing both, depending on the people involved and the needs of the moment, we uphold the truth and proclaim grace.

Truth without grace is only severity. Grace without truth is mere sentiment.

Some argue that if only Evangelical believers were “nicer,” society would be less disposed to stereotype and dislike us. There is never any justification for being obnoxious or dehumanizing others. Yet however warm we are in the presentation of truth, there will be those who hate us; Jesus promised this (John 15:8). Christians are to be patient and persuasive, but we do well to remember that the most gracious Man Who ever lived was nailed to a cross. It’s not all about grace or all about truth. Both/and, now and forever.

We also need to focus on the things that matter most to God in the moment in which we live. Here in the United States, what are those things? I submit that the most salient issues are the destruction of 2,700 unborn children daily and the victimization of their mothers; the hydra of radical sexual autonomy as the highest good; the pending abolition of the family as grounded in one man and one woman in covenantal union, for life; and the pre-governmental duty of man to God and the consequent necessity of the state to safeguard our ability to live-out this duty as individuals conceive it (as long as such a conception does no violence to others).

This is not to suggest that a number of other issues, whether related to race, economic injustice, crime, and so forth are not important.

Yet nothing is more final than death, and death’s most cherished handmaiden in our time is unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

Nothing is more beautiful than sexual expression as intended by the One Who designed it, and nothing more debasing than sexual expression that deviates from that design.

Nothing is more foundational to human well-being and societal flourishing than the family, and as the family as we have known it starts fading like Alice’s Cheshire cat, children suffer and adults are wounded.

Nothing is more fundamental to our very beings than the fact that we bear the image and likeness of God. Thus, when Christians’ capacity to relate to Him as we believe He desires is curtailed by the state, the fullness of what it means to bear that image is diminished.

Prudence in judgment and persuasion in appeal must be the guardians of our witness. Principled compromise is sometimes achievable. As we exercise sound political and cultural judgment and seek to convince our fellow citizens of the goodness of our agenda, we can do much good and dissuade at least some of our countrymen from courses that will only hurt them and all of us.

However, some compromises are inherently unprincipled and must never be made. Whether that relegates believers to minority status or not is immaterial. We serve an eternal King, not temporal cultural approval.

Whatever the outcome of our endeavors, American Christians engaged in the public life of our nation (and to one degree or another, that should be all of us) must imitate their Savior in character and wisdom, courage and faithfulness, now and until He returns, regardless of political outcomes.

This is why we serve and contend as we do, for by so doing we herald the Gospel to a sin-besotted world, whether overtly or more subtly. Jesus is Lord, is real, and is the one true Light Who offers forgiveness and everlasting hope to all men.

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The Message that Matters: Public Accommodation Laws, Race, and Same-Sex Marriage

by Adam Burton

June 20, 2016

What do Pfizer, Chipotle, and Bruce Springsteen have in common? Perhaps more than you might think, as Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Associate Professor of Law at Catholic University, pointed out recently at the “Protecting Religious Liberty“ conference at the CATO Institute. It turns out that each of those companies made decisions about business transactions based on their moral beliefs and the message that each business deal would send. For Chipotle, that meant not sponsoring a Boy Scout event because of their (now previous) take on gay scoutmasters. For Pfizer, that meant no longer selling a drug to state governments that used it for capital punishment. And for Bruce Springsteen, that meant not playing a concert in North Carolina because of objections he had to the bathroom bill signed into law earlier this year. Christian-owned businesses seeking to convey a message regarding marriage only ask to be treated the same.

Public Accommodation laws have long protected individuals from being denied service because of their protected class status. In the 1950-60s, this often meant that blacks could not be turned away from hotels or restaurants because of the color of their skin. Over the years, different locales have expanded the classes protected by these laws. Today, the list of individuals protected sometimes includes sexual orientation.

So does that mean that a cake artist, photographer, or invitation calligraphist must provide that service if a city or state has a public accommodation law? Not exactly.

It is important to note that there is a distinct difference between racial discrimination, like when Heart of Atlanta Motel refused to serve blacks in 1964, and not serving a particular event. As Rienzi asserted, there is “[n]o parallel to the Jim-Crow South, in other words there is no indication that what we have got is a broad denial of service,” for same-sex couples and wedding vendors. The famous wedding vendor cases often involve gay clients who have conducted business at these establishments before. The objection for business owners is not the person, but the message of the particular event.

As the Supreme Court made clear in its 9-0 opinion in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, public accommodation laws “are well within the State’s usual power to enact when a legislature has reason to believe that a group is the target of discrimination,” as long as “they do not, as a general matter, violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” In other words, state governments can protect individuals facing discrimination as long as the laws do not conflict with protections like the Freedoms of Speech and Religion that apply against the states.

In that case, the parade organizer was sued for not allowing a group wanting to march in the parade “to express pride in their Irish heritage” as gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. The group alleged that Hurley had violated Massachusetts’s public accommodation law by not allowing the message of the group to be incorporated in the parade. In striking down the application of the public accommodation law against Hurley, and noting that gay individuals were not excluded from the parade, the Supreme Court stated that “the Council clearly decided to exclude a message it did not like from the communication it chose to make, and that is enough to invoke its right as a private speaker to shape its expression by speaking on one subject while remaining silent on another.” The Court emphasized “one important manifestation of the principle of free speech is that one who chooses to speak may also decide ‘what not to say.’”

While Louise Melling, another panelist at the CATO event from the American Civil Liberties Union, emphasized the harm experienced by LGBT couples referred to other businesses because of the nature of the event, Mark Rienzi pointed to another key Supreme Court case, Snyder v. Phelps. The Supreme Court declared that while the Westboro Baptist protestors said deeply hurtful things at the military funeral for Snyder’s son, speech on matters of public concern is entitled to “‘special protection’ under the First Amendment. Such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt.”

These Supreme Court decisions established the precedent that public accommodation laws do not trump the First Amendment protections for people to choose the message they wish to promote, without discriminating against the person. Just like the parade, which allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to participate in the parade, the florists and bakeries at the center of this debate have knowingly served homosexuals in the past and would continue to serve them for other events. It is the current message of the particular event at issue, and the artist has the right to choose what that message is.

As the majority in Obergefell v. Hodges noted, “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” Compelling artists who support natural marriage to speak a particular message by forcing them to participate in a particular event violates the principles of the First Amendment and oversteps the historical use of public accommodation laws.

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Harvard law professor: “Don’t Let Mississippi Establish Anti-Gay Religion”

by Travis Weber

June 17, 2016

That’s actually the title of a piece by Harvard law professor Noah Feldman on Bloomberg View yesterday.

Our ability to reason together as a pluralistic nation has been sorely compromised by unashamed advocacy pieces like this. Those who know better like Noah Feldman will one day hopefully come to regret compromising their accuracy to try to achieve their objective. Sadly, much damage will be done in the meantime.

The harm done by his reckless characterizations of Mississippi’s Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523) demands a response.

What has Mississippi done in HB 1523? It has exempted people with certain beliefs from being forced to violate their conscience should the government make them complicit in a same-sex marriage celebration. That doesn’t sound like any “establishment” of religion to me, and it isn’t—under any reasonably understanding of what the Establishment Clause was meant to accomplish. Moreover, it would protect anyone who holds those beliefs—Muslims, Jews, Christians, or others. Establishment Clause law is primarily concerned with making sure the government doesn’t coerce or force people into a belief system with which they don’t agree.

It’s ironic that this is the precise protection HB 1523 ensures people receive. It’s doubly ironic that Noah Feldman would instead have everyone comply with the government’s “religion” of same-sex marriage acceptance. If Mississippi was doing what Feldman claims it’s doing, why the need for HB 1523’s protections from the government? There wouldn’t be any need. If we are going to use his line of thinking about “establishment,” he should see HB 1523 is needed precisely because our government is increasingly moving toward an “establishment” of support for same-sex marriage.

If Noah Feldman and others making his arguments actually believe such exemptions are constitutionally problematic, I’d expect them to argue against laws providing exemptions in a variety of contexts. Notably, their opposition only seems to arise when Christianity seeks protection.

The title to his piece also contains a misrepresentation of Christian belief: that Christianity is merely “anti-gay.” Actually discovering the truth here requires some study of Christianity, however. Christian teaching on sexuality is comprehensive, and contains a number of precepts for human flourishing and well-being in accordance with God’s design. Same-sex conduct is only one of the parameters. There is no such thing as mere “anti-gay” Christianity. Yet the Christian view of sexuality is consistently mischaracterized by this framing—because advocates who use it aren’t seeking the truth, and they know this propaganda works on people who don’t bother to seek it either.

Claiming the mantle of objectivity and reason in order to further an agenda is not new. But it removes the building blocks on which our pluralistic society can exist. It is especially disheartening when done by those who know better and are entrusted to do otherwise.

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Social Conservative Review - June 16, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 16, 2016

Dear Friends,

In the wake of the atrocity that occurred in Orlando this past Sunday, there have been many words spoken and much written on who is to blame, which has only deepened ideological divisions and intensified an already toxic political climate in America.

It is yet the latest reminder that there is only one answer to evil, suffering, and brokenness in this world: Jesus Christ. It is only in Him that America will be able to find healing, forgiveness, and unity. That is why it is so critical for all believers to turn to Him in prayer during this dark time in our country and in the world. Family Research Council is encouraging Christians across America to participate in our 8th annual Call2Fall National Prayer Movement. We are asking pastors and churches to consider setting aside time during worship on Sunday, July 3rd to call their people to get on their knees before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to restore and renew our country.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Punching Down – Charlotte Allen, First Things

An Open Letter for Preserving the First Freedom of Religious Liberty – Jason Duesing, Canon & Culture

Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Student Group Against NC State’s “Speech Permit” – Faith Vander Voort, The Daily Signal

 

International Religious freedom

Christians Harassed in German Refugee CampsThe Catholic Thing

French and Belgian Catholics Under AttackThe Catholic Thing

Remembering Those Who Suffer – Ian Speir, Ethika Politika

How A 10-Year-Old Refugee Forgave ISIS – Nikolas Grosfield, The Federalist

UZBEKISTAN: Fines for “Illegal” Religious Literature – Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18

In Secretly Written Book, Christian Chinese Lawyer Describes Resisting Communist Torture – Isolda Morillo, The Stream

 

Military Religious Freedom

Drafting Women is Not Only Immoral, it is Disruptive – Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

Conservatives Have a Plan to Block Women in the Draft – Philip Wegmann, The Daily Signal

Boykin bounced: Fort Riley cancels Delta Force hero’s prayer breakfast speech – Todd Starnes, FOX News

 

Religious Liberty in the public square

LGBT Bill Threatens California’s Religious Schools – Andrew Egger, The Daily Signal

Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Student Group Against NC State’s ‘Speech Permit’ – Faith Vander Voort, The Daily Signal

The Benefits of Religious Liberty – Rick Plasterer, Juicy Ecumenism

Religious Liberty in the Eyes of Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, & MuslimsJuicy Ecumenism

School Sends Sheriff to Order Child to Stop Sharing Bible Verses – Todd Starnes, FOX News

Compelling Reasons to retain Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions – Michael J. DeBoer, Canon & Culture

 

Life

Abortion

Judge Dismisses Bogus Charge Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

A Baby’s Kick Changes Everything About Abortion – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

What Happens When People Share Their Abortion Stories – Cullen Herout, The Federalist

New Evidence Indicates Planned Parenthood’s Organ Harvesting Scheme Broke the Law – Bre Payton, The Federalist

Can Feminists Really Be Pro-Life? Meet Two Women Who Are – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Amnesty International Pushes Abortion in Ireland – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Her Doctor Told Her to Abort Her Baby With Down Syndrome – Ericka Andersen, National Review

More Americans Call Abortion “Morally Wrong” Than “Morally Acceptable” – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

Christian College offers Certificate in Pro Life Activism, Pregnancy Center Management – Samantha Watkins, The College Fix

Does Carrying Signs Really Save Babies? – Sean DeMars, Desiring God

That Place Where Babies are Aborted? Don’t Call It a ‘Clinic,’ Because It’s Not – David Mills, The Stream

A Mother’s Open Letter to a Doctor Who Told Her to Abort Her Unborn Child – Nancy Flory, The Stream

 

Adoption

Getting Involved in Foster Care by Serving Families – Chelsea Patterson, ERLC

Why Being a Pro-Life Church is Messier Than You Think – Daniel Darling, Christianity Today

Generosity Is … Taking Six Children Into Your Family – Carolyn Moynihan, The Stream

 

Bioethics

Next Station Stop: The Embryo Farm? – Gene Tarne, Lozier Institute

Who May Die? California Patients and Doctors Wrestle With Assisted Suicide – Jennifer Medina, The New York Times

The New Hobbesians – Jeffrey Collins and Douglas Farrow, First Things

Would Hollywood Want the Disabled Dead? – John Knight, Desiring God

 

Obamacare

California Could Become the First State to Expand Coverage to Illegal Immigrants Under Obamacare – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Obamacare’s 13th Co-Op Is Closing. Why More Could Follow – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

How the Insurance Market Is Responding to Obamacare – Gregg Keller, The Daily Signal

The Less Affordable Care Act? – Vann Newkirk, The Atlantic

Obamacare Is Forcing People into Part-Time Work – Chris Pandolfo, Conservative Review

 

Family

Family Economics

Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Agenda is Disappointing – Oren Cass, National Review

Hurting the Poor is No Way to Help Them: Payday Lending Rules Edition – Veronique de Rugy, National Review

Church of England: Maybe Margaret Thatcher Wasn’t So Unchristian After All – Joe Carter, Acton Power Blog

The Key to Understanding Christian Advocacy of Free Markets – Joe Carter, Acton Power Blog

For Love or Money? – Jason Carroll, The Family in America

Socialism Attacks the Family, Just as Its Inventors Intended – Paul Kengor, The Stream

 

Marriage

Report: To Divorce-Proof Yourself, Don’t Have Pre-marital Sex – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Aristotle, True Friendship, and the “Soulmate” View of Marriage – Angela McKay Knobel, Public Discourse

Would Your Kids Recognize an Ideological Kidnapper? – Anna Mussmann, The Federalist

A Dangerous Fairytale for Future Wives – Liz Wann, Desiring God

10 Top Reasons You Should Have Kids Before 30 – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Latest Out-of-Wedlock Birthrates – Roger Clegg, National Review

Couple Vows to Stay Together After Husband is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 29FOX News Health

Parents’ Marital Status Boosts Children’s Self Esteem – John Bingham, Telegraph UK

 

Human Sexuality

A Christian Message to LGBT Americans in the Wake of the Orlando Shooting – Michael Brown, The Stream

Born This Way – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

ACLU leader quits over daughters’ safety in bathrooms – Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel

Trans Theory Is A War Against Reality – David Sorrell, The Federalist

Why You Should Stop Using The Word ‘Gender’ – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Ohio school district sues feds for demanding that students have access to opposite-sex locker roomsAlliance Defending Freedom

I Wish I Had Been Told About These Risks Before I Had Gender Surgery – Walt Heyer, The Daily Signal

Reality Check: Gender Diversity is Driven by a Top-Down Ideological Movement – Mary Rice Hasson, MercatorNet

Being a Stanford Athlete is No Excuse for Rape – Holly Scheer, The Federalist

 

Human Trafficking

Exposed: Planned Parenthood’s Disturbingly Common Practice of Covering Up Child Sex Abuse – Cassy Fiano, LifeSiteNews

Petition Against Amnesty International’s Prostitution Policy Breaks 35,000 Signatures – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Fighting for the Protection of Young Kenyan Girls at the United Nations – Palmer Williams, ACLJ

Meet the Man Saving Yazidi Slaves From ISIS – Arwa Damon, CNN

 

Pornography

John Paul II, Porn, and the Stanford Rapist – Matthew Sewell, Crisis Magazine

Comcast Refuses to Remove Racist and Exploitive PornographyNational Center on Sexual Exploitation

Why is Amazon.com Hosting Pornographic Websites? National Center on Sexual Exploitation

A Woman Won’t Fix Your Porn Habit – Joshua Rogers, Boundless

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Question of the Week - June 7, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 7, 2016

Question: I tried calling the Fort Riley base to tell them about my feelings regarding the fact that they would cancel the prayer breakfast and disinvite Gen. Boykin, but their lines are completely full and it won’t let you leave a message. Are there any other numbers to contact the base? 

FRC: Thank you for trying to call Fort Riley. Many others have told us they could not get through on the phones as well. You can try calling the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division, Maj. Grisby, at (785) 239-3516.

You can also send a message through Fort Riley’s contact form on their website at http://www.riley.army.mil/Contact-Us/.

In addition, you can write to Fort Riley in the Visitor Posts section of their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortRiley/.

Thank you for all that you’re doing to help us stand for faith, family, and freedom in the public square!

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Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News - June 3, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 3, 2016

It was about six years ago that FRC launched The Social Conservative Review. We began publishing the SoCon to provide serious social conservatives with articles about the issues critical to FRC’s agenda of advancing and defending human dignity.

We have grown from a small audience to about 15,000 subscribers, including people affiliated in some way with nearly 300 colleges and universities. We feature stories not only by Evangelical and Catholic writers but leading secular journalists. My colleagues in FRC’s Policy Department and I have sought to offer timely, informative, and motivating coverage of such things as the defense of the unborn and their mothers, the social and political redefinition of human sexuality, the trafficking of persons at home and abroad, and domestic and international religious liberty.

This is the last SoCon Review I will be editing and publishing, as at the end of this month I will be leaving FRC to take a full-time teaching post at Regent University, a wonderful school that is becoming one of the premier institutions of Christian higher education in the world. I am honored to be joining this select band of scholars and students.

I know that as editing duties for the SoCon fall into the very capable hands of my colleague Dan Hart, the Managing Editor for FRC Publications, you will continue to profit from the articles and commentary our colleagues and he will be collating every two weeks.

All the blessings of our country—liberty and security, peace and opportunity, prosperity and community—exist for us because of the benevolent and wise guidance of a loving and just God, One Who has bestowed upon this unique nation gifts unknown to all but a handful of people in the long history of life on earth. Thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives to ensure the well-being of ours, and every day brave Americans put themselves at grave risk for our sakes. We owe them an inestimable debt.

America’s imperfections, historic and present, are real and apparent. We grieve for them. Yet with God’s direction and strength, may we always work to create a more perfect Union for ourselves and our posterity.

I would be remiss not to close with this: Jesus Christ is real. He is not some imaginary friend whose existence and meaning are obscured in the fog of antiquity. The biblical accounts of eternal deity, His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, and justifying resurrection are true. Jesus calls all of us to trust in the forgiveness He offers as a free gift to all who will receive it.

My prayer for SoCon’s readers is that you will accept this gift without delay. There is no greater or more joyous decision any of us can ever make.

With great appreciation,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Phoenix Artists Threatened With Jail Time If They Don’t Serve Gay Weddings – Leah JessenThe Daily Signal

Judge Faces Removal, $40K Fine Because of Her Beliefs About Marriage – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

Obama Threatens Hospitals: Perform ‘Sex Changes’ or Lose Federal Funding – Bre PaytonThe Federalist

The Left is Now Targeting Christian Schools in its Potty Crusades – Holly Scheer, The Federalist

Dispense Contraception or Pay U.S.$1000 – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

Christian Student Groups In America Require A Permit To Speak To Other Students? – Vinay Patel, University Herald

 

International Religious freedom

The Chinese Christian Crackdown – The American Interest

Four Reasons Why We Leave – Andrew Knight, Desiring God

Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

US official warns ‘door for Christians in Iraq is closing’ – Ines San Martin, Crux

 

Military Religious Freedom

Memorials Under Assault: The Left’s Depraved War on America’s Heroes – Nate Madden,Conservative Review    

Why military chaplains need the Russell Amendment – Mike Berry,The Hill

Making Memorial Day About More Than Grills – Daniel Briggs, Alliance Defending Freedom

 

Religious Liberty in the public square

A new evangelical political alignment: The Liberty Party – D.C. InnesWorld Magazine

Atheist Relents; Enters Legal Agreement to Cease Filing Lawsuits Over Free Exercise of Religion – First Liberty Institute

Group of Atheists, Humanists Sues to Remove National Motto “In God We Trust” from U.S. Currency – First Liberty Institute

 

 

Life

Abortion

Fetuses Are People, Hillary Said; Let’s Make Sure Our Laws Agree – Debby Efurd, The Christian Post

Evangelicals Cheer Pro-Life Vote at Methodist Conference – Kate ShellnuttChristianity Today

Sex-Selection Abortion: The Real War on Women – Anna Higgins, Charlotte Lozier Institute

New Report Wildly Inflates Global Abortion Numbers – Arina O. Grossu & Thomas Jacobson, The Federalist

Why Abortion Supporters Try to Silence Men – Kira NelsonThe Federalist

Humanizing Aborted Fetuses Through Burial – Wesley J. SmithNational Review

 

Adoption

Abortion and the Problem of Personhood – Jonathan Leeman and Matthew Arbo, Canon and Culture

Lawmaker: Adoption Doesn’t Have to Be This Expensive – Diane Black, Christianity Today

Why It Can Be So Hard to Choose Adoption Over Abortion – Emily CarringtonThe Federalist

How to Address America’s Foster Care Crisis? It Takes a Village – Kelly Rosati, Christianity Today

 

Bioethics

Scientists Creating Human-Animal Embryos Raises Ethical Concerns – Anugrah KumarThe Christian Post

Millions of Chinese Parents Turn to In Vitro Fertilization as One-Child Policy Relaxed – Louise Watt, The Stream

When Doctors Kill Patients to Harvest Their Organs – William M. Briggs, The Stream

Democrats Demand GOP Stop Investigating Fetal Harvesting Industry – Dustin Siggins, The Stream

 

Obamacare

Little Sisters of the Poor Win Big in Obamacare Case – Roger Severino, The Daily Signal

Explainer: What you should know about the Little Sisters religious liberty case – Joe Carter, ERLC

Congress Receiving Unconstitutional Obamacare Subsidies – Robert E. Moffit, Heritage Foundation

 

 

Family

Family Economics

Obama’s Overtime Rule Tried at IBM, and It Didn’t Work – James Sherk, The Daily Signal    

Ticketing Children for Selling Lemonade Highlights Overcriminalization Problem – John-Michael Seibler, The Daily Signal

Empty nests are an endangered cultural phenomenon – Ashley Bloemhof, World Magazine

 

Marriage

Sins of their fathers & mothers – Mary Jackson, WORLD Magazine

The Divorce Revolution has Bred an Army of Woman Haters – W. Bradford Wilcox, The Federalist

We All Make This Marriage Mistake—But Here’s How I Overcame It – Kathleen O’Beirne, Verily Magazine

Healthy Individuals Create Healthy Marriages – Jill Savage, Focus on the Family

 

Human Sexuality (homosexuality/ gender issues)

Our Constitutional Right to Privacy Is Missing From Bathroom Debate – Matt SharpThe Daily Signal

Out of Lesbianism, Into Complementarianism – Jackie Hill-Perry, Council On Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

Why You Should Stop Using The Word “Gender” – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

A Former Transgender Person’s Take on Obama’s Bathroom Directive – Walt Heyer, The Daily Signal

Women fight for a safe space in their restrooms – Leslie Loftis, The Conservative Woman

Beware of ‘trans movement’ as patriarchy in disguise – Pia de SolenniCrux

Give Elsa a girlfriend? No, give the kids a break – Carolyn Moynihan, Mercatornet

A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society – Stella Morabito, The Public Discourse

 

Human Trafficking

45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today– GlobalSlaveryIndex.org

Daughters for Sale: How Young American Girls Are Being Sold Online – Gloria Riviera, Jackie Jesko, and Sally Hawkins, ABC News

 

Pornography

The anti-porn movement is growing. The public is just catching up – Haley Halverson, The Washington Post

The case for banning pornography – Matthew Schmitz, The Washington Post

Why Can’t I Quit Porn? – Eddie Capparucci, The Christian Post

This Research Reveals the Real Side Effects of Our Sexualized Culture – Mary Rose Somarriba, Verily Magazine

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