Dear Friends,

In a recent interview with The Rubin Report, Bp. Robert Barron gave a concise answer to the question of why Christians don’t lower their moral standards on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage so that they can retain more members:

“We’re calling people to a radical sanctity. It’s a high bar on purpose. We don’t dial down the ideals because people find them difficult or they’ll walk away because of them. Apply that back to sexual matters—it’s a similar situation. The church is extreme in its demand … because it wants its people to be saints, not mediocrities.”

Keeping moral standards high is crucial in combatting current cultural trends that encourage mediocrity (or worse). As David French writes in National Review, leading a stress-free, problem-free life at any cost appears to be the goal of many in our culture instead of pursuing virtue. This “flight from pain” has become a disturbing pattern in American life. Stress and sadness are treated with prescription drugs. Marriage must have a trial run of cohabitation, and can be bailed on completely with divorce. Suicides have surged to a 30-year high, with drug overdoses increasing by 33 percent in the last five years. With the rise of assisted suicide, many apparently can’t even bear the thought of death itself happening without their permission.

French goes on to make this observation: “I can’t help wonder how much of this change is connected to the loss of faith, to the absence of the eternal perspective. Everything that matters is here, on this earth, and given the fragility of life is it not entirely rational to do all you reasonably can to make it as comfortable as it can be?”

Believers know that it is in the pursuit of virtue that human beings attain happiness. Leading a Christian life means setting the bar of moral behavior high. This means that our lives will be anything but stress-free; it will often mean a flight into pain rather than a flight from it. Christ made this quite clear in Matthew 7:14: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

May we always strive for that life that Christ has promised, and in so doing raise our culture out of mediocrity. 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

 

FRC Articles

Trump Returns Authority Over School Transgender Policies to States and LocalitiesPeter Sprigg

Trump: Please Stop Gov't Meat Inspectors' Threats to Religious FreedomTony Perkins

Trump Reverses Federal Bathroom Folly, Will Fairfax Follow?Cathy Ruse

How the market can fix health careKen Blackwell

Neil Gorsuch’s Proven Track Record of Protecting Religious LibertyTravis Weber

40 Days for Life Speech in Front of D.C.’s Planned ParenthoodArina Grossu

“Big Abortion” Wants the Dangerous Pregnancy-Destroying Drug Mifepristone (RU-486) Sold in Local PharmaciesChris Gacek

On School Bathrooms and BullyingDan Hart

D.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be RepealedDan Hart

How did the Washington State Supreme Court Get Barronelle Stutzman’s Case So Wrong?Travis Weber

Don’t Be Misled By National Geographic and Katie Couric: Three Things to Know About “Gender Identity”Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Liberal Protestors Lose It When Town Hall Chaplain Prays in Jesus' NameCBN News

Religious intolerance at USDA latest example of need for religious freedom orderAlliance Defending Freedom

Washington floral artist to ask US Supreme Court to protect her freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

International Religious Freedom

France passes law imposing up to two years prison for running pro-life websitesJeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

Chinese Christians Sentenced to Up to 7 Years in Prison Over Christian DevotionalsStoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Egyptian Christians Warned to 'Leave or Die' as 40 Copts Killed in Last 3 MonthsSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Does Abortion Really Prevent Child Abuse?Mike Adams, Townhall

Planned Parenthood Kills 323,999 Babies in Abortions, Provides Only 17,419 Moms Prenatal CareRandall O’Bannon, LifeNews

Leading Physician Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During AbortionsLifeNews

Magazines Like Teen Vogue Hard-Sell Abortion To Fill The Pockets Of Big CompaniesSue Ellen Browder, The Federalist

Fact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’Machaiah Bilger, LifeNews

The Pro-Life Legacy of Norma McCorvey, the ‘Roe’ of Roe v. WadeKatrina Trinko, The Daily Signal

Oklahoma Lawmaker Tarred For Saying Abortion Choice Should Include FathersNicole Russell, The Federalist

Adoption

Adoption agency's demise sheds light on troubled industryKate Gibson, CBS News

Mom's inspiring adoption story of 3-year-old girl born without arms or legsJennifer Earl, CBS News

Bioethics

Washington, D.C., now seventh place in U.S. to officially legalize assisted suicideClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Should We Ban Donor Anonymity?Alana Newman, Family Studies

Oregon Assisted Suicide Deaths Hit Record High in 2016 as Abuses ContinueAlex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Assisted Suicide Deaths Can be Horrifyingly Slow and Painful – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Obamacare

Replacing Obamacare and Insuring the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent Institute

One Mom’s Fight for Her Special Needs Son in the Age of Obamacare – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Congress Should Fix Obamacare By Giving Health Care Back To States – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

How Arizona Is Using Licensure Laws to Punish Compassion – David Rosenthal, The Daily Signal

Protectionism and a Universal Basic Income Won’t Solve Our Economic Problems – Dylan Pahman, Public Discourse

How Trade With China Hurt Marriage Prospects for Low-Skilled Men – Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies

Marriage

Should Couples in Unhappy Marriages Stay Together?Harry Benson, Family Studies

How to Raise Changing Children in a Changing CultureMelissa Kruger, The Gospel Coalition

Secrets of Being a Happy WifeFawn Weaver, Focus on the Family

Faith/Character/Culture

It’s a Wonderful Time to Be ChristianGarrett Kell, Desiring God

What is Wrong with Us? How Should Christians Respond?Rachel Lu, Crisis

Evangelizing Through the GoodBp. Robert Barron, Word On Fire

You Can’t Win the Neighbor You FearCollin Hansen, The Gospel Coalition

When the Pursuit of Happiness Becomes the Flight from PainDavid French, National Review

Human Sexuality

Scarlett Johansson and the Great Adventure Of MonogamyJared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

Most Still Say Transgender Bathroom Policy Not A Federal IssueRasmussen Reports

How Far Should Government Go to Encourage Couples to Reproduce?Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

What Happens When Men Have Sex with Teenage BoysChad Felix Greene, The Huffington Post

If Child Sex Is More Common Among Gay Men, Are We Okay With That?Daniel Payne, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

Ashton Kutcher delivers emotional testimony in fight against sex-traffickingPhilip Kosloski, Aleteia

Authorities: Human traffickers using new tactics to capture victimsMelissa Howell, WSET

Pornography

2017 Dirty Dozen ListNational Center on Sexual Exploitation

My Big Sister, The Porn Star: How Her Career Damaged Her Life And Our FamilyFight the New Drug

Virginia, South Dakota vote overwhelmingly to recognize porn as ‘public health crisis’ – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews