Month Archives: April 2018

12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 1

by Peter Sprigg

April 20, 2018

I recently attended the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Global Summit, but it’s hard to know how to summarize it. The CESE, an annual event organized primarily by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), was held in early April in Herndon, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

Rather than try to summarize the speakers’ messages from the sessions I was able to attend, I decided to post a list of websites that represent the work done by some of those speakers. I hope this will serve as a reference or resource for those seeking more information about how to combat pornography, prostitution, and other forms of sexual exploitation such as the general objectification of women’s (and sometimes men’s) bodies.

Note that the CESE is a broad-based coalition, cutting across political, religious, and ideological lines. Not all of the groups or speakers who participate are social conservatives or Christians—some for example, are liberal feminists. (Therefore, Family Research Council does not necessarily endorse everything on these websites.) All these groups, however, have found common ground in the cause of ending all forms of sexual exploitation.

Here are the first six websites (a subsequent post will present the final six resources):

1. National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The first website to highlight is that of NCOSE itself. NCOSE explains its purpose and focus this way:

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography. As the thread of pornography in the web of sexual exploitation is systemically overlooked by society, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has prominently advanced this issue as a central pillar of its projects in order to promote more holistic solutions.

A separate website for the CESE Summit itself includes videos of some of the presentations (note: there are audio problems at some points in the video).

2. Culture Reframed

Dr. Gail Dines, an activist and scholar who founded Culture Reframed, was a pioneer in the effort to define pornography as a public health crisis—a declaration that has now been made in resolutions adopted by several state legislatures. Here’s part of the description of their work:

Culture Reframed is the first health promotion effort to recognize and address pornography as the public health crisis of the digital age. … Our research-driven programs teach parents and those in the helping and healthcare professions how to recognize and respond to the role pornography can play in sexual violence, unhealthy relationships, internet and sex addictions, negative self-image, sexual dysfunction, depression, sexually transmitted infections, injuries, and other health problems.

NCOSE presented Dines with its highest honor, the Founders Award, at the Summit.

3. Fight the New Drug

This website is particularly effective in reaching the younger generation with a message about the harms of pornography. For example, they offer t-shirts with messages like “Porn Kills Love.”

Here’s how they describe their work:

Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.

Clay Olsen, President and Co-Founder of Fight the New Drug, spoke at the CESE Summit.

4. Your Brain on Porn

Your Brain on Porn (YBOP) is an exhaustive clearinghouse of scientific research on the effects of pornography.

YBOP created a few lists of studies:

  1. This page lists 39 neuroscience-based studies (MRI, fMRI, EEG, neuropsychological, hormonal) providing strong support for the addiction model.
  2. This list contains 14 recent literature reviews & commentaries by some of the top neuroscientists in the world, supporting the porn addiction model. (This dated paper was not a literature review and misrepresented most the papers it did cite.)
  3. 24 studies linking porn use/sex addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. The first 5 studies in the list demonstrate causation, as participants eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions.
  4. Almost 60 studies link porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.
  5. Over 20 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms
  6. Over 45 studies link porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes.
  7. Over 25 studies linking porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women.

YBOP founder Gary Wilson spoke at the CESE Summit, and said there about five studies that are relied upon by pornography defenders to try to debunk the overwhelming evidence in the studies listed above. He thoroughly debunked the debunkers, taking on five myths about pornography. The myths are:

  1. Pornography is not addictive.”
  2. Sex addicts simply have high sexual desire.”
  3. Using pornography is good for your relationship.”
  4. Using pornography makes you more egalitarian.”
  5. Pornography has many benefits and few drawbacks.”

Oh, and do you think that only religious conservatives have concerns about pornography? Gary Wilson is an atheist.

5. Collective Shout

While the CESE Summit featured heart-wrenching stories about victims of sexual exploitation, it also featured inspiring stories of grassroots activism making a difference, especially when directed at corporations. Among the speakers at the Summit was Australian writer Melinda Tankard Reist, whose organization is described this way:

Collective Shout is a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls.

Collective Shout is for anyone concerned about the increasing pornification of culture and the way its messages have become entrenched in mainstream society, presenting distorted and dishonest ideas about women and girls, sexuality and relationships.

One of the best stories was about a protest against Mossimo, a clothing store that ran an online competition it called “Peepshow,” inviting ordinary women to send in pictures of themselves in their underwear. A prize was offered for the person whose photo got the most votes. Instead of a picture in her underwear, one woman submitted a picture of herself holding a sign that said, “Mossimo Peepshow = Sexist Rubbish.” Collective Shout got enough people to vote for this entry that it actually won the competition!

Reist also has a personal website, and the book she edited, Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, is available on Amazon.

6. U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking

According to their website:

The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking intends to eliminate Human Trafficking in the United States.

We will end Human Trafficking in the United States through prevention, combating demand, the rescue of victims, and providing safe refuge for the restoration of survivors.

USIAHT is one of a number of organizations that bluntly describe sex trafficking as slavery:

Sex Trafficking is modern day slavery, happening everywhere in the United States.  The victims can be U.S. citizens or of any nationality, age, socioeconomic status, or gender. Sex Trafficking is a highly profitable crime that exploits an adult through force, fraud, or coercion, or that engages a child in any form of commercial sexual exploitation.

Geoff Rogers of USIAHT was a speaker at the CESE Summit, and one of only a few who explained that men and boys can be victims of sexual exploitation, too.

I would note that USIAHT’s name and a glance at their home page may give the impression that it is a federal government agency, but this is not the case. USIAHT is “a nonprofit, faith-based organization anointed by God to fight against human trafficking in America with truth and integrity, showing the love of Jesus Christ to all involved.”

Who Owns Free Speech on the Internet?

by Family Research Council

April 19, 2018

In a timely panel discussion held recently at FRC, the question of free speech on the internet and the threats it currently faces was explored. In an era when 69 percent of Americans use social media every day, with Google monitoring its user’s activities on over 200 different platforms and Facebook generating $40 billion in ad revenue off of user-generated data, it’s vital to ask questions about how the concerns that users have about free speech and privacy are being handled in the hands of only a few unregulated tech giants who have a monopoly on the industry.

Brent Skorup, a Senior Research Fellow in the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, warned against conservatives “opening the door to regulation” of internet social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. He gave the historical example of the FCC’s “fairness doctrine,” which was introduced in 1949 as a “neutral rule” that required broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints of controversial matters, but as Skorup pointed out, it was eventually weaponized by bureaucrats and used to drive out conservative and religious broadcasters from the marketplace.

Craig Parshall, Special Counsel to the American Center for Law and Justice, pointed out the danger that a monopoly poses when it is providing platforms for opinions and information. He emphasized that all conservatives and Christians want is an equal opportunity in expressing their “whole truth” and “political philosophy” to the public, just as progressives have.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) expressed concern about how Facebook and other platforms are using algorithms to censor out political content that they don’t agree with. She noted that the bipartisan Browser Act would introduce an “opt-in” template so that users can protect their data from being harvested online if they so choose.

Don’t miss this lively Q&A discussion on the very difficult topic of whether or not social media platforms should be regulated in order to protect free speech, as well as the continuing controversy over internet free speech and privacy.

Suicide Machine” Shows Us Why Combating Euthanasia Is Crucial to the Pro-Life Cause

by Om Narayanan

April 18, 2018

As members of the pro-life community, we must remember that protecting the sanctity and dignity of human life at every stage, from conception to natural death, is essential to who we are. While much of the pro-life movement is focused on the beginning of life, as well it should, issues concerning natural death are sometimes lost in the shuffle. The fact of the matter is that euthanasia continues to be an issue that the pro-life community must combat with the same vigor and enthusiasm as the issue of abortion. 

Last week, I read an article about a man by the name of Philip Nitschke who fancies himself a “euthanasia expert.” Mr. Nitschke recently debuted a self-title “suicide machine” at a funeral fair in Amsterdam that he named the “Sarco” (pictured above). The Sarco (short for “sarcophagus”) is a full-sized coffin in which an individual can enter and commit suicide via nitrogenous asphyxiation. If it does not already sound familiar, the Nazis used a similar technique during their euthanasia program. Nitschke even offered a “3D virtual tour” for his machine at the fair, and he plans on profiting from it in the near future.

It’s an appalling sign of the times when a person can create a suicide machine and be heralded as an “expert.” It’s shocking but not surprising that such an event took place in the Netherlands, a country that unilaterally legalized assisted suicide in 2002. Unfortunately, laws in the U.S. have now paved the way for Mr. Nitschke and his death trap to come to the States. In 2016, the state of California passed the End of Life Option Act which allowed patients to self-administer life ending drugs. In just the first six months of it being passed into law, 111 lives were lost.

When evaluating why someone would want to create an industry based on suicide like Mr. Nitschke is clearly attempting to do, or why any country would allow its own citizens to kill themselves, one reason becomes abundantly clear. We unfortunately live in a culture of death where we see human beings devaluing one another, the same way people have devalued women, racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, the old, the feeble, and the poor in the past. History has shown us that devaluing other human beings devalues us as an entire race. People are in anguish as to why we have so many wars that claim the lives of human beings, or why we have violent individuals claiming innocent lives in our streets. The crux of the issue goes back to how our culture perceives the value of human life. 

Euthanasia has been around for a very long time. It has been able to survive based off its ability to shape-shift into a narrative that is more favorable for its proponents at any given time. However, its dark history of targeting the most vulnerable in our society must continue to be exposed.

It is up to us, the pro-life community, to change this culture of death into a culture of life. Being “pro-life” is multifaceted—it encompasses many issues of human dignity. Therefore, it is crucial that we recognize and strive to protect all of God’s creations at all stages of life.

Social Conservative Review - April 16, 2018

by Daniel Hart

April 16, 2018

Dear Friends,

I recently came across a beautiful true-life story about a man who has saved hundreds of lives from suicide. Nicknamed the “Angel of The Gap,” Don Ritchie was a former Navy seaman in Australia who moved into a seaside house with his wife in 1964 that was situated just 50 yards away from a cliff overlooking the ocean in Watsons Bay, a suburb of Sydney known as The Gap. Through his living room window, he would often spot lost souls who were obviously there for no other reason than to attempt a jump that would end their lives. As soon as he spotted someone who was acting suspiciously, Don would immediately walk outside and calmly approach them, asking “Is there something I could do to help you?” He would invite them to his house for tea, and more often than not, they would accept his invitation.

In the 45 years that Don lived in Watsons Bay, he was credited with saving at least 160 lives by government officials, but his family has said that the actual number is probably closer to 500. A year before his death in 2012 at 86, he said this in an interview: “I’m 85, and even at my age, it has broadened my horizons with all the wonderful people I have met. It’s important for troubled people to know that there are complete strangers out there like myself who are willing and able to help them get through that dark time and come out on the other side.”

This inspiring story is an important reminder for us Christians to always be ready to give an account for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), especially when we encounter someone who is clearly in need of help, whether it be a friend or a perfect stranger. As the “Angel of The Gap” demonstrated, we must never be afraid to reach out. God most often shares Himself through the witness of His instruments (us), and in so doing, He not only changes those that we touch, but changes us as well.

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

Religious Freedom and National Security – Travis Weber

Summary of Trump Administration Policy on Transgender Military Service – Peter Sprigg

What Mike Pompeo understands about religion and national security – Travis Weber

Mike Pompeo, religious freedom and a safer world — how are these three things connected? – Tony Perkins

Students Partake in National Walkout for the Unborn – Patrina Mosley

Dems in a panic as a major Planned Parenthood funding source is at risk – Kelly Marcum

Mike Pompeo Has the Correct Perspective on Human Rights – Travis Weber

Cardi B Chooses Life – Patrina Mosley

FRC Resources to Combat the Extreme Sex Ed Agenda in Schools

For the Sake of Our Security at Home, We Must Focus on Religious Freedom Abroad – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Sen. Cory Booker Violating Constitution: Voting Against Pompeo for Religious Beliefs – Ken Klukowski, Breitbart

Freedom of Speech Is the Antidote to Division – Buzz Brockway, The Daily Signal

Ex-NFL Cheerleader Says She Faced Discrimination for Christian Faith – ToddStarnes.com

International Religious Freedom

China Bans Online Bible Sales as It Tightens Religious Controls – Ian Johnson, The New York Times

Pastor Andrew Brunson trial begins with US religious freedom envoy Sam Brownback in court – Harry Farley, Christian Today

Why the US Must Befriend Hungary’s Populist Leader – Mike Gonzalez, The Daily Signal

An Iranian Refugee’s Terrible Journey to God – Annahita Parsan, Christianity Today

Vietnamese court jails Catholic activist for subversionCrux

China Campaign Against Church Crosses Intensifies, Conditions ‘Deteriorating’ as Christians Cry Out – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Jailed Chinese Pastor’s US Family Seeks MercyCBN News

Military Religious Freedom

Advocacy Group Wants Bible Removed from POW/MIA Display – Matthew Burke, Military.com

 

Life

Abortion

Missouri House passes 20-week abortion ban – Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

350 Student Groups Will Join Pro-Life Walkout to Protest Abortion – Katie Yoder, LifeNews

Tennessee moves to defund Planned Parenthood, cut all state funding – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Applying Lincoln’s Logic to the Abortion Debate – Aaron Brake, The Stream

Interview with David Quinn on Ireland’s Upcoming Abortion Referendum – Susan Yoshihara, C-Fam

The Future of the Pro-Life Movement Is in Africa – Stefano Gennarini, Public Discourse

Grateful women leave pregnancy resource centers positive reviews online – Sarah Terzo, Live Action

Adoption

Adoption and The Firing of Kevin Williamson – Dale M. Coulter, First Things

Two Indiana moms just chose life, thanks to safe haven baby boxes – Live Action

Bioethics

Vigils continue for Alfie Evans despite hospital complaint – Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNews

Surrogacy: No Laughing MatterJennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

The Physician-Assisted Suicide Movement Is Gaining Ground in Two Major Ways – Gerard T. Mundy, Public Discourse

 

Family

Marriage

Please Don’t Hide Your Happy Marriage – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Get Thee a Flawed Wife – Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Christianity Today

We Love Each Other So Much, We’re Getting Divorced’ – Jennifer Hartline, The Stream

The Effects of Marriage Begin Before Marriage – Scott Stanley, Family Studies

The Social Assistance of MarriageConvivium

Economics/Education

Betsy DeVos Says Federal Government Has Failed to Improve Education – Rob Bluey, The Daily Signal

Faith/Character/Culture

Watch Your Words – Justin Coulson, Family Studies

How the church can respond to a post-Christian culture – Matt Chandler, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Jordan Peterson on Adam and Eve – Christopher Kaczor, Public Discourse

7 Things All Great Friends Do – Jasmine McCain, Relevant

Children Need a Crisis of Faith – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Morrissey’s Defense Of Free Speech Underlines What Both Right And Left Get Wrong – David Marcus, The Federalist

The share of American young adults living with their parents is the highest in 75 yearsQuartz

The Beauty of Submission – Amy K. Hall, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Gender Dysphoria and Children: An Endocrinologist’s Evaluation of I am Jazz – Michael K. Laidlaw, Public Discourse

Alaskans reject transgender ‘bathroom bill’ – Emily Shugerman, Independent

Parent Kicked Out Of Sex Ed Class Because Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want Them To Know What They’re Teaching – Grace Carr, The Daily Caller

How To Respond With Reason And Compassion To Transgender Bullies – Nathanael Blake, The Federalist

Can Sex Be Casual? Searching for Connection on Campus – Brittany Basile, Public Discourse

Why We Must Stop the Gov’t From Outlawing the Ex-Gay MovementThe Christian Post

The Sex Education We Need – Abigail Rine Favale, First Things

Human Trafficking

DOJ Seizes Backpage.com Weeks After Congress Passes Sex Trafficking Law – Larry Magid, Forbes

5 Facts about the ‘Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act’ – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Good News for Christians Battling US Sex TraffickingChristianity Today

Victory: Amazon Halts Sale of Child Sex Dolls – Dawn Hawkins, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Digital Fingerprints: How Your Porn May Be Tracking And Watching You – Fight the New Drug

Mike Pompeo Has the Correct Perspective on Human Rights

by Travis Weber

April 12, 2018

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo was asked by Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) whether he thinks “LGBTQ rights are human rights.”

Pompeo responded:

I deeply believe LGBTQ persons have every right that every other person has.

This is exactly right. Mike Pompeo’s response accurately captures how international human rights law addresses the claims of the LGBT movement, expressed with care and charity.

As I stated several years ago:

All human beings possess rights because of our unique human nature as evidenced by reason and conscience. LGBT persons have the same human rights as others, because of their human dignity, evidenced by their endowed reason and conscience … .

Some may claim, as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.” This statement misleads by … implying that same-sex-attracted and transgendered persons do not currently enjoy human rights protections … .

The [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] and [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] protect every individual from arbitrary arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing by the State, because all humans have human dignity, regardless of their sexual attraction or gender preference.

If any person is denied these rights (whether they identify as same-sex attracted or not), then UN human rights bodies should investigate and strengthen enforcement of their rights. Secretary Clinton names a problem that already has a solution.

Mike Pompeo shows he has the right perspective on international human rights law. Not everyone may like the law, but for the rule of law to be upheld, it must be respected. Considering how he was pressed to uphold the rule of law during his hearing—and how he promised (rightly) to do so—we have hope that he will take this principled approach to international law when implementing our foreign policy.

Cardi B Chooses Life

by Patrina Mosley

April 12, 2018

I don’t know that much about Cardi B or listen to her music, but you gotta give props where props are due when a pop culture icon is speaking truth and just keeping it real!

I first saw her go viral on Twitter for her rant against the government, basically asking, “What are you doing with my money?” when she sees nearly 40 percent of her paycheck gone because of taxes, something most of us probably wondered about when we got our first pay check.

Cardi B has now confirmed the unexpected news that she’s pregnant at the height of her success, and to the apparent surprise of many of her fans, she is keeping her baby.

It just really bothers me and it disgusts me because I see a lot of women online like, ‘Oh, I feel sorry for you. Oh, your career is over,’” Cardi B said. “And it’s like, why can’t I have both? Like as a woman, why can’t I have both? Like, why do I gotta choose a career or a baby?… I want both… I don’t want people to make me feel like a blessing should be a regret.”

She also said that the people around her in the entertainment business wanted her to abort her child. This is yet another tragic example of the fact that women commonly feel pressured into abortion, either by other people or by circumstances. A recent study found that 73.8 percent of women who have had abortions said that they felt pressure from others to abort.

She did admit to being a “schmillionaire” and that she is prepared to accept responsibility for her lifestyle choices. Most importantly, she said that she “didn’t want to deal with the whole abortion thing,” intimating that she didn’t want to face the emotional and psychological injury that comes with having an abortion.

And she’s right. According to the same study referenced above, 67.5 percent of post-abortive women sought out professional counseling services after their first abortion, compared to only 13 percent who reported seeking counseling before their first pregnancy that resulted in an abortion. Only 6.6 percent of the women reported using prescription drugs for psychological health before their first pregnancy that ended in abortion, compared with 51 percent who said they used prescription drugs after their first abortion.

A 2011 peer-reviewed research study on the mental health effects of abortion included a survey of 22 published studies combining data on 877,181 participants, showing that abortion increases the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and reckless behavior such as alcoholism, drug use, and sadly, suicide.

Few women in the survey spoke of the contemporary feminist rhetoric of “empowerment” or the need to be competitive in the workplace when it came to their abortion. They instead reported carrying a toxic mix of negative emotions. Both the aforementioned study and Psychology Today attest to the fact that Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) occurs for women who’ve had an abortion—the symptoms include guilt, anxiety, numbness, depression, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts. Nearly 32 percent of them expressed no positives from their abortion experience, except to note that it led them to either spiritual growth or pro-life advocacy to persuade other women not to get an abortion.

The vast majority of these respondents were older women who are continuing to seek out help, which shows how that one choice is still affecting them to this day. Most women seek an abortion between the ages of 20 and 34, which is typically the education or career engagement season of our lives. Over half of abortions are committed by women who claim a religious affiliation, which is a wake-up call to all of us in the church to be more aware of the needs of those in our own congregations.

If you or someone you know is suffering from the emotional aftermath of having an abortion, there is help for you. The number one thing you can do today is repent and receive the forgiveness that is offered in Jesus Christ. There is nothing he won’t heal and nothing he can’t make new again. Allow him to give you a fresh start and an assurance of eternal life. Secondly, it’s okay to admit that you need help, even if you already profess to knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is the starting point, healing is the journey. There are ministries out there who are waiting to hear from you to help walk you through the healing of God’s forgiveness.

Cardi B – Congratulations, and thank you for speaking a truth that’s unpopular but is truly empowering for women.

If you or someone you know needs to start the healing process of a post-abortive experience, here are some resources to help:

Books:

Retreats/Community:

Other Resources:

FRC Resources to Combat the Extreme Sex Ed Agenda in Schools

by Family Research Council

April 9, 2018

On April 23, 2018, students across America and in other countries will participate in the Sex Ed Sit Out. Here are some resources from FRC that illustrate the reality of what is being taught regarding sexuality in schools and what parents and students can do to combat the extreme and perverted sexual ideology that is being pushed on children in the classroom.

For the Sake of Our Security at Home, We Must Focus on Religious Freedom Abroad

by Travis Weber

April 5, 2018

In recent history, our foreign policy elites have primarily viewed religious freedom concerns as the parochial interest of humanitarian-minded pastors and religious freedom-focused human rights activists. Concerns were addressed when possible, yet the government handled problems on a one-off basis, usually to solve the annual flare-up over some imprisoned pastor somewhere. However, these religious freedom challenges haven’t been incorporated into any consistent, long-term, strategic thinking on foreign policy.

But what if they should be? One could argue the one-off approach hasn’t really advanced religious freedom worldwide, and that we should change the way we try to protect this right. Regardless, the assumption is that we are operating from a humanitarian basis. But what if the appeal was made on other grounds—that religious freedom is not simply a humanitarian concern, but that it is in the interest of our own security to advance it around the world?

Emerging evidence suggests that it is. As Professor William Inboden (who formerly served on the State Department’s Policy Planning staff and as senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council) points out, “[t]here is not a single nation in the world that both respects religious freedom and poses a security threat to the United States.”

In a new FRC analysis released just yesterday, “Religious Freedom and National Security,” we make the case that the United States should not only promote religious freedom for its own sake, but also because it ultimately keeps us safer in the long run.

For a template, we can draw on the example of President Reagan, who unapologetically defended religious freedom on the world stage—confronting the Soviet Union, China, and others on this issue. Today, we face our own challenges posed by the spread of radical Islam and rising authoritarian governments—menaces whose suppression of religious freedom correlates with their threat to our national security.

With ongoing threats around the world which show no sign of abating, shouldn’t we at least be open to the possibility that we need to change our thinking on this issue, and address religious freedom violators because of their threat to our national security?

Just in the last several days, news has broken that China appears to be restricting the sale of Bibles and is also pushing a deal with the Vatican that would ultimately keep it in charge of appointing bishops.

It seems some of the same religious freedom problems President Reagan faced are rearing their heads today. It is time that we reclaim America’s historic role in engaging them, and firmly and strategically defend religious freedom around the world—for this will ultimately keep us safe at home.

Social Conservative Review - April 4, 2018

by Daniel Hart

April 4, 2018

Dear Friends,

When I was attending mass a number of years ago, the priest said something that I’ll never forget. He thanked God for giving us “the consolation of the truth.”

Since then, I have thought often about how knowing the Truth and believing in it has indeed been a tremendous consolation to me. I’m the kind of person who inclines toward a more melancholic view of the world, and I find that I have a tendency to easily get discouraged about life. This is why I am especially grateful for my faith. When I find myself getting a little down, I know exactly what I need to do: to turn to the Lord, thank him for all he has done for me, and ask for his help. This simple act gives me tremendous peace of mind—I know that I’m not the one in control of anything. God alone holds all of our lives in the palm of his hand.

Knowing the peace that my faith has brought to my life, it’s greatly saddening to know that there are so many in our culture who don’t have any belief in the eternal to fall back on, which according to Pew, is now at roughly 23 percent of the country. Even though there are so many who are not believers, one thing I do know is that we all long for the eternal. In the words of Bishop Barron: “No matter how much we know, we want to know more; No matter how much we love, we want greater love; No matter how much beauty we attain, we sense that there is a perfect beauty that we haven’t seen.”

In this Easter season of the Lord’s defeat of death, let us proclaim what we know to be true: that the longing we all have for our lives to be perfect is not mere silly sentimentality. This longing was built into us by our Creator—it reflects the fact that we are longing for unification with he who is Perfect. It is only in surrendering our lives to this Perfect Truth that we find true happiness and true consolation.

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

Bolton could be the first national security chief to prioritize religious freedom – Ken Blackwell and Frank Wolf

Citizenship Matters – Ken Blackwell

Supreme Court should spare pro-lifers from compelled pro-abortion speech – Cathy Ruse and Patrina Mosley

Dems refuse to recognize Trump’s first-rate federal court picks – Ken Blackwell

As Science Advances, the Pro-Life Movement Grows – Patrina Mosley

Ben Shapiro: America Must Have a Shared Duty to God to Survive – Dan Hart

Drug Addicts Need Treatment and Tough Love, Not Facilitation of Their Habit – David Krayden

How to Find Healing When Your Spouse is an Addict – Caleb Anderson

Attacks on Counseling Threaten Pastors and Churches – Travis Weber

Does Down Syndrome Keep the “Good Life” Out of Reach? – Patrina Mosley

Of Guns and Prodigal Fathers – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

University Reverses Ban on Conservative Student Who Said There Are Only 2 Genders – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Archdiocese appeal over Christmas ads on Metrobuses back in federal court – Chantalle Edmunds, WTOP

Google defeats lawsuit claiming YouTube censors conservatives – Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

Google snubbed Easter with no doodle for 18th year in a row, Christians say – Frank Miles, Fox News

International Religious Freedom

Jesus is Building His Church’ Inside Iran, Millions Watching Christian Satellite TV – George Thomas, CBN

Nigerian Christians call for abducted schoolgirl’s freedom – Onize Ohikere, WORLD

America shouldn’t send endangered religious minority refugees back to Iran – Nina Shea, Fox News

After the fall: the church in Vietnam – June Cheng, WORLD

Ambassador Brownback: World faces a ‘critical moment’ for religious minorities – Courtney Grogan, CNA

Court: Pakistani Christians Must Reveal Religion to Vote or Apply for JobsChristianity Today

Young Mom Clings to Christ as Tolerance Shifts in India – Brian Orme, The Gospel Coalition

Xi Jinping’s Village – Dan Hitchens, First Things

Religious Totalitarianism, Secular Totalitarianism, and Other Threats to International Religious Freedom – Daniel Mark, Public Discourse

China makes ‘major change’ in religious freedom oversight – Mindy Belz, WORLD

Military Religious Freedom

Exonerated! Air Force Restores Career of Colonel Punished for Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.com

Air Force veteran sues after being pulled from ceremony mid-speech – Cristina Corbin and Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News

 

Life

Abortion

An Open Letter to Pro-Life Sidewalk Witnesses – Constance J. Thatcher, First Things

Mississippi enacts strongest pro-life law in the country – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Family welcomes sextuplets after refusing selective reduction abortion – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

Forcing Pro-Life Pregnancy Care Centers to Advertise for Abortion is Unjust and Unconstitutional – Andrew T. Walker, Public Discourse

Video: How can parents instill a pro-life ethic in their children? – Rachel Metzger, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Planned Parenthood showed this photo in court…and promptly lost lawsuit against pro-life group – Jay Hobbs, LifeSiteNews

Washington Gov. signs law forcing insurers to cover abortion, contraception – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Planned Parenthood: Force Christian Doctors and Nurses to Perform Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Obama HHS Abortion Mandate Suffers Massive Defeat, Can’t Force Catholic Employers to Fund Abortions – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Adoption

The beauty of open adoption: Birth mother wipes tears of son’s adoptive mother – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

Bucking Trump Deregulation Agenda, State Department Chokes International Adoption – Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist

Catholic Social Services Refuses to Change LGBT Adoption Policy After Philadelphia Halts Program – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Family Finds, Adopts Abandoned Baby Just Three Weeks After International Move – Kara Bettis, Faithwire

In the War Against Faith-Based Adoption Agencies, Children Lose – Autumn Leva, The Daily Signal

Bioethics

Report reveals Oregon assisted suicide law crafted with deadly loophole – Anna Reynolds, Live Action

Euthanasia Aloha: Death Laws Come to Hawaii – John Zmirak, The Stream

Obamacare

Abortion Over ObamaCareWall Street Journal

 

Family

Economics/Education

America’s Quiet Carnage – Nathan Nielson, First Things

A Tragic Abandonment of Identity: The Secularization of America’s Religious Colleges and Universities – Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

Marriage

7 Things the Easter Story Teaches Us About Marriage – Lisa Lakey, Family Life

6 Tools for Healthy Communication in Marriage – Mike Bechtle, Focus on the Family

Resilient Commitment: Overcoming the Intergenerational Effects of Parental Divorce – D. Scott Sibley, Family Studies

Does Faith Reduce Divorce Risk? – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

Why you need to hug your kids … even when they try to squirm away – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

For Black Boys, Family Structure Still Matters – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

No Ring, No Baby: How Marriage Trends Impact Fertility – Lyman Stone, Family Studies

A Good Marriage May Help Keep You Thin, Study Says – Jamie Ducharme, Time

Faith/Character/Culture

We are failures, mired in mediocrity. Then comes Easter – Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

What’s Happening to Men is Alarming for Everyone – Jennifer Hartline, The Stream

Reports Of Christianity’s Death In Europe Have Been Greatly Exaggerated – John D. Martin, The Federalist

It All Comes Back to God – Alan Shlemon, The Stream

The Deficits of the iPhone Generation – Christopher O. Tollefsen, Public Discourse

The Left’s Doomed Crusade to Erase Gender Differences – Ben Shapiro, National Review

Human Sexuality

Should Those Seeking Freedom From Unwanted Sexual Attractions Be Denied Therapy? – Judy Roberts, National Catholic Register

Parents Barred From Questioning ‘Gender Identity’ Changes at Virginia School District Meeting – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Walmart removes Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout aisles – Fox Business

Human Trafficking

Power of FOSTA-SESTA Felt within 48 Hours of Senate Passage: Websites Move Swiftly to Shutter Prostitution Ads – Lisa L. Thompson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The Fight to Stop Child Sex Trafficking Far From Over – Jeff Brodsky, The Christian Post

Pornography

Fortify: The New Online Platform That’s Changing Recovery – Fight the New Drug

Resources to Help You Fight Pornography Addiction – Doug Burford, Focus on the Family

There is Nothing ‘Adult’ About Pornography – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

March 2018 «

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