FRC Blog

Social Conservative Review - November 2, 2016

by Daniel Hart

November 2, 2016

Dear Friends,

A week from today is Election Day. In an FRC brochure about the importance of Christian involvement in the government, author Wayne Grudem had this to say about voting: “I believe that every Christian citizen who lives in a democracy has at the very least a minimal obligation to be well-informed and to vote for candidates and policies that are most consistent with biblical principles. The opportunity to help select the kind of government we will have is a stewardship that God entrusts to citizens in a democracy, a stewardship that we should not neglect or fail to appreciate.”

Grudem further argues that authentic Christian citizenship doesn’t stop at voting: “All told, hundreds of thousands of men (and many women as well) sacrificed their lives to protect the nation and preserve the freedoms we enjoy today. Is it right that we simply enjoy these freedoms while giving back to our nation nothing in return? Should we not participate at least at some level in giving money or giving time to support specific candidates and issues? Or writing letters or helping to distribute literature? Or even running for office or volunteering to serve in the military? Is it not right that all of us at least do something more than merely voting to preserve and protect this nation?”

It is clear that our country is headed into particularly uncertain times. That is why believers need to not only vote for their values, but to pray with renewed fervor for a significant increase of wisdom and virtue in our leaders. But that’s not all. As Grudem points out, we need to do all we possibly can to redeem the culture through lives of service to our country. There are different ways to serve, so pray about what your particular role may be. Make no mistake—everyone has a role to play. As a great leader of the last century once implored: Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

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

Georgia Still Needs to Remedy the Wrong Done to Eric WalshTravis Weber

Therapists Addressing Same-Sex Attractions are Joining the SAFE-T PatrolPeter Sprigg

The Real Margaret SangerArina Grossu

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Massachusetts Moves to Regulate Church Belief and OperationAlliance Defending Freedom

Bureaucrats have no business deciding whether Iowa church activities are religiousLifeSiteNews

State of Georgia Demands Pastor Turn Over SermonsToddStarnes.com

International Religious Freedom

United Nations Pushes Abortion on Unborn Children of Refugees and MigrantsMarie Smith, Life News

Federal Judge Asks Why Obama Administration Isn’t Admitting Christian Syrian RefugeesHans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

Jews, Christians and UNESCO’s Jerusalem resolutionLela Gilbert, Fox News

Military Religious Freedom

Obama Threatens to Veto Military Bill Because It Protects Religious GroupsRoger Severino, The Daily Signal

 

Life

Abortion

What To Do About Your Pro-Choice NeighborArdee Coolidge, Care Net

The Future of Pro-Life Legislation and Litigation Gerard V. Bradley, Public Discourse

What One Woman Is Doing to Take Down Planned ParenthoodRachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

Abortion Is Not The Answer For People With Heart Defects, Like MeJaci Greggs, The Federalist

Life Worthy of Life: Down Syndrome, Equality, and My Son SilasRobert L. McFarland, Public Discourse

527 Babies Saved From Abortion During 40 Days for Life With One Week Left to GoShawn Carney, Life News

Adoption

Almost a Half Million Children Are in the Foster Care SystemGinny Graves, Good Housekeeping

The Obama Administration Is About To Make International Adoption A Lot HarderJayme Metzgar, The Federalist

Bioethics

New Documentary Reveals Bad Effects of Assisted Suicide Legalization on Those Who Want to LiveLife News

Insurance denied her chemo treatment. But it covered drugs for suicide. – Catholic News Agency

Reports of ‘three-parent babies’ multiplySara Reardon, Nature

Why Are African-Americans Strongly Opposed to Assisted Suicide?Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

DC city council approves assisted suicideClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Obamacare

In Desperate Push to Save Dying Obamacare, President Wants to Bail Out InsurersWilliam Wolfe, The Daily Signal

Obama’s Obamacare Speech Proves He’s As Authoritarian As Donald TrumpChristopher Jacobs, The Federalist

When Will Liberals Answer For Obamacare’s Failures?David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Obamacare Benchmark Premiums to Rise 25% in Sharpest Jump YetZachary Tracer, Bloomberg

 

Family

Economics

Why Economic Growth Is So Lackluster – Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Within a Generation, Our National Debt Will Cost the Typical Family $12,000 – Lauren Bowman and Romina Boccia, The Daily Signal

The Trust Divide: Why Some Low-Income Families Avoid Help – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

Marriage

Masters of LoveEmily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic

A father’s role matters just as much as a mother’s, intellectually speakingPaige Kellerman, Aleteia

Marriage counseling: the best investment we ever madeKatherine Willis Pershey, Aleteia

Faith/Character/Culture

We Abandon Social Conservatism at Our Own PerilCarlos D. Flores, Public Discourse

As America Goes, So Goes the WorldMichael Brown, The Stream

The Key to Evangelism in the 21st CenturyDavid Mathis, The Gospel Coalition

A Call to Millennials: It’s Up to Us to Change CultureLiberty McArtor, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Legal Sex: Exchanging the Truth of Sex for the Lie of Gender – Daniel Moody, Public Discourse

Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak TruthRosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Coalition

Supreme Court Enters Legal Battle Over Gender Identity and the Purpose of RestroomsMatt Sharp, The Daily Signal

Pronouns, Ordinary People, and the War over RealityAnthony Esolen, Public Discourse

Judge reaffirms nationwide ban on Obama transgender school bathroom policyJosh Gerstein, Politico

Pornography

How Two Catholics Are Fighting Military Porn Addiction – Dustin Siggins, The Stream

Famed liberal novelist visited porn sets: what he saw left him in disbelief – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

A mother’s letter to her son about porn – Becky Hunter, Aleteia

Continue reading

Georgia Still Needs to Remedy the Wrong Done to Eric Walsh

by Travis Weber

November 1, 2016

Last week, Family Research Council and others publicly called for the state of Georgia to back down from its intrusive request that Dr. Eric Walsh turn over his sermons and other religious materials to the state as part of an ongoing lawsuit.

After a public outcry, the state attorney general’s office withdrew its request for sermons. However, the AG is still demanding that Dr. Walsh turn over a number of things which should be off-limits, including:

  1. A validation of Dr. Walsh’s credentials as a minister
  2. Proof that Dr. Walsh has served as a minister with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination
  3. All contracts Dr. Walsh has, or has ever had, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  4. A report to the State of Georgia on how—and how much—he has been compensated for producing and delivering his sermons

Such intrusive government overreach is completely unacceptable. Our freedoms don’t permit the state to assess a minister’s credentials. The government may not inquire into discussions and agreements between a religious denomination and its leader. And what legitimate reason could the state have for wanting to know how much (if anything) Dr. Walsh was paid for preaching?

The ridiculousness of this discovery request only underscores the outlandish nature of this entire lawsuit. The State of Georgia hired a man as its public health director, but then fired him after reviewing his sermons. Why the state thought that was a good idea, or why a man was fired for the content of his preaching in the first place, remains a mystery. Then the state only compounded its error by requesting, as part of the lawsuit, copies of his sermons and other religious materials.

While withdrawing the request for sermons is a welcome development, Governor Deal and the state of Georgia need to fix the wrong done to Dr. Walsh that led to this lawsuit in the first place. Governor Deal’s administration, from its rejection of religious liberty legislation to its appointment of officials who have created this mess for Dr. Walsh, has permitted an environment to fester in which government officials think these types of actions are acceptable. Governor Deal should actively work to resolve this matter, and restore Dr. Walsh’s career immediately.

For those who remain steadfast in refusing to believe religious liberty is an important issue this election, look no further than the case of Eric Walsh.

Sign our petition in support of Dr. Walsh at Frc.org/Walsh.

Continue reading

Therapists Addressing Same-Sex Attractions are Joining the SAFE-T Patrol

by Peter Sprigg

November 1, 2016

If you follow news about the LGBT movement, you may have heard that there are major efforts underway to ban “conversion therapy.”

There are a number of serious problems with this effort—one of which is that no one who engages in the process of helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions refers to it as “conversion therapy.” The use of such an outdated term is proof that critics of change therapy are completely out of touch with (or deliberately distorting) what it actually entails.

Other terms that are sometimes used by therapists or counselors involved in helping people with unwanted SSA are “sexual reorientation therapy,” “reparative therapy” (which is not a general term but a very specific approach), or “sexual orientation change efforts” (“SOCE”—a broader term that may include either professional therapy or religious support or counseling).

These terms, while more accurate than “conversion therapy,” have their own weaknesses, however—particularly in a climate of vicious and distorted attacks upon both the purposes and the methodologies of such counseling.

The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (formerly the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) is the leading scientific organization representing professional therapists committed to helping clients with unwanted SSA achieve their goals. The Alliance, which recently held its annual conference in Dallas, has coined a new term to overcome some of the weaknesses and distortions of older labels.

The new term is Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy—or “SAFE-T” for short. Christopher Rosik, Ph.D., issued a statement explaining some of the rationale (I have added the bullet points, and my own comments are in brackets):

  • [The term SAFE-T] does not imply that categorical change is the goal and in so doing create unrealistic expectations for many clients.
  • Nor does it imply that change which is less than categorical in nature cannot be meaningful and satisfying to clients.
  • It also makes clear that SAFE can occur in any number of therapeutic modalities. [In other words, this is not a distinctive type of therapy at all, but rather a goal or topic that can be pursued using a range of therapy types.]
  • Furthermore, by focusing on sexual attractions it avoids the implicit assertion that orientation changes or that orientation as an immutable reality even exists. [I have noted that “sexual orientation” is a vague term that, depending on the context, is sometimes used to refer to sexual attractions, behaviors, self-identification, or some combination of the three. It is more meaningful to address these elements separately.]
  • By stressing therapeutic exploration, the new term accurately conveys that the therapist is not being coercive but merely assisting individuals in a client-centered examination of their sexual attractions.
  • … [T]he acronym SAFE-T immediately challenges portrayals of the professional therapy utilized by Alliance clinicians as harmful.

Rosik further notes:

Scientifically, the fluidity of sexual orientation (and, for our purposes, especially same-sex attractions) for many men and women is now beyond question. The language of SAFE-T highlights this reality and points to human experience that cannot be denied…

Rosik cites, for example, a recent (May-June 2016) journal article by LGBT-affirming scholars Lisa Diamond and Clifford Rosky which declared that “arguments based on the immutability of sexual orientation are unscientific, given what we now know from longitudinal, population-based studies of naturally occurring changes in the same-sex attractions of some individuals over time.”

The “SAFE-T” term has already been attacked in the Huffington Post, but the writer (therapist Michael J. Salas) is still under the sway of serious misconceptions about it—such as the idea that “SAFE-T promotes shame.” Every SAFE therapist I have ever talked to said their clients come into therapy with “shame,” and one goal of therapy is to overcome that. Salas, on the other hand, describes the goal of pro-homosexual “affirming” therapy as “accepting grief, fear, and shame”! While Salas claims that “affirming therapy has no agenda” and merely “helps people work through incongruence,” it is clear that he views reducing homosexual attractions or behavior as an unacceptable goal and probably an undesirable outcome.

That limitation on client autonomy sounds like an “agenda” to me.

Continue reading

Join Us in Standing for Truth in Houston

by Family Research Council

October 25, 2016

The Politically Incorrect Truth About Sexuality and Gender” is the topic for the second annual “stand4truth” conference, being held in Houston, Texas this weekend (Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, 2016). More information and tickets are available online at: http://www.stand4truth.net/

Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, will represent Family Research Council and will address the conference on Saturday on the topic of “The Truth about LGBT Institutions.” Mr. Sprigg will also be part of a panel discussion during the event.

Mr. Sprigg was the keynote speaker for last year’s inaugural stand4truth event in Salt Lake City. His address in October 2015 can viewed on YouTube.

Following the Supreme Court’s shocking redefinition of marriage in 2015, the last year has seen an increase in attacks on the fundamental idea that we are created male and female. Too many people have bought into the myths that a person can be “born gay”—and now, that one can be born “a man in a woman’s body” or vice versa. A year ago, few would have imagined that a Charlotte ordinance and an Obama administration letter to schools would trigger “bathroom wars.”

stand4truth” is the only conference that will focus entirely on addressing issues of sexuality and gender—through the lens of religion, politics, psychology, law, media, education, and science.

If you live in Texas or can get to Houston, by all means come. For others, however, the event will be simulcast.

Continue reading

The Real Margaret Sanger

by Arina Grossu

October 18, 2016

This article first appeared on May 5, 2014 in the Washington Times. It is reposted here as a reminder of Margaret Sanger’s legacy in lieu of Planned Parenthood’s 100th year anniversary since Sanger opened her first illegal birth control clinic on October 16, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York.

Recent articles have reported on an unearthed video from 1947 of Margaret Sanger demanding “no more babies” for ten years in developing countries. A couple of years ago Margaret Sanger was named one of TIME’s “20 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” Given her enduring influence, it’s worth considering what the woman who founded Planned Parenthood contributed to the eugenics movement.

Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in thirty U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots,” and “morons.”

She even presented at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 in Silver Lake, New Jersey. She recounted this event in her autobiography: “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan … I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses … I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak … In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered” (Margaret Sanger: “An Autobiography,” p. 366). That she generated enthusiasm among some of America’s leading racists says something about the content and tone of her remarks.

In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members” (Margaret Sanger commenting on the ‘Negro Project’ in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939).

Her own words and television appearances leave no room for parsing. For example, she wrote many articles about eugenics in the journal she founded in 1917, the Birth Control Review. Her articles included “Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics” (June 1920), “The Eugenic Conscience” (February 1921), “The Purpose of Eugenics” (December 1924), “Birth Control and Positive Eugenics” (July 1925) and “Birth Control: The True Eugenics” (August 1928), to name a few.

The following are some of her more telling quotes:

While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit. They are excellent means of meeting a certain phase of the situation, but I believe in regard to these, as in regard to other eugenic means, that they do not go to the bottom of the matter” (Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” February 1919, The Birth Control Review).

Eugenics without Birth Control seems to us a house builded upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit” (Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” February 1919, The Birth Control Review).

Stop our national habit of human waste” (Margaret Sanger, “Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Ch. 6).

By all means there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing … No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective” (Margaret Sanger, “Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Ch. 7).

The main objects of the Population Congress would be … to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization” (Margaret Sanger, “A Plan for Peace,” 1932).

In a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace, Margaret Sanger revealed: “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world—that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit.”

This line of thinking from its founder has left lasting marks on the legacy of Planned Parenthood. For example, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of black or Hispanic communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Abortion Surveillance report revealed that between 2007 and 2010, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the U.S. were performed on black children, even though black Americans make up only 13 percent of our population. Another 21 percent of abortions were performed on Hispanics and seven percent more on other minority groups, for a total of 64 percent of U.S. abortions tragically preformed on minority groups. Margaret Sanger would have been proud of the effects of her legacy.

Continue reading

The Social Conservative Review: October 17, 2016

by Daniel Hart

October 17, 2016

Dear Friends,

In the midst of worrying about the presidential election, the state of our culture, and the daily struggles that arise in our lives, it can be quite difficult to maintain an inner peace. I know it is for me. And yet, Christ’s constant bidding in the Gospels is, “Peace be with you.” I think it’s worth pondering what His true intent is with these words. It seems to me that Christ is not merely wishing that everyone should have more peace in their lives. He is literally giving His peace to us as a gift: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). It is therefore up to us to authentically receive His peace in humble thanksgiving and let it enlighten our lives.

These thoughts come to mind as I reflect on a recent blog post by Dr. Tom Neal, in which he expounds on the idea of “blooming where you’re planted.” In it, he quotes several pithy thoughts on the idea that in order to maintain Christ’s peace in the chaos of life, we must humbly accept whatever comes our way as a gift from God. According to one theologian: “Those who refuse to embrace life’s present joys and trials as coming from the Hand of God, who constantly complain of their present circumstances … these will never grow in sanctity, but rather will forever remain mired in the stagnation of mediocrity.”

Part of receiving and maintaining Christ’s peace is to not be afraid of suffering—it is inevitably part of all of our lives. Seeing suffering ultimately as a gift and an opportunity to grow in holiness is essential. Here are the reflections of another theologian:

Christians in the West have largely become repulsed by the tragic elements of life, and in so doing lose the opportunity, in facing tragedy, to experience the divine depths of faith and hope that spring from the corpse of Christ. They never get to know what it means to cling to God in the dark. Running from darkness and tragedy, one loses that most precious gift, that feeling, that thrill that makes us most human: the joy at seeing the first rays of a long awaited dawn after a long, dark night. Instead, we keep our self-made night lights on.”

The road ahead for our country may indeed be a “long, dark night,” especially for believers. But no matter what trials we face, Christ never fails to offer us his peace. This fact alone should reveal to us that we should not burden ourselves with worry about a distasteful present and an ominous future. In the words of Thomas Merton: “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope … It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency.”

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”

Christian Radio Banned on School BusToddStarnes.com

Federal judge lifts temporary ban on ritual slaughter of chickens, minutes before start of Yom KippurLouis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

International Religious Freedom

I Found the Gospel in Communist RomaniaVirginia Prodan, Christianity Today

UN Event Shows How Sexual Agenda Tramples Children’s RightsRebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force officer under fire for saying Jesus Christ has influenced himGregory Tomlin, Christian Examiner

Gen. Boykin: How Does Transgender Integration Help Our Military to Fight and Win Wars?Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews.com

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

4 Cultural Trends Leading to the Decline of Religious LibertyTrevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins Over Report That Science Doesn’t Show People Are Born Gay, TransgenderLeonardo Blair, The Christian Post

The All-Out Assault on the First AmendmentHans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

Christian school sues for right to pregame prayerBonnie Pritchett, World

Anti-Religious Freedom Activists Defeated at Procter & Gamble Annual MeetingThe National Center for Public Policy Research

 

Life

Abortion

9 real ways that abortion is just like slavery – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

100 Abuses of Planned Parenthood – Students for Life of America

Mother pens letter to doctor who told her to abort her baby with Down syndromeNancy Flanders, Live Action

A baby’s first heartbeat is just 16 days after conceptionMark Prigg, Daily Mail

Bloody Business: 37 Companies That Fund Planned ParenthoodKatie Yoder, NewsBusters

Appeals Court Upholds California Law Forcing Pregnancy Centers to Promote AbortionsSteven Ertelt and Jay Hobbs, Life News

Adoption

Baby safe havens exist so that every mother has life-affirming optionsAdam Peters, Live Action

Bioethics

Death RightsHans Feichtinger, First Things

Shocking Oregon Assisted Suicide Report Shows Law is Rife With AbuseDiane Coleman, Life News

Court Forces Christian Nursing Home to Allow Killing Patients in Assisted SuicidesMicaiah Bilger, Life News

Euthanizing ChildrenWesley J. Smith, First Things

Dutch government wants to allow euthanasia for those who feel ‘done with life’Jeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

Obamacare

Obamacare’s millennial problemRachana Pradhan and Paul Demko, Politico

Leading Democrat Governor: “The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable”AP

Stopping Another Obamacare BailoutSen. Mike Lee, The Daily Signal

Bill Clinton Is Right: Obamacare Is Crazy. Here’s a Sane ReformJohn R. Graham, Independent Institute

 

Family

Economics

Projections Differ, but Social Security Is in Deep Trouble – Lauren Bowman and Romina Boccia, The Daily Signal

A Portrait of the Un-Working American Man – Nicholas Eberstadt, Family Studies

Let Us Give Our Families the Care We Give Your Families’ – Adrienne Green, The Atlantic

Marriage

How divorce kills faith — and all of us sufferNaomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post

Five Steps to Becoming a Better ParentJustin Coulson, Family Studies

It’s The Truth That Keeps You Going, Even When Motherhood HurtsGrace Olmstead, The Federalist

Please Help Me Remember The Children I Have Lost To MiscarriageEmily Carrington, The Federalist

Faith/Character/Culture

The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy – Mark Galli, Christianity Today

A Lament on the Declining Quality of Public DiscourseJohn A. Cuddeback, Crisis

Bloom Where You’re PlantedTom Neal, Word On Fire

Human Sexuality

Having Transgender Parents Will Hurt Kids Like It Hurt MeDenise Shick, The Federalist

Truth and lies in ‘Night Moves,’ a telling anthem of the Sexual RevolutionTom Hoopes, Aleteia

Evangelical Campus Ministry Decides Employees Should Hold Evangelical Beliefs on MarriageEd Stetzer, Christianity Today

Human Trafficking

Researchers Uncover Disturbing Link Between Sex Trafficking and AbortionArdee Coolidge, Care Net

Pornography

The horror stories are real. Don’t give your children a smartphone. – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Mayor rallies citizens to ‘create a city free from porn’ – Steve Weatherbe, LifeSiteNews

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FRC Submits Public Comment with March for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, and Charlotte Lozier Institute Opposing Obama’s New HHS Title X Planned Parenthood Rule

by Andrew Guernsey

October 7, 2016

The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a new proposed regulation blocking states from defunding Planned Parenthood from federal Title X family planning funds.

Family Research Council submitted public comment today with the Susan B. Anthony List, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, urging HHS to reconsider and rescind this harmful regulation, which would effectively create a backdoor handout for the abortion industry.

You can read those comments in full here.

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The Social Conservative Review: October 3, 2016

by Daniel Hart

October 3, 2016

Dear Friends,

In a culture that is increasingly losing sight of the foundational importance of man and woman as distinct yet complimentary, of natural marriage as the basic unit of society, and of unborn children as a gift from God, it is tempting to think that the only way to turn things around is to hammer home the truth of these fundamental realities with a tunnel vision-like single-mindedness whenever and however possible.

There is, however, a deeper way to think about cultural renewal, as John Cuddeback writes in a bracing recent essay “A Father’s Presence in the Home.” He states:

Now is the time to redouble our efforts to discover and implement the fullness of marriage and family life. One man and one woman permanently committed to each other and open to new life—this is a great thing. But it is not enough. Or in any case, there is yet a whole art, a virtue of how to do this well. Living family life well means unlocking the potential that marriage has to be a powerhouse of joy and blessing, even far beyond its own borders.

How can this be accomplished? Cuddeback argues that the father’s role in this endeavor is absolutely essential. He makes this radical suggestion: “At the center of this model will be a husband and father whose very success in life is fundamentally, though not solely, seen and judged in terms of what he does in the home.” As the author points out, this understanding of manhood is quite different from a typical archetype of fathers from the 1950’s who spent most of the week away at work and most of their time at home acting mainly as disciplinarian. Cuddeback points out that this disconnection from genuine relationships in family life is still very much a problem—it has merely taken on new forms in the decades since.

The author further argues that “a central measure of [a father’s] manhood will be the quality of his presence in the home.” He elaborates that “a central way a man loves and is present to his children, is by loving and being present to his wife. That is the natural order of the fabric of family life.” This presence can be manifested in creative ways by sharing activities with family members such as gardening, cooking, carpentry, landscaping, etc. The temptation to wile away free time by staring at a screen can instead be dedicated to “being together in richer ways” by reading, playing music, hiking, praying, etc.

It’s such simple advice, and yet so desperately needed in our age of distraction. Fathers will need to step up and take leadership roles in these areas for this art of genuine presence to be most effective. Cuddeback concludes: “At the heart of the renewal will be husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, united in the intensity of their intention to focus on relationships in the household and to embody that intention in daily life.”

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 and Publications

We Need to Amend the Johnson Amendment So the IRS Will Allow Free SpeechTony Perkins

The Hyde Amendment Has Saved 2 Million Lives. Democrats Want To Kill ItArina Grossu

Twenty-one states file suit against Obama to stop another end run around CongressKen Blackwell

A Parent’s Guide to the Transgender Movement in EducationPeter Sprigg

Tim Kaine’s Dangerous LiaisonsKen Blackwell

Celebrating 40 Years of the Hyde Amendment and Rep. Henry Hyde, A Pro-Life HeroArina Grossu and Andrew Guernsey

New York Times: All the Opinions (about North Carolina’s Bathroom Law) That Are Unfit, They PrintPeter Sprigg

Testimony on the Need for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection ActArina Grossu

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Christian school goes to court to defend a 30-second pregame prayerTodd Starnes, Fox News

Kansas Police: You Can’t Pray in Your Own HomeBob Eschliman, Charisma News

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

SOGI Laws: A Subversive Response to a Nonexistent Problem – James Gottry, Public Discourse

Why Christian Colleges Will Thrive Amid Liberal Attacks – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

IRS Accused of Operating ‘Behind a Veil of Secrecy’ in Probe of 99 Churches – Penny Starr, CNSNews.com

The Government’s Civil Rights BulliesRichard A. Epstein, Defining Ideas

International Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom: The Basis for Human Rights … and the Survival of Christians in the Middle EastIgnatius Joseph III Younan, Public Discourse

French gvmt announces plan to criminalize websites opposing abortion – Jeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

India Is Quietly Shining a Light on the Refugee CrisisJoseph D’Souza, The Christian Post

Organizations raise (false) alarm over “global contraceptive crisis”Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Eglin removes Bible from clinic following retiree’s complaintWendy Victora, Northwest Florida Daily News

 

Life

Abortion

The 54-million-person hole in America – Christian Schneider, USA Today

I was pregnant and in an abusive marriage, but I chose lifeLive Action

The insidious way Team Obama is funneling money to Planned ParenthoodRep. Diane Black, Fox News

A GOP Congress Should Not Give Planned Parenthood Another Dime of Taxpayer MoneyRoger Severino, The Daily Signal

Bioethicists Sign “Consensus Statement” to Force Pro-Life Doctors to Promote AbortionsWesley Smith, Life News

Bioethics

Death Control” and the Bioethics PerilWesley J. Smith, First Things

All Death is Death Without DignityAaron Rothstein, Public Discourse

The Late, Great Stem Cell Debate: Why Pro-Lifers Were Right All AlongJohn Stonestreet, The Christian Post

The Precarious Future of Assisted SuicideJohn G. Stackhouse Jr., Christianity Today

Three Parent Babies? Our Macabre New WorldGeorge Neumayr, The American Spectator

Obamacare

Health Insurance Premiums Have Continued To Rise Faster Than Worker Wages Under Obamacare – Chris Conover, Forbes

Conservative Groups Put Spotlight on Obamacare ‘Bailouts’ for Insurers – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Yet Another Health Insurer Scales Back Its Participation in Obamacare – Peter Suderman, Reason.com

3 Simple Ways to Win the Debate on Obamacare – Beverly Hallberg, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics

Brokering the American Dream – Adrienne Green, The Atlantic

Democrats Debate Preschool: Should It Be Fascist Or Socialist? – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Fear of a College-Educated Barista – Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

The So-Called ‘Wage Gap’ Is Going Down. And the Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story. – Rachel Greszler, The Daily Signal

Marriage

A single phrase helped save this marriageElizabeth Scalia, Aleteia

Same-Sex Marriage vs. the Real Thing: A Gay Man’s View of the Big PictureDoug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

How ‘soul mate’ nonsense is destroying Christian marriagesEric Metaxas, LifeSiteNews

The Benefits of Monthly Date Nights for Married CouplesHarry Benson, Family Studies

Should We Really Marry Our Best Friend? Yes, and Here’s WhyMonica Gabriel Marshall, Verily

How decades of divorce helped erode religionJulie Zauzmer, The Washington Post

Faith/Character/Culture

Tell the truth when it might hurt youDavid Mills, Aleteia

Delight in the GoodKaren Swallow Prior, First Things

Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come BackPRRI

In Miami, a Monday Night MiracleTom Sileo, The Stream

2016 State of American Theology StudyLifeWay Research

Human Sexuality

We did the sexual revolution once before. It didn’t go well.Eric Metaxas, LifeSiteNews

Pushing Kids Into Transgenderism Is Medical MalpracticeWalt Heyer, The Federalist

The Media Won’t Pressure Charlotte To Solve The Trans Bathrooms Squabble, But You CanRichard Nelson, The Federalist

Transgender Identities Are Not Always PermanentWalt Heyer, Public Discourse

Pornography

Pornography: the destruction of women’s bodies & souls – Lisa Thompson, Aleteia

American Idol’ star confesses his porn addiction - and how he broke free – Ben Johnson, LifeSiteNews

9 Reasons Men Should Stay Away From Porn – Tyler Ward, The Christian Post

Why No One Actually “Needs” Porn in Their Life – Fight the New Drug

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Celebrating 40 Years of the Hyde Amendment and Rep. Henry Hyde, A Pro-Life Hero

by Arina Grossu , Andrew Guernsey

September 30, 2016

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortion. As a result of the Hyde Amendment, over 2 million Americans are alive today. To learn more see this op-ed in The Federalist and watch FRC Action’s new ad.

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) was a tireless warrior for preborn babies, as this transcript clearly depicts. In 1976, only three years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, he introduced the Hyde Amendment to stop taxpayer funding of abortion. From 1973 to 1977, the federal government spent about $50 million annually to fund about 300,000 abortions per year under Medicaid. He wanted to put an end to this, saying we “cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent, defenseless human lives.”

The Hyde Amendment is one of the spending bills Congress must pass each year. It has been renewed every year since and signed into law by both Republican and Democrat presidents. In 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment in the 5-4 Harris v. McRae landmark decision. Hillary Clinton has promised to make repealing the Hyde Amendment a key priority if she becomes president. In addition, this year’s Democratic Party platform for the first time ever called for its repeal. In contrast, Donald Trump has pledged to make the Hyde Amendment permanent. Congress must enact the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7, S. 582) to codify the Hyde Amendment and to apply it across the government, including Obamacare.

Below, we reprint from the Congressional Record, Rep. Henry Hyde’s remarks when he first introduced his famous amendment in 1976, and again in 1977. Hyde’s remarks show his incredible passion not only to stop the taxpayer funding of abortion, but also to end all killing of preborn babies.

Thank you Rep. Henry Hyde for standing up for the rights of unborn babies, and happy anniversary to the Hyde Amendment that has saved over 2 million lives.

  

Congressional Record

June 24, 1976

Mr. HYDE Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. HYDE: On page 36, after line 9, add the following new section:

Sec. 209. None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be used to pay for abortions or to promote or encourage abortions.”

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, this amendment may stimulate a lot of debate—but it need not—because I believe most Members know how they will vote on this issue. 

Nevertheless, there are those of us who believe it Is to the everlasting shame of this country that in 1973 approximately 800,000 legal abortions were performed in this country—and so it is fair to assume that this year over a million human lives will be destroyed because they are inconvenient to someone.

The unborn child facing an abortion can best be classified as a member of the innocently inconvenient and since the pernicious doctrine that some lives are more important than others seems to be persuasive with the pro-abortion forces, we who seek to protect that most defenseless and innocent of human lives, the unborn—seek to inhibit the use of Federal funds to pay for and thus encourage abortion as an answer to the human and compelling problem of an unwanted child.

We are all exercised at the wanton killing of the porpoise, the baby seal. We urge big game hunters to save the tiger, but we somehow turn away at the specter of a million human beings being violently destroyed because this great society does not want them.

And make no mistake, an abortion is violent.

I think in the final analysis, you must determine whether or not the unborn person is human. If you think it is animal or vegetable then of course, it is disposable like an empty beer can to be crushed and thrown out with the rest of the trash.

But medicine, biology, embryology say that growing living organism is not animal or vegetable or mineral – but it is a human life.

 And if you believe that human life is deserving of due process of law—of equal protection of the laws, then you cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent defenseless human lives.

If we are to order our lives by the precepts of animal husbandry, then I guess abortion is an acceptable answer. If we human beings are not of a higher order than animals then let us save our pretentious aspirations for a better and more just world and recognize this is an anthill we inhabit and there are no such things as ideals or justice or morality.

Once conception has occurred a new and unique genetic package has been created, not a potential human being but a human being with potential. For nine months the mother provides nourishment and shelter, and birth is no substantial change, it is merely a change of address.

We are told that bringing an unwanted child into the world is an obscene act. Unwanted by whom? Is it too subtle a notion to understand it is more important to be a loving person than to be one who is loved? We need more people who are capable of projecting love.

We hear the claim that the poor are denied a right available to other women if we do not use tax money to fund abortions. 

Well make a list of all the things society denies poor women and let them make the choice of what we will give them.

Don’t say “poor woman, go destroy your young, and we will pay for it.”

An innocent, defenseless human life, in a caring and humane society deserves better than to be flushed down a toilet or burned in an incinerator.

The promise of America is that life is not just for the privileged, the planned, or the perfect.

 

Hyde Amendment Passes, Roll Call: 207-167 (57 Not Voting)

Congressional Record, House, Vol. 122, pt. 15, 20410 

 

***

June 17, 1977

 

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Hyde:

On page 39, after line 23. add the following new section:

Sec. 209. None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be used to pay for abortions or to promote or encourage abortions.”

 (By unanimous consent. Mr. HYDE was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, I regret that I must abbreviate this amendment to exclude the therapeutic abortion qualification, the absence of which was raised as a great argument against this amendment when it was offered last session. So it went through with no exceptions whatsoever. And in the conference committee we were able to put in the therapeutic abortion exemption where the claim for a life is equal to a claim for a life. But I am forced into this position today by points of order. So be it.

Yesterday, remarks were made that it is unfortunate to burden an appropriations bill with complex issues, such as busing, abortion and the like. I certainly agree that it is very unfortunate. The problem Is that there is no other vehicle that reaches this floor in which these complex issues can be involved. Constitutional amendments which prohibit abortions stay languishing in subcommittee much less committee, and so the only vehicle where the Members may work their will, unfortunately, is an appropriation bill. I regret that. I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the HEW Medicaid bill. A life is a life. The life of a little ghetto kid is just as important as the life of a rich person. And so we proceed in this bill.

Lest anyone think it is aberrational that millions of people are concerned about our tax dollars paying for the slaughter of innocent, inconvenient, unborn children, I point out that this Is no novel position. In most every session. There is a bill, HR 4897 this session, which provides that a taxpayer conscientiously opposed to participation in war may elect that his income, estate, or gift tax payments be spent for nonmilitary purposes. This creates a trust fund, the world peace tax fund. 

Many people, I am sure, who will speak today against my position, the pro-life position, are vigorous supporters of H.R. 4897.

But if it is wrong to spend money for defense of this country, then may we not object to spending millions of tax dollars for the slaughter of innocent children?

I think it is important to clarify the constitutional issue that is involved in this question. In the first place, conceding that under Roe against Wade a woman has a constitutional right to seek an abortion, the question here is whether it is mandatory that the taxpayers pay for that abortion.

The Washington Star’s editorial last Tuesday put this issue in perspective when it said:

The glib argument that it is a denial of the 14th Amendment equal protection to deny Medicaid subsidy to abortions strikes us as overingenious.

This Government, through the National Endowment for the Humanities subsidizes writers all over the country. Is it then a burden on our first amendment rights to free expression to deny a tax -paid printing press to everyone in the street who wants one? Clearly not.

The Solicitor General of the United States said this:

There Is no right to receive an abortion. The privacy right vindicated in Roe v. Wade and Doe v Bolton Is not the right affirmatively to obtain an abortion, but rather the lesser right to be free to seek abortion services without governmental obstruction or Interference. The Government has no constitutional obligation financially to facilitate the exercise of privacy rights. Its constitutional duty Is merely to refrain from violating such rights.

We spend about $50 million a year to pay for about 300,000 abortions under Medicaid. The contention has been made by respectable sources that it costs too much to bring these welfare kids into the world, it is much cheaper to abort them. This argument even the Washington Post said was terrible and inhumane.

One of the “Dear Colleague” letters that came from a distinguished Member of this body called the paying of the bill for the welfare kids “economic imprudence.” Well, I cannot accept that argument.

We have heard both sides of the argument: If we deny Medicaid abortions, the women are going to have kids anyway; therefore, let them have abortions in a safe place. The other side of the argument is: If we deny Medicaid abortions, we are going to have an explosion of welfare children, and it is going to cost us a lot of money. Which way is it? Are we going to have a lot of costly welfare kids or are women going to get their abortions anyway? As far as I am concerned, every welfare study I have seen shows these children will be born and not slaughtered, and I am prepared to pay the price to see that they get an education, decent housing, and adequate clothing.

I have read every pro-abortion editorial I can lay my hands on and every article I could find, and they all emphasize that the decent and economic and compassionate thing to do is to let these welfare mothers abort their unborn children. Never do they discuss the essential question, the humanity of the unborn.”

What is it that is being aborted? Is it a chicken? Is it a tumor? Is it animal? Is it vegetable? Is it mineral? Is it a bad tooth to be pulled out, or is it a diseased appendix to be cut out and thrown away? No. It is a human being.

Theology does not say it is a human being; biology says it is a human being. Theology does not say, “Thou shalt not kill a fetus”; it is biology that says “Thou shalt not kill a fetus.” That is a part of the tradition and the criminal code subscribed to on the part of individuals in every civilized nation. This is what biology says. Let us quit kidding ourselves. This is human life.

Mr. Chairman, let me read a quotation from the California Medical Association Journal. This is not a religious publication, I assure the Members. In an editorial the California Medical Association said as follows:

… It has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra- uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices.

So why do we not face up that abortion does not merely “terminate a pregnancy” nor remove the “products of conception” from a deactivated womb? It is the calculated killing of an innocent, inconvenient human being.

The old argument that we who oppose abortion are trying to impose our religious concepts on other people is totally absurd. Theology does not animate me; biology does. That is a human life; that is not a potential human life; it is a human life with potential.

When a pregnant woman, who should be the natural protector of her unborn child, becomes its deadly adversary, then it is the duty of this legislature to intervene on behalf of defenseless human life.

If that is not so, I do not know why we need this building or why we need law libraries.

By what right do the pro-abortionists seek to deny us access to the political process? That is what we are engaged in today. If they say we have no right to seek to get written into law protection for innocent life, if they say, “No” to us, they turn back 200 years of this country’s history.

I used to think that abortionists had a world view of humanity as animalistic, and that these people feel that the rules of animal husbandry are sufficient to cope with the problems of poverty and need in the ghetto. But I am wrong. I am absolutely wrong.

We think more of animals than we do of human beings. Do the Members realize that today is Whale Survival Day? Today, June 17, in Lafayette Park, there is going to be music, there will be celebrities and whale experts, and there will be whale art, and this is all done in the campaign to save the endangered whale.

There is some kind of schizophrenia that makes us want to protect the snail darter, the baby harp seal, the whale, and the dolphin, and not to be concerned about human life and our unborn children. In our wisdom and compassion, we put a limit on the number of dolphins that can be eliminated; that number is 69,910. You kill one more, and you go to the slammer. But there is no limit on the number of unborn children that are slaughtered simply because they are inconvenient. 

We now what a dolphin can do. It can jump through a hoop and eat a guppie. But somehow that is more important to this Congress and more important than human beings.

Under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 it is a crime to take possession of a bald eagle’s egg. That seems to be more important than a human life.

Is it not sad that we give more concern to the protection of migratory birds and wild horses than we do to human beings?

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Illinois (MR. HYDE) has expired.

(By unanimous consent, MR. HYDE was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

Mr. HYDE. I just want to make this comment, Mr. Chairman: We can tell the ghetto mother that she is going to have to fight for everything which the middle-class woman has, such as education, housing, clothing, and food; but then we can say, “We will give you one thing. We will give it to you and we will pay for it. We will let you kill your young.”

Mr. Chairman, the problem of the unwanted child is a human problem. The violent act of abortion is no solution. It is the failure to look for a solution.

Mr. Chairman, I was in Jerusalem recently. I visited a building complex to memorialize the 6 million dead in the holocaust. It is called the Yad Vashem. There is a legend there from the Talmud. It says, “He who saves one soul saves humanity.”

Mr. Chairman, I ask the Members to think about that when they vote on my amendment.

 

Hyde Amendment Passes, Roll Call: 201-155 (77 Not Voting)

Congressional Record, House, vol. 123, pt. 16, 19700–19701

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Question of the Week - September 26, 2016

by Daniel Hart

September 26, 2016

Question: Do you have pamphlets that explain the importance of Christians participating in the voting process?

FRC: We have two brochures that give a thorough explanation on the call of all Christians to fully participate in all aspects of civic life. They are “Why You Should Be Involved“ and “Why Christians Should Seek to Influence Government for Good.”

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