FRC Blog

Faith-Based Adoption Providers Must Be Allowed to Serve Needy Children

by Family Research Council

April 26, 2018

In America today, over 400,000 children are languishing in foster homes or other institutions, waiting for a chance to be adopted by a loving family. To help solve this crisis, it is obvious that parents who want to adopt need all the help they can get in being matched with a child, which means they need an adoption agency that understands their needs.

Instead, adoptive families who are religious are finding themselves left out in the cold. In Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and now Philadelphia, faith-based adoption agencies like Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services have been forced out of serving needy children because of their religious beliefs by progressive activist organizations like the ACLU, who demand that faith-based organizations affirm same-sex relationships or be barred from offering adoption services.

However, since there are plenty of adoption agencies who already serve same-sex couples, barring faith-based agencies from serving needy children is simply outrageous and will only compound the foster care crisis. As Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) pointed out at a recent Speaker Series event at FRC, Christian churches are the ones who started healthcare and adoption services in the U.S. to begin with, so to bar them from practicing their religious beliefs as they serve the public is counter-productive and benefits no one. As he succinctly observed, “If it’s the truth, it can’t hurt anybody.”

Because of the activism of extremists on the Left, legislation is clearly needed to protect faith-based adoption providers from discrimination. That’s where the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (CWPIA) comes in. CWPIA simply “ensures all available agencies can continue to serve the 440,000 children in the foster care system and the more than 100,000 awaiting adoption.”

Be sure to view Rep. Kelly’s full remarks here.

For a complete analysis of the benefits of CWPIA, click here.

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State Department Defends Actual Human Rights Instead of Made-Up Rights

by Travis Weber

April 24, 2018

Some activists are upset that the current State Department is going back to conducting worldwide reporting on violations of human rights law instead of the activist flavor of the day. “We are a nation founded on the belief that every person is endowed with inalienable rights. Promoting and defending these rights is central to who we are as a country” (emphasis added), the report began, before going on to report on human rights around the world.

Yet to hear international legal activists describe it, the Trump administration is taking us to the dark ages once again. The administration has allegedly “erase[d] reproductive rights” from the reporting. Over-used and hyperbolic language aside (the term “erase” must have poll-tested well), articles like this are entirely wrong about human rights law and fail to provide historic context on this issue.

If President Obama injected “reproductive rights” into the process in 2011, as the article admits, how was the issue dealt with before then? Is President Trump merely stopping the last administration’s activist approach to the issue, and bringing us back in line with the (bipartisan) approach we enjoyed for decades before? This would be nice to know. Yet we are left without any objective picture or understanding of human rights law from such “news” stories. The irony is that sites like Rewire only further cement and confirm the “fake news” narrative.

The truth is, as the State Department pointed out, the Trump administration was only returning to the clear requirements of international human rights law—which contains no “right to abortion.” In the face of this fact, abortion activist groups like Amnesty International USA could only try the feeble response: “Reproductive rights are human rights.” Except, they’re not. I welcome anyone at Amnesty to show me where such a notion is contained in international law.

It’s not for lack of trying on the part of those who want such a “right” in place. Abortion advocates ceaselessly push their agendas in international forums, eliciting public statements and “rulings” in the context of international organizations to try to claim there is a “right to abortion.” But none of this actually changes the law.

The State Department’s approach to human rights in this report is fair, neutral, and objective. Its critics should aspire to the same standard.

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12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 2

by Peter Sprigg

April 23, 2018

Here is a list of websites that represent the work done by some of the speakers at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Global Summit that I recently attended. 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.

The first six resources can be found here. Here are the final six:

7. World Without Exploitation

In addition to pornography, the other major form of sexual exploitation addressed at the Summit was prostitution. I mentioned that the CESE Summit involves a fascinating coalition of social conservatives and radical feminists. However, there is a sharp divide on the Left over the issue of prostitution. One strain of thought, coming out of feminism, views prostitution as inherently exploitative and favors laws against it (albeit with the focus on punishing pimps and purchasers of sex, rather than the prostitutes who are being exploited and abused). The other strain of thought, coming as best I can tell more out of the labor movement (although also encompassing supposed “human rights” defenders such as Amnesty International) favors decriminalization or legalization of prostitution, referring to it as “sex work” and to prostitutes as “sex workers.” The CESE takes the former, “abolitionist” view—which is well represented by World Without Exploitation’s vision statement:

Getting to a world without exploitation means starting with a clear vision. This is ours.

  • We believe that human trafficking and sexual exploitation are human rights issues, fueled by gender, racial, and income inequalities.
  • We seek to honor the power, purpose, and inherent worth of every person. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation endanger the welfare of the individual, the family, and the community. Accepting such exploitation as inevitable is inconsistent with a human rights vision.
  • We know that listening to survivors of exploitation is critical to developing just and effective social policies. We’re committed to survivor engagement. And we’re driven by survivor leadership.
  • We recognize that adults and children who have been trafficked or sexually exploited should be treated as victims of a crime, not as criminals themselves.
  • We realize that there can be no social justice without social services, so we’re working to ensure that all survivors of labor trafficking and the sex trade have the comprehensive support they need to exit exploitative systems and rebuild their lives.
  • We understand that we won’t end sexual exploitation until we end the demand for prostitution. As long as there is a global sex trade, ours will be an unsafe, unjust world.
  • We commit to eradicating the market for coerced or unpaid labor that drives the multi-billion dollar trade in trafficking.
  • We advocate for laws and policies that hold those who purchase other human beings and those who profit from their sale accountable for the harms they cause.
  • We know that law drives the culture even as culture shapes law. Challenging inaccurate media representations of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, while partnering with artists and writers who seek to tell a more accurate story, is central to our mission.
  • We believe that true freedom means being free from violence, exploitation, and oppression.

World Without Exploitation’s website also includes a 73-page report on What We Know About Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, and Sexual Exploitation in the U.S.

8. Global Centurion

This group’s slogan is “Fighting Modern Slavery by Focusing on Demand.” Their mission statement declares:

Global Centurion Foundation is a non-profit organization fighting human trafficking by focusing on the demand side of the equation – the perpetrators, exploiters, buyers, and end-users of human beings who fuel the market for forced labor and commercial sex. In this way, we seek to prevent modern slavery at its source, since it is the buyers who create and fuel the market for sex and labor trafficking.

Laura Lederer of Global Centurion gave a fascinating historical overview (dating back to 1688) of the “anti-slavery” movement, citing four separate streams:

  • Faith-based (appealing to the Bible and Christianity to oppose slavery)
  • Secular (appealing to U.S. founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to oppose slavery)
  • Feminist (opposing “sex slavery” beginning in the late 1800’s)
  • Human Rights (the unfortunate term used by Lederer to describe the labor-focused support for “sex work” and “sex workers.” These groups believe that legalization and government regulation of “sex work” are the best ways to prevent “sex workers” from being exploited.)

9. Prostitution Research & Education

This group seeks to “Abolish Prostitution and Provide Real Alternatives.” Their mission statement describes them as an organization that:

conducts research on prostitution, pornography and trafficking and offers education and consultation to researchers, survivors, the public and policymakers. PRE’s goal is to abolish the institution of prostitution while at the same time advocating for alternatives to trafficking and prostitution – including emotional and physical healthcare for women in prostitution. The roots of prostitution are in the assumption that men are entitled to buy women for sex, in racism, and in women’s poverty.

Melissa Farley has been a regular speaker at the CESE events. Her website includes a valuable report on Pornography, Prostitution, & Trafficking: Making the Connections.

10. Organization for Prostitution Survivors

The last three groups I will mention here are ones which provide direct services to “survivors” of the sex trade. This Seattle-based group:

provides psychosocial accompaniment to survivors of prostitution, co-creating and sustaining efforts to heal from and end this practice of gender-based violence.

It:

facilitates healing from the harm of prostitution by providing the opportunity for survivors to share their experience of prostitution with others and assisting them with resources and referrals to meet identified needs, goals and aspirations.

Peter Qualliotine of OPS spoke on a panel about the #MeToo movement and the “Movement to End Sexual Assault & Rape Culture.” He offered an interesting perspective on “consent” as the only prerequisite to sexual activity, warning that “‘consent’ just becomes one more thing that men have to get,” and suggesting that “mutuality” would be a better standard.

11. Treasures

Monique Calderon of Treasures spoke at the CESE. According to its website:

Treasures is a unique, faith-based outreach and support group for women in the sex industry.

Our mission is to reach, restore, and equip women in the sex industry and victims of sex trafficking to live healthy, flourishing lives, and train others to do the same across the globe.

One unique aspect of this organization is that it is:

Located in the heart of the Adult Industry Capital of the World, in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. 90% of all legal porn worldwide is filmed, distributed, and or manufactured here.

12. Sun Gate Foundation

Shamere McKenzie was another speaker who gave a first-person account of having been exploited. Here is how her organization is described:

Sun Gate Foundation, a (501)(c)(3) non-profit, survivor led organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, is an independent organization addressing a critical gap in the human trafficking aftercare community by making a substantial commitment to survivors. Sun Gate Foundation funds educational opportunities provided to survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking in the United States. The ultimate goal is to equip these young girls, boys, women, and men with a solid foundation to confidently go after their dreams.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

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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.

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