Author archives: Daniel Hart

Social Conservative Review - June 18, 2018

by Daniel Hart

June 18, 2018

Dear Friends,

A recent study reveals that loneliness has now reached epidemic levels in the United States. In a survey of over 20,000 adults 18 and over, the numbers are staggering:

  • Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).
  • One in four Americans (27 percent) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.
  • Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent).
  • One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people (20 percent) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18 percent).
  • Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2) – even though they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.
  • Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.
  • Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.

Interestingly, the study notes that “Social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness; respondents defined as very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).” What is not being said here is that this statistic clearly indicates that increased social media use is affecting everyone, not just heavy users.

I witnessed a perfect example of this last night at a restaurant. At the booth next to my wife and I, a large family had wedged themselves into both sides of the table. Despite this perfect opportunity for a great evening of quality family time, I couldn’t help but notice that large periods of time went by with the family sitting in silence. Why? Because half of the people at the table had their faces buried in their phones, while the other family members stared off into space. Is it any wonder that half of the country is not having any meaningful conversations with anyone when the people they are trying to talk to are staring down at a screen?

This study should be a reminder to believers that we should always be ready and willing to give everyone we encounter our full attention, not just our family and friends. Phones and social media aren’t the only culprits here—often it is our own fear of looking abnormal that keeps us from spending a few moments talking with a homeless person on the street or our Uber driver. We must work on refocusing our priorities to giving everyone in our lives the time and attention they crave and rightfully deserve.

God created us to love and to be loved. We all need to be constantly reminded of the timeless adage: “It is good that you exist.” When we spend quality time with our family members and everyone else the Lord puts in our path, we reaffirm this basic truth and help to spread Christ’s Kingdom.

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

Christians can influence the world without being influenced – Tony Perkins

Women & Pornography – Patrina Mosley

Dismemberment Abortion – Patrina Mosley

Flocking to tend to our nation’s spiritual needs – Travis Weber

Planned Parenthood’s tax dollar gravy train just got derailed – Cathy Ruse

Imitating My Father – Dan Hart

Getting to Know Generation Z – Marion Mealor

Good But Not Great: Don’t Be Fooled by the Masterpiece Decision – Andrew Rock

Warning to Northern Ireland: Science Without Faith is Dead – Patrina Mosley

Masterpiece Cakeshop: How Can a 7-2 Supreme Court Decision Be “Narrow?” – Peter Sprigg

Politically Motivated Research Underestimates Risk of Suicide After Abortion – Martha Shuping

Masterpiece Cakeshop: Summary of Each Supreme Court Opinion – Peter Sprigg

The Ethical Imperative of Adult Stem Cell Research – Hannah Borchers

Supreme Court Protects Jack Phillips’ Rights, Tells Colorado: “Not So Fast” – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Baker Who Declined to Make Same-Sex Wedding CakeNational Catholic Register

State Judge Sides with Christian Baker – Rodney Pelletier, Church Militant

Philadelphia Archdiocese sues city over foster care placements – Matthew Gambino, Crux

Valedictorian: “They Told Me I Had to Take Christ Out of My Speech” – ToddStarnes.com

A tall Christian cross stood in a Michigan park for nearly 70 years. Now it’s gone – Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star

Democrats introduce bill to counter Sen. Orrin Hatch’s religious freedom law – Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Indiana high school accepts teacher’s resignation over transgender policy – Kathleen Joyce, Fox News

International Religious Freedom

Pence Meets Indonesia’s Top Muslim Leader After Church Attacks – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity

Today

Human rights disaster’: China’s persecution of Christians at highest level since Mao – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

Religious War Looms in Nigeria as Christian Body Count Climbs – Lela Gilbert, Newsmax

Canada’s top court rules against Christian law school: LGBT rights trump religious freedom – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

Police seizes 1,100 Bibles in China’s Shandong province – Madeeha Bakhsh, Christians in Pakistan

The Radical Forgiveness One Egyptian Mother Has for Her Son’s Murderers – Lindy Lowry, Open Doors

Several Iranian Christians to Serve Time in Prison – Jeffrey Cimmino, The Washington Free Beacon

International Religious Freedom Report for 2017U.S. Department of State

U.S. senator introduces bill for sanctions against Turkey – Hürriyet Daily News

 

Life

Abortion

What Happened When 3 Women Faced Deep Suffering Rather Than Abort Their Children – Maureen Mullarkey, The Federalist

The Silent Suffering of Fathers After Abortion – Victoria Robinson, The Daily Signal

President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Ireland votes to legalize abortion: ‘a tragedy of historic proportions’ – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Supreme Court Rejects Planned Parenthood Challenge to Arkansas Pro-Life Law That Could Close Two Abortion Clinics – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Girl with Down Syndrome stuns politicians with powerful speech about her ‘right to be alive’ – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Pro-life commercial from Herbal Essences stirs up controversy – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

Adoption

Foster Care Fanaticism in Philadelphia – Darel E. Paul, First Things

3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child – Kelly Cox, Her View From Home

I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I Didn’t Let Go – Leah Outten, Her View From Home

Obamacare

Obamacare Is Shrinking the Individual Health Insurance Market – Edmund Haislmaier, The Daily Signal

Conservative groups, congressional Republicans appear poised for another try at ObamaCare repeal – Joseph Weber, Fox News

 

Family

Marriage

How to Build a Healthy Marriage With Authentic Communication – Michelle Habel, Focus on the Family

Five Myths About Fathers and Family – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Baby Bust: Fertility is Declining the Most Among Minority Women – Lyman Stone, Family Studies

Here’s why it matters that Americans are having fewer children than ever before – Jeremy Carl, Fox News

Marriage Support Needs Time to Work – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Couple with Down syndrome reveals secret to 23 years of wedded bliss – Cerith Gardiner, Aleteia

Grandpa’s 6 tips for a successful marriage – Jackie Pilossoph, Chicago Tribune

Natural Rights, God, and Marriage in the American Founding – Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Public Discourse

Economics/Education

The Left’s War Against Prosperity in Seattle – Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal

Faith/Character/Culture

The Importance of Dads in an Increasingly Fatherless America – Virginia Allen, The Daily Signal

On Father’s Day, Remember the Fatherless – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Thank You For Being a Dad Who Shows Up – Emily Solberg, Her View From Home

What Mothers Cannot Give to Their Sons – Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

No, Amazon Tribes Should Not Be Allowed To Kill Their Children – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

What Anthony Bourdain Reveals About Living In The Age Of Loneliness – Ben Domenech, The Federalist

How Faith Communities Can Push Back the Darkness of Suicide – Emilie Kao, The Daily Signal

Human Sexuality

School Can Force Students to Share Bathrooms With Transgender Students, Federal Court Rules – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

San Diego Parents Pulling Their Kids From School Over Inappropriate Sex-Ed Curriculum – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal

The War Against Abstinence: Blockers, American Pie, and the Last Great Sexual Taboo – Daniel Ross Goodman, Public Discourse

The Dating Project’ movie offers a 101-level course in courtshipAleteia

Nearly 90 Percent of Public Opposed to Virginia County’s Sex Ed Changes – Rob Shimshock, The Daily Caller

Human Trafficking

DOJ Arrests 2,300 Alleged Child Pornographers And Sex Traffickers – Jacob Airey, The Daily Wire

Pornography

Radical Parenting – Protecting Our Kids from Pornography – GretaEskridge.com

Does Pornography Feed Sex Tourism? – Rose Brugger, Public Discourse

More Americans Say Pornography Is Morally Acceptable – Gallup

Porn Addict Says ‘Wrong Click Changed My Life’ as a Teen, Exposing Her to Abusive, Animal-Like Sex – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Imitating My Father

by Daniel Hart

June 15, 2018

Courtesy of State Library of Queensland

My one-and-a-half-year-old son imitates everything I do these days. “Hey, babes,” I said as I greeted my wife a number of weeks ago. “Hey babes,” he garbled from his high chair a few seconds later. When I left a garbage bag next to the front door one day, he toddled over to it and began attempting to tie the drawstrings together, just as he had seen me do minutes before. Now, to my amazement, he is feeding himself with a spoon. It brings me great joy to watch him carefully position the spoon in his fingers so that he can angle it correctly into his bowl and scoop up food, which he then brings to his mouth with remarkable control and efficiency. It’s as if he saw someone else doing the same thing.

To see my son constantly imitate me is thrilling, humbling, and a bit frightening all at once. It’s exhilarating to know that another human sees me as such an influential presence and role model—I’m excited by the prospect of passing on the passion I have for reading, music, sports, and the knowledge and love of our Father up above. At the same time, I’m realizing more and more the extent to which my words and actions can influence his behavior, which means I really do need to watch what I say and do.

As Father’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of all the ways I imitated my own father when I was growing up. I’ll never forget the Saturday he brought me along with him to the local rec center to play pickup basketball when I was around 10. I watched in awe and a little trepidation at how quickly the much larger men moved and passed the ball. I was soon thrown into the mix, and found myself panicking as I tried to keep up. “Stay between your man and the basket,” my dad said. I could tell by the way he played that he took pride in playing good defense. Something clicked for me after that, and I’ve loved playing basketball ever since.

Then there was the beautiful sunny day my dad first showed me how to swing a golf club in our front yard. He explained the proper grip to take, how far away to stand from the ball, how to bring the club back, and the appropriate motion to take on the downswing. As I imitated his golf swing for the first time, I remember a feeling of comfort come over me. Playing golf has been a natural fit and a great source of fulfilment for me from that day on. 

What I am most grateful to my father for is his determination to keep his Catholic faith central in his life. He always wore a dress shirt and tie on Sundays while a large percentage of other men wore jeans and t-shirts. During Mass, he would always sing out the hymns with passion, while many other men in neighboring pews would stand silently with seeming indifference. The reverence he showed during Mass always struck me—his head was often bowed forward, his eyes closed, and his hands clasped together. After the gospel was proclaimed and the congregation took their seats, he would often remain standing for a beat longer than everyone else, as if to take an extra moment to let Christ’s words soak into his soul. I could feel the devotion emanating from within him during Mass, and it rubbed off on me.

The car ride home from Mass would usually entail a heartfelt commentary from him about the priest’s homily. Countless conversations at home about the nature of faith and reflecting on the life of the Holy Family are some of my fondest memories. There were also numerous times that I recall him witnessing to friends and acquaintances who did not share his faith. This has always been something I have greatly admired in him—there was an energy and joy that his faith gave him that he did not want to contain, compelling him to share it with others. There was also fearlessness in the indifference he had to what others might have thought of him. Seeing him take his faith so seriously clearly made a great impression on me. I can see now that it was through my imitation of my father at a young age that I first began to make the Catholic faith my own.

Every father knows that they set an example for their children, but what they perhaps don’t know is how much of an impact they can actually have on them. Part of the reason for this is that it is easy for parents to underestimate how observant their children are, which I have discovered with surprise at my own son’s remarkable ability to imitate me. I doubt that my dad knew the extent to which I was watching him as I grew up. What I have noticed is that this is a common experience. I remember numerous occasions where my sister and I have related our experience of a childhood memory, to which my parents have responded, “Really? You remember that? I didn’t think you noticed” or “That’s funny—I don’t remember it that way!” I have also seen this same interaction happen with my friends and their parents. I have no doubt that when I am advanced in years and I listen to my son’s experiences of childhood, I will be blown away.

In the first verse of 1 Corinthians 11, Paul states plainly: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” For me, this is the perfect encapsulation of what authentic fatherhood should be. God created us in such a way that the father of a family is to be the image of Himself—God the Father. We see this in how a father and mother welcome a newborn child—with love. The first experience of God’s love that a newborn encounters is through the love of their father and mother. As Paul says, the model that fathers need to follow is Christ, the Incarnation of God Himself. But since Christ no longer physically walks the earth, His followers must imitate Him in order to allow His presence to abide in the world. Paul stood as an amazing model for Christ in the early Christian church, and his example was imitated by his followers, who were then imitated by their followers, and so the faith was passed down through the generations. This mission has been passed down to all Christian fathers today—to imitate Christ in order to lead by example for the good of their children and for the good of everyone they encounter.

Thank you, Dad, for your example of Christian manhood. Your witness of faith is something I hope to pass down to my own son, just as you did for me. Happy Father’s Day!

Social Conservative Review - May 16, 2018

by Daniel Hart

May 16, 2018

Dear Friends,

Bishop Robert Barron recently wrote a concise yet profound reflection on John 17:1-11. Here it is in full (emphasis mine):

Friends, Jesus’ prayer in today’s Gospel sums up his wonderful work as he is about to return to his Father. Jesus was, in his very person, the meeting of heaven and earth. God and humanity came together in him, and his entire ministry was the outward expression of that inward identity. By calling a scattered Israel to unity, inviting the poor to table fellowship, healing the sick in body and heart, and embodying the path of forgiveness and love, Jesus was bringing God’s will and purpose to earth.

Now, in his Passion and Death, Jesus brought heaven all the way down into the world. He carried the divine light into the darkest places of the human condition—hatred, cruelty, violence, corruption, stupidity, suffering, and death itself—and thereby transformed them. And the proof that heaven is able to transform earth is, of course, the Resurrection.

Now we know that cruelty, hatred, violence, fear, suffering, and death are not the most powerful forces in the world. Now we know that the divine love is more powerful. God’s kingdom has, in principle, broken the kingdoms of the world, which thrive upon, and in turn produce, those very negativities.”

This is a great reminder for believers to not be afraid of witnessing this divine love to those who do not believe. Christ has transformed even the worst thing that can possibly happen in life—death. We truly have nothing to fear.

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 Media

One Year Later: The Impact of President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting Religious Liberty – Travis Weber

Fairfax County School Board to Teach Kids: “Biological Sex Is Meaningless” – Cathy Ruse

Remembering the Little Ones Up Above on Mother’s Day – Dan Hart

Sponsors of California’s AB 2943 Claim It Wouldn’t Ban the Bible. Maybe. But What About These Books? – Peter Sprigg

Death Panels” Are Now a Reality – Patrina Mosley

Speaker Series: NIFLA: Preserving Free Speech for Those Who Advocate for Women and the Unborn – Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)

Religious Liberty and National Security Go Hand in Hand

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

How a ‘Far-Left Propaganda Machine’ Got a Respected Legal Group Expelled by Amazon – Greg Scott, The Daily Signal

Study: Trump Religious Freedom Order Helps 13.7 Million Receive Health Care and Social Services – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Tony Perkins appointed to US panel on international religious freedom – Jack Jenkins, Religion News Service

Catholic Marriage Counselor Fired Because of her Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.com

LGBT Activists Falsely Smear Those Protecting Children in Need – Monica Burke, The Daily Signal

Businesses to Avoid If You Can – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

5 Reasons The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Hate-Mongering Scam – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Trump Religious Freedom Order Helps Charities Serve Over 13.7 Million in Need, Analysis Finds – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

College demands student remove Jesus, Bible references from graduation speech. Then she fights back – Dave Urbanski, The Blaze

Fight over cross at Florida public park resumes before appeals court – Kim Chatelain, The Times-Picayune

International Religious Freedom

North Korea’s Prisoner Release: 3 Down, 119,997 to Go – Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

Explosions at 3 Indonesian churches leave at least 2 dead: reports – Max Greenwood, The Hill

Arrested in Chengdu – June Cheng, WORLD

State Department knocks China over church harassment – Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner

Military Religious Freedom

Lawmakers Say Army May Have Violated Law by Targeting Baptist Chaplain – ToddStarnes.com

 

Life

Abortion

Iowa legislature votes to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

Planned Parenthood sues Iowa for banning abortion of babies with beating hearts – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

New Device Lets Pregnant Moms Take Ultrasound Pictures of Their Baby on Their Phone – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Thousands protest Trudeau’s abortion agenda at Canadian March for Life – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

I Had an Abortion. Here’s the Message I Want to Share With Other Women. – Victoria Robinson, The Daily Signal

Adoption

4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know – Adrian Collins, Her View From Home

10 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 4 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious Liberty

Commission

Will Placing Fewer Children in Foster Care Fix the System? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

The Ache While We Wait to Adopt – Caroline Saunders, Her View From Home

Bioethics

Judge Overturns California Law Legalizing Assisted Suicide – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

 

Family

Marriage

Daily Rituals Cultivate Lasting Love – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

He’s My Husband, Not My Savior – Kelli Bachara, Her View From Home

Encouragement for New Moms – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Economics/Education

New Data Show California Kids’ Math Achievement Took A Nosedive After Common Core – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Why Employers Are Ignoring The Untapped Potential Of Stay-At-Home Moms – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

This Is a Bad Look: In Current Farm Bill, Conservatives Prop Up Rich Farmers – Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

Straight Talk About the Success Sequence, Marriage, and Poverty – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

The War on Wisdom – Dennis Prager, The Daily Signal

You Can Pursue Your Dreams and Love Your Family – Katie Warner, National Catholic Register

The Democrats’ God Gap – David French, National Review

Nevada bank robber, FBI agent who arrested him, pray at White House – Debra J. Saunders, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Every Day With Her Was the Best Day:’ Remembering My Mom – Armstrong Williams, The Daily Signal

The Childhood Quality That’s the Best Predictor of Health, Wealth, and Happiness – Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout

Human Sexuality

Male Sexlessness is Rising, But Not for the Reasons Incels Claim – Lyman Stone, Family Studies

Why A Compromise On Transgender Politics Would Be Capitulation – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

Consent is No Cure – Craig Michael White, Ethika Politika

Human Trafficking

Uncovering The Silent Sex Trafficking Epidemic In New York City – Fight the New Drug

Christian Rocker Risks Life in Undercover Mission to Rescue Victims in Sex Trade – Jeannie Law, The Christian Post

Pornography

You Can Write An Open Letter to the Pornography Industry – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Remembering the Little Ones Up Above on Mother’s Day

by Daniel Hart

May 11, 2018

We shall find our little ones again up above.”

-St. Zelie Martin

Recently, the state of Nebraska passed a bill that is the first of its kind in the history of the United States. The bill allows parents who have lost a child due to miscarriage to apply for a commemorative birth certificate as long as a health care practitioner has verified the pregnancy. Unlike previous bills which mandated that the miscarried child must have been at least 20 weeks old, this bill has no minimum gestation period.

The beauty of this bill is that it publicly acknowledges the life of the unborn, no matter how short their time may have been with us. Miscarriage is an experience that is all too common but often not spoken about in our culture. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage. Anecdotally, it seems to me that this number is an underestimate—almost all of the couples I know who have multiple children have experienced at least one miscarriage, if not more.

Although these children are unseen and never encountered face to face, their passing has an unavoidable impact on families, especially mothers. As one woman recounts in Karen Edmiston’s book, After Miscarriage, “I could no more pretend that nothing has happened than I could pretend to be fine if my husband died.” This natural response underscores the deep wound that all mothers who have lost children experience. 

Many women may blame themselves or feel ashamed of their miscarriage, and may even be unaware of their grief. Holly Cave recounts one mother who confided to her:

I thought to grieve you had to have lost something you’d met – like a person that you had talked to – or you could grieve over a baby that maybe you’d held,” she tells me. “I didn’t know anything about grief… I didn’t know whether I should leave that to people who had lost actual people, not a very, very tiny baby that you’ve never met.”

As Edmiston explains, “Grief is necessary, and our children deserve the dignity of our mourning, the recognition of their infinite worth, the respect that is manifest in our grieving of their passing.” Grief is an affirmation of love. It is an affirmation that a child is missed. 

It is clear that our society needs to do a better job of honoring the grief of women who have experienced miscarriage. The Nebraska birth certificate bill is a great start in bringing a tragic event into the light in order to help facilitate healing for mothers and their families, especially by officially pronouncing a name for the unknown child. Although no parent should feel guilty if they have not thought of giving their child a name, this can be a beautiful way of affirming God’s gift of life. As Christians, we believe that the life in the womb of a mother possesses an eternal soul, and therefore, the child may possess a name. “Names are powerful,” Edmiston writes. “They identify us, shape us, connect us to one another… It is a small but very real gift you can give to the baby you were not able to see or embrace.”

On this Mother’s Day, let us remember and pray in a special way for all those mothers who have children whose lives ended before they were born—from miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion—or whose lives ended after birth, from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or other tragedy.

Here are some resources to help those who are grieving the loss of a child:

Social Conservative Review - May 1, 2018

by Daniel Hart

May 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

If you pay much attention to what everyone is talking about these days—what some might call “news”—it’s easy to pick up on a troubling pattern. Kyle Smith at National Review has pinpointed it well: it’s “a culture of enmity.” It’s something that both liberals and conservatives are guilty of—a near constant state of indignation, usually aimed at someone who said something “hateful,” that must be made publicly known. As Smith observes, it can be easy to fall into the trap of fighting hate with more hate: “Any uneasy feelings about hate are washed clean when that hate is obviously justified. Hating haters, these days, produces a kind of ecstasy. It is easily mistaken for love.”

As Christians, we are called to something higher. Even when we feel that we are justified in “calling out” someone for something that they have said or written that we find offensive, we need to slow down and give our response careful consideration. As David French has observed: “If you truly hate the offensive speech in question — if you truly believe it’s hurtful — why share it far and wide? Why amplify the offensive voice? Arguably, the worst rebuke for a troll, the worst punishment for the self-promoting radical, is indifference. I have my own standard for engaging bad ideas — First, I wait. I ask myself: Are these ideas gaining traction? Do they threaten to make a material difference in the marketplace of ideas? If the answer is yes, then I engage. If the answer is no, I let the offensive speech die a natural death.” In other words, ignoring offensive remarks can often be the most prudent course of action, especially in our current cultural climate of ubiquitous outrage.

At the risk of sounding a little bit trite and naïve, it’s time for Christians to start a revolution of positivity by infusing the public square with truth, goodness, and beauty. Instead of pontificating about the latest outrage on Facebook, share an insightful spiritual quote you heard from last Sunday’s sermon, or share a link to an inspiring story about the adoption of a needy child. The authentic Christian life should not solely be focused on exposing the darkness of evil. Our primary goal should be to magnify the lightness of good.

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

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act: Ensuring a Free Marketplace of Adoption Providers – Travis Weber

Parents Stand Up for Children in Sex Ed Sit Out – Cathy Ruse

More Sex Ed and Even More Stalinism at the Local School Board – Cathy Ruse and Austin Ruse

Pompeo: A Proven Leader for the State Department – Ken Blackwell

Pompeo Is Ready to Lead – William G. Boykin

Why the Alfie Evans Case Is a Full-Blown Example of Forced Euthanasia – Om Narayanan

Can You See Me? – Patrina Mosley

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

State Department Defends Actual Human Rights Instead of Made-Up Rights – Travis Weber

12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 2 – Peter Sprigg

12 Resources to Fight Sexual Exploitation, Part 1 – Peter Sprigg

Who Owns Free Speech on the Internet?

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

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

New California Bill Could Ban Sale of Some Christian Books (Yes, Really) – Mark Meckler, Patheos

School District Forbids Parents From Opting Kids Out of LGBT Lessons – ToddStarnes.com

Senators are failing the religious test for office – Jeremy Dys, The Hill

The Unsoundness of Silencing Hate – Elizabeth Scalia, Word On Fire

School District Bans Principal From Inviting Parents to Pray at Flag Pole After Atheist Complaint – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

US Christian who refuses to pay taxes until abortion is defunded has first big win in court – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Iowa Senate refuses to confirm Board of Medicine appointee over post on LGBTQ issues – William Petroski, Des Moines Register

Southern Poverty Law Center Quietly Deleted List of ‘Anti-Muslim’ Extremists After Legal Threat – Jack Crowe, National Review

Satanists Declare War on Arkansas Ten Commandments – ToddStarnes.com

International Religious Freedom

State Dept. Convinced Andrew Brunson Is Innocent, Says Turkey Lacks ‘Credible Evidence’ – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Attack on Nigerian church kills 15 worshippers – Onize Ohikere, WORLD

Trudeau: ‘We will not apologize’ for valuing abortion over free speech – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Military Religious Freedom

Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Punishment for Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.com

San Diego-based admiral declines to probe Bible placement at Okinawa hospital – Carl Prine, The San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Life

Abortion

House passes bill banning abortions based on Down Syndrome – Liz Navratil & Angela Couloumbis, The Inquirer

State Department: Abortion ‘is not a human right’ – Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner

Pro-Choice Movement Opposes Abortion Alternatives in South Bend – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Cecile Richards Finally Leaves Planned Parenthood After 12 Years and 3.5 Million Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Adoption

Adopting Priorities – Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Stream

10 things that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry: Part 1 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Finally a family: Inside the adoption process for three Bedford County sisters – Siobhan McGirl, WDBJ7

10 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 2 – Rick Morton, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Bioethics

The State-Ordered Killing of Young Alfie Evans – John O’Sullivan, National Review

Alfie Evans’ Death Illustrates The Monstrous Logic Of The Welfare State – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

Alfie Evans and Our Moral Crossroads – Charles C. Camosy, First Things

Obamacare

Republicans have a long way to go toward fully repealing ObamaCare – Rachel Bovard, The Hill

 

Family

Marriage

Healing a Hookup Culture through the Goods of Marriage – Timothy P. O’Malley, Family Studies

The Flash,” Fear, and the Kenosis of Marriage – Rachel Bulman, Word on Fire

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson should put a ring on it — for his kids’ sake – W. Bradford Wilcox, USA Today

Effective Marriage Preparation for the Next Generation Is More Important Than Ever – Tiffany L. Clyde and Alan J. Hawkins, Family Studies

The New States’ Rights: Is Parenthood Defined by Biology or Government? – Adam J. MacLeod, Public Discourse

A Marriage Restored – Thomas Jeffries, Focus on the Family

For Most Couples Who Stay the Course, Marriage Gets Better With Time: An Interview with Paul R. Amato – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Economics/Education

Anti-homeschooling bill defeated in CaliforniaThe Desert Review

Why Christian Higher Education Still Matters – Chris Hazell, Word on Fire

New National Test Scores Show Betsy DeVos Was Right About Public Schools – Mary Clare Amselem, Intellectual Takeout

How Colleges Are Ripping Off a Generation of Ill-Prepared Students – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Faith/Character/Culture

Why you should encourage your child to befriend the kid who’s “different” – Adrian Buntin, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Make It Easy for Your Kids to Love God – Ray Ortlund, Desiring God

From the Depths of John Krasinski’s Catholic Past: A Quiet Work of Art – Sarah Perry, Benedict XVI Institute

When God Shouts – Pat Flynn, Word on Fire

Christian, choose hope in an age of cynicism – Jason Duesing, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Sexuality

The School System Corrupts And Sexualizes Our Children And Calls It ‘Sex Ed’ – Matt Walsh, The Daily Wire

Promiscuous America: Smart, Secular, and Somewhat Less Happy – Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family Studies

How the New Corporate Elite Sold Same-Sex Marriage to the American Public – Scott Yenor, Public Discourse

Encouraging Intentional Dating in a Hookup Culture – Meg T. McDonnell, Family Studies

Human Trafficking

This Man Rescues Children From Sex Slavery And Wants You To Know This About Backpage – Bre Payton, The Federalist

Pornography

Jesus’s Compassion for Those Who Love Porn – Mo Isom, The Gospel Coalition

Why redeeming our thoughts matters – Liz Wann, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

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

Social Conservative Review - April 4, 2018

by Daniel Hart

April 4, 2018

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

Citizenship Matters – Ken Blackwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attacks on Counseling Threaten Pastors and Churches – Travis Weber

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

Of Guns and Prodigal Fathers – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xi Jinping’s Village – Dan Hitchens, First Things

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

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption

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

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

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

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

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

Bioethics

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

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

Obamacare

Abortion Over ObamaCareWall Street Journal

 

Family

Economics/Education

America’s Quiet Carnage – Nathan Nielson, First Things

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

Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

Walmart removes Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout aisles – Fox Business

Human Trafficking

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

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

Pornography

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

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

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

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

by Daniel Hart

March 28, 2018

In a stirring speech given to supporters of FRC yesterday, The Daily Wire editor-in-chief and well-known political commentator Ben Shapiro drew a stark picture of how the loss of religion in America has led to a harrowing host of problems, including the growing threats to religious freedom and traditional values.

As Shapiro noted, however, this loss of faith has led to an even more fundamental breakdown: a loss of the desire to live at all, especially among the young. “There’s a crisis of meaning that is happening among young people. That crisis of meaning is directly related to the loss of religion in the United States. There is no doubt about this. The suicide rates have tripled among young people between 2006 and 2016. There’s a reason for this. Right now, young American children [who] are growing up in the freest, most prosperous country in the history of mankind are killing themselves at record rates. It is happening for a very specific reason. It is happening because we are not providing them meaning.”

Shapiro went on to argue that if transcendent truth is not taught and handed down to us, we tend to latch on to whatever popular platitudes (such as “diversity” and “equality”) that are being fed to us by the culture, because we all have the inherent desire to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts with something meaningful. But without a common purpose, Shapiro pointed out, “diversity tears people apart, because people tend to fall back into ethnic stereotyping [and] tribalism, and in large part that is what’s happening in the United States right now. We’re tearing each other apart because we don’t have a common vision of what the United States is supposed to be, and what we are supposed to be as human beings.”

The Founders understood this. Shapiro quoted George Washington, who said there exists “in the course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage. The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.”

We have decided to abandon [faith] in the United States,” Shapiro said, “but this is where we have to fight back.” How do we do this? By trusting in the Wisdom that has come down to us through millennia, which is the foundation of western civilization. Ultimately, Shapiro concluded, we are in a fight about what is most fundamental: “We are fighting about the meaning of human life. We are fighting about what human dignity is worth, and what our purpose is in the universe. And if we lose that battle, there are no other battles to be fought.”

View Ben Shapiro’s entire speech here.

How to Find Healing When Your Spouse is an Addict

by Caleb Anderson

March 26, 2018

Marriage is an empowering act of love. Countless difficulties can be faced together in marriage, but sometimes complex issues can arise that can seem too much to bear. Substance addiction is one such issue. It can cause immeasurable hurt and wreak havoc in marriages. However, there are ways to manage the strains caused by addiction, and seek healing as a couple.

Make an Early Intervention

Addiction can have a destructive impact on all aspects of life. It can alienate loved ones, fracture families, and have serious consequences on finances. Unfortunately, communication, which is key to recovery, can be lost to the secrecy and tension addiction can create. It’s important to take action immediately once the signs of addiction are noticed in order to prevent enabling. Don’t rationalize addiction or excuse symptoms, either to yourself or to others—this will only perpetuate the problem. Instead, talk to your spouse when they are sober and explain how their addiction is hurtful and upsetting and how it is damaging the relationship. Do so calmly and sympathetically—arguing will only cause further conflict and denial. Marriage thrives on open communication, and recovery can be galvanized by it.

Push for Treatment

The best option for addiction istreatment. Your spouse may be reluctant to seek help, perhaps fearful of the consequences of doing so, so stress its importance to the relationship’s future. Don’t, however, make hollow threats. It’s crucial that what’s said be conveyed as sincere concern for your partner’s well-being and the relationship. Thankfully, there are a number of options to aid recovery and self-care.

Treatment can include inpatient and outpatient care, providing a supportive environment to achieve sobriety. A doctor can be valuable in determining what’s best for your spouse. This time will be difficult. Your spouse may be scared and anxious, so reassure them of your support throughout the process. Participating incouples therapy, during and after treatment, can provide additional tools to manage the stresses and strains faced. It may also assist in restoring trust and intimacy, as well as aiding in mutual understanding.

Pursue Healing

Being married to an addict can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, but it’s important to trust that addiction can be overcome. With this in mind, it’s imperative to recognize that addiction doesn’tdefine your loved one. They may be feeling shame and guilt, so try to focus on progress and an addiction-free future. Feeling hurt and upset is understandable, but layingblame on your addicted spouse can sustain a cycle of negative emotions. Their perception of reality will likely be influenced by addiction, and their behaviors may not seem as egregious to them as it does to others.

It’s important to try to separate the person suffering from addiction with the actions that addiction causes. It won’t be easy, but it can help you remember that the person you love is still there, and can be reclaimed from addiction.

Treatment can hopefully give them an appreciation for the struggles you’ve gone through, and you can both try to encourage a return to a positive family life. This form of reciprocal self-care can involve things like dates and family outings. A therapist will be able to offer additional exercises and activities that can facilitate the practice of self-care, both as a couple and as individuals.

When the Situation is Untenable

If your partner resists treatment or you feel they’ve become a threat to you or your children, then a temporaryseparation may be the best option. The actions caused by addiction do not mean they don’t care for their loved ones, but sometimes you have to put your own and your children’s well-being first. In addition, for some who suffer from addiction, separation can be the catalyst to start confronting their problems. Separation can be a source of heartbreak for all involved, yet some couples may find that it is the only way to start to repair the damage wrought by addiction and begin to start the healing process.

Healing is Possible

Though it may be a challenge, the condition of addiction can be confronted. As the author of this article and a recovering addict myself, I can attest to the importance of a supportive spouse. When I went into recovery for opiate addiction, my wife stuck by my side through the good and the bad. In fact, she was the one who helped me see my downward spiral and find help to turn my life back around. It was hard on both of us, and there were some trying couple’s therapy sessions, but we approached my recovery as partners rather than me trying to go it alone. It’s a long-term process, but, with intervention, treatment, and time, your marriage can be brought back from the brink and your family can find healing.

Caleb Anderson and his wife Molly are the founders of RecoveryHope.org, which helps couples and individuals by providing research and resources regarding the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

Social Conservative Review - March 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

March 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

A man who lives alone and completely off the grid in the British Columbian woods is the subject of a short documentary I happened upon recently. Dag Aabye is 76 years old and spends his days clearing and building trails to run on so that he can train for 80-mile ultramarathon races. “I’m perfectly imperfect,” he says. “If you’re perfectly imperfect, you always have to work on yourself … tomorrow, I want to be a better person than today.” These are sage words for us all. But then Aabye says something interesting: “And if you work on yourself, you don’t have time to talk about other people or worry about other people … I don’t try to understand people. They do their thing, and I leave them alone. The only person you want to understand, really, is yourself.”

In our modern lives that seem built around being “plugged in” —to the internet, our phones, TV, etc. —it can sometimes be tempting to make a radical break from “the rat race” and “break free” so that we can live a life like Aabye’s, one of complete separation from worldly concerns so that we can constantly search for ultimate meaning in which we only have ourselves to worry about. There are indeed important lessons to be learned from a life like Aabye’s—instead of gossiping about others, improve yourself; instead of wasting time surfing Facebook or cable TV, live with purpose and creativity to accomplish meaningful goals.

But underneath the surface of words like “I don’t try to understand people” and “They do their thing, and I leave them alone” is a sense of loss. In a way, it’s an admission of defeat, of not attempting the difficult task of empathy and sacrifice for our fellow man. Ultimately, it’s an indirect dismissal of the greatest act of love we can ever perform in life: to lay down our lives for another (John 15:13). As tempting as it is to think of a life like Dag Aabye’s as one of ultimate “freedom,” Christ showed us that true freedom lies in self-sacrifice for the other. As Nathanael Blake has written recently, even something as seemingly ordinary as a man and a woman staying true to their marriage vows “is an act of defiance against all of the difficulties of life, from the catastrophic to the mundane. In marriage, men and women promise themselves to one another, and tell fate to go to hell. The traditional promises that solemnize a marriage are some of the greatest assertions of human agency, and therefore of human dignity, possible. Our freedom is not realized in the possibility that we might do anything, but in doing what we have said we will do.”

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

What an Idaho Federal Judge Should Have Said About Transgender Birth Certificates – Peter Sprigg

Sixth Circuit Shows Why SOGIs Are a Threat to Religious Freedom – Travis Weber

Women Speak: A Panel Discussion on Real Issues that Women Face Today

She Persisted: Star Parker’s Mission to End Abortion

Gentle Strength: Why I’m Not a Feminist – Cassidy Rich

Remarks by Tony Perkins at the 2018 NRB Convention

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Christian Bakers Appeal Fine for Refusing to Make Cake for Same-Sex Wedding – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Fourth Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Bladensburg Veterans Memorial Case – First Liberty

Report: Southern Poverty Law Center ignores anti-Semitic hate crimes on campus – Caleb Parke, Fox News

Condo Bans Senior Citizen’s Bible Study, Christian Music – ToddStarnes.com

Christian group sues Michigan university after it is kicked off campus – Caleb Parke, Fox News

School District Bans Baptist Chaplain From Praying with Football Team – ToddStarnes.com

College student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders – Rick Lessard, Fox61

61% of College Students Says Campus Climate Deters Conservative Speech – Tom Ciccotta, Breitbart

Pa. County Continues Fight Against Atheists’ Lawsuit Demanding Cross Be Removed From Seal – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Mike Pompeo’s Nomination is ‘Very Positive for the Cause of International Religious Freedom’ – George Thomas, CBN News

Remains of 40 Iraqi Christians With Their Crosses Found in Mass Grave – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Christian Parents Praying for Son on Death Row in Pakistan for ‘Blasphemy’ – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Military Religious Freedom

Should a ‘secular humanist’ serve as Navy chaplain? Absolutely not – Sen. Roger Wicker, Fox News

 

Life

Abortion

Discriminating against people like my son, with Down syndrome, must end – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Abortion Clinics Have Lost 3 Million Customers to This Pro-Life Helpline – Jay Hobbs, LifeNews

To Call Abortion ‘Health Care’ Defies Logic – Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, National Catholic Register

A Miracle Story: Baby Saved After Mother Had Already Started Abortion – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Abortion worker pressured by other workers to abort her wanted baby – Sarah Terzo, Live Action

Michigan pro-lifers now saving babies from within a former Planned Parenthood – Katie Franklin, LifeSiteNews

Kentucky House OKs bill to ban abortion procedure after 11 weeks – Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

Human Rights Groups Thank U.S. for Rolling Back Abortion in Impending Report – Austin Ruse, C-Fam

Why Is the Abortion Industry Run by Women? – Rebekah Merkle, Desiring God

Adoption

Video: Family Adopts an Abandoned Newborn Baby – Sarah Zagorski, LifeNews

A ‘perfect’ ending for four Kansas siblings seeking adoption brings judge to tears – Rick Montgomery, Chicago Tribune

Bioethics

The real Down syndrome problem: Accepting genocide – George F. Will, The Washington Post

Euthanasia is Now Being Performed … on Prisoners – Michael Cook, Intellectual Takeout

Appeals court: Hospital can yank baby Alfie Evans’ life support against parents’ wishes – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

VSED: A New Form of Assisted Suicide – Richard Becker, Crisis

Netherlands Euthanized 252 Mentally Ill People in 2017 – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Basic Bioethics: What Christians should know about abortifacients – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

 

Family

Economics/Education

Tax Cuts Already Have America’s Small Businesses Moving Again – Chris Stansbury, The Daily Signal

Saving men in the heartland: The case for place-based employment policies – The Brookings Institution

Marriage

The Romance of Ordinary Marriage – Nathanael Blake, Public Discourse

Don’t Miss the Joy of Family Life – Justin Coulson, Family Studies

7 Questions Every Husband Should Be Asking Himself – Christopher Greco, Relevant

God, Why Won’t You Fulfill Our Desire for Children? – Michael McAfee, The Gospel Coalition

How to Increase Participation in Marriage and Relationship Education – Stephen F. Duncan, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

3 Things A Father Must Teach His Son So That His Son Doesn’t End Up Dead Or In Prison – Matt Walsh, The Daily Wire

You Must Fight Hard for Peace – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

What Your Kids Need from YouJ. D. Greear, The Gospel Coalition

What Jordan Peterson Has to Say About Motherhood Might Surprise You – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

9 ways to establish sexual norms for your children before the world doesJ.D. Thorne, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Lost Art of Intentionality – Tod Worner, Word On Fire

The Christian’s Hammer – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Guttmacher Report Misleads on Abstinence-Only Education – Michael J. New, National Review

Sex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Bisexual Confessions, Ex-Gay Testimonies Receive Scorn – Dan Delzell, The Christian Post

Why He Doesn’t Call Himself Gay – Rachel Gilson, The Gospel Coalition

Historic Stand? Kansas GOP Affirms ‘God’s Design for Gender’ – Heather Sells, CBN News

New Resource Lovingly Presents the Truth About Homosexuality – Kathy Schiffer, National Catholic Register

Human Trafficking

Survivors of Human Trafficking, in Their Own Words – Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic

The House acts to fight against sex trafficking – Josh Wester, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Does #MeToo Have the Power to Bring Down Corporatized Sex Trafficking? – Lisa L. Thompson, National Center On Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

What to do when you can’t “unsee” pornography – Kathleen N. Hattrup, Aleteia

Restricting Online Porn Is Focus of Rhode Island BillNational Catholic Register

10 Things To Avoid Saying To Someone Struggling To Give Up Porn – Fight the New Drug

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