Author archives: Daniel Hart

Social Conservative Review - August 16, 2018

by Daniel Hart

August 16, 2018

Dear Friends,

When God created the human race, the pinnacle of His creation, He endowed us with a particularly amazing ability. Our souls are actually wired to feel an elevated sense joy, happiness, and hope when we witness an act of charity being performed by someone in service of someone else, even if they are complete strangers. As I know I have, I’m sure you’ve experienced a tear well up in the corner of your eye as you’ve watched one of the seemingly thousands of “random acts of kindness” videos that are all over the internet.

What’s amazing about this inborn warmth that we feel when we witness goodness is that it has the power to instantly change our attitudes. For me personally, this has happened dozens of times in my day to day life. These moments usually happen completely unexpectedly, especially when I happen to be feeling a little down or discouraged. After I witness an act of kindness on the street or happen to watch an inspiring video that I come across on Facebook, my outlook on life is instantly transformed to one of hope and joy. What’s more, I feel inspired to emulate the act of kindness myself. This is the phenomenon of kindness being “contagious,” which has been hardwired into our humanness by our Creator.

While acts of kindness naturally move and inspire us, that doesn’t mean we always follow through and do them ourselves—this is where our own sin and shortcomings creep in. Let’s all make a point of moving past any hesitation or self-conscious nervousness we might feel when we see an opportunity to perform an act of charity. You never know who might witness our acts of kindness and be inspired to spread the love, thus transforming our broken world one good deed at a time.

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

Strong Patents: Key to a Strong Economy – Ken Blackwell

CNN Publishes a Hatchet Job on Religious Freedom – Travis Weber

The Remains of Aborted Babies Are Now a Commodity to the FDA – Patrina Mosley

High School Students Enticed into Private Booth for “Queer” Storytelling – Cathy Ruse

The Transgender Movement Just Pushes People Too Far – Cathy Ruse

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

I’m Proud To Take A Knee With Coach Kennedy – Bobby Bowden, The Daily Caller

A Sign of the Times? Pastor Greg Laurie Forced to Remove Billboards Featuring the Bible – Emily Jones, CBN News

Alabama public schools may soon add ‘In God We Trust’ displays – Frank Miles, Fox News

Christian Baker Again Under Fire Again—This Time for Refusing to Bake a Transgender Cake – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Hispanic restaurant owner recipient of death threats, outrage mob after hosting Jeff Sessions – Chris Enloe, The Blaze

University of Iowa Reinstates Nearly 40 Student Groups After InterVarsity Files Lawsuit – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Trump Admin Upholds Religious Freedom for Federal Contractors – Mark Martin, CBN News

International Religious Freedom

We Must Pay So Dearly’: China’s Churches Raided, Silenced – Yanan Wang, AP

China cracks down on citizens, scans handheld devices for ‘illegal information’ – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Court rejects appeal for American pastor’s release from detention, Turkish media says – Fox News

Lindsey Graham: ‘Normal relationship’ with Turkey impossible with pastor jailed – Tom Howell Jr., The Washington Times

US Congress Urges India’s Modi to Protect Christians, Condemn Attacks on Minorities – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Military Religious Freedom

Army Chaplain Faces Possible Court Martial over Religious Beliefs – ToddStarnes.com

Militant Atheist Group Calls for Removal of Edwards AFB Commander over Public Professions of Faith – Paula Bolyard, PJ Media

1,800 Soldiers Have Professed Faith in Christ at Missouri Army Base in Last 6 Months – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Pushing abortion on California college students is institutionalized misogyny – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action

International abortion pressure was no match for Argentina’s love of life – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

The Worst Poll Ever on the Roe v. Wade Decision – Michael New, Townhall

18 years of the abortion pill have made things worse for women and society – Susan Michelle-Hanson, Live Action

Adoption

Toby’s Adoption Day – Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review

4-Year-Old Celebrates His Adoption and New Baby Sister in Sweet Photo: ‘He Was So Happy That Day!’ – Char Adams, People

Bioethics

What Three Identical Strangers Reveals About Nature and Nurture – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies

Slow Code’: Outraged parents say doctors delay care for kids with disabilities – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

California Senate bill allows encouraging terminally ill to choose suicide – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action

 

Family

Marriage

Tips for a successful weekly marriage meeting – Erin Stewart, Deseret News

Soulmate Marriage: An Unrealistic Goal? – Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout

How to Strengthen Your Marriage Through Doing the Dishes – Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

Parenting

How Dads Can Protect Their Kids – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

How to Navigate the Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting – Diana Divecha, Greater Good Magazine

Moms Who Miscarry Benefit from Going to Church, Research Shows – David Briggs, Christianity Today

Studies acknowledge how traumatic miscarriage is — so why doesn’t society? – Anna O’Neil, Aleteia

To the Young Men Who May Want to Date My Daughters – Whitney Fleming, Her View From Home

Economics/Education

Emails Reveal High School Teachers Plotting To Hide Their Political Bias From Parents – Ilya Feoktistov, The Federalist

Democrats More Positive About Socialism Than Capitalism – Frank Newport, Gallup

Faith/Character/Culture

Your Life Is Not Boring – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Why Americans go—or don’t go—to religious services – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

A Case for Fear – Austin Roscoe, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Love, Economics, and Cheap SexC.R. Pakaluk, Public Discourse

Support for Christians Refusing to Serve Same-Sex Weddings Goes … Up – Morgan Lee, Christianity Today

You Won’t Believe What Kids Can Find On ‘Transgender’ At The Public Library – Maureen Mullarkey, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

NCOSE Intern Report from the World Without Exploitation 2018 Youth Summit – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Ministry Leaders Who Counsel People Struggling With Porn Addiction Say It Can’t Be Fought Alone – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

For Parents: My Child Just Told Me They Struggle With Porn. Now What? – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - August 3, 2018

by Daniel Hart

August 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

We are now in the month of August, the time of the year that seems to be a kind of buffer between the season of vacations and weddings and the season when school and Congress begin work in earnest again in September. Generally speaking, August is when life seems to slow down a bit. Offices are a little emptier, the summer heat is a bit more intense, and there’s a few more stretches of time to spend in leisure.

But what is “leisure”? Most of us tend to think of it in terms of watching a movie or playing a board game. But as John Cuddeback writes, there is an important distinction between leisure and amusement:

Amusement refers to those activities we do because they are fun, or diverting, or simply relaxing. We play a game, ride a bike, go out on a boat, or watch a movie. We enjoy these activities even while they have no obvious product or utility.

Leisure refers to activities that are more serious: we have a deep conversation, we lie on our backs observing the stars, we listen to great music. We contemplate deeper things, we worship God.

Amusement and leisure share a common element: they are not work. But this similarity points to their fundamental difference. At the end of the day, amusement is less important than work, and it takes its immediate meaning from the fact that it serves work, by refreshing us to go back to our labors.

Leisure on the other hand is served by our work. It provides the ultimate meaning and justification for human work.

As we take vacations and spend time away from the office during this season, let’s remember to not only have fun and unwind, but to also spend some quality time in authentic leisure in order to renew our intellects and souls for the work God is calling us to accomplish.

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

Ominous Court Ruling Allows Discrimination Against Christian Adoption Provider – Travis Weber

With State Department Ministerial, Trump Administration Signals Seriousness on Religious Freedom – Travis Weber

Why It’s Impossible To Support Both #MeToo And Planned Parenthood Without Being A Big Hypocrite – Patrina Mosley

Unleashing America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit – Ken Blackwell

Nikki Haley’s Great Advice on Resurrecting Civil Discourse – Spenser White

Transgender “Revolution” is Really an Elitist Diktat – Cathy Ruse

DOJ Announces Timely Religious Liberty Initiative – Travis Weber

RNC: Schools Must Get a “Yes” from Parents Before Teaching Radical Sex Ed – Cathy Ruse

The Lies of Access and Autonomy – Hannah Borchers

Ohio House Bill 658: Parental Rights are Good for Children – Madeleine Lucas

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Town Orders Family to Stop Hosting Bible Studies on Farm – ToddStarnes.com

These 6 Cases Show How Brett Kavanaugh Might Rule on Religious Freedom – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal

School District Threatens to Call Police After Mystery Person Gives Out Free Bibles on Campus – Will Maule, CBN News

Muslim Who Squeezed $3M Out of SPLC for Calling Him an Anti-Muslim Extremist Says Others Also Wrongly Labeled – Jeremiah Poff, The Daily Signal

Christian club rejects University of Iowa’s mandate to accept LGBT leaders – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Atheist Group Sues West Virginia City for Reciting Lord’s Prayer at Meetings – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Religious persecution in Iran, China must end now – Mike Pompeo, USA Today

American Pastor Brunson Moved from Prison to House Arrest in Turkey – Benjamin Gill, CBN News

China Detaining Over 1 Million Muslims in Concentration Camps but the World Is Silent, Believer Says – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Victims of Religious Persecution Tell Their Stories at International Conference in DC – Katherine Rohloff, The Daily Signal

Trinity Western and the Endangerment of Religious Pluralism in Canada – Derek Ross, Public Discourse

US Tells Iraqi Christians Help Is on Its Way (For Real This Time) – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force surrenders to demand to replace Bible with generic ‘book of faith’ on POW/MIA table – Todd Starnes, Fox News

 

Life

Abortion

When Arguments Fail, What Do Pro-Lifers Do? – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

Pushing the abortion pill on college campuses is dangerous to women – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Amazing new video illustrates humanity of preborn baby in womb – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

7th Circuit strikes down Indiana abortion ultrasound law – Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer

Planned Parenthood opening 14 new facilities in ‘deep red’ states – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

The Tyranny of Reproductive “Justice” – Regis Nicoll, Crisis

Adoption

Should Kinship Care Be the Default Option for Kids in Foster Care? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

Welcoming an Adopted Baby Home Is Both Beautiful and Challenging — And Here’s Why We Need to Talk About It – Marianne Garvey, Bravo

Bioethics

Children Are Now Being Euthanized in Belgium – Michael Cook, Intellectual Takeout

Who gets the embryos? Whoever wants to make them into babies, new law says – Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post

Thousands of Euthanasia Killings in Canada – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

UK horror: Patients in ‘vegetative state’ can now be killed without consent – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action

What does the Bible teach about euthanasia and physician assisted suicide? – Mary Wurster, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

 

Family

Marriage

We All Marry the Wrong Person – Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

Words of Wisdom on a Silver Anniversary – Michelle Malkin, National Review

Children of divorcing parents want more information and more say in what happens, study finds – Angus Randall, ABC News

Single Sailors Think Navy Hinders Likelihood of Marriage, Survey Says – Brock Vergakis, The Virginian-Pilot

Our Fixer-Upper Marriage – Stephanie Reeves, Family Life

God remembers the barren, and so should the church – Jenn Hesse, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Parenting

What Are Your Child’s Passions? – Dennis Prager, The Stream

Podcast: Parenting through the hard seasons – Nancy Guthrie, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Genetics of Parenting – Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies

I Love Being Their Mother – Jess Hunt, Her View From Home

Economics/Education

Parents… Deserve the Right to Know’: RNC Passes ‘Parents’ Rights’ Sex Ed Resolution – Mark Martin, CBN News

In Search of Family Time – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

Free-Market Policies Make the Most of the Sharing Economy – Anthony B. Kim, The Daily Signal

Family Instability in Childhood Affects American Adults’ Economic Mobility – Paola Scommegna, Population Reference Bureau

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Gratitude Is So Good for You (and for Those Around You) – Richard Gunderman, Intellectual Takeout

The family that prays together … feels connected, unified and bonded with less relational tension – Jon McBride, BYU News

Living a Life of Purpose: An Interview with Michelle Singletary – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Human Sexuality

The Beauty of Complementarity Goes Beyond Gender – Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

What #MeToo and Hooking Up Teach Us About The Meaning of Sex – Elizabeth Schlueter and Nathan Schlueter, Public Discourse

Thinking Deeply about Christian Love: Same-Sex Attraction, Sin, and Spiritual Friendship – Ron Belgau, Public Discourse

Why ordinary people disregard the transgender movement as utterly insane – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Religious Male Students Less Sexually Aggressive, Coercive, Study Finds – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Study finds health risks for transgender women on hormone therapy – Avichai Scher, NBC News

Human Trafficking

The Porn Industry and Human Trafficking Reinforce Each Other – Marlo Safi, National Review

A Need for Child Safeguarding Policies – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Americans Are Rapidly Warming Up to Porn, a New Gallup Poll Shows. Here’s Why – Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout

How Our More Permissive Attitudes Toward Porn May Impact Marriage – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Pornography is First Boom in Virtual Reality – Brynne Townley, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

 

Social Conservative Review - July 18, 2018

by Daniel Hart

July 18, 2018

Dear Friends,

A common misconception about Christianity that has drawn many away from practicing it is that it has “too many rules” about moral behavior. Prohibitions against things like premarital sex and drunkenness are seen as arbitrary laws that impinge on people’s “freedom” to do what they want. The Ten Commandments are constantly ridiculed in popular culture (and even deliberately destroyed with cars) as hopelessly old-fashioned and obsolete.

What many have failed to see is that having boundaries for moral behavior is actually freeing. An excellent analogy for this is to picture a train on railroad tracks. Strictly speaking, one could look at a train on the tracks and think, “That train is clearly being restricted by the tracks—if it could only be free of the tracks, it would have more leeway to go where it pleases.” But common sense tells us that trains are dependent on railroad tracks to keep their wheels aligned and to allow them to travel great distances at high speeds in a very efficient way—tracks give trains the freedom to operate as they were designed to operate. Anyone who has seen a train going off the tracks knows full well of the disastrous results.

When we go “off the rails,” the results aren’t pretty—bad choices can be clearly judged by their fruits (Luke 6:43-45). For example, premarital sex most often leads to broken hearts and STDs, and drunkenness leads to loss of self-control and can cause the physical endangerment of others.

God created us in order that we might fully flourish and be happy by following His precepts—the “railroad tracks” that are designed for this purpose. We see evidence of this in our lives as faithful Christians, as explained here: “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin’” (Romans 6:17). May we always walk in the Truth of Christ, which will set us free (John 8:32).

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

On Trump’s pick of Kavanaugh, conservatives should trust but verify – Tony Perkins

Forcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women – Mary Beth Waddell

In Win for Religious Freedom, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reminds Us Why Judicial Nominations Matter – Travis Weber

Why California Senate Bill 320 is Harmful to Women’s Mental Health – Sarah Stewart

Why the Hysteria Over Roe? Because it Would Strike a Blow to Eugenics – Patrina Mosley

Will the Supreme Court Save Sexual Orientation Change Efforts? – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

California bill banning books, therapy to help unwanted gay attraction stalls amid lawsuit fears – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Wisconsin’s Marquette Decision Is A Big Win For Free Speech And A Sign Of Trouble – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

Maryland Church Banned from Services in Its Own Building Fights Back in Court – Josh Shepherd, The Stream

Pastor under fire for high school football devotional – Todd Starnes, Fox News

Planet Fitness bans woman for objecting to sharing locker room with ‘transgender’ man – Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNews

Judge sides with University of Iowa Christian student group accused of discrimination – Vanessa Miller, The Gazette

GOP Volunteers Kicked Out of Uber As Driver Says ‘Welcome To The Resistance’ – Julia Cohen, The Daily Caller

University of Minnesota mulls expelling students for not using transgender pronouns – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

International Religious Freedom

Pure Genocide’: Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Religious Persecution Again Rises Worldwide – Doug Bandow, The American Spectator

A British Doctor Is Fired for Affirming Biological Reality – Michael Brown, The Stream

In Nicaragua, Paramilitaries Attack Bishop and Besiege Students at ChurchNational Catholic Register

Turkish Court Sends American Pastor Brunson Back to Prison – Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

Military Religious Freedom

Military Sees Increase In Conflicts Over First Amendment Freedoms – Nicole Russell, The Federalist

 

Life

Abortion

3 reasons why Roe v. Wade will fall, despite past Supreme Court decisions – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

A Closer Look at NIFLA v. Becerra and the Role of Crisis Pregnancy Centers – Helen Alvaré, Family Studies

The Jewish Position On Abortion Isn’t What You Think It Is – Mitchell Rocklin and Howard Slugh, Public Discourse

Judge Rules Trump Administration Can Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Adoption

This Woman’s Search for Her Birth Mother Comes With a Beautiful Message About the Gift of Adoption – Katie Franklin, The Christian Post

Poll: Ensure All Adoption Agencies Can Continue to Serve Families and Children – Elizabeth Fender, Heritage Foundation

Families Warn of ‘Devastating’ Consequences If Adoption Agencies Are Shut Down Over Gay Marriage Beliefs – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Bioethics

Opponents of Assisted Suicide Offer a Message of Hope – Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Stream

 

Family

Marriage

Three Sisters, Three Weddings in Three Months – Patti Armstrong, National Catholic Register

Maximizing Everyday Moments in Your Marriage – Greg Smalley, Focus on the Family

The Best Way to Properly Apologize to Your Spouse – Ted Cunningham, Focus on the Family

Parenting

6 Reasons Millennials Should Stop And Embrace Parenthood – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The Federalist

Why Parents Should Encourage Risky Play – Justin Coulson, Family Studies

Economics/Education

Decision to live together negatively affects wealth accumulation – Iowa State University

Congress should end marriage penalties in the tax code and welfare system – Erik Randolph, Georgia Center for Opportunity

Faith/Character/Culture

What Is Best in Life? Jesus And the Mayo Clinic Know! – Elizabeth Scalia, Word on Fire

Steve Ditko’s Great Gift To The World: ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ – Aaron Gleason, The Federalist

How conversations with my father have shaped my faith – Benjamin Ball, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Extinction of the Middle Child – Adam Sternbergh, The Cut

The Most Dangerous Place to Live: The Subtle Perils of the Past – Greg Morse, Desiring God

I Advocated Civility, But Didn’t Practice it When it Mattered – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

Human Sexuality

What do I do if my child doesn’t seem to fit with typical gender norms? – Jared Kennedy, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Podcast: Am I Less Human If I’m Sexually Unfulfilled? – Sam Allberry, Desiring God

The Myth of the “Desistance Myth” – Julian Vigo, Public Discourse

For Women’s Health, Maybe It’s Time to Focus on Natural Pregnancy Prevention Methods – Maria Archer, Family Studies

Human Trafficking

277 Arrested In Huge Florida Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting – Fight the New Drug

In Minnesota, Porn Is Now Officially Recognized As A Contributor To Human Trafficking – Fight the New Drug

One Train Passenger’s Tweet Saved 25 Girls From Human Trafficking – Fight the New Drug

Pornography

Is Pornography Use Increasing Loneliness, Particularly for Young People? – Mark Butler, Family Studies

Your Friend Just Told You They Struggle With Porn—Now What Do You Do? – Fight the New Drug

Groundbreaking Study Finds Video Game Addiction Is Linked To Compulsive Porn Use – Fight the New Drug

My Life Isn’t Your Porn” – Thousands of Women are Protesting Spycam Pornography – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Smartphones have given your teen daughter a secret life – and it’s destroying her – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Social Conservative Review - July 2, 2018

by Daniel Hart

July 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

Many in our culture today think of Jesus as a kind of domesticated philosopher who had some polite things to say about how everyone should be nice to each other. Christ’s actual words in the gospels, however, reveal just how subversive he truly was 2,000 years ago and remains to this day. When I say “subversive,” I don’t mean in the sense of dissident rebellion towards society. I mean that the demands that Jesus placed on our human capacity for love were and are truly revolutionary and formidable. Consider these words from the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel:

You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

If we are honest with ourselves, these words should shake us to our core, because they sound impossibly impractical and superhumanly difficult to put into practice. We all fail at doing what Christ tells us to do in these verses with such routine regularity that his words can seem almost absurd at times. The reason for this can be traced all the way back to the beginning. Ever since our earliest ancestors fell into temptation in the Garden of Eden, we humans have been stuck in a default setting of selfishness—our fallen natural instinct is to be comfortable in our own self-righteous anger, lust, defensiveness, and loathing. Christ’s teachings completely subvert our inclinations, calling us to a higher and greater way of being. Since Christ is one with God the Father—our Creator—he has perfect understanding of man’s fallen nature. Therefore, his teachings are ultimately designed for our complete restoration—to bring about the apex of human flourishing, fulfillment, and happiness—as it was meant to be from the beginning.

Many in our society put Jesus in the “nice guy who said nice things” box and insist that “niceness” is all he stood for. What they do not realize, and what we believers must fight for, is this truth: that Jesus is a full rebuke of the “think whatever you want to think” and “do whatever feels right” mentality. In this age of confusion, where identities, emotions, and urges rule the day, there is nothing more subversive than Jesus. But the paradox is that there is nothing more attractive, either—who doesn’t want to be happy and fulfilled?

This, then, is the challenge for believers: to help unbelievers rediscover their original design before the fall by living out Christ’s radically challenging teachings in our own lives. 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

America Celebrates Another Freedom Revolution – Ken Blackwell

Keep kids with parents at border — and remember how we got here – Tony Perkins

Are Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg For or Against Religious Hostility? – Travis Weber and Andrew Rock

The Little-Known Figures Who Had an Outsized Impact on the Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision – Peter Sprigg

The Freedom to Serve: Why Religious Adoption Agencies Must Be Protected – Spenser White

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

A culture of freedom keeps winning at the Supreme Court – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

SCOTUS Invalidates Ruling Against Christian Florist – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Southern Poverty Law Center’s settlement with ‘extremist’ organization dings credibility – Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times

Floral Artist Faced Same Intolerance as Jack Phillips – Kristen Waggoner, National Review

Supreme Court Reverses Ruling Against Kansas Woman Told by Police to Stop Praying in Her Home – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Faith and courage – Ray Hacke, WORLD

SCOTUS allows lower court to ban prayer from public square – Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

International Religious Freedom

President Buhari, Please Stop the Muslim Slaughter of Nigerian Christians – Michael Brown, The Stream

Countries increasing legal restrictions on religion, survey finds – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

Canadian Bus Driver Arrested Two Years Later For Criticizing Homosexuality – Jeremiah Keenan, The Federalist

 

Life

Abortion

Pro-Life Advocates Celebrate Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Law Forcing Abortion Promotion – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Why The Supreme Court’s Ruling Will Protect All Pregnancy Centers From Forcibly Promoting Abortion – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

Overturning Roe v. Wade is a Major Step. But Changing Hearts Is the Endgame – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

How to Overturn Roe – Josh Craddock, First Things

Adoption

Philadelphia Bans Catholic Agency From Placing Foster Kids with Christian Families – Charlene Aaron, CBN News

More Adopted Children, Who Are Adults Now, Look For Birth Parents – Ashley Westerman, NPR

How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father – Marcia Kester Doyle, Her View From Home

Comparing Border Children To U.S. Foster Kids Proves The Outrage Is Disgustingly Selective – Donna Carol Voss, The Federalist

Adoption Is Love – Heather Duckworth, Her View From Home

Bioethics

Physician Assisted Suicide and the Rise of Suicide Cults – Grace Emily Stark, Public Discourse

Jahi McMath, the teen doctors tried to declare dead five years ago, has died – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Obamacare

Trump’s New Health Initiative Will Spell Relief for Americans – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Marriage

35 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage – Brad & Heidi Mitchell, The Stream

Want a better marriage? These core values keep families close – Linda Lewis Griffith, The Tribune

Fertility and Marriage: An Underappreciated Link – Angela Rachidi, Family Studies

How Asking For My Husband’s Help Around the House Changed My Life – Elisa Cinelli, Her View From Home

This Two-Step Process Can Cure Your Lonely Marriage – Greg Smalley, Focus on the Family

Economics/Education

Teaching Children How to Manage Money – Laurie DeRose, Family Studies

For Young Adults, Economic Security Matters for Marriage – Benjamin Gurrentz, U.S. Census Bureau

Faith/Character/Culture

Ten Thousand Small Trials: How God Fits Us for Glory – Scott Hubbard, Desiring God

New Mister Rogers Documentary Is Full Of Surprises About An American Icon – Josh Shepherd, The Federalist

How Flourishing Families Cultivate Great Art – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

The Seven Things You Need to Know About Forgiveness – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

The Most Damaging Attitude in Our ChurchesC.M. Joyner, Relevant

Gloom in The Time of Oculus – Matthew Becklo, Word on Fire

The American Library Association’s criticism of Little House entirely misses the mark – Megan Basham, WORLD

Generation Vexed – Lois M. Collins and Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News

The Joyful Longing of Paul McCartney’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ – Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

Scientists Have Unwittingly Revealed that the Obergefell Decision Did Nothing to Diminish Sexual Minority Distress – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Struggling’ with Same-Sex Attractions? – Hudson Byblow, National Catholic Register

The FBI Says Sexual Assaults on Flights Increasing ‘At An Alarming Rate’ – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Human Trafficking

Twelve Days of Action: It’s Time to Raise Your Voice – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

The Brain’s Delete Button: How You Can Erase Years Of Watching Porn – Fight the New Drug

Study Shows How Watching Porn Could Seriously Increase Your Divorce Risk – Fight the New Drug

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

Archives